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 been planning the move for a couple of years and were ready to go as soon as he found a job, but no one was calling him for an interview. We figured we’d take a risk and move up before nailing a job, hoping it would be easier to find work when we were actually in town. There was no point in waiting much longer, so we gave ourselves a month to tie all our loose ends and haul our life out of the desert.
My biggest fear throughout the move was that I’d squander all the work I’d put into my business. I had been waiting so long and working so hard to start Wild Olive. Did I really want to risk having to move my launch date back? Or dropping the newsletter when it was just beginning? Or disappearing from Instagram when I was gaining followers?
I’m happy to say that thanks to being prepared, everything is working out fine. My biggest fear hasn’t seen the light of day. Here are the four things you can do to prepare your business for crazy moves or whatever other surprises life might throw your way:
1. Give yourself deadlines.
With my business plan, purpose, and goals in place, it was time to set up a timeline. I put it all down on paper – deadlines for my branding, my newsletter content, my newsletter launch, my Instagram posts, the Brand Discovery Workbook release, and the Wild Olive website launch happening at the end of this month. Having these really specific milestones and dates in mind has kept me motivated and determined to find ways to squeeze some work in even in the middle of a hectic move.Having a timeline helps me remember how every piece leads to the next, which means I’m less inclined to procrastinate or decide to just drop something.
It is hard to set up deadlines when life feels unpredictable. But having a clear timeline helps keep you on track and moving forward when things get a little crazy. And if a really huge life event takes you by surprise, you can always revise your deadlines as you need to. Having them written down will help you stay organized and make it easier to jump back in once things settle down.
2. Build a runway.
My last month in Las Vegas was spent doing a whole lot of writing, photography, and preparation. Before packing up my tiny home studio, I made sure I had a month’s worth of newsletters and Instagram posts, since that’s where I’d decided to start my marketing efforts. That way, I could start off with a consistent presence without having to try to create valuable content while entertaining my one-year-old as we drove through the Mojave.
Even if you’re not planning a big move, you should take the time to build up a runway of posts and content. You’ll be liberated from the pressure of short deadlines and you’ll be prepared if something gets in the way of your regular schedule. If something does come up, you can rest easy and focus on that without stressing about the blog post that’s supposed to be published tomorrow.
3. Focus on getting things back to normal.
It took us a full month to get settled into our new city. A full month! We were incredibly fortunate to be invited to stay in a new friend’s spare bedroom while we found an apartment, but that meant all our stuff had to go into storage. We threw whatever random clothes we could grab into a bag, gathered a few of Ellie’s toys, and hoped we wouldn’t need anything else before finding our own place. As much as I wanted to work, most of our days were spent apartment hunting. When I did manage to sneak some work in, I had a hard time focusing because I couldn’t stop thinking about apartments.
It would have been better to hold off on work until we were settled into our own place. It’s impossible to be productive and do your best work when you’re worried about things happening in your life. When life happens, it’s better to put all your energy into regaining your balance. Give yourself time and you’ll be able to jump back into your work at full capacity soon enough.
4. As soon as you can, show up every day.
Having a consistent schedule has done so much for my business and life. I couldn’t wait to get back into a regular pattern! We found an apartment, moved our stuff in, and set my tiny home studio back up. As soon as the boxes were unpacked and our crazy shopping trips were taken care of (why is there so much stuff to buy after a move?), I knew I could finally get back into my regular schedule.
Doing something for your business every day keeps your momentum going and makes you productive. It keeps you from procrastinating and stressing yourself out. Having a daily time slot for your work, even if it’s only an hour at first, means you make consistent progress and stay focused. It’s so important to reestablish all that after a big disorienting event.
The hardest thing about starting a business is getting the ball rolling. Nothing beats the feeling you get when you finally figure out a plan and start acting on it. But life has a way of throwing us curve balls just when it seems like we’re getting the hang of things. We can’t keep life from happening, but we can be prepared for whatever it decides to bring us.