Welcome to 2014, babydoll!
I've got a question for ya:
I've got some ideas for you!
In today’s article I’m giving you 14 ways to become more professional in 2014.
(For those of you who haven’t been following the RBC for very long, don’t worry. Being a pro doesn’t mean being boring. Being a pro just means taking your work seriously and putting yourself first. You can absolutely have fun while doing this!)
I'm made it easy for you to step upt to the next level! Each step comes with a Profesh Tweet-firmation that you can use to make a public declaration of your comittment to success. Tweet out the declarations that you want to use in your life :)
1. Visualize yourself at the next level.
Write down everything you see. Where do you live? What tools do you have? What does your day look like from start to finish?
Tweet-firmation: Pros know where they're headed. I'm ready for the next step!
2. Get control of your social media use.
One of my biggest goals in 2014 is to stop letting social media control me. Often, while my mind wanders, I’ll open up a new browser and go to Facebook. It’s an automatic reflex! That’s why I’ve started using Self Control on the regular to block my vices: Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Tweet-firmation: Pros control social media. They don't let social media control them.
3. Start a daily writing habit.
If you run an online business, you need to become a writer, period. In order to become a better writer (and copywriter), you need to create a daily writing habit. (Psst! Even I had been slacking on this recently, so don’t feel bad if you haven’t been writing as much as you’d like).
I recently read an essay by Gretchen Rubin where she said, “As a writer, I work every single day, including weekends, holidays, and vacations. Usually I write for many hours during a day, though sometimes it might be a stint as short as fifteen minutes-- and I never skip a day. I’ve found that this kind of frequent work makes it possible to accomplish more, with greater originality, for several reasons.”
In 2014 I’m recommitting to my “morning pages”-- a daily writing exercise recommended by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. On top of that, I’ve committed myself to writing 365 articles in 2014. I won’t publish all of these articles, of course. Some of them will be absolute crap! The point is that I’m taking control of my creativity.
Tweet-firmation: Professionals have a daily writing habit.
4. Upgrade your tools.
What kind of tools does someone at your level use? Is there a reason why they use these particular tools? I must say that purchasing my MacBook Pro in 2011 was the best decision I ever made. At the time, I wasn’t even close to being a professional, but having the best tool possible made it possible for me to step up to the next level.
Make a list of all of the tools that you’d like to have this year and make a plan to invest in them!
5. Show up.
It’s as simple as that, my friend. If you want to make waves, you’ve got to show up every single day and get the work done. In the beginning, you have to show up even more because you still haven’t proven to yourself that you can do it. When you honor your own word and show up, you empower yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an article, going to the gym, or filing your taxes. SHOW UP.
Tweet-firmation: A pro shows up to work EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
6. Clean up your life.
A few weeks ago I was trying to book a client when I realized that my living and work spaces did not reflect the environment of someone who would have high paying clients. My desk was a mess, I hadn’t unpacked my suitcase properly, there were dirty dishes in the sink, and my bed was unmade. In an amature life this kind of stuff is fine. But in a professional life? It’s time to upgrade and clean out!
Tweet-firmation: From now on my personal + work space are totally profesh!
7. Take care of numero uno.
This is NOT about “life balance”. I don’t believe in balance. Sometimes you’ve just got to focus more on work and sometimes your personal life comes first. I get it. But if you want to step up to the next level, it’s imperative that you take care of your basic needs. Drink your green smoothies, get enough sleep, do your yoga stretches, and spend time with family and friends. If you don’t do this, you’ll burn out. You’ll extinguish your creative flame and it will take months to get it back.
Tweet-firmation: I’m a professional, bitches, and I take care of my pro temple.
8. Upgrade your to do list/ calendar system.
I put my best thoughts on this subject into my book From Amateur to Professional, but here's the gist:
You need a master to do list and a master calendar.
This can be a physical or electronic system. I currently use a physical notebook for my to do list and Google Calendar for my calendar.
Basically, if it's not on my calendar, it's not happening.
9. Be ballsier. Or ovary-er. Whichever.
Do you want to know the BIGGEST reason why you're not at the next level yet?
You haven't done the things that someone at that level would do.
It may come from a deep, uncomfortable feeling of not being good enough.
I think we all struggle with feelings of not being good enough at some point or another.
But it's time to be bold, baby.
It's time to take that big step forward toward your dream. You know which step I'm talking about.
(It's funny, as I was writing this the Switchfoot song "Dare You to Move" came on Pandora. If you need a little musical inspiration to get your butt moving, listen to it here).
Tweet-firmation: Pros make ballsy moves + start before they're ready.
10. Do a little profesh development.
I'm constantly reading books on psychology, marketing, and writing to improve my skills because I want to be the best in the world at what I do.
You can create a wish list on Amazon of books in your industry that you want to read or start downloading eBooks to your e-reader.
Tweet-firmation: Pros are always learning. I'm constantly improving my skills, yo!
11. Hire someone.
Newslfash: By the time you feel "ready" to hire help, it's proably too late.
I'm not talking about getting a fulltime VA. Yet.
But what about hiring accounting, photography, design help?
What about hiring a business coach?
I keep a running list of "things to outsource" in my to do notebook. Basically, every time I come across a task that I DON'T WANT TO DO, I write it down in the book.
12. Pay for basic online services.
If you're new to the outsourcing game, a great place to start is with online services.
Tweet-firmation: Pros pay for pro services to automate their work.
13. Get your legalities in order.
I know, I know.
This is the LAST thing you want to talk about.
In order to take your business to the next pro level, though, you need to:
- Register your business.
- Get contracts set up for your client and contractor agreements.
- Set up a separate bank account.
And I'm not joking about this. You NEED to do these three things ASAP.
14. Surround yourself with likeminded people.
Tweet-firmation: Pros protect their art and surround themselves with superstars.
If you're ready to learn even more about going pro, make sure check out From Amateur to Professional. It could change your life in 2014. (Click the image to learn more).