When I decided to open my own business and create marketing strategies for start-ups and small companies, the first thing I did was sit down and start working on my own marketing strategy. I defined my audience, created avatars for them, developed my content and social media approach, outlined the packages I planned to offer, and so on. Basically, I started doing what I know best and stayed in my comfort zone.

However, a strong marketing strategy is not enough if you want your business to be successful. You also need to find clients, take care of the administration and financial aspects, manage customer service, and so on. Essentially, you need to do the job of four different people at the same time. You need to perform tasks that tend to take up a big chunk of your time and, for most, require you to enter into unknown territory.

I am the first one to advocate for asking for help or hiring externally, but even if you do, you still need to be able to monitor the situation and understand it. After all, it is your business and livelihood we are talking about. Thus, you need to be informed on the matter.

Last week, I read an article recommended to me by Medium: Starting Is A Skill, You Need To Keep Practicing by Louis Chew. He talks about the importance and the power of starting and how people can educate themselves in this “art.” His advice for embarking on this journey of learning a new skill is to break it down and to automate through habits.

I found his words to be very inspiring and so unbelievably true!

I realized I was in fact advising my clients to do the same when it comes to their marketing habits, however, I tend to procrastinate when it comes to topics I do not know that well, such as administrative work.

So, I decided it was time to change this and put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.

To create a new habit, I chose to apply James Clear’s pattern: ‘The 3 Rs of Habit Change’. Create a reminder, a routine, and a reward for habits to form and stick.

Actually, it is the same system I create for my clients when it comes to implementing their content and social media strategies:

  • I create an activities calendar — a routine,
  • that needs to be implemented by specific deadlines — the reminder,
  • in order to achieve the goals — the reward.
William Iven

So, I set up my goals (the admin work that needs to be done) for the year and broke them down by quarter, month, and week. Once I had this, I defined the activities that need to be done and the expected delivery dates. I placed all this in an excel file and created an activity calendar, exactly as I do for my clients when I create their social media calendar. This is my routine.

To make sure I stick to it, I put reminders in my agenda with the tasks I need to do, and I made sure they are at the same time every week, so I can create a habit. It’s just like grabbing a cup of coffee before opening my laptop to begin my work for the day.

Now the only thing I am missing is the reward part. I am on the fence between a nice dessert and reading a new book. Most likely I will choose to read a new book because after eating the dessert, I will feel guilty!

What I have learned from all this: You have all the tools you need. You just need to start doing it! It can be hard, but you can begin with small steps and build on that. There are so many tools you can use to ensure you make it happen. And most importantly? You need to have fun doing it, otherwise, you will not follow through. Thus, the reward!