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#048. 4 Ways to Get Un-Stuck in Your Business

February 24, 2021

Resources:

Episode #30. The Single Best Thing I Did for My Business and Life in 2020

Episode #40. How & Why to Cast a Vision

FREE Vision-Casting Workbook

Inquire about coaching with me: email me at info@hannahbjorndal.com with the subject line “coach”

 

4 Ways to Get Un-Stuck in Your Business

Hi and thanks for joining me this week on the Everyone Wins podcast! Today I’m talking about what to do when you feel stuck. Do you know what I mean when I say that? It’s that feeling that you get when you’re not sure what the right next step in your business is. It can be caused by all sorts of things:

  1. A feeling that you need to do ALL THE THINGS but aren’t sure which to prioritize.
  2. Disappointment or stress when clients don’t seem to be booking (or, a pandemic cause all your weddings to cancel).
  3. A lack of inspiration or the feeling of burnout.
  4. Needing to make a big decision or a big investment but feeling afraid of just pulling the trigger.
  5. Not seeing any growth in your business despite your many attempts.
  6. Lacking skills or expertise in one department of business ownership and no knowing where to get help.

Can you relate to any of the things on this list? What has made you feel stuck in the last several months? Because the list is really endless – those things that I just listed? I’ve experienced them all! If you’ve been in business for more than just a minute, you’ve probably felt stuck before.

In general, feeling stuck is a result of a lack of clear direction. When times feel good – you’re just the right amount of busy, you’re photographing your ideal client’s wedding day, you hit a certain number of followers on Instagram . . . whatever, then a lack of clear direction – of focus on an end goal – doesn’t really feel like a problem. In fact, you might even think you’ve got clear direction. However when hard times or bad days come (and as we all know, they do), lacking a clear direction can cause this feeling of being stuck and then it’s this snowball effect – we sleep in later each day, we spend way too much time scrolling Insta or just hanging out in our inbox, we “work” a 40-hour week but aren’t really getting much accomplished . . . in short, our businesses aren’t moving forward, and neither are we.

Well my friend, it’s time to get you un-stuck! Today I’m sharing 4 things to do when you’re feeling stuck to get you un-stuck. Let’s dive in!

Ok, I have to confess that I have gone through multiple cycles of feeling stuck in the last year. Since the pandemic hit in March of 2020, I have been much less disciplined and less focused than I typically am, and it has taken a toll on me and my business. It’s not a fun place to be in, and I wondered how many of you are feeling the same way. 

When I stick to my tried-and-true strategies of business management and overall wellness, I don’t get stuck. However, when I get sidetracked – by all sorts of things – my strategies start to fall by the wayside and I get stuck.

Now first, let me just say that the past year has been insanely difficult for so many of us. And in a lot of cases, there have been terrible things that are totally out of our control. I want you to know that I am not talking about these things today. If you got sick with COVID, or you lost your full time job, or had to close your business because of cancellations – anything directly related to the pandemic really doesn’t apply to what I’m saying today.

Today, I’m specifically sharing tangible ways to get un-stuck when you’re in a business rut and feel uncertain of what to do next. These action steps do not cost you anything and are meant to help you live a healthier, more balanced, more fulfilled life – your best life and also to help you keep moving your business forward.

I’ve got 4 ideas for you today, and I’m excited to share these because they’ve all made a really big difference in my life at one point or another. I’m hoping they can encourage you to get on the right path and start moving forward again if you’re currently feeling stuck!

So, #1: Establish a morning routine 

A morning routine is a regular is really as simple as it sounds – it’s a routine of habits that you go through each morning to start your day. These habits are generally centered around leading a healthy and balanced life, and also help with having the right mental state to start your day.

If you didn’t already know, I am pretty passionate about having a morning routine. When I started practicing the same daily habits each morning, my life changed. I even made a podcast episode about this – it’s episode #30: The Single Best Thing I Did for My Business and Life in 2020, that is not an exaggeration. If you’re curious to hear my full explanation of my morning routine, check out that episode. For now, I’m going to give you a few reasons why this can make such a difference and how you can get started on your own morning routine.

First, the why. Why practice a morning routine each day? Why get up early and do all of these habits to start your day? The reason is in the results. A morning routine, while in and of itself can be really enjoyable to practice, also can result in some major changes in your life. The intentional mental, physical and emotional preparation you make for your day by practicing this routine will allow you to feel more in control of your day, more disciplined in your thoughts and actions, and overall, more prepared and excited to get work done.

Here are some examples of the results you might (and probably will) see when you establish and practice a morning routine:

  1. Increase your productivity 
  2. Improve your confidence
  3. Decrease your forgetfulness
  4. Boost your energy levels
  5. Lower stress
  6. Balance your emotions

This is not an exhaustive list – there are so many positive benefits to a morning routine. When it comes to getting un-stuck in your business, I have found that starting my own day consistently in this way has dramatically improved my focus and motivation. I am excited and ready to start work. My brain is awake and so is my body. I feel healthy and strong. And, a little added bonus – I start work earlier meaning I finish work earlier. 

So, what does a morning routine include? How do you create one? Well, ultimately, the specifics are up to you! However, here are a few of my best suggestions:

  1. Get up EARLY. Morning routines do not work if you’re not sitting down to work until 10am. You never want to feel rushed and you definitely do want to feel that the routine is taking up your work time. So get up earlier than you’re used to (and possibly, what is comfortable). Over time, your body will adjust and be tired earlier in the evening. I think we all could use a reason to not watch one more Netflix episode.
  1. Get moving – physically. Exercise. Get your heart rate up and sweat. And do this every day. Now this is not a fitness podcast, I’m definitely not a pro when it comes to fitness and honestly keep my routine pretty simple. My basic principle: mix cardio with strength. Some days, I’ll go for a run or do a HIIT workout. Other days, I’ll do yoga. Sometimes it’s just 25-30 minutes, other days, it’s over an hour. I never plan for more time than I actually have and don’t get caught up in the details. Bottom line, I get moving.
  1. Get in the right headspace. This is your opportunity to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the day. It is amazing that most of us start our day in a bit of a frenzy, not being at all intentional about our thoughts or emotions. If you want to have a good day, if you want to not be stuck, you need to prepare mentally and emotionally for each day. So what does this actually look like? You can pray, read, meditate, journal, set your intentions for the day . . . these are all things that I do. Clear out your mind, think, write and prepare. This is also something you definitely don’t want to rush!
  1. Set your work hours. When you’re finally ready to begin your work day, set your work hours with intention. You should also set weekly hours – know your work/life balance and practice it with diligence!

So, in conclusion, if you don’t already have a morning routine, definitely consider how you can make this a regular practice. If you’ve never, ever done this before, the best place to start is with a small commitment for a short amount of time. In other words, just try it out. You don’t need to commit to forever. Commit to one month of doing your morning routine every work day. See what happens. 

Ok, so my next tip for you is:

#2. Get clear on where you are headed.

Do you know, at a very high level, exactly where your business is headed and why? Have you thought intentionally about this? About what you want to accomplish this year? About what your big goals are? About exactly how you’re going to accomplish those coals? And do these answers align with your larger vision for your life?

I can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to feel stuck if you don’t have a clear idea about where you and your business are headed. 

So, you need to formulate a clear & strategic plan for your business. It doesn’t need to be overly complex or detailed. Just the basics. Ask yourself: “at the end of this year, what does success look like to me? Am I actively working towards this success?” The answers to both of those questions should be crystal-clear.

I want to emphasize here the importance of not putting too much on your plate. The answer to that question should really boil down to 2-3 big overacting themes or accomplishments MAX. Something we all need to hear is that we can’t do it all. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do some if it. And if you really drill down and consider what is most important, you can focus all your energy towards that overarching thing.

I think a lot of people get hung up here because they aren’t sure what to choose. That’s the essence of being stuck, right? Not being able to prioritize and work towards the most important thing. The best place to start, in my opinion, is with developing a vision for your life and your business. In the last two months of the podcast, I’ve mentioned vision in almost every episode. It’s that time of year, you guys – we are thinking about big-picture business planning, and it has got to start with your vision for your life and your business.

If you’re new to the podcast or haven’t already completed my vision-casting workbook, this is probably the best place you can start if you’re feeling stuck and uncertain how to get un-stuck. This is like putting a pair of glasses on your business – what used to be fuzzy will become clear! You can find that workbook at HannahBjorndal.com/vision2020 and you can also listen to my episode all about vision-casting if you want to hear a little bit more – that’s Episode #40.

So, #2, get clear on where you are headed if you want to get un-stuck.

Next, #3.

#3. Focus on one thing at a time.

So I hinted at this in the last one, but being singularly-minded is a really effective way to get unstuck and actually get stuff done. I get it, I myself am a multitasker and also have ADHD, so the thought of working on just ONE thing (especially for an extended period of time) is honestly frightening and very difficult for me to do.

However, when I need to get something done, the very best thing I can do for myself is to down a giant cup of coffee, turn off ALL distractions, and spend a few hours (or a full day) of uninterrupted time working towards that one thing. 

When you focus on one thing at a time, you are able to get it done more quickly, dedicate more creative effort, and ensure that it actually reaches completion. 

But there are a few different categories of tasks within our business, right? We’ve got the day-to-day stuff – handling clients, emailing, sending out finished work, administrative things – these are things that don’t necessarily need to be all done, one after the other, in a singular manner. More on those in a second. 

Then we have the bigger projects. The tasks that take more concentrated brain power and effort. The tasks that, on a larger scale, move our business forward and help us accomplish our big goals. When I say to focus on one thing at a time – THESE are the things that you want to focus all of your energy and attention to for longer stretches of time.

In general, you need to create time in your schedule to work on these bigger things uninterrupted. Block scheduling your days can be a really effective way to segment your work and put dedicated time towards those bigger tasks. And for all the little day-to-day tasks within your business that I mentioned before, you can block off “administrative” time or “client” time for these categories. 

I think the most important thing here is being intentional with your time. We all can get stuck in the day-to-day and probably fill an entire work week with these things if we let ourselves. This, very often, leads to getting stuck. You’re not putting your heart and mind towards a challenging goal, and as a result, you flounder. 

So, think about how you can focus on one thing at a time to maximize your creative effort and get un-stuck! 

Finally, #4. Have grace for yourself

I know saying “give yourself grace” has started to become a cliche. And it’s honestly a shame, because the combination of small business owner and creative person is the perfect storm for being way too hard on yourself. You don’t have a boss ever tell you “good job,” you are probably way to critical of your creative work, and it seems like there is never a clear stopping point to what you could be working on. Does this sound familiar? I am a person that is very hard on herself way too often, and of this list that I shared today, this is definitely the one I personally struggle with the most.

There is an overload of educational resources on the market right now in the wedding industry. Even podcasts – I’m guessing you probably have several podcasts that you’re subscribed to, right? All this business advice (which can often double as “self help”) can sometimes become weighty in and of itself.

So here’s the deal: I just gave you three ideas for how to get unstuck. If you don’t try any of them, I want you to know it is OK. Relax. The purpose of these ideas is NOT to make you feel like you just added three more things to the to-do list. That’s actually the opposite intent.

You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to try each and every idea that comes your way. Slow down and give yourself some grace. Running your own business is really hard and no one is perfect, even if it seems like others have it all together. You would be amazed at how many of my podcast episodes contain information that, after recording, I say “I really need to get in the habit of doing that again!”

Ultimately, I am here for you. I’d love to answer your questions and hear more about your business! Send me a DM on instagram (@HannahBjorndal) or email me at info@hannahbjorndal.com. I really would love to hear from you!

Ok, that wraps up this week’s episode! I hope this one was a real encouragement to you, especially if you are in a rut right now. 

For those of you who are really wanting to be intentional about your business strategy but feel stuck about where to even start, I would love to work with you. I have a hybrid 1:1 coaching and mentorship program – meaning that you will be provided a path forward that we will work on together in a coaching relationship, and I also am a resource as a mentor who can your address specific questions and provide resources that make sense for your unique business. I do have openings for this 1:1 program right now, if you’re interested in that, shoot me a message info@hannahbjorndal.com with the subject line “coach.”

If you love this podcast and haven’t left me a review yet, please do so as soon as this episode ends, and, of course, make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode!

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