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Do you remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?
For some reason, this tale kept coming to mind as I reflected on 2017. You see, I’m definitely not a hare when it comes to growing my business.
I know plenty of bloggers who started way after me who are already blowing my page views out of the water. Or they’re earning a lot more money, more consistently.
And then there’s me. I’m just sort of plodding along.
And sometimes it feels really discouraging. I wonder why my growth isn’t happening. And sometimes I feel like giving up.
But, then I remember the end of the story.
The tortoise won.
Because consistent steps, even if they’re slow and tiny, add up to big wins. So, that’s my goal for 2018. To continue taking baby steps forward.
As a homeschooling, large family mom, I don’t have a ton of time. Big leaps and bounds aren’t possible at this current stage in my life.
But, I can make time for baby steps. So I’m going to.
Here’s my plan for using baby steps to grow my business in 2018.
Streamline My Business
Time for my business doesn’t just happen. I have to carve it out. Streamlining helps!
My annual meal plan has been huge.
So has creating a cleaning schedule.
But, while I’ve been pretty good at streamlining my personal life, I haven’t been in my business. I need to get better at batching.
It’s hard to switch gears so many times. So, my plan for this year is to proactively batch more tasks.
When I’m making a content calendar for this blog, I can easily make one for my other blog as well. Or for a couple of my clients.
Then when it comes time to create images, I can do all of them together.
And so on. I can batch:
- Uploading to WordPress
- Social media updates
This will help keep me focused, and allow me to get ahead. Which is so important when life gets crazy!
Sibling Play Time
My kids get along pretty well most of the time. But, the older kids don’t always want to play with the younger ones.
By implementing a sibling play time for twenty or thirty minutes a day, I can encourage sibling relationships. My kids will get some special time to spend with each other.
And I’ll get a little more time to work on my business! I’ve already created a list of activities that my younger kids will love. That way whoever they’re paired with on a particular day can pick an activity.
Here are some of my ideas (these are affiliate links, so if you click-through and make a purchase, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you!):
- Play an age-appropriate board game like Don’t Break the Ice Game or Tell Me a Story
- Set up the Train tracks
- Play on the Teeter Popper
- Build a fort
- Use toddler Crayons and color a picture
- Do a Peg puzzle
- Play house with the Toy kitchen
- Read books
Do Something Every Day
Consistency is key when you’re trying to grow a business with baby steps. You can’t expect to make any progress if you take a couple of baby steps today, and then don’t do anything for a month.
But, when you’re taking at least one step forward every day, you will eventually get to your destination! So my goal is to do something every day during the week. I try to take the weekends off to spend time with family, but even then I typically:
- Participate in Facebook groups
- Pin a couple of pins
- Have think time
I need to make a plan though, so I’m consistently making progress in all important areas. Back in 2016, I got swamped while taking college courses. And I decided to spend all my energy ensuring I wrote a new blog post each week.
I thought that was the most important thing.
But, I was wrong. You see, I didn’t take time to promote. Or build connections.
You can’t grow a business if no one sees what you’re doing.
So don’t make the same mistake I did!
If my time gets really tight again and I need to step back, I have a plan.
I’ll cut my posting schedule in half, and use the alternate weeks to focus on promotion and connection. That way I’m doing both essential pieces.
Wondering what other baby steps I’ll be taking for my business? Grab your free copy of 100 Baby Steps to Help You Grow Your Business or Blog today!
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100 Quick Ways to Grow Your Freelance Business
Subscribe to get instant access to a PDF download with 100 different baby steps you can take to grow your freelance business or blog.
You'll also receive access to my weekly newsletter to help you grow a business while raising a family.
Cut Time Wasters
I recently discovered a huge time waster. I’d find a recipe I thought looked good, and then I’d spend several minutes reading through all the comments and reviews.
Or I’d see an interesting Facebook post and get sucked into the comments.
I had no intention of actually making the recipe. Or joining the conversation.
But, I still scrolled through dozens of comments.
I realized what I was doing, and closed out. But, I know it wasn’t the first time.
However, I’m more aware of this now, so I’m working on not getting sucked in. It happens most often when I’m on my phone, so I’m also purposefully using my phone less for browsing.
What are your time wasters? See if you can make some changes to help you curb them.
Have a Big Picture
The key to growing a business with baby steps is to have a destination in mind. Otherwise, it’s like trying to put together a single puzzle with pieces from five different ones.
Know where you’re going. Have a big picture of your purpose and your vision. Know what you love doing.
I’m making some changes in my business after doing some reflection. I’ll be sharing more about that in the weeks to come. But, no matter what you’re doing, have a plan.
You can change it. My business continues to morph and change, and yours will too.
But, just pick a direction and get started! Don’t wander all over the place all the time. Once you’ve set a course, stick to it for a while and see how it works out.
Having a big picture will help you ensure your little steps are working. You’ll be able to track your progress and look for mistakes.
And another benefit of taking baby steps?
It’s a lot easier to correct your course. You can turn and pivot more easily than you can when you’re jumping and bouncing.
Need a Business Idea?
Wondering what businesses are a good fit for busy moms? Here are some options I’ve used and would recommend (affiliate links!):
- Freelance writing
- Freelance virtual assistant
- Freelance Pinterest VA
- Start a blog (though this is definitely a longer term plan – you won’t earn money as quickly as you will by offering services)
I’m also a big fan of diversifying your income, so definitely consider adding a new income stream in 2018!
Are You Taking Baby Steps Too?
If you’re also feeling like everyone else is passing you up, know that you aren’t alone. Not having a ton of time to focus on your business is a challenge. But, it isn’t impossible.
You can grow a business one little step at a time. Just keep moving forward, learning as you go.
And if there’s anything I can help you with, please let me know!
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.