1/12th the year is near gone… are you 1/12th the way to reaching all your goals?
The days and weeks fly by so fast, it sometimes feels like you are moving faster backwards than forward.
That said, there are still 11 months left, and some fantastic opportunities out there for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Some rules of engagement for 2011:
Rule #1 – Focus. Take a long hard look at all of your projects that you have on your plate. Write them down. Each. One. This is difficult to commit to – and the results will SHOCK you if you are honest. Write down every single project you have on the go right now. Honesty will set you free here.
a) Get rid of those that have no residual or ongoing revenue. Is this a one-hit-wonder project? Or is there something here that you can repurpose and leverage for years to come? A winning promotion can easily be run again next month – or next year. As long as you have new, fresh leads coming in, your promotion will continue to work for you.
b) take a look at the remaining projects. If they are niche or narrow in reach then sell them or close them down. Only look at projects that have a broad reach (can affect many).
Rule #2 – Get your priorities straight. Your main goal this year is…? Number one priority is YOU, then your family, then your business. You cannot run a successful business for the long term if your health is falling apart, you are stressed out, and an insomniac. And if you aren’t looking after yourself, you won’t be looking after your family properly. And if you aren’t looking after yourself or them, your customers certainly won’t be ‘feeling the love’. And if they aren’t feeling it… your main goal doesn’t have a chance!
a) Take daily time for you (rest + play). Make sure you are getting a decent sleep, are eating properly, and getting in some daily exercise (if you are in Calgary, and looking for a like-minded workout partner, I would love to have you join me in my M/W/F Tae Kwon Do Classes (12-1) – let me know if interested). You need to be fully exploiting your downtime, and you need to start doing fun stuff with fun people on a regular basis.
Full disclosure: For far too long I have avoided going out to local networking events in Calgary. I had a good reason – 3 years ago there was nothing really solid in the entrepreneurial space here for meetings. That was 3 years ago. Just last week I went to a fantastic event with over 100 entrepreneurs. Great people – a great event – and a realization that things HAVE changed in the past 3 years. Resources like meetup.com have changed this space. It is now easier than EVER to find like-minded people to talk to… use this service for finding others… and setting up your own meetups.
b) Appreciate your spouse and children. If your home life is a mess, your business life won’t be any better. Give them time, and a FOCUSED you. Not you with nose buried in a crackberry or iphone. You. Just you. No technology.
My daughters LOVE going for walks with me and the dog – no ipods or phones allowed. We talk. We laugh. We solve all of the world’s problems. Create a one hour rule.
One hour of family focus time a day on weekdays – and MUCH more than that on weekends. Again… if your home life is a mess, your business life won’t be any better.
c) Are you working harder for others or for you? Stop running on adrenaline. This is an exhausting treadmill to be on. Constantly pushing to help others, do good, be more, connect more, etc. All sounds good in theory – but if you aren’t worrying about your own good (and ability to pay the bills), the rest doesn’t matter.
Serving and helping more people is a great thing… but change things if it isn’t paying the bills. Now is NOT the time to get deeper in the hole, while you wait for the miracles to happen. Get busy helping others, as long as it is helping yourself as well!
Rule #3 – Say NO! Lots. For many entrepreneurs, this is one of the toughest things to ask of them. We all LOVE new ideas. New ventures. New possibilities. But that love for ‘new’ costs us all dearly. You know it. I know it.
a) Decide what you want in 2011 and don’t want. Are you going to launch a new venture? Then launch A new venture – not 5. Are you re-focusing your marketing on your top 3 products? Then narrow it down to ONLY 3 products and create new marketing campaigns for ONLY those 3. Get rid of everything else – not an easy thing to do – but a necessity!
By far the most empowering thing you can do in 2011 is to start saying no every single day to new distractions. Keep track of how many times you say no a day. How can you double that?
b) Manage your time and STOP letting others manage your time. Emails. Facebook. Twitter. Phone calls. Instant messages. Texting. I get exhausted just thinking about it all. The biggest lesson? You have NO control over your life and business if these so-called ‘tools’ run your life.
If you can’t go to the bathroom without a phone in your hand…or you can’t eat dinner without checking email…or you can’t sit and enjoy dinner without the phone ringing… you AREN’T the one in control of your life. Electronics and clients are… and something needs to change.
c) Think BIG. Successful CEOs don’t tackle it all at once, or on their own. They quickly figure out if the project s leading them in the right direction or not. Either turfing the idea overall, or delegating it to someone else who can implement the idea. Implementation is the nemesis of most entrepreneurs… taking on too much and not picking up the pieces after. CHANGE THAT THIS YEAR. If you are always saying yes and trying to do it yourself, then you are in the mud all the time and someone else is making the money off of your hard work.
Rule # 4 – Must take action on a daily basis. Sounds easy… but most of us don’t take the proper actions on a daily basis. We start the day with email… then fight fires answering emails and letting them direct the rest of our day.
Eugene Schwartz gave us one of his greatest secrets – a timer set to 33 minutes and 33 seconds. Let that little electronic device determine the direction of your day.
Start blocking off your day with the help of that timer and you will get more done in 5 of those 33 minute blocks than you normally do in an entire day, maybe WEEK!
takes is one thing a day…
* Write an email to your clients
* Send 1 card to 1 prospect
* Write one press release and submit online
* Ask one person for a referral
* Write one blog entry
* Ask one person to endorse me to their list
* Write one article for your newsletter
* Compliment one person who has helped you
* Add one page of content to your website
* Send one monthly promotion to your clients
* Test one new upsell offer today
* Bundle 3 products into one and create a new name
* Ask one customer for their feedback
* Ask one customer what else they would like to buy
* Create a customer survey to find out what they want
* Offer one free bonus “just as my way of saying thanks”
* Find out what your clients fear the most
* Offer your clients a teleseminar – ask them for content
* Offer your clients a live seminar – bring in guest speakers
* Visualize your perfect business and life for 5 minutes
* Ask 5 clients if you can take them for a brainstorming lunch
That is exactly what you need to do to make the most of 2011.
Real success is NOT about shiny objects and miracle pills. It is all about systematically doing the right things that pull you one step closer to your goals. It doesn’t happen overnight… rather one simple step at a time.
Here’s to a fantastic year ahead!
I would love to hear YOUR additions to this list!
What is your greatest tip to getting more done in less time?
To your success,
PS: If you are ready to rock and roll the rest of the year – get your Cash Flow Calendar and have me help you create the perfect marketing plan for 2011. All the details are at Cash Flow Calendars… The Ultimate Marketing Plan (also very much underpriced – according to many, many buyers who used it and got 20:1 returns on their investment the FIRST time they used it.