Tasha was a web designer who worked from home. She loved that her business allowed her to be with her two young boys. But after a few years, Tasha started feeling “blah” about her business.
Her projects no longer excited her. She found herself feeling like each job was a repeat of the one before it. She no longer had the “spark” that got her out of bed each morning, looking forward to building her business.
A friend suggested she needed to find ways to add more joy to her work. “But how do I do that?” Tasha asked. “I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Tasha’s friend recommended that she try doing one of these things to rediscover the joy her business had previously brought her….
Joy Creator #1: Try Something New
Sometimes, your business feels stale and boring because you keep doing the same things in the same way. You always market to the same crowd. You always release products around the same topics.
It’s time to shake things up and find the joy again. Try something new that sounds fun to you. Maybe this means running a workshop, hosting a month-long challenge, or creating an e-course. It doesn’t matter what you try or even how it turns out – just breaking out of your routine can be enough to spark a fresh round of joy in your business.
Joy Creator #2: Work with People You Adore
There’s that client? You know which one. The one whose name you see in your inbox and you instantly cringe knowing it’s going to be a long day? What would happen if you let them go? What if you filled your client roster with only people you enjoyed working with?
Maybe you can’t afford to drop that client right this second. But sit down and look at what it would take. Would you need to find another client to replace that income? Do you know another service provider that this client might be a great fit for?
You might also find it helpful to look at the clients and customers you do love working with. What do they all have in common? What’s different about their projects? Why do they delight you? Thinking about these questions can help you determine how to screen your clients in the future, so you only work with people you genuinely like and enjoy helping.
Joy Creator #3: Make a Joy Log
As you go through your week, pay attention to what brings you joy. Make a list of these tasks and why you enjoy them.
There’s no wrong or right answers here – you might love writing copy but hate working on technical tasks for your website. Perhaps you enjoy administrative tasks like bookkeeping but don’t enjoy being interviewed on podcasts.
Once you have a few items on your joy log, pause to read it over. Ask yourself if there are ways you could do more of these tasks. For example, how could you do more copywriting in the future?
Joy Creator #4: Listen for the Dread
Just as you want to have a joy log, you should also note which tasks you dread. You might call this the “drudgery list”. Put everything on it that you find boring, tedious, or just plain difficult.
Now take a peek at the list. With each task, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this have to be done? Is it essential to my business?
- Does it have to be done by me?
- Could I outsource it to someone else?
- What would I need to do to outsource this?
These questions can help you remove dread from your business so you can get back to focusing on what makes you truly happy.
Joy Creator #5: Reward Yourself
It’s easy to move from accomplishment to accomplishment without celebration. You managed to clean that virus off your website. Then you finished that big client project. Next, you set up your shopping cart software.
But the problem with never celebrating is that you can lose the feeling of accomplishment. The days begin to blur together in a never-ending to-do list that seems impossible to master. It’s a sure recipe for burnout!
To spark joy, try to find one accomplishment to celebrate in your business each day. This can be big like landing a new client or publishing your book. But it can be small too like discovering how to install a WordPress plugin or researching how to get started in a new niche.
Joy Creator #6: Change Your Environment
If you always work out of your home office, consider packing up your laptop and going mobile. Run your business from a co-working space, your local library, or your favorite coffee shop.
Working in a different setting can cause you to look at old problems in new ways. It can inspire you to hear the hustle and bustle of people around you. Plus, it increases creativity and helps you learn new things faster.
If you can’t change your environment, trick your brain. Use a noise generator and put on sounds from a coffee shop, office, or waterfall. The soothing background noise can provide the same effect as if you’d actually gone somewhere else.
Joy Creator #7: Create Just for You!
When you work as a service provider or business owner, it’s easy to get into the habit of producing purely for the benefit to other people or your brand. While this can be good, it also has a downside: you ignore projects that would be creatively fulfilling.
It’s OK to work on a passion project that doesn’t make you any direct income. In fact, it’s a great way to inspire yourself. Not every word you write or graphic you design has to be for public consumption. You can create simply for the joy of making your art.
Joy Creator #8: Go for a Makeover
Sometimes, you just need a makeover. This might mean getting your website redesigned, switching up your branding, or even rearranging your office. It doesn’t have to be a huge change either – it could be something simple like switching fonts on your website or choosing a color scheme that’s a better match for your office space.
Create a space for you to play and experiment with new ideas or designs. Maybe grab a few paint swatches for your home office. Ask a graphic design friend to create a brand board for you on Pinterest (remember to offer a favor in exchange!).
Joy Creator #9: Define Your Special Sauce
You bring magic just by showing up. It’s your “special sauce” but to you, it’s so common you don’t recognize it. You don’t realize what your gifts or special talents are.
Take a moment and ask a business friend what you’re good at. Then listen to the answer—it might surprise you to learn that your friend thinks you have an amazing knack for writing killer copy or a gift for making complicated tech problems simple.
Make it your goal to spend more time this week focused on your “special sauce”. Do the activities your business friends say you’re good at and evaluate how you feel at the end of the week. Was there more joy and ease in your business? Do you feel excited to get back to work again? These are clues that you may need to spend more time focused on these areas.
Joy Is Yours for the Taking!
Your business can be filled with joy and ease if you want it to be. All you have to do is make a declaration that you choose to delight in and enjoy your business — i.e. find joy! This year, make a point of making that a priority. Then start looking for ways to make it happen. You never know what you might discover along the way!
You started your business at least in part because it made you happy. In 2020, find ways to bring that joy back.
Loving Life — The Reboot!