[Intro Music] This is Office Talk with Annette Stepanian.
Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of Office Talk. I’m your host Annette Stepanian and in this week’s episode, I want to talk about two of my favorite things: spring cleaning and your business.
Now, if you’re listening to this episode when it originally aired, we are in the beautiful month of April. And that usually brings on this urge to do some spring cleaning, get the house ready for the beautiful season that awaits us.
Now, if you know me pretty well, you know that I love me some home organization. I mean, I’m talking about plastic containers, labels. I love when everything has a home. Everything is clean and presentable. I love The Container Store, I think I could just walk through there – makes me oh-so happy. I love home organization so much that this is kind of a funny story. I don’t know if I’ve told a whole lot of people. But when I first met my husband, so we were just dating and the first time I went over to his house, I reorganized his closet. And I reorganized his basement to the point like we went to the Home Depot, and we got different shelving units and everything. And I organized everything. And I knew he was the one for me because he put up with it and wasn’t completely freaked out by my need to have everything clean and organized for him. Seriously, sometimes I think I’d love to be a home organizer, right? I mean, you know, when you drive by people’s homes, and this may be you and you have, you know, your garage stuffed with just stuff to the point that you can’t even park your cars in there. I’ve actually thought about going and knocking on their doors and offering to clean out their garages for them. Because I really believe that if you live in a beautiful space where there isn’t a lot of physical clutter, it opens up your mind and it clears out the mental clutter as well. And so I love having that harmony in my environment.
So this got me thinking: Okay, I’m doing some spring cleaning. Well, I also spring clean my business all the time. And now that we are in a new quarter, this is a perfect time to do some spring cleaning for your business.
So I want to share with you three questions are things to think about in order to spring clean, really either your home and your living environment, or your business.
First up is, is it still serving me? If it’s not, I got to get rid of it. Okay, so this will apply again, whether it’s your closet, and you’re looking at all the clothes you haven’t worn over, you know, the last six months or so. Or let’s be honest, maybe they don’t fit anymore. Or it’s that junk drawer in your kitchen that’s just full of batteries and receipts and Bed Bath and Beyond coupons and those 50,000 rubber bands. Right?
What you want to do is go through and think about everything that you touch everything that you do. Is it still serving me?
In your business – I mean, gosh, this could be as it can run across so many different areas. It could be something as simple as looking at your credit card statement and looking at where are you spending your money. You know, a lot of us will sign up for different software subscriptions or things like that, that we just stop using and we’re paying for month over month, right? Get on the phone, cancel that subscription. If you’re not using it.
It could be looking at how you’re spending your time day every day. Right? Maybe you’re spending three hours trying to get that perfect Instagram photo. But what is that getting you Is it just you know, kind of checking this checkbox off that list where you feel like oh, I did something but it wasn’t something of value or it wasn’t really, like I said, serving you.
Or you might want to look at your different services or products that you’re offering. Have you sold any of those products or services lately? Is it time to maybe get rid of it or see if it’s you can improve it in some way? This is where you go in with a very, very strict you’ve got to be really disciplined about this but be really strict about it. Like is it still serving me? If the answer is no, you got to get rid of it.
Now I know okay with clothes for instance, sometimes you’re like well, I’m going to lose those like last five pounds and if I lose those five pounds, I can get into that skirt that I really love. Okay, so sometimes you don’t want to get rid of it right away. I get it. I like to put things in like a demotion box so they are not in immediate reach. And so I will take let’s say that skirt that no longer fits. I will put it in maybe a garbage bag or box and then put that box away. But then the next time around when I do spring cleaning, I have to go through that box and if I still can’t fit into that skirt, or if I am not gonna wear it or I don’t see any purpose for that piece of clothing in my life, I have to get rid of it.
Again, with your business. If let’s say you have a product and you’re not ready to get rid of it, then you want to kind of put it either in, put it somewhere where maybe you’re going to commit to improving it, maybe you’re going to breathe some new life into it, or try and you know, run some more attention to it to see if it sells. And again, if in a certain number of months next time you do your quote unquote, spring cleaning, if it’s still not selling, you got to get rid of it.
This leads me to that second question. The first question was, is it still serving me? And if the answer is no, we’re going to get rid of it. But if the answer is it does, then I ask myself, does it need some TLC? Meaning does it need a little bit more attention from me to either maintain it or make it better. And this really comes from what my grandma used to tell me. My grandma used to always say that if you take good care of your things, they will take good care of you. And that also means less is more by a few really good things and maintain them. You don’t need a whole lot of crap. Let’s take it and apply this to your closet.
Let’s say you’ve gone through and you’ve identified that there are certain clothes that you still really love to wear, but you’re not. And you ask yourself: “Well, why am I not wearing it?” Well, it may be it’s just missing a button and you need to get a button sewed on it. Or maybe you need to get it tailored in some way? or maybe just needs to be ironed, right? I am not a big fan of ironing. And so sometimes I’ll wash my clothes, and they’ll be hanging there. And I’m not wearing them because it’s super wrinkly, right? So I go through and I like do it in batches all iron or steam my clothes in a whole set of batches, so I can actually use what I have.
I like to have some nice pots and pans. But let’s be honest, in the day to day grind, I’m not always taking the time to scrub out all the grease stains on the outside of the pan. So what I do is I will now take the time to take good care of them. I will put my Bar Keeper’s Friend and take out my Brillo pad and really scrub out all that grease that you know gets stains the outside of the pan so that at the end of it, I have something that is clean and beautiful. And it’s gonna last me a long time because I’ve taken the time to maintain it and take care of it.
How does this apply in your business? Easy. You take a look at again, what’s working and how can I make it better? So how can I improve my products? So for example, like with my contract templates, I’m always thinking about, are there certain terms and conditions that I need to be adding to the contract templates. So that’s something I’m going to be doing is that I’m going to go through and update some of my contract templates that I think need to be improved, or they just need a little something extra. For you looking at your services, looking at your products, is there something that you’re seeing a lot of your customers asking for? Is there something that you’re seeing that’s not really working great, and you can make it better? Identify what those are and set the time to make those changes.
So if you haven’t figured out by now, I’m kind of a minimalist at heart. I really don’t like a lot of clutter. I really don’t like a lot of tchotchkes. I like looking at other people’s tchotchkes. So if you have a lot of collectors’ items in your house, invite me over because I love looking at it. But I personally don’t like it in my house. Because I always think about like “someone’s got a desk that right and it’s not going to be me.” In business, I’d encourage you to take the same approach.
What are a few of those things that you’re really good at? Let’s try and become minimalists. Let’s do less. but better. Take a look at those things. What are you really good at? What are you really known for? What are customers really coming to you for? And do more of that? Okay, because there’s something that happens when you focus, your time and your energy on just a few things.
First of all, it makes things a whole lot easier for you, right? Because you’re not trying to be everything to everyone. But it also makes it easier for your customers and your clients to understand what it is you do. And to identify yourself as an expert in the marketplace for whatever it is that you are doing.
It eliminates decision overload for people. There’s been studies done right? You’re asking people to make too many decisions because you’ve offered them too many options. What ends up happening is they walk away not making a decision. So if you can focus that, focus your time, focus your services, your products, to a few things that you’re really good at and that your customers actually need, it serves both of you.
And so the final question I asked myself is, where can I have some more white space? I don’t know where I got this from. I just always did this. I always loved having an empty shelf on my bookshelf or an empty drawer. You know, we recently moved. And in my kitchen, I have a few empty drawers, a few empty storage spaces because, like I said, I don’t like filling my house with a bunch of crap just to fill it. And I really love having that whites pace so your room can breathe, your mind can breathe. sso that you have room to invite new things into your life. And if you don’t have the actual physical space for it, or the mental space for it, that stuff will never come to you.
So if you are an avid listener, you may have noticed that in the past few weeks, I have not been posting as many podcast episodes. I have not been super active on social media. And I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way, I just was feeling that I really needed some white space. I just needed to take some time to just chill to just kind of unplug to recharge I just was not feeling that I had anything in me to share or to talk about on an episode. And so I gave myself the permission to have that white space or to have that empty shelf in my business.
And just as how I don’t want to put crap out there, fill my house with crap and fill my kitchen shelves and drawers with crap. I don’t want to put crap out there to you guys. So I said: “Hey, I’m gonna give myself an empty shelf.” So similarly, where do you need white space in your life and in your business? Are you putting time in your schedule to take care of yourself? To be honest, I have not been and I need to figure that out and take that time for myself and almost reprioritize my schedule, so that I’m taking care of me first, and everything else second. Whether it’s you know, taking that time to go work out or go for a walk or to curl up with a good book just because you just want to read it not because it’s going to teach you some new strategy that you can apply to your business. Maybe it’s just binge watching Gilmore Girls.I’m creating that whites pace in my life and in my business so that I can come back recharged.
So to recap, here are the three questions to ask yourself, when you’re embarking on some spring cleaning, either in your home or in your business. The first question is, is it still serving me? If it’s not, you got to get rid of it. Or we put it in that kind of someday pile where we’re going to revisit it and see if it is still serving you. If not you get rid of it.
The second question is, if it is serving me, does it need some TLC in order to maintain it or make it even better? The key here is how can I take what I have and make it even better?
And finally, are you leaving enough white space in your life? Do I have an empty shelf? And the empty shelf is symbolic of having that either physical or mental space to invite the magic to happen. To invite new things into your life. To allow things to have room to breathe.
Okay, you guys, that’s all I have for you this week. I hope you enjoyed it. Thank you for listening. This is definitely one of my favorite episodes because like I said, I love talking about this stuff. And so I appreciate you being here listening. And I would love to hear how you are spring cleaning your life or your business.
So if you’re not already following me on Instagram, head on over, you can find me @annettestepanian and let me know how are you getting ready for the beautiful new season ahead. As always, thank you so much for listening, and I can’t wait to talk to you later.
Before you skip to that next episode, I want to invite you to a special event called Legal 360 Live. In this live online summit. We’re gonna walk through what you need to know legally speaking as you start and grow your business. So if you’re ready to roll up your polka dotted sleeves and finally get your legal house in order once and for all, head on over to yourlegalbff.com/live. That’s your yourlegalbff.com/live.