Author: Lisa Jacobs

Camp Challenge: Describe Your Dream Boss

Camp Challenge: Describe Your Dream Boss

Pattern by Joyful Roots for OMHG

 

A few weeks ago during an OMHG Twitter chat, Jessika prompted our discussion by asking:

How can we be better bosses & set ourselves up for maximum awesome (however that looks for you)? #omhg

In creative business you wear many hats, and the most important one is the “boss hat.” Therefore, it’s important to work up a dream boss description (similar to the ideal client exercise), listing all the things you love and appreciate about the boss you wish to be.

The Challenge: Describe Your Dream Boss

Setting and achieving goals requires that you adopt some new habits. It means following a production schedule and keeping yourself on track. This is, by no means, an easy task. However, to grow, expand, and present your business in a bigger, better light, you have to strengthen your will-power, increase your productivity, and eliminate any unconscious self-sabotaging ways. And since you’re your own boss, please try to do this in a gentle and understanding manner.

In fact, before you set off onto your biggest, wildest dreams, write up the definition of an ideal boss. What is she (or he) really like? How many vacation days does she give you? Does she give you a Christmas bonus? And if so, for how much? Does she surprise you with early releases? Host happy hours for the office? How does she treat you when you’re sick and need the day off? How does she respond when your family needs you, and you know that being with them is more important than anything else you could do that day? How does she react when you do a good job or exceed her expectations?

Please take the time to write her down and describe her in great detail. Post that in your workspace where you’ll see it often …

And then, BE HER (or him!).

Give yourself permission to grow into this job. Remember why you’re here and who you wanted to be when you started. There’s a lot of work to be done, but remember, the only way to do it is by taking it one step at a time.

As a group, we took on this challenge inside the Oh My! Membership Community. Here’s what our members had to say about their dream bosses:

My dream boss encourages and expects me to grow and improve over time, not overnight. I’m only 10 months into my business, yet I’ve already put such impossibly high expectations on myself. I see other successful businesses and feel like I need to achieve their level of perfection in order to stand alongside them as a creative entrepreneur. Now that I have a dream boss, she’s going to cut me some slack, give me credit for how far I’ve already come, and lovingly encourage me to continue to improve. Besides, who’s perfect anyway?!

My dream boss doesn’t give me the guilt trip! This is by far the thing I was most excited to leave behind with my day job. I have more health issues than most (in comparison to my past co-workers at least) and I dreaded the guilt trip that came more often than not when I wasn’t able to come to work. And somehow, I’ve wound up yet again with a boss who makes me feel guilty when I set aside work to focus on what matters most. It’s definitely time to become the kind, understanding dream boss that reassures me it’s okay to put my family, my health, and my friends first sometimes. Because when I do, I’m “setting myself up for maximum awesome!”

– Anne, Totally Design

My dream boss understands that a productive work day isn’t always 9+ hours in a row, Monday through Friday, and will allow for varying work hours in order to complete my best work. She values a strong work ethic that is balanced by a strong health ethic, and knows that working me into the ground may produce one good result, but it’s not sustainable (or desirable!).

My dream boss speaks honestly and clearly, leaving little space for “but what did she mean?” and “I didn’t know you meant this when you said that” and “but that’s not what you said yesterday”. She believes in the power of hugs, high fives, and “job well done!”. She also believes in the power of failure, mistakes, and lessons learned without the attachment of negativity and guilt.

– Melissa, Print Therapy

My dream boss values me so completely, that she NEVER forgets why I agreed to take this job in the first place: So that I could work flex hours and put my family first while honoring my creative nature and entrepreneurial spirit at the same time.

She knows that I’m a mother of four and wife first, everything else second, and that being present for them is more important to me than all the stars.

And when I’m with my dream boss, she brings out the best work I can possibly produce. She encourages my big leaps and hops onboard my never-before-seen ideas. When I feel anxious to share a big dream (afraid of criticism or failure), she clears the room and opens up space to explore its pros + and potential. I love that about her.

– Lisa, Marketing Creativity

My dream boss is aware of my capability and always pushes me to try new things and work harder, and would constantly tell me that she believes in me. She is supportive of me as a person, mother, and employee and values my needs and opinions. She values my experience and encourages me to keep learning and acquiring new skills.

She invites companionship among colleagues. She believes that a community-like work environment where employees feel safe to be themselves, share their worries, concerns, professional opinions, and personal trials and victories. She believes that everyone brings something extraordinary to the table, and that no one is anything less than an amazing asset.

And my dream boss certainly knows my son and my husband are my number one priority.

– Cody, Lu & Ed

My dream boss provides a fun and attractive work space where I feel safe and happy and is consistently motivating and encouraging. She provides me with the correct equipment and materials for the job, and celebrates and praises my accomplishments – both big and small.

Debra, Stitching Rules

That’s what a dream boss looks like to us-in the comments, please share what a dream boss looks like for you to be included in Part 2 of this post!

Leave a comment sharing what your dream boss looks like and one link to your business or blog, and your response could be featured here next time! 

Finding Your True North: How to Claim Your Expertise

Finding Your True North: How to Claim Your Expertise, Lisa Jacobs for OMHG

I was recently working with one of my dream clients, and I asked her to write down a few things she was an expert at in personal life or business. She answered, “I’m sorry, I can’t answer that. I’m not an expert at anything.”

If you would say the same, I’d bet you also struggle with self-promotion and how to sell your products or services. Know why? It’s because somewhere, deep inside, you believe that you’re not offering anything of true value to the world.

From Wikipedia, an expert is a person “believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may officially rely upon the individual’s opinion.”

If you’re in an entrepreneurial creative business, identifying your unique areas of expertise is a game-changer. Half of your success online is based on how you present yourself, your ideas and your brand to the world.

When I first started out in business, I thought “God-given talent” was extremely rare. I used to think only a select few had it, such as an amazing singer who was born with a beautiful voice. I’ve always admired talented singers because, no matter what I do, my voice will never sing like theirs.

After I found some success as a creative entrepreneur, I realized that while singing is not my talent, I am just as amazing at my own thing as great singers are at singing. I’ve come to understand that we’re each made to be brilliant at something, and it’s too often a greatness most of us never realize we’re living.

Sadly, many people don’t hear their calling. We’re often steered in another direction, or we stubbornly try to do what we think we should be doing, and we ignore our innate talents. People don’t always go inward to find their true north. Instead, we try to think about what would be right, rather than do what feels good. And more often than not, thinking too much and trying too hard are the main ingredients of an unhappy life.

I’m an expert at inner-expression. Wherever I go, I imagine how everyone else is feeling. I’m very tuned into how I’m feeling. I mirror moods. I cry easily: I shed tears through arguments, songs I love, football games (or, winning moments in general), prayer, laughter, and when I see babies being born on TV. Events, people, and nature move me; I care very deeply about the the things I care about. And I can’t not process my feelings.

You’re an expert at something, too, and I can help you name it. Why? Because it’s time for you to claim it!

Grab a piece of paper and write across the top: “I’m SO good at this!”

Then, create four columns:

  1. I do this very well (I’m an expert + others value my opinion on the subject):
  2. I do this rather well (I’m know more than most):
  3. I do this pretty well (I’m better at it than some):
  4. Things I’d like to do well in the future:

Keep this list with you every day for an entire week. You will probably enjoy many of the things you do very well, so train yourself to be conscious of all that you’re doing and how good you are at it. Some activities to consider: dancing, cleaning, writing, planning, budgeting, crafting, connecting, collaborating, organizing, cooking or baking, packaging, decorating, etc.

You’re going to be surprised at how many items you have to add to the list! Next time, I’ll tell you how to shine your light of expertise and become a beacon for success. Until then if you feel like sharing post your list of things you are so good at here in the comments or let us know where you struggled the most when you made your list! 

Steps for Organizing Your Professional Goals

Steps to Help Your Organize Your Professional Goals by Lisa Jacobs for Oh My! Handmade

Not only does organizing your professional goals help to make your working hours count, it also prevents your creative business from growing like a hearty weed into every nook and cranny of your life. You must give your business boundaries and tend to it the same way you’d nurture a lush garden. This takes a little planning, but I promise it will be well worth your efforts.

Here are four simple steps for organizing your professional goals:

Step #1: Name the results you want.

Spring is an excellent time for a creative planning session. You’ll want to begin by identifying what you hope to achieve.

I typically set 6-month goals for my business, and I start by asking the following questions:

• What is it that I want from this business in the next six months?

• What needs to happen over the next six months for me to feel successful?

• What actions do I need to take to bring my goals to fruition?

• How many sales/readers/followers do I hope to gain?

• What’s the exact dollar amount of profit that I need to earn in the next six months to prove this business is worth my time and effort?

Step #2: List the actions that will get you there.

Focus your working hours on only the things that will lead you to the results you want. For example, if I spend an hour making treasuries on Etsy to try to get to the popular page which helps me get views and shop hearts … well, those aren’t sales. I’ve learned over time and a steady lack of results that treasuries bring me views and shop hearts – nothing else.

Therefore, your action steps need to be a whole lot more of what you know works for your business. If you’re just starting out, do what you know works for other successful businesses in your industry.

Here’s a list of actions I’m currently working on as an example:

Accomplish the following by July 30, 2014:

• Publish my next book, The Ultimate Blog Kit

• Reach 4,000 sales in my Etsy shop

• Celebrate the 4th anniversary of my business with a sale

• Celebrate the 4th anniversary of my business with a behind-the-scenes article about its success

• Bring home at least $10,000 in profits

Step #3: Identify what slows your momentum. 

Do you guys remember me from that meeting? My name’s Lisa, and I’m a clickaholic. In other words, I’m an obsessive internet-clicker. Nothing on the internet satisfies my need to know what’s happening, so I click and surf through all of my favorite sites waiting for something new to happen.

In the motivational book, This Year I Will …, author M.J. Ryan titled one chapter: “What Need is Being Served by What You’re Doing Now?” Another version of that question is, “If this moment were a dollar, am I investing it? Or burning it?”

When I find myself saying that I’m so “busy,” I have to evaluate my schedule to find where the energy zaps and time drains are. Nine times out of ten, I’m so busy because I’ve been on the computer all day clicking much of it away. It eats up hours of my valuable time.

If you’re not a clicker, I challenge you to figure out where your time may be wasted. Whether it’s TV, virtual games (Candy Crush, anyone?) or YouTube, our time wasters typically involve screens. Turn off all the screens in your home to find true productivity!

Step #4: Create time blocks to complete unfinished business.

To turn time from a pressure cooker into a pleasure, you must begin to pay attention to where you apply your attention. I can’t obsessively click my six favorite websites waiting for something to happen and make something happen at the same time. I have to choose one or the other.

Each week, there are tasks on your to-do list that you simply do not want to do. That’s life. When those tasks crop up, do you feel the energy zap they cause?

Clicking around the internet, leaving piles of unfinished projects, and calling a friend in the middle of a making session are all forms of procrastination. Acknowledge them! It’s equally empowering and time-enhancing.

In order to get more stuff done, create an uninterrupted block of time in your day when you’ll work on NOTHING else. Think short but powerful sessions, and set a timer for 25 minutes (always use a timer with an alarm; it helps you keep your head down and stay focused on the task at hand).

Challenge yourself to get as much of your energy-zapping activities done in that block of twenty-five minutes, and I promise, you’ll be amazed at the results you produce!

When you spend your minutes wisely, your effort is always rewarded. How are you investing your moments?