And so my laptop’s hard disk died just before Christmas, and just as I was about to do two week’s worth of catch up work?.work on my website?and work on my new programmes and workshops for 2011. OK, OK, I know it was Christmas, but I love the peace and quite that surrounds Christmas and have always used it for planning my next year.
But instead I had a week without technology before Peter (my husband) fixed me up with a very old laptop, and then a further two weeks before my shiny, fast, sleek laptop came back to world of the living again, now with a new hard disk courtesy of the nice man from Dell (who drove through all the snow to bring it to me!).
So, that was three weeks in total without my normal laptop and all its associated technology. No access to my website, my ezine, no access to my blog or my social media accounts. No Tweetdeck, no Skype, no audio programmes to listen to. No?well?err?anything.
Was I grumpy? Yep, absolutely!
But not for long actually.
I realised that this was probably the universe telling me something and I couldn’t personally do anything about it, so after a very busy 2010, I gave in – and relaxed! I watched Toy Story 3, and various Barbie movies (with the kids that is, not on my own!). I caught up on all the TV I recorded but never had time to watch, I read magazines, I did some sewing, we went to a Pantomime, and I even started decorating our toilet!
And it was bliss! I’ve come back to work with a refreshed mind and body and feel like I’m firing on all six cylinders again.
Now the reason for telling you all this is because I know how important your business is to you. And I know how hard you work to grow that business; to learn new skills and meet the new people who will help make it happen for you.
Except that, in there somewhere, is you. You who needs to be looked after and nurtured and nourished. You who will feel tired, depleted, burnt out, exhausted, short tempered, lacking in creativity, frazzled and feel like you have nothing left to give if you do nothing but work, and work hard. All the time. I know because I’ve been there, and it’s not a great place to be.
You can not give the best to your clients if you feel like this. So you owe it to yourself, and you owe it to your clients to put you first.
So before you get truly stuck in to your business and marketing goals this year, here are three commitments I would like you to make for yourself. Today. Now.
First, get your diary and strike out the weeks that you are going to take as holiday. You did it when you were employed, so you can do it for you being self employed.
Secondly, set yourself a goal of planning one thing every month to look forward to. For instance, this year I have already booked to go and see Andy McNab (the SAS guy) giving a talk locally (at the huge cost of Â£3!); I’m off to see Lee Evans with my closest friend in September; I’m on a day’s fish cookery course in April; I’m taking my mum to see Barry Manilow in concert in May; I’ve found a jewellery making day’s workshop to do it February; and I’m taking my son ice-skating in July with some friends. (I’ve still got the other months to plan in – but that’s exciting!).
Lastly, pick two or three of your favourite hobbies. Even if it’s just one, that’s fine. Now make a commitment to spend at least two hours a week on it or them. It doesn’t have to all be in one go – half hour slots are fine.
Now stick to your commitments and go and action them.
The purpose of making these commitments is so that you put “˜you’ first. If you put “˜you’ first, you will – I promise – feel nurtured, loved, nourished where it matters, and feel full of confidence and self esteem.
And that means you are more creative, relaxed, happy – and can give more to your clients and to your business.
And, as a result, your business will grow and take on that vibrant, sparkling and alive energy.
And just how attractive will that be to your clients and prospective clients?! Add some marketing to the mix and you can go conquer the world!
Let me know how you get on – and please feel free to share your commitments in the comments below.
Have a truly fantastic week,
PS Remember I approve all comments first, so there may be a short delay between you hitting “Publish” and your comment appearing live.