I don’t know about you, but every autumn I feel the need to clean out the office, my wardrobe, and even our home. It’s like I need a new start, which perhaps is more common to have at the beginning of a new year. But for me, I have this period just before the autumn season kicks in. After the summer and a long vacation, it’s like I see everything with ”new” eyes. I re-organize, clean out and get rid of stuff I don’t need anymore.
We are trying to live as minimalistic a lifestyle as possible. We rarely buy new stuff, just replace things when broken or un-fresh (towels, bed linen and stuff like that), yet there are always things you can get rid of. When it comes to my office, I always have this folder in which I put all the papers and notes I’m too lazy to take care of at the moment. Old invoices, paychecks, inspiring pictures from a magazine. Nothing important to be honest, and that’s why it ends up in this folder. When I came back after my vacay, I realized that this folder was filled to the brim and so I decided to clean it out. And as you know, when you start cleaning out one space, you automatically find new things to take care of, so before I knew it I had cleaned out the entire office. I reorganized my bookshelf, my desk, my drawers and took care of all the things just laying around. Just like I use to do in August.
But this year, I didn’t stop there. Ever since I came back from my three weeks off, I’ve felt inspired, but I haven’t been able to channel this inspiration and create something from it. It’s a weird feeling, knowing that you want to create all these recipes, guides and stories, yet you can’t manage to do it. This Monday, I found myself staring into the wall behind my desk, not knowing what to do. Or, maybe I should put it this way - I knew what I should do, just not where to start or how to do it. Something like that. So, I decided to extend my cleaning process, I needed not only to clean my office but to clean my business too.
Now, how do you do that?
The first thing I did was to write down all the things I associate with my business and this blog - what I want it to be about. Words like creativity, girl boss business, inspiring recipes, delicious food, photography, art, Nordic living etc. I’m obviously on the right path here since these are topics I talk about all the time.
I then continued by writing down all the different tasks that come with running a blog business - content planning, accounting, blog post writing, growth and marketing strategies etc. For each of these tasks, I wrote down how often I plan to do it. Blog post writing should be twice a week, accounting once a month and content planning/brainstorming once a week. When I put it like this, I immediately realized what I was missing. Routines. Or rather, I needed new and better routines for things. I decided on a date when I from now on will do my accounting (every month), and I decided that Mondays and Thursdays are for blog post writing. I also decided when to work with growth and brainstorming and all the other things. Routines for the win!
But, routines are not all.
You also need to understand what all these tasks mean. For example; everyone who works in the blogging business knows the importance of having strategies for growing your blog/channels. But knowing this isn’t enough, the most important thing is to know what your strategy is. Just like it’s not enough to know that your car, which doesn’t start, needs to be fixed, you also have to know what needs to be fixed. Right? The same thing goes for your blog growth strategy. And all the other things involved in running a business of course.
After running my business for almost two years, I decided to take a look at my business plan. Maybe I had to re-write some things? Said and done. I spent a few hours writing down vision and mission statements, I described my ideal reader, the blog culture, my blog and brand goals, guidelines, keys to success and expansion goals. In short - what I should do and how I should do it. A lot of things were the same as when I wrote my business plan almost two years ago, but a few things had also changed. Like, social media growth strategy (hello new Instagram algorithm), the new laws of using disclaimers on sponsored posts and so on. After writing all these things down, together with my new routines, everything felt so much clearer. And clarity is key here.
If your business lacks clarity, there will also be a lack of productivity.
Taking time from creating and using it to re-evaluate my business was really the best thing I could do here. Obviously, something wasn’t working, since I didn’t know what to do with my inspiration. I felt overwhelmed, which resulted in not doing anything. I also realized a few things I needed to improve or invest in, just to make my life easier, but more about that later. Investing time and energy in your business is never wrong, it’s something we have to do as entrepreneurs. However, that’s easy to forget when you constantly feel the pressure to create and share things as an online entrepreneur. Taking a step back and watching your business, and your way of working, from someone else’s point of view - because that’s basically what you do - is so good.
So, in case you too are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or lost, maybe this can help. Let me know if you have any questions, or if you liked it - please share it with a friend or someone you think might find it useful.