I am excited to share with you my interview with "The Queen of Content," Ms. Philisha Mack of The MACK Institute. Hear her thoughts on what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur! Watch, then share your takeaways in the comments!
"Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how.'"--Viktor Frankl
Are you setting goals that are relevant to you? Really, truly, important? Establishing relevant goals increases the likelihood that you will continue to press on toward the finish line even when challenges and obstacles arise.
Set goals that are meaningful to you. Your goals should be tied to your vision and long term plans. Focus on your own agenda, not someone else's. Too often, people set goals in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses. Don't set your goals based on someone else's race--run your own!
Have you considered working with a virtual assistant? If you are overwhelmed doing everything for your business on your own, it might be time to hire some help! A virtual assistant (VA) is an independent professional who provides administrative or technical support. The "virtual" in VA means that you don't have to meet with your assistant face-to-face. He or she works remotely--communicating via phone, email, and/or Skype. What types of things could you delegate to a VA?
Social media posts. I have mentioned before how products like Hootsuite allow you to save time by posting to several social media sites at one time. You can save even more time by delegating your social media posting to your VA.
Conduct research for articles, books, webinars, and speeches. Give your VA the topic and let him or her compile articles, news clippings, and other resources.
Scheduling. Your VA can schedule and confirm appointments with prospects and clients and place important meetings on your calendar.
Email management. If your inbox is overflowing, your VA can process your inbox, removing all the unnecessary messages, leaving only the important ones.
Contact management. Hand off all those business cares you receive at networking events to your VA to enter into your contact management software.
A VA can make your life much easier--as your business grows, bring in the help you need!
I discuss the process of delegating in my Udemy course: Productivity & Time Management: Grow Your Side Business. For more information about the course, click here. The video that accompanies this blog post is a clip from the course.
It happens to all of us. You put off doing something you know you should be working on. What can you do to combat procrastination when it sneaks up on you? Here are five tips:
I discuss the strategies for overcoming procrastination in my Udemy course: Productivity & Time Management: Grow Your Side Business. For more information about the course, click here. The video that accompanies this blog post is a clip from the course.
If you want to save time, you MUST learn to automate! Examine the systems within your business. What parts could be set up to operate without you? Here are a few examples:
Social Media Posting: Consider using a product such as Hootsuite to schedule your social media interactions. With Hootsuite, you can create and schedule posts to over 35 networks at one time, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Ordering Office Supplies: Never run out of ink again when you subscribe to a service such as Amazon.com's Subscribe & Save. Receive automatic monthly deliveries of ink, paper, and any other supplies you need.
Email Autoresponders: This is vital for developing a relationship with your subscribers. Create an email campaign for new subscribers. Write a series of ten emails that will be sent out automatically one-by-one every three to four days. Many email systems will manage this process, including MailChimp, Aweber, and Infusionsoft.
While you are deciding what to automate, consider what you can ELIMINATE! The only thing better than creating a system that can run on autopilot is to eliminate a system that is not actually supporting your business.
I discuss the importance of automation in my Udemy course: Productivity & Time Management: Grow Your Side Business. For more information about the course, click here. The video that accompanies this blog post is a clip from the course.
I've shared before about the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. As a reminder, your goals should be:
Specific: Is it as detailed as possible?
Measurable: How will you know you’re making progress?
Attainable: Is it actually possible to achieve the goal?
Relevant: How important is the goal to you?
Time Bound: What is the deadline?
What does that look like if you want to grow your email list? Here are a few potential S.M.A.R.T. list building goals:
I will double my email list in the next 30 days.
I will add 10 new subscribers each week of the third quarter of the year.
I will triple my list size by the end of the year.
These are "potentially" S.M.A.R.T. goals, but it is important to really examine your goals. Yes, these are all Measurable goals ("double," "10," "triple"), but are they Attainable? Well, that depends. How big is your list right now? What list building activities do you have planned? How successful have those strategies been for you or others in the past? My point is simply that goals must be Attainable, which may mean doing a bit of research before setting them.
What are your goals for building your list? How S.M.A.R.T. are they?
I discuss the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals in my Udemy course: Productivity & Time Management: Grow Your Side Business. For more information about the course, click here. The video that accompanies this blog post is a clip from the course.
There are so many ways that technology can simplify your life! Unfortunately, we often get so comfortable with the tools, devices, apps, websites that we already use that we fail to explore what else is out there. Here are just of the few apps that can boost your productivity. What else would you add to this list?
Basecamp: This project and task management app is beneficial if you work on your own and is even more powerful when you have a team (like a virtual assistant), so that everyone can see the status. (NOTE: Requires a subscription.)
DocuSign: Who needs hardcopies and fax machines when you can have your clients sign documents electronically? You will even receive automatic confirmation when the other party has signed.
Dropbox: Allows you to sync documents across all of your devices and access them anywhere. It also allows you to share files with clients by giving them access to only the files you want to share.
Evernote: Take notes any and everywhere, and store them in a multitude of formats including text, voice, photos, and webpages.
Skype: Have face-to-face meetings without leaving your office. Skype saves time and expense--you can speak with anyone in the world for free!
I discuss the importance of maximizing technology in my Udemy course: Productivity & Time Management: Grow Your Side Business. For more information about the course, click here. The video that accompanies this blog post is a clip from the course.
My clients know it's coming. At some point during our coaching session, I'm going to ask: so what will you focus on between now and the next time we talk? And then I write it down. And the next time we talk, I'm looking forward to getting an update.
Accountability. We hear that word a lot when it comes to coaching. What does that mean in practice? It's not scary, like you'll be sent to the principal's office if you don't complete your assignment or lose your phone privileges if you don't do your chores.
It's more like setting that New Year's resolution, you know the one, the one you've set time and time again, but this time, sticking to it, because you know that someone else knows.
If you are my client, part of my role as coach is to hold you accountable for taking the steps you said you would take to reach the goal you set out to achieve.
What if you don't keep your commitment? Then it's time for us to have a conversation. I don't mean a scolding - I'm not your parent, I'm not your boss, I'm here to help you figure out why you didn't do what you said you would do. Was it more than you expected? Is it not as high a priority as you initially thought? Did you not anticipate the challenges? Are competing values getting in the way?
Are there consequences for doing what you say you will do? Certainly! For you, it develops your integrity muscle. You are keeping your commitment to yourself which means you'll probably get better at keeping commitments to clients and coworkers.
I discuss the importance of accountability in my Udemy course: Productivity & Time Management: Grow Your Side Business. For more information about the course, click here. The video that accompanies this blog post is a clip from the course.
A local college is collecting books for a nursery school. They have asked for donations of "starter books." Remember those? A is for Apple. B is for Ball. C is for Cat. It's hard to imagine that there was a time when I couldn't read. And yet, of course, none of us is born with this ability. We have to learn to read, just like we have to learn most skills.
The same is true when it comes to your business. There are skills required to be successful as a business owner. The entrepreneurial mindset does not come naturally to most people. It is a set of skills. The good news is that, like reading, you can develop these skills!
What are the skills necessary for successful entrepreneurship? Among others, they include: confidence, delegation, marketing, risk-taking, and relationship building.
What is your skill level in each of these areas? If you are not strong in an area, don't worry, just like you learned your ABCs, you can learn these skills as well.
If you would like help identifying your entrepreneurial skills and strengths, let's talk!
Look around you. Who do you "hang" with? Who is in your "inner circle?" Who has the greatest influence on the direction of your business?
Choose your team wisely. I strongly agree with business consultant Jim Rohn, who said that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Think about it. Who is in your "top five?"
Now, I'm not saying that you need to dump all of your current friends and associates. I'm saying that you need to make a conscious decision to build relationships with like-minded, forward thinking individuals. People who are doing or have already done what you are trying to do. People who will lift you up, not tear you down. They are your core team.
If you don't already have these relationships in your life, then it is time to build them. Get out there and start networking at in-person events and on LinkedIn. Get to know people and let them get to know you. Have the "ideal team member" in mind as you meet people but be open to building relationships with people you had never considered.
Do you have a strong team of people around you? Share your experiences with your team in the comments.
dR. DENISE DENNIS
Denise has a passion for helping side business owners reach their full potential! Over the past 20 years, Denise has been an educator, a trainer, and a personal and professional coach. Denise earned a doctorate in industrial/ organizational psychology and she is a Professional Certified Career Coach.