Updated: Mar 10
Welcome back you guys! And to anyone new, or here for the first time - WELCOME :)
This is part two of a little series chatting about an easy way to structure, direct and make your work year work for you! If you haven’t already, you can read Part 1 here.
If you’re eagerly waiting for me to dive into Part 2 then let’s go.
So, we left off talking about my strategy for the year and how they’ve helped/are helping me align all the things and make quality time for my work life around the priority of my family life.
Just to recap, my phrases for the year are Run my own race and Explore new ways the first of which I spoke about in my previous post, so now let’s chat about what Explore New Ways means for me and how I integrate it into my thinking and planning for the year.
I want to go back to Run your own race for a moment though - having that front of mind, means I’m solely focussed on the plans and goals for growth of my own business keeping in mind my unique priorities and life circumstances. As a follow on from the mindset of running my own race, exploring new ways feels like the natural next step.
Exploring new ways applies to all aspects of running the business, but to help explain this better I’ve categorised it as below -
When I first started freelancing, I did the whole ‘go with the flow’ and ‘fake it till ya make it’ thing. While those worked great for me to stop thinking and start doing, I soon realised that I craved some kind of calm to tame the chaos. In other words, putting processes in place, leads to productivity.
So, with that in mind, this year I’m all about exploring new ways on how I can streamline and better my admin processes. I do this a couple ways -
I made a list of basic admin ie- quoting, invoicing, contracts etc and ‘explored’ how I could be doing those better. If they already work for you, maybe you need minor tweaks or no tweak at all. The point is to literally, ‘explore’ alternate and more efficient ways to change things as your business grows and flows. Everyone is different and moving at their own pace so take stock of YOUR work, YOUR processes. For example - I have an online store attached to my website, but that’s currently in pause, so I wouldn't spend time looking for way to optimise ecommerce, but instead - I’m working to fine tune my contracts and agreements that I use when taking on new clients which is where the bulk of my workflow is at the moment. Make sense?
I’ve started to explore new ways to run more targeted marketing and social media channels.I do this via community groups, more recently I’ve joined the Mums with Hustle group all of which help explore how I could be doing effective things in less time! I’ve also introduced Study Fridays where I try to spend my breakfast hour on a Friday morning, taking in a skillshare class, watching a youtube tutorial or it could be as simple as reading a bookmarked article! Inspiration often strikes when you’re not sitting there forcing it out and I find that tuning off from ‘actual work’ often sparks ideas you otherwise wouldn’t have stumbled upon.
This next part is the fun part - especially if creative work is your USP (unique selling point)
If you follow my instagram, you should know that I’m very much a digital drawing ninja. Since I was introduced to procreate and was gifted my iPad pro and Apple pencil, I have NOT stopped doodling on it and now, all of my work (paid and personal) is actually created on there.While this has been awesome, I’ve realised that having just one avenue of creating, can be slightly limiting when it comes to the exploratory aspect of a creative work life.
So, exploring new ways creatively means I’m making a conscious effort to step away from the iPad, take more photos of what catches my eye when I’m out walking, reading or watching videos on how artists in completely different fields approach their work and process. Exploring new ways creatively can also mean that I step away from looking at all things textile related even though my mind defaults to that. It may mean spending some time on pinterest looking at ceramics, or my recent favourite aerial photos of different landscapes (SO COOL!) I also find going back to the past instead of always trying to stay on trend or tip toe into the future has tremendous benefits to exercising those creative muscles and wiring the brain to think a little differently.
Phew, I could really go on about this! If it’s of any interest let me know in a comment and I’ll write another blog post on finding inspiration out of the ordinary, but I’ll leave it here for now.
I’d love to hear how you’re going with your ‘word of the year’ and if this post resonates with you or inspires you to shimmy out of the comfort zone you’re currently in!
Great to have spent this time with you and let’s continue this chat via Instagram or drop me a line here :) Also please share this with any fellow freelancing friends who you think could do with a little 'phrase' challenge for the year. It's always a good time to do a good thing!
And finally, stay tuned for the next topic in this series which I’ll chat about on Instagram stories later this week!