Business-Care Challenge

Welcome to the business-care month-long challenge. Let’s say Yep Yea Yes to business-care! For one month {any month you choose}, you will work with prompts for self-care mindset, set better boundaries, and more mindfulness in your business. The first day is warm-up day, and then it's six days of self-care mindset, six days of boundaries, and six days of mindfulness, before you wrap it up at the end of the month with you business-care mantra.

 

The goal of this challenge is to be one step closer to a crisis-proof business that can handle anything your clients throw its way - and to warm up to it, you'll write down on the first day what exactly that means for our businesses. What will it mean for your business to be able to handle any and all challenges you'll face? Write it down. And get ready to crisis-proof your business!

Day 1/6 self-care mindset

Do you have the habit of carrying the proverbial weight of the world on your shoulders? Everything ends up on your plate - even if it's not your responsibility. You make it your problem, because a) if you don't do it yourself it's not done right or b) it's not a big deal, you can look after that or c) nobody else is willing to do this, so what choice do you have?

 

a), b), and c) will cause overwhelm and for the majority of issues they apply to, the answer to the question: "Is it really your responsibility?" is NO. Today, pay attention to what's on your plate and whether it belongs there {and I'm not talking about Lindor chocolates, they always belong there}. What will you take off your plate today?

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: reducing overwhelm and being able to handle stressful situations better.}

 

day 2/6 self-care mindset

Do you ever feel the nudge to take on a project that gives you an uneasy feeling? Or feel like you have to give up quality family time because a client *really* needs something finished? That feeling might come from not being 100% clear what your non-negotiable business values are. What are the pillars you built your business on? Spell them out. Write them down. Don't negotiate. Today, write down three things that are non-negotiable in your business and plan how you will react when you're asked to compromise.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: being firm on your non-negotiables will give you more confidence in fending off situations that would require you to compromise them.}

 

day 3/6 self-care mindset

Not all business tasks are created equal. And that's ok! Business would be boring if there were never any challenges. The important thing is that you know which of your business tasks puts you into "flow" mode and make everything else easier. Is it social media? Connecting with your clients? Accounting? Whatever it is that you love doing in your business, schedule at least an hour of that today and pay extra attention to how it makes you feel. Then, when the less thrilling tasks come along, remember that feeling.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: being able to harness flow will reduce dread for the tasks you don't enjoy doing.}

 

day 4/6 self-care mindset

My husband is a plumber and he spends quite a bit of money on tools. Why? Because they make it easier for him to work at his best and get the job done. Whatever business you're in, there will be tools that make your daily operations easier. Whether it be an actual tool if you have an Etsy shop for handmade items, an app for digital work, or a class to build skills - find one tool today that will fill a specific need in your business and invest in it. You deserve it. 

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: reduce overwhelm and free up time for creative thinking and planning.}

 

day 5/6 self-care mindset

What's your favourite {non-business} book? Take some time to browse through it today and find wisdom in it that you can apply to your business. 

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: being able to see the same thing from different perspectives is a huge part of approaching your business problems in a positive way and moving forward.}

 

day 6/6 self-care mindset

Buddy the Elf says that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear - and I'm saying that the best way to set your customers' expectations is with an FAQ page on your website. Today, work on setting up an FAQ page. Make it a subpage on your about page, set it up as a blog post, look over your existing FAQ page, or, if you're not ready for all that, start writing down questions that come up over and over again.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: having a clear answer that is always the same is a fantastic way to deal with potentially challenging and uncomfortable situations.}

 

day 1/6 boundaries

Saying *no* is a vital part of a crisis-proof business. Of course, we want to say yes to our clients, but always saying yes is not sustainable. Let me put it this way: it has to be a yes or no to whether a client is a good fit and you want to work together. Once you do work together, it's a yes all the way to deliver on your promise. Having to say *no* is hard for many business owners, because the fear of not making enough money, being labelled as difficult to work with, or just appearing as not competent enough is powerful. Yet, your business values will require you to say no to some clients and projects.

 

Today, start with practising by adding a bit of humour to saying no to someone {and it does not have to be in a  business setting} by using this line from E.B. White he wrote in a letter in 1956:

 

Dear Mr. Adams,

Thanks for your letter inviting me to join the committee of the Arts and Sciences for Eisenhower.

I must decline, for secret reasons.

Sincerely,

E.B.White

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: being firm with your non-negotiable business values and saying no to opportunities that would infringe on them will make your business stronger in the long run and save you from a potential nightmare in the short run.}

 

day 2/6 boundaries

Setting business hours = setting boundaries. You don't always have to be *on*, even as a solopreneur. And even if it's urgent? You still have the right to make your well-being a priority and close down. Today, write down your business hours and the hours you are available for email support or phone calls. Post them on your website, include them in your email signature, and mention them in your next newsletter.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: you have to take time off in order to perform at a high level all other times.}

 

day 3/6 boundaries

When my younger son developed his first business idea {I think he was about 10}, I asked him about his price list. Without hesitation, he said that he would charge family and friends more than everyone else because they would support him for sure and he has to make money somehow. I really wish it worked that way. But alas, family and friends are often the people that reluctantly support our businesses, and then want a smokin' deal on top of that. Whatever category your family and friends fall into, it's a good idea to have a pricing strategy in place, so that's your prompt for today!

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: having a price strategy spelled out for different situations and applications will reduce stress for you when those situations arise.}

 

day 4/6 boundaries

Yesterday we talked about pricing strategy for family and friends, today it's all about pro-bono work. And by that, I don't mean working for free "to get exposure", I mean taking on projects free of charge for a non-profit cause or organization. The truth is that there are many important causes out there worth investing time in and fighting for. But it's also true that we can't support them all. So how do you decide? By creating a process for it. Today, create an application form for pro-bono requests and make sure you ask all the questions that are important to you.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: asking for applications in writing will make it easier to measure the responses against your criteria, and it also will give you a feel of how serious the request is.}

 

day 5/6 boundaries

Do any of your clients have unpaid invoices? Check your books today and follow up with those clients. Is there a way to make it easier for them to pay you, for example by accepting credit cards? 

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: cash flow is king, and enough money in your account reduces stress when it is time for you to pay your bills.}

 

day 6/6 boundaries

Are you a workshop/course junkie? Do you buy *just one more* course, because that will be exactly what will take your business to 100K {of whatever}? Today, say *no* to buying yet another course you don't need. You already have everything you need to succeed.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: learning to trust in your own abilities and judgement will make you more confident and be a bigger boost for your business than yet another course.}

 

day 1/6 mindfulness

Do you ever email clients and do something else at the same time? {really a rhetorical question, I know you do} Today, conduct an interaction with a client {whether it is an email or a phone call} without doing anything else. Take the time to give your full attention to your client and watch it elevate the experience for both you and them.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: focusing on one project and client at a time will improve the quality of your work and the service to your client.}

 

day 2/6 mindfulness

Many business owners struggle with setting goals. Or with setting boundaries. Or with technical stuff. Or with a client... Today, when you come across a post or comment from a fellow entrepreneur who is struggling, take the time to understand what their problem is and leave an encouraging and kind comment.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: taking the time to establish a real connection with a fellow business owner could be the basis for future collaborations and a great boost for your own business.}

 

day 3/6 mindfulness

What are you grateful for in your business today? 🙌

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: being aware of the joy your business enables you to experience is a great way to get through challenging times.}

 

day 4/6 mindfulness

Today, do the dishes all day long, for everyone. Doing the dishes is one of the best mindfulness practices ever because you can't do anything else while you're doing dishes. No answering emails, taking phone calls, writing something down before you forget,... Just you and the dishes, that's it. A great way to be present and in the moment. After practicing with the dishes, find one task in your business that you will always give your undivided attention to. 

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: being in the moment and fully aware of what's going on is a great way to focus on a project and get the best possible results for your client.}

 

day 5/6 mindfulness

Today, take a few minutes to unclutter your mind and get rid of all the thoughts that are crammed into your head. Use this audio reflection for it. P.S. this reflection is part of the tools for better - crisis-proof your business program, available at the shop.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: freeing up mind space that's cluttered with overwhelming thoughts will relieve pressure and stress.}

 

day 6/6 mindfulness

Today, plan a time when you will unplug for one. whole. week. {gasp!} What will you do when you unplug? Take naps? Go for long walks? Stay up all night talking to a friend? Go camping in the wilderness? Imagine the glorious feeling of freedom, of not having to answer any phone calls or emails, to be able to decide whatever you want to do with your precious time. Make a plan. Take the first step to put it into action.

 

{Crisis-proofing connection: your phone may recharge better when it's plugged in, but the opposite is true for you. Recharge by unplugging, and come back with new ideas and a fresh perspective to take your business to the next level.}

 

set your business-care mantra

It's the last day of the business-care challenge! Today, you'll set your business-care mantra that will guide you to a crisis-proof business.

 

Here's mine:

It's ok not to have it all together. 

It's ok to feel how I feel about my business and not want to work with everyone. I don't have to run my business perfectly, I just have to run it true to myself.

 

What's your business-care mantra? 

 

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