STOP Trying to Do Everything

When you’re trying to grow a business, the temptation is to jump in and try to do everything you possibly can to make it a success. All at the same time.

  • You set yourself up on as many online venues as possible.
  • You attend as many markets as possible.
  • You try to get your work into as many shops as possible.
  • You try to blog every day.
  • You try to use a mailing list, twitter, instagram, facebook, pinterest, google +, tumblr etc etc all at once to market your biz.
  • You try to get your work featured by bloggers, in magazines, newspapers… maybe even on TV!
  • You are constantly making, photographing, and uploading new designs.
  • You work yourself ragged trying to maintain that 2-day turnaround on orders.
  • You try to do all this and run some semblance of a regular life outside of your work, too.


I’m telling you right now – from a place of hindsight – you need to stop.

Stop trying to do it all at once – because all you’re doing is setting yourself up for burnout. And if you reach that point? You risk giving it all up because you now hate what you once loved.

Yes – especially when you start out – you will be working like mad. This is okay… for a little while.

Life is about ebbs and flows, and there will always be times when you have to put in extra time and effort because a time-sensitive opportunity is looming. That’s okay… but it needs to be balanced by time when things are going smoothly, easily, and you have a bit more room to breathe.

I’ve said it time and time again – business is a marathon, not a sprint. If you sprint too much during the marathon, you’re going to collapse before you reach the end.

You MUST start thinking long-term if you want a sustainable, profitable business. {click to tweet}

You need to learn patience.

It’s okay to not do it all – all at once.

This doesn’t mean you should get lazy – it means you should get strategic.

I’ll bring your attention to the Pareto Principle – or the 80/20 principle. One interpretation of this principle is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort.

The trick is figuring out which 20% is working, and doing more of that!

This comes down to a few things: not only looking at stats and customer info to work out where your customers are actually coming from, but also thinking about what you enjoy about your business, and doing more of that (and less of what you don’t). Sure, there will always be boring stuff that we just have to do, but there are also lots of ways to delegate that stuff to other people. This might not be possible at the beginning, but you WILL reach a bottleneck eventually where it’s either delegate or implode under the strain.

There is NO WAY I could run Epheriell and Create & Thrive as they are now without help. No way.

Sure, when I started out, I did everything myself. And that was fine… when I was only getting a few sales a week. Once you start getting a few sales a DAY, things get a little harder.

I used to blog every day over on my old blog Epheriell Designs. I loved it… and it was wonderful while it lasted. It allowed me to build my reputation, connect with people, and have fun with my work. I was very sad when I had to let that routine go – but it was also freeing. I let it go because I was busy doing other, more strategic things.

I sometimes beat myself up because I’m not doing more PR… but then I realise I’m not doing more PR because I’m already too busy filling orders to do PR… and isn’t the point of PR to get more orders? If I’ve already go the orders, something is already working!

That said… once you attain some modicum of success, you need to ensure you don’t get so lazy with marketing that you give it up altogether because you’re too busy filling orders. If you do this, you risk everything falling apart if the current source of your orders dries up – you need to have multiple irons in the fire. The trick is picking the right irons – and not having too many.

Doing one thing really, exceptionally well is better than doing ten things in a mediocre fashion. {click to tweet}

Pick the one or two things in each area of your business that you both enjoy and do well. Then focus on those for a while – maybe 6 months or so.

Focus on growing instagram and your mailing list.

Focus on designing and launching that new collection – and accept the fact that this means your order turn-around time has to lengthen.

Focus on connecting with bloggers, and forget about magazines for now.

Focus on that one, high-end market, rather than trying to do 12 of them. Ditto for shops.

You get the idea.


As you grow, you need to get more and more strategic with your time. You need to work out time management strategies that minimise ‘busy’ work and procrastination. You need to start letting go of some things – whether that be just completely letting go, or delegating to assistants. You need to get smart about which parts of your work are actually building your business, and which parts you’re just doing because you think you should.

Stop trying to do everything – and start yourself on the path to thriving instead of just surviving.


Image source: Unsplash

Feeling snowed under and overwhelmed? Join us for my new e-course SHIFT: a 30 day journey to drive your biz from where it is to where you want to be – including a whole week of lessons on time management strategies. Register here.

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