FAVORITE BUSINESS TIPS FOR INTROVERTS
Here you find all my business tips for introverted business owners. Scroll through them and pick the ones that resonate with you.
Automate and outsource
You can't know everything. I tried to do everything myself, but I found out that that doesn't work. Especially, in the beginning, you want to do everything yourself. But some things you're just not good at and they are draining your energy. Energy you need. So, find out what tasks you keep doing that are the same every time. Automate them. You don't need to post that message manually. You can plan them via Facebook or use a tool like Hootsuite, Later or Buffer. You can make an automation/sequence of emails in an email marketing system. Also, find out which tasks drain your energy and try to outsource them. A virtual assistant can help you create more time for yourself. For the things in your business that give you energy. Also when you don't know how you can automate some of the things you have to do: ask a virtual assistant to do them for you. Of course, you don't have to start outsourcing everything. But a couple of things to give you more time and therefore freedom. I outsourced my finances. Because, thank god, there are people who know every rule there is.
Choose and focus
Sometimes it's hard to not get swept away in all the things you have to do during the day. You don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, because you have so much to do. Why do we do that to ourselves? Isn't it way more efficient if we just relax, sit, and look at what has to be done today? Focus on those tasks and you'll see that you have more time than you thought you had. At the end of the day, you've done everything you wanted and had to do. So, before you start your day. Choose and focus on what you really have to do today.
Phonecalls - stop having them
Do you hate being on the phone? Do you hate people calling you out of the blue? I know you do. I feel the same about being on the phone. That's why I don't have my phone number mentioned on my website or anywhere else. You can do that as well. Your dream client won't mind reaching out to you via email.
Tom Hanks has a great quote: “E-mail is far more convenient than the telephone.” This is not the whole quote. He also says “As far as I’m concerned, I would throw my phone away if I could get away with it.” I wouldn’t go that far because I love to watch youtube clips on my phone and not have to open my laptop if I want to look something up on the internet. But he is definitely right about the fact that e-mail is far more convenient than the telephone.
Invest in yourself
When you have your own business you need to keep investing in yourself. If you don't do that you stand still and you don't want that. So, go listen to inspiring podcasts, read books or do that course that makes you a better you and therefore a better business owner.
The power of positive thinking.
Give yourself a pep talk and start your day in a positive way. When I wake up I always read a chapter or two of the book I'm reading. This really brings me joy and I start the day positively.
Nothing is more stressful when you have a business than being overwhelmed with the things you have to do or think you have to do. To create a little bit of clarity in this chaos I always make to-do lists. As soon as something comes on my radar I plan it. It can be an email of a client or doing my finances. I use my calendar on my phone. Every day I check my phone to see what I have to do and choose which tasks really need to be done. So if I run out of time I know which tasks I can push to tomorrow. On Fridays, I also plan for the next week. This keeps me organized and lets me know how much time I have left. For me, it makes my life almost stress free.
I always eat breakfast. Without it, I can't start my day. I know self-care is high on your list or at least you want it to be. So, if you did not eat breakfast before you start your day, make time for it. You'll have so much more energy. I used to watch TV when I ate my breakfast, but now I sit at my kitchen table and quietly enjoy my breakfast.
I know when you are dreading to start the day because you're in a job you hate or you have to do something that is way out of your comfort zone it's very easy to keep snoozing. Just so you can postpone starting the day. But do you know that scientific studies show that this is the worst thing you can do in the morning? Snoozing makes you disoriented and that feeling can stay with you for up to four hours. So it makes you even less capable to cope with the day. I never snooze. I also never set an alarm clock because I'm super fortunate to have my own business and work from home. And no, that doesn't mean that I sleep in. For some reason I can't anymore. I always wake up between 5am - 7am.
Make sure you're learning something new every day.
Maybe you have to learn the ins and outs of a new tool, you're reading a book or you are watching a tv-show.
Stop dwelling on your failures.
Everybody makes mistakes. So, please, stop dwelling on your failures. It's killing for your self-esteem and totally not necessary. Your mistakes are learning moments. You learn more about mistakes than from the things that do go right the first time. So if it's just not going the way you want it to go with your website or your online course. Don't see it as a failure. See it as a learning moment. You need help. Yes I know, it's not easy to ask for help. But I am here for you. Let me know how I can help you.
Have good posture
It’s so important to have good posture when you work behind a desk. It’s so easy to slouch. I used to work from my couch. Also not a good idea.
So here are my tips to stop slouching:
Get out of your comfort zone
It’s so easy to keep doing the things you’re doing. Because it’s familiar and comfortable. But you can’t grow your business or yourself without stepping outside that comfort zone. Maybe you’re working in a job but you always wanted to start your own company. Go do that! You don’t need to quit your job to start. If that’s too much out of your comfort zone just start your company in your free time. Or when you have your own business and you want to grow: go do webinars or challenges to help more people. Go make videos, start blogging, make that online course that you always wanted to create. Do the things that scare you.
I tend to want to go fast. When I come up with something I want it to happen immediately. But for some things, it’s just not possible. You have to take small steps to get to that place you want to go. As long as you keep working on it and make a little bit of progress each day you’ll get that big result.
No is a complete sentence
So many times people expect an explanation why we say no to something. No is a complete sentence. You don't have to explain why you don't want to or can't do something. Of course, you can give an explanation if you want to. But it should be enough to say no. You know how much time you have and if you want to do something. Sometimes I find it hard to say no. Lucky for me, I've learned to do it without feeling bad about it. I can just say no now and indeed sometimes I don't feel like giving an explanation.
Stop thinking and start acting
Despite the fact that I am very much in my head and can therefore be seen as a thinker, I can make decisions very quickly. The color of my kitchen was picked out in no time. My 2 month trip to Australia was decided during a 30 minute drive despite having a job. Stop thinking so much and start acting. When you keep thinking about for instance adding a new service or product to your company, doing webinars, or starting your own company you won't get any further. If you really want something, go for it.
Know how to motivate yourself
When you work alone and from home, there are so many distractions. You can read a book all day, you can check social media all day long, and so on. I, for instance, have no problem motivating myself. I thrive at home. I know what my schedule looks like. I know what I have to do each day and if I have more time I check what else I can do. But I also take time off. An afternoon here or a day there. I love what I do. Are there things I don’t always like to do, of course, but I’m very motivated to help other entrepreneurs shine and keep my business a success. So, when you have your own business find out what motivates you to even do the slightly less fun things that having a business entails.
If you don't go after it, you won't have it.
You can always keep saying that you don’t like your job and that you want something else. But as long as you don’t take action to change that, nothing will change. I used to be that way. Yes, I did change jobs but those weren’t really changes. I never thought about what I wanted to do and what would make me happy. It definitely wasn’t changing jobs. For me, it was starting my own company. In 2017 I really made myself think about what I wanted to do. How I could help the most people because that was and is what I love to do. So, if you really want something. Take action!
Know how to get the business knowledge you need to succeed
Running your own business can be hard. There are a lot of things that you need to know. Things you probably haven’t even thought of when you started and when your business changes because you are doing more business abroad or you are creating a team, you need to know where to find the knowledge that you need to succeed with that. Because let’s face it, this is not something we learn at school. At least not when you’re studying anything other than business. The internet is a wonderful thing. Check if the source is reputable though. Also, people in your network can be invaluable. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Know how to balance your business and personal life
As a business owner, you can work 24/7. There is always something to do. But you need to step away from your business to be a great business owner. Yes, even when you do the thing you love you can get a burn-out. Making your own rules is one of the fun things about owning a business. But make sure that you also have rules about when to not work. I don’t work in the evening and on weekends. Yes, of course, I sometimes break the weekend rule, but most of my weekends are for me. Not for my business. So, see what works for you. Take the weekend off, take a day a week off, go for a walk after your lunch break, have a lunch break! All things that are important for making your business a success.
Know how to stay organized
Nothing is more draining than not knowing where you left something. If it’s on your desk or your computer. You need to organize from the beginning. It’ll cost you less time and energy to do that. Even if you didn’t start with a system. Just take a couple of hours to start. That might seem a lot of time but just remember how much time it’ll take you to have to find something last minute. Or start something over because you just can’t find it anymore. Use folders on your computer. Use a cloud-based system like Google Drive, Dropbox, or One. Also very handy that every change you make will save automatically. This post is written in Google Docs. Use a project management system, like Asana or Trello to keep track of your tasks. Plan a specific day to do your finances. Upload your incoming invoices immediately into your accounting system. Make labels in your inbox, make rules so emails are automatically labeled, and archive an email you answered immediately. Just make it easy for yourself.
Know how to use technology
There are so many helpful online tools out there that make your life as a business owner easier. Check which ones will do just that and get to know how to use them. My favorites are:
"Don't be afraid to give yourself everything you've ever wanted in life."
This is such a great quote to read. Because most of the time we don't do something because we are afraid. Just think about it. What do you want and why don't you make it happen? What is holding you back? So, think about what you really want. Write down what's holding you back, what it is you're afraid will happen. Then, write down what it looks like when you do have this in your life. Doesn't the last list outweigh the first one?
"The key to success is to start before you are ready"
Marie Forleo is one of the business owners I follow. Her podcasts give me insights I use for my business. Before I start my walk I scroll through all her podcasts and start the one that I feel is going to benefit me at that moment.
"Be scared and do it anyway"
Yes, yes, yes! When you want to start your own business, when you want to travel the world or when you want to do that course it may seem scary. Because you don't know the outcome. You can't predict the future and be sure that everything is going to be amazing when you do the thing you want to do. But do it anyway. Living outside your comfort zone makes you a better person, makes you happier and makes you grow.