Lots of the questions my clients ask have no definite answers. There is often an answer for now. And we might re-think later. What you don’t want is to be stuck in indecision, unless that would be a useful place to be for a while, in which case I sometimes counsel to “sit with it” for a bit.
Here are just a few of the matters arising which provoked thoughts for me in my work with clients in the first few days of January.
Scheduling Your Day
It being the beginning of a new year, several clients talked about planning and setting up the optimal working day. When you are self-employed from home, your real life vies for attention with your real business. To which will you give priority and when? Despite the joys of taking care of personal and family chores off-peak and how much faster that is without the kids in tow, and how much cheaper it is to go to things then, and how much less crowded, does that mean you are taking your work less seriously, and does it reduce the time you have available to devote to that? Shouldn’t that come first now, depending where you are in the evolution of your business and the development of your creative talent?
I can work, rest and play whenever I like 24/7/365, but if you have a significant other and children that need to get to school and dogs that need walking, it is lovely to put those activities first if you can, in the name of balance, but equally important to make sure it doesn’t squeeze out your valuable work time, especially if you are a creative type. Don’t put your own stuff last, unless your children are so tiny you are responsible during every moment for keeping them alive. Then and only then must you come second. For a while.
So now we have a good working schedule for starting and working through your day with plenty of me-time and self-care and balanced activity and sufficient space left for the amount of focused working hours you have decided to put in. What happens at the end of the day? Do you have a ritual for knocking off, or are you just going to work and work and work until you drop? All of my schedulers confessed to working later than they wanted to often, although sometimes that’s a necessity. Do be sure to make a choice about the important end of the day as well about as the vital beginning and essential middle. In every moment, awareness about what you are doing by deliberate choice is the key.
- What does your ideal day look like?
Unexpected Gifts of Abundance
One of my clients received a completely unexpected gift of financial abundance. It brought so many thoughts to mind about how she had given out with no thought of return, how abundant the Universe is, how other people like to give too, how we must get good at accepting and receiving, karma, reciprocity, and restoring my faith in the basic goodness of life. We were both shocked and surprised in the most wonderful way imaginable.
- Are you open to receive?
- Are you inviting in the unexpected?
Calm Amongst the Chaos
One of my lovely clients described herself thus. What a wonderful quality! Even better, perhaps, is to know your strengths and what your clients value you for. This is something that comes free with my client when she is being a consultant, which she does part-time. This is one of the reasons she gets hired, because she brings that lovely quality to her top-notch work too.
- Why do you get hired by your clients and contractors?
- Are you confident about your strengths and personal qualities your clients want more of in their lives?
Cosmic Ordering Your 2017
We’ve done a bit of this together, my clients and me. Working out what you want to manifest this year and stating it out loud so we can all hear it, you and me, and my Small Business Big Magic clients if that’s where the conversation took place.
- How many days a week do you want to work? Doing what?
- What qualities does that work need to provide you with – travel, fun, great people?
- What beautiful things and exciting projects will you create in 2017?
- What would you love to have show up in your life?
Swapsies Can Get Sticky
When we start out in business, we often decide to do skills swaps. Newbies are prey to offers like this from people who feel cash poor, or “the skint and the scarce” as I know them. Before accepting any such proposition stop and think and decide if what’s on offer meets your needs, or if you are just being a nice girl in wanting to help someone who cannot really afford you?
Swapping skills gets sticky all too soon, when you find the arrangement isn’t working for you as well as it does for the other, or at all, or when it stops working for you later. When it becomes one-sided, how will you extricate yourself without causing offence? If you don’t know that before you start, I recommend not starting, unless you want the practise at negotiation that is. A refusal can often offend but there are nice ways to look after yourself and other people too.
- Does this offer meet my needs right now or would we be better off paying each other, even if that is still effectively a swap?
- Am I good at negotiating for what I want in any such arrangement?
- Shall we agree at the outset what we will do/say come the day it no longer works for either of us?
I realise I’ve got so much more of this sort of stuff to share, but these are enough questions to be going along with for today. Which speaks to you most I wonder?