Sarah Browning shares this thoughtful guest post with us on why the small things in life matter most.
A couple of days ago, I was looking at my one-page summary of all the things that I want to do with my business in the coming months – my summary business plan, if you will. I had just re-written the plan, as I am wont to do from time to time to remove the things that I’ve completed and add in the things that I now want to have a go at. As I looked at the plan, I realised that something wasn’t quite right and I didn’t feel as inspired and motivated as I wanted to.
But what was the problem? Were my tasks too big? Or too small? Were my goals no longer the things I want to aim for? Or was there too much to do under systems and processes, and not enough of the fun, customer-related activity? (For ‘customer-related-activity’, you could just as easily read ‘finding new contacts, going for coffee to hear about the fascinating things they do and then staying in touch to develop future opportunities’!)
No, I realised that the problem with my business plan was the colour of the lines that divide up the different sections. Not having my full range of coloured pens to hand at the time when I rewrote the plan, I had used an ordinary, grey pencil and not a bright, inspiring colour to draw the lines. And it turns out that having dull, grey lines all over my plan really doesn’t inspire me at all. So I got out my eraser, removed the pencils lines and replaced them with nice, cheerful green. Now my plan looks fun and exciting again and I am champing at the bit to get developing, writing and meeting people to take my business forward.
This might seem like a trivial story to tell and on the face of it, it is. What does it matter what colour your plan is written in, it’s the content that counts, right? But actually, for me, it does matter. Your plan and activities should excite and inspire you, not make you feel slightly depressed and overwhelmed. The fantastic thing about being a freelancer is that I can make choices about what I do and how I do it. I believe that my working life can be fun and exciting and I make the choices to deliver on that promise to myself. I’m guessing that if I was employed by a large, faceless company, I wouldn’t be allowed the time and freedom to find the colours that inspire me to do exciting things. I can give myself that time and that freedom – and now my business plan is a thing of inspiring beauty and I am loving turning it into a reality for my business.
What are the small things that inspire you? Share them in the comments below.
You can find out more about Sarah Browning at her website: http://www.browningyork.