How About Doing Less with More
If you accidentally forgot your phone, how far would you have to drive before you got it back?
Being perpetually connected to your work or your business isnot an addiction, is not a disease, it’s a choice. According to some pretty successful entrepreneurs, it’s not a choice that contributes to your success.
Entrepreneurs Who Give Themselves Space are More Successful Than Workaholics
You might be thinking that if you didn’t have all your energy and attention on work, that you’d fall behind and never reach your goals – not true.
In a recent Fast Company article, Michael Grothaus (@MichaelGrothaus) interviewed several entrepreneurs who have made the transition from workaholic to thriving, happy SUCCESSFUL business owner. Take Juliet Francis, for example. She started her own PR agency and was so committed to that business that it ultimately resulted in the breakup of her marriage:
“If I had understood that taking a step back frequently and really switching off was so vital, I feel the company would have achieved more sooner,” she says, noting that you need to learn to trust your instinct that shutting off now will lead to greater gains down the road. “Culturally, we are programmed to feel guilty about not doing as much as we possibly can. If you remove this guilt and have trust that what your way is more efficient, you can achieve results that would otherwise be impossible.Case in point: Trusting her inspiration to shut off from work regularly has led to results that she hadn’t anticipated. “Just the startup phase in my current company outstripped the peak success of my previous business. It has led me to trust the process and trust myself something that is vital when you are running your own company.”
She wasn’t the only one —
Lucy Kirkness is a self-confessed former workaholic who founded her own SEO and digital marketing consultancy called Little Digitalist. She says that after founding the company she became a workaholic because of unreasonable fears that pervade the entrepreneur and business worlds. “One of which was definitely that you had to work all day and all night to succeed,” says Kirkness.
Productivity Tips for Time and Cash Strapped Entrepreneurs
Here are some tips to help you eliminate the overwhelm in your business.
Productivity Tip #1: Identify your ideal client and say “NO” to the rest
“You can’t sell anything to everybody.” It seems counter intuitive, but it’s actually quite logical. When you you try to speak to a broad audience, you have to move to the lowest common denominator and that essentially speaks to no one.
When you say YES to every customer – none of your customers get the level of excellence that you can actually deliver.
Focus on the tightest possible niche that your business can handle. Imagine your product or service solution as the bait that will draw a specific kind of fish. What kind of fish are you after and what bait are they most attracted to?
— Melonie Dodaro (@MelonieDodaro) June 19, 2016
The best way to do this is by creating a Client Avatar or client profile. One strategy is to headover to the book store and select some of your ideal clients’ favorite magazines; both business and personal. Then select images that most resemble your client. Go through the magazines and select headlines, articles and images that most represent what matters to them.
Productivity Tip #2: Only do what only YOU can do
Granted, no one loves or is as committed to your business as much as you are, but if you are doing everything, then you aren’t going to succeed. It’s easy to say to focus only on the things that you can do and outsource the rest. What I’m going to show you is a few tools and hacks that will help you multiply yourself and the tasks you have to do — and recommend a few tools that will help.
- Make a list of every activity that you have to do in your business. Everything from calling customers, billing, opening email, scheduling appointments, writing posts, social media, etc. ALL OF IT.
- Go through that long list and break it down into even smaller components. For example, “Writing blog articles” may contain several steps such as “read articles, do research, write articles, create images, etc.”
- Now go through each of those and identify the ones that ONLY you are uniquely qualified to do. What you’ll find will shock you. You’ll find that ONLY YOU are required for certain specific high-value activities and the rest can either be outsourced or automated.
My recommendations for finding great talent at a value price is “UpWork” I’ve had the most success with finding people who are very good at what they do at a reasonable price.
UPWORK TIP — The key to finding great people on UpWork, Fiverr or any other outsourcing site is to have an extremely clear description of the project or task you would like them to do. It helps to have created a screencasted video that illustrates the task. You can use a FREE tool like Jing from TechSmith to do that. Another tip is to find the right person for a specific task. Do NOT try to force tasks that require different skill sets on the same person, you will be disappointed.
Your next step is to find automation tools that will help you spend MORE time engaging with people and less time dealing with time and energy-sucking tasks.
Here are some of my best, most favorite automation tools that I recommend for cash and time strapped entrepreneurs:
Tools that replace secretaries and virtual assistants
ScheduleOnce– Stop sending emails back and forth trying to figure out the best date, time and place to meet! And, if you’re trying to schedule a meeting with more than two or three people — FORGET ABOUT IT! ScheduleOnce eliminates the back and forth, time zone calculations and everything in between. There is a FREE version that will make life blissfully simple.
Charlie App: I think I ran into this app on my Facebook stream.Charlie is an app that connects with your calendar and then brings up information about the people you have meeting with. I’ll tell you right away that I was dubious at first and then pleasantly surprised at how accurate Charlie was.
Nimble puts your sales into turbo mode. I’ve been a Nimble (@Nimble) user for years. This is a social selling tool thatmagically eliminates contact data entry and any research that you’d have to do on the people you meet either online or offline. Simply select the person’s name and Nimble will pull together all of their social footprint information so that you can quickly categorize, tag, segment and start communicating and connecting with prospects and turn them into customers.
Productivity Tip #3: Focus on a single strategy
Of all the productivity tips out there, this one seems to be the hardest to stick to. I think it has to do with thinking that a single marketing strategy means that there is only a single thing to do and that focusing on a single marketing strategy will limit your growth. NOT TRUE at all.
Focus on a single customer, focus on a single strategy and then focus your energies on the things that only you can do to take your business to the next level.
Believe me, if you think that choosing work over a soccer game is hard, choosing focus can seem even harder, but the rewards will be worth it both for you and your business.