How adding structure to my business fixed everything
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: building a business from scratch is A TON of work. I’m well aware I sound like a broken record, but I’m not here to sugarcoat reality. I think it’s important to know what you’re signing yourself up for when you commit to creating and developing a business.
I knew this new venture would be mentally taxing and at times all-consuming. What I wasn’t prepped for was how dismal my figure-it-out-as-I-go skills are. (Yikes!)
When I first launched @thespritzproject on Instagram, content flowed pretty easily. The account was new. There was so much to introduce, so much mystery to uncover. But after that 1 month mark when the excitement and newness started to fade away I was left with followers to entertain and an algorithm to keep up with. (The article I linked to is a great read, but it seriously stressed me out - there’s just so much to stay on top of… #help)
As my stress mounted, my creativity pretty much melted away. Sure, I was still posting and for the most part I think I maintained a facade that all was well, but behind my account I was a mess. And by that I mean I was a ball of anxiety attacks. And there wasn’t a day where I wasn’t beating myself up for falling short of what I thought I needed to be doing.
Shoot, I didn’t post today. Strike one. Oops, I didn’t respond to people’s comments. Strike two. Whoops, I only posted my initial to-do list on my Story, not the follow up one at the end of the day.
What started as an innocent passion project, slowly turned into a source of stress and a catalyst for negative self-talk. And let me tell you, when I’m in a space like that, I’m not nice to myself. I’m beyond critical and don’t allow myself any room to stumble. Believe me I’m not like this with other people. In fact, one of my greatest strengths is I’m incredibly patient with others. Just not with myself… Can anyone else relate?
To be honest, the slump never really went away. Every now and then I’d post a lot of content on my Story or I’d share a profound caption on a picture, but then I’d be out of ideas and I’d more or less go radio silent. My posting habits (or lack thereof) were like a pendulum with no middle ground.
Fast forward to my trip to Italy. (Oh how I miss it there!!!) Something changed. I had an epiphany. Waiting to leave Ravello and head to Rome it hit me that creating some kind of timeline would help reduce my stress. I’d have structure, almost like a path to follow so I wouldn’t be left to winging it.
So what did I do the entire car ride from Ravello to Rome? You guessed it: create structure!!!
What did that look like? I open up a blank Word doc, listed the next 12 months, and started assigning goals to each month. The first three months were easy to fill up, but then everything sort of fell off a cliff. There were goals about finances, logistics, and social media all in month. My structured approach was turning into a hot mess. So what did I do? Add even more structure!
I erased everything that I had just created, zoomed out, and broke the next 12 months year into four quarters. It looked like this:
1- Research and Logistics (Sep. – Nov.)
2- Financial (Dec. – Feb.)
3- Legal (Mar. – May)
4- Communications and Marketing (Jun. – Jul.)
From there I started creating bite-sized goals for each month - goals that were easy enough to accomplish in one or two sittings. Now, not all goals have to be this whittled down. This just works for me. I prefer little tasks that when accomplished equate to quick wins. Something about checking items off a to-do list really truly brings me joy.
In my opinion, the only thing you need for a goal is a deadline. If it’s measurable, that’s great too. At the core of a goal is simply the intention to make something happen. What’s making a list of goals if they’re so complex that you never end up working towards them?
I created all of this structure only a month or so ago and I have to say it’s been utterly life-changing. I feel so good, so organized, and believe it or not, more free than ever to turn The Spritz Project into something much bigger than myself.
Until next time!