Boss Lady

How to stop playing small and start kicking big goals

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As a woman in business, I see women struggling with marketing themselves and their businesses. They have years of experience in their fields, have worked their way up the ladder and are great at what they do. But instead of charging for their worth and for the results their clients will achieve, they work long hours, keep themselves busy and charge very little.

Do this sound familiar? And there are countless reasons for these including:

  • fear of failure (and fear of success too),
  • lack of confidence,
  • hesitation because they don’t know how to do something,
  • and many more reasons (and some excuses).

Do you know why I am telling you all this? Because all these things are keeping you thinking and acting small. You don’t need another book, another course or the perfect conditions, there is no such thing. Leave all the reasons and ‘logic’ behind and make 2020 your best year yet.

1.      Monitor your energy and mood

We’re bombarded with negative messages each day on social media, in the news, even from some of our friends. How do you combat this?

  • Limit your social media, it eats up your time, rots your brain and is too noisy.
  • Be aware of what and who affects your mood and energy levels and limit that activity or contact with that person.
  • Do things that light you up, play music, dance around, go for a walk, catch up with friends (even virtually). Pick things that make you happy.
  • Be inspired by reading books, listening to podcasts and TED Talks.

2.      Don’t compare

Everyone is different. We have come from different parts of the world, have had different upbringings, experiences and training, which is what makes us.

  • Don’t fake it till you make it, that’s not being true to you.
  • Don’t compare your page 1, to someone’s page 200
  • What you are seeing of someone’s Instagram stories might be highlights, and not the reality of what is actually going on. Everyone has their own struggles, be ok with your struggles.

We all have our own journey, thoughts and ways of doing things, and our own dreams and goals. Be proud of who you are, OWN IT. Back yourself, stay on your path, surround yourself with amazing people and be inspired to keep improving you, your way.

3.      Move past the rejection and failure

Rejection and failure happen, and so do mistakes. Making mistakes means you took action, which is terrific. Learn from what has happened, forgive yourself and let it go.

Now, try again and this time with that extra experience you gained. Don’t let it hold you back, as you will miss out on opportunities and clients. And when you go again:

  • be kind to yourself, take breaks, do things you love (I’ll talk more about this later)
  • celebrate your wins, small and big (not just the big ones). Small consistent steps get you to those bigger wins, so celebrate all the steps and the journey.

4.      See past the resistance

If you find yourself stalling when it comes to putting prices on your products/services, or putting off that client proposal, recognise the pattern. See where it stems from, journal it out and push through the resistance. Get it done, one baby step at a time.

Here is an exercise to help work through the hesitation:

  • write down three goals for the next three months,
  • break each goal down into actionable steps and
  • put dates next to them.

Set yourself up for success by making the goals, steps and dates realistic. Then take consistent steps to achieve those goals.

5.      Block out time

If you have been avoiding your marketing, schedule in some time each week. For example, every Monday morning at 11am you will work on your marketing for an hour. Set a reminder, put it in your diary and get it done.

A few more tips that work well:

  • write down the task/s that you are going to work on in that time and turn off all distractions (yes, that includes social media). If you think ‘what do I need to do now’, refer back to your list.
  • work solidly for one hour at a time on a chosen task, then take a ten min break. After that hour get up, move around, get some water and then get back to work for another hour. Check out the Pomodoro® Technique for more information and ideas.
  • ‘eat the frog’ every morning. First thing to be done when you get to your desk should be the hardest thing on your list. Get it off your list and congratulate yourself for doing that tough task. This will allow you to work through those hard tasks that you keep putting off and help you feel like you are achieving.

6.      Do what lights you up

You can’t help your clients, family or friends, if you don’t look after yourself.

Turn off from your business, clients and admin. You work hard enough so you need to play hard. By that I mean, have fun, go to the park with the kids, organise a weekend away (after ISO is over) and go out with your girlfriends.

Let your hair down, do those things that light you up and don’t feel guilty. Your work and your clients will love you for it because when you get back you will be refreshed and more creative.

7.      Ask for help

This is a tough one. I found it hard to ask for help to begin with, even from my friends who I loved to help. But you need to, I needed to.

If you are struggling don’t get stuck in your head, ask someone. If there is a topic that interests you, read a book. If you can afford it, outsource or get a business coach. There is no magic formula or answer and it can be trial and error (and that’s totally ok).

Meet new people and expand your circle. Surround yourself with amazing like-minded people, it will do wonders for you, for them and your business.

8.      Set boundaries

Here is another one I struggled with, and I see many women struggle with (personally and professionally). Sometimes I still remind myself that boundaries are good for me, and for my clients as we both know where we stand.

Remember:

  • saying no is good, especially when you don’t want to say yes.
  • don’t apologise for being you.
  • it’s ok to push back (nicely) and not feel guilty.

Set boundaries for yourself too: your working hours (so you don’t burn out), what is acceptable and what is not.

That’s a wrap!!

If you don’t try new things, and continue to stay small and safe, then the world will never see how amazing you truly are. So shed those layers, let go of the past and start taking consistent steps towards your dreams.

You know your stuff, and if you don’t just ask someone and sit down and work through what you are struggling with. At the other end of that struggle is something amazing waiting for you.

About Dora Nikolaou

I am Dora, not the explorer, but the marketer and copywriter. I am dedicated to helping service-based businesses create connected and confident marketing and copy. No ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach. It’s tailored to you, your business and more importantly, your customers, so they buy from you and keep coming back. www.doranikolaou.com.au/

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2 Comments

  1. lucianatodd@gmail.com'

    Luciana Todd

    May 14, 2020 at 6:30 am

    Excellent article Dora! Thank you! I am inspired!

  2. info@internationalvoiceexpert.com'

    Melissa

    August 25, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Genius advice! Exactly what I needed to know to get my business to the next level.

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