How to win at the game of time

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Who doesn’t like to win?

I know I like to win. I especially like to win when it comes to time.

Time and me, we go way back and time usually won. To put it another way, I had no idea how to manage my time. At the same time, I knew that I had to figure that out.

Time was not on my hands.

The saying “time on your hands” definitely fit here. And if I wanted to have more time, sooner or later I had to figure this out. Ever since I started my coaching business I never (and I do mean never) finished my work on time. I was always racing to start making supper before my husband came home (he actually does our cooking. I’m the prep-chef) and I never ever got there.

That was until I finally figured out how to beat it. It was (and still is) such a great feeling. I remember the day exactly. I had finished my work and closed up shop only to find myself standing in the middle of my kitchen wondering what to do next. That is to say I actually had time to prep for dinner. All things considered, it was an awesome feeling.

Time was winning.

It’s important to realize that before that day, I couldn’t seem to get my stuff done. There was always so much more to do, something I never got to and wanted to get done. Something that I just had to do. It was frustrating to every day end up with more to do and not enough time.

Until one day when I finally said enough. And decided to learn how to win at this (as I called it) time thing. As a result things changed in an instant for me.

To explain, I was working nights and weekends and not having much fun in my life because I always was doing one more thing. I felt I was playing catch up and that I was behind the 8-ball almost constantly. It was time to stop.

Game changer.

With this in mind, I decided that I had to get a handle on this time thing. For this reason, I did some research. I read many books, blogs and worked with my coach on my schedule, priorities and tasks. As a result, I came up with specific steps that work for me. And that’s how I now find myself with time on my hands.

Want to be the one with time on your hands?

To put it another way, if you are looking to win at time, get very clear on what it is you are doing, whether or not you need to do it and if you need to be the one doing it. Ask yourself: does it fit into your big outcome of what you want for your business and your life? Click here and read how to clarify your own priorities and tasks so you can win at time.

And if you are like I was and thinking to yourself, I so need help with this then you are in luck! Click here to set up your free 30 Minute Get Clear with Time Management Session with me. You will walk away with specific-to-you steps so that you win at time and find yourself with time on your hands time and again!

 

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Does It Feel Like Time Just Evaporates On You?

Time is elusive.

Do you ever say to yourself “where did the time go?” or “I didn’t have time to do what I wanted to do” or “I didn’t think it would take that much time”?

If so, you are not alone. One of the biggest challenges I faced when I began my business was time. I uttered all of the above and then some. The biggest one though was that I didn’t think things would take as much time as they did.

Time threw me off path many, many times. Time felt so elusive to me. It was a challenge finding time to get the things I wanted to and needed to get done. That meant I wasn’t achieving a whole lot – oh wait, let me rephrase that, I was achieving a lot – a lot of nothing! And once I was able to solve time being elusive to me, I was then able to achieve the results that I wanted – which was to start my business and work with amazing people like you to help you reach your goals and dreams.

How to get time on your side.

You need to know what it is you are doing each and every day and yes, practically each and every moment.

My clients do not like to hear that. They like to work in a free-flowing way. And when I tell them that they can do exactly that and be productive when they get time on their side, they are excited to get started.

Also, it’s the time piece that often throws people off. That place of not knowing how long something will take or how to be efficient with your time so you are completing things, moving things forward and seeing the results you desire. This is why it is important for you to get time on your side.

First of all, before you do anything, the one thing you need to do to get time on your side is to list out everything that you are doing.

Create a list of everything you do.

If you are struggling with time, it may be that you don’t 1) really know what you are doing and 2) have no idea how long things take to do. Since figuring out what it is you are doing means you’ll easily be able to figure out how long it takes let’s first get clear on that.

  • Get out a piece of paper or use your favorite electronic device and start listing everything you are doing in your business – don’t edit just write.
  • Categorize your list – you can use headings such as working with clients, marketing, administration and so on.
  • Drill down within those categories – marketing may mean networking, writing, creating copy, things of that nature – get clear on exactly what it is you are doing.

Establish a timetable for getting things done.

Then, once you have your list, estimate how long you think it is taking you to do each task, make sure you write it down. From there before you begin that particular task, note the time (I like to write it down) go to work and when you have completed it check the time again and note exactly how long it actually did take you. As a result, you now  know exactly how long it takes for you to do a particular task!

Finally, another thing you’ll do is to assess how you did. How close were you to your time estimate? If you were spot on, awesome – if not, you now know exactly how long it will take you to do your task – make sure you mark that down too so you never need to say again “I had no idea how long this would take” because you will know!

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The truth is, it’s all about you!

Good news! It’s about you.

Right off the bat, I’m giving you permission to make things about YOU!

My hope though is that you are already doing that. And just in case you aren’t, now is your time to do so. See as a solo entrepreneur/business owner it’s super-duper (yes, I just wrote that) important to take care of yourself.

You are the only one you have. And not only that but you are the only one your family has, your clients have, your friends have and so on. I think you get my point. Rather than ignoring you, what if you made it about you?

Consequently, you must realize just how important it is for you to take care of yourself. Your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health are mega important. Much has been written about balance. In particular, work/life balance. And much has been written about how that is impossible. It’s a matter of perspective. I like to look at balance as not 50/50 but in terms of how I’m feeling about my life and my work.

Why make it about you.

A wise woman once told me, “Kim, I take myself with me wherever I go and I want to feel good.” She meant both mind/body and spirit and she recognized that if she didn’t feel good in any of those areas she was out of balance. Take the time to do what YOU want to do – doesn’t matter if that is for your personal life or your business. You can trust me that you will at first feel a little weird, and then amazing.

You are more important than you believe you are.

First of all, can we agree that you ARE important? So before you tell me how you have so much to do and that others depend on you, take a moment to look into the future and envision the best version of yourself that you bring to your loved ones, your business and your clients. Then second, do what you need to do to make changes in your life so you have time to put yourself first. As a result, you will find that you have so much more to give others.

In conclusion, by taking care of yourself, you are better able to take care of everyone else. You’ll feel better, have more energy and be more equipped to reach both your personal and business goals! What’s not to like about that?!

Things will figure themselves out even without you.

And fear not, everything will be there for you when you are ready, and if not, maybe you didn’t need to do it/worry about it in the first place. The other thing you’ll find is things will figure themselves out. My previous blog was about taking time to rest, click here to read it if you haven’t already.

For now, determine what is one thing you will commit to doing for yourself to put yourself first in you life. Write it down and then do it. Notice how wonderful you feel and what happens in your life because you did it!

If you are looking to make your client attraction about you and what you want (which I know is also to help many others;-), get my free offer! It is truly set for YOU to make it about you (so then it can be about them).

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Sometimes The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Business Is Stop

All or nothing thinking.

It’s a go, go, go, type of world out there for businesses and sometimes the best thing you could do for yourself and your business is to STOP. It’s time to re-think this 24/7 thing you may find yourself in.

As a solo entrepreneur you are probably doing everything (or most of everything) yourself. It might be you feel you have to, you want to save money or you have no money to spend on help. While I don’t necessarily agree with that for the long haul, there may be really good reasons you are doing it now. And while you may not be able to afford help, you definitely can’t afford to burn yourself out.

I mean, if you are the only one doing the work, if you burn out, who will take your place? Um, that would be no-one! That means the best thing you can do for yourself and the business is to stop. Put a pause on what you are doing and take a rest.

Why you not only can take a rest but must do so.

As someone who is doing it all, you are burning the candle at both ends. Let’s list out what you might be doing on a daily and weekly basis:

  • Networking with potential clients
  • Email correspondence
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Marketing
  • Having sales conversations
  • Enrolling new clients
  • Onboarding new clients
  • Setting up and scheduling client appointments (and many more)
  • Bookkeeping
  • Daily, weekly and monthly administrative work

I could keep going, but you know what I’m talking about. In order for you to be fresh and keep your perspective open and receptive, it is imperative for you to have a fresh brain, body and attitude. Nothing turns off a potential client than someone who is frazzled and disheveled all of what can happen when you run yourself ragged. Is that the image you want to present to the world when you are out networking to get clients. I didn’t think so.

What taking a rest can do for you and your business.

If you are thinking “but I can’t take time off” hear me out. I’m not asking you to put your business on hold indefinitely or even for longer than say a weekend, what I’m hoping you’ll take away from this is that by taking time off, even if it is a weekend is that you will come back refreshed and with a new perspective. See time has a way of helping us see things differently.

When I first started I worked pretty much round the clock – and would have continued to do so if it wasn’t for a colleague of mine, Julie Gray who wrote an article on why I was procrastinating (well, she wasn’t saying “I” as in “Kim, here is why you were procrastinating,” but she might as well have, it hit me like a ton of bricks). What she said was the reason we procrastinate was because we weren’t taking breaks or even time off.

After I read that I basically came to a stop. I couldn’t move, it was so true. I had been pushing, pushing, pushing and finding that I wasn’t getting all that far because I was procrastinating! So, I took her advice and decided to take weekends off and viola, Monday came and I was ready, willing and able to get my work done. I found I had more successes, I attracted more clients, I felt better and get this, things were easier to get done!

What would you rather, harder or easier?

Here is the good news, it’s all up to you. You can have it harder or easier, which would you like? I’m thinking easier. So then WHEN is it you will stop? When will you take a break? When will you give yourself the rest you not only need but that is paramount to the success of your business? Go ahead, pull out your calendar and then schedule in time off in the next 3-5 days (yes, that’s right – or even for the upcoming weekend), you won’t be sorry if you do, but you may be sorry if you don’t.

In the meantime, are you looking to build your business with ideal clients? Ideal meaning those that aren’t needy and make you feel you have to give them way more than you want? If so, sign up for my free offer below because it will help you find them!

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One simple way to improve your business

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I’m big on keeping things simple. I spent a lot of time making things difficult and try as I might it was not the best thing for me. Which is why I like to teach other solo-entrepreneurs how to be successful keeping things simple.

What that simple thing is.

The last blog I wrote was to share with you that YOU were the advantage to your success.

Now I would like to tell you that the one simple way to improve your business is to trust that you are the advantage to it’s success. See, most of our wins or lack there of happen in between our ears. What I mean by that is the thoughts you think will either make or break you. Your mindset is the #1 thing that will improve your business.

Do you remember The Little Engine That Could? If so, then you’ll remember that may other trains didn’t help them, until along came the Little Engine who thought “I think I can”. The reason the Little Engine succeeded was because it had faith in itself.

Do you have faith in yourself?

Are you someone who knows you can do something and when the going gets tough, do you have thoughts that say “I think I can” even when you might not know for sure?

One simple thing you can do to improve your business is to have faith in yourself. If you have a strong belief in yourself and you always succeed, I’d love to hear about how you do that. If you need to have a little more faith in yourself, here are several questions for you to help you:

  • Write down 5 “I AM” statements that are true right now. An I AM statement is something that you know is true for you. Such as I AM resourceful, I AM strong, I AM someone who can figure things out. It describes the essence of who you are.
  • Write down 5 “I AM” statements that you want to be true. These may reflect who you really want to see yourself as.  Such as I AM willing to ask for help, I AM known for having the answers, I AM valued.
  • Look for gaps. Look at your I AM statements that you want to be true. Is there a gap between where you are and where you want to be? Does it feel like too big of a stretch or is it a do-able stretch.
  • Determine 1-2 actions that you are willing to take to bring you to your ideal I AM. This will help you gain more faith in yourself.

This exercise will help you: 1) see where you are perfectly tuned in to yourself,  2) see where you may not have faith in yourself and 3) see where you will be able to get to where you want to be.

The importance of your level of consciousness.

When you raise your level of consciousness about yourself it is impossible to be where you started. Once you begin to have faith in yourself, you will be just like the Little Engine That Could, on your way to business success.

When you are truly you, feeling comfortable with who you are, having faith in yourself for your successes and knowing that you have what it takes to get there, you get there in the most simplest way possible. Which means that you’ll do whatever it is that feels good for you.

So what’s it going to be? Will you do what needs to be done to have the mindset that brings you all the successes you want? I think I know the answer!

Are you a solo-preneur looking to build your business with ideal clients? If so, sign up for my free offer below because it will help you find them!

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The one thing that will give you the advantage

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In life and in business you have ONE thing that gives YOU the advantage over anyone else.

What that one thing is.

It’s YOU.  I cannot tell you how often I’ve heard this: “Once I started listening to myself everything changed.”

Maybe you are someone who already knows this and uses it to your advantage and maybe you might be like I used to be and are listening to everyone else tell you what you should do.

I spent a good portion of my life (nevermind my business) listening to others. I did that because I didn’t feel confident in myself or my ability. Not the best combination when starting a business, let me tell ya. I thought that others knew what was best for me. It includes a laundry list of people from my close family to other coaches and mentors.  Everyone has good intentions, yet when you listen to someone other than you, you put yourself at a distinct disadvantage.

How to use yourself as the advantage.

One thing I learned was that no one else, no matter how well-intentioned, educated or experienced could tell me what was best for me. Only I knew that. For a very long time I’ve said “we are all unique and specially made” and that is because there is only ONE of you. Somehow my mantra got lost on me and I allowed outside influences to drive my actions.

And it wasn’t until I finally had done just about everything the someone else wanted me to do or thought it would be good for me and got nothing that I knew something had to change and that was I had to change.

So then, how do you use yourself as the advantage? I usually like to give you a number of tips or suggestions and today I’m only give you one. It’s this:

BE YOURSELF, BE ONLY YOURSELF BECAUSE BEING YOURSELF IS THE SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS

In addition to that, I’m also encouraging you to sign up for my free offer below because it will help you find the target market that fits you and what’s better than working with people that you really enjoy? Nothing, in fact, it’s so awesome that you’ll not want to miss out.

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Do you know what your target market struggles with?

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I hope you can answer YES! I sure do!  If not, then it’s time that you do.

Time To Get Clear On Who and What Your Target Market Struggles With

One thing that I have noticed (myself included – as I’ve been there too) is that service professionals like to think they can help everyone.  It’s a kind of “leave no one behind” mentality.

I get it, I really do – when I first started out I balked at learning what specifically the people I wanted to work with struggled with because I believed I could help with everything. I can remember when I was in coaching school, I was on a call with my mentor coach and she was talking about choosing a target market and I was so set against it.  I’m not a very vocal participant on a call but on that call, boy I sure was.

I felt I had to defend my reasons for why I felt I could help everyone. Fast forward to today and now I know without a doubt that that’s one sure fire way to fail. I’ll repeat that, not being dialed in to what your target market struggles with is a sure fire way to fail – yup, cause I failed.

What Changed My Mind.

My mind started to quickly change when I didn’t have any clients and I wasn’t getting any clients. What I was getting when I networked or talked with people about what I did was “That’s nice” and end of conversation. No one was interested. And of course, with no one interested, I wasn’t making any money and I knew I had to do something different. I remembered that call with my mentor coach and so I thought, “well, heck, I’ll get specific with a target market and learn more about what they struggle with and see what happens.”

Here Is What Happened.

As you might expect, a funny thing happened, I not only learned what their challenges were, I saw clearly what I did that helped them solve those challenges. As the saying goes “light dawns on marblehead” and I really saw that I couldn’t help everyone (side note: not everyone wants to be helped) and I could only help those that connected with me and what I did.

Kind of a no-brainer, I know but still you’ll be surprised. Maybe you are shaking your head thinking “Kim, you are so wrong.” I respect that and let me share with you a few bits of information that might have you thinking differently.

My previous blog post was about having a system for attracting clients. You can read it here.

Reasons You Want to Choose Who You Work With.

  • Marketing your business will be easy. You have one message that just those you want to reach will see and say yes to.
  • You’ll easily be able to talk about what you do. With your one message, you will always know what to say and never walk away thinking, “no why didn’t I say x?”
  • It gives you direction. You will no longer waste time talking to people who are not your “peeps”.
  • Time and money will be used wisely. You will no longer waste time or money doing things that do not lead you to your goals and spending money on marketing or opportunities you think might help you. Where you spend your time and money will be specifically where you want them to be.
  • It puts you in a place of confidence. Knowing exactly what you do, how you help and who you work with gives you a confidence that will motivate you to grow your business in exceptional ways.

I hope you can see why it’s important for you to be at choice! What WILL you choose?

Would you like an easy way to discover your target market or to expand the one you already have? Sign up below for my FREE 7 Day Client Attractor Challenge. In 7 days you will know exactly who your target market is, where they are and what to do to reach them!

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Don’t make THIS mistake in your business…

audience-ezine-1-19-17Whether you have been in business for a long time, a short time or are just starting out, it’s imperative for you to know who your target market is.

When you have been in business for a long time it is easy to get lulled into believing that who you started out with as a target market is still your target market. And while it may be, failing to revisit this major piece of business is basically failing your business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Target Market

Every so often you need to look at your target market and put it through a series of questions to determine if it is indeed still your market. Additionally, you need to determine who else you can expand your reach to as well as how to find them.

It’s important for you to always know exactly who your client or customer is or else you are wasting your time and resources.

You Can’t Help Everyone

A big mistake solopreneurs and small business owners make is that they help everyone. I know, I did the same thing, and boy did it make marketing difficult. I was practically saying something different to every person I met in case they might be a prospect and hear something that would make them go “Oh, I want to work with her.” But it didn’t work; it was stressful.

Getting very specific is the key to finding ideal clients and customers that will buy your products and services.

What Is A Target Market

A target market is a specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services.

You may also have heard the term ‘niche’ and that you need to determine who yours is. Your niche is more specifically defined as a small but profitable segment of a market which makes it easier for you to focus your attention on and market to.

The beauty of a niche is that you can create your own by identifying needs or wants that your prospects and clients have, and offer solutions that will satisfy their needs and wants.

Once you know your target market, you can get clearer on how to attract clients to you and focus on being their solution.

Would you like an easy way to discover your target market or to expand the one you already have? Sign up below for my FREE 7 Day Client Attractor Challenge. In 7 days you will know exactly who your target market is, where they are and what to do to reach them!

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Do You Have a Client Attraction System?

7-day-challengeIn order to be a Client Attractor, you need to have a system for attracting clients.

If your business is one of the many that just “wing it” when it comes to knowing their client, you are leaving lots of opportunities and money on the table. Practically every business owner I talk to says that out of their goals for the year they want to make more money. And who doesn’t? Yet when I ask them how they are going to do that they aren’t sure.

A Surefire Way To Make More Money In Your Business.

One of the best ways to make more money in your business is to increase your client base (or your customer base as the case my be). I’m not just talking the number of people you add to your mailing list I’m talking about those who buy. And the best way to find those people is to know precisely where your ideal clients are and how to reach them. And again, when I ask business owners if they know where their ideal people are and how they will reach them, I get a lot of shrugging of the shoulders!

I don’t know about you, but that is certainly no way to make more money.

How To Know Where Your Ideal Clients Are.

The best way to know exactly who will be attracted to you so you can attract them is to KNOW right down to the who they are so that you can speak their language, go where they are and attract them like crazy. Here are a few steps to get started:

  • Pick a category of people who you serve. For example, start-up businesses, sales and marketing, health professionals to name a few.
  • Get super specific within this category.  Are they online businesses, brick and mortar, other?
  • Know what they struggle with. What are their challenges that you will help them solve.
  • Identify where they are. Where do they network, what groups are they in, find where they are so you can target your efforts there.

Why It’s Important To Have A Client Attraction System.

As you might already see, it’s important that you know exactly who you serve and narrow it down so that your efforts are on point and so that you can easily know who and where to market to.  It’s important that you know what they struggle with so that you can show up and solve their problems and be their superstar and it’s important that you know where they are so you can attract ideal clients easily and consistently.

And that my friend, is what will help you make more money this year, grow your business and be able to do some amazing work with awesome clients that are just perfect for you and you for them!

Now if you liked these tips, you’ll love my FREE 7 Day Challenge:  Be a Client Attractor NOW. Sign up and in just 7 Days you will know EXACTLY what to do to be an amazing client attractor because you will have your very own client attraction system!

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What is it you want to experience in your business?

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It’s the first week of a new year! Happy New Year. Just what do you want to experience in your business?

Why it’s important for you to know what you want to experience.

As a business owner, you spend a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what you want your client to experience. You ask, you test, you record the results, and then you go out and give them exactly that.

And for the most part, it’s the right thing to do to be successful. After all, if they aren’t looking for what you offer, they won’t buy and you won’t have a business.

Yet, what often happens, especially in a very small business or one that is run by you and you alone is that you end up running a business that is the exact opposite of what you want for yourself and your life.

Yes, you may be wildly successful in growing your business and making money, but are you happy? If the answer is no, then it’s time for you to ask yourself “what is it I want to experience in my business?”

See, in order to be happy, you need to do things that work for you and will make you happy.

Business is not just about growth and making money.

Sometimes business is about what works for you. As Emily Ley discovered, sometimes we have to make giant business decisions that will change our businesses and lives in order to be happy. You can read about Emily’s giant business decision and what it means to her and her business here.

I’ve spoken to several of my business colleagues who recently decided to make giant business decisions for themselves for this year. Many of them told me that they were going to stop doing the things that they hated doing and either delete them entirely or delegate them. They also said they wanted to do more quality work, rather than more work.

What do you want to do this year in your business?