Overwhelmed Much? 3 Strategies That Help Simplify

I was going through some of our blog posts recently looking for a post to maybe repurpose for a client that needs more content and wanted something different from their normal topic. I came across a post I did about a year ago about how running a business is hard. It was a pretty good post if I do say so myself. It struck me at how we (B&A) are in a different place in the business but at the same time in the same place. Because running a business is hard. Still.

One of the key things that post talked about was being transparent with the business and letting people see behind the scenes, good and bad. So much good has happened over the year and we have amazing clients that we are doing amazing work for and that’s all fabulous. But with all that good comes being overwhelmed sometimes. It made me think about how overwhelmed I can get and my reaction to overwhelm is to be tired. All. The. Time. Tired enough that a few weeks ago I blew off work in the middle of the day (I apparently called in sick) and took a nap. And then felt guilty about it. And then I was overwhelmed by the guilt, hence more tired and then overwhelmed even more. And it all turned into a vicious cycle. Now, what kinda crap is that?

There are so many things in my business that contribute to this overwhelm. Too many emails, perceived client demands (that I probably make up in my head), to-do lists, social media, social engagements, setting goals, meeting said goals, success, failure, meetings, strategies, business models… Should I keep going? Did I mention too many emails? This is the vein of my existence yet the goal of my ego.

Enough Already!

I’m over it. The being overwhelmed. I’m guessing you are too. Let’s all make a pack together. We are going to implement these 3 simple steps in reducing our overwhelmed brains that will also help reduce all this crappy stress.

  1. Unsubscribe from Emails: All those emails that you get that you save for later, skip over or delete altogether. Get rid of them altogether so they don’t even hit your box. I sign up for these guys all the time with all the good intention of reading them and then I just don’t for whatever reason. I’m really bad about saving them because I’m going to read them later when I have time. Reality check: I never have time. I’m not saying get rid of all of them. There are a few that I religiously read every time they hit my box. Here are a few that I read and highly recommend: The Middle Finger Project (warning if you like sugar coating don’t bother), Melissa Cassera (I totally have a girl crush on her) and Tara Gentile (she just knows her shit and like Star Trek). I do watch Marie Forleo and Carrie Green’s videos because that’s easy for me to listen to in the car. We sometimes send out emails and you should keep on that list really ;). Sorry I had too, it’s in my contract.
  2. Hire an Assistant: Or a cleaning lady, or a copywriter. Whoever it is you need help from. You guys all know Jenn around here. She writes for this blog and helps me exponentially. She runs all of our social media (among a lot of other things) and that was the best decision I ever made. Because now it actually gets done. Period. Best. Decision. Yeah, your going to have to pay for it and sometimes money is tight. I totally get it. I’m in the spot a lot. But trust me when I say you need help. You need someone that is going to do that crap you don’t want too or don’t have the skills to do. I totally have the skills to run our social media, I just don’t want too. So, I either pay someone to do it for me or it just doesn’t get done. I’d rather it get done. If you need help with something, get it. You don’t have to go with the most expensive option just something.
  3. Take the Nap: And don’t feel guilty about it. That’s just down right ridiculous. I tell people all the time there is no such thing as a marketing emergency. No one is dying because your sales copy isn’t whipped out in 10 minutes. I have learned that I’m a late afternoon and early evening worker. I get more creative work done between the hours of 4pm and 7pm than I do all day. Those are my writing and graphics hours. So if I try to do it in the middle of the afternoon and I’m overwhelmed or tired I’m just going to have to re-do it again because it’ll be crap. I might as well take a nap and do it right when I’m more refreshed and in my zone. That’s just me. I find everyone is different and your best times might be early in the morning (I still do have a conspiracy theory about morning people but I digress). Find your zone and then just take a nap already if you want.

What do you think? Will these tips help with our overwhelm? What are some of your strategies to not feel so overwhelmed all the time? Obviously, email overload is the big one for me but what is your hot button? Leave me a comment and let’s work on reducing our overwhelm together.

2 Lessons for Running a Business! Do you learn something new every day?

Our Champagne Thursday Mastermind Sessions are always a learning experience… even for us! In January we discussed many plans for our company, which will essentially resonate with all you fabulous entrepreneurs and small business owners. So you better be on the lookout for some amazing things ahead.

But seriously there was more talk about owning your own business and what directions you need to take and so forth… I mean really B&A is a small business and we are still learning and growing. But there comes a time when you have to really think through some things about your business…

Lesson #1

Not everyone that starts a company can or should actually run their company. We work with a wide variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners. One thing that we have learned (because you know… ‘you learn something new everyday’… or at least you should Click to Tweet) is there are those that are fantastic at running a company and keep on task with what needs to be done in daily business operations. AND THEN… there are those that start a company and are really good at what they do and working with their customers, but have no idea on how to run their company to keep it afloat. True there are those that can do both, but more than not you are either one type or the other. So have you ever asked yourself that question? If not, you should.

So go ahead. Ask yourself…

Are you better at running a company or starting a company?

Lesson #2

So not only do you need to think about whether or not you can run your company, but you need to think about how far you yourself can take your company before you run it into the ground. Let’s just say you are brilliant at running your company, but you have reached a plateau and have done all you can. Do you reach out for help or keep truckin’ along in hopes that something will pick up or come your way? Decisions! Decisions! (I believe we wrote a blog post about that awhile back. It might benefit you to check out our other blog posts too.) Most of you will keep on truckin along. BUT is that the wisest choice to make? Do you let go of what you built so someone else can either destroy it or make it better? Tough call! But really it is something all business owners need to think about…

Know your sell point before you run your company into the ground!

You have to know yourself and your strengths and weaknesses before you can decide whether you want to run a business.  So did you learn something new today? If so, please share it with us!

xoxoxo,

 

Decisions

"Life is the sum of all your choices." – Albert Camus

I don’t think this could have been said better. And it’s eerily true. Every decision you have ever made in your life has landed you in the exact spot you are in now. Any situation, outfit, environment, or mindset that you are currently in is because of the choices you made, either today, yesterday, or any day pretty much between when you were 16 and the present. Everything you say and do is the result of a decision. Making decisions is about realizing goals and utilizing the most beneficial path to achieve them – whether it’s the fastest path, the cheapest path, or the path filled with champagne and expletives. 

Decisions can be a fun thing, even if they are risky or tasking or dangerous. Because making a decision means you are essentially at a fork in the road. You could…continue to do things the same, or you could choose to do it a different way. Or two different ways. Or three. Regardless – the fact that you are faced with a decision, whether you brought it on yourself or you were forced to do so – means you have the opportunity to change things or do them differently. So many people are scared of making decisions. But decisions are your chance to turn a challenge into an opportunity. And they are necessary in business and in life.

A lot goes into decisions. Listing the options, weighing the outcomes, entertaining your intuition, and of course, making a choice. Despite all of this heavy work, my best advice would be to implement your decision with joy and conviction. Whatever you’ve decided to do; do it 100%. Don’t be a sissy. 

We covered a ton of stuff during our last Champagne Thursday celebration. Lots of topics, both fun and serious, resulted in us having to make decisions about the business. Decisions about business development, about what to give away to our stellar clients and followers, what our next white paper would be on, and also that extra dry champagne was, in fact, our champagne of choice. And we are thrilled to see where the decisions take us. Even small decisions can have a huge impact on your business, and we are proof of that. B&A is the result of hundreds, maybe thousands of decisions made by all of us at one point or another (admittedly, some of these were made under the influence). We are pleased with our progress and plagued with new sets of decisions every day. We talk about them. We drink over them. We weigh the potential outcomes. And then we decide what the best course of action is, for us and our clients, and do it 100%. 

Don’t be a sissy. Face your decisions head on and take your business by the horns. You won’t be disappointed. 

What if...

I have a confession. Apparently I have a lot of these. But this one I'm really nervous about. You probably already know this but I'm the new President of the Charleston American Marketing Association. Well, actually I start July 1st. But its here. And I'm FREAKED out!

What if I'm terrible at it? What if people don't like what I do? What if no one shows up for meetings? What if it all falls apart? What if... What if... What if...

I know I'm being irrational about the whole thing but welcome to the chaos that floats around in my head. I have said for year that I'm like a great Monet painting. From afar its beautiful and makes sense but when you get up close its just a chaotic mess. That's me, really. I mean, I know I'm not going to blow the whole thing up. Well, I might... With fun.

I joke. But that's not really a joke. I've decided that what I want in life is to have fun and work with people I like. I have implemented this philosophy at B&A with Champagne Thursdays (insert shameless plug here: go sign up for our Champagne Thursday Inspirations and you just might get something fun. It's over there <---. Go do it now. I'll wait. You can always come back and finish this in a sec. But I digress.) We have fun on Champagne Thursdays AND get a lot done. I'm taking this leadership style and translating it into this new leadership role at CAMA. I mean what good is doing great work if you can't have fun doing it?

I know what you are thinking, "Ronii, you're crazy and freakin' out for nothing." I really appreciate your confidence in me. And you are getting a rare glimpse into my not so put together head (that's scary, huh?). But we all have one somewhere inside us. Help me out here. What do you freak out about? Make me feel better that I'm not the only one out here that freaks out about things.

What Makes a Great Leader?

As many of you know I'm very active with the Charleston American Marketing Association. And many of you know that for the past 2 years I have been on the CAMA Board of Directors. My term as the Programming Director comes to an end this month and I, Ronii Bartles, will transition into the Presiden-Elect seat of the CAMA. What in the world did I get myself into? How am I going to lead a group of volunteers to be as passionate about marketing as I am? I don't think I know what I'm doing here?

In April the CAMA sent me to a leadership conference all about the AMA to help me with all these concerns and the self-doubt that I'm having. It was an amazing conference that made my head spin with so many great people and so much information about AMA and leadreship skills that I can use, not only with AMA, but in my business. I'm totally pumped and exhausted at the same time. My whirlwind trip to the conference really began the weekend before when I flew to San Francisco to visit a girlfriend from high school and drank Sonoma dry, only to come home for a few days, do a speaking gig, catch up on some work, attend Coco's wedding (on my brithday) and board a plane at 6am with a massive hangover the next morning. Did I mention there was a wedding on my birthday? Hence the hangover.

I get to Chicago after 3 hours of sleep and 9 asprins and our first session is at 9am with Kevin Eikenberry, who is the keynote speaker for the weekend. Kevin gave a fun and informative presentation on championing change. He then proceeded to make me famous for the weekend by drawing my name out of hat (not really a hat but close enough) and giving me his four books. That's right... four! I was known as the book girl the rest of the weekend. I guess that was my reward for actually paying attention with a massive hangover.

As Kevin talked about the differences in managing, leading and championing change, I couldn't help but wonder if people are born natural leaders or if these are skills that one can learn. I came to the conclusion in my sleep deprived haze that it is probably a little bit of both. There is a charisma to great leaders that makes you sit up and listen but there are also some skills that leaders must learn along the way. I'd like to think that I'm like my mother, which make me a natural born leader. But the reality is that I'm probably like any other person born with a little charisma that will help rally the troops. But there are just some things that I still need to learn.

I'm still scared to death about my upcoming term in a leadership role for the CAMA. Particularly since I know that come the following year I'm going to be the head honcho. Eeek!

I need help. What are some of you leadership tips? How do you lead those in your business and organizations?

Earning a masters in organizational leadership can help most individuals succeed in their professional life by becoming great leaders.