I bet you have big plans for this year. Finally hit 1000 email subscribers, launch your YouTube channel, double your sales. This is going to be your best year yet!
You’ve planned out the week (because you’re a pro like that) and writing a blog post is on your list for today, but you’re not really feeling inspired to write so you move it to tomorrow…
And then tomorrow you aren’t sure if the post topic is quite what your audience needs to hear, so you move it to next week…
And then you move to the week after…and week after that…
And suddenly a month has gone by and you haven’t blogged at all. #cuetheguilt
Now some people prefer podcasting, or making videos, and there are even a few crazy people who love to go live every week ;) ;) It really doesn’t matter what form your content comes in, if you aren’t being CONSISTENT it’s gonna take a lot longer to see growth and hit those goals.
But my guess is . . . you already know this.
So why is it so difficult??
Are you planning all the wrong stuff? Is there not enough time? Are you secretly a lazy bum? (probably not)
It isn’t always about the level of effort. You put time into plenty of tasks every single day and somehow, even though you say growing your business or blog is important, those tasks keep getting bumped lower and lower on your priority list.
So here’s what the issue might be instead . . .
1 | Being consistent means you have to put yourself out there
Years ago, around the time I was starting my freelance business, a friend shared my blog post on Facebook. He shared it because he thought it had a good message, but my response was to panic and ask him to take it down because I had never before shared my own blog posts on Facebook.
People I knew IRL had no idea I was a blogger or was starting a business. I wasn’t exactly worried about who would find out, I was more worried about what people would think of me. What if they don’t think I have enough experience? What if they think starting a business is dumb? What if they think my websites are ugly or my code is messy? What if they find out I’m just making up all this biz stuff as I go??
But I kept plowing forward, letting people in little by little, because my goal was to leave my job and making that happen was more important than feeling uncomfortable. Is your goal worth dealing with momentary discomfort or doubt too?
2 | Being consistent means people will respond and it might not always be nicely
The more you hit publish, the more total strangers will show up. And not all of those people are going to love you, what you do, or how you do it. Which is actually a good thing – you only need those who are a good fit for your products or services to stick around. However, we’ve all spent enough time online to know that when people have the distance of the internet shielding them, they’re not always very nice.
My most popular blog post (this one) is also the post with the most rude comments. Some of them are a little snotty and some of them are just plain mean (which is what the delete button is for!)
But two things are interesting . . . 1. A handful of people who wrote rude comments actually came back an hour or two later and apologized! And 2. All those rude comments are totally worth it because that post continues to bring in the most traffic and the most email subscribers even though it was published FOUR YEARS ago!
Again…is your goal worth dealing with momentary discomfort?
3 | Being consistent means some tasks aren’t going to get done
What’s more important right now . . . designing a new header image or finishing your blog post? Spending an hour in a Facebook group or editing your next video? Listening to a biz podcast or scheduling emails for the month??
Consistency with the big things (the ones that turn into clients, clicks, and customers aka CASH) must be prioritized over things that don’t move you toward a big return.
But often, those less important tasks are more fun. I love to accidentally create a new workbook, get sucked into business videos on YouTube, or experiment with Pinterest. Those tasks feel important and they’re technically work, but they’re not important enough to skip sending my weekly emails, publishing blog posts, or showing up on Instagram.
If this is your issue then I highly recommend clearing out your to-do list and only leaving the 3 Most Important Tasks each day. All other tasks can go into a When I Have Time list which you can work on for an hour or two ONCE/week. Or you can just learn to be ok when the smaller tasks don’t get done.
4 | Being consistent means you’ll have to take the next steps
If you’re not consistent, you’re not going to grow, which means you’ll stay where you’re at (income level, traffic, opportunities, list size, etc.) longer. And #behonest you might be feeling kinda comfy there.
If you start being consistent with blogging or posting to YouTube or seeking clients on Instagram, you’re going to level-up. And leveling-up means you’re going to need different skills (like working with contractors, writing email sequences, budgeting), different strategies, and bigger, potentially scary opportunities.
But the good thing is, there are little steps between levels, not giant leaps.
I went from responding to requests for written interviews, to podcast interviews, to video interviews, to flying across the country, being put up in a hotel, and speaking at conferences.
I don’t know that I would have been brave enough to leap from a written blog post interview to a conference gig. But being interviewed on podcasts and making my own videos helped me become better at speaking about my expertise. So when an in-person speaking gig did show up in my inbox it was scary, but I had the balls to say yes anyway.
5 | Being consistent means you’ll have to get serious about what you’re doing
If you’re consistent, if your audience grows, if you start selling more products or booking more clients, that little side hustle isn’t going to be so little anymore. Which is, again, totally scary. Growth means you’ll need to register your business, think about taxes and bookkeeping, maybe hire an assistant or two. You’ll get booked for interviews or speaking engagements. You’ll have to get serious and go from #girlboss to the CEO.
When my business started to grow I felt nervous about taking too many steps too fast. I worried that if my business grew too much I wouldn’t be able to keep control of everything and continue to provide great content, products, and customer service. That bigger decisions meant bigger mistakes.
But being the CEO means that you make the decisions and can do or NOT do anything you want (anything besides those damn taxes).
If your vision includes a large team, traveling to conferences and events, hiring out the tasks you don’t love, and making millions, go for it!
But if you thoroughly enjoy working from your couch solo, it doesn’t mean you’re required to expand into someone else’s vision of a million dollar company to be successful.
The bottom line in all of this is . . .
Being consistent means growth, exposure, and taking the next step forward (in whatever direction YOU choose). Every solopreneur will tell you that one or all of the aforementioned issues totally scared them. But the difference between those that make the plans but don’t take action, and those that do despite their worries, is a belief that they can figure it out.
And I’m pretty damn sure you’ve got the guts to figure it out too. So stick to your task list, be consistent, and get growing. It’s amazing how little these worries actually get in the way once you’re on a roll!