The Overwhelmed Small Business Owner’s Guide to Simplicity

We have more ideas and responsibilities than we have time in a day. Plus, every piece of success seems to come with new challenges.  In fact, opportunities come from the challenges that we’ve learned how to maximize.  And since we can’t control everything that happens, we might as well learn how to move forward in spite of it.

Overwhelmed work

If being overwhelmed is your issue, then start with one thing at a time.

One new lesson a month. 

You can learn it by reading a book, completing an online program, attending a local marketing class. However you choose to learn the lesson, find one key point and focus in on it until you understand it enough to use it.

In this information age, we tend to “spot” read and “half” know. In turn, we know about things, but we don’t know how to use them. We don’t know how to make them work for our business. So break this cycle on purpose.

And you don’t have to do the legwork yourself. Assign it to someone on your team, but make sure it’s learned and used to benefit your company before the month is over.

One new business relationship a week.

Has it been a year and you haven’t met new people, established new relationships, connected with clients? Then it’s time for an adjustment. Make a point to establish one new business relationship a week.

The key to what we want often lies in who we know. Expand your circle.

One new marketing action per month. 

Decide to use what you learn. Avoid being one of those people who always studies, but seldom acts. This is not school; we’re not cramming for a test in an hour. This is business; we are learning in order to move our companies and lives forward.

Implementing one new marketing strategy or updating one old one each month gives you a chance to understand, develop, execute, measure and tweak the strategy so that you get the most out of it.

One primary goal for each day. 

Sure, you have a list of 19 things to be before noon—who doesn’t? But can you really finish all that today? And if not, why is it on your list making you feel anxious and unsuccessful?

So take a look at that list and circle the most important thing on it. Choose to tackle that item today, no matter what. Go after what matters most everyday and you’ll find yourself much closer to your goal.

This holds true for down time as well. There should be some days in every month where your biggest assignment is to laugh hard and sleep often. You are human; rest matters.  And the best ideas tend to come after a break, so take your day. The work will be here when you get back.

Overwhelmed With Work Photo via Shutterstock


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

73 Reactions
  1. Jamillah: Thanks for posting this piece. It gave me a sense of relief and important fuel for my soul, planning for 2012. I will print it out and put on my bulletin board as a continuous reminder! 🙂

  2. Hey, this is very useful, thanks. Just chunk down on our goals from yearly, to monthly, to weekly and daily, smart.

  3. Great Post! Simplicity is best, eases execution.

  4. This is really an excellent piece of writing to all business owners! Business owners(esp.small) are often occupied with doing tedious administrative tasks. It’s highly important that small business owners and entrepreneurs effectively tweak their time management skills so that they can get all of their tasks done—everything from the ordinary to high priority.

  5. Great insights Jamillah, thanks for sharing!

  6. Jamillah Warner (MsJ)

    You’re welcome Emma!

  7. Great advice. Glad to know I’m not the only one who comes up with 5-10 ideas a week, then realizes that I have twenty things that need to be done before I can even think about dedicating time to my “new” ideas. Organizing and planning your time is so important to running and advancing a business. Thanks! Jesse Schelitzche

  8. I’d just add that whenever there’s conflict, a small business can achieve simplicity — and save time and money — by using a mediator / ombudsman to resolve the conflict quickly — before the conflict makes everyone feel even more overwhelmed.

  9. I’d say, if we truly want to be productive-take one step at a time, it can do wonders.

  10. Making things simpler makes things easier. While business can go up and down, simpler and easier ways makes the business stay up and focused.


  11. Rysia Wojtanowski

    I really like the points made here, especially the ones pertaining to learning and making new connection each month. My biggest problem in this area is losing focus and not keeping all activities in balance. I am learning, though and comments like this bring me back to earth, so to say, Thanks.

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