It’s time to stop being your own worst client.
Imagine you had a coaching client who consistently failed to complete her tasks for the week.
She couldn’t find the time to get her email opt-in page completed.
She was too busy to write the next chapter of her book.
She was working too hard and completely forgot to put together her webinar presentation.
It wouldn’t take long before you sat her down for a serious talk about the future of your coaching relationship—and her business. A coaching client such as that is a frustrating waste of time.
Why, then, do you continue to accept these and other excuses from yourself? Why is your lack of business development allowed to continue, even when you know how important those tasks are to your future growth?
Now, before you go thinking I’m being way too hard on you, know this: we all struggle with this very issue. We all put our clients, our family, our friends, and even the neighbor we barely know before ourselves.
But I’m permitting you right now to stop doing that, and start treating yourself like the VIP you are.
It’s time to put your business growth ahead of that of your clients. Only by doing that will you be able to reach a larger audience, help more people, and achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself.
The simplest way to do this is to just make appointments with yourself. Set yourself up for success by scheduling a weekly CEO meeting, one where you sit down and plan out your weekly game plan.
Remember that hour or two you have free on Thursday afternoon? Don’t book a client call in that spot. Book yourself. Mark it on your calendar, and treat it as an unbreakable appointment, just as you would an appointment with a client or your doctor or your accountant.
Spend the time working on the things that are important to the continued growth of your business.
Develop a new group coaching program
Script your upcoming video
Write emails for your autoresponder
Reach out to podcast guests
In short, do those things you tell your clients to do—the things your coach is likely advising. Don’t push them aside for “later” or “after your client's work is done.” Elevate yourself to VIP client status and start putting yourself first. Your business will thank you for it.
The Very Lame excuse-road to failure - "Too busy"
We often come across and use this term for ourselves and the most fun part is we use it by default for almost everything in our daily lives especially when we miss the target, follow up, or simply forget to get back to our dear ones. right? Well, no guilt trips, everyone goes through this phase, and after all, no one is a born “pro” in time management and prioritizing.
But then again, don't think I am being lenient again. If you still feel you are too busy to run your business and hardly there is time for your growth be it business or personal, high time to review the way you are running your business. So pull up your socks, and be ready for this race. I have observed people use the word "too busy" either if they are not interested in doing something or maybe lazy to attend/take it up too.
Did you notice it?
I know your eyebrows might have raised and if you are still hanging on the page you might as well have a smirky face.
But Darling!!! It's the truth, Accept it.
Find out what's slowing down your productivity, making you stuck with a lot of unwanted wastage of time, work out a plan, and come out of this boomerang swirl otherwise you will never make it to the top!
So ideally this is the "Awakening call". I was the same years ago but once I realized, I did a root cause analysis of why am I being like the one I am not supposedly and worked on it, I got to be potential and became more productive, aware of my time and tasks, priorities and Happy too!!!
I like this quote from Tim Ferris-
Being busy is not the same as being productive.
How to tackle “too busy excuses” then?
The best and the simplest way to arrest the “too busy” excuses is to ask questions yourself. There is a popular way to address any issue or problem from "The 5 Whys method", part of the Toyota Production System. Developed by Sakichi Toyoda, a Japanese inventor and industrialist, the technique became an integral part of the Lean philosophy.
When applying the 5 Whys technique, you need to get to the problem's essence and then fix it. The 5 Whys may show you that the source of the problem is quite unexpected. Often, issues that are considered technical problems turn out to be human and process problems.
This is why finding and eliminating the root cause is crucial if you want to avoid iteration of failures. Let us look at this example:
So I hope you got to know how to identify and start taking actionable steps to avoid any glitch that has become a routine.
If you never get your newsletters released on time just because you don't have time to upload them to the email platform, hire someone to do this for you and your life is easy right?
If you are too busy because of the brunt of the work and have no time to think, grow and improve your process (I am hinting towards SOPs), develop and scale your business, do make sure you better prepare a job description for “Entrepreneurs”.
You can only grow and scale if you have a team with you! Outsource or delegate work if you can.
The problem of counterproductive:
While being busy or pretending to be busy all the time might not be an attitude issue or lack of motivation at times too. I know you must be confused but I am not contradicting what I said earlier. read until the end to know why I say so?
Sometimes over committing the clients, and saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way ends up only making noises without any clarity, lack of quality and lots of pending work, deadlines missed, and ultimately low client satisfaction, stress, no proper sleep, personal time at stake and ultimately giving up or burning out, make sense now? Agreeing to new projects and then not delivering value in terms of your work or not completing it on time will only result in wasting your and everyone else’s time.
Be realistic and keep realistic targets/deadlines to achieve. Learn to welcome new opportunities which will allow you to grow your business and also practice the art of saying “No” when you cannot take it up or leave you with little or no improvement in your business. Otherwise, you will always end up in the perpetual cycle of getting stuck with no priorities and a “confused or foggy state of mind”.
Want a push-up or motivation always?
Well, you might be a self-made person or you need someone to guide you if you stumble or go off track and if this happens very frequently, get yourself a Mentor. You have so many mentors available online to help you get to the “Entrepreneurial league”, be accountable and then finally Launch into the self-built mode.
Routine v/s Consistency
Routine: Divide your weekly hours between personal and professional routines and assign tasks for yourself as per that. Draft it, follow it, review it and make changes if required but most importantly Stick to it.
Consistency matters and nowadays if you see every other Business Coach or Transformation Guru is beading this mantra” consistency is the key” no matter what your business is all about. Being self-disciplined will take you a long way.
IF you happen to watch the TEDx speaker's journey and get to know how they got it, they all have a few things in common: Being consistent in their daily activities, having SMART goals, tracking, and reviewing, good support system to help them concentrate on what they are best at.
Penning down or journaling ritual, following a gratitude journaling, a perfect way to realize the intangible things you are blessed with and blissed by the things happening with you, the people you can hang on to during your difficult time, thank them for they are who made you. Celebrate small wins. Stick to your values. Being Self-disciplined will take you a long way, be it in your personal or professional life.
Business Plan - The Dashboard for all your actions.
Every business needs to have a Vision, Mission, set of objectives, and goals.No matter how small is your business, having this code of conduct will make your life easier and also carve the path to the end path or goal. A Business code of conduct aligned with the vision and mission will bear the torchlight for your present and future business actions.
Set Objectives: Based on the business mission and vision arrive at your business objectives, and actionable steps to achieve them year by year. Having Smart goals will make it easier and clearer. Having a set of objectives to work on will give you the direction in which you need to work so that you don't beat around the bush, wander lost, or simply waste time or engage in unproductive tasks to complete. Prioritize the projects, and set the start and finish times so that you won't end up in piles of work without knowing which project to start and when to start.
Having well-documented SOPs will save you time and reduce pitfalls in case you have a team. Start jotting down all the systems and procedures in SOPs and don't just end it there but regularly revise, update and refine your SOP’s so that your system fine-tunes and improvises always which will have a larger impact on Business efficacy and Growth. Agree?
Effective Work Boundary with the clients
Not slipping from the scope of agreement:
Well, this can be a daunting or skeptical step for an entrepreneur especially if you have just started but take my word: having a clear, well-defined work scope and agreement on working hours, communication, and delivery of the projects will help you out in setting the work boundaries with your client.
You need not mix up your personal time with the client's hours. if you are doing it on an “as is basis” and fulfilling every service request from the client even during non-business hours especially when you are into the online business, it's going to hit you hard in the long run.
It is important to remember that if you work too hard, you will reduce your productivity which will adversely affect your business. It is said that you cannot pour from an empty cup, so you cannot give what you do not have. You will have a difficult time serving your clients or working well if you are always tired and overwhelmed. By keeping boundaries, you do more than just maintain your sanity; it also ensures that you are always in top form to provide your clients with the best service possible. Setting clear boundaries will assist you to give your business your best.
Identify how you want your relationship to be structured and then draft an agreement that states your and the client's expectations clearly. Provide your clients with information about when you are available to take calls, send texts and respond to emails and arrive at a consensus time of “office hours”. Your office hours and other policies regarding time should be explained to them. This will be helpful especially when you are working with clients globally. Give them notice when you will be away. Make sure you are clear about your terms of payment, as well as where, when, and how you will handle disputes.
Communication is the heart of any business as you are not running your business in a vacuum-Never communicate in grey terms but only in black and white terms. This also ensures you don’t have googly or goofed-up moments and helps you and your client to trust credibility and reliability.
Investing in upskilling, mentorship programs, and making sure you are always learning and acquiring knowledge while you are minding the business. Updating and staying abreast of the latest know-how is a thumb rule to stay on the racecourse especially when you are an "E- Solopreneur"
Building and being part of the community
If you already have an Instagram account you know what I am inferring. At first, you might hesitate to invest in anything other than your product or expand your business. Today, it is crucial for a business to create a sense of community.
A lot of business owners see it as a free platform to promote the business and the products/services. The fact that you have a loyal community behind your brand has a lot of benefits. Find a business like you and try to build or be part of virtual business groups on platforms like Facebook, and Linkedin, and you can exchange your ideas, market your business and get some hot leads too. Most of my online peers just like me have got our first few inbound leads through Facebook.
So I've given you my share of truths and motivation, but if you still need some help understanding how to do something about your career, I can help you with my Strategic Call Session. Book here for a FREE Coffee Chat call to discuss about your business and needs and see if I can help you!