Building a business from scratch can be impossibly stressful. In the early days of my photography business I had many nights lying in bed thinking about where the next client would come from. In an effort to feel productive I would mastermind complex strategies that could help to generate revenue faster. These strategies were so complicated that I didn’t even know where to start, so I’d spend even more time trying to work through every angle, playing out failures and successes without even starting! It was mentally exhausting and a one way ticket to burnout-city!
In my previous life I was in commissioned sales and lucky enough to work with some amazing mentors. One of them had given me invaluable advice about dealing with the stress of generating your own income. Whenever workloads seemed unbearable he would tell us to “celebrate the small successes”. Instead of being focused on the end result and sprinting to get there, break down each project into bite-sized pieces and enjoy each bite! When you finish a task, give yourself a “kudos” and be content knowing that one more item was off your list and you are one step closer to seeing the fruits of your labour.
Remembering this I entirely changed my strategy. For the first year I did nothing other than set attainable, revenue generating daily and weekly goals. Call a certain number of companies a day, grab a coffee with someone locally who I could work with, update content on my website, etc. I didn’t pay attention to how much money I was making or how often I was booked, instead I was able to work hard every day and be excited to cross off my daily activities. As a new business owner it kept me feeling like I was headed in the right direction and gave me the confidence to continually push. In a very short amount of time I saw that effort turn into bookings. Fast forward 8 months into my second year and I had already doubled my previous year’s revenue.
There is a lot of stress in owning a small business, so do yourself a favour and stop looking at the bigger picture on a daily! Set attainable revenue-generating activity goals, knock them out of the ballpark and give yourself a high five (but maybe not in public…)!