In the Netherlands we are just completing Meivakantie (May holiday). May is a strange month in Europe, there are a lot of holidays and not very many working days. It disrupts your rhythm somewhat. That said, this whole year has not really settled into a rhythm at all for me so far, has it done so for you? Fortunately, my business is structured for these ebbs and flows so that disruptions can be safely navigated. This is part of what I teach in the The Change Maker Programme, how to build your business on the most solid foundations so that it stands strong when life gets in the way. I've mentioned to you before that the Change Maker is changing. Now that it is entering its fifth round, I know that it is time to extend the programme so that I can spend more time working with the participants on their businesses. And I am thrilled to confirm that the Change Maker will be returning in September 2018. The first participants are already signed up and will be benefiting from some additional bonus support with me this summer while they wait for the programme to start. If you've been wondering about where to take your business and whether the Change Maker might be the right support for you then let's have a no-strings-attached chat. You tell me what you want for your business and I'll give you my thoughts on what your next steps could be. I am very careful to select the right participants for the programme and if I don't think it's the right fit for you then I will do my very best to help you find something that is from within my trusted network, either way we get to have a lovely chat and you'll probably come out of it with some to-do items, because that's the way things usually go on calls with me.
In the meantime, let's get on with the Notes...
1) GDPR, it's time
Right, there's no more sticking your head in the sand over this one. GDPR will be enforced from May 25th 2018. There are a lot of scary stories going around on the internet, and it's true that GDPR compliance is a big deal, but then running a business that protects people's privacy is also important. Back in Edition #44 of the Notes I shared a good overview article to help you understand the basics. Since then I've been an avid reader of Suzanne Drimble's Facebook Group to help understand how things apply in my business. I found Clare Josa's on-demand free webinar and Amy Porterfield's podcast episode really useful, especially when it comes to internet marketing and opt-ins. Because how we deal with opt-ins and how we list build will change. The previous methods are obsolete, luckily Stephanie Ward has a good breakdown on why email marketing isn't dead and GDPR won't kill it. The Notes are sent using ConvertKit (affiliate link) and although they are already compliant I will be making some small structural changes to the sign up forms on my site using Elizabeth Goddard's excellent tutorial. As I said before, getting compliant with GDPR isn't difficult, you just need to spend a little time understanding the legislation and how it applies to your business, then make any necessary changes. Your business will be better for it.
2) Mindful time management
"How we spend our hours is how we spend our lives". Yessssssss, this, exactly this. You can read all the time managment hack articles that you want but until you get intentional with how you want to spend the fixed number of hours that you have, trust me, it's not going to make any difference. Do you remember the important lessons from Laura Vanderkam's What the Most Successful People do on the Weekend? You should.
3) Accentuate the positive
I have never been hated as much as I have since I founded my not for profit, Amsterdam Mamas. That was something I never expected. You start a not-for-profit, you volunteer, you give hours of your time to supporting and building a community for parents, and some people will hate you for it. Wow. It has been profoundly shocking to be targeted in that way. I wish I was as brave as Dylan Marron in his quest to turn online hate into positive interactions. I wish I had the resilience to directly confront the people who have attacked me. I don't, but what I have learnt though through all of this, is that you will never be criticised by someone who is showing up and doing the work. And I have never been criticised for that work by someone whose opinion I respect. When we are attacked our instinct is to defend ourselves, to fight back with our truth, but that instinct often makes us overlook an important question, "do I respect and value this person's opinion?" If you do, then listen to them and decide whether you should make some changes. But if you don't, don't waste your energy trying to correct them. Your work needs that energy more. As Taylor Swift taught us "Haters gonna hate, shake it off".
4) Get paid
Leaving aside the "what you are worth" part of this article (you can't get paid what you're worth, you can get paid fairly for the expertise you have and value you bring), there are some nice little exercises in here to help you communicate why your rates are set as they are whenever people tell you that you are too expensive (you're not) or want you to discount your rates for them (no).
5) Painting outside the lines
What do you do that is just for you? Just to relax? That isn't about your business, or your family or your friends? For me, I crochet. I have never been very good at meditating but I find crochet very meditative and calming. We all need to do something that is purely indulgent with our time. Here's your permission slip to do more things for no other reason than to nourish yourself.
Until the next Notes,
P.S. Episode 4 of Business UNVARNISHED is now live. Watch as Stephanie and I talk about the importance of boundaries, how to say no and why it is so important, and how to survive in business as a recovering people pleaser. It's good stuff.Read More