I remember when I felt the most drawn to start my own business. It wasn’t about money, recognition, service, or products. It was about my own happiness. I wanted more of ‘me’ and less of working for someone else’s ‘me’. It’s been hard, but let me tell you, I have discovered what works for me to have a happy business. What is that, you ask? It’s a place where you feel more comfortable and confident in your work. It’s a reflection of your true self. It’s a place where your customers feel happy and feel like they know you. It’s a great place to be and I want to help you get there.
The 7 Steps to Have a Happy Business
Happiness isn’t something that’s found. It’s something that’s always there and simply realized. If you’re not behind the vision, you can’t be true to yourself. That means you likely cannot be happy. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re not doing things for you, you won’t have a happy business. The best branding I’ve ever seen have always come from honest internal places. Companies or people that stayed true to their passions, their morals, their vision.
Love What You Love
I don’t mind being told what to do. I hate being told to do something that I hate, that doesn’t provide great benefit to me. Yeah, I hate folding laundry but it’s necessary to have clothes. I don’t love doing the extra 5 minutes on the treadmill but it’s beneficial to my well being. I hate being yelled at by clients so I don’t work with people who treat me like that. I don’t enjoy it when clients don’t pay so I cut off the relationship early. You have to sacrifice, of course, but do not let too many things come between you and what you love. Set yourself healthy boundaries and keep them. You cannot have a happy business if you don’t love what you are doing (most of the time.)
Environment Means Everything
I’m an extrovert and I work from home. It gets to be too confined, too lonely, and too reclusive. So I make sure to go to coffee shops and diners to work from time to time. You know who you are and what you are like. Create an environment that amplifies you not suppresses you. If the culture of the company you work for is bad, it will never be a happy business. Get out. Your sanity and happiness are worth more than money. If you work from home, set up a space that’s dedicated to you. Have decorations, paint color, furniture and all the ‘stuff’ that inspires you best.
Develop a Contact Sphere
They (whoever “they” really are) say that your 5 closest friends are the ones who influence you the most. You are a reflection of them. So take a look around you. Who are you spending the bulk of your time with? What are their traits? Behavior, language, and habits rub off. So what are you surrounding yourself with on a regular basis? It’s important to ensure you have people around you who support your business and add value to your life, not drag you down and make you feel bad. Nobody is perfect but if you have that Negative Nancy or Debbie Downer, try to limit your time with them. In order for me to have a happy business, I had to spend a lot less time with certain people.
Develop Healthy Habits
Consistency is the key! It’s not only great for your marketing, but it’s also awesome for your daily routine. You’ll be happier, healthier, and more productive if you stick to a schedule. Do Yoga, eat better, do breathing exercises, hit the gym, walk the dogs. Do things that are good for your health and mind. Take care of yourself. Develop a mindset of success. Don’t tell yourself you can’t tell yourself you can.
Leave Room for The Unexpected
It’s inevitable that things are going to happen that are unexpected. Rather good or bad. Make sure that your strategies, schedule, and operations leave room for anything that is unexpected. This includes being spontaneous. There are random Fridays that some connections and I go on an adventure that we didn’t plan. Leave room for those things too. Because it’s not just errors, unanticipated growth, and work ’emergencies’ but it’s also FUN. Leave room for you and leave room for the things you aren’t expecting. Including errors and goof-ups.
Don’t Fear Transparency
Vulnerability is the greatest catalyst for growth. But it’s a funny thing because we often go to such great lengths to hide who we are when we should be embracing it. Drop the mask and make sure that your business reflects you. I love that my branding IS me. It’s so solid and impacts my clients because it’s clear that I’m just a fun-loving, small-town, nerdy goofball. People care who you are, what you stand for. Make sure your business reflects that. Give yourself permission to be yourself and fully in line with your mission. The most important aspect of a happy business is this. If you aren’t allowed to be yourself, how can you love it?