I had a coaching call this morning with a client and before we even started, she stopped me. “I haven’t gotten anything done. I’ve been so consumed by current political events that haven’t even looked at what I was supposed to do for this week”
I know many of my clients and friends are feeling this way. Each headline feels worse than the one before. The first week of this administration in power has been crushing. It is easy to slide into the black hole of despair.
I’ve personally never felt so scared in my life thinking of the potential long-term ramifications of this administration could have. Rights I never thought would come into question I now fear losing.
Much of this is not new and has been building since the election, but reality is slapping us all in the face.
As entrepreneurs how do we remain productive and effective and still honor the part of us drawn into action without being crippled by fear and sadness?
We don’t have a boss holding our feet to the fire on projects. We have to use our own motivation, systems and support networks to keep us moving forward and working towards our goals.
In today’s session with my client, we came up with some action steps to move forward and have a more productive week.
Here are four tips to make sure the coming week, month and year are effective for your business while allowing you the space to be part of the solution.
1. Focus - Choose one thing
This is true in most areas of your life and no different here. Don’t take the shotgun approach. You feel called to get involved? Great. Now choose ONE way to do so.
What organization speaks to you? Where can you have the most impact? Join it and put your efforts into supporting, promoting and furthering the mission of that ONE organization.
My client today is a lawyer and in a powerful position to provide needed expertise to help fight for justice. She chose ONE one organization to focus her efforts where she can have the most impact.
Are there other organizations that could use her help? You bet! But then she’s diluting her impact.
Think of it as though we are all on the same team and we need to choose a position to play. If we each become really great at one position, together we will have a very strong team.
Taking action fulfills us and empowers us. This act in itself will help you take a step out of the dark hole of despair.
Action Item: What is the one thing you will focus your efforts on?
2) Budget Your Time
You chose the one thing you want to work on. Now you need to decide how many hours during the workweek you can spend on this work.
We all have crazy schedules, but this is important to you. I get it. But you can’t let it consume you and thwart you from achieving your business goals.
How much time during the workday you are willing and able to spend on these efforts. This will vary widely depending on the stage of your business.
If you don’t have much time to spend during the workweek, that is ok. Do what you can but be realistic. You can choose to spend more time at night and on the weekend on this if you want. But keep the majority of your work time focused on moving your business forward.
Action: Decide and schedule how much time you can spend on your efforts during work hours.
3) Use Your Platform Unapologetically
This may be controversial but I think now it the time to speak up as a business. I know that many businesses worry about losing customers if they take a stand on political issues.
You will. Get over it and stand up for what you know is right. By doing this you create a fiercely loyal following of ideal customers.
Big companies are taking stands left and right and you should be no different. One of my favorite spice companies, Penzey's Spice, has been taking public stands in their business for years. Not quietly in the background but up front, in your face.
One glance at their facebook page and you'll see how they evoke strong emotion on both sides for their stances. Customers who see their personal values aligned with the company's will become even more loyal.
There are various ways to use your platform. The client I worked with today has a podcast and she is interviewing guests about how this administration could affect her industry. I’m using my blog and facebook page to encourage action.
What about you? Instagram, blog, speaking, podcasts what's your platform?
Action: Decide how you will use your platform to spread the word and take action.
4) Incorporate a Mindfulness Practice
When we have such intense emotions it is good to give ourselves time each day to realize that we are still in control of the situation. We have a voice. We can take action.
We as entrepreneurs have a million ideas swirling in our heads at all times. Now we’ve doubled that as we look at all the current events. Incorporating some mindfulness will help to focus our energy (Tip #1) so we can have an impact.
I took an amazing mindfulness course with another amazing Danielle and have really been trying to channel what she taught me. Life is messy, mindfulness doesn’t have to be perfect, or long. I just need to incorporate it into my daily routine, one step at a time. So I’m working on meditating for 7 minutes a day.
I also am a fan of the gratitude journal. I’ve been doing this for a bit. I’m not a big journaler but I keep it simple. I write at least three specific things each day that I am grateful for.
By focusing attention on what we are grateful for, we can take a few more steps out of the dark hole of despair. The world isn’t completely going to shit. Great things still happen everyday. Recognizing them is taking back the power.
If you’re new to meditation and gratitude journaling, I recommend you choose one to start with. Don’t get overwhelmed.
Action: Take steps to incorporate a mindfulness practice into your daily routine, whether meditation or gratitude journalling.
Create a plan to climb out of the hold of despair and reclaim your power.
- Focus on one place you can put your efforts
- Budget your time - schedule how much time you can spend during work hours on this effort
- Use your platform to spread the word
- Incorporate mindfulness to stay sane
What are you doing? I’d love to hear from you.
Danielle Ewalt is a Business Coach and Strategist that helps visionary entrepreneurs create systems and structure so they can take their business to the next level. She has been an entrepreneur for over a decade and now gives you the compassionate kick in the pants you need to create the big, bold business you want. You can find her at www.danielleewalt.com