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Implementation Day

Monday, 19th May 2014

checks

Many entrepreneurs are overwhelmed with all the daily operations of their business. They struggle to make progress in the areas they want to grow.  Others suffer from so many things to do that they feel they are never truly gaining ground on anything. A great solution for this dilemma is called “implementation day”. This is a day where the entrepreneur blocks out the entire day to get something important done. If you cannot make time for an entire day, even a half-day will yield great rewards. Some of the types of implementation days I have created and have worked with others to try are:

  • Marketing days, where we worked on the marketing
  • Copyrighting
  • Launch dates
  • Article writing days, where I wrote articles for my newsletter, finished up creating an e-course, and wrote an e-course.

As you can see, the tasks can be just about anything that you need  to grow your business or to keep your business running smoothly. Here are some of the rules for establishing an effective Implementation Day:

  • Have an implementation day buddy.
    It is way too easy not to hold true to the day and getting things done. It’s easy to let other things take over the day when you don’t have a partner to hold you accountable.
  • Go somewhere different.
    It is best if you can go somewhere that is not easy for distractions to find you.  If you are able to really focus on your task and not have a multitude of interruptions, you will more likely get into the flow and have a more successful day.
  • Prioritize what is most important for you to accomplish, and then work down the list.
    It is essential to know what your main goal of the day is and then have a second goal.  Make sure that you have everything you need to get the goal done and you have things lined up.  The point of implementation day is to get things done, so make sure you have organized so there is no thinking about what you are going to do.
  • Be very specific about how often you are going to take breaks and what they look like.
    Breaks are important and needed in order to function and produce, but you don’t want the breaks to get out of hand.  So make an agreement with your accountability partner concerning what you will do and won’t do.
  • Make sure that you have proper nourishment and drink with you.
    It is impossible to keep on working at your best if you are suffering from a sugar low or you are thirsty.  Make sure to have supportive food and drink around you.
  • Keep track of how much you have accomplished.
    Make sure that you note, before you start, where you are in your project, and then mark how much you accomplished by the end of the day.  Being able to see how much you have accomplished is a huge reward that not only gives you a sense of accomplishment but lets you see how effective your implementation day was.
  • Schedule you next implementation day.
    A great thing about implementation days is that they don’t  have to be a one shot day.  It is something that you can put into your schedule on a regular bases.

Your life and your business is going to feel much different after scheduling regular implementation days and giving yourself the blessing of single focus.

 

Don’t Do Business like a Surgeon

Monday, 15th April 2013

Don’t Do Business like a Surgeon

Recently I had deviated septum surgery. For those who know anything about it, you will know that that surgery is quite painful, and since the operation is on one’s nose, I decided to take great care in selecting a surgeon. So naturally I went for a doctor I heard was one of the best. He had been performing surgeries for years and had a stellar reputation. I also talked to people who he had operated on. This type of reputation is what we should all shoot for in our companies. Plus, if you can convincingly explain the need for your services, like surgeons do for theirs—all the better.

But there are some business practices that you would not want to adapt from a surgeon if you wanted to have an extremely successful business. One of them is that often a surgeon may have the reputation of being kind and considerate as you talk to them about having the surgery, but once you are done with the surgery, you are a number to them, and they don’t care about your pain, or how anything turned out, etc. Their eyes are on the next person they can slice up. I personally experienced this years ago with my ACL surgery by a physician who had a great reputation. Perhaps he had gotten too comfortable with his success, and little things, like treating patients well, were no longer his concerns.

This could be a deadly practice, whether or not you are in the medical field, and it could completely destroy your business. You never, ever want your clients, patients, or customers to think that they are just dollar signs to you.

Fortunately, with the nose surgery, my surgeon was not as cold and callous as some surgeons are, but he did make a mistake that surprised me, and which bothered me as a patient. Because it bothered me so much, I realized how I do not want to do this to my customers, clients, etc. So what did he do that was so offensive?

He didn’t believe me. He asked me how I was feeling the day after the surgery during the check-up appointment. I listed my complaints along with saying I felt raw.

He said, “You don’t feel raw.”

“Yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

I just looked at him and he finally said, “Why don’t we have a look?”

Turns out the stitches in my nose had gotten buried into the open wound, which was giving me the raw feeling.

Of course I wished he was right and I was wrong, but that is beside the point. The point is that it’s CRUCIAL to believe your customers when they say something. If you don’t, resentment can quickly come.

For me, my first reaction was—“Here’s another doctor that doesn’t believe what I say. I hate doctors.”

Is that what you want your customers to be thinking? If not, believe them when they are telling you their pain. If they are saying I want to do a simple task, don’t create a product that is more complicated.

Sounds simple—believe your customer—but it really isn’t when you set your goals and plans on what to create for your customer, and they don’t match exactly what they want.

Right after the nose doctor saw what was causing my rawness, he dove into my nose with vigor to pull that stitch right out. Despite my writhing around, he worked with confidence, not pausing to second guess. This confidence and his extremely steady hand impressed me. It calmed down my resentment of him not believing me, and he earned my confidence in him right back. I walked out of the office, asking my husband if he noticed how steady the doctor’s hand was.

The lesson for the business owner is, if you do mess up and don’t listen to your customer, you can always redeem yourself by doing your job with utmost professionalism, confidence, and skill.

The Tricky Art of Finding the Right Business Model for Effective Leadership

Thursday, 14th February 2013

Photo: Shazz Mack on Flickr

One of the biggest problems in building your business comes with deciding which business model to incorporate. Choosing the right business model to grow your business to the next stage is tricky and can be challenging if you don’t look at the right questions to answer.

Some of the more obvious questions to ask yourself when pondering which business model you want to incorporate are:

  • Where do you want to go with your business?
  • How do you want the business to look?
  • What results do you want your business efforts to achieve?
  • What’s the fastest way to utilize the resources that you already have?

Those questions are good starting points. There are other questions that aren’t often looked at, questions centered around how the model you pick affects you personally. Questions like:

  • What do you want to spend most of your time doing?
  • What is the most important part to you of your business, in your opinion? e.g. The growth? The lifestyle? The work?
  • What is the most fulfilling part of running your business, and what would it look like if you did more of that?
  • How much do you want to work?
  • How much money do you want to make, versus how much time off do you want?

These personal questions aren’t always easy to answer truthfully, but they’re probably more important than the strategic questions.

For example, one of my clients was really struggling with working in general. After a closer look, she determined it was the marketing she was resisting. The more we snooped around, it became very clear that she thought she should become a renowned guru. She felt a lot of outside and inside pressure to do so. Clearly she had the skills, talent, and her company was positioned in a place where she could really take off, but she didn’t. She kept stopping herself.

Photo: Photographyxgrl on Flickr

Once we took a closer look, it became apparent that to become famous did not meet the needs of her top values. In fact it didn’t even come close. When we explored further, her need to have more white space—time that wasn’t scheduled, was more important. Time for her to do her art meant a lot to her, and the idea of getting consumed by her business halted her efforts to build the business.

After she determined that what she wanted was a handful of clients and some group meetings that she could facilitate, it was a snap to come up with a different business model that required much less time building the business. This realization got her the results that she wanted with a smaller amount of effort plus created a lot of time for her to do other things that brought her happiness.

When you ask yourself personal questions before growing your business to the next level, you will have more of the information that you need to pick the business model that works better for you and your lifestyle.

The Hero’s Journey of Overcoming Business

Friday, 8th February 2013

The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell

The minute the modern day business owner begins a business, he/she enters on a valiant quest that is called the “hero’s journey”. The American scholar, Joseph Campbell, identified this journey while studying many different cultures throughout the world. Joseph was able to see that the same pattern occurred over and over again in myths, religion, and in storytelling. This pattern can also be extended to business.

If you learn what the steps are in the process of the quest as a business owner, you will have a better idea of where you are going in your journey and business and will be able to utilize the opportunities that are presented to you in the most effective way.

The first step of the journey that a newbie business owner takes is deciding to leave the ordinary world. The ordinary world is the way things are before the business owner sets out on the quest to change things. In this first stage, the soon-to-be owner is not happy with the way things are.

After the business hero travels through this world long enough, something happens that invites him/her to come on the adventure of business. The hero normally, at this point, looks at business building as hard, too many unknowns, and requiring super human strength. Typically the business hero doesn’t want to pursue the business that is calling him/her.

The business hero continues on with living, not really listening to the idea of building a business. But then he/she comes across a person, or class, or some other thing that helps teach what a person needs to know if they are going to start a business. Sometimes it comes in the form of a person who listens to the hero’s dreams and believes it possible for the owner to create.

Photo: Fortune Live Media on Flickr

Eventually the business hero can take the way the normal everyday world is and he/she makes a step into the unknown of the business world. The call to make a change or to see what can be created just becomes too much, and our business hero needs to see what can be done.

Once the business has begun, that is when things become extra exciting. This is the time for the business hero to prove what he/she is made of. The hero will start encountering all sorts of opposition in the forms of: tests, enemies, and will also start making allies that are critical to form to have a chance of succeeding. The longer the business hero is in business, the better he/she becomes. The hero is now prepared for the future.

There comes a time in every business owner’s journey where the owner will need to go through the “ordeal”. In the hero’s journey pattern, the owner confronts his/her greatest fear in the journey, whether it will be success, or the death of the way he/she has run the business, or birthing new life into the business. At some point the business hero must face the challenge.

If the business hero makes it through all the challenges and tasks, then comes the reward of a successful business. At this point, there’s still the risk of being in danger, but there is also the satisfaction of huge accomplishment.

Photo: AdaFruit on Flickr

Oftentimes the hero business person has to go through more obstacles and tests, until finally at the end, it is time for the business owner to return to where he/she started from, but this time with all the skills and knowledge needed in order to permanently transform the world. When the business hero reaches this part of the journey, there is much he or she can do to give back.

When the business owner knows what point of the hero’s journey he or she are at, it is much easier to get through that stage with the wisdom of having the broader picture of what is happening and what to expect.

Success Coaching and Building on Healthy Business Practices

Wednesday, 21st November 2012

When Are You Building Your Business on Adrenaline and When Are You Building on Healthy Business Practices?

When a person functions too much on adrenaline, they run the risk of getting adrenal fatigue, which according to James Wilson, PhD, is the 21st Century Stress Syndrome. If you are an entrepreneur, watch out, you could be even more susceptible because entrepreneurs are famous for pushing the pedal to the metal and cranking it day in and day out.  They are used to working harder, longer, and more intensely than those in the corporate world because there is no 9 to 5 for them.  They are on call at all times, and their whole survival is dependent on what they can produce and accomplish.

If you don’t want to end up with the 21st Century Stress Syndrome, and you are an entrepreneur, it becomes important that you learn how to stop burning yourself out. When you work too long, too hard, in order to keep on moving, you will be working off adrenaline.