L ast year, a client asked to work with me, and her number-one reason for choosing me out of a sea of coaches was that no matter what, my newsletter showed up in her in-box as promised. For five years, it was weekly, and then I switched to every-other-week. She wanted to know my secret to consistency. The truth is, beyond a desire to be within my own integrity, my secret is having systems in place to ensure I do what I say I’m going to do.  As well, if, for any reason, I can’t quite meet the commitment I made to readers or subscribers, I let them know why.

It’s easy to make promises, especially in this day and age of Instagram Perfect lives. Whether you are self-employed full time as an entrepreneur, have a side-gig as a coach, or have a dream to write a book, it can be beyond challenging to meet every deadline and keep all the promises, especially when the only person holding you accountable is you.

The need for extraordinary commitment and accountability is why self-employment isn’t for everyone. That’s a harsh reality that a lot of folks may not want to hear, but let’s be honest here: even if you work for someone else and have the opportunity to office from your home some or part of the time, it’s not a cake walk.

It’s beyond challenging to consistently get work done and meet deadlines thanks to all the attractive alternatives to working – hello, Netflix; hello, cute-cat-videos.

Like a friend told me recently, the great thing about working from home is that you can toss in a load of laundry at any time. And the worst thing about working from home is also that you can throw in a load of laundry at any time.

Beyond my systems to help me hit deadlines, a tidy work-space helps cut back on the distractions.

Delivering on my promises without fail hasn’t always been the norm for me. It’s easier for all of us to bite off more than we can chew. It can feel disheartening to write a blog post, send a newsletter, or even keep up with posting on a Facebook Business page when you don’t have a lot of fans or followers.

It’s taken a mix of hard work, devotion, and those deceivingly simple systems move beyond all that and set myself up for success.

Truthfully, if you struggle with meeting deadlines, achieving those big dreams, or keeping the promises, you make, you aren’t a bad person. The problem isn’t that you don’t have “what it takes.” The core challenge is that you haven’t yet learned the skills to meet bigger goals, or  that you don’t have the systems in place to support your desires.

I’m not trying to be a wet blanket on your entrepreneurial dreams. I’d never say that you can’t reach big goals, like writing that novel you’ve been dreaming of creating.

What I am saying is that if you want to set yourself up for success, there are a few things you can do:

  • Create a nourishing environment. This includes a dedicated work-space that is free from distracting clutter. Nourishing work-spaces can be a room, a corner, or a closet.
  • Ensure that your work-space is congruent with your goals.
  • Fuel your day with supportive routines.
  • Consider mixing in rituals that connect you to the why behind your dream, goal, or business philosophy.
  • Set SMART goals. This means a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable (not too crazy, but enough to stretch you), Results-Oriented, and Time-bound.
  • Ensure that the goals you set aren’t in conflict with each other. For example, it’s practically impossible to both work more and spend more time with loved ones.
  • Create systems that keep you on track. This can vary from regular retreats to make plans, appointments with yourself, written goals, spreadsheets to track projects, vision boards, making your calendar your BFF, and regular reviews.

There’s one more crucial item that you should consider: It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.

Not everyone has the inherent knack for working from home, but most of us can acquire them. When all your other resources aren’t enough, take a class, or consider hiring a coach. Not only does having external assistance help you set up systems with greater efficiency, it also provides a level of accountability that’s a bit deeper than checking off items on a to-do list, or having a friend do ‘temperature checks’ with you on a regular basis.

You can achieve your deepest desires: a book, a business, a regular painting practice, or a soul-nourishing side gig. To ensure that you do make those dreams a reality, curate the kind of support you need to make it happen.

In my experience, that means you need a work-space and systems to support your desires.

Would you like help getting your office in order and creating supportive systems? Let me help you discover what works for you.

The Congruency of Your Office & Your Goals: Home Office Edition can HelpI’m brought a favorite course out of the vault:  Home Office Edition: Clearing Clutter & Creating Systems for Entrepreneurs and Others Who Office At Home.

It begins August 07, 2017

Working from home isn’t always easy. There are distractions abound – neighbors, the postman, the laundry, Netflix…. So, don’t let the clutter add to your distractions.

Working from home can give you a sense of freedom you’ll never find in a cubicle. So the creation of systems will help you feel free because you’ll be supported by a structure that fits your needs.

I created the Home Office Edition to help you clear your physical spaces and create systems that fit your life and business.

Home Office Edition begins August 7, 2017 and is priced at a budget friendly $21.

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By Debra Smouse: Writer, life coach, and Tarnished Southern Belle, Debra helps people fall in love with their life. An expert de-tangler, she believes in busting clutter as a path to greater clarity and that within every woman is vibrant, passionate, and sexy being just itching to make their inner sex kitten roar. A native Texan, she resides in Ohio with the Man of her Dreams.

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