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Productivity

Why a business fling is a good thing

If you’re anything like me, by this time of year you’re seriously sick of your business. The relationship is flagging. You’re bored with the Groundhog Day ‘To Do’ list. Is it time to cheat on your business?

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You're exhausted by the relentless responsibilities.

Completely over the never-ending pile of ‘coulds’ and ‘shoulds’.

And that marketing campaign you never launched?  Well it’s become the business equivalent of asking your partner to take out the recycling for the eleventy-billionth time.

You’ve lost that loving feeling. The spark is gone. And familiarity has bred a bucketload of contempt.

Of course, you could go and talk to someone about your business relationship issues.

But is a gratitude diary and mood board really going to turn your business frown upside down?

I have a better suggestion...

It’s time to spice things up between the (spread) sheets.
It’s time to cheat on your business.

Now before you get your knickers all twisty, I’m not advocating a quick fiddle behind the photocopier with Alan in Accounts.

Nor am I suggesting you coquettishly drop a mini quiche down your cleavage at the next networking event in the hope that someone attempts to retrieve it.

When I say ‘cheat’, I’m talking about having a business fling – ripping off that business plan in a fit of passion and stripping down to the bare essentials.

The next time you see a sparkly object, a business distraction, I actually want you to take it home with you, roll around with it, and yelp with delight.

Okay I’m getting carried away here. Let me explain.

Business plan, business schplan

I’ve never had a business plan. I downloaded a template from some government website but it felt so overwhelming that I filed it in my ‘Ignore forever’ folder.

Over the past ten years my business has evolved organically. Yes, I’ve made money and achieved a lot. But it wasn’t planned. A lot of it was happy accident.

And a lot of it was based on risk.

Instead of choosing the solid, reliable, sensible option (the business equivalent of that chunky jumpered man with the kind eyes), I chose risky crazy idea (the business equivalent of bad boy with the motorbike, the tats, and that cheeky smile that makes your legs wobble).

So for example:
I was a successful SEO copywriter earning big bucks. But I decided to give it up and try to build passive income through courses, templates and books.

I was an unknown SEO Consultant, so I thought I’d build my brand by starting podcast – even though there were already big names playing on that field.

I’d never written a business book, so I posted on Facebook that I was going to. Four months later I had a book.

None of these things were planned.

I didn’t do a risk assessment or weigh up the pros and cons.
I didn’t stick with the safe, comfortable options.

Instead I threw caution to the wind and dove in head first.

I had a business fling – and these flings have become the best bits of my business.

The business turf ain’t always greener

As you sit at your desk watching other people lead exciting lives, it’s easy to look sideways at your business and think:

I wish you were more like them.

You don’t excite me anymore.

You’re not the business I started.

And sometimes that’s true.

But then sometimes when you taste the forbidden fruit of a different business venture, that fling I’m banging on about, you can find it’s not quite as exciting as you thought it would be.

(Is the fling analogy wearing thin now? Probably, but stick with me.)

So for example:
I longed to be a speaker. I saw others treading the stage with Madonna head mics and Ted Talk pauses, and I wanted to try it.

At first it was thrilling. But it often felt empty and not as substantial as sitting at my desk and making things to help people. I realised I didn’t want to be on the road for 11 months of the year.

And I began to appreciate my boring familiar old business a little more– the ease, the comfort and the understanding.

Striking the balance

After a year of risky flings and adventures I’ve worked out what I like and what I don’t.

And I’m now in a polyamorous relationship with my business.

Day-to-day we get on well. I get satisfaction and enjoyment out of the regular work. But sometimes I pop on my business nipple tassels and try something different – an impromptu workshop, a new joint venture, or a random webinar.

These mini business flings keep me fresh. They give me a break from the day-to-day, and help me cope with the responsibilities that come with being a soloist.

By straying from my business path, I discovered exciting and interesting new adventures. These twerked my curiosity (yes, twerked), fed my creativity gland, and caressed my love-starved ego.

They injected new life into me and consequently into my business.

And they could do the same for you, too.

So ask yourself how could a business fling spice up your 2019? And what risks are you willing to take to change things up?

Kate Toon

is a copywriter, SEO lover and Hula Hooper based in Sydney. She’s the author of Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur | How to succeed in business despite yourself. Connect with her on Google+, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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