There are times when working at our craft, no matter how powerful we are in our zone of genius, it's hard to keep the excitement, momentum, and joy we had at the beginning of the journey. If you are a solopreneur, it can be especially difficult, as there's no one around to bounce ideas off of, give an encouraging word, or inspire you by their dedication or example.
Consider this story: Tasha was a web designer who worked from home. She loved that her business allowed her to be with her two young boys. But after a few years, Tasha started feeling “blah” about her business. Her projects no longer excited her. She found herself feeling like each job was a repeat of the one before it. She no longer had the “spark” that got her out of bed each morning, looking forward to building her business.
A friend suggested she needed to find ways to add more joy to her work. “But how do I do that?” Tasha asked. “I wouldn’t know where to start.”
Tasha’s friend recommended that she try at least one of these things to rediscover the joy her business brought to her….
Joy Sparker #1: Try Something New
Sometimes, your business feels stale and boring because you keep doing the same things in the same way. You always market to the same crowd. You always release products around the same topics. It’s time to shake things up. Try something new that sounds fun to you. Maybe this means running a workshop, hosting a month-long challenge, or creating an e-course. It doesn’t matter what you try or even how it turns out – just breaking out of your routine can be enough to spark a fresh round of joy in your business.
Joy Sparker #2: Work with People You Adore
We've all had that client! The one whose name you see in your inbox and you instantly, cringe, knowing it’s going to be a long day, right? What would happen if you let them go? What if you filled your client roster with only people you delighted in working with?
Maybe you can’t afford to drop that client right this second. But sit down and look at what it would take. Would you need to find another client to replace that income? Do you know another service provider that this client might be a great fit for?
You might also find it helpful to look at the clients and customers you do love working with. What do they all have in common? What’s different about their projects? Why do they delight you? Thinking about these questions can help you determine how to screen your clients in the future, so you only work with people you genuinely like and enjoy helping.
Joy Sparker #3: Make a Joy Log
As you go through your week, pay attention to what brings you joy. Make a list of these tasks and why you enjoy them.
There’s no wrong or right answers here – you might love writing copy but hate working on technical tasks for your website. Perhaps you enjoy administrative tasks like bookkeeping but don’t enjoy being interviewed on podcasts.
Once you have a few items on your joy log, pause to read it over. Ask yourself if there are ways you could do more of these tasks. For example, how could you do more copywriting in the future?
Joy Sparker #4: Listen for the Dread
Just as you can keep a joy log, you should also note which tasks you dread. You might call this the “drudgery list”. Put everything on it that you find boring, tedious, or just plain difficult.
Now take a peek at the list. With each task, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does this have to be done? Is it essential to my business?
- Does it have to be done by me?
- Could I outsource it to someone else?
- What would I need to do to outsource this?
These questions can help you remove dread from your business so you can get back to focusing on what makes you truly happy.
Joy Sparker #5: Reward Yourself
It’s easy to move from accomplishment to accomplishment without celebration. You managed to clean that virus off your website. You finished that big client project. You set up your shopping cart software.
But the problem with never celebrating is that you can lose the feeling of accomplishment. The days begin to blur together in a never-ending to-do list that seems impossible to master. It’s a sure recipe for burnout!
To spark joy, try to find one accomplishment to celebrate in your business each day. This can be big like landing a new client or publishing your book. But it can be small too, like discovering how to install a WordPress plugin or researching how to get started in a new niche.
This is the first of a two-part series.
Download our FREE Joysparkler Journal to implement some of the above points.