It’s that time of year again. Can you believe it’s September? Good lord, where did this year go? And we all know, once September hits, it’s all down hill from here. In the blink of an eye it will be the holidays. Isn’t it funny how that happens? There is something about the fall that seems to accelerate time. We go from the lazy days of summer to the warp speed of fall.
I’ve been a business owner for ten years. It’s one of the best things I ever decided to do, however, working for yourself not only requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but it also requires tenacity and flexibility. As a culture we have what I call ‘benchmarks of time’ and back-to-school is one of them. It is essentially the final countdown – the last quarter of the year to make shit happen.
These last four months of the year are where the rubber really meets the road. So if you haven’t accomplished what you thought you should, it’s time to pick up the pace. Here are 9 of my best tips to get your butt in gear to close your year out strong. Boom!
9 Back-To-School Basics For The Solopreneur
1) Settle up your debts
In other words, where are you at for the year? What were your three major goals? What were your minor goals? Have you accomplished them? Have you accomplished some? What do you need to do to finish the year out strong to feel proud of yourself, given the circumstances of the year?
This is a great time to buy an inexpensive wall calendar (assuming you don’t already have one) Take the above goals that have not been accomplished and place them on your wall calendar with dates they will be completed. Place this in your office where it will stare at you……with the stink eye……so you stay on track to get it done.
3) Audiobooks or Podcasts
I don’t know about you but I love to read. At any given time I’m typically reading 2-3 books. Unfortunately, as a solopreneur, it’s difficult to find time to sit down and actually read that book. If I have any spare time it is typically spent trying to get ahead; like writing an extra blog post! But I have found that combining tasks while exercising has been a brilliant decision. While I walk, or work out at the gym I will put on a business book or listen to one of my favorite business podcasts. To me, it’s like a three in one. I learn, get fit, and get a little reading done all at the same time – who says multi-tasking doesn’t work?!)
4) Fall power apparel
Fall is the perfect time to buy a luxury item to boost your kick-butt attitude. You don’t need a wardrobe full of clothes you never wear. You need a capsule wardrobe filled with quality items that make you look and feel professional. (Anything beyond a capsule wardrobe makes you fat.)
Whether you invest in one great pair of shoes, a luxury handbag, the perfect coat or an entire ensemble, choose something that boosts your mood, helps you sell your service and feel proud about what you do. And this goes for those who never leave the house too. Just because you are a graphic designer or other freelancer who rarely meets with clients in person, you still need to feel rewarded for what you do – otherwise it just doesn’t seem worthwhile for all that work!
5) Take a course
Yes, fall is busy, but it’s always a great time to sign up for one small online class. Whether it’s in your industry or something you have always wanted to learn, engage in something that furthers your goals. I’m currently taking a photography course.
6) Positive acts
We live in a negative culture. Just turn on the news and the smallest story can be spun in a life-altering-your-gonna-die-when-you-eat-THIS-pizza kinda way. Small things make big impacts. While recently listening to a podcast with Tim Ferris and Whitney Cummings, they spoke of kindness and how important it is because you never know what others are facing. Each of us has daily challenges, and each at of us has a battle that no one knows about. Make their day better with kindness. Smile, say hello, be friendly even when it seems difficult – it will change your life. And nothing makes kindness easier than the majestic nature and magic of the fall season.
Write it down and get it out. I’m not talking pages and pages of ‘I went here and I did this today.’ I’m talking two or three sentences of your biggest wins for the day. Even if that was hugging the mailman because he lost his dog today. Choose something that inspires you and makes you excited to put those thoughts down. This one from kate spade makes me super happy!
8) Vision board
It’s officially fourth quarter. Clean up your vision board. What is absolutely necessary by the end of the year? Where should your greatest focus go? And if you haven’t put your VB together, it’s go time!
9) Morning Routine
If you haven’t read Hal Elrod’s, The Morning Routine, this should be added to your list of goals for audio books. And where did I learn about this book? The Smart Passive Income podcast with Patt Flynn. The morning routine was developed by Hal Elrod when he was at his lowest point in life. Riddled with depression he had lost his job, all of his money and was on the brink of bankruptcy.
Now nothing in this book is earth shattering. It’s all stuff we have heard before – but Hal makes you put it front and center. Rather than putting others’ goals before your own, you start your day with what’s important to you. Since reading this book and adopting this simple but powerful program I have doubled my income; and I just finished reading it in April!
Take the last two weeks of August to really get clear on your direction. Utilize the tips above to get focused, and make a plan. And if you take anything away from this list, get Hal’s book. I have recommended it to at least ten people since reading it and all of them have transformed their lives in unimaginable ways. So what are you waiting for? Let’s kick fourth quarters butt and sets some records!