Tag Archives: business planning

What do high school wrestling and Leap Day have in common with your business

Friday and Saturday I sat through many hours of high school wrestling. My son and several of his wrestling teammates had made it to the state championship tournament. I will admit, and hopefully this doesn’t make me a bad sports mom, but I do not like wrestling one little bit.So, most of the tournament when my son was not competing I spent reading on my Kindle.But some of the time I sat just watching people. You can learn a lot from watching people, especially high school athletes focused on winning. And it reminded me of entrepreneurs.

Some of the kids, mainly the ones who would not compete again on that day, were goofing around as teenagers do. Play-wrestling, doing cartwheels on the wrestling mats during breaks, looking at their smart phones, or just plain old horseplaying with their buddies. Others were intensely focused on their goals. These were the ones with a straight face, a determined expression, ear buds in and attached to their smart phone with some kind of motivating music playing, keeping their muscles warmed up by stretching, jogging or jumping up and down. They seemed oblivious to all the commotion going on around them. Even when they were competing, they seemed not to notice the screams of support and even the occasional boos (directed towards a referee who made an unpopular decision) coming from the stands. Their focus was on one thing and one thing only…overcoming their competition, finding the weakness, figuring out that one move that could set them apart as the champion. (The only time I noticed any of them look away during a match was when they looked toward their coach for some direction.)

And I saw some serious business lessons in all of this. In our normal day, every single entrepreneur out there who is determined to succeed is focusing on their goal, studying their competition, learning the best techniques, keeping their skills sharp and their business muscles warm, ready to jump in when we see an angle that will get us to the next level of business success. And there may be a lot of commotion around us, but we’ve each figured out our ways to focus. For some of us, its music playing loudly in our ears; for others its the crash of waves against the beach nearby; for yet others its total silence that their private office brings. No matter what your thing is that helps you to focus, I know you’ve got it.

If you know what I mean, then I bet you are among the ones who will succeed. You might not win the championship today, or even next week. But you will reach your goals, whatever they may be.

Today is Leap Day. That crazy day that comes around only once every 4 years to catch up the calendar and that gets a lot of laughs when people give a 20 year old a 5th birthday party. But yesterday I realized that today is really a lot more than that! Someone asked a question on Facebook and it really made me think:

Where do you want to be in your life and business when the next Leap Day rolls around? That’s 4 long years. And so much can change in 4 years, its hard to think about sometimes!

So my message to you today is to take some time, reflect on your goals, how will those goals translate into Leap Day 2020? (Wow, 2020!?!) Will you still be in the same boat you are in now, or will your focus and determination take you far beyond what you can even fathom right now.

At the same time, remember that there is more to life than planning for the future. My high school wrestler will be 21 years old when Leap Day comes again. My little boy will be a teenager. And my grandbabies will be in preschool and kindergarten. (And there will likely be more of them!) Between now and then are the important moments that you can never get back no matter how much success you focus on. So hug your babies, enjoy the love of your life, and watch more sunsets or sunrises. Pause, breathe, and enjoy your life as it is now, not just as you hope it will be 4 years from now. That will make the times you focus even better too.

Happy Leap Day!

One of the hardest things to let go of in your business is one of the first things you should

I’ve been there. Actually I’m still kind of there, just trying to really find the right fit right now. “There” is that wonderful but terrible place where business is booming and you have clients starting to pour in…but you only have so many hours in the day (and night) and your kids and spouse are beginning to think your laptop is permanently attached to your body.

Falling asleep at computer

It’s a crossroads where you wake up one day and realize that you are either going to have to start telling potential clients no or you are going to have to build a team to support you and your clients.

It can be daunting, that’s for sure! But it’s a wonderful problem to have. Just don’t stay in it or you will wind up ruining your business. The first step you should take if you are finding yourself in this situation is to evaluate your goals.

I sat down and asked myself if I was content where I was at, if I wanted to build this business bigger or maintain it as-is, and you know what? Fear tried to tell me that I was ok as-is. Fear tried to say “Who do you think you are to think your business warrants a team?” “You aren’t like those other people who run big teams of virtual assistants.” “You just need to find a few clients and be happy with the status quo.” And best of all… “You know you don’t deserve to do better than this little bit of success.”

But I have known for some time that I couldn’t keep up the pace I was working at by myself. And I have this crazy drive to always build it bigger and do it better. (If you are a true entrepreneur, I’m sure you understand!)

I first tried hiring a virtual assistant about a year ago. That didn’t work out. I really couldn’t tell you why, it just didn’t. Then a few months back I decided that hiring a business manager would not only help me manage myself, but would also help me manage any assistants I hired. And that was just what I needed to do.

Not only does she keep me in check, but she has taken over the burden of finding people for my team. Now I can tell her “I need someone who can help me publish ebooks,” or “I need someone who can do the basic installation and setup for a new WordPress website.” And she runs with it. I don’t have to spend hours of stressful contemplation reading through responses from HireMyMom.com or Facebook VA groups anymore. She finds them and screens them, I interview them, I tell her I want to bring them on board or not, she sends them the contract and gets them all hooked up with our task management system. When I have a task for them, I forward her an email or message her on Skype and she gets it assigned and makes sure it gets finished.

Saves me so much time!!

Now I need to let go of some other mundane tasks since we just brought a new virtual assistant onto our team to help with newsletters and social media. I’m excited but it always scares me to just “let it go”. What do you struggle with letting go of in your business? Do you try to “do it all”? Leave a comment below!

 

 

Does your business bring you happiness or frustration? Maybe both?

It’s just about time to get back into the swing of business things. The winter break for the kids is all but over and those of us parents with a home based business are looking forward to having the quiet time that school creates for us. While we love having our kiddos at home, its can be next to impossible to get in and stay in the work zone when someone is constantly wanting to tell you about what they built on MineCraft! (Um hum, can you tell what my 7 year old enjoys?)

I’m sure you have been giving great thought and planning to your business goals for 2015, as have I. And I have no doubt that increasing your business in general is one of your long-term goals. But have you thought about implementing systems to improve the efficiency of your business, thus freeing up your time to focus on the money-making aspects and even more personal or family activities?

Over the next few days I will be exploring some areas of systematization that you should consider implementing.

The first thing to realize is that once your business gets to a certain point, where you are making a couple thousand bucks a month or so, you cannot and should not try to do it all by yourself anymore. Believe me, I understand the stomach wrenching anxiety that can come from turning over your “baby” to strangers with good resumes. But you are going to have to take that step, unless you are content with things as they currently are.

Working lateHere are some questions to ask yourself today:

  • How many hours a week are you working on your business? (Include it all, even if its cleaning the toilet of your store or clearing out the junk in your email inbox.)
  • Are you beginning to feel frustrated, even just occasionally, from time constraints or overwhelm?
  • Do you find yourself constantly telling your kids or your significant other “no, not today” when you really do want to do what they asked but you just don’t have the time?
  • Do you wonder how you will ever keep that fitness resolution when you barely have time to shower let alone get to the gym?
  • Is every meal you eat prepared by a restaurant of some kind? Or maybe you “cook”, but it always involves opening a cardboard box and pushing buttons on the microwave.
  • When you do hire someone to help you, do you find yourself spending even more time telling them the right way to do it or fixing their mistakes?
  • What do you do day in and day out that bores you to the core that you would really love to have someone else handle for you?
  • What would you do to increase your business success if you had just 5 extra hours a week?
  • How does your website look? Does it have a modern design with responsiveness for mobile phones? Does it grab your viewers attention or make them cringe? Does it capture their information in the most efficient and compelling way possible?
  • How is your social media presence? Many business owners think they don’t need to be bothered with this, but unless your target market is living in a 3rd world nation you should seriously consider it. Almost everyone is on social media these days, from young teens all the way up to senior citizens. I volunteer with a homeless shelter, and let me tell you, even many of those people have a cell phone and a social media presence!

Chances are if you are reading this then you are a business owner of one kind or another. There are steps you should take to increase your efficiency, decrease the time you spend working on your business, and increase your income. Check back tomorrow for some ideas you can start doing immediately.

 

A New Year and New Goals

Once again, I’m rethinking my whole business model. I’ve focused in on WordPress web design and not virtual assistance. I’m hiring my own assistant and kicking my business into high gear. 2013 was a great year for me, mostly because of this refocusing.

(Want the same tips that have helped me do this? Start following Sandi Krakowski on Facebook and Twitter…the woman’s a genius!)

Now it’s the New Year…hard to believe its 2014! And it’s time to set goals! Bold, broad, bodacious goals! I’ve been hard at work squeezing in time between building websites for my clients trying to get my new website up and running. That’s soon coming to a culmination. Well, actually if you are reading this it already has! Lol

So what are some of your goals that you have planned for this year? Mine are so many, I’m sure to achieve at least one! Haha

Seriously though, my goals include continuing to expand my business, more than doubling where I’m at now with it. And that’s not just a “resolution” to “do more business” … it’s actually broken down into detailed steps that I need to accomplish in order to succeed with it. It is a goal that is achievable because I have made a map of sorts to get to my destination.

Make Your Dream Come True

I just read another blog post that had some really helpful tips for reaching resolutions and goals and a handy worksheet that I downloaded and will use.

A useful action in achieving online business success is to blog more! Well, I’m trying.

Another set of my goals include reducing the size of clothing I wear! Lol Expand in business, lose in size. Now that’s a combination! That means healthy eating and finding time for daily exercise. It’s hard to do while running a business and volunteering regularly. But I think I have made the right decisions in the last few months that are setting me in place to be able to do all of it.

Here’s to 2014! Let me know your goals too!