Do You Need To Tell Guilt To ‘Shut Up’?!

 

Guilt.

It is one of those emotions that really gets in the way.

Whether it’s the worry that we aren’t delivering a high enough standard of service for our clients (when we know deep down that we are), or the fear that we aren’t spending the time with our kids that we could be (yes, we see them daily, but is it quality time? Is it enough??)

For lots of us, when we’re going through our daily activities at work and at home, guilt is right there with us – telling us we’re not doing a good enough job, or causing us to question our decisions and priorities.

 

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

When You Don’t Feel Like The Boss

 

Does this ever happen to you?

 

  • You get tied up with fiddly admin that eats up a whole morning or afternoon, pushing back important deadlines that you can little afford to delay.
  • You spend time you don’t have working on a new colour scheme for your website, or trawling the internet for stock photos to go on your social media channels, only to realise you aren’t happy with the results.
  • You stay up late working on your blog or social media posts, because there just isn’t time to do it during the working day.
  • You have sales enquiries coming in but it takes several days before you can respond to them, and when you do you’re aware that you’re not giving it your A game.

You would love to get help but you feel like you really can’t afford it.

I see these kinds of things over and over again in my work with entrepreneurs and small business owners.

And more often than not, I ask people this one question:

When it comes to your business, which member of the team are you?

It is so easy to act like the office junior, or the graphic designer, or the receptionist, or the tech support agent, when really:

You need to be the boss!

Because in reality, your business cannot grow and develop if you are trying to be a one-person show.

If this is you:

  • Think about the value of your time, and how precious it is to your business! It doesn’t make sense to spend it on simple tasks that can be outsourced cheaply and easily to others.
  • Think about the tasks that would be done to a better standard if you hired an expert to take care of them.

In a service-based business, your time is best spent delivering the service you provide, and generating leads/having sales conversations.

If you nail these two areas, you will explode your productivity and profit, creating income that you can reinvest in building your team. The cycle goes on repeating – this is the essence of business growth!

So I want you to ask yourself, what are the areas in which you feel your business is stalling? And which member of the team are you?

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

It’s time to build a team (…and why you’re probably more ready than you think!)

 

 

“But I don’t think I’m ready…”

This is a phrase that comes up SO often when I speak to entrepreneurs and business owners.

It comes up in all kinds of contexts, but it surprises me the most when people talk about not being ready to build a team to support them in their business.

Here are some of the objections I’ve heard about building a team:

• It’s too difficult to trust someone with your ‘baby’!
• It’s expensive
• It’s wasteful to pay someone to do tasks you can easily perform yourself
• It takes so long to train someone up, it’s quicker to just carry on doing it all yourself
• No one else could do tasks to the high standard you expect
I WANT TO BE IN CONTROL!!!

And I get it – all of these seem perfectly reasonable in lots of ways!

But if you don’t hire a team, YOU ARE LEAVING MONEY ON THE TABLE.

Let me show you why.

What do you charge per hour for your services? Let’s say it’s £200 (or $200 if you prefer!)

Every time you spend an hour of your time doing anything other than delivering your services to your clients or having sales conversations with potential clients, you are depriving your business of that £200!

Can you see how that could add up over the space of a week if you don’t prioritise these two essential tasks?

Or what that would mean over the course of a year??

So I’ve created a new free downloadable workbook to help you overcome this exact objection.

It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting your business, or you’ve been going for a while but you’re waiting to feel ‘ready’ to build a team. Even if you’ve already got a team around you, it will help you see if you’re actually making the best use of the people you’ve hired.

There might not be a message in the sky when it’s the right time, but one thing I’ve noticed – there’s no such thing as ‘too soon to think about building a team’.

As with many things in our entrepreneurial journey, we have to start BEFORE we’re ready!

It’s the best way to grow your business that you’ve probably never thought of.

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

“I think I need to speak to someone about my business…”

 

This is the sentence that 90% of my clients say when I first meet them.

They’ve known for a while that something isn’t quite working in their business, and they’ve thought about reaching out, but the urgent has crowded out the important and they’ve not made any forward progress.

And neither has their business.

You see, most of the clients I work with already have successful businesses.

Things are going pretty well. They get by financially. They have enough busy periods to get them through the year.

But there’s something missing.

They aren’t working with clients who light them up.

They aren’t charging what they know deep down they’re worth.

They don’t feel fully in control of their business, and they often have a nagging feeling that they are missing out on their life outside work – not spending the time with their kids and/or spouse that they wish they could, and not living the ‘dream life’ they envisioned when they first set up their business.

And it’s working out ‘ok’ to squash down that little voice that tells them things aren’t quite right in their business. But they aren’t really happy. They aren’t really fulfilled. And sometimes they wonder if they could be working less and earning more.

I don’t believe that businesses should ‘limp along’ when they could soar.

I think life is too short to wish you were doing something better.

If you know that your business is not quite where you want it to be, and you’re serious about moving things forward, then why not get in touch with me here and I can tell you about some of the ways I might be able to help.

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

Why Your Fear Of Failure Is Holding You Back And What To Do To Beat It!

In my most recent blog post I shared that when it came to closing down my MLM business I found it surprisingly difficult to actually do this, and I wanted to dig a little deeper on this front and see if you could relate.

I think it comes down to the issue of commitment.

It can be relatively easy to take on lots of different ventures at the same time.

It is reassuring to have fingers in a lot of different pies, because you are spreading the risk of being involved in any one of them. There are lots of back up options!

But this is a false sense of security, because when we spread ourselves too thin we actually become less productive overall.

When I decided to officially close my MLM business (a decision which took a year to make!) I still had a spare room full of stock items and sales aids. It didn’t make sense to keep it, and I wanted to free up some much needed storage space at home. But I felt real resistance to actually getting on with the task.

At first I procrastinated and made excuses not to do it.

But even as I made a start I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was a mistake, or I might want to change my mind.

I realised that I needed to say goodbye to this chapter of my life. I learned some really valuable business lessons while I ran my MLM business, and it served me well. But the time had come to make space for my new business.

And I also realised that I felt fear.

Fear of the unknown. My current business was still in its very early stages, and I didn’t have the safety net of the direct sales company telling me how to make it work.

Fear of change. My MLM business was a security blanket, the one thing that felt constant in my life amid change in lots of other areas.

Fear of failure. The one thought I couldn’t shake about my new business was, “but what if I fail?”

When I cleared my schedule to make space for my business, I was committing in a new way. There wasn’t an option to keep the door open for a side-project any more.

And it was scary!

But as soon as I looked around my newly cleared out spare room, I felt that frisson of excitement at the road ahead of me, and I just knew it had been the right decision.

Can you relate to my experience?

What are the things that you need to ‘clear out’ of your schedule in order to fully commit to your business?

Where are you feeling resistance to commit more fully to your ‘main’ business?

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

The One Thing Productivity Experts Will Not Tell You About Time Management

 

Someone asked me recently what my number #1 top tip was when it comes to time management.

And I think the answer I gave wasn’t what people expected me to say.

Lots of ‘time management experts’ will tell you that there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to help you squeeze every last second out of your working day.

And there is a place for being organised, and blocking off time in your schedule for particular tasks.

However, there is only so much you can do with the limited amount of time you have available, and beyond a certain point I think we just have to accept:

YOU ARE TRYING TO DO TOO MANY THINGS.

The amount of time we all have available is fixed, and I think we have to be honest. There is only so much you can fit into any given day. And if we fall into the trap that many entrepreneurs do and work late into the evening on a regular basis or fail to restrict our working hours, we don’t actually get ‘more productive’, mainly just more tired, more discouraged, and more prone to make mistakes.

So my top tip for time management is quite simple:

DO LESS STUFF.

And I’m not saying it’s easy!

But think of it like a wardrobe stuffed full of clothes. If you keep buying new clothes without clearing out the old ones, you end up unable to find the outfit you want to wear. It takes ages to get ready in the morning, and when you do find the top you were looking for it’s all crumpled.

In the same way, when we do too many things, we are actually holding our businesses back. Whether it’s too many tasks per day, or too many commitments in addition to what we are also attempting to do in our business, what we actually need is a clear head and an emptier schedule in order to really commit to making our business succeed.

So how’s this for an exercise?

Take a look back over your schedule for the last few weeks and ask yourself:

1. What things did I do that really helped my business? Maybe it was client work, a networking group, or one to one meeting with a contact.

2. What did I do to nurture my key relationships? Such as with a spouse or partner, children, parents, friends.

3. What did I do to look after myself? e.g. exercise, time off, space to just have some rest, occasional treats such as a manicure or a trip to the theatre.

Sometimes we just need less work and MORE FUN!

Was there anything else squeezed in there that didn’t fit into any of these categories? Something that you know doesn’t make sense to keep blocking time out for, or something you are finding hard to let go of? For example, one lady I know feels so guilty about having a cleaner she admitted to me that she often gets up early to clean the house before they arrive!

I did this exercise when my business was just starting to take off, and I realised that I was holding onto a few commitments that didn’t make sense to keep going any longer. For example, I had an MLM hobby business that I no longer had time to run, only if I was honest, I had kept renewing my membership long after I had actually stopped pursuing it. And for some reason it felt really hard to close the door and shut it down!

But in order to ‘clear some space’ in my schedule, I had to accept that things had moved on and in order to focus on my current business I needed to fully commit to it.

In the same way that it’s helpful to clear out your wardrobe every once in a while, we need to get in the habit of doing the same thing with our schedules.

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

The Best Problem Your Business Can Ever Have (And How To Fix It)

“You don’t understand, I literally can’t take a day off from my business.”

Last week I wrote about how important it is for entrepreneurs to be able to take time away from their business, in the form of days off, holidays, or even just a spontaneous downing of tools for the day!

But even if you’re sold on the concept of stepping away from your business at regular intervals, it’s clear from some of the follow-up conversations I’ve had from that post that for some of you, the underlying issue is actually the workflow in your business is so relentless that you literally can’t turn your back for a moment.

And isn’t it great when you start getting really busy every week! Clients are rolling in. You have a consistent income, albeit a smaller income that you would ideally like.

But very quickly this fast momentum can start to feel like a nightmare.

The hours fly by each day and you feel like nothing gets done. The phone won’t stop ringing and emails are flooding in faster than you can respond to them.

You know you miss out on a sale to someone you’d love to work with, because you intended to reply to their enquiry but you don’t remember about it until 3am a week later.

Each day seems to bring more problems that need dealing with urgently.

At 4pm you realise you didn’t eat lunch.

At 11pm you still haven’t switched your computer off.

Your time feels like it is being eaten up by mundane tasks, all of which distract you from the work you really want to be doing.

When you’re in this mode you can also end up trapped in a cycle of intermittent productivity that goes something like this:

You have a busy phase where networking and marketing activities fall off your radar completely.

Then once you’ve burnt through your existing roster of clients, suddenly, crickets.

So you make sure you get along to more networking groups and up your investment in your marketing activities, and gradually your workflow starts to pick up.

Then just as suddenly, everything gets completely manic with too many clients again.

Because you’re not maintaining your pipeline as you go, you have bursts where the business is unmanageable followed by deafening silence.

And your income is so inconsistent that you find it really hard to plan any long-term expenditure, because you genuinely can’t afford it some months.

It all points to one thing:

You need to build capacity in your business.

And as problems go, this is a great one to have. Because there is a solution!

And this is where I come in. Because this kind of issue won’t just resolve itself. You want your business to go from strength to strength and not be held back by fluctuating growth and deafening quiet periods.

So think of me as your Work/Life Balance Business Coach.

I can show you how to create calm from chaos in your business.

What to focus on and prioritise in order to maximise sustained growth.

How to build a team that will free you up to concentrate on the tasks that only you can do.

And most importantly, how to do all of this while taking your business in the right direction and creating space for your life outside work.

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

How to get intentional about time off from your business

 

Today I want to share with you one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt since I started my business.  And I mean, since my business got BUSY.

It is tough in business when it is just you and your laptop, trying to get everything done using every spare minute of the day and night. And especially in the early days, proper time off can be rare and laden with guilt.

So don’t make the mistake I did several months ago, on a lovely afternoon out with my family. We had spent several hours at a brilliant museum exhibition, and I was sitting at a café table waiting for my husband to bring our coffees over.

Without thinking, I fished out my smartphone and started to read a few emails. I told myself it would be good to check that nothing urgent had come in during the few hours since I had last been online.

Only guess what happened?

An important issue had arisen that needed dealing with in the next 24 hours.  It was nothing serious, but it did need taking care of, and I couldn’t ‘unsee’ the email once I had read it.

So instead of taking a proper break and enjoying my day off, I was now distracted and anxious!

I had a fabulous opportunity to enjoy one of the biggest perks of entrepreneurial life, but that email – and more importantly, my inability to draw a proper boundary between work and life outside work – was the pin that burst the balloon.

I wonder if you can relate to this?

One of the biggest gifts we receive as entrepreneurs is the ability to have control over our weekly schedule in a way that just isn’t possible for many working people.

It’s the most amazing benefit!

But it is also a huge mental shift – you need to be willing to give yourself permission to switch off and do something that isn’t work.

And if you’ve spent the majority of your career working full time in a corporate role, it can almost feel ‘wrong’ to take a day off midweek or decide on a whim to finish work early that day.

So I have two questions to help you out with these kinds of quandaries:

  1. Whose permission do you need?

Answer: Yours!  As entrepreneurs we are our own bosses. But we do have to realise this, and then consciously decide to make choices that bring us closer to the work/life pattern that we actually want every day.

  1. Why did you become an entrepreneur in the first place?

Answer: I’m guessing it’s not because you wanted to work more hours than before? And yet we seem to find it so hard to ‘own’ it in this area of our businesses!

So this week, where do you need to stop overworking and start drawing boundaries? (I know for me, email is now a no-go area on my days off!)

What inspiring things can you do with your time if you choose to carve out some space instead of working every hour of every day?

Will you give yourself permission to design the life you’ve always dreamed of?

I would love to encourage you to start being intentional in this area of your business. Maybe like me, you need to switch off those gadgets when you are away from work. Or maybe you need to schedule in some down time instead of booking up every slot in the week?

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!

Is Work/Life Balance a Myth?

We hear all the time that modern technology has killed any hopes we might have of achieving a good balance between work and life outside work.

And for anyone who works in a corporate job where they are contracted by their employer to keep their smartphone or Blackberry with them outside their working hours, this may be true.

But did you know, as an entrepreneur, you are playing an entirely different ball game.

Here is the truth that will make all the difference to you in the everyday running of your business:

Did you hear that?

You, my fellow entrepreneur, have a choice in how you conduct your business.

But this can be such a difficult truth to take onboard!

We love to fill our lives with ‘shoulds’. We write all manner of rules for ourselves, then complain that we are too restricted by forces outside our control.

For example, we work crazy hours doing our own admin or other menial tasks, because we haven’t given ourselves permission to outsource anything.

Or we sign up clients that we know aren’t the right fit for our services, out of fear that we have to take every opportunity for income that we can get.

But there is another way.

One of my clients said last year that her goal for her business was to work half as much and earn double.

Isn’t that inspiring?

As entrepreneurs, we set the terms for our success.  The goals need to be realistic, in that it’s all very well to plan to set up a colony on Mars in the next 6 months, but you will have a hard time achieving so much in so little time!

But we don’t have to abide by the limitations that employed people do.  There is no boss breathing down your neck, and when it comes to the amount you can achieve, your own mindset and determination is the key factor in how far you will go, and what your life will look like while you do it.

What you need to do is set a goal and then put a strategy in place to achieve it.

For example, if you set a goal of £50,000 income from your business and you work out how many sales you need to make and the amount you need to charge to achieve it, the rest of the details are up to you.

Maybe you only want to work 4 days a week.

Or you want to set your hours around family responsibilities like dropping your kids at nursery, or the school holidays.

Or maybe you don’t want to take calls from clients in the evenings or at the weekend.

Maybe you don’t want to work with demanding or draining clients anymore.

It really is up to you how you set that balance between work and your life outside work.

So if you haven’t already, maybe now would be an excellent time to decide:

– What is lacking at the moment when it comes to your work/life balance?

– What can you give yourself permission to change in order to build the business and the life that you really want?

As an entrepreneur, your defining characteristic is that ability to set your own terms and design your business accordingly.

So what are you waiting for?

If you haven’t already, maybe now would be the perfect time to download your free goal-setting workbook, and take ten minutes to plan out the blueprint for the business you have always wanted.

As an entrepreneur, work/life balance doesn’t have to be a myth!  It is within your grasp – all you have to do is decide that you’re ready to own it!

Ready to start running your business like a grown up?

Click here to find out more about The Business Club for Grown Ups, my membership programme for ambitious female entrepreneurs.

Doors reopen soon!