This morning, I asked a simple question of The Insiders [my private little Facebook group for all things Makeness]: “What would you like me to write about?” And the answers rocked my socks. This is the first post pulled directly from the hearts and minds of the people who love my big brain the most. Pretty sure I will be doing this A LOT more.
Good for you! You’re getting by. You have successfully achieved the rarefied entrepreneurial feat of both paying the rent and eating all in the same month on a fairly regular basis.
But now, ‘getting by’ is starting to feel like those favorite jeans you wore every day in college; a little tight. A little worn. A little less than sexy.
But how do you break out of ‘just enough’? How do you go beyond barely making it?
Let’s start by getting one thing out of the way right up front:
There is no five step process on earth that can get you out of your own way.
And all five of the following points are designed to help you focus on one single thing: You.
1. Prioritize at like a super-meta level.
If a vacation or paying your taxes on time or buying those sexy new boots or new car or a new computer is not at the top of your priority list RIGHT NOW, it will probably never happen. It’s not about goal setting. It’s about value placement. If your priority list has a boat-load of things on it that should all happen over the next month and none of the things on it are things you want, but are rather all the things you have to do, expect to not get them. Why? Because you are not valuing their place in your timeline.
2. Re-jigger your language.
Words matter. If you begin every other sentence related to your business with, “I have to…” or “This damn client…” or “Fucking hell….” You are painting yourself into a scarcity corner. No one wants to help you because your being a negative asshole. And you will never find time or energy to pursue something bigger or better because you are mired in the deafening noise of your own stress. Notice when you do this and make every possible effort to pause and re-frame the way you talk about your work. It is YOUR work after all. You chose this path. The language you choose to articulate it is the one and only things that potential clients have to go one when they judge your worthiness.
3. Lie to yourself.
Seriously. This actually works. Add 10% to every bill you need to pay when you create your budget. So if the phone bill is actually $150, make it $165. Then, add up all of those 10%’s and make it a new bill that you have to pay each month. Call it ‘Taxes’ or ‘Car Payment’ or ‘Boot Fund’. Get used to just making more to cover the 10%. It might not seem like a lot, but when was the last time you knew someone with a job that got a 10% raise? You just gave yourself one by simply lifting the bottom line a bit. At the end of each month, pay that bill into a savings account. don’t go buy anything with it. Just keep paying the bill. I did this. It works. For a rebel brain like mine, it was the only way I could actually trick myself into saving for something – I pretended it was on layaway and the store was going to sell it to someone else if I didn’t make payments every month. Stupid, yes. But effective. I have also incrementally raised my percentage from 10% to 15% to 20% over a couple of years.
4. Decide on ONE thing that you will no longer compromise on. Add to the list monthly.
Scraping by is so often a death of a thousand cuts. A thousand tiny sacrifices along the way.
“I no longer need to go to yoga… I can’t afford it.”
“I don’t need a new car. This one’s fine.”
“I can discount my services just this once for so-and-so.”
“I don’t have time to take a walk, I have too much work to do.”
The list of things that you have let go of in the name of entrepreneurial martyrdom is probably quite long. So it’s time to heal those cuts one by one. Doesn’t have to be related to money, but does have to serve you in some way. One of my clients chose, “10 uninterrupted minutes playing with my cat every single day,” for her first thing. Like I said – it doesn’t have to be big stuff. Or resolution-like. Don’t go after big proclamations. Just reclaim one tiny thing that you used to enjoy but never make time [or room in your budget] for anymore. Each month, you add a new thing with the intention of building a life that serves you with abundance, not scarcity. Abundance invites opportunity. Opportunity invites income. Moola. Scratch. Dinero. You get the idea.
5. Sell more.
This is where the rubber meets the road. If you’re not selling, you’re not making money. If you’re not making money, you’re not a business. If you need to learn how to sell, do it. because at the end of the day, the one and only way you will ever make more is to sell more.
Next: Leave a comment telling us why you feel stuck and what you’re going to do about it.
Go a topic you want me to cover? Join The Insiders and you get to tell me what to do.