you just need to start with one

Earlier this week, I shared a list of systems that I’ve used to bring more ease and profit into my business and help me experience more freedom in my life. Then I encouraged you to make a list of systems you could consider for your own business.

If you made that list, you might feel overwhelmed - so overwhelmed that you might be tempted to ignore your need for systems entirely.

But please remember: you do not need to start implementing all of the systems at once. When I was adding systems to my business, I started with just one - and that's all you need to do too.

the not-so-glamorous truth

Want to know the not-so-glamorous secret? The thing that creates the most opportunity for growth in my business isn't a sexy strategy, a big launch or paid ads. It's the systems I have in place for nearly everything I do. 

But this wasn’t always the case. 

In the early days of my business, I didn’t think it was necessary to write down any of the systems or processes or workflows I used to run my business. Creating them just felt like more work, a way to waste time I didn’t have. 

That changed as I got busier and busier with my business and realized that NOT having systems was costing me more growth. 

simple ideas for great content

If you caught my message on Tuesday, you may be feeling like you’re ready to get back to basics and start creating consistent content for your business.

But you may also be feeling a little lost trying to figure out what that content could look like. 

To get your wheels turning, here are a few examples from business owners who create regular content that I find unique, useful and enjoyable. They keep things simple so it’s not hard to do, and they’re super consistent sending it out.

no, you do not have to blog

When you’re looking to grow your business without overcomplicating things, you often need to get back to basics – and when we’re talking about basics, content is key. 

Like the women I work with, I know you’ve heard how important it is to create content so you can communicate with your audience.

And if you’re not creating content, you probably have a feeling that it could be the missing piece. It could be the thing that helps you make more sales (if you’re not reaching your goals yet) or the thing that allows you to leverage your big following by helping you connect with people who would buy from you if only you reached out.

I bet the question you’re asking now with dread is does this mean I have to blog? 

questions to help you unlock your big picture plan

Earlier this week, I invited you to make a big picture plan for your business – but I know that it’s not always as simple as opening your journal and mapping it out. 

After all, that blank page can be pretty intimidating. 

That’s why I wanted to follow up today and give you a few prompts that will help you unlock your big picture plan if you’re feeling a little stumped. These questions are also great to use if you have a solid start but feel like you haven’t covered all the details yet.

why a big picture plan is essential for your long-term success

When you're trying to be the boss and juggle all the other tasks you take on to keep your business running, it’s easy to focus mainly on surviving day to day.

The only problem with playing the short game is that it leaves little time for dreaming about what you want your business – and life – to look like two or three or even five years down the road. 

I don't want you to miss the chance to do that. Because when you have a big picture plan, you have the framework you need to build your business with intention and grow it in the way you know you can. When you lack that big picture plan, it’s easy to stay stuck right where you are.

not all questions are created equal

My favorite way to help a client gain clarity is to ask a question - and not just any question but the kind of thoughtful, specific question that will get them thinking creatively and help them overcome the challenge they’re facing.

That’s an important distinction to make because not all questions are created equal. And when you ask better questions, you get better answers - the kind of answers that help you find clarity, direction and purpose.

Why I’ve made simplifying my thing

People often ask me why I’ve created a business that helps other people simplify theirs.

The easy answer is that it’s what I do best. It’s my unfair advantage and, truthfully, I couldn’t avoid this work if I tried. Because whether I’m helping a client create a more productive weekly schedule or map out a simple marketing plan, I live to help ambitious women find better, less complicated ways to run and grow their business.

As a simplified entrepreneur, I believe that…

what to do when you know something in your business needs to change

At the end of 2017, the signs were all there: something was off in my business. 

It was hard to tell what it was because, honestly, things were going well. Sure, there were challenges but I was hitting my goals, working with great clients and feeling pretty fulfilled by my work. 

And yet, I still felt like something needed to change. I just couldn’t see the answer that was staring me right in the face.

So I did what I always do when I’m looking for a solution that isn’t immediately obvious: I created space for myself to reflect AND I sought out support to get a fresh perspective.

Got too many projects to do this month?

As we head into the first full week of February, you’re probably staring down a new list of goals you want to reach and projects you want to tackle. As an ambitious woman running your own business, you don’t have trouble finding things to do. 

Your challenge is figuring out which of those many goals and projects to focus on first.

I’m familiar with this challenge because I’ve lived it – and because I walk clients through it all the time. So I get that, on the surface level, it probably doesn’t seem like a big deal. 

But it actually is because when you don’t know which project or goal to focus on, it’s easy to go into overwhelm or get stuck in analysis paralysis. 

the surprisingly simple practice that keeps me on track

I have this little practice in my business that’s so simple I barely even realized I was doing it. And I certainly didn’t realize how much it helped me keep on top of things day after day. 

Yet for all its simplicity, this practice is the thing that helps me feel calm and caught up in my business. It’s what keeps the overwhelm at bay. It’s what allows me to feel like I’m in charge and like I’m growing my business with intention. 

It’s what prevents me from feeling like I’m driving a runaway train. 

Have I got your attention? Good, because I want to introduce you to this practice so you can adopt it and bring more ease into your business starting today.

how to stop being a one-woman show

When it comes to your business, you’re it. You’re the bookkeeper, the administrative assistant, the graphic designer, the copywriter, the entire marketing team and so much more.

You’re a one-woman show – and though your business is doing ok, you know it would be doing much better if you stopped doing #allthethings and got some help. You know you need help so you can free up your time to work on the important things, the things you have to get done if you want to grow. 

But we both know that’s easier said than done. Because while you hear about the advantages of having team members and delegating (pretty much daily), you’re not sure you’re ready. 

That’s likely because of one or more of the following reasons:

What your 2018 goals are missing

By this point in January, you’ve probably made some goals for the upcoming year. Maybe you made a list of New Year’s resolutions for your business. Maybe you picked a word for the year. Maybe you created some audacious goals, wrote them down on a big sheet of paper and hung them in your office where you’ll see them every day. 

I’m a hell yes for all of that. BUT I also want to jump in here and share a little piece of advice because, too often, I see creatives and entrepreneurs stop too soon in the goal-setting process. I see them set their goals, then forget to take the next steps – the very steps that will increase their likelihood of getting where they want to go.

Want your business to feel easier this year? Here’s how.

So many of you shared your goals and intentions for 2018 this past week. As I read message after message, it became abundantly clear that you all have one goal in common: you want to keep growing your business without feeling like everything is so complicated.

You want to find your focus. You want to have a clear direction moving forward. You want to make your business work without feeling like you’re spinning on the hamster wheel of entrepreneurship. 

I completely get it because these are the exact things I wanted when I set out to radically simplify my business last year. And now that I’ve experimented with how to simplify and know what works and what doesn’t, I’m sharing what I learned with you in my new guide, 5 Steps to Simplify Your Business

with so much gratitude

It’s been an incredible year – and while I could say so many things in this final note of 2017, only one thing feels truly important. 

And that is to tell you how grateful I am for everything this year has held. 

I am grateful for a business that provides me with the means to do work I love. I am grateful that it brings me the kind of fulfillment I was always searching for in my first business but never found. I am grateful that coaching connects me with amazing women around the globe, women who are owning their gifts and finding ways to share them with the people who need them most. 

5 lessons learned in business this year

I’ve always believed there’s power in the pause – especially in those busy moments when the calendar turns from December to January. It’s then that we have the opportunity to sit and reflect on the year that’s passed and use that information to guide us into the new year.

Pausing to reflect is how we uncover what worked and what didn’t work in our business. It’s how we remember what we accomplished and how we celebrate our wins. It’s how we can reflect on the highs and the lows, the goals achieved and the efforts that missed their mark. It’s how we make note of the things we want to revisit in the coming year.

In short, a little reflection is a simple way to end the year and start the next one off right.

That’s why I want to take you behind the scenes in my business today and share 5 lessons I uncovered as I did my year end reflection. I know they’ll be valuable for you too.

5 Podcast Interviews That Influenced My Business This Year

You guys know me – I’m a podcast junkie, always listening to inspiring shows that are relevant to business and life. 

But I have to say that the podcast episodes that made a true impression on me this year did more than inspire me. They were actionable too. I think you’ll find value in them as well so today I’m sharing my list of the top 5 podcast episodes that influenced my business this year. 

Here they are:

5 Books that Shaped My Business This Year

If you head into a bookstore this holiday and go to the aisle on entrepreneurship, you’ll find hundreds of titles to choose from. (And if you go on Amazon and do a search, well, be prepared to be even more overwhelmed.)

That’s why I’m sharing a curated list of books that helped me shape my business this year. I know the time you have to read is limited (after all, you’re growing a business) and that the titles you pick up need to be particularly impactful. 

So here it is, my list of 5 titles that influenced me this year, and earned my "worth your time" recommendation: 

I’ve been waiting and waiting to share this with you…

About a year ago, I learned that the host of one of my favorite podcasts, The Startup Sessions, lived just a few miles away from my home in Portland. 

So, even though it felt a bit uncomfortable and a little fan-girl of me, I sent the host, Michael, an email to say thanks for creating such great content. Then I asked if he’d ever like to meet for coffee and tell me more about the podcast and his work. 

He said yes.

So we met and chatted about simplicity in entrepreneurship and about growing a business that suits your lifestyle. (These are two big things our coaching practices have in common.) It was such a rich conversation that I left that coffee shop wishing I could have recorded it to send to all of you. 

That’s why I’m excited to bring you something even better today.

how to create more freedom this holiday season

As we officially head into the holiday season, plenty of entrepreneurs are talking about closing shop, taking holiday trips and enjoying scheduled time off with friends and family. 

You might hear about this kind of freedom-filled lifestyle and feel a little ping of jealousy because you too crave freedom. It is, after all, one of the reasons you opened your business and became your own boss.

But you might not be there yet – and that’s ok because you’re far closer to enjoying these kinds of freedoms than you think. It’s just that something is holding you back and, from my viewpoint, it’s probably one of two things. You’re either…