If you want to succeed in business- and in life, you need to have a purpose, you need to work out what you’re passionate about, what feeds your soul- and potentially your tummy (we all need dollar) and then you must work on finding the strength, means and time to make that dream a reality.
This doesn’t mean you can’t do lots of things you love but it does mean you need to figure out the area/s that interest you most and find ways of carving out a business or end-product/s from that love and passion.
I’m a storyteller, the medium is irrelevant to me, if I’m honest, I’m open to all. I share my life and story (as well as other’s stories) on the blog– I did the same as a screenwriter and filmmaker making drama and documentaries- and now as a vlogger.
I want to create/share emotion on screen.
I also, ideally, want to make a difference while I’m at it-I want others to relate to my own journey and feel comforted that they’re not alone.
I simply want to connect.
And I’m touched when people tell me my posts do just that.
I hope to inform, entertain and inspire with my words and films.
The pieces I’m most proud of undoubtedly took the most guts to write such as: Being Honest: When Your Weight Going Up is Getting You Down, Being Honest: A Traumatic Birth and the Proud in my Bikini posts.
I want to celebrate life but also show it as it is from my perspective-parenting can be tough-going and parenting blogs are the necessary antidote to the previously glossed-over version of life with kids offered up to us by traditional media. Boy did I feel short-changed when my first baby came along! It looked so much easier in the movies!
Seriously though, the wonderful thing about working online is the freedom you have-the ability to work remotely, to your time and on your terms. Nothing, as far as I’m concerned is as liberating as working in the digital sphere.
Here are some tips to help get your started and focused on creating the business and life you want!
1. Research, study then get to it- (Content is King)
If you are a writer, write what you want to read yourself. Content is king so work on creating content that others will like and want to share.
Do research on the how and why you love, what others do but START TODAY.
I love the book Becoming a Writer by Doreathea Brande and always recommend it to my students when I lecture at universities.
Written in 1934, it is as relevant today as it was then, a timeless how-to for novice writers and also a vital reminder to established ones too.
The exercise of ‘Morning Notes’ will liberate you and most of all, will have you writing with abandon before you know it.
Look at courses to improve or learn new skills. You are never too old to learn and improve….
Even if you don’t want to blog, improving on ways to communicate your business online is crucial to all. With online advertising leading the way for all businesses, big and small and blogging attributing 126% more sales leads for businesses with blogs than without, everyone needs to work on honing their voice.
2. Be realistic about time frames
Dream jobs take time and usually require other jobs to provide income whiles your PLAN A business grows. I had two maternity leaves in which to grow my blog and I often recommend a ‘maternity leave’ for all new businesses if possible.
I returned to directing when my first son turned 1 and by the time I was pregnant with my second, I had grown a business here I could focus on.
The beauty of blogging is you don’t have any overheads bar buying the domain and if you can afford to, hiring a designer to create your site (mine was pretty basic to start).
Yes you need time but writing and hitting publish even once a week is a good start.
Creativity is a muscle to be exercised so keep writing and flourishing.
3. Grow a thick skin.
Creatives are sensitive by nature and it’s a tough world out there especially the ONLINE WORLD. Accept you will potentially feel hurt by comments but work on focusing on the positives. Keep a gratitude diary and also a progress diary, a place you can list your achievements, big and small.
As Baroness Margaret McDonagh reminded me the other week -the brain is plastic, the more you worry, the better it gets at it. Start reprogramming the negativity and reminding yourself of how brilliant you are.
Still not convinced?
Read my post on How to Stop Worrying About What Others Think of You.
…Margaret also mentioned that gender bias and discrimination happens often unknowingly from birth-boys are encouraged to go on adventures, girls are often protected and regarded more delicate.
We need to TAKE RISKS, TRY and FAIL so we can learn and build from our mistakes.
As my business partner, Jessica Huie MBE so wisely says,‘In order to be successful you have to make yourself vulnerable. If you aren’t feeling uncomfortable or stretched then you are playing in the safe zone…
Whenever I have felt I don’t belong, I’m not good enough, or incapable, if I’ve jumped then, magic has happened. I don’t think that success lies beyond our safe zone, I know it to be true’.
Here, I wrote 5 ways to face your fears and do it anyway.
4. Reach out, network and be open
So many of my colleagues and friendships came from being open, meeting people randomly, connecting, staying in touch and forging relationships.
So many connections also come from me reaching out, sending emails, tweets and asking for insight, help and advice.
Don’t be scared to reach out to others or to saying yes to projects you might feel a little scared to. I read ‘Yes Man’ by Danny Wallace recently and am saying yes to things I might not have considered before. Say ‘yes’ more, like me!
Get out there and connect, not just with your own niche and target consumers but people who could help you and think about what you can offer them in return. An exchange of ideas, PR, support etc.
MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. DON’T wait for things to happen.
Want to work with a brand, then tweet them asking for the email to their PR or simply google ‘PR’ and name of the brand and their details should come up.
Why not contact established bloggers and see if you can interview them on your own site- or ask if you can guest post on theirs.
Also consider guest posting on the Huffington Post and other authority sites to get your work out to a wider audience.
5. Team work makes the dream work
No one can achieve solo. Collaboration is key. Yes you can start on your own, I did- and slowly grew a little team here which includes a PR, agent, designer and my family for support- but this happened organically and as my site grew and I was able to dedicate more time to it. These things take time and you can achieve a lot on your own and with the support of like-minded friends who also work in your field.
From the off, find your tribe and work out how to help one another.
Collaborate on vlogs, guest post on each other’s sites, promote one another’s work on social media and fundamentally support and encourage each other.
6. Be your own publicist
Yes I have a super publicist now but up until a year ago I did all my own PR and I still do some now too because I love it and it’s in my bones. You need to feel comfortable selling your blog/product to others and believe me, the more you do this, the easier it becomes.
Read my post on how to be your own best publicist from becoming confident in your attributes to creating a media kit and reaching out to local and national press.
7. Schedule your workload
No one wants to be working 24/7. Working for yourself is meant to be give you freedom so while you will need to put work in, remember to really live too!
I use tools like Social Oomph, Tweet Deck and Tail Wind to help me schedule social media updates, with the Social Oomph letting me schedule tweets in advance that will tweet forever if I want them too. Invest in tools that will give you back time.
Try and create a plan for blog posts too so you have a schedule for content that can be shared consistently. The same goes for your business, plan out sharing updates in a meaningful way to get your message and business out there.
8. Be Kind to yourself
Why are we so lovely to everyone else but beat ourselves up, talk down and belittle ourselves? It has to stop. Part of becoming more confident is hand in hand with being kinder to ourselves and believing we deserve success. I’m currently reading Playing Big by Tara Mohr based on her transformative course which helps women take ownership of the creative space in the world they might not feel belongs to them.
9. Define success on your own terms
I wrote about what success means to me. It’s important to keep that in check, what matters to you because it’s so easy to get caught up and reach goals, then not appreciate those milestones. I want to feel happy and stimulated by what I do and importantly I want time with my family, the flexibility blogging offers me, means I work full time but in a way that allows me to spend as much time as possible with my kids.
10. Follow Pareto’s Rule
‘People believe that they have to often be all things to all people resulting in them feelings completely exhausted and burnt out.
The truth is that 80% of our success tends to come from around 20% of our activities, this is known as Pareto’s rule.
Basically you can apply this to every area of your life, so for example 80% of our happiness is drawn from 20% of the people you have in your life, 80% of phone conversations come from 20% of your contacts and so on and so forth.
When you start applying this to your life then your life becomes exciting and you start being able to live your life, your way.
So taking myself for example, I realised that 80% of my success came from my ability to communicate, so I reckoned that by concentrating my full focus on communicating I would be more successful. This belief paid off, within two years I was earning four times what I had been working in the job I left.
If you think about that it makes sense, by fully engaging with your strengths you naturally stand out, because that’s who you were born to be and what you were created to do.
Essentially by playing to your strengths, success and financial reward will be a by product of your brilliance and more importantly you will be living your life, your way and feeling fantastic doing so.
If I had carried on doing what I was doing back then I would have been playing my game by someone else’s rules and it simply doesn’t make sense.
Commit to being the amazing human being you were destined to be and remember in moments of fear you are being taught courage and if that doesn’t work then hold your hand out in front of you and look at your finger print. That print is unique to you, out of all the billions of people in this world that marks you as a complete one off.
So why not try being just that, a unique masterpiece living the life you always dreamed of’.
I hope you feel inspired and READY! Go!