Creative business idea number 9: the power of planning to help you build a sustainable business
It’s so easy to be busy but make little real headway towards your goals, isn’t it? As creatives, I do think that we tend to have brains that naturally jump from idea to idea and are prone to get carried away and run headlong down unexpected paths. So often I will start doing something that has just sparked an idea, but is not on the To Do list for that day. I don’t intend to spend long at it. Five minutes top. Before getting stuck into the plan for the day… Then I look up and somehow several hours have gone by. Now, I do think these unexpected sparks and forays that present themselves are actually a really important part of the creative process. Most of my best ideas have come that way. However, when running a business, it’s also important to control the chaos and ensure that there’s a structure and a plan to ensure that key tasks are done and targets met.
The joy of ticking off the To Do List
My way to stay on track is to make both long and short term to do lists – and I get huge satisfaction from ticking things off as I go. As well as feeling good to know you’re working through stuff, it’s also a useful nudge to get on with something that’s just sitting on the list. It’s all too easy to be too busy doing the things we love as a way of avoiding doing the things we don’t really want to do isn’t it?
I am quite old school and like to use a notebook and pen to physically tick things off. If you’re less Dickensian in your approach, you might enjoy Asana. It’s a great tool if you’re someone who likes to organise yourself via your phone or computer. You set your goals and deadlines up and you’ll receive reminders and prompts to keep you on track.
Freeing up time you didn’t know you had
If you’re trying to set up and/or run your creative business whilst holding down a job or being a full time mum, managing and planning your time is even more key. Creative business mentor Josephine Brooks is a planning and productivity mentor for ‘side-hustlers’ and has lots of great advice. Her philosophy is all about doing less and focussing on the tasks that really matter, rather than being busy and trying to get lots done.
Josephine’s mission is to help people who are building a business alongside other commitments to create one that gives them the freedom to do more of what they love. To help them build a meaningful business and create the slower lifestyle they long for. The key to success with this approach is to find precious time within your current day to day to make your dream creative business a reality.
Josephine offers advice and mentoring to help you do just that. She also wrote a really helpful guest blog post for us here, which includes this great advice:
‘An obvious way to make more time for your business or creative project is to take some things out of your life that aren’t serving you or bringing you value. This is about identifying your priorities and setting boundaries. Figure out what’s most important to you, then what are you left with? What’s not important? What’s not adding value to your life? Perhaps it’s those after work team meals, the regular meet up you go to because you feel you have to, not because you want to. Or perhaps it’s having one evening a week where you don’t watch TV and work on your creative project instead.
Maybe you’re in the fortunate position where you could get a cleaner in to do your cleaning while you work on your business. There’s no judgement here, whatever those less important things are to you, try to take them out of your life and draw some boundaries around your priorities. Because after all, your time is so precious.’
Josephine wrote an great guest blog post for us, sharing a few of her local loves, inspirations and the story behind her own creative business: How to make a living from doing what you love with mentor Josephine Brooks
I’m sharing my 10 Steps to Creative Business Success in a series of separate posts, as well as a PDF with all the information in one place for you to download and keep at the end.
The 10 steps I’ll be covering are:
- Creative business idea number 1: website design inspiration using WordPress and Squarespace
- Creative business idea number 2: photography tips for makers
- Creative business idea number 3: don’t underestimate the power of a solid Pinterest marketing strategy
- Creative business idea number 4: the best online tools and apps to help you
- Creative business idea number 5: social media marketing, photography, storytelling and strategy
- Creative business idea number 6: profitability & how to build a sustainable business
- Creative business idea number 7: make a clear marketing strategy plan
- Creative business idea number 8: don’t be afraid to learn from mistakes
- Creative business idea number 9: the power of planning to help you build a sustainable business
- Creative business idea number 10: sometimes forget the plan and seize the moment
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