My New Year’s Resolution: Take More.

I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but this year I figured, “Why not?” Focusing on making ourselves better and doing Write it on your heart quote showing woman looking out to seaour work more effectively doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. I certainly have room for improvement, so I think laying out some strategies to become the person and solopreneur I strive to be makes sense.

 

In thinking through what I’d like to achieve in 2017, I discovered a theme.

 

I realize I need to “take” more.

Take stock.

Why is it we tend to dwell on what’s not right or what’s lacking in our personal and professional lives? I intend to start and end each day on a note of gratitude, taking stock of all I have to be thankful for.

Take 5 more often.

I’ve learned that overextending myself and cramming too much into too little time doesn’t benefit anyone. Not me. Not my family. Not my clients. Not my friends. When I need breaks, I’m going to take them. None of us can sustain a schedule that doesn’t leave room for rest and recovery.

Take a deep breath.

It seems as though we’re always jumping. Jumping to conclusions, jumping to judgment, and jumping at chances. But leaping before looking can lead to poor decisions and destroyed relationships. I vow to allow myself the time to take a breath and listen and think before offering opinions and making choices. I don’t know anyone who has ever regretted or suffered as a result of carefully thinking before speaking or acting on something, do you?

Take care.

Rushing never yields quality results. By consciously and methodically taking care, I can better avoid making those stupid little mistakes that gnaw at the core of my being for hours on end. Doing it right the first time saves time and sustains self-confidence.

Take a chill pill.

I’m a worrier. Not so much about myself but about others who I care about and who are going through difficult times. That’s not productive. Worry helps no one. What does help is keeping a cool head, giving a shoulder to lean on, providing guidance, and offering a helping hand.

Take it with a grain of salt.

Constructive criticism from trusted advisors and other people who care about you can serve as valuable feedback to move you down a more successful path. But naysayers offering unsolicited advice or making disparaging remarks about you or how you do something typically don’t have your best interests at heart. I intend to take their words with a grain of salt and consider their motivation. If someone offers harsh words that aren’t in the spirit of helping you improve, then it’s likely they’re driven by jealousy, rivalry, or by an inherently mean disposition.

The Overarching Plan For The New Year

So, my plan to take control of 2017 is to take more. What have you placed on your list of resolutions? Could you benefit from taking more, too, in the New Year?

 

Five Reasons To Stop Complaining Right Now

Nobody said running a solopreneur business (or any business) would be easy.

 

There will be times when you’ll feel defeated. There will be other times when you’ll feel under-appreciated. There will be times when you’ll feel cheated, or No-Complainingmisunderstood, or taken for granted.

 

We all get raw deals sometimes. We all get less than what we believe we deserve.

 

Complaining doesn’t help. It never has. It never will.

 

Here’s why you need to quit complaining NOW:

 

  • Complaining takes time.
  • Complaining takes energy.
  • Complaining makes you sound like a crybaby.
  • Complaining is unprofessional.
  • Complaining—especially if you call people out or infer that you’re talking about them—makes really good prospects think twice about doing business with you.

 

Complaining is the easy way out. Quietly and gracefully taking action to overcome whatever challenge you’re facing is what shows your fortitude and determination.

 

Don’t waste your time complaining. Spend it instead on perfecting your craft, demonstrating your value, and proving yourself.

 

If you know people who spend way too much complaining and not enough doing what it takes to forge their own paths to success, please share this with abandon.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Four Ways To Instantly Boost Your Self-Confidence

As a solopreneur, I’ve experienced moments when I’ve felt like I can take on any challenge—and moments when I’ve felt like I can’t do anything right.Confident woman with clenched fists

 

Like when I accepted an assignment to write birthday card copy. My confidence was shaken after spending far more hours than I anticipated on the project and after dealing with almost two weeks of ideas not flowing as naturally as I expected them to.

 

Other self-employed friends have told me they, too, have stretches of self-doubt that rattle their confidence.

 

When you find yourself questioning your capabilities and competency to perform to expectations (typically your own!), sometimes you need a little kick in the pants to stop you from kicking yourself.

 

Need to be kicked?

 

Here are four ways to instantly give your self-confidence a boost:

Revisit positive feedback from clients.

Re-read testimonials on your website or LinkedIn, or look at thank you cards and emails that you’ve saved. They serve as reminders of how much others appreciate you and respect your work.

Eat the frog.

I don’t mean this literally (blah!). What I’m suggesting is that you dig in and take care of a task you were avoiding either because you were intimidated by it or you were dreading it for some other reason. When you “eat the frog” before you tackle the rest of your to do list, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment—and relief. With the worst thing awaiting you that day out of the way, all else will seem easier.

Look back on how far you’ve come.

When you feel like you aren’t measuring up or haven’t accomplished enough, do a reality check. Focus on what you have achieved, rather than what you haven’t. Reflect on the new clients you’ve recently acquired and the long-term clients you’ve built relationships with, take stock of how far you’ve come with your social media presence and website, applaud yourself for how many blog posts you’ve written in the past year, congratulate yourself for being asked to join a prominent networking group, etc. You’ve made progress. That’s something to be proud of!

Help someone else.

There’s nothing like empowering someone else to give your own self-worth a boost. When you share insight and information to help others avoid pitfalls or improve their skills or knowledge, you remind yourself of the value you bring. Doing that can be as easy as emailing them an article about an issue they’ve been struggling with or giving them a quick phone call to share some golden nugget of valuable info you just discovered.

 

Not feeling confident kills motivation and productivity. Don’t let lack of self-confidence linger and overshadow your solopreneur super powers. Confidence, combined with hard work and continual effort to learn and grow, breeds success. You can’t get there without it.

 

How do you conquer lapses in self-confidence and bring your self-esteem back up to speed?

 

Bonus! Here’s a list of some other helpful articles from some stellar sources about self-confidence:

 

Confidence Breeds Success—And It Can Be Taught via Forbes

Science Says Overconfidence Key To Success via Inc.

9 Ways To Show More Confidence in Business via Entrepreneur

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net