Two Hours A Day.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about work ethic. I usually assume everyone has it (for the most part), but recently I’ve realized this is not the case. Many people want a successful business. They want to work for themselves. They are passionate about something and would just LOVE to get to do it full-time, but alas… staying focused on putting in the work every day is not in the cards.
When you’re first starting out I like to say, “2 hours a day”. Just put in 2 hours on the things you know you need to do consistently. It could be planning out social media, writing blogs & newsletters, responding to emails, and/or updating your budget tracker. Maybe it’s making ads for sales campaigns in Canva or doing free consults with your dream clients. Maybe it’s planning an event or finally doing that FB Live to share what you’re up to and plug a new launch.
TWO hours a day. Every day.
Do you know what often happens when I say this though? I get a wide-eyed stare. “TWO HOURS??? Two hours a day on my small business???” As someone who spends much more than this on mine every day, I started to wonder, “Am I taking my work ethic for granted?” I assume I’m like everyone else, but lately I’m wondering, “Am I?” Does everyone wake up thinking about their business and go to sleep with it on their mind? Does everyone love doing the work a much as I do? I come alive when I’m writing, dreaming, scheming, creating, connecting, and sharing. I don’t think much about “work/life” balance because, as my friend and client, Natalie, reminded me this morning (Thank you, Shonda Rhimes!), “It’s just life. One life. There’s not “work life” and then the other life.”
Something I love to remind my clients of is this: Do the work and trust.
But are we doing the work?
I would encourage each of you to think about what that “work” is for you. Is it…
finally creating your dream website?
getting on top of weekly newsletters and blogs?
branding your social feeds and posting with strategy?
getting dates on the calendar for your web course?
organizing your finances?
creating new systems that feel more efficient?
getting killer ads to post on your IG stories and feed?
signing up for professional photos to up your game?
What is the thing that you’re resistant to or saying, “I can’t afford it now” about? We all have that thing. I know, for myself, that I actually use to say that about ALL of the things. I would say, “I can’t afford it” or “maybe later”or “is that REALLY important or can I do without it?” My business did not go from a dream to reality until I did the work and moved past those questions. That was the exact moment my business began to flourish.
Here’s what I did (before I felt ready):
I paid someone to design a logo
I bought a Squarespace site and domain
I hired people to help me
I paid talented photographers (and do every month or two) to take photos for my brand
I started writing every week and putting my words out there
I invested in my newsletter
I bought Honeybook for client communication
I bought Quickbooks for greater financial organization
I didn’t wait until the perfect moment. I made NOW the perfect moment and I jumped in with both feet. It’s a risk; yes. But you were built for risk, my love. You were not made to live this life safely. You were born to fly and you can’t do it alone. I think that bears repeating: YOU CANNOT DO IT ALONE. You need support! You need support in a hundred different ways actually.
The life I now live is one where my week is built EXACTLY how I want it each day. I work only with people who inspire and “get” me. I spend 50% of my time creating (writing, photographing, podcast recording, playing in Canva, and more). I have an incredible team of women who add value to Upspeak and do what they do so much better then I ever could. Shout out to Tessa, Abra, Anessa, Anna, and Naida!
I pay for talent. I pay for support. I pay for my business to grow.
I once applied to work for a woman I respect and she told me, “We don’t have the budget for it right now”. I responded quickly with, “Then I’ll do it for free. I believe in you and your mission and I will do it as an internship part-time.” Do you know what she wrote me back?
“Thank you… and I don’t believe in people doing things for free. I believe in compensating people for their talents.”
At first I was shocked. How do you turn down FREE work? Now I understand fully.
Powerful things (game-changing, life-altering, up-leveling) things don’t come for free. And they shouldn’t! They should be paid for and valued as the beautiful gift they are. So I pay for all of the things I want. The photographers who photograph for Upspeak do shoots for me and I pay them just like any other client would. I don’t say,
”I’ll send work your way and then you’ll do this or that for free for me here and there.” Nope. They get paid the same amount by me as by a client. Every time. I believe in that and you should too! That’s how we take care of each other and that’s how we up our game as business owners. We put our money where our heart is and we watch it grow as we do the very important work required to make it happen. Sometimes that “very important work” is knowing when we need help and hiring someone who’s good at that thing to make it happen for and with us.
I believe in you so much. Many of you I have sat with and looked in the eye. I’ve talked with you on the phone. I’ve followed your life and your dreams on Instagram. I know who you are and I see you.
I see you desiring to do this work 100% of the time and be compensated for it so you can live a life you love. I see some of you already doing the work 100% of the time but wanting to pivot and up your game. I believe you are capable of making that happen NOW… if you do the work.
Let us help you. Where would you like to start?