Most businesses have their ups and downs. There are slow times and there are busy times, and when you are slow, you want to be busy and when you are busy, you can’t wait for a break!
But when business is slow and you are wondering what to do and how to get more customers, try these ideas-
RETHINK YOUR GOALS
Use the quiet times to reflect on where you are right now and really visualize where you want to be in a year or even 5 years’ time.
When you are too busy, you’ll just keep doing the same things over and over again without accually getting anywhere. You get stuck in routine which will ultimately lead to dissatisfaction in life. So it’s important to use any downtime to re-establish your goals and priorities in life.
Consider the things that are truly important to you, like spending more time with the family, achieving business financial goals, whether you want to grow and sell the business or just let the business run its course for another year and then do what you truly want to be doing in life.
Whatever it is, take the time to think about what you truly want to experience within your business and then you can start making plans to make that a reality.
Quiet times are the times to get new customers or to create better relationships with the customers that you already have.
Look at ways to get your message out there. If you are online, look at adwords or other online advertising platforms that can help boost your audience. If you are in a physical shop, look at utilising local advertising such as community noticeboards, local papers or even just getting flyers out into your neighbourhood which is such an easy way to attract new customers.
I know a tyre salesman in our area who just walks up and down the street when business is slow and hands out flyers to potential clients. He’s friendly and genuine enough so that he doesn’t come across as pushy, and this simple, inexpensive way of connecting with clients makes him the $$ he needs to keep things ticking over in his business nicely!
If you need a quick, simple and easy to understand marketing guide,
The 1 page Marketing Plan by Alan Dib is a must have for small business owners.
FRESHEN THINGS UP
Now to get your creative mind busy! When business is slow, freshen things up with some new energy in your business.
Perhaps it is bringing in new stock for your shop, new recipes or a new menu if you are in the food business, maybe you would like to bring in a new team member or create special offers for your clients which always do well. Maybe run a competition through Facebook or other social media platforms, or perhaps just freshen up your physical work space.
When things are quiet, it’s a good time to reflect, be grateful for all that you have, look at ways to grow personally and in business and find ways to give back. Be thankful for the quiet times because the busy times are just around the corner!
“Life never gives you anything you cannot handle.”
Are you itching to move forward and create a better life but don’t know which path to take, or what option is best suited for you?
These easy but beneficial ideas will help to settle your mind enabling you to see clearly and then know what course of action (or inaction) to take.
1/ Breathe. In order to stop thinking and stressing for a moment, centre yourself in the present moment. Find a quiet space free of distractions and breathe deeply and slowly until you feel yourself calm down. In this space, have a look around at everything you have in life right now. Be thankful for everything that you have in this moment. Gratitude has a powerfully, positive effect on your mind and deep breathing can calm you down in an instant if you let it!
2/Do something new. Go for a drive to somewhere you’ve never been to.
Do that thing that you’ve always been wanting to do but have never made the time for. Get out of your head and just do it. A new perspective is always what you need when you are stuck. ALWAYS!
3/Focus on what you can do. Often when you are stuck, your mind is focused on where it wants to be instead of where it is right now. Know and accept where you are right now and work with that. The more you can start finding little things that you can do, the more your confidence can build, giving you the strength to tackle bigger projects as they arise.
4/Research. Look, discover and learn. Sometimes you just don’t have all the answers yet. There may be more information that you need before you can move forward in life, and the more knowledge you have behind you, the easier the journey will be in the future. Never stop learning and growing- it keeps us engaged, optimistic and open to new experiences.
5/De-clutter. Clean your space, environment and your mind. Get rid of anything that is weighing you down or making you cringe every time you look at it. Create a space that you accually want to be in, even if it doesn’t have everything you want in it just yet, take pride in creating a clean and neat space. Your environment is a reflection of your mind and vice versa. Create a clean, clear and organised space and your mind will mirror that.
When we are stuck in life, we need inspiration and motivation to move. But we also need to believe in ourselves enough in order to take that next big step in life. Be gentle and patient with yourself, knowing that by just doing a little bit each day, you’ll get to a place where you can effortlessly move forward in a positive manner. It truly is the small simple things in life that you can do, which will see you get through this uncomfortable time with ease!
When the time is right everything will come together for you, but in the meantime, you need to keep learning, growing and making positive connections in order to be ready for your success.
Feeling down? Force, fake, pretend or just make a smile happen and you’ll start to feel better! There is a lot of science around to back this.
When you put a smile on your face (real or faked), this sends a signal to the brain which stimulates the reward system, triggering a release of endorphins, dopamine and the happy chemicals!
The body and the mind work together and by changing your behaviour and your physiology you can rewire your internal world and create a feeling of happiness.
Notice how you are sitting right now. Are you slumped and slouched over your computer? If yes-
Sit up, pull your shoulders back, open your heart, tilt your head to a neutral level, take a few deep breaths and smile!
A genuine smile will engage the muscles around the mouth and the eyes. Now see how you feel!
Smiling more can make you feel better but there are some health benefits too-
*Smiling has been shown to reduce anxiety, stress and lower blood pressure.
*Smiling is accually contagious! If you have been feeling down, then have a look at the people you’ve been hanging around with! You may be unconsciously picking up their negative vibes! The more you can smile, the more people around you will smile too!
*There was also a study that suggested that people who smile more appear younger than they accually are! That’s an easy way to look younger!
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
Next time you are feeling down, try to force a smile, change your posture, breathe and boost your mood from the inside out.
Our minds are wonderful tools that can be used for good or if left unchecked, can work us into an imaginative black hole of worry that isn’t even real!
A lot of us are lucky enough to have some form of regular income from a job, government payment or business. Others, will have income that comes in staggered increments from irregular work or things like share dividends, but generally speaking, you’ll be to average it out over the year and get some idea of what income it provides for you.
Regardless of how your money comes, we all have an income. Therefore, we can all create a budget based on the minimum amount that we are able to earn.
I like creating a budget from this place because it helps to keep it real. It says to your brain, this is what we make. This is where the money goes. If you don’t like where the money goes, change it! By putting facts and figures on a piece of paper or excel doc, it provides a sense of control by allowing you to choose where you put your energy.
First write down what your regular income is per week. Then break it up into sections such as-
LOANS/CREDIT CARDS ETC
Spread your income throughout these sections and if you can put aside 10% of your income into a high interest savings account- do it! It really does make a difference!
What if you don’t like what you are seeing?
Then you know that things need to change! You may need to apply for a better paying job or a 2nd job that gives you the income you need to meet your lifestyle. You may decide that your rent or mortgage is too high and you need to reduce it and find something more suitable for your income.
Whatever it is, your budget is telling you to take action.
A budget will help you to know what action to take in order to reduce stress and get back that sense of control.
Sometimes you’ll do your budget and find that you can afford to get a better rental property or may even be able to look at saving more money to purchase a home if that’s what you want! But you won’t know until you start looking!
Many people fear looking at their finances because they believe that they are spending too much money. But if you are investing your money in the right areas, you may be able to have even more money to spend on what you truly want! You won’t know until you do it!
You know that feeling when you’ve got something that you need to do but you really can’t be bothered? We all have these moments, but when it starts to become a habit, then it can be very destructive and can lead to more bad habits which can create more problems.
Being busy for the sake of being busy, can be a form of laziness.
Often there is something that we know we should be doing, but because we are too busy doing the fun things in life, we are accually neglecting the not so fun things in life that are necessary to keep life in balance.
Imagine if you let your washing pile up for weeks on end because you were too busy with work or getting your hair done or taking the dog for a walk. Yes, all these things need to be done and they are important, but one day you are going to have to face that ever increasing pile of washing.
Perhaps you don’t want to do it because you think that you deserve a house cleaner, so you shouldn’t have to do it. Perhaps, you believe that someone else should be doing it rather than yourself. Whatever the reason, there is a negative emotion towards it that is building up in your world and causing problems. The sooner that you can look at the real issue going on, the sooner that issue will no longer a problem.
One day you’ll get over your lazy mind and will say “I’ll just do one load.”
The way to overcome this negative mindset is to take action and do one small thing towards completing it.
That one task which might seem huge and overwhelming, will become smaller and easier to tackle. Eventually that huge task will be a little thing that you need to do as a normal thing every day. Like brushing your teeth (I hope!) is daily practice for all of us.
Next time you are too busy to do something, ask yourself are you really too busy or are you avoiding it?
Often when you are stuck in an area of your life, you have to dig deep to find out why you want what you want.
This may be a new business idea that you are trying to launch, a new relationship or a new home in a different area from the one you grew up in. It can even something small like choosing what you want for dinner which can keep you stuck if you are trying to be healthy but wanting something that you know shouldn’t be consuming!
When you find out what is accually motivating your choices in life, then you have the power to understand, heal and analyse your choices from a more empowered point of view.
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
A lot of us know how to meditate on an area in our lives that we need greater clarity on, and for most times, this is perfect and all that we need to do in order to progress forward.
But there are other times in our lives when we just aren’t getting the shift we need and this is when this trick I took from Dean Graziosi’s book Millionaire Success Habits came from, although I have heard of it in other similar forms throughout the ‘self-help’ industry.
When you want understand your true reason for taking action, ask yourself the question why you want what you are wanting. You ask the question and then keep going deeper from that question 7 times to get to the core reason behind what’s driving you.
Q/ Why do you want to get healthy? A/ To be fit and Strong
Q/ Why do you want to be fit and strong? A/ Because I don’t want to be weak.
Q/ Why don’t you want to be weak? A/Because I want to be able to take care of myself.
Q/ Why do you want to take care of yourself? A/ Because I don’t want to be a burden on anyone.
Q/ Why don’t you want to be a burden on anyone? A/ Because I don’t want to cause trouble.
Q/ Why don’t you want to cause trouble? A/ Because I feel unworthy.
Q/ Why do you feel unworthy? A/ Because I wasn’t wanted.
Questions and answers will always be different depending on each individual as we have all had different upbringings. A child who was bought up wanted and loved throughout their life, will never have not being wanted as their core driving force but rather may have a driving force around expressing their true self.
Essentially we are trying to get to the root thought that is keeping us stuck. Each thought and experience, creates another thought and experience, and so on. We have to keep peeling back the layers to get to the truth of our beliefs, and discover what is blocking us from achieving our goals.
I feel the practice of asking yourself why, gets to the deepest parts of yourself that really only you can get to. Everything we need is within us and the answers you seek to understanding your true motivation are within you also.
If you cannot find the truth within yourself, where else can you expect to find it?
Understanding and analyzing your motivation or intention before starting any project is always beneficial. If you create from a good, positive place, then your creation will be good! Do the work and you’ll get good results!
I was lucky enough to grow up in the Dandenong ranges in Melbourne. We have some beautiful rainforests up here and it is truly my place solitude when I need to escape the craziness of day to day life.
I was drawn to go to William Ricketts Sanctuary the other day, and I haven’t been there since I was a kid when I was about 10 years old. I do remember it being a peaceful place with lots of Aboriginal carvings at the time. Now I’m 38 and I can also see what a truly magical and spiritual place it is.
William Ricketts was an Australian artist born in 1898, who spent a lot of time with the Aboriginal people of Australia, and he also spent time in India studying their philosophy of spirituality. He created his sanctuary as a place of quiet reflection and a space to replenish the spirit.
There were lots of messages around the essence of rebirth, creation from a place of love, oneness with all things and belonging to the land.
Sometimes in our busy lives we forget about the important messages that nature brings and it only be found in moments of peace and stillness. They are simple truths that often go unnoticed during daily activities. I feel that some of these truths are-
- We all need to express ourselves. We are in this world to create. We all have a burning desire to get something out of ourselves and put it into this world. I don’t think we sense that feeling of freedom until we have expressed ourselves fully. If something needs to be said, say it! If something needs to be done, do it.
- We are all connected. If you need something, there’s a good chance that someone you know has the connections to one or all of the resources that you need. Everything we need is already here, you just need to ask or take some sort of action to get it!
- What you give you receive. Give love, kindness and happiness and the world will mirror that back to you. Simple.
- We all deserve to feel love, valued and respected. We need to feel like we belong. If you notice that someone is feeling left out or isolated, connect with them, make them feel welcome. Surprisingly, this increases your feeling of belonging too.
- We all need peace, stillness and solitude. We all need a breather every now and then. We can’t keep going 100 miles an hour without getting burnt out. We need to stop, rest and tune within to connect with ourselves and not let the world bring us down.
Nature’s principles are always very simple. If you are stressed and feeling confused or frustrated, then you probably need some time in nature to return to a simple state of mind with simple, yet effective solutions.
William Ricketts sanctuary is
1402 Mt Dandenong Rd Tourist Rd, Mount Dandenong VIC AUSTRALIA
At the time of writing this we are already into our third month of the year. This year is literally flying by (as it seems to when you get older!)
I just read my goals that I had set earlier on this year and mostly I’m on track for achieving them with a few areas that need a little work. I feel that it’s important to keep checking in with yourself and what you are trying to achieve on a regular basis. It can help keep you motivated and give you direction and meaning in life. I do like floating around and letting the tides take me to different opportunities too, but generally I feel that having a focus is very beneficial for a sense of purpose and control.
If you haven’t set any goals for the year, then maybe start with just one.
An easy goal that you know you’ll achieve. I think the reason that people don’t set goals is because they don’t want to feel like a failure if they don’t achieve them. Setting little goals helps to overcome this fear. But eventually you should start setting bigger goals to grow, change and challenge your beliefs about yourself. I had a big goal to get a new car last year and it didn’t happen and I felt really down about it for a while, but I just stayed focused and got one at the beginning of this year, so it happened, just not on my time schedule!
Sometimes I’ll set goals that seem completely unachievable but with a little focus and trust, you may just get there. I remember many, many years ago when I wanted to leave my first job and start my own business, it seemed like an absolute fantasy and everyone thought I was mad! (Now it seems that everyone does this!) I pushed through the negativity of what people thought at the time and I eventually achieved it. Yes it cost me a lot but it was totally worth it and I am forever grateful that I did set that goal because it’s made my life so much better than I could ever have imagined.
If you don’t try, you don’t know!
If you have set goals for this year, I recommend getting them out and seeing how you going. Are you putting any energy into achieving them? Have you done research, studied or enquired about how to make them happen?
This year one of my goals was to get into trading shares a little more. At the start the year I chased up some old shares I had in my name and got all the paperwork together so I have all of that back now! I have also done some research on trading platforms, signed up with one and get regular market reports sent to me. So I’m the process of it all happening, and just need to keep learning and taking action when required to start making money out of it!
When I feel stuck with my goals I like to meditate on them to get a clear vision of what I am trying to achieve and why. I may notice new ideas or ways to achieve goals and any blocks (be it mental or physical) that can be identified and dealt with. You goals can always be achieved in some way, it’s just your beliefs that stop you! Keep working on and changing your beliefs and you’ll achieve your goals. Just don’t give up!
I remember when I did my yoga teacher training, a girl in my class said to me that she was leaving Brisbane to move up to Cairns for work and would have to leave family and friends and start fresh because they didn’t know anyone up there. I said at the time that that would be hard to do. She shrugged her shoulders, smiled and calmly replied “People are generally pretty nice. It won’t be a problem. ”
For some people this would just be a normal thing to say. But for me at that time, I was shocked! I had grown up in a world that taught me not to trust anyone. My first instinct was always to analyse the person’s underlying intentions from a place of mistrust, rather than come from a place of trusting blindly.
I’ve shifted a few beliefs since then, and I do feel the need to stay aware and a little cautious in certain situations, but I have learnt and felt the freedom and harmony created in relationships, when entering situations with a belief that “people are generally pretty nice.” I feel that when you enter a relationship with positive intentions, people sense that energy and mirror that back to you. For some people this is just natural, but for others, this is a massive change in thinking and if we encounter these people, it’s important to understand because not everyone has been lead to believe that the world is a nice place. Their reactions will be different to those who do feel that people are generally pretty nice, so some compassion and understanding may be needed.
We’ve all been hurt of some level at different times in our lives. Some experiences are able to be forgiven and released quickly, and other experiences can scar us for life.
I believe that if we want to be happy, it’s up to us as individuals to have the courage to trust again through working on our beliefs about people and choosing to “show up” in the world.
Relationships have a huge effect on all areas of our life. Including business, family, love and health. I feel that creating good relationships has a massive impact on your ability to be successful in this life. The number one relationship you need to master is the one with yourself which happens through meditation and inner contemplation on your thoughts, beliefs and ideas. The more you get to know yourself, love yourself and respect yourself then the foundation is set to create positive relationships in your life.
These days, I do believe that people are generally pretty nice but that’s because I believe it!
The seat of the soul by Gary Zuckav *25th anniversary edition recommended by Oprah and Maya Angelou.
“The seat of the soul encourages you become the authority in your own life. It will change the way you see the world, interact with other people, and understand your own actions and motivations.”
Once you make a decision to make a positive change in your life, there comes a time when have to decide if you truly want to experience it, or if it is simply just a wish. If you decide that you truly want to experience it, then you accually have to start taking action towards making this happen which is often the hardest step! We all say that we want to experience positive change or be more disciplined in our lives, but when the reality of it hits us we may encounter resistance both physically and mentally.
It is easy for our mind to make up excuses as to why we can’t do something. Too busy, stressed, no time, lack of energy, limited finances and the list is endless! It’s up to you to understand that this is just the minds way of resisting change, and trying to get back in control.
This is when I find it beneficial to start setting up the environment for success to make your new priorities happen as easily as possible in order to combat the resistance that will always be present when change is called for.
If you are wanting to exercise more, you may like to have your gym clothes and runners out so that when you get up in the morning it acts like a trigger to get into the gym or to just get moving! Perhaps have a calendar on the fridge with a fitness plan, to help keep you motivated! Pay for classes or a gym membership. Money is a powerful motivator sometimes!
If you want to eat healthier, you may want to have a few days of prepped healthy meals on hand so that is your easy grab if you feel peckish!
Clear out the cupboards and get rid of all the crap that no longer aligns with your healthy eating habits. Stop going to cafes with loads of cakes and slices on displays to tempt your mind and instead, find healthier coffee shops or even make your own coffees and save money. Take some nutrition courses and learn more about your health. Immerse yourself in the world of eating healthy and you’ll always win!
If it’s a business goal you are setting out to achieve, network and surround yourself with people who have been there and had the success that you want. Write down goals and create a plan to make it happen. Research, make phone calls and take action to continue working towards to goals.
These are just a couple of examples, but in essence, if you truly want to change negative habits and create new ones that will help you to achieve success, then you have to think and BE different. True change requires you to change thoughts, beliefs, habits and your environment. Start with changing your environment, which will alter your habits, enabling you to shift your thinking, which creates new beliefs and brings about success!
Oh, and don’t give up! No matter how many times you slip back to your old habits, just keep focused on who you want to be, and get back on track!
Weekend Miracle – How to triumph over the past and transform yourself in one weekend by Ravi Nair