How to run your Online Biz in a Crisis

How to Run Your Online Business In a Crisis

So, the last two weeks have been agony for an introvert like myself. Out of the blue, two weeks ago, I found out I was living in a house that had actually been up for sale on the market all along (who knew? Not me!). By the following week I found out that a buyer had been gotten, and a sale was agreed. I got posted a notice of termination and had t-minus one month until I got shunted out onto the side of the road, baby cats, laptop and all. Oh, and also, there’s a housing crisis going on in Ireland at the moment, though I had not been fully aware of it, until I went to look for a place to rent, found 18 places to rent listed in the entire town, and 2 places which were any way suitable.

This is my very idea of a nightmare. When it comes to anything outside of my business or desserts, I don’t like change. In fact, changing my socks once a day is a challenge. (I still do it it, obviously, but I refuse to wear a matching pair. It’s my little statement of rebellion).

So, anyway, I hadn’t planned on moving for quite some time. And I had planned that the next time I’d move, it’d be to some over sized chateau in France. Not down the street, in the tiny town I’d love to someday escape. Also, there’s the slightly annoying news that I’ll have to rearrange all my newly set up business utilities, as I work from home. My business is officially set up a month now, and currently I’m facing re-jigging all my contacts and addresses. Super bummer.

So, when I learned of the challenging time ahead of myself, what did I do? Well, with a level head, I sat myself down, I took a good overall look at the situation, and then promptly had a mini breakdown.

I cried, stamped my feet and generally threw cutting looks at anyone who suggested that ‘The new place will be even better! It’ll be a big adventure!’ (sorry, lovely boyfriend. I know you were just trying to help but I found your optimism most annoying that particular day).

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Boyfriend’s enchanting house – moving fantasy, involving us.

Anyway, while I joke about me having a mini breakdown (it wasn’t actually that bad, I’d term it more as a meltdown to be precise) I will say that my mental health did indeed go right ahead and perform a magnificent swan dive.

I became anxious, began to get pains in my chest from stress and generally worried that I wouldn’t be able to meet my business goals for this month due to A) Moving and all the stress that goes with it (especially the stress of finding a new place to live in such a tiny town) B) having to have the house spotless every second day because the new owners wanted to visit a few times and measure things up and generally be really nice and wish me well, and love my cats (and my cats loved them) and that aggravated me to no end.

I prefer strangers to you today because you gave me dry food this morning.

“I prefer strangers to you today because you gave me dry food this morning.”

And you know what? I HAVEN’T met ALL of my business goals this month. And, I probably won’t. But that’s okay. I’ve finally gotten myself to a place where I feel better about the whole situation, and I’m going to share with you how I did it, so you can have some ideas about the same kind of support you can give yourself, when things go tits up, the shit hits the fan and other colloquialisms that mean bad things happened. So without further ado:

1) I saw my therapist as usual.

Yup, that’s right, I ran straight to a professional, waving a wad of cash.

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And now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…..

2) I was honest with myself and others. I cried a LOT. Yes, that’s right, I did, because I was sad! So I cried. I let people know I was sad. When people asked ‘How are you?’ I put aside the usual ‘I’m good, thanks! (or ‘I’m grand’ as we say in Co. Kerry, Ireland) and told people ‘I’m not doing so well, I’m having to leave a home where I’m really happy’. I just didn’t bother bottling it up. The people who loved me were supportive and did their best to not strangle me out of sheer frustration. The rest, I didn’t really care about. This may make me sound like an extreme misery guts, but I realized very quickly into this whole situation that I was going through a process of loss and grieving, so I allowed myself this indulgence for once (for a short amount of time).

3) I did EFT. If you don’t know what EFT is, a really quick description of it is that you tap certain points on your body while saying a mantra or affirmation. Here’s a favourite EFT vid of mine that I use for situations just like this one: 

4) I continued to eat a healthy Paleo diet, even though I wanted to inhale the entire bakery section at Tescos. Suffering from anxiety and depression means I have to eat right if I want to feel good. When times get tough, I generally turn into an emotional eater. But this time round I made a special effort to nourish my body and make sure it got what it needed during a trying time.

5)I drank ALL the water. (See above).

6) I allowed loved ones to help me. I was at my wits end over making the house sparkling and spotless for the interested buyers. The place needed a bit of a Spring do-over alright, so when my family and friends offered to help me clean it, my first spit second reaction was to say ‘No thanks! I’ll look after my own shit.’ But something inside of me just decided, ‘Feck it, right now, you need all the help you can get, sugar tits’.

7) I went ahead and planned my Upcoming Month in Business ANYWAY, even though I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to make it all happen. I used my Leonie Dawson Biz Work Book and Calendar and I felt like I still had control over my life and biz. If you don’t know what a Leonie Dawson Biz Work Book is, then just click here to find out more about it. And yes that IS an affiliate link, because I may be in crisis, but tuts, I can still business like a mofo.

8) I planned what I could in relation to the house move and did everything in small manageable chunks, to reduce my overall feeling of being overwhelmed.

9) I created and scheduled as much of my posts, newsletters, emails (and anything else that can be scheduled digitally) straight away, just in case my meltdown became a full blown volcanic eruption on scale with Vesuvius. I actually have a little folder on my computer where I pop blog posts into when I dream them up. Same goes for inspirational / motivational quotes and interesting posts. If you don’t already do this, I’d recommend you do. It’s the perfect resource to dip into when you’re not feeling up to a blog challenge. I also got back to Facebook comments and emails only when I could, and didn’t beat myself up over it.

10) I set up a ‘no tolerance’ on pesky clients. If someone was acting like a massive asshat, I put sincere and authentic communication on the back burner, and I told them to be on their way. If I felt I just couldn’t handle doing a job, I either rescheduled it until after the BIG MOOOVE or I just recommend another person to the client for the job.

11) I did ALL THE MEDITATIONS, at night time, in bed. I scour Youtube to find me some awesome ones. Here’s my current favourite: (Ten Minute Guided Meditation for Unconditional Love and Kindness)

 

 

12) I tried my best to create an attitude of gratitude for myself, by making a note of 10 things every day which I’m truly grateful for. I’ll admit, at times it was a bit of a challenge as I was SO caught up in feeling negative about being forced to move, but I eventually got there.

13) I went outside and walked around, and also visited my friends, even though I most certainly didn’t feel like it.

14) I made a list of things I was actually excited about when it came to the new move. For example, there’s a beautiful desk inbuilt into the wall in the new house. Nice one! It’s the perfect works space for me! I made a decision to focus on the awesome things.

15) I congratulated myself for getting though something that I see as a nightmare, and forgave myself for acting what I saw as over dramatic, and reminded myself that this is exactly how I’d treat my best friend, so it’s also the perfect way to treat myself.

So that’s it – I’ve got another two weeks of moving ahead of me, so technically the whole experience isn’t over yet, however I’m currently feeling much better about the whole thing. I’m looking foward to decorating that desk in the corner and making it my new workspace. I’m kind of proud of myself for making things manageable for me, and carefully planning how I’ve gotten back on my feet after hearing news that to me, is akin to a crisis. And now, I have a plan of action for the next time an unexpected bump in the road comes along and throws me off balance in life and biz.

Also, just to note, no boyfriends’ feelings were hurt during the making of this article.

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Bitch Please, I’m only Human.

5 reasons this businesswoman is embracing being imperfect (and you could too!)

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Here’s something that’s been coming up for me again and again recently; the amazingly ridiculous expectations of perfection often applied to us by ourselves and others, just because we run a business.

A couple of weeks ago, I was creating some graphics for a series called ‘Boundary bits’ where I share basically the things I KNOW I should apply to my own business, and am working hard to try to implement.

A friend of mine was leafing through them with me when she laughed and said, “there is no WAY I could stick to half of these things Grace”. And I replied, “Most people probably won’t be able to stick to them all of the time, but if they can manage most of the time then that’s awesome.”

She looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and replied, “Hmmm… you’re going to have to be really disciplined and stick to your own rules young lady!” with a finger waggle.

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Though she was merely poking fun, I realized later that I had agreed with her wholeheartedly. I  believed that I have to be disciplined to a fault, now that I’m a business owner.

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realized that I had the belief that now that I’m a business owner, I have to be fitter, trimmer, smarter, more disciplined and not to mention more awesome, at all times, even though, I’m human, shit happens, change ebbs and flows constantly, and everything in is flux, at all times.

That’s when I realized that if I have this limiting (and quite scary) belief in my mind at the moment, then there could possibly be some other awesome business owners out there who believe the same limiting thing. So, I’m here to smash my nasty belief into pieces, to tell it like it REALLY is, and to embrace my own imperfections, thus improving my relationship with myself, and making it easier for me to run and enjoy my loving business. Hopefully this article will inspire you to do the same.

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BITCH PLEASE, HERE ARE SOME WAYS IN WHICH I AM ONLY HUMAN.

YOU MAY BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY WITH THEM.

1) Yes, I go to therapy. And I encourage others to too.

 

SHOCKED

 

 

I have anxiety disorder, and rather ironically, I’m not afraid to share it. It’s made me the strong fighter I am today. I’m also an introvert and a highly sensitive person. I reckon that’s why I’m so good at sitting down happily in front of a computer for hours, making awesome content.

Adding to my neat little list of disorders, another reason I pop in to shower my therapist with Grace stories, is that shit happens in daily life. Family members and beloved pets die. Relationships break up. I get run down from working on my freedom biz, because I’ve been neglecting my own self care.

So, once a week I go to therapy to keep my mental health in tip top condition. I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of doing that. If you’re slightly embarrassed by the fact that I shared this with you, then maybe you should sit your ass down and really take a look at just why you are. Do you feel I’ve over shared, or have I accidentally (on purpose) niggled at a sore issue you’ve been grappling with?

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Here’s a helpful way to look at attending therapy regularly. If you had to go to physiotherapy (for let’s say, injuring your arm during sport) once a week for six months, you probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid over it. In relation to this example, seeing a therapist is like physiotherapy for your mind. Remember: mental health is just as important as physical health, and especially in business, where you’re numero uno, large and in charge, the decision maker and the motivator.

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2). I find maintaining healthy boundaries which look after my needs very difficult (but I still do it).

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Generally, in life, my normal mode is ‘happy go lucky smiley lovey roundy face girl’. I inherently like to see people happy, so, I have a problem saying no. Due to common issues that many other people also experience in their lives, like having an unhealthy level of self esteem at times, I sometimes sway towards being a people-pleaser.

So for me, having boundaries is SUPER tough. But worth it.

I TRY to stick to my own advice as much as I can (like in those boundary bits, which you can download here and have a look at yourself). I try to exercise for a certain amount every day, and to disconnect from my phone or laptop, I try NOT to take on shitty clients, but sometimes you know, there’s cats to feed and them kitties need their bling bling too.

That’s why I take the time to identify and even print out and look at my own desired business boundaries. That’s why I stick them everywhere, especially in a section on my site or blog. I even have an accountability buddy, who I run to when I need reminding of my original healthy boundaries.

In short, I have to be constantly reminded to be a hardass. But that’s okay. 

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                   3. I feel vulnerable when it comes to sharing my psychical form with the online world.

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I’m a plus size girl. Yup, that’s right. I have a sassy plus-sized butt. Again, this is possibly attributed to sitting for hours in front of a computer creating awesome content. There are a ba-zillion business women out there, and a huge amount of them are slim enough to push through my letter box. Often, I do a very naughty thing that I know is no good for me. I compare myself to them.

And because of this, I begin to doubt myself, and to wonder. I wonder if people won’t think I’m serious about my own business and my own self care because I’m a bit on the meaty side. I wonder if I were more beautiful / stylish / taller / bendier would more people sign up for my newsletter.

I have a feeling that I’m not the only business woman (or man, or non-gender specific person) who might feel this way. So, I’ve decided to embrace myself, my visage and my lovely big butt, and start to slowly include them in my videos, courses and site. Well, maybe not my butt. I mean, you probably won’t need to see that to learn how to grow a successful creative biz. Anyway, long story short, you’ll be seeing much more of me soon.

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           4)  Sometimes I have to look up how to do stuff in front of clients, and I find it very embarrassing.

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 I work mostly with online I.T. and that stuff changes at a RAPID pace. I’ve beaten myself up mentally many a time when I’ve had to resort to old mister Google. But now, Grace. IT STOPS. NO MORE.

 Yup! I might be training someone on how to use Mailchimp, and something goes wrong, and then I have to go and Google that shit. Why? BECAUSE I AM NOT GOOGLE INCARNATE. I can’t POSSIBLY store all that shizzle up there! It would just push out my pin numbers and my favourite Bill Bailey quotes, and that is just not on. If you happen to also feel bad about this same thing, please don’t. You are also not Google incarnate.

I need to stop feeling embarrassed about this. We both need to stop feeling embarrassed about this. In fact, I want to celebrate the fact that I can find out just about how to do anything via Google. The internet is my super sassy, magical, low budget learning tool.

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AND ON AN EXTRA, FINAL NOTE.

Yes, it’s true, I am kidless. I am without kid. And it’s true, I intend to be kidless forever. HOWEVER for those of you who are WITH kid or two – and still manage to run a business – oh god lord women, give yourselves a break.

You are amazeballs.

I can barely handle two cats. I have to take my hat off to Leonie Dawson, who in her blog this week openly shares how she fills out her own planner in the bathroom, on the bathroom floor, while her child is bathing, because that’s the only free time she has right now. I LOVE HER HONESTY. That is one momtrepreneur’s reality. Moms are fucking awesome, and they blow my mind. At least I can always put the cat out the window if I totes need some time to myself. It’s hard to do the same thing with your child. Or at least not a good idea, I’ve been told.

So, this has been a blog about me being a businesswomen and only human. I suppose you could say I’ve written it more for myself than anyone else.

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Writing this article has helped me identify some ways of me being more loving to myself while running a successful business.

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It was designed like that. Even though perhaps some may say that I’m just passing on my own opinions, really each and every thing I share via this blog is a love letter to myself.

I have designed my business to be a love letter to myself.

You should try it, it’s NEAT!

And please remember this; if you take anything away with you from this blog. Please take the following, and apply it to yourself when you feel the crappy feeling of being too hard on yourself, or someone else being too hard on you.

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only human

that’s it, kids! Until next time!

GRACE xXxX

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