Ironman spent years telling me that I should start my own business, but I always thought he was crazy and repeatedly told him that would never happen.  Well, we all know never say never!  Right?  I ended up starting my own small business in 2013 and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.  I am my own boss.  No one is telling me when to work or what to do.  And the best part is that I can travel as much as I want because all I need is wifi and my cell phone to get work done.  It's truly a blessing and I'm so happy to have this business!

My favorite "office"
I know that there are many others who own small businesses and understand the importance of having drive and taking initiative to keep things running smoothly.  It's amazing not having anyone telling me what to do, but it also means that I have to be very self-motivated and stay focused on my own.  I usually am pretty good about this, but sometimes I hit a wall and don't know what to do.  Here are some things that work for me when I feel like I'm stuck in a rut:

1.  COMMUNICATE - Check and respond to all overdue emails, texts, phone calls, FaceBook messages, Instagram notifications, etc. to catch up.  I almost always find that I responded to someone in my head, but not actually in real life...oops.  This helps me catch those mistakes and make sure that no one thinks I'm ignoring them.

2.  ORGANIZE - File that stack of papers.  Update those spreadsheets.  Delete old emails.  Clean up my desk.  Take out the trash.  I find that I can get a lot more work done when I'm in a clean environment.  It helps me think more clearly since I'm not distracted by all these things going on around me.

3.  LEARN - Join a book club, watch a documentary, catch up on a blog you like or listen to a podcast.  You might even consider signing up for a local event or a huge convention!  Whatever you do, don't ever stop exploring.  I love spending time with people who are always learning new things because we never run out of something interesting to talk about!

4.  PLAN - Revisit your Dream Board (or make one if you don't have one yet) and write out your goals.  You should have goals written out for your next 30 days, 1 year, 5 year and lifetime.  When you're done, put it up where you will see it and be reminded of your goals daily.  Making goals helps me stay focused because when I feel lost, I'm quickly reminded of why I'm working so hard!

5.  ENCOURAGE - Send a postcard or gift to someone that you've been thinking of and want to encourage.  It can be a family member, friend or even a co-worker.  Want to do it without having to pay for postage?  Get on FaceBook or Instagram and instead of "liking" a post, leave a thoughtful comment.  It means a lot to me when someone takes the time to write something and shows me that they want to participate in my life!

6.  POST - Are you trying to grow your business through social media?  If so, I recommend you read Getting Noticed, by my friend Lindsay Moreno.  Years ago, I had no idea how to use FaceBook, except to load photos from my travels.  And I didn't have Instagram.  With the help of Lindsay, I learned how to grow an entire business through social media alone.  Who knew you could do that?!  Because of how much the world uses social media today, I'm convinced that anyone and any business could grow simply through learning how to use FaceBook, Instagram and a blog the right way!  My tip?  Practice.  Take photos.  Post.  Repeat.  Every single day.  Show people what you love.

7.  MENTOR - Learn from those who have gone before you.  Find someone who you admire and ask if they would be willing to let you get to know them.  Do the same for someone else who might admire you by being available to them.  Relationships are good for us and help us grow!

8.  PARTY - All work and no play, makes everyone unmotivated and stretched thin.  Remember you have friends and they need to see you!  Grab coffee with your sister.  Catch up with a co-worker over lunch (but don't talk business).  Have your girlfriends over for pizza and a movie.  Sometimes having business slow down can be a blessing in disguise.  Don't forget to participate in local events...this can help you learn new things, find new friends and grow your business at the same time.

If you own a small business, I'd love to know what things you do when you feel like you are stuck in a rut...please share!

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