“It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse!” –– Adlai Stevenson, American ambassador to the United Nations.
It’s also difficult to build a business properly if you’ve never learned how to “own” your ownership.
We often juggle SO many roles that we fail to grasp the significance that comes with being the leader of our business. Small as it might be today, you must think toward your business future. Its growth requires smart leadership, courageous decisions and a crystal clear path.
Picture a gem-master working in his studio. How does he treat his precious stones? Do you think he throws them into a drawer saying “Oh, I’ll get to them as soon as I watch the latest Chelsea Handler episode?” or hoping they will spontaneously cut and polish themselves? No way! He works on them with the utmost care, knowing once their facets are cut & polished they WILL truly shine.
Apply the same principle to your business.
Your business is like the gem and you are the gem master who needs to look at each aspect of your business as a part of the diamond you want to free from its crusty entombment.
– Make time to evaluate your business ideas and plan for their execution. A gemologist doesn’t plop down and start whacking away a stone… well, not if she wants to get something of value out of it.
– Carve away the rough edges in every facet of your business. There are always rough edges that mysteriously have a way of soaking up far more time than they are worth. Get rid of those rough edges so you can focus on the shiny rock underneath. That shiny rock is what is truly worthy of the bulk of your attention.
– Review your progress. No one gets it right on the first try. You must regularly check that what you envisioned is what is being carved out of the rock adjust accordingly.
– Polish your concept so that it’s presented in the best way possible. It is not enough to just cut the rough edges from a diamond. There is still polishing to be done to make the diamond (your product) the most enticing choice out of all the other stones.
Just like the gem master, you are a craftsman –– the craftsman (or woman) of your own business!
True success will always seem beyond your grasp, so long as you continue treating your business like a “job.” You need to see the potential within. If this describes your situation, you are not alone. Many of us find ourselves stuck in this phase. We are so accustomed to juggling the hats of our personal lives – wife, mother, friend, and neighbor – we forget there is no real “role juggling” at work. The reality? Our ONLY role should be that of leader, not “go-fer!”
We need to own our ownership. We need to feel comfortable leading the charge. We need to shun that feeling that we “look funny on a horse.”Read More
A cheerful mom from the eight-and-under soccer team hands you a list and says, “It’s your turn to handle the phone tree!” You pump out an enthusiastic “Sure!” before cramming the paper into your purse without a second thought.
Sure, a call-list sounds simple enough, but you know it’s a huge energy drain. It’s often hard to get off the phone quickly, and sometimes it takes multiple phone calls to get the information conveyed.
Example Time –
Say you had 20 numbers to call. And say you spent six minutes – dialing, then waiting for an answer, then explaining yourself, and then saying your goodbyes.
The whole shebang would eat up a minimum of two hours of your precious time! Who has that kind of time to sit around making phones calls these days?
On the other hand, if you made five phone calls and then asked each person to call three other people on the list, you will have accomplished the whole task in a quarter of the time! Such a maneuver would be a smart use of your resources – this is harnessing the power of “leverage” at its best!
Often we get so entrenched in the solo act that we forget to work smarter, not harder. We forget that the principle of leverage is one of our greatest assets in business and in our personal lives. Or we never had a true understanding of its power in the first place!
Leverage allows you to get more done in a day than there are hours in a day.
How is that possible? Well, leverage allows you to escape that one-to-one correlation – that direct tie to the 24-hour day and what one human can physically do in that defined time period. A girl’s got to sleep, right?
Leverage is what turns a “good idea” into a red-hot, profitable business –– with a cash flow that lets you go to sleep with a smile on your face. It’s what lets you see your family on the weekends, and what brings your lifestyle goals to fruition. Unfortunately, lots of business babes are in the dark about how to do this and struggle way harder than they should to get ahead.
That’s why I’m thrilled to announce the premiere of my new program: The More Money Equation!
I created this program to teach women entrepreneurs like you, that the key to enjoying the perks of business ownership is truly OWNING your business! The exact opposite of what most entrepreneurs do –– letting their businesses own them.
If you’re ready to run a stress-free empire that truly supports YOU – Join me in this 30-day fun, interactive virtual class!Read More
Last week I introduced to you three areas you can quickly create systems for even if you are a one-woman operation.
In case you missed part one you can read it here – part one.
This week I’m going to talk about the other four areas where you can start creating structure in your business so you can bring in the money honey.
However, before we dive into today’s systems I have a few presuppositions about you:
No. 1: You already know how to turn prospects into customers or you would be out of business by now.
No. 2: You have an idea of what your current conversion rate is.
No. 3: You have done the proper research and preparation and have put together something irresistible to your customers. By this I mean you have packaged your products and services properly, you have an established position in the market place, and you have fine-tuned your image, brand and your relationship with your clients.
Although this ground work is established, you’d be surprise how many small business owners fail to consistently apply these key strategies that safeguard their company’s progress. I’m hoping you are not one of them and you have at least the basics of the following systems to consistently turn leads into clients.
But, if you’ve been a busy bee and have neglected this area of your business and your selling systems and techniques have been haphazard at best, no worries, I’ve got your back. You just need to make these simple changes then watch your conversion rates do their thing. As a matter of fact, if you don’t have any of these systems laid out, your homework young lady is to implement one or two of the following systems.
Okay, enough lecturing onto today’s post….
Fourth – Lead Generation – Lack of time to generate new leads is one of the biggest challenges for us service based solo business babes. We are constantly being pulled in a million different directions as we juggle our current workload. Little time or energy is left to devote to generation of new clients, an important aspect of any healthy venture, as a matter of fact this should be your #1 task.
But, how do you launch a strategy to generate consistent leads when you are a one-person operation? Yup, you guessed it – it’s all about having the right “systems” in place to identify new lead sources and channel them into your sales funnel. You knew I was going there – didn’t you?
If you can pull this off automatically on a consistent basis, you will have developed the perfect scenario for business growth.
I know of at least 50 ways of the top of my head to get leads into your sales funnel, blogging, networking, speaking etc.. but then this section would turn into a book.
Hint: if you spend any amount of time online, you are probably aware of many of these tactics already. And you also know that you need to have a good mix of online and offline marketing efforts.
So, my question to you is – What system do you have in place right now to implement these lead-generating methods?
Uh-Oh, is that a pin I hear dropping?
Awareness is not the same thing as application. You HAVE to implement! I would say at the very least you should have a minimum of five automatic client attraction strategies working simultaneously for you 24/7!
The one thing you can do right now, however, is figure out what is currently working for you and further cash in on that tactic. In other words, if you know what is working, do more of it. Sweet and simple system – don’tcha think?
Fifth – Client Intake – This is a big one. The other day I was speaking to a very successful coach and when we starting talking about where she can save more time when working with new clients I was taken aback that she didn’t have a welcome package for new clients.
Every time a new prospective client came through her doors she had to go over the same information again and again. This is a great area where you can create a standard welcome package so clients answer key questions upfront. Doing this serves two purposes, first you will immediately know whether or not he/she is your ideal client, second it will save you and your clients tons of time.
So, think of what you would want to know about your client to ascertain that you can dance together and put those questions in a document. Voila you’ve got a “welcome or getting started” new client package. Do you have a welcome package? You should. For a great example of this go fill out one of my initial client intake forms here 🙂
Sixth – Sales Conversion – So, now that you have a system to generate leads you need to have another system (those dang systems!) to turn those ideal leads into paying clients. Which method you use depends on your business model, but the principle behind it is the same for everyone. The trick is to systematize what you are doing, and do it consistently. You want to understand which part of your lead conversion system works and what does not work. Take the part that works and optimize it. Do it over and over again. Converting leads into sales is crucial to build a sustainable business. This is where understanding what’s working (aka your metrics) is uber important to identify where you need to focus your attention.
So, some key systems you must have to convert your ideal clients include – getting your prospect interested in what you have to offer via headlines, videos, email autoresponders, etc. Having a solid selling system in place (i.e. introductory coaching calls like my Free 15 minutes Powows, provide proof, handling objections, great guarantee, etc..)
Obviously, this is a big subject to tackle in just a few short paragraphs, but I hope that I’ve at least gotten your wheels turning as to where you can use systems in your business and create a well-run organization that doesn’t solely depend on you to run.
And the last system I believe you should definitely have in place is…drum roll……
A system to handle the dreaded administrative tasks – I’m going to give it you straight. You should already know how I feel about this area – the solution here is to automate, delegate and outsource. Period. If you are drowning in a lot of work and seemingly little cashola is coming in from your business, then, there are three things going on here darling, your time management skills suck, you are living above your means and/or you are not charging enough for your work.
Now, I don’t know your business model, but if you are bringing in close to six figures a year in revenue, hell, even if you are at high five figures you should definitely be able to hire someone to help with these boring tasks that are sucking your energy and more, so you can concentrate on highly lucrative + leveraged activities.
I’ve written extensively about how to cure “drowning in work, not making enough money” syndrome and my most recent article to get you out of this vicious cycle can be found here.
There you have it, seven areas where you can create more structure right now. Whether you are a soloprenuer, a boutique entrepreneur or a small business owner these will save you tons of time, keep you sane and help you make the money you know you can be making.
If you need a little help creating more structure in your biz, my gratis “Freedom Chats” 15 Minute Powwows are back in session. Don’t miss out…go here to get of all the deets.
And if you’ve found this article useful, share it with at least two of your colleagues – they will love you for it 🙂
Humor me for a moment…
…You are making decent coin and you have plenty of clients – so many that you are struggling to keep up with demand, but you are still in the delusional phase that you have to do everything yourself. Even though, you are currently struggling with a full schedule, have a mile long to-do list and at the last family gathering it had been so long that your nieces and nephews were asking “Who’s the escaped mental patient?”
Now, imagine that on top of everything else you are doing to keep the dollars flowing your marketing efforts pay off and go into hyper drive. You find yourself astonished by all the knocks on your door from people wanting a taste of your special sauce. You do some major rump-rockin’, happy dancing because you will finally have the income, freedom and impact on people’s lives just like you’ve always wanted. Life is much happier and yummier now, except…
Yeah, there is always a but isn’t there?
Is your business ready for that level of growth?
Can you honestly tell yourself, that you have the right resources, environment, mindset and support structures to be able to handle the new business that has come your way?
Yes? No? Oh Snap?
You are now officially stuck in what scientists call a conundrum – how do you handle the day-to-day details of running your empire while managing all the new business that you’ve wrangled into the corral?
The decision to go out on your own did not come easily and like many other’s you are running a one-woman show. As a result, because you are wearing all the hats (even the dang janitor’s) your business is not reaching the potential you know it can.
I’m going to take a moment here to remind you that we’ve talked about you adding more leverage to your business before. The Yvette Syversen revolution is all about helping you stop the insanity of trying to do it all yourself. The perks of which are – you can better leverage your money, time, skills, systems and support resources. Which leads to your business reaching its full potential without losing your sanity or ruining your reputation along the way. It’s the whole “working smarter not harder” cliché.
Having said that, many of you are finally drinking the Kool-Aid and crossing over to the other side so you can get some of that primo, uncut leverage stuff to alleviate your empire growing pains. But, at the same time your brain starts hurting from pondering which dang systems you should put in place first and where?
Let’s be real honest here, you’ve been in business for a bit, but you haven’t quite mastered running it in a stress-free profitable and productive way.
So, where do you start?
From the beginning silly.
OK, just kidding.
There are seven areas where you can create more structure right now, so you can run your empire like clockwork, grow it (and your bank account) faster all while leveraging your time and being able to breathe again.
Here are the first three areas ::
First up— Creating A System To Create Systems – I show you how to easily create a system for ANY process in your business in this blog post: Uber-Successful Entreprenuers Secret :: Decoded . But, wait, don’t go there yet. Finish reading this post and then if this is where you need to start by all means go forth and prosper.
Second — Managing Your Projects — As a creative entrepreneur you probably tend to get overwhelmed with the bazillion ideas you get on an everyday basis to advance your business. You struggle to figure out which one will create the best results and you can easily get bogged down by the HOW to get things done.
Projects is how you grow your business. So, you must have a way for figuring out which idea is the best one, for breaking down any project into more manageable and doable steps, for tracking its progress and for managing when tasks need to be completed.
Even if you aren’t tackling big wampum projects yet, it’s a great idea to have a step-by-step approach on how you will handle your projects so you don’t miss key steps. Doing so is incredibly handy if you currently have people working with you and you have to delegate tasks to them.
Again, even if you are not ready to hire assistance setting a system for handling your projects will still be a beneficial exercise for you to be able to get your projects done more effectively and profitably with the bonus of it being ready to go when you do start bringing in support.
Having a well thought out system to get your projects done faster is a must so you can start monetizing those brilliant ideas and make the money you know you can be making.
Third – The Taming of the To-Do – I bet you have a long-ass to do list that is probably a big source of stress for you. Am I right? I personally know it’s one biggest challenges for entrepreneurs.
Here’s a clue — your to do list needs to be based on what you want your business to be — your vision, purpose, what you intent to accomplish, goals, priorities and of course the actions you will be taking to reach your destination. So, if you are not clear on where you are going and how are you going to get there how would you know which tasks are worth doing and when you’ve arrived?
Most of you try to tackle a laundry list of to-do’s because you don’t really have a strategic way to handle your list.
I have a system for handling your to-do list which you can read all about it on this blog post: To Accomplish More Do Less And it’s a fantastic system based on one used by many uber-successful people that I’ve put my own spin on.
However, which system you use is not as important as finding a system that works best for you. So, whether you use good ole fashion post-it notes and stick them all over your life, use an electronic system with flashing lights and mysterious beeps or my clearly fantastic system 😉 the trick is to be super realistic with what you can get done in a day.
Some people have a to-do list of 7 items others a list of 2. The point is to create your to do list very strategically and work on a task until completion within the time that you have allotted yourself. That is how you will advance your business and start feeling really good about yourself ‘cuz you are making progress and money.
I don’t want to overwhelm you so I decided to make this week’s post a two-parter. Come back next week same place, same time, for the other four rarely talked about areas where you can start creating structure in your business so you can bring in the money honey.
If you need a little help creating more structure in your bidness, my “Freedom Chats” 15 minutes Powwows are back in session. Don’t miss out… go here for all the deets.
And if you’ve found this article useful, share it with at least two of your colleagues – they will truly love you for it.
Last week I decided to let the cat out of the bag1 and revealed to you how you can easily take the stress out of running your business.
I was happy to see so many of you sold on the idea of creating systems for your business so its runs like the proverbial clock. You get that doing so is the only way to create a more profitable business without running around like chickens with your wee little heads cut off.
However, some of you brought up a very good point. Actually, the challenge that you described is one of the greatest weaknesses in most businesses and the main reason why so many amazing ideas never see the light of day.
Creative entrepreneurs have no shortage of ideas, right? You are cranking those babies out All Day Long. That’s the easy part. The really hard part is sticking with the plan, implementing it and seeing those ideas through to completion. And by completion I mean, seeing the project all the way through to profitability not being killed off out of boredom and frustration.
See, we get a good idea, get really excited about it and swear up and down that we will commit to doing whatever it takes to get the project done.
Then something happens along the way, we start losing steam. We get bogged down with the details, other projects and those damn ever-present shiny objects. Why are there so many awesome shiny objects in the world? Anyhoo, we start procrastinating and missing deadlines. Next thing we know the project takes forever to finish, if it ever gets finished at all.
Sound painfully familiar?
Have you tried to put more structure into your empire but somehow never get around to doing it?
If you are guilty of starting things, but not finishing them in your business or personal life don’t fret, stop being so hard on yourself you are perfectly normal. Actually, most uber-successful business babes are the same way.
See, we are all wired differently, some of us are awesome at starting things and some of us are great at finishing things. The trick is to figure out how you are wired and then take steps to balance things out so your brilliant ideas get a shot at seeing the light of day.
Ok, so lemme get a bit more of my technical mojo on:
You are a true Starter if…
• You are brilliant, very creative, love to invent, innovate coming up with new ways for things, but you tend to also be a bit impatient
• You can definitely see the bigger picture and even come up with a plan (but get overwhelmed and stuck spinning your wheels figuring out the steps of what needs to be done to achieve that vision)
• You get so bored with the details and routine tasks, you’d rather have a root canal
• You get going really fast, and lots of things happen, but you very often over-stretch how much of you can go around by setting unrealistic expectations
• You start on one idea today, and before the day ends you are already thinking about the next project that can grow your business (c’mon how many projects have you got on your to-do list?)
You are a Finisher if…
• You love to line up your projects like duckies in neat little rows and work on them until they are beautiful swans
• You get a high (like a kid in a candy store) crossing items off your to-do list
• You have a crystal clear idea of what you want to do and know how to set priorities and boundaries
• You get that it’s not about managing time, its all about managing yourself better
• You can easily rattle off the steps needed to complete your next project
So, how are you wired? Are you a Starter, a Finisher or both?
If after reading this you determined you are both a starter and finisher congratulations – you’re a freak, umm, I mean you are a rare and wonderful bird my dear! Wallow in all your glory. Maniacal laughter is optional.
If however, you are a great starter then here are a few things you can do to help you balance the scale a bit ::
• Surround yourself with people who are ninja finishers. Even if you hire that person for a couple of hours a week you NEED someone to finish what you started.
• Create systems and automate as much as possible so you can become stronger at finishing your projects. Otherwise you will lose confidence and your half-baked ideas will never make you money
• Put things on your calendar, if it’s not scheduled its not real. Nuff said.
• Join a mastermind group, hire a high level mentor (hint hint), find one person who can give you a gentle kick in the pants to help you finish what you start. Especially for tasks that only you can do.
• Figure out ways to stay motivated throughout the life of the project.
If you are a finisher then you are doing pretty good, just make sure you celebrate your achievements and connect with someone who can help you flush out your ideas. We all need to bounce off ideas on other people to get a better perspective on things.
Every business no matter what size needs starters – people with big ideas, visions and plans. Just as importantly, every business needs finishers – people who execute on the plan to get the work done. Without both you won’t get projects to start nor anyone to finish them and that would totally suck.
I’m one of the frea…um, I mean rare birds in that I can be both a starter and finisher. I must admit though, that there have been times where I have slacked off just like everyone else. But, even if you are like me, you still need a team of people who can help you implement since you cannot accomplish Big Things™ all by your lonesome.
Remember, you will only see the results of your efforts (make more money) when you surround yourself with the right environment, people, resources and you implement. That’s when your business will hum along, grow by leaps and bounds while fewer things fall through the cracks.
1. Who the heck started this saying? I mean seriously, who was putting cats in bags in the first place? Who was around witnessing the catastrophe (pun intended) that it caught on as a phrase? How long was appropriate before you let the cat out? Are there some international standards for cat-bagging? Why can’t I turn these thoughts off?