One of the things I love about my clients is that they are all entrepreneurs. They’re excited about their work and they’re passionate about their ideas. They love their businesses (sometimes) as if it were one of their children. And they spend a lot of time working.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that many entrepreneurs don’t always feel like they’re getting anything done … despite the long hours and hard work. They’re pretty sure they’re being inefficient and feel like there’s never enough time.
And that’s exhausting.
1. Get clear about what you’re trying to accomplish. I see clients every day who are heading in 15 directions all at once. They jump from one thing to the next and back without any clear destination, always chasing the next shiny object.
The best way to do this is to take time to make measurable goals that are easy to articulate. For example: “In 2017 I want to increase revenue by $30,000;” “I want 10 more monthly retainer clients;” “I want to delegate 10 hours of work per week to an assistant.”
2. Make a plan that supports your goal. If your goal is to increase revenue by $30,000, identify five or six activities to support that objective. This might include raising prices, additional public speaking, attending more networking events, writing a newsletter, publishing on LinkedIn, etc.
Be deliberate about this. This is how you are going to spend your time.
3.Set up support systems. In order to know whether you’re carrying out your plan, it’s important to track what you’re doing. Part of my plan to increase revenue this year is to attend at least one networking event a month, meet with one new person every week, publish my newsletter every other week and speak at six events. There’s no way I could track my progress in my head, so I have an excel spreadsheet to track my success each week.
Am I flawless in my execution? No. Does it help to see what I’m actually doing so I can make mid-course corrections? Absolutely.
4.Don’t be afraid to say no. If you get a request that’s not aligned with your goal, it’s important to say no. If you have a bright idea that’s also not aligned with your goal (no matter how bright) it’s equally important to say no.
For example, one of my tactics for growing my revenue this year is public speaking, but with parameters; I have just one particular presentation that I offer. That’s the only one I’m willing to give this year. Spending a week coming up with a new presentation for each event is not an option.
Do your goal setting and planning in quiet. Also, do it separately from your day to day activities. Be clear in your language and remove any ambiguity. Stick with it, even when you’re feeling short on time or energy. Be sure to add time to keep updating your systems.
In the end, you’ll feel more focused, get more done and enjoy your business a lot more than you thought you could.