Here's a guest post by Lindy Bostrom of Bostrom Graphics who was recently inspired to create this post and illustration. Thanks Lindy for sharing!
Growing up in the wholesome midwestern town of Milwaukee, WI, I pretty much lived on my bike as a kid. I have so many memories of warm summer days when I would ride into the wind, pumping the pedals as fast as I could, and then let go and just cruise…riding on momentum past the green leafy trees and grass.
You see, the reason to build momentum was certainly not to keep pumping – it was to be able to let go for stretches and just cruise, enjoying the wind in my hair, the sun in my face and the clear blue skies of a warm summer day without a care.
In listening to 2 podcast interviews between Ilise Benun and Jenny Blake on “freeing Your Time,” I am reminded of those carefree summer days. Here’s why:
1. “Showing Up (divided by) time = Momentum” - I put the “divided by” in place of “plus” in Ilise’s equation because I got a visual — how the most effective marketing works really is an equation, and I see a timeline dotted with episodes of “showing up” which almost ends up looking like a train that is picking up speed.
I love the metaphorical aspect of this, as it sticks in my mind and feels like an image that can clear a block I have about getting to my marketing. Amazing!
2. “Well-Crafted” means intentional, precise, elegant and beautiful (Ilise’s comment about a great yoga class she took.) The idea that a well-designed process, system and perhaps strategy can be thought of as something “crafted,” as a work of art, is incredibly inspiring to me. Again — getting me out of a sometimes stuck place in getting my marketing done!
3. “What rate is joyful for you?” from Jenny. Until hearing this, my rate (which is higher than it was a year ago, thanks to Ilise’s coaching) had been calculated from the minimum I need to survive. But that’s just the first step. Step #2 is “nice to have,” and #3 — “get out of bed with glee!” — who wouldn’t want that? A new perspective on coming up with pricing!
4. You become the Bottleneck with a team of 1. This is the true statement that begets the antidote for feast & famine living: the roller coaster that so many of us solopreneurs ride and are always screaming to make stop! When there’s so much work coming in that you don’t have time to take care of your personal needs (who needs food and sleep?) then you know you’re the one hanging things up. GET HELP. It doesn’t mean you need to suddenly take on employees, but you will never reach the next level of business growth without being able to delegate some portions of the work on your overflowing plate.
I had an “aha!” moment regarding this when I was watching myself do a menial task that I could hire a young, entry-level freelancer to do. It wouldn’t have impacted the profit of the project by much, but it would have greatly impacted my time and where it is best spent—doing far more complex and challenging work and/or communicating with clients and prospects—and let’s not forget my own marketing – keeping that pipeline full so that the momentum can be maintained.
A friend of mine told me that he realized his hat is the $2,000/hr hat, and that when he puts on his $25/hr hat, he’s actually losing $1,975/hr. If that isn’t a motivating way to look at it, I don’t know what is!
5. Block off your high-creative times for yourself. I don’t know about you, but I tend to squander that beautiful morning time when my mind is clear and the day is fully in front of me on my to-do list. The items that make it to the top are the most pressing deadlines. Then when I’ve checked off a number of those items, (or after getting snagged with one that ate up most of the day,) I finally start thinking about the creative work that’s been filed away in the back of my mind. By that time, I’m wiped out and all I want to do is get outside and clear my mind. The creative work tends to take a back burner way too often and just doesn’t get done.
But this work is the reason I started this life of self-employment! So even if I “show up” for just an hour, I can see how this practice of giving it the energy it deserves on a consistent basis would serve both my business and my momentum.
There’s a term that Jenny uses in her calendar called “DNS.” No, it’s not a string of numbers meant to identify your domain name to the operating system. It means “DO NOT SCHEDULE.” I love this idea of blocking off sacred time for the creative work you are really looking forward to doing.
I hope this review inspires you to think about your business in a different, more empowering way. And do take a listen to the podcasts. They’re worth your time!