FYI, there’s also a new video on YouTube that goes along with this blog post! The goal is to show you my productive habits for creative entrepreneurs in action, rather than just talking at you about a bunch of complicated steps you need to add to your routine. Productivity doesn’t need to be so complicated, so this is just 3 simple and intentional habits that will make a big difference in your freelance business.
I want to normalize that things aren’t always going to be the exact same or perfect. But by focusing on developing habits like these, you can still make progress and stay on track even when life happens… Because I get that! So if you’re looking for ways to optimize your CEO time, or the time you spend working ON your business instead of IN it, start here.
In the video, I also give you a peek at my January review, the goals I’ve set for myself prior to maternity leave, and more…
I’ve been at this business thing for a while. Years. Being in this weird deja vu land of prepping for Maternity Leave 2.0 with a not-yet-2-year-old at the exact same time of year, but on the opposite end of the country has brought a ton of realizations to the surface.
Everything is the same.
And nothing is.
While there’s a lot of “what ifs” that come to building your own career this way… Especially as a woman growing and birthing and raising tiny humans…
There’s also a lot of freedom.
But I find that my creative self works best when things are organized. Structured. As predictable as possible considering none of this is predictable. And simple.
So that’s the inspiration of this post: To share with you the productive habits for creative entrepreneurs that have helped me leverage my creativity to grow a sustainable and profitable freelance business.
It’s a lot to juggle… Especially if you’re a mom to littles like me. So there’s a few productive habits I’ve built into my weekly routines over the years—I think these are the reasons for the feeling of consistency despite experiencing substantial shifts.
I developed these habits long before having kids, but am thankful for that now—deep in the weeds of night wakings and a lack of control over my schedule.
These productive habits for creative entrepreneurs are things you should be doing in your “CEO time” or the time you spend working on your business instead of in it. They’re actually set up as recurring tasks in different capacities within my CRM. Maybe this will inspire you to add some recurring CEO time to your schedule too if you don’t have this already.
First, I just want you to know that I see you. You want to grow your business without sacrificing life. You want to work and live in alignment with your authentic self, even if that looks a little messy sometimes. And you want to build a business that supports the above, rather than you feeling stuck all the time. Moving through the motions.
That’s why you’re searching for productive habits to try, right?
Regardless of what season I’m in… Growing and birthing babies… Taking a step back… Pushing full steam ahead… Prepping our house to sell… Packing up and moving across the country… Coasting through big revenue months… Growing another human…
I always try to maintain some form of these habits. Sharing them with you in hopes they help you find some consistency in the chaos too.
Us creative types can get caught up in emotions. Things feel off, so they must be off… Right? Wrong. The numbers never lie, and teaching yourself to rely on hard data to make business decisions will result in you making better, more consistent choices.
Numbers I monitor consistently: Marketing analytics like traffic, engagement, conversion rates, etc. for all core channels like YouTube, social media, and email marketing. The hours spent on specific tasks (both personally and my team). Money out like expenses, team costs, and taxes. And obviously, sales data.
This is typically a weekly and/or practice depending on the data in question (unless I’m taking extended time off). These are all reflected in recurring tasks inside my Notion, and I just tweak the frequency or depth based on the season of my business, who’s currently on my team, and other factors.
People like to look at systems and processes in their business as one and done. And while yes, there are certain things you can set up to be that way (a client workflow in Dubsado, for example)… It’s not that black and white.
Instead, I look at my business as in constant evolution. I’ve built habits into my typical workflows to improve efficiency at every opportunity. It’s going to outgrow some pieces I’ve built, creating gaps to fill again. But when you know what to do every time you hit this type of roadblock, overcoming it is easier.
Ex. If myself or a team member will do something more than 2x, it’s added to the list of SOPs to create. Even better if creating the SOP or template or how-to resource can be added onto the project itself as a wrap-up task, so we know it’s done immediately. Because everything can be templatized if you look at it right.
Yes, journaling. My clients inside The Inner Circle Mastermind are probably sick of the journal prompts by now, but this sh*t works (JK they told me they like that I push this so hard). When we work together, I’ll probably ask you tough questions. I’ll call you out on your sh*t. But if there’s a disconnect somewhere between your mind and your actions, your homework becomes to figure that out.
Building a business as personal as ours requires personal development. So that’s why we always come back to the simple habit of journaling. The more clear you are about who you are as a person, then confident in that character, the better off your business will be.
That’s why all my mastermind clients get access to a library of journal prompts curated from my own business and professional growth. We use these to track progress, formally check-in between 1:1 calls, and generally connect with each other—sometimes they may share their reflection findings with the larger group, not just me.
This is also why we have a Confidence Coach come for quarterly Mindset Reset Sessions… Because personal growth is a priority.
When you realize that you don’t always need more or to push harder to grow your business, everything changes. It’s a huge relief, actually. Because instead of busying yourself with tasks that aren’t impactful, you can train yourself to prioritize the sh*t that matters most instead.
I mentioned that I thrive in structure, and I think that’s because routines take the guesswork out of your days. While yes, it’s challenging to live in a rigid routine right now (I’m currently 9 months pregnant and raising a toddler), we do have a typical flow to our days and weeks.
Knowing what’s coming next eliminates the decision making time. I know that when my son goes down for his nap, I’m going to tackle focused work. I know that when he’s entertained with independent play, that’s a great time for housework or 5-10 minute tasks from my phone that can be interrupted. I don’t try to accomplish lengthy computer work while he’s around because that just won’t work for either of us.
If you want more on this topic, check out a recent blog post: Reset Routine to Simplify your Business
Because that’s one of the real goals here: Simplifying to grow. And developing habits that make the hard work of building a business a whole lot easier.
If it weren’t clear, developing habits is a big part of the work my clients do inside the Inner Circle Mastermind. I don’t want them to be reliant on me or any other coach forever. Instead, I’d rather they learn the tools and build habits into their business that allows them to navigate seasons beyond our time together—wherever life and work takes them.
Whether you choose to go it alone or get support in your business growth journey, the real point here is that it can be simple. Business growth can be easy. I personally have experienced faster and farther growth in the seasons that I simplify and let things be easy…
That’s the true message I’m hoping to share. Through making intentional decisions and building long-lasting habits to sustain growth, you can change your trajectory for the better.
Cheering you on.
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