Many times our business stress comes from lack of strategy, using leverage and our energy wisely, thinking things through or getting help where needed.
For our 2014 to be successful, it requires us to focus more on what’s important, what brings us closer to our goals, makes us more profitable and, if possible, hits more than one stone at the same time.
Here are 8 very basic ways to reduce your stress, use what you’ve got and be more strategic in 2014!
1. Use your time wisely and get help where you need it. Today I want you to put out a job on Elance.com for a virtual assistant for 2 hours a week at $10 an hour ($80 a month) and start delegating. Yep, you can afford that. And give them things to do that shouldn’t be on your plate anyway while you slowly learn to focus on the larger projects and meetings that bring in your business more money. This assistant will do things like
editing and uploading blog posts
creating and editing documents
sending out emails ( I wrote this email but my assistant sent it to you while I’m in Austin wine tasting and doing a lot of nothing…)
and this is just the beginning. Go to Chris Ducker’s website to learn more about how to hire your virtual assistant in the new year.
Part 2 of using your time wisely. Guard your time like a hawk. I’m sure I get “blessed” by someone at least once per week because of a meeting I refuse to have. CEOs, it is absolutely your job to sniff out those agenda-less meetings, brain picking sessions, or complete wastes of time. Get comfortable with no. Make friends with no. Understand that no isn’t mean, it just means, no.
2. Get off all of those social media platforms and only use the ones that help your business and the ones where your client hangs out. Many of us waste time on platforms where our client is not hanging nor where they go to get information on your particular product or service. Make sure to schedule your posts, and spend no more than 10 minutes a day “live posting” or checking your pages. Social Media, especially if your using it has no angle or reason, is a huge time waster and you can’t be strategic if you’re wasting the little time you have. A few quick tips:
– if your product is visual (retail, clothes, a widget) think Facebook, Instagram, possibly Pinterest
– if your product is professional, like consulting/coaching, think : Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube
3. Pick a ledge and jump. MANY of us are juggling way toooooooo many job descriptions, titles and services. It truly does not make you look good to have this on your website: Financial Coaching Services, Image Consulting, Empowerment Speaking, Modeling, Model Coaching, can be hired as a spoken word Poet…. Yep. That all came from one blog and I didn’t list all of her services.
But not only the way it looks, dividing your time, energy and talents into too many areas dilutes your power and makes you and your business less effective.
CEOs, I want you to stop doing this in the new year. Being a Jane of All Trades is what gets us unpaid. How can the blogger mentioned above come to me or anyone else and say, I’m really proficient in this area, very knowledgable and should be paid 1k? We can’t take her seriously and we all want our business talents, skills and time invested taken as seriously as possible.
One of our biggest problems is picking a platform or niche, then going at it with 100% focus. Without giving our focus, we can’t see opportunities, we don’t have time to go for the bigger deals and we end up not doing all of our projects or completing our goals. And most importantly, without focusing on a niche, you CANNOT get the larger paychecks.
That’s the tip. Ask for what you want. I learned this lesson years ago but more thoroughly in the last few years. Instead of wondering what people will pay for your product or service, ask them.
Instead of wondering if one of the top celebrities, business people, or influencers will work with you or your company or will agree to simply try your body products for free….ask.
Instead of shuffling around the no’s that your sister got, or the no’s that your friends say you’ll get, just ask and find out. Get your own no.
Novel idea eh? Tip 4….ASK
5. Do the work. Put in the work where you need to, market the hell out of it strategically of course, then do the work some more. Many times when I speak to a lovely CEO, no “strategic” work has been done. Let me explain what I mean.
Yes, you’re writing, you’re doing regular blog posts BUT, they are random at best. Today you’re talking about celebrities, tomorrow, business tools, then next week, you’re talking about consulting or your event. Don’t you know your audience is thoroughly confused? Most can tell when your idea or post has not been researched, was typed on the fly and was just the information off the top of your head.
You’re writing so that people will find your site, think you’re knowledgable, and find you so resourceful that they keep coming back. What do you think will get me more hits to our site….My random thoughts on marketing or creating a post called the Holy Grail List of Marketing and PR tools with more than 250 resources…. Which do you think will continue to get us traffic to our site and introduce people to our knowledge? That post took me a week by the way( I read every single resource and one just one resource has 75 marketing articles) and it is one of the posts that gets us the most traffic…. Point is, do the work. A well written 1 post will do much more for you then a whole bunch of empty, random, “I’m blogging just because they say to do it” posts…..
Your blog posts should be
– have tips and tools your audience can use immediately
6. Five words.
What 5 words do you want to be known for? This could also be phrases or 2 words like , “business attorney”. So that you are not all over the place for 2014, think like this, what 5 words do I want to be known for? If someone didn’t have my name or my company name, how would they find me on Google?
I did a training with Google this year and that was one of the first questions they asked, and if we don’t know the answer to it, we’ll be working like crazy all the time without this strategy in mind. Because, many people who find us and like our information, will not know our business name or our name. So, here’s where that niche comes in again. What do you want to be known for? Take the next couple of days and work on this. Pick some words, Google them and see who’s coming up for those keywords. Then determine, is that a search term you want to show up for? Then, once you get your 5 words, incorporate them into your writing, into the products that you create, the speaking engagements you go after and the type of meetings you set up. Knowing your 5 words can really change the direction of your business and streamline all of your activities and energies into a specific area. This, my friends is being less random, willy nilly and more strategic.
7. Make educating yourself a priority. I do want you to ask questions-as that’s the best way to find out answers, but before you do that, have you tried? Have you gone to the library? Have you Googled it? Have you put in the work? Have you used the tools available at your fingertips already? I put out A LOT of info yearly, and sometimes, when someone asks for help, I’ll ask if they researched the info I’ve already given, or if they’ve tried to help themselves….. CEOs, this is a tough one, because we’ve all done it. We’re entrepreneurs now. We have to be the first on deck to do the work and waiting around for someone to give us the answer takes too much time.
I used to ask my brother in law, any single technical question that popped into my head. Sometimes he’d answer me, but soon, he got tired and said, “you know I’m just Googling it right, and you could be doing the same thing?” Stung, but he was right.
I learned the lesson. Ask for help where you need it, but put in your own work, so that you are not wasting time waiting around for an answer.
8. Get rid of dreams and start setting goals. Yep, gonna beat this alive just to beat it back dead again. CEOs, we are not setting goals. And, I know many of you think you are, but you are actually building dreams. Goals have tangible parts, deadlines, steps broken down, energy, and sustainability.
I’m not telling you to get out paper and start writing the New Year’s Resolution list. I’m telling you to write out your MUST list. What must happen? Who must be involved for this to happen? What tools must I have to get it done? What date must it be done by? What must I do right now to make these damn dreams a reality? If I’m not doing them, what MUST leave my space right now so that I can?
I hope these tips help you to save time, use what you have, and leverage ALL that you do have in the new year. Check out our trainings and events below, and drop us a note in the comments to let us know what you will do to be more strategic in 2014.
Women CEO Project January Events & Trainings
- Global Mastermind Circles Closes on or before January 6, 2014. To find out all of the details, click here.
- Private Business Strategy Clinic at my House 🙂 Jan 16th! For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Business Breakfast in Houston, Tx Jan 17th 7:30am-9am @ Canopy Restaurant . RSVP here!