Give that woman a gold star

No two weeks are the same when you are a parent, nor when you are a Solopreneur.

The juggle is real. So many shoulda, coulda, wouldas….and not as many Dida’s as we would like AND YES I TOTALLY JUST MADE THAT WORD UP.

FYI – a Dida…is all the things you actually got round to doing!!!

That’s the thing with to-do lists, they are never-ending. They don’t take into account all of the other random crap that enters our working week that has to be triaged, managed, completed or ignored…it all takes its toll.

Often as Mums in business we go into (or fall into) entrepreneurship under the guise of more freedom, more choice, more autonomy. We want to be able to work around our kids, not have an unsupportive boss breathing down our neck, but then before we know it WE have become that BOSS…we have become the worst kind of boss, the type that only notices what we haven’t done, who never gives us praise, who doesn’t agree our annual leave, who makes us work late for no extra pay.

Now I have been a Solopreneur for almost 30 years, 11 of which I have been a parent, 10 of which I have been a Soloparent, 3 of which I felt like I was participating in some kind of apocalyptic Zombie movie….it has been a vibe lol

But actually, it was the pandemic that gave me the kick up the butt to create a productivity system that worked for me, one which didn’t involve a To Do List, or tracking my hours….I needed something that would literally reward me for a job well done, even when I didn’t manage to complete EVERYTHING that needed doing.

That’s where my Gold Star Principle began.

Like I literally started awarding myself actual GOLD STARS, little stickers, actual gold stickers like I was a flipping 10 year old…and the dopimine hit was AMAZING!!!

In business (and in life) we all know there are urgent, not urgent, important and not so important tasks…things we have to do, should do, could do, might do one day if you are lucky…but no fancy quadrant system seemed to motivate me to crack on with the stuff that actually mattered, especially on the tough days, the days where everything felt hopeless, the days when I took a mid-day bath just to escape my own daughter (don’t judge me)

But then I figured out I had to start rewarding progress not perfection, contribution not completion.

I figured out in 2020, while running 2 online businesses with thousands of clients, while also trying to homeschool a 7 year old, and stop our new ginger kitten from shitting behind the TV….that many (if NOT MOST) of the tasks on my todo list, the things which business coaches and gurus had told me were important…didn’t actually make a drop of difference to my business at all.

So I literally stopped doing them. 

80% of the activity I had filled my working week with, I just put on hold. I made a small list of business growth tasks, and the stuff I absolutely needed to do to serve my existing clients, and I focussed on that…and just that. Same applied to my homelife. 

When I looked at my original master to-do list (do you have one of them?) I took a red pen to it and started crossing things off….shit, shit, shit, double shit…and a green pen of, yep need to do, need to do, need to do….most of it was shit.

AND then once I took all of that crap off my plate I had room to breathe, room to think about new things which would bring me JOY and HOPE for the future….and that became my GOLD LIST stuff.

This was where my Getting The Important Shit Done colour coding system was born. I started teaching my clients this. I developed a digital tool that supported the theory (200+ business owners have now used my Solopreneur Dashboard Tool) and my business went from strength to strength, leading to me having my best ever year in business. 

So here is how it works….

Red – Shit List – Stuff I hate doing, but needs to be done…where possible I now outsource this, or do it at the start and end of the week so it doesn’t pollute the rest of the week, or affect my motivation. 

Green – Hit List – Stuff that needs to be done, that I am contracted to do, client delivery, marketing that drives new leads, attending events I have committed to.

Gold – Gold List – Stuff that strategically grows my business and is exciting and empowering to complete.

I have further developed it to include Purple (finance), Pink (self-care), Blue (CEO time)…and Grey (a catch-all of the time we waste scrolling, attending networking that is shite and faffing about)

But here is where it gets juicy.

Here is where my “Give that woman a Gold Star” saying comes into play.

I allocate Gold Stars NOT when a task is 100% completed…because you might wait months for that and delayed gratification is not enough of a motivator for me, NO, I award myself for any 60-minute block I spend on a Gold List task. I also award Gold Stars to my clients who do the same. In fact I am starting a new thing where every week I publically award a gold star to a solopreneur woman who I know has focussed on Gold List tasks to achieve something phenomenal…so keep an eye out on socials for this. 

The fact is we can’t do it ALL, we just can’t, and where we choose to focus our attention is often the difference between running a loss-leading business and a legacy business, and it is why so many folks burn out from the businesses that once filled them with hope.

So buy yourself some gold stars….I love these bad boys from Amazon, and next time you spend an hour on that super challenging but significant to your business growth task…award yourself a gold star and see how you feel….heck reward yourself with a bottle of Prosecco every time you have a 5 star week…see if that works lol


Take my FREE business audit to see if you are running a loss leading or legacy business

Not all Solopreneur businesses are built for success…and over time the novelty of doing what you do can wear thin, and the cracks start to show, no amount of showing up on socials brings you leads, and the revenue you make goes out the door just as fast as it comes in. 

Take my FREE business audit, and find out where you currently are, and what you might need to get you in to a more desirable situation with your business….including where to spend your most valuable resource each week…TIME!!!