Posts tagged Time Management
7 Business Setbacks Keeping You From Success
 
Do you have great ideas, but never implement them? Do you find yourself "stuck" and aren't sure how to move forward? Here are 7 business setbacks that are keeping you from success. PLUS, take our free quiz to find out what YOUR biggest setback is, so you can learn how to break free and strive for success! Read more at www.Bosscation.com  Bosscation is a business retreat in a box for entrepreneurs to escape from their daily hustle to strategically plan for their business. Our secret sauce is in the strategic planning guides for launching a new offer, planning out your content, or finding your path to profit.
 

“Take the shortcut,” Tasha said. It sounded like a great idea at the time, since as typical teenagers, we were running late. But the shortcut wasn’t paved and my dad’s conversion van was no match for the mud. Perhaps we should’ve stuck to the long route (no pun intended). It took a knock on a stranger’s door, a diesel pickup truck, some hefty ropes, and wood under the tires to pull us out. So much for a shortcut, right?!

Psst! Looking for the quiz? Scroll down!

In business, whether we’re aiming for the fastest path, taking the long route, or something in between, we often find ourselves stuck. This can keep you from launching that course you’ve been dreaming of, prevent you from delivering content or hinder you from reaching your potential. Getting stuck, and especially staying stuck, can be detrimental to your growth if you don’t realize it’s happening or can’t figure out how to break free.

You know you’re stuck when you find yourself saying things like:

“I just don’t know what to do next...”

“It needs to be perfect before…”

“I can’t decide between…”

“I’m just not ready for…”

Don’t give up on yourself just yet. If you can pinpoint where you’re getting stuck, then you can find a solution. Imagine that you’ve been wanting to launch a YouTube channel, but you keep putting it off. You need to determine what’s holding you back. Are you afraid of being on camera, don’t know what equipment you should buy, not sure what topics to talk about, can’t think of a cool name for your channel, or feel you just don’t have time to plan it all out? These setbacks sound more like excuses (#sorrynotsorry).

Once you evaluate what’s hindering you — perhaps you’re not sure what topics to talk about — then ask yourself, “what are 10 ways I could overcome this?” For our YouTube example, you could ask your audience what they’re looking to learn, search for other YouTube channels that reach a similar market and get inspired by their topics, do a brain dump of everything you know about your field, etc.

If you’re not sure what your setback is, here are 7 of the most common among entrepreneurs:

 

1. Lack of Time

Usually this one comes down to a lack of prioritizing your time more than a lack of time in general. We all get 24-hours in a day… you need to use them wisely.

 

2. Indecision

Analysis paralysis and indecision have been some of my biggest hindrances. I tend to overthink and over evaluate every decision, often changing my mind every week. Being slow to make decisions, or lacking to make them at all, can keep you from moving forward at a good pace or at all. (And if you’re ever on Shark Tank, it can cost you a deal)!

 

3. Perfectionism

Ah, the good ole’ burden of being a perfectionist. You know that done is better than perfect, but you still can’t get yourself to put out anything slightly sub-par.

 

4. Planning

Planning… tweaking… planning… tweaking… you’ll never finish if you don’t start taking action! I think this one is a compilation of the others. You spend all of your time planning, but then get stuck on a decision or don’t feel it’s perfect, so you do more planning.

 

5. Research

Rather than actually writing that blog post, creating that course, or recording that video, you feel you need to research your topic a little more. Just one more book… one more webinar… one more podcast, then you’ll feel knowledgeable enough to get started.

 

6. Confidence

You feel you aren’t smart enough, good enough, experienced enough to be doing what you’re doing, so you play it small and safe or never get started at all. Maybe in a few years, or after I’ve accomplished X, you say. Imposter syndrome can really keep you from reaching your potential and going for your dreams.

 

7. Money

If only money grew on trees, then we could hire an amazing team, attend every conference, and buy every time-saving software. Unfortunately, it doesn’t, and we’ve all got bills to pay. Like time, this one often comes down to prioritizing it wisely, not just finding more of it (though that definitely helps).

 

There's Always a Solution

When I worked in marketing at ION Television, our department joke was, “there’s always a solutION" — that phrase has stuck with me ever since. With that said, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing solutions for overcoming some of these setbacks.

How to Plan Out and Schedule Your Launch To-Do List
 
How to plan out and schedule your launch to-do list so you actually know WHAT to work on, and how to prioritize each task! 
 

So you've got this awesome new course or program you want to launch — yay! You came up with a name, created a logo, bought the domain and told all of your friends about it. But then what?

Rather watch this on video than read? Scroll down to get the video!

It's hard to know what to work on first when you're not even sure what you should work on at all! Do you start with creating the course materials, or write a marketing plan? What about setting up a website and social media handles?

Step One — Brain Dump it All Out

The first thing is to write down every detail of what this project will involve. How much time and money will it cost you to create? You want to make sure it's even feasible considering your budget and schedule! We typically do the "fun" things first — design the Instagram graphics and outline the course — but procrastinate on the no-so-fun tasks like creating a sales plan, writing email sequences, researching payment platforms and creating a strategic marketing plan.

Here are some general categories and tasks to help you determine what steps you need to take:

  • Website — Sales page, online shop, design/development
  • Graphics — Social media graphics, workbooks, webinar slides, Facebook ads
  • Photography — Branded photos, stock images, product photos, headshots
  • Software — Email service provider, payment processor, teaching platform, call scheduler
  • Audio/visual — Video/sound editor, lighting, microphone, camera, music license, filming 
  • Copywriting — Email sequences, opt-in page, sales page, video scripts, blog posts, ad copy
  • Legal — Contracts/agreements, terms & conditions, trademark, patent
  • PR — Research platforms to pitch to, press kit,  pitch template
  • Marketing — Webinar, challenge, giveaway, joint ventures, email funnels, opt-in
  • Sales — Affiliate program, sales emails, 1:1 calls, tripwire
  • Planning — Market research, surveys, discovery calls, coaching, content execution
  • Physical — Gifts, swag, meeting space, travel, printed materials, packaging, print promos
  • Team — Anyone who can help with the above!

Psst! I also have a free checklist of 80 business tasks you should be working on throughout the year. Get it here:

Step Two — Prioritize the Essentials and Time-Sensitive Items

From here, go through your list and highlight or mark all of the tasks that must happen before you launch and the things that are the most urgent. If you only got around to a few things, what would need to happen? Then do a second round with the next priority — what else is pretty important to complete or next up time-wise? Do this again for a total of 3-5 levels of priority (less if you're launching sooner, more if you have a little more time). Your lowest level should be things that are a bonus if they actually get done, so don't leave any essentials in that tier.

Step Three — Break Down Each Top Priority Task

From there, take your top-priority and most urgent tasks and write them on a sheet of paper, leaving space above each one. Then ask yourself what milestones do you need to achieve first in order to complete this task? If you need to set up your sales page, what do you need to go on that sales page? Copy, graphics, photos, pricing, refund policy, etc. Now work backwards again — what goes into each of those? Hire a copywriter and a photographer, calculate overhead costs to determine pricing, pick out fonts and colors before designing graphics, etc. You should be working your way from the main task up. 

Repeat this phase for each priority level of tasks from exercise two. 

Step Four — Plug These Into Your Timeline

Now that you have each priority broken down (or should I say up?), they're already pretty much in order of what needs to be done first. From here, you just need to schedule tasks out for each week leading up to your launch date. You do have a launch date, right? If not, you can use this time to determine when you'll be ready to launch.

Add a 1, 2 or 3 next to each item on your first priority list. All of the 1's are now your first week's to-do list. The 2's are your second week, etc. Keep working through your other priority sheets until you have a full schedule of tasks from your current date through launch. Breaking it down like this allows you to work on little pieces of each bigger task, so you don't spend all of your time building your course content and completely neglect your marketing plan. 

Suddenly your overwhelming to-do list is a little more manageable. You'll be sure to prioritize the right tasks, so you don't get caught up spending all of your time on Instagram rather than building out a solid marketing plan. 

I'm sure there are a lot of other ways to break down your to-do list and prioritize tasks. Let me know what YOU do in the comments.

How to Schedule Your Week as a Solopreneur
 
How to schedule your week as a solopreneur to make time for working ON your business, not just IN your business. Organize your calendar to prioritize your business.
 

Raise your hand if you've ever made it to Friday and thought, "what did I even get done this week?" You're so busy, but are you being productive? 

Without being intentional with your time, it's hard to conquer your to-do list and prioritize your tasks. 

Here are some tips on how to schedule your time as a solopreneur (or scroll down for the notes).

Step 1: Evaluation

You need to know exactly where your time is going before you can create a working schedule. Find a time-tracking app like Toggl to document what you're working on every day for a week or two. That will not only keep you accountable, but will also give you a better picture on what tasks are sucking up all of your time, and which ones are providing a return on your [time] investment. 

Step 2: 4D Strategy

Take your list of everything you work on throughout the week, and complete a 4D evaluation: Delete, Defer, Delegate, Do.

Delete — what can you cut out or cut in half? What tasks aren't providing a return on investment?

Defer — what could you put off until next week, month, quarter, or year? 

Delegate — what do you dread doing, aren't good at, or are slow at that someone else could do instead? Think of tasks that cause a bottleneck in your business or those that just aren't working.

Do — the things that are left can now be scheduled.

Step 3: Schedule it in

If it's not on your calendar, it doesn't get done. Making time for your business tasks is so critical, so you must pencil it in. Trying to squeeze in your marketing, finances and business planning between client projects often means you'll never get around to them. 

Here are a few suggestions as to how you could schedule your time:

  • A/B Schedule: Do only client work on your A weeks, and only business work on your B weeks
  • 1 Day a Week: Pick one day a week (preferably the same day each week) to work on your business. Let your clients and customers know that you won't be available to them on that day
  • Time Each Morning: Start your day with 30-90 minutes of business work before getting into emails or client projects

One other suggestion, to keep your business ahead of the game, is to schedule at least 30-minutes a day dedicated to a project that's at least 30-days away. That way, you won't find yourself procrastinating or rushing to finish things at the last minute, and can break it up into manageable pieces.

Step 4: Take a Bosscation

Finding time to step away from the computer, client work, social media and emails can open your mind to plan ahead and refresh. On the computer, your mind goes into "edit" mode since you can write, read, erase over and over again. You interrupt your own thinking. With pen and paper, your mind goes into "create" mode — especially when you're away from your normal work environment — so you can freely brainstorm and let your thoughts flow. Getting away from your daily grind can help you to see the big picture, and plan things out strategically, rather than on a whim.

So tell me, how do YOU schedule your week and make time for working on your business?

Need some help knowing what to work on during your "business" hours? Grab my free checklist of 80 tasks you should be working on throughout the year to ensure success.

Business Task Checklist

80 tasks you shouldn't neglect to ensure long-term success!