Your business needs to be maintained in order to keep it running. Because you are the driver of your business, you too need daily maintenance in order to stay on the road to success. One way to do that is to create a daily routine.
I set aside some time every morning (yes, even the weekends) for my personal and business growth. Since implementing this practice I’ve seen success in all aspects of my life, so I’d really like to share it with you.
There are a few things you need to do in order to prep for this practice, so let’s start here...
Make the time
Not that I’m a late sleeper, but I do have a lot of things I need to do to stay on track and keep my clients happy during business hours. I’m sure you do to. So I suggest making the time by getting up at least an hour earlier each day so you can fit this in.
Create a space
I know you can probably do your morning ritual anywhere you want and it will most likely work, but I’ve found that doing it in the same space each day seems to help solidify the practice. It might take you trying out a few places in your home, but once you find the one that feels good to you, stick with it!
Don’t touch that phone or computer
Man! If anyone knows how hard it is to stay away from tech devices, it’s me. But trust me here when I say: if you don’t make time for yourself you will never do it. So don’t touch anything other than the coffee maker before your morning ritual is complete.
Grab a journal (or two!)
These days you can definitely use your Word program or an online journal website to type your accomplishments and goals, but I find writing them out in a journal puts some horsepower behind those intentions. Don’t forget to snag your favorite pen too!
6-Step Daily Practice
Other than getting up, going to the bathroom, and maybe snagging a cup of Joe, go straight to your space.
Grab what you’ll need for your daily ritual, such as a journal, a pen, your MP3 player (or mobile device as long as you refrain from looking at your emails or Facebook) and any books or items that might assist in what you want to get accomplished during this time.
1. Be awake
If I’m really groggy and really want to turn around and go back to bed, I do a few movements to wake me up. Try some arm swings, a few jumping jacks, some breathing exercises while standing…anything that will wake you up.
2. Be mindful
Once you feel sufficiently awake, go sit in your space. Sit in silence for a few minutes and practice a little mindfulness by paying attention to your breath.
3. Be connected
Go into a tried-and-true meditation or visualization you have on hand that helps center you, pray, do some yoga postures or breathing exercises, or some affirmations around some of your goals. Do whatever it is that will get you connected to yourself and will assist you with setting intentions for the day.
4. Be grateful
Pick up your journal and write down all the things that you are thankful for in your life. Date your entry and fill up a page with gratitude for even the small things.
Start each entry with “I am thankful and grateful for…” and write about something you’ve accomplished from the day before, something that you’re happy is in your life, an experience that you had that filled you with gratitude, a goal you met, an opportunity that arose. The sky’s the limit here!
5. Be aware
Pick up the same journal or another one you may have (I like to keep mine separate) and jot down your personal and business goals. I’m talking about the pie-in-the-sky goals like being seen as an expert in your field, making a 6-figure income, creating an online course, writing that book, or earning enough income to travel half the year.
Stating your intentions and the “why” behind each goal is also very helpful. Even if you have the same long-haul goals, write them out daily so that they stay present in your mind.
Once you write down your dream goals and why you want these goals to happen, pick at least one that you can break into manageable smaller goals. Then identify at least one actionable step you can take and add it to your to-do list for the week.
6. Be creative
Exercise, read, go through a lesson on a course you bought but never had time for, or add to your vision board. Add anything else you’d like to your morning ritual and make it your own.
Then go about the rest of each day knowing you’ve set yourself up for success!
It’s popular to come up with a business name when you are starting out on the road to entrepreneurship. But nowadays there’s a new debate on whether you should use a personal name for your business or create a business name.
When deciding between the two, there’s bound to be a little anxiety. What should you do for YOUR business?
Don’t worry, I am going to break it down for you so you can decide...
The Pros & Cons of Creating a Business Name
The Pros & Cons of Using Your Name
A personal story...
When I started in the graphics business some 20 plus years ago, it was all the rage to create cool and rememberable business names. So when it came time for me to go out on my own, I decided to go down that road myself.
Looking back, I still like what I created. The original logo was fun and said so much about myself and my services, but I should have gone the simpler route had I known how hard it is to stand out online these days.
I’m not saying I didn't get discovered with my unique business name and the way I presented and positioned myself online, but now that I know the importance of a personal brand, I was having to do double duty.
I had my business branded website and social media accounts AND I had my personally branded website and social media accounts. And I was sharing and posting on all of those platforms.
Think about when you give out a referral. Are you more likely to remember a business name or a personal name?
Hands down, a personal name attached to a service business goes so much farther these days.
Not only that, but if someone is referred to you, they are likely to go online and check you out. And if they do, what are they going to see?
Is it going to be your name in the default search body copy linked to your company website or will it be a picture of your latest dinner on your personal Facebook page? Or worse yet, someone else with your name?
All of these scenarios are not ideal if you want to be seen as the face of your business and get the reputation that you know your stuff and are the perfect match for that referral.
Which is why I have recently switched gears...
I found out that I love working with woo-woo entrepreneurs (creative, intuitive, transformational businesses) and I wanted to market directly to them. I could have easily changed my business name to Intuitive Brand Design. I decided to put my money where my mouth is and go full force with this new direction under my personal name. The main reasons are listed above. The other reason is I was tired of all the double duty and I was ready to get serious about my personal branding!
So, which way should you go?
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong approach. Some people love having their businesses named after themselves and experience wild success in doing so, while others reap the benefits of using a business moniker.
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Your business brand is responsible for cultivating first impressions, building recognition, growing your reputation and authority, and securing the trust and loyalty of your tribe.
Without a strong brand foundation, it can become difficult for your business to stand out from the competition and lead to rough travels on the road to woo-woo entrepreneurship.
When starting out, your resources may be limited and unfortunately, most transformational businesses end up missing some of the most important steps or altogether skipping the brand process, which is, in my book, a mistake.
Let’s talk about some of the hazards of not having a brand…
Having a shaky or non-existent brand
Most woo-woo entrepreneurs think they can either skip branding all together or go somewhere cheap online and get a logo and set up a quick website and they are ready to roll.
But let me ask you this...
What do you think when you are handed a self-printed or templated business card? What happens when you visit a website that looks outdated or DIY?
You risk your potential customers judging your ability to provide a solution to their problem and others defining your brand for you. So, you can either let your brand be developed through online customer reviews or you can take control and drive your business or personal brand yourself.
When you don’t start off with a brand, it makes it hard to be consistent with your business and online marketing. You won’t have a foundation to refer to and therefore you’ll appear haphazard or even unprofessional.
One of the most important factors for business success is consistency across every marketing channel: your print materials, your website, your email and social media marketing, your social media image and posts, and your blog articles.
By being consistent and conscious with your brand, your customers can become more familiar with you and therefore you can slowly establish recognition and trust with your tribe.
Having a copycat brand
When developing a new business, it might be tempting to look at others for inspiration, including competitors and woo woo entrepreneurs you admire. But in doing so, you take a chance of looking and sounding just like them.
Differentiation is the key to a profitability and sustainability. When potential customers see brands as interchangeable, they make purchase decisions based primarily on price.
That means lower profits for you and a more difficult time charging what your services are actually worth.
By determining what makes you different, you are able to stand out from your competition and charge those premium prices because I know you put a lot of time, energy, and love into everything you do.
Forgetting the message
It’s easy to think branding is all about the visual elements such as the business name, logo, tagline, and color palette. When it comes to your website, you might have the look down, but a lot of woo-woo entrepreneurs make the mistake of either sounding like their competition, being all over the place with their message, or worst yet, they provide too much information.
However, without a strong, clear, and concise brand message, you run the risk of your tribe not being able to determine why they should choose you over your competition.
Not identifying a target audience
Many woo-woo entrepreneurs start out thinking it’s better to cater to everyone. What a better way to connect with many and get more business, right? Wrong! When you try to communicate to everyone, you end up with a message that resonates to no one.
Determining a target market (aka your tribe) helps you hone your message and tailor it to those you really want to work with and attract. The goal is to make it easy for your potential clients to determine if you are the right fit. This saves you both a lot of time, energy, and trouble.
Not narrowing the focus
Chances are, if you’re really good at something, you’re also probably pretty good at other things too. Most woo-woo entrepreneurs know A LOT of stuff and have a lot of certifications. Many think it is a good idea to sprinkle all sorts of services into their offerings. I’m sure you’ve seen them. The ones that have a website full of a multitude of services.
So, what happens when you visit a website like that? I can’t speak for everyone, but personally I get lost rather quickly in the sea of qualifications and services. After I start to glaze over, I typically leave the site and go back to search for another specialist that’s got a clear service page and an easy way to work with them.
When you specialize, it helps you stand out and be remembered. Not only does that help you to be seen as an expert in your field, it also assists with word of mouth referrals. The more you specialize and are seen as the go-to expert in your market, the easier it is to charge premium prices for your valuable transformational services.
It also gets you more in alignment with your business goals. Know what happens when you're in alignment? Things just happen!
Still concerned that narrowing your focus is going to hurt your chances? Maybe this will help...
Your tribe is busy and self-involved, and they’re not looking to spend lots of time figuring out what specific aspect of you is relatable and interesting to them. If they don’t believe that you can help them or they can’t figure out why to hire you over the competition, they won’t hire you.
In conclusion, a successful business launch requires more than just a minimum effort. Just like coming up with your business idea, name, and services; investing in your brand foundation takes a good amount of time, thought, and preparation. It might cost money you don’t have readily available or think you should spend on something else, but in the long run, you’ll have much smoother travels if you begin with your brand foundation.
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Amanda Johnson Young is an intuitive designer and brand guru sharing what she's learned about branding, business, mindset, manifesting, raising your energy frequency, goal setting, and more!
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