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Think Less, Do More

     As a creative freelancer or entrepreneur, it's likely that you've struggled with procrastination at one time or another. Am I right? While I love the absolute freedom that comes with having my own business, I also respond well to structure and being told exactly what to do (that's why 30 minutes with my personal trainer will ALWAYS be more effective than three hour in a gym left to my own devices). Most of us aren't lone rangers, so if we're going to build a thriving creative business, we need to create a structure and build support and accountability systems that will help us grow.

Here are a few strategies that work for me:

1) Surround yourself with motivated, happy and successful people.
My mum always used to say that misery loves company. Isn't that the truth! Luckily, the same is true of motivated, happy and successful people. Surround yourself with people who posses these traits and watch yourself stretch to meet them.

2) Practice good time management.
Establishing small systems that will help you manage your time and stay on track are invaluable to the small business owner. For example: I start each day by writing down three things that will get me closer to my goal. And no matter what else I do, I make sure I complete those three tasks. The trick is to make the tasks small enough that they can be easily accomplished. So instead of writing "re-do website", try "call website designer to discuss new design".

3) Create a marketing plan.
In order to reach your goals, you need to have a plan. I know that creating a marketing plan can seem like a daunting prospect, so keep it simple. Pick one or two areas of focus e.g. networking or sending a regular newsletter and create small steps to help you get there. So for the networking example your goal might be to research networking groups in your industry and put a date in your calendar to attend an event. For your newsletter, it might be working on your list of contacts, researching which service to use or creating a list of topics that you'd like to write about.

4) Create an ideal client list.
We all know that it takes a lot more time and energy to get a new customer than to retain and existing one. Create a list of every client that you've worked with and every person who's ever expressed an interest in working with you. Invest time in re-connecting and asking what you can do to help them. Once you've re-established contact, check in regularly to see how you can help.

5) Get an accountability buddy.
One of the best things I've ever done is get an accountability buddy. Every day we have a 5-minute conversation to share what 3 things we're working on that day and to offer support, advice and resources. I can't tell you the number of times I've dashed off the 3 things I was supposed to do minutes before speaking with her. Think of it as weight watchers for your business!

We may think that successful businesses are a result of one genius decision or stroke of luck, but really they are the of result of many, many actions. Don't worry about being perfect. It's better to take decisive action and adjust as you go along, than do nothing for fear of getting it wrong.

Now, go out and do something!

Article Source:

Successful entrepreneurs know that taking decisive action is the foundation of a thriving business. Justine Clay is a business coach for creative professionals who need help positioning themselves more effectively to their ideal clients. To download her free guide to building a successful and fulfilling creative business visit Pitch Perfect Presentation

Posted on 2014-05-06, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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