February 2015 Coaches Corner
When Less is More
Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like you work around the clock, but can't seem to get anything done?
You may find yourself in awe of entrepreneurs who seem to have it all together: they somehow achieve abundant business success, along with the personal freedom that we all desire. While thinking to yourself… “Why can't I do that?”
All our lives, we are brought up to believe that by working hard, we can achieve anything. Our culture celebrates the “overworker”; the guy who stays extra hours at the office, comes in on weekends, and brings his work home with him. The mom, who somehow juggles raising a child, running a successful business, and even a popular blog.
And as Expertpreneurs®, you wrestle with a mountain of ideas. You have plenty of ambition, but get very little support to make it all happen which causes many aspiring business owners to crumble under the pressure, and give up on their dreams.
Well, I am here to tell you that there is a much easier way.
You see, the saying “Work smarter, not harder” is advice we all should adopt. When you minimize the clutter in your life, focus on what you are best at, and strip away the excess overwhelming work, you have a much greater chance at success than the rest.
Your business can be more productive and you can make more money. All without being as busy as you are now. Sounds ideal, doesn't it?
Well today, I'm going to show you how simplifying your life and your business can easily set you up to earn up to $1000 an hour…
Why embracing the secrets of saying “no” will let you breathe easier, and boost your bottom line…
And how to get help, without dealing with the hassles of pesky employees.
Your Time is Important
How often do you let yourself get interrupted throughout the day? I'm talking about anything that stops your work – phone calls, emails, the doorbell, chores, you name it…
With smartphones, tablets, and the way technology is going, we are constantly connected, and in many ways expected to respond instantly to communication from others.
Which is absolutely ridiculous.
Now, I firmly believe that technology has its place. I've explained its merits in creating to-do lists, hands-free marketing funnels, and connecting you to more potential customers than previously possible.
It's truly amazing. But the permanent attachment most people have to their devices is alarming at best, and completely anti-productive at worst.
I'm going to ask you to do something from now on. When you set out to work, regardless of what it is, turn your devices off. Disconnect the internet. Everything.
And don't get distracted.
You'll be surprised by how much more you can get accomplished when you don't allow little things to stop your flow. Work will fly by, and you'll get through projects faster than ever.
The same applies when dealing with friends and relatives – be protective of your time. If you have a conversation with a friend, and they ask you a favor, seriously consider whether it is a proper use of your time.
If it is something that aligns with your best skills, and you have the time to give, absolutely do it. However, if what they ask is something you aren't good at, don't like doing, and would suck up your time, then you need to politely decline.
This may sound incredibly cold-hearted, but you must do it for yourself.
For example, your parents need help with lawn work and ask you to do it for them. Unless your expertise is in lawn care, I doubt that is the most efficient use of your time. Instead of doing it yourself, call or hire someone to do it for them.
Your parents may give you a hard time about being “above” it, but the job will get done faster and better than you could possibly do it. And you could actually spend that extra hour with them rather than doing stuff for them.
Efficiency In Creativity
As I mentioned earlier, most Expertpreneurs®by nature, have A.D.D. (attention deficit disorder) to some extent.
You are a thinker and a dreamer. You have chosen this path because you don't want to go to a job for the rest of your life. You want to forge a unique path utilizing your expertise that allows you time and freedom to enjoy life, while helping others.
However, just thinking and dreaming won't get you anywhere. You have to take action.
It's nearly impossible to take action on three or four different ideas at once. And that's a conservative goal. I've known people to want to jump on more things than that!
You may recall from my blog series about productivity, Streamlining Project Management Done Wrong that the best way to work on projects is to focus on them one at a time. Not only will you get them done faster, you'll start making money sooner, as well.
Pick your favorite (or, perhaps, the project that can generate income the fastest) and work on that first. When it's done, implemented, and is making you money, move on to the next.
Generating one new income stream every few months is much better than generating three income streams, which take you a year to finish. Think about how much money you would miss out on?
The same mindset goes for products, too.
There is always a temptation to offer too many products and services. After all, more options guarantees more sales, right?
I have a colleague who is a rather successful marketing consultant. He visits suffering businesses, analyzes them, and then crafts a plan to help them get out of their hole.
90% of the time, the problem is that they have too many products. His solution: choose four products, and focus all of your energy on them. Make them better, improve the marketing, and get your customers to become evangelical about them.
These focused efforts will give you far more income with far less stress. And on a side note, if you do not have any products yet, just start with one. Create it, market it, test it, and only when it's set and able to profit without you do you move on to the next project.
Never Be Afraid to Ask For Help (But Not Too Much)
I've said quite a bit before about the virtues of outsourcing. You always want to focus on what you are best at and delegate the rest. There is no point in wasting time learning a new skill that won't bring you that much profit in return.
But there is a difference between using freelancers and hiring staff. And the key here is how much “hands-on” work is required from you.
A staff requires payroll, benefits (especially with the legal changes in healthcare), perhaps a physical location to work, meetings, managers, etc… The list really goes on and on. However, outsourcers or freelancers are hired to do one particular task, and that is all. You just give it to them with clear instructions, and, if they are good, they don't bother you again until they have a final product.
Which one sounds more appealing to you?
If you have a staff of any sort, cut it down. I don't recommend firing people coldly; if there is a way for them to stay on as independent contractors for particular tasks, then absolutely work that out. If you are doing everything by yourself, then consider hiring some outsources to take on the tasks you know little about.
And let me take this opportunity to discuss meetings. Dan Kennedy very famously detests meetings, as he believes that they are largely a complete waste of time.
I wholeheartedly agree.
Now, we are referring, mostly, to meetings in the corporate, having a lot of employees sense. If you've ever worked in an office, you've probably been subjected to them – long, drawn-out ramblings about “progress” that last for hours, and accomplish absolutely nothing.
If those are a part of your current business, cut them out immediately.
Only “meet” with people for a very specific purpose for a pre-defined time period. And be very strict about that time period; people will gladly take up more than you are willing to give. Meetings also can and should be done over the phone.
Even better, if you have one key person who deals with the rest of your freelancers, then all you need is one monthly meeting with him or her, freeing you to do your own thing for the rest of the month.
Just by taking control of this, you will cut much of the excess work from your life.
How To Make $1000 an Hour
This is actually a conservative estimate.
If you are an Expertpreneurs® who offers “coaching sessions” as a service, you may have the “problem” of having too many appointments over the course of a month. Let's say you have 10 client coaching sessions a day.
I realize that from a new business perspective, 10 clients at $100 per hour means you are doing well. That's $1000 in a day's work.
But I challenge you to look at it in a different way.
Believe it or not, from an expert perspective, 10 calls in a day is a lot. That's 10 hours of time you are directly trading for money.
Now, what if you charged those clients each the same amount, but put them together in an exclusive group coaching session that was one hour long. Now, you are making $1000 for one hour of work, and still have the rest of your day to accomplish something else.
It's the same exact service, but done smarter.
By making your time scarce, you develop a higher perceived value and can charge more. Not a bad way to make a living, right?
Making 2014 Your Best Year Yet
Implement a few of these ideas this month, and you will be amazed at how much simpler (and more profitable) your business and your life will become.
Just don't be burdened by all of the different options I've shared today. Choose one thing, try it out, and once you've got it where you want it, you can move on.
This really applies to everything I teach you; focus your efforts. If you want to start a new marketing campaign, don't launch it on every single social media channel and hope for the best. Start with the one you understand the best. The one that makes the most sense for your business.
Once you've tested that and gotten it to a completely manageable state, then move on to the next.
By doing so, you will live a happier, healthier, and more prosperous life. Which is what we're all trying to do. So treat yourself to a great and stress-free 2014 by giving these concepts a try.