Change, like death and taxes, is one of the constants in life. Sometimes it comes in the form of a life-changing opportunity, other times it’s completely unwelcome and feels out of our control.
What changes have you experienced lately? Perhaps you’ve suffered a set-back in your business with the loss of a big client, or perhaps you got laid off from your job and you’re not sure what to do next. Either way, it can be easy to believe that your well-being lies in the hands of someone outside of you, can’t it?
I remember when I moved to the States twenty years ago in the name of love. He was eleven years older than me and coming here to work, I was 24 and tagging along. Within eight months, the relationship was over and I was left alone in a city that was still very new to me. All my friend back home denounced the cad and implored me to come home, but I wouldn’t. As lonely and unhappy as I was, I wouldn’t let his decision be the defining factor in what I did next. I decided to sit tight for three months, giving myself permission to go home then if things still felt as bleak. Guess what? I felt a little better. And three months later, I felt a little better still. Twenty years later I look back and see that incredibly challenging experience for the life-changing opportunity it was. There have been a few more doozies since, but once you’ve come out of one, you know you can come through them all.
These experiences are just one of the reasons I’m so passionate about helping my clients connect with their inner strength and knowing, embrace the changes they know they need to make, and to come out the other side, better, stronger and more focused.
If you’re ready to make (or deal with) big changes in your life and business, here are 5 ways to navigate new territory and ensure you thrive.
1) Recognize your own power
If you take only one thing away from this article, let it be this:
If this sounds good, but abstract, I totally get it. Recognizing and trusting your inner strength means developing self-awareness and your ability to recognize and take action on the opportunities that arise. If you’re up for developing a more connected and inspired way of doing business, but are not sure where to start, I’ll share a couple of personal development resources that have worked for me at the end of this post.
2) Do something
In the face of big change or upheaval, it can be easy to feel like a cork on a raging sea. Making the conscious choice to be proactive, rather than reactive is a huge step in the right direction and will set you up for our next point….
3) Write down the changes you want to see
What is are the changes you want to see in your business and life? Is it to make a certain amount of money per month? Is it to have flexibility so you can travel or have a family? Is it to master certain skills such as pricing, marketing, public speaking, or negotiation? Or perhaps it’s to land fewer, bigger projects with better clients. It’s time to get those ideas out of your head and onto paper. Here’s how:
a) Divide a page in your notebook into 2 columns. In the left-hand column, write a list of everything you’d like to change or improve.
b) Next to each entry, in the right-hand column, list what would need to happen to make those changes. For example, if your intention is to make $10K month, you might write down “convert 2 website clients per month”. If your goal is to master certain skills, brainstorm how you could do that. For example, if your goal is to market your business more effectively would a book on social media marketing cut it (or would it just sit, unread on the shelf)? If so (and we can all relate!), perhaps you need to invest in an online course. Maybe your needs run the full gamut from positioning, marketing, pricing and business development, in which case, working with a coach might be a better option.
This simple exercise will help you sift through your wishes and desires, explore and weigh up options, and finally, take a course of action that feels most available to you, right here, right now.4) Pick ONE intention to take action on
4) Pick ONE intention to take action on
This step is the difference between you thinking about all the things you’d like to change and actually MAKING IT HAPPEN! When we have too many options in front of us, we tend to become overwhelmed and do nothing. It’s the reason why all my coaching programs are broken down into manageable steps. Look at your list of intentions and decide which one will move you measurably closer to your goal. I’ll give you an example: re-doing my website has been on my list of goals for at least 3 years. The reason I chose to do it this year is not because I was procrastinating, but rather it wasn’t an investment that would move me closer to my goals at that time. Instead, I chose to spend my marketing dollars on conferences that would help me build my network and courses that would further my knowledge and skills. So as much as I wanted a shiny new look (what girl doesn’t want a makeover?), I sat on my hands and waited until the time was right.
5) Find the resources to make it happen
Now you’ve decided on what change you’re going to make, it’s time to take action on making it happen. Change never comes easy, so you’re probably in new territory right now (uncomfortable isn’t it?). It’s time to use your network to find the right support and resources. So for example, when I was creating an online course I knew I needed the following:
- Mentorship on how to create an online course that sells
- A virtual assistant to help me navigate the new (and very technical) territory of webinars, opt-in and sales pages, list management, and basically connecting dots I never knew even existed
- A copywriter to help me write better sales and email copy
And that’s not the half of it! Do you see why I recommend you only take on ONE challenge at a time?
Wherever you are in your business and life, or whatever you’re feeling this week, I hope this post has helped. While nothing is ever as simple as “do these 5 things and all will be well”, if you’re willing to embrace change and do the work, you’ll come out the other side stronger, smarter and better.
Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Through a series of clear, actionable steps, Justine will teach you how to you identify what makes you stand out from the crowd, create a marketing message that resonates with your ideal clients, and build a successful and fulfilling creative business or career. Sign up for Justine’s free guide: How to Find High-Quality Clients and Get Paid What You’re Worth and start making monumental changes in your creative business today!