I’m so excited I can’t sleep

**This post contains an affiliate link. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase through the links.  All opinions are my own.  I wouldn’t recommend a product if I didn’t personally use it myself.**

Kristen Joy (the book ninja) opened up her Journal Design Course recently.  I had taken the Canva Journal Design (a great place to start) before and had a notebook full of ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for months.  I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to take the Journal Design Basics until I had more time to commit to it.

BUT….when I woke up early this morning (5 A.M. way before I normally wake up) I had all these awesome ideas.  I was inspired to create journals for bloggers.

Now I’m having second thoughts about waiting.  I am kinda busy.  We’re working our business, designing new products, uploading them and focusing on Pinterest for marketing.  We just don’t have many sales right now.  Maybe I’m not that busy.  Maybe I should take the course and try to get another stream of income coming in.  I don’t know what to do.  I try to focus on one thing but get distracted by other ideas and passions.

So I talked to my husband and he said, “It’s only money.”  (That’s his response to every financial situation.)  The only question he asked was whether or not I was actually going to do it.  I said “Yes. At some point, I am because I already have a notebook full of ideas.”

So I bit the bullet and signed up for the class!  I am going to take a day or two next week and commit to starting the training and make 1 book.  Once I know the process it should be easy to crank out a few more.  Kristen’s trainings are so inspirational and informative.  I love taking her courses. I can’t wait to get started.

I’m so excited!  I can’t wait to make my own journals.  I love journals!  This will be so much fun.  Why don’t you join me?  We can embark on this journey together and encourage each other along the way.  Have you ever thought about creating a journal?

What niche are you in?  What do you absolutely love?  Cooking, traveling, exercising, business, healthy living, minimalism, fashion….the list goes on and on.  You could create a journal for any of these things plus in the training, Kristen gives a ton of ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

If you decide to join let me know in the comments.  I will keep you posted on my progress and I’d love to hear the ideas you come up with.

Passion vs Duty – How do we find balance?

How do you focus on what you have to do when you want to be doing something else?

I struggle with this all the time.  I know the things I need to do to keep my business running; bookkeeping, mileage logging, marketing, website maintenance, SEO, on and on.

The same goes for my home, I know the things I need to do to keep my household running smoothly; cleaning, cooking, laundry, packing lunches, grocery shopping, taking care of my daughter…

BUT

I want to write books and publish articles on my blog.  I want to create journals and planners.  I want to design new products.  I want to create digital art.  I want to learn and listen to webinars.  I want to read a book.

I often feel guilty when I’m not doing my “duties,” and as a mother and wife there are a lot, but I know that I need to take time for myself as well.  One of the things I do for myself is writing.  Whether it’s an article for my blog or just taking time to journal, it’s something that energizes me and refuels my tank. So…

How do we get the things done on our have-to-do list and so we can get to our want-to-do list?

When we’re working on our passion projects we have energy and self-motivation but what about when we’re doing the tedious, mundane, daily tasks that it takes to survive?

How do we energize ourselves to push through?

1. Look at the big picture

When you can see the big picture and look beyond the day-to-day tasks, you are no longer stuck in the drudgery of the mundane.  You have a vision and purpose.  You can finish what you have to do and then move on to the projects that will get you closer to your goals and dreams.  Creating a vision board or having monthly mile markers in your journey can help you keep you focused on what you want to accomplish.

When I focus too much on what I have to get done, I get sidetracked from the tasks that will ultimately get me to where I want to be.  If I stay focused on web design or SEO for too long, then I don’t have any new products.  When I don’t have fresh and trending products, my business suffers.  If I don’t look towards the future I’ll be stuck in the same place I am now.

2. Make a killer list

When you have all your tasks written down, you can easily see everything that you need to accomplish.  You can then sort things by priority and necessity. Yes, sometimes there are things on your list that aren’t necessary.

Sometimes we can delegate tasks to others. Like letting our husbands do the laundry (even though they never fold the towels right) so we can spend time on our passion projects,  or handing off a project at work to spend more time on the big picture tasks.

Sometimes we don’t need to do things on our list at all.  Evaluate your tasks and scratch off the ones that don’t bring any value to your life.

For example reorganizing your pantry for the 5th time might not be necessary.  Cleaning the grout in your bathroom tiles can probably wait.  Checking your social media needs to be limited, so it doesn’t take time away from your imporant projects.

I read something recently about to-do lists that really resonated with me. It said to make three lists; have-to-do, want-to-do, and things that would make you happy-to-do. Then every day do something from each list.  Do something you have to do, something you want to do and one thing that would make you happy to do.

Doing only the stuff, you have to-do can be depressing.  You need to do some of the things you want to do to keep your spirits up.

3. Set up a reward system

Rewards can be a great motivator to get you through hard tasks.  Like when you promise yourself a vacation after a long tiring stretch at work, or when you get yourself a little something when you reach a personal goal.

Personally, my favorite way to set up a reward system is to choose an item or reward that coincides with your goal.  Give yourself something that will fuel your project and help you to build on it.

It could be new clothes when you lose the extra weight or a fresh notebook when you finish a blog series.  Make it something to help you reach your ultimate goal. Fuel your passion with rewards that will spur you on to success.

You can also use your passion project as a reward itself.  Make yourself a promise that once you finish your absolutely-necessary-list, you will give yourself time to be creative and focus on where your passion is.

4. Put aside good for great

After you know the big picture you’re trying to create you have to put aside somethings to make time for the great things that will get you your ultimate dreams.  You may have to take some time off from your day job to work on your side hustle.

You will have to make hard decisions in order to give yourself and your family a great life.  You may have to choose between going to the gym, which is good and taking night classes to earn your degree.  You may have to give up a nice relaxing Saturday with your family to put the finishing touches on a product your about to launch.

If you’re familiar with the 80/20 rule you know that 80% of your results come from 20% of your work.  Take a few minutes to identify what those items are that get you the most return and focus on them, letting your passion fuel you.

When you cut back to just the lean tasks that are absolutely necessary you free up your time to do other things and find more of your 20% tasks.  Our businesses and lives are always changing. The activity that brought you the biggest result last year might not be the most productive this year.  Continually evaluating where you’re at will only help you to be the best version of yourself.

5. Let your passions fuel you

Once when I was struggling with where to focus my mother told me, “Focus on what you are excited about right now.” I was having trouble focusing on my work because my mind kept traveling to the project I really wanted to be working on.  My productivity hit an all-time low.  I was having problems finishing anything.  I couldn’t focus, my thoughts were continually going back to my writer’s training I was working on.

So I scheduled some time to put towards my project, and I put off some other tasks until a later date.  When I was finished with that passion project, I was so energized!  I was able to return to my regular work with a renewed sense of accomplishment and drive.

Use that exhilarated feeling to fuel your next project.  Build off your passions and use the momentum to push you farther than you ever thought you could go.  When you have your creative juices flowing you can accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.

 

I want to know what your passion projects are.  Comment below.

You want to Move a What???

My husband would probably tell you I watch too many DIY home shows, which usually ends up in a project for him to do. I love Fixer Upper and Flip or Flop. I probably never would have even considered what I’m about to tell you unless I hadn’t seen Texas Flip and Move.

I want to relocate an old farmhouse to our property!

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The property owner of where the house sits now is planning on tearing it down. It hurts my soul just to type those words. Call me nostalgic or sentimental or whatever, I just don’t want to see a piece of history destroyed. Living in a farmhouse was never my dream, but I do love old things, so I guess that fits.

We live on 5 acres of land that was bought by my great-grandparents. I absolutely love it here. There are flowers that bloom every year planted by my relatives and an arbor full of grapevines. We have a pond and wildlife. There is an old barn built by my grandfather who passed away before I was born that I want to restore.

So, for me moving isn’t an option. With that being said, the only way I see it is we build a house, or we relocate one to our land.

I drive the Five-Mile stretch the house will have to travel every day on my way to work. I see the low-hanging telephone lines and tree branches reaching over the roadway, and I try to picture how tall the house is compared to these obstacles.

The house we want to move is a two-story 100-year old farmhouse with 9-foot ceilings plus an attic room. Sounds tall right? It makes me very nervous. I don’t even know if we’re going through with this, but I want to so badly.  I’ve kept myself up at night thinking of how we would renovate.  I think about it everytime I drive by.  If it doesn’t work out I will definitely be disappointed.

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I’m worried about how much it’s going to cost. I’m waiting to get back the moving quote so we can at least have an idea. I put off sending away for a quote because I’m nervous about what they’ll tell us. I’m afraid it will be more than we expect and deter us from going through with it.  I’ve tried to research online but every move is so different I haven’t been able to find a good estimate.

My dream is to pay cash and do a little at a time, but with such significant expenses just to get started; moving costs, pouring a basement, sewer system, Etc., I’m not sure how that’s going to go. Not going into debt to build a house is one of my BIG Hairy Audacious  Goals (BHAG). It’s terrifying, but it would be worth it.

My aunt and uncle built their house themselves, and a couple we know from our church had their home built little by little whenever they had the money. It took them five years to complete it, but they don’t have a mortgage. I’ve always thought that was an excellent idea.

I’m determined to get that beautiful old house to our property even if I have to take it piece by piece in my Chevy Tahoe. (My husband says that’s not happening) But when I put my mind to something I don’t give up easily. Call me stubborn if you will. When I have a desire in my heart, I worked towards it with all my might.

I’m not sure what God has in store for us, but wouldn’t that be awesome.  I plan on posting updates as we go through the process.  So sign up to follow me and you won’t miss a thing.

Do you have a BHAG right now that you’re scared to take action on? Leave me a comment below

4 Simple Steps to Defeat Negative Self-Talk

Today I want to talk to you about how you talk to yourself.  Are you typically a positive person or do you see things in a negative light?  If you are struggling with an area in your life, I challenge you to take note of how you are thinking about that situation.  We can help to control our mood and reactions to situations if we take hold of our thoughts.

Here’s a simple 4 Step process to defeat negative self-talk in your life.

Don’t know what self-talk is? Read about it here

1. Identify

Identify your trigger points.

Determine the areas where you talk to yourself negatively.  You may not even realize you are thinking negatively about a situation.  That is why you need to sift through your thoughts carefully to identify where your negativity is coming from.

Start with areas where you’re stressed out.  You may be surprised to find what you tell yourself about stressful situations.  You may believe you have no choice but to be stressed out but a quick assessment of the situation may prove to be helpful in eliminating your negative thoughts.

2. Find Why

Dig deep.

Get to the root of why you think that way.  Did you hear someone say something negative to you that put a bad light on the situation? Did you go through an experience in your past that made you feel the way you do?  Has a previous failure shaped the way you see yourself?  Examine the root of your beliefs and find why you are having such difficulties.

3. Reframe

Reframe the situation.

Look at your current position from a different perspective. Sometimes this takes an outside voice for us to realize the state we’re in. Speak with a close friend or mentor to help you see things in a different light.

Start to see things from a different angle so you can change the outcome.  Try to take yourself out of the picture and look at things through a new lens. It may come to you taking a break and distancing yourself so you can have a fresh perspective.

4. Rename

Change your self-talk.

Start telling yourself a different truth. Begin by putting a positive spin on things you say. Change your thoughts by giving yourself power over the circumstances.

Instead of “I can’t do this.”

say “I can take steps to get this done.”

Instead of “I’m too busy.”

“I have time to do the things that matter most.”

Instead of “I’m not smart enough.”

“I can learn what I need to.”

Take time to write down your renamed truths. Repeat them to yourself as often as the negative thoughts appear. Soon you’ll be set free from negative self-talk and on your way to a happy and fulfilled life.

Do you have any other tips for defeating negative thoughts? Comment below

What is Self-Talk? And Why Do We Talk to Ourselves

I’m sure you’ve heard someone talking to themselves out loud when they thought no one was listening.  Do you ever talk to yourself out loud? What do you say to yourself when no one else can hear you?

Your thoughts are your self-talk.  They can either be positive or negative.  We have to be very careful where we let our thoughts roam. They can take you down a dark path if you let them.  You start to think “I’m no good, I mess everything up, I’m a terrible mom, my kids hate me, my husband doesn’t want me, my job sucks, I’m miserable…..” On and on and on if we don’t interrupt.

When you say those things enough, you start to believe them.  Negative thoughts lead to more negative thoughts, depression, and send you on a downward spiral.  Negative thoughts can come from what others have said about you.  They can come from being around people who are always talking negatively.  They can pop up after a failure or mistake you made.

Only one thought can occupy your mind at a time.  So the key to keeping your life on a positive note is to fill your mind with good thoughts.  You have to purposefully acknowledge your thoughts and stop bad ones and focus on the good things.

Learning to turn a negative thought into a positive one can be a tremendous asset. You must first identify the negative thoughts and replace them with good ones. Reframe your mind around a negative situation and find the positive aspects of it and place your focus there. 4 steps to Defeat negative thoughts

I went through a stressful time in my life a few months back.  I felt overwhelmed and like I had a million things to do.  I wasn’t sure how I was going to get everything done, and I was becoming someone I didn’t want to be around.  I listened to a talk by Craig Groeschel about self-talk, and he said the statements “I’m too busy” and “I don’t have enough time” were negative.  Man, was that a rude awakening.  I had been telling myself this for weeks.  I thought it was a fact, but it turns out it was my negativity coming through.

I have since changed my thinking on “being too busy.” When I start to feel overwhelmed and hear myself saying “I’m so busy,” I turn my thoughts to “I have enough time for the things that matter.” I also like “Everything will get done.”  It may not be on my schedule but things will get done and the seasons of business will pass.  Don’t let it turn you into an angry, stressed out monster.  Your family and co-workers will not want to be around you when you have a bad attitude.

I thought being busy was my “truth,” but I didn’t like that truth for my life, so I created a new one.  We have the power to make our own truths in our lives.  Don’t take for granted the power of your words.

I thought being busy was my truth, but I didn't like that truth for my life so I created a new one.-2

I challenge you to find the areas in your life that you speak negatively about and start to redefine your truth. You have the power.

I’d love to hear from you about your self-talk struggles. Comment below.

Life is Too Short…10 Principles to Live By

Life is short.

I attended two funerals in a one week period recently.  One was a 27-year old (same age as I am now), and the other was 52 (my dad’s age).  Both were taken too soon.  I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about how short life is and what I want my life to look like and represent.

I’ve put together 10 Principles to make the most out of our lives.

1. Don’t waste your time being angry

This is something that really bothers me, when people spend their precious time being angry over silly things.  Like being angry that you arrived somewhere late because your date wasn’t ready on time and it ruins your whole evening. The time you were supposed to be enjoying together suddenly takes a backseat to your temper. Is that the way you want to spend your time with someone you care about?

Or maybe your child makes a mess while making you a gift or drawing. Do you get upset with them for the mess or lovingly appreciate the thing they created for you?  You have the power to control that situation.  You can make them feel bad for leaving a mess to be cleaned up, or you can share in the joy of their handmade efforts.

2. Don’t set unrealistic expectations for your loved ones

Often we hold our loved ones to ridiculously high standards.  We have high hopes, and when they don’t get met, we are hurt.  We tell ourselves “They must not really care. If they cared, they would have done better.” After enough times of unmet expectations you begin to resent that person and soon the relationship will fall apart if your issues don’t get addressed.

No one is perfect.  When we expect perfection we set unrealistic expectations for people around us.  We are only human, and we all make mistakes.  I’m not saying lower your expectations to accept less than someones best, but you need to offer grace when they make mistakes or don’t live up to want you expect.  Perfectionism can be a terrible curse if you let it control your life and take away from your relationships.

3. Enjoy the small things

There is beauty all around us.  The old advice “Stop and smell the roses” is too often ignored.  We don’t take time to stop and enjoy the things around us.  We need to watch more sunsets and appreciate everyday moments with our loved ones.  Our stress levels would be significantly lower if we applied just this one principle.

Our day-to-day activities often become tedious to us.  We don’t take time and enjoy making dinner together.  Instead we dread having to cook and then clean up.  We miss out on playing with our kids because the house needs cleaned.  If we included them or put the work on hold we could enjoy precious moments with them.

4. Love deeply

It can be hard to fully love someone when you’ve been hurt in the past, but love can be the most rewarding action on the planet.  Love doesn’t have to cost you a dime, but it will take your time.  It will take a few minutes of your day to call up your mother.  It will take you giving up your spot in line and waiting a few moments longer for a tired mother trying to wrangle her kids.  It will take you getting up 5 minutes earlier to make your spouse a cup of coffee.  It will take you longer to get to work when you stop to help a neighbor who has a flat tire.

Everyone is deserving of a little love, and you can be the one to share it with them.

5. Take action on your dreams now

My husband and I have been talking about building a house since we got married seven years ago but because of wanting to have our finances in order and letting our busy lives distract us from our ultimate goal, we haven’t.  I’m ready to dive in with both feet now.  What are we waiting for?  Our finances will never be perfect. Our schedules aren’t going to get any less busy.  If anything they will be getting busier.  Our family size isn’t going to decrease, only increase over the years.  I will be taking action this week to move us toward our dream of building our house.

6. Spend your money on things that matter

Sure that Starbucks latte taste goods but what else could you do with that money if you saved it for a year?  You could probably take your family on vacation or make an extra payment to pay down your mortgage.  We spend so much of our time earning money we should spend it on things that actually enrich our lives.

Experiences will stay with you forever.  Spend your hard earned income on creating lifelong memories with the ones you love.  Our lives are short, that should guide how we spend our time and our money.

Give to causes that are close to your heart to make your money have more lasting value instead of spending it on yourself. Enriching someone else’s life through your contribution will make your life mean more.

7. Surround yourself with people you love and who love you

I have tried to embrace this in my life the last few years.  Since I had my daughter, I  have made it a point to be around my family and friends more often.  They say, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I want her always to be surrounded by people who love her and encourage her.  When you have a baby, you need the extra help and support.  I want my daughter to have lots of fond memories with her grandparents, great grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles.  To accomplish this, we intentionally plan meals together and make plans to see each other for holidays. Meals are the easiest way to get everyone together because we all gotta eat.

Never underestimate the power of positive association. As they say “you are who you hang out with,” so make sure you are with people who lift you up and encourage you to be the best you.  Don’t waste your time with people who drag you down.  Surround yourself with individuals who want to see you succeed and are willing to help you get there.

8. Arrange your daily activities based on your priorities

We can make a list of the things that we say are important to us but if we’re not spending time on those things are we really making it a priority? Like for example my relationship with my husband, of course, is a priority in my life but after we had a baby, I was neglecting to spend the time with him that we needed to make our relationship strong.  I had to refocus my daily actions to meet my priorities. We too often get caught up in all of the busy day-to-day activities and we lose sight of what’s really important to us, and we don’t spend time on those things that we should.

9. Forgive others and yourself

When you lose someone you love, you don’t want to be left with unforgiveness.  We will never be able to make things right if they are gone.  Whether you will be separated by death or hundreds of miles, don’t let a day go by without repairing a broken relationship.  If they are someone whom you truly care about, do everything in your power to fix the wrongs that have been committed.

This applies to yourself too.  We are often very hard on ourselves and unwilling to let go of mistakes we’ve made.  We beat ourselves up and don’t let ourselves move on.  We keep ourselves from good things because we won’t forgive ourselves.

Give yourself and others some grace this week.

10. Be Honest with Others

I went through a period in my life when everyone around me didn’t want to say what they really wanted and kept a lot of secrets.  They wanted one thing but said another and it ended up causing problems between all parties involved. I decided from then on that I wanted to be honest with people and not hold back my thoughts and feelings.  It doesn’t do anyone any good if they don’t have the whole truth.

Stand up for yourself and don’t let people trample you.  This leads to my next point, to confront individuals who have wronged you/hurt you and didn’t even know it.  We hold resentment towards people who we have been unable to express our disappointment with.  When we let issues go unresolved and don’t talk to people about how they’ve hurt us it starts to shape our lives, typically in a bad way.

Permit yourself to make your feelings heard.  You don’t have to do it in a loud and demanding way, but you do need to do it. Your life will be better if you can be honest with others. You’ll feel more understood and ultimately happier.

I don’t like the saying “live every day like it’s your last” but I do like “live every day to the fullest because you’re not promised tomorrow”. When you’re living every day like it’s your last, you do not regard consequences, but when you live your days when you’re not promised tomorrow you appreciate things and focus on what really matters.

What do you do to make the most out of every day? Leave me a comment below.

Open Doors and Dragons

The Bible says “Ask and you shall receive…knock and the door will be opened to you.” God has blessings waiting on the other side. Sometimes the door is outside of our comfort zone but I believe God prepares us for the things we think are too hard. I felt that way about the writers training course I put together. I never thought I’d do that but little by little God grew me into it. I can only pray and wonder what the next “open door” will be and that I’ll be ready to step through it and into the blessings God has for me.

I used to see a “closed door” as a sign not to go in a certain direction but now I’m realizing sometimes we just see things as too hard and back off. Who knows what we’re missing if we don’t jiggle the handle and give the door a little shove.  Our greatest rewards could be on the other side of a little hard work.

Too often we are met with opposition and just give up.  If we open the door and find a dragon rearing it’s ugly head we can always pull the door shut and put a padlock on it. At least we will be able to say we tried.

5 Ways to Move Outside of Your Comfort Zone (and into the life you want)

1. Learn Something New

Learning new skills and practicing new tasks can take you one step closer to your goals. It will stretch your mental capacity and prepare you to move onto bigger and better things. There are lots of ways to learn new things. Online classes offer a flexible schedule and a break on the budget. Traditional schooling can give you a one up if you are trying to advance your career. Invest in yourself, and you will always receive a return on your investment.

2. Ask

Ask, and it will be given to you. Talk to your boss about taking on more responsibility at work. Ask to be put on projects you wouldn’t normally volunteer for. Not only will you be expanding your borders but the added accountability by working with and for others will help you to keep on the track of moving up.

Talk to others about opportunities you may have never thought of yourself.  Other people see things you may have missed and don’t hold back ideas for you because of doubts or limiting beliefs. We often hold ourselves back because we are afraid to fail. Borrow some confidence from a close friend and go out and make something happen.

3. Visualize Your Future

One of two things will happen when you visualize your future:

You’ll see the life you could create if you stepped out of your comfort zone and pursued your dreams.
OR

2.      You’ll see yourself in the same place, 5, ten years from now. And that should scare you to death.

Accomplishing your goals and reaching your dreams is going to make you uncomfortable at times. If you’re comfortable, you are not growing and moving forward. You could be stuck in the same dead-end, life-sucking, dream-killing job forever if you don’t make some changes in your life. If you can see where you want to go, what’s it going to take to get you there? Do you need a degree? Do you need to learn to be more assertive? Do you need to increase your skills in a particular area? Do you need to practice positivity?

Make a list of the small actions that add up to the life you want to live and take daily action towards them.

4.  Put Away Self-Doubt and Negative Thinking

We touched on this earlier, but it is so important it needed its own section. You can do anything you set your mind to. I believe that. It’s not just a nice thing your parents tell you. It’s the truth. Stop doubting your abilities and thinking about what would happen if you fail.

What if you succeed?

Changing your thinking can be hard, but like any change, you just need to take the first step. Then continue taking small steps until you get where you want to go. First, you need to examine your thoughts. What do you say to yourself over and over? When you find yourself having negative thoughts replace them with something positive to stop the cycle of negative self-talk.

For example, one time when I was really stressed out I realized I was doing it to myself. I kept saying “I’m too busy” “I don’t have time, ” and my life became a constant struggle to fit everything in. I had myself so worked up I didn’t let myself rest or relax, and I got worn down. When I realized what I was doing, I started telling myself “I have time for what really matters” “Everything will get done.” It was like a night and day difference in my life.

5. Seek Out Others Who Have Gone Before You

Find someone who has been where you are and is now where you want to be. Follow their advice and let them be a mentor to you. Draw from their success to help you see what’s possible for your own life. Let successful people guide you to be the best version of yourself you can be. Talking to someone who seems to have it all can be intimidating. If that seems out of your comfort zone, push through.  Soon you will have expanded your borders, and that will become your new comfort zone.

If you don’t know any successful people, you can read books and blogs of people who have achieved great things from being a little uncomfortable at times. They didn’t let the discomfort keep them from getting want they wanted out of life.

 

Knock on the door of opportunity, and it will be opened for you.

Self-Employed and Sick – 4 Tips for Sick Days

What do you do when you’re feeling under the weather and you are the business?


“I’m so glad we’re not busy,” I said to myself. That’s not something you would normally hear from a business owner but I’ve been sick. Thankfully it hasn’t affected my orders or turnaround time.

I was thinking though, what would I do if I were really busy and had deadlines to meet? What if I was sick for an extended period of time (heaven forbid)? What would happen to my business?

Maybe you have had the same thoughts or experienced this yourself. When you are the business you kind of can’t take sick days. So what do you do?

1. Prioritize
At the first sign of sickness make a list of all the things that have to be done. Finish up any orders that take priority and would be overdue if you missed a few days of work. You’d be amazed what a good list can do for your productivity.

2. Contact Customers
Contact your customers who have outstanding orders and let them know their order might be delayed a few days. Hopefully, you left yourself some wiggle room in your quoted turnaround time and you can still get to things in a timely manner.
I say make it personal and tell them you’re feeling under the weather. Most people will understand. If they get upset you could offer a discount on future purchases or free shipping. But I think most people are decent human beings and will understand (at least I hope so).

3. Ask for Help
This might be hard for those of you who have a very particular way you like things done but it may be the only way. You could have a significant-other package up orders or run to the post office for you. If you have kids they could fill orders with inventory you have on hand. Thankfully I do have a partner (my mom) and she’s able to pick up the slack when I’m not feeling well.

We’ve also hired extra help during busy times so we have a few backup people we could ask. If someone else is going to be doing the work you normally do try to train them ahead of time. Maybe you have a stay-at-home mom friend, or a teenager looking to make some extra cash. Teach them to do a few basic things. Then when you get desperate you have someone to call.

4. Close your business
Yikes! That scared me just typing it. Only as a last resort would I recommend this. You could put upcoming projects on hold or if you have an online shop (ours is on Etsy) you can suspend your store so that no new orders can come in. I don’t recommend this because it can hurt your rankings in search engines and take awhile to recover from but if you absolutely need to it is an option. Hopefully, you’ll be feeling better soon enough that you won’t have to even consider this.

Here’s how to start feeling better with the 3 R’s
Rest. Relax. Recover.

1. REST
The best solution for most sickness is rest. Give yourself permission to crawl in bed and binge watch your favorite TV show (or sleep). If you were able to get the most important things done before you took a day off there should be nothing to worry about.

2. RELAX
Stress can cause a lot of health-related issues. It weakens your immune system and can lead to Chronic problems. Don’t let worry consume you. While you’re resting the only thing I want you to do is write down your thoughts and to-do’s that pop up. Then let them go. They’ll be there in your notes when you’re back to health. Take a hot bath. Drink some herbal tea and think of this as a vacation you never have time to take.

3. RECOVER
Whether your recovery time is just a few days or a week don’t rush it. Trying to go back to work too soon before you’re fully healed can extend the life of your illness. Only return to your regular activities when you feel 100% better. I know that sounds hard. I’m thinking to myself, “Yeah right. I’ll get back as soon as I feel a little better.” The keyword there is “a little”. Trust me muddling through going back to work the last days of a cold or the flu isn’t going to make you very productive. Give yourself the time your body needs to make a full recovery.

Well, there you have it. What to do when you’re sick and self-employed. If you have any other good tips or a story to share leave a comment below.

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

I’m working on a new project that is stretching my comfort zone. Honestly I never thought I’d be going in this direction at all. I thought that’s not for me but as it turns out I just hadn’t grown into the idea yet. In the past year I’ve done a lot of things that have stretched me to new boundaries. Like, being a mother to a toddler. It’s a whole different ballgame from having an infant. I also selfpublished my first book. It was a learning curve for sure but I did it.

This new project builds on my passion for writing and helping others acheive their goals. One thing has lead to another and built a foundation for going farther than I ever thought I would. I’ve never liked my voice on recordings and that’s exactly what I’m about to attempt. (Wish me luck) Maybe it’s a self doubt thing or insecurity but I’m not going to let it stop me from creating what’s on my heart and mind.

What has pushed you outside of your comfort zone? And where have you grown since?

Comment Below.

P.S. More info on my project soon.