Being self employed can, at times, get quite lonely and it is easy to turn inwards quite a bit, forgetting the bigger picture of what you are doing, forgetting to look towards the horizon, as well as trying to keep the everyday work going.
The way that I counteract this is to belong to a business group. I belong to the Amazing Biz & Life Academy. I have to say that it is more than a little hippy for me at times, not to say rather American, despite the owner being Australian, however I love Leonie’s style of writing and how she thinks. I think the hippiness is a great way to counteract my more serious side. Most of the people on there are focused on coaching or therapists of some sort, but there are a core of us who are more business to business, rather than business to consumer.
It has also helped me to become more integrated in my business, bring a little more me to the table, which is why this blog now covers a range of things and not just purely focused on business. It is nice to be able to bounce ideas off of other people, it has also helped me to find guest posts (a couple are coming up in the new year), which is important to me as I try to grow this blog and the writing work which I do.
At this time of year she publishes the Guide books for the year. There are two versions – business and life, rather in keeping with the focus of the site. Last year, I just did the life version, but this year I am going to work through both versions, even though there is a little overlap between the two. The reason for this is I want to develop my business this year and smooth out the humps, I want to be able to choose the work that I do and also start to develop ideas that are not even fully thought through as yet.
I also only did the book late in the year, and I am greatly looking forward to seeing how the books work out for me earlier in the year.
I paid to have these professionally printed in A5 size, which then goes into my A5 Filofax, which I use for business brainstorming, goal planning etc. That way everything is held in one place. There is also something which works for me with these being on paper and not electronic. I do pretty much everything electronically, but occasionally it is lovely to work on paper. Printing these in colour and having them in one place really does feel great. This year I have scheduled in time each month to plan and review my Guide books and assess how I am doing and what else I need to do.
This is a continuation of my ‘tools of the trade’ series. You can see the rest of them by clicking here. Very occasionally they will contain affiliate links, which will be marked with an (a) after the link, however all of the links in this post are affiliate. These do not cost you anything, and will give me a small fee, or free software. Out of the whole Tools of the Trade series I think there are just three affiliate links, out of the 11 posts I currently have planned.