8 things I'm NOT doing in 2018 (#2 is unheard of for an online business)
Everyone has made their list of the zillion things they want to do and accomplish in 2018 by now. I have also set goals and decided on some major projects I plan to take on.
But there's also a few things I've made a very conscious decision to just skip all together. Some of these may surprise you as normally they're major parts of other online businesses.
Wether it doesn't move the bottom line, I don't have time or I just straight up don't like doing it, I'm putting myself first this year and only doing the stuff I really feel is the most valuable, no matter how much outside pressure there is to do 'all the things'.
As an online entrepreneur we are bombarded with the never ending list of things we should be doing. Webinars. Facebook ads. Facebook live streams. Blogging. Vlogging. Interacting in Facebook groups. Going to networking events. Insta-storying our life, etc.
It legit makes my head spin and I decided I won't make myself crazy in the process of doing everything I 'should' be doing as an online entrepreneur.
Here's the stuff I won't be doing in 2018!
1. Taking on client projects first come, first serve
I have set aside just 10 spots in my design calendar this year. I'm getting at least 10 solids inquiries per month now, and if you do the math, that means I can take on just 1 of those 10 each month, while taking 2 months completely free.
There's some projects that I'm a better fit for than others. There's some clients who I just click with and I feel I immediately understand them, their business, and their vibe on our booking consult calls.
These are the clients I'm best able to serve, so I plan to keep my 10 design dates saved for the people I'm exceptionally well positioned to help.
I should mention that I'm not keeping those spots just for specific types of businesses by any means! I had an inquiry from a family run butchery the other day, and while a butchery is not in the wheelhouse of the type of business I typically work with, something about the inquiry and the story of the business had me really excited to chat with the business owner.
Instead of booking my design calendar out as quickly as possible with the first inquiries that come in, I plan to keep those places for the clients I'm best aligned with to serve.
2. Social media
I should probably first clarify what I consider to be social media. I think of Pinterest as a search engine and YouTube as a content creation platform.
It's mostly Facebook and Instagram I'm talking about when I say social media. And of course there's Twitter ... though, is anyone still on that?
So, an online business that doesn't do social media? Yep. At least for now.
My business game plan looks like this:
Create valuable content (blog/video) > get people on my email list > provide more valuable, free, relevant content > offer up products and services that fit each subscriber perfectly
Social media could potentially play a role at the beginning of that sequence, another avenue for me to connect with more people, as is the case with my free content.
Though, I stopped posting on social a few months ago and saw no difference to my business.
I have no doubt that an exceptional social media manager who loves working on social all day would move the needle and ensure that social media played a large role in the success of my business, but until I bring that person on, being on social just isn't something I love doing.
Not to mention, social media is making it harder and harder to connect with the people who have shown interest and followed you. I'll take an engaged email list over a few thousand followers under my name any day.
Lastly, I've had a real internal, personal struggle lately with social media. I've deleted both my Facebook and Instagram apps off my phone. I used to find myself scrolling through feeds for soooo long and realized I was wasting so much time reading shallow content. Which brings me to my next point ...
3. Holding surface level conversations
The amount of 'love this pic, I'm so jealous' there is online is so eye-roll inducing.
I want to have meaningful, interesting conversations in my life. And those don't tend to happen on an Instagram or Facebook feed.
I'm interested to hold real conversation with y'all, and I think that can happen so much more on a webinar, a YouTube video, or a really in-depth blog post.
You'll notice by looking at many of my blog posts that in-depth comments get an in-depth answer. I love my blog becoming a two way conversation, and hearing what you have to say or how you applied something or how an idea changed your business or life. Those are conversations I'm super interested to have!
With the two word 'great post' comments, I'm afraid there's not much of a conversation to be had, so while I read them I don't tend to respond as there's not much to say.
Back to good old social media, I don't want to say I'll never go back to social media, I think there's a handful of really amazing entrepreneurs who are holding genuine, interesting conversations on those feeds and are providing real value. But those social media accounts are SO few and far between, and I don't feel like I'm doing it well enough with holding those real conversations and interactions to justify keeping social media going at the moment.
Wherever I can hold the best, most meaningful conversations is where you'll find me in the future!
4. Creating a YouTube animated intro
This one may sound random. I'm going to be doing a 30 day vlog challenge and I was getting so held up Googling and figuring out how to make an animated intro for my videos.
Every legit YouTuber has one and it's kind of the standard. But, I don't want to hold off on an important piece of content creation because of one small detail, which honestly you all probably don't care too much about anyways.
After all, content is king, not a fancy animated intro. An intro would be some nice icing on the cake, so instead I just plan to make the cake itself really great.
I love Marie Forleo's saying 'done is better than perfect,' and I plan to live that one by starting with a vlog anyways, even if I don't have some fancy intro animation.
If you need or want it, I would encourage you to take this as full permission to just not do certain things that everyone 'says' you should if it just doesn't sit right with you.
Which brings me to...
5. Completing all my tasks for the day
I believe it was Tim Ferris who said that one of the best ways he finds to cross tasks off his to do list, is to just cross tasks off his to do list, without even doing them.
If I'm finding a task keeps getting pushed back from day to day in my Asana and I'm not doing it, clearly it's not all too important. Sometimes when my Asana is stressing my life because of all the things, I find the stuff that really isn't make or break and check it off, even if I didn't do it.
6. Responding to advice emails individually
I'm not saying that I don't love your emails (I do) or that I hate giving advice (you would be hard pressed to shut me up when I get started chatting TBH).
I just have found now that the number of inquiries and questions and requests for advice is so many that I as one person can't even dream to keep up.
If you have some sort of question for me however, I still invite you to shoot me a message, because I do in fact take blog post ideas from the emails I get. I see every question as a blog post idea, and whatever question I get frequently, tends to end up as a post on the blog.
So while I can't respond to advice emails individually, I absolutely love getting them and do try to give you an answer in some way (either on the blog, or in the future on the vlog).
7. Looking for clients in Facebook groups
I go in Facebook groups of business owners almost never lately, but yesterday when I did I saw someone post looking for a Squarespace website designer.
There were 67, yes, 67 responses!
The poster had to turn off comments to stop more designers posting saying 'I'd love to work with you! Here's my link!'
I like the idea of serving before selling and building trust and demonstrating authority to gain clients.
Not to mention, competing with 67 others? Eeeek. Stiff competition.
After having seen the impact providing valuable content consistently has had on my business, I truly believe it is one of (if not the) best possible way to build a sustainable, successful business.
I'm not at the mercy of Facebook, or freelancing platforms or drowning in a sea of other designers because I serve first and truly help people, completely for free, for a longggg time.
If you're in a similar field, I absolutely encourage you to do the same.
Skip responding to Facebook comments and instead spend your time providing value to the world. It is such a blessing to have a solid business that is able to stand out by it's valuable content. You'll love it too, I guarantee it.
8. Cooking & cleaning
I just don't like either TBH. 😂 While I've been in Bali this past week I've cooked a grand total of 0 meals and haven't cleaned once. I did pour milk over some granola this morning, but that's been the extent of my 'cooking.'
I realize this is a luxury that's a lot easier in Bali than in other areas of the world, but I definitely plan to attempt it when I head back to 'real life' too. I might attempt some Hello Fresh when I get back home so I can spend minimal time cooking.
Now, I would truly, genuinely love to hear from you gal!
Do you agree with these? Disagree? What are your thoughts on where your time is best spent to move the needle with your business? How do you intend to show up in your business and provide value in 2018?
Leave me a comment friend, I'm excited to get back to you!