Starting a new project can be both exciting and terribly overwhelming. On the one hand, you’re pumped up and full of that energy that comes with new ideas. You can’t wait to get to work and make this come to life! On the other hand, you have no idea where to start and there’s tons of information bouncing around in your head and making a mess of all your thoughts. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Every entrepreneur I’ve ever sat down for coffee with has felt this struggle at some point. New ideas and the projects born out of them can feel like both a blessing and a curse. It took me a full year to get my thoughts together into any sort of plan for Wild Olive. For months, all I knew was that I wanted to help businesses that were doing meaningful work. But I had no clue what that should actually look like. I had lots of ideas, but no idea where to get started. Thankfully, I figured things out and found some amazing people to help me along the way. Everything feels clearer in hindsight, so today I’m sharing how I break things down to get over that overwhelm and start doing the work: Give yourself time to research and process Waiting is the hardest thing, especially when you’re excited about something. And when you’re overwhelmed, it’s tempting to just start hacking away, hoping that jumping to action will make that uncomfortable feeling go away. Taking a pause is the best thing you can do for your brain. You need time to focus on learning and process everything you’re taking in. You need time to make sense of the ideas you have and the steps you’ve already thought up. It’s ok to take a break from direct action. You’ll be giving yourself the time you need to process all the new information floating around in your brain. You’ll start to feel less overwhelmed as soon as the pressure to do stuff is lifted. And when you do start to take action, your work will be more effective because your mind will be clear and focused. Organize everything you’ve gathered There are so many awesome free resources out there and if you’re anything like me, you’ve downloaded a ton of them. You’ve got checklists, worksheets, ebooks, and courses crowding your desktop and adding to the mayhem. Take 30 minutes to skim through everything and decide which ones you’re actually going to use. Print those out and group them into categories. Right now, I have four categories I’m planning for: workshops, email list building, sales funnels, and social media. I wrote each of those on a sheet of paper, pasted them on my wall, and pinned up the notes and resources I have under their appropriate category. It may look like a conspiracy theorist’s office in here, but it gives me a way to keep things out of my head. Find what works for you! Whether you paste everything up or set up a folder system, the point is to get everything in it’s own compartment, get your thoughts out on paper so they stop making a mess in your brain, and have everything organized so you can stop worrying about it. When it’s time to take action, you’ll have everything you need in one place. Write an action plan and start Even though I have four big categories I want to work on, it would be a disaster for both my business and personal life to try to tackle them all at once. There’s no need to transform everything overnight. Actually, that would probably end up confusing and overwhelming my audience anyway. Figure out what you need to tackle first. Is there a deadline you have to meet? Which is going to make you the most money the fastest? Is there a problem you need to solve ASAP? Focus on the one thing you’re going to tackle and forget about all the rest. Get detailed about the steps you need to take and the resources you need. Set deadlines and get some accountability going. Once you have your project broken down into manageable steps, it’s super easy to get started and keep going. Find support The one thing that has had the most impact on my business is the support of others. At some point, you’re going to feel discouraged. The overwhelm might creep back in. You may miss one of your deadlines. Or things might just not go the way you expected. In those moments, you’re going to need someone to lift you back up and remind you why you started this crazy journey to begin with. Someone to keep you from giving up. When your family is on board with your goals and gets what you're doing, they make some of the best cheerleaders. Don’t be afraid of boring them with your business stuff. They love you and want to be there for you. Make some entrepreneurial friends and get with them regularly. There’s nothing like hearing from other business owners that have gone through this too. Find events in your town, look for online communities, or take a class. Just find some business minded friends to talk to. Don’t let overwhelm keep you from starting that project you’ve been dreaming about. Give yourself the time you need to process everything, get organized, make a plan, and start. You’ve totally got this!

How to Conquer Overwhelm so you can Start your Project

Posted Posted in Business

Starting a new project can be both exciting and terribly overwhelming. On the one hand, you’re pumped up and full of that energy that comes with new ideas. You can’t wait to get to work and make this come to life!   On the other hand, you have no idea where to start and there’s tons of information bouncing around in your head and making a mess of all your thoughts.   Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Every entrepreneur I’ve ever sat down for coffee with has felt this struggle at some point. New ideas and the projects born out […]

3 Reasons to Start that Project Today

3 Reasons to Start that Project Today

Posted Posted in Business

My daughter turned two over the weekend. Two! I’ve heard it countless times since before she was born and now I’m one of the billions of parents spouting off the same cliche. They grow up so fast!   Ok, so I know I’m exaggerating quite a bit and she’s nowhere near being really grown up. My parenting journey has only just begun. But seriously, where did my tiny baby go? Wasn’t this spunky toddler just a cuddly sleepy newborn, like, yesterday?   Her second birthday naturally got me thinking about Wild Olive. I’ve written before about how pregnancy and Ellie’s […]

8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making any Brand Change

8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making any Brand Change

Posted Posted in Branding, Business

After all this talk about consistency, you might be wondering if it’s ever ok to make any changes to your brand. Is it ever ok to try a new color scheme? Is it ever ok to switch to a new marketing plan? And is it ever ok to do something drastic, like change your actual product completely?   Consistency is the key to building a strong brand that moves you toward your goals. But your business is also constantly evolving, and that means your brand should be growing along with it. Some change should happen eventually.   Here at Wild […]

How to Create a Diverse Group of Peers to Learn From

How to Create a Diverse Group of Peers to Learn From

Posted Posted in Branding, Business, Journey to Brand Clarity

You’ve made it past the tendency to negatively compare yourself to your peers and jumped at the chance to learn from them. But now your Instagram feed is full of variations of the same photo over and over.   You know the one. It’s that overly-styled flat-lay with a bright notebook and a plate of macaroons that no one really believes just happened to be casually laying way too close to that MacBook.   It’s great to follow other businesses and glean everything you can. But the whole point of paying attention to your peers is to learn a wide […]

Harnessing the Power of your Challenges

Harnessing the Power of your Challenges

Posted Posted in Branding, Business, Journey to Brand Clarity

It’s not fun to talk about our challenges, especially the ones we haven’t quite overcome yet. Admitting that we’re having trouble can be hard. We look around and only see the thriving happy businesses. But getting real about the challenges you face is absolutely necessary to your business growth. And deep down, we all know that no one has it easy. We’re all struggling with our own set of challenges – even the businesses that seem to have it all together.   Getting familiar with your challenges will give you an even clearer sense of direction because it will help […]

How to Keep Moving Forward when Life Happens

How to Keep Moving Forward when Life Happens

Posted Posted in Business

If you’ve been reading along since November, you already know that after my daughter was born, it took me quite a while to get the ball rolling and jump back into my business. Every day felt so rewarding once I finally had a plan. I could see how the couple of hours I got to invest each day were moving me toward my goals. And right as I was settling into a comfortable and productive pattern, my husband and I did something crazy. We left our long-time home base in Las Vegas to start over in Salem, Oregon.   We’d […]

4 Reasons Why You Should Go Through Your Own Process

4 Reasons Why You Should Go Through Your Own Process

Posted Posted in Business

Brand Discovery and Direction are a huge part of my client process. Before any sketches are made, before I open any design programs on my computer, before I even consider any ideas, my clients and I spend a few weeks getting to know one another. We talk about their goals and challenges, audience and message, competitors and peers. This is where I encourage them to let all their thoughts and ideas pour out, to dream big and stretch toward their biggest goals.   I take it all in, let everything they share with me seep for a few days, and organize […]

How to Know When it's Time to Hire a Pro

How to Know When it’s Time to Hire a Pro

Posted Posted in Business

You jump out of bed at 5 in the morning, make a pot of coffee, and start editing yesterday’s new product shots while the kids get ready. By lunch, you’ve dropped the kids off at school, answered emails, prepared the week’s Facebook posts, updated your ledger, solved a staff scheduling conflict, cleaned the shop bathroom, and worked the front desk for an hour.   I’ve always admired entrepreneurs like you. You work harder than anyone, tackling whatever needs to get done. You’re brave and unfazed by new challenges, trusting that you’ll figure things out as you go along. And you […]

4 Ways Writing your Ideas Down can Help your Business

4 Ways Writing your Ideas Down can Help your Business

Posted Posted in Business

Few things compare to the excitement you feel when you have a great new idea for your business. Something clicks into the right place and you’re all of a sudden flooded with inspiration, motivation, and the drive to make things happen. It’s an amazing energizing feeling, but it can easily turn overwhelming.   That is exactly where I found myself once I’d gotten my momentum back and found the purpose for my business. All my energy and excitement quickly turned into frustration. My ideas kept bumping into each other inside my head, all competing for my complete attention. It made […]

5 Steps to Find the Time to Work

Posted Posted in Business

The biggest challenge I had to tackle when returning to my business was finding time to work. There was a time I could juggle full time classes, a part time job, and an internship all at once, but even that didn’t compare to the demands of parenthood. Who would have thought that children could take up so much time?   I really wanted to get back to work, so I tried a bunch of different approaches and plans. Nothing seemed to work. I tried working during Ellie’s naps, but as soon as I felt like I had her schedule figured out, […]