What is UP my friends and fellow busybees. Today’s post is a little shorter than usual because it’s been a busy week getting prepped for the holidays (we’re hosting Christmas dinner at our place this year for my husband’s family so that means on top of getting the normal gifts together, I’m also prepping snacks, food and desserts and getting the house cleaned and organized which… has been.. fun?) and I also took some time away from working in my business this week to work on my business and do some more strategizing for the new year.
I attended Jan Ditchfield’s Online Entrepreneur Event and it was two days filled with great speakers and networking with other digital entrepreneurs so it was tons of fun and I learned loads, but it means I had to sacrifice some of the prep time I typically put into these posts. I hope you’ll forgive me ;)
But I wanted to spend some time today discussing something I have been hearing a lot from people lately: they’re finding it hard to find the time to flip their furniture pieces and finish enough pieces. So let me outline some of my recommendations for this:
Find the little pockets of time- Remember that no matter how small of an amount of time you have, any little thing that you do on the piece is moving that project forward towards its finish line. So don’t overlook a 5, 10 or 20 minute window of time… you’re still making progress, even if it doesn’t feel like much!
Batch your project stages- If you want to be the most efficient with your time and effort in the workshop, batch the stages with multiple pieces. Grab 3 furniture pieces and in the same day, complete the same stage in the makeover process on all of them (clean, repair, prime/condition, stain/paint, top coat, etc.). This way, you’re wasting less time setting up and cleaning up the space multiple times and instead are finishing multiple pieces at once while using your time in the most efficient way possible. I don’t see enough people doing this and it truly is the key to being able to crank out multiple pieces, if you’re looking to increase the volume of items you’re listing for sale.
Keep it top of mind- If your workshop is out of sight and out of mind (like in the garage that you don’t step into unless you’re going out to work), make sure you’re reminding yourself of the work you need to do. Set an alarm on your phone, book it into your calendar, or make it a habit to get in there at a certain time of day so you don’t end up going days or weeks without working on your pieces. We can get so easily distracted by little things in the day-to-day (“OH, I should throw a load of laundry in!”, “when was the last time I organized under the sink in the bathroom?”, “this fridge is a mess- I need to clean it out!”) and can find days quickly rushing by without having made any tangible progress on our furniture makeovers.
Reframe your mind- Quit thinking about it as work you have to do, and instead remind yourself that these are projects you get to work on. Furniture refinishing wasn't meant to be a chore-- remember why you first started and enjoy your alone time out in the workshop! Mindset is everything.
Keep it organized- If you don't have a ton of time in your day to work on your furniture flips, set yourself up for success by ensuring that you have a tidy, organized space (ideally) when you finish up for the day. This way, you'll know exactly where everything is that you need and can jump back in quickly the next time you get out there.
Set up reminder triggers- If you often forget to get out to the workshop to work on your pieces and instead just use your free time aimlessly scrolling on social media, set up something that will remind you to get out there. A sticky note in your line of sight on the couch can work wonders!
Incentivize yourself- More motivated by external things? Then pair things that motivate you with working on your furniture makeovers-- maybe you only get to listen to your favourite podcast when you're working (*cough cough*) or you can only get a second coffee of the day if it's enjoyed out in the workshop. Figure out what works for you & run with it!
Set up systems- If you find yourself spending more time on dealing with inventory and supplies, creating and posting content on social media, and completing administrative tasks rather than actually refinishing furniture in your furniture refinishing business-- you need some better systems, babe. Sorry to break it to you. Setting up systems will help to streamline these tasks so they’re either automated and you don’t even need to deal with them, or they will have a flow that ensures you’re making the best use of your time and aren’t wasting it on menial tasks that could be done much more quickly and efficiently. Did I mention I offer coaching/consulting services to help you set those up in your business? Check it out if you’re looking for some support and accountability with this piece!
I have one more tip, but first– If you are someone who has had the thought that you might want to try officially having a business selling your furniture makeovers, you are in the right place, my friend. I came from the world of social work and victimology so I had absolutely no idea what to do when I decided I wanted to start a business doing furniture painting and refinishing– so if that’s you and you’re like, what am I supposed to be doing and how does this all work– I got you!
I put together a free guide and checklist for starting your own furniture refinishing business so you can get started today, and follow a step-by-step road map so you don’t miss anything important. I also recommend this for anyone who found themselves unexpectedly running a business selling their refinished furniture, because that’s often what happens, you do a couple pieces for your own home then do some for friends then get convinced to sell them and then BAM! You’re a business owner and you didn’t even know it. So if that is you, I also think you’ll really benefit from this guide and checklist to help you make sure you’ve ticked all of the boxes and aren’t missing anything you ought to be implementing. So download the free guide and checklist today and let’s get you started on the right foot!
Last up, don’t compare yourself to others if it isn’t something that is productive for you and your mental health. If you are comparing the amount of outputs that you see full-time creators doing (like releasing 4-5 Reels a week with in-depth tutorials on completely different pieces) I’m sorry to break the movie magic facade but there is a very good chance that that person batched their content and scheduled it out and didn’t actually complete all of that work that week (or if they did, they might have had some help in doing so that you aren’t aware of!).
*Comparison is the thief of joy* as they say, so doing so will just leave you feeling shitty about yourself. Instead, focus on you and ways you can beat your previous self or else that will kill any potential for motivation that you may have had because you’ll be moping around being all “woe is me!” and not feeling energized to get out into the workshop and crush it and improve.
And something you may not know about me… I love little motivational messages. They literally always get me fired up, and I keep a running list of ones that are especially catchy or speak to me in the Notes app on my phone. So I’m going to end every podcast episode with one of those that I have noted down over the years, in hopes that you leave our time here each week feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way that week.
So this week’s Mel’s motivational message is from Derek Sivers: Call the destination and ask for directions.
Alright, that’s it for now, I appreciate your time, and I’ll catch you guys next week! Happy holidays!