Mama said there would be days like this.
You know those days when you wake up and nothing feels awesome? We all have days when the work isn't coming as fast as we'd like, or the clients aren't banging on the door, and we start to doubt ourselves. These days happen to all of us, at any point in our careers. And it can be easy to stay under the covers, sit on the couch, and let the worry consume us.
I admit, I have had several days like this in the past few months. While worrying and couch-sitting (not to mention eating your feelings) might feel good in the moment, the reality is that they do very little to solve the problem.
So, what do you do when your day hands you a big ol' bowl of lemons? What should you be doing when you are short on clients or contracts? Where do you focus when you need to work up some momentum in your business? How do you get off the couch and get started?
10 things you can do when you don't have as much work as you'd like:
1. Write. I know this one is tough for some folks, because we don't see ourselves as writers. But we all have the ability to jot down our thoughts and ideas. Maybe think of all the ways you would love to better help your clients. Or, make a list of all the questions they ask you on a regular basis, and some ways to better answer them. Maybe it's a bucket list. Whatever comes to mind, just start writing.
2. Clean out stuff and throw it away. Nothing is as cleansing as throwing stuff out. Take a drawer or a closet and get started. Chuck the stuff you don't need. Donate, repurpose, and get rid of it. You just might find you have a ton of energy to tackle something else when that drawer is done!
3. Help others. When the focus is on you and your problems, it can be a lonely place to hang out. Instead, look around and see who needs a hand, or even just some encouragement. The more you give, the more you receive. This is a proven fact.
4. Write notes. Some folks are really good at sitting and writing personal notes to others. Some folks aren't. But if you are in a funk, one of the best things you can do is grab some paper, note cards, carrier pigeons, whatever... and send some love to someone else.
5. Read. Those books you've had in a stack forever? Read 'em. That article you bookmarked for later? Read it. Grab a highlighter, mark the phrases that stand out to you. Examine why they stand out, and what you can do about it.
6. Learn something. Take a class. Join a group. Is there something you've always wanted to learn? Whether its yoga or PowerPoint or social media or leadership skills, now is the perfect time to stop putting it off.
7. Call people. Yes. I know. We hate the phone. Too bad. Pick it up, dial, and ask how they are doing. Then listen. Rinse, repeat.
8. Answer emails. We all have those couple of emails that sit unanswered at the bottom of the pile. Open them up and get cracking.
9. Get some fresh air. Take a walk, go to the park and sit on the swings, visit a farmers market, watch a train pass by, feed the ducks, splash in the puddles, make a snowman, whatever. Just go outside.
10. Create some systems. Look at the work you do. How can you improve the way you do it? What are some ways you can start good habits, stop bad ones, and continue the things that are working? Take a hard look at those three categories, and then create an action plan for each one.
I am sure there are heaps of other ways to give your business a kick start, and I'd love to hear them! The important thing is to get off the couch and do something.
It's time to take those lemons and make lemonade.