When you work to build a thriving and sustainable business, you must remember to take time and recalibrate. Being in tune with the basic building blocks of your business requires moments of self-empowerment. By empowering yourself you can gain clarity, accept change, learn new strategies, and allow expansion. Countless options exist for identifying what needs work, embracing the steps to develop, empowering yourself with various tools and resources, and emerging a more grounded and confident entrepreneur. Here are five to get you started!
Know Your Vision and Purpose
One of the first activities from the Right Brain Business Plan® is designed to help youg gain clarity around the big vision for your business. For most heart-centered entrepreneurs this is the easy part. It feels comfortable to speak from the heart, share your gifts and talents with others in the form of service, and to consider your personal values in the planning of your business. But what happens as time passes and you find yourself deep in the day-to-day running of the biz? You forget to recalibrate. It can be inspiring to stop what you’re doing and spend a day revisiting your vision for your biz and seeing what (if anything) needs to be clarified.
Here are three prompts to get you thinking (feel free to journal on after filling in the blanks):
When I started my big vision was all about _______________ now, I find myself spending a lot of time on __________________ and it feels ___________________.
The two things I value most as a business owner are _____________ and __________ and I find it __________ to stay aligned to those values as I run my business.
I feel most empowered when I am following my dream of ___________________.
Know Your Audience
So much of your business success is about how well you know and pay attention to your perfect customers. It’s true that in the life of a business your perfect customer can change. This means that you must consistently check-in with yourself about who you are serving and what they want from you. Being really clear on the “who” can make all the difference in how you show up in the world. From your website and blog content to the way you interact with your community when you get the word out, it’s all important. Making sure you know who you’re talking to is necessary, but you must sometimes stop talking and simply listen. There is power in mindful listening. And what better way to know your audience than to listen to your audience?
Know Your Stuff
You’re an expert in your field, but how do you stay that way? It’s not enough to blog, share, and give, you have to also stay in touch with your industry. Knowing the latest research, standards, trends, and updates is essential to your survival. You’ve got to read, take classes, investigate, be curious, meet new people in your trade and stay abreast of what’s happening so that you can pass that knowledge on to your customers. They count on you to be in the know! What have you done recently to stay current in your field?
Know Your Systems
After a while, every business begins to develop systems to support those things they do most often. You create templates and repeatable processes based on the patterns you notice in your business. These systems can be as simple as how you respond to customer emails or how you track your time and money. Whatever they are, you have to know your systems. To be more empowered you have to be organized. Organization can take on many forms, but here are a few:
- Keep an updated calendar that allows you to plan ahead for your business.
- Create an effective and efficient filing system (especially on your computer or in a file cabinet if that works better for you).
- Pay attention to emails from your service providers and vendors in case there are changes in their systems that may affect you and your customers.
- Develop rituals and routines for the work you do every day, every month, and every quarter.
- Have important telephone numbers and email addresses programmed into your phone in case you need them when you’re out and about (especially those of your support team).
Know Your Numbers
Creative entrepreneurs often have an aversion to getting cozy with their numbers, but it’s one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself and for your business. Even if you have an accountant and a bookkeeper, you need to know your financial situation at all times (or at least have access to it at all times). It’s not absolutely necessary for you to understand tax code or to have the skills to program QuickBooks, but you should be able to access the data that shows you were you are in order for you to make good decisions about where you need to go next.
The other numbers you should pay attention to are the numbers that tell you about your community. How many people are actually in your tribe? How many of them follow you on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? Do you have people signed up for your mailing list? How many are actively following and participating in your blog? When they interact with you on your website, how long do they stay? Where do they spend most of their time? What are they reading and sharing over and over again? These are the other numbers that matter in your business and if you keep an eye on them you’ll find yourself feeling more empowered and able to make confident and well-informed decisions.