Last time we talked, I was in the middle of a midstream flop.

Sometimes forward progress doesn’t look like progress at all—because while you might try to streamline your workload, other unexpected things can still take a spot on the front burner. It’s hard to acknowledge all that’s happened here at Startup Pregnant without still feeling like I have twelve burners cooking and I’m constantly burning something. Maybe, actually, the more accurate metaphor is that I forgot to start the boiling water in the first place. That’s what it feels like, at least.

Getting things done is not linear, and it’s not easy—especially not with kids. Despite the best laid plans, trying to show up in a consistent, regular fashion and maintain focus and momentum can be hard. For me, especially when it comes to writing and entrepreneurship, it feels like some days are a scramble of fixing the things that broke, and it’s hard to measure forward progress.

What I’ve learned, and what I continue to learn, is that I need to focus on as few things as possible in order to make real moves forward. I have to make hard decisions about what to cut from my plate in order to bring the next project to life.

Today I’m excited to share the latest minibook with you, brand-new and out in the world: How to Streamline Your Business. It’s the process I use to painstakingly cut back on initiatives in order to find focus and actually ship things in the world. It’s the process I used to focus primarily on the podcast in the first year of building Startup Pregnant, and the process I used again to stay focused on building only the next branch—The Wise Women’s Council—for the year following.

Everything changes when you are a parent

The way you’ve worked might not work anymore. Your systems and tools in your business might change. Progress might get slower. You might drop the ball. For me, this is so frustrating—and learning how to streamline and simplify has been an essential part of the process. If you want to check out a copy of the book, grab a copy here and let me know how the exercise works for you.

I’m reminded of Mark Silver’s sage advice: “Building a business takes two to four years. It just does.” It takes time to create an offering, set up the systems, test and tweak, share, build a customer base, and do everything it takes to make a business. Runaway business success is a rarity, and it is also not always as magical as it seems from the outside (Groupon, for example, often broke businesses with too much demand.)

Wherever you are on the business journey, know that it takes time—we’re in the third year, here at Startup Pregnant, and some days it still feels like we’re just getting started. Keep going, streamline as you go, make forward progress, and do what you can, bit by bit.

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #132

SOME QUOTES FROM THE EPISODE
  • I’m always so surprised at how much time the writing process takes and how much energy it takes and how dang slow it feels.
  • For me, the process of making progress is always slower than I want it to be. It feels like I am just plodding along and that I don’t get very much done in any given day. But somehow week over week, things do change.
  • My impatience is one of the hardest challenges of being a business owner.
  • Everything changes when you become a parent. The way you’ve worked might not work anymore. Your systems and tools in your business might change. Progress might get slower. You might drop the ball. For me, this is so frustrating—and learning how to streamline and simplify has been an essential part of the process.
  • It turns out “doing it all” isn’t possible, not here, not anywhere—not for me, at least.
  • In my experience, there is always a priority, and you either choose or it chooses for you.
THE WISE WOMEN’S COUNCIL IS NOW OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT 

Want to be part of the magic that is gathering together with smart, talented, wise business women? The 2020 Wise Women’s Council is now open for enrollment. Early bird applications are open through January 20th, and the program kicks off in March. Apply here.

SIGN UP FOR THE PRIVATE FIRESIDE CHAT PODCAST WITH SARAH—EXCLUSIVELY FOR PATREON BACKERS  

If you’re a fan of this podcast, you’ll love the private, ask-me-anything fireside chat with Sarah. For Patreon supporters only, get access to a new podcast episode every month AND the chance to ask Sarah any question you want about life, business, and parenting. She will honor everything honestly. Patreon supporters who become sponsors at $7 a month get exclusive access to these episodes that aren’t published anywhere else. Head to www.patreon.com/startuppregnant to become a back and get immediate access to the episodes.

THE STARTUP PREGNANT PODCAST & HOST
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