When I first started my business my goal was to simply wake up happy every day. What I’ve learned is that understanding what’s important, and what brings in a feeling of happiness and success creates extraordinary knowledge and wealth.
Do you feel chained to a business you hate? Are you constantly completing tasks that don’t light you up and spark your creativity? Do you worry that you’re sacrificing all of your time for just a few dollars?
Take what it is you enjoy and do it at the pace in which you enjoy it. Today many businesses suffer from what I call “More Syndrome“. Gotta do More, Gotta Be More, Go big or go home. I would venture to say that having to do more every day is unlikely to bring joy. Instead, it creates an emptiness because doing more every day you can never be fulfilled and happy and success is elusive.
Your business can be filled with joy and ease if you want it to be. All you have to do is make a declaration that you choose to delight in and enjoy your business.
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
You know that client? The one whose name you see in your inbox and you instantly, cringe knowing it’s going to be a long day? What would happen if you let them go? What if you filled your client roster with only with 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 hating 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 want 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.
Joy Sparker #6: Change Your Environment
If you always work out of your home office, consider packing up your laptop and going mobile. Run your business from a co-working space, your local library, or your favorite coffee shop.
Working in a different setting can cause you to look at old problems in new ways. It can inspire you to hear the hustle and bustle of people around you. Plus, it increases creativity and helps you learn new things faster.
If you can’t change your environment, trick your brain. Use a noise generator and put on sounds from a coffee shop, office, or waterfall. The soothing background noise can provide the same effect as if you’d actually gone somewhere else.
Joy Sparker #7: Create Just for You!
When you work as a service provider or business owner, it’s easy to get into the habit of producing purely for the benefit to other people or your brand. While this can be good, it also has a downside: you ignore projects that would be creatively fulfilling.
It’s OK to work on a passion project that doesn’t make you any direct income. In fact, it’s a great way to inspire yourself. Not every word you write or graphic you design has to be for public consumption. You can create simply for the joy of making your art.
Joy Sparker #8: Go for a Makeover
Sometimes, you just need a makeover. This might mean getting your website redesigned, switching up your branding, or even re-arranging your office. It doesn’t have to be a huge change either – it could be something simple like switching fonts on your website or choosing a color scheme that’s a better match for your office space.
Create a space for you to play and experiment with new ideas or designs. Maybe grab a few paint swatches for your home office. Ask a graphic design friend to create a brand board for you on Pinterest (remember to offer a favor in exchange!).
Joy Sparker #9: Define Your Special Sauce
You bring magic just by showing up. It’s your “special sauce” but to you, it’s so common you don’t recognize it. You don’t realize what your gifts or special talents are.
Take a moment and ask a business friend what you’re good at. Then listen to the answer—it might surprise you to learn that your friend thinks you have an amazing knack for writing killer copy or a gift for making complicated tech problems simple.
Make it your goal to spend more time this week focused on your “special sauce”. Do the activities your business friends say you’re good at and evaluate how you feel at the end of the week. Was there more joy and ease in your business? Do you feel excited to get back to work again? These are clues that you may need to spend more time focused on these areas.
Joy Is Yours for the Taking!
Your business can be filled with joy and ease if you want it to be. All you have to do is make a declaration that you choose to delight in and enjoy your business. Then start looking for ways to make that happen. You never know what you might discover along the way!