Are you making business tougher than it should be? The reason I ask is an important one, but you’re thinking, who is he to ask me that question.
I speak to many business owners, friends in business and others and a lot of people make business very, very difficult for themselves.
It doesn’t have to be like that. There are a lot of steps you can do to ease the stress and make life more peaceful and your business more peaceful.
This all leads to reducing stress, as it improves your health, your sleep, and your family life. Tt may even give you a family life or life outside of work.
I would say now a lot of people and I have definitely been there, who have no life outside of their business. So, let me give you some tips.
Stop Doing Everything
Now for one, as we all know small business owners do everything. So first of all, stop doing everything. The common answer I get if I say to people, “Why don’t you get someone else to do that?”, is, “By the time I have shown them how to do that, I may as well have done it myself.”
Now that is a very short-sighted answer because what will happen in that time that you’ve taken to show them how to do it, they then know how to do it next time, and the next, and the next.
When you say by the time I have done it, I may as well have done it myself, you’re then going to have to do it next time, next time, and next time.
Anything that gets done over and over, that is not a core use of your talent, you should be looking to find somebody else to do it. And when I say someone else, you don’t have to hire full-time staff.
Do you know this? You can either outsource tasks you can go to somewhere like upwork.com and you can contract people on an hourly basis from anywhere in the world at a fraction of your local rate.
Those people when they’re working, they log their hours, Upwork has a system that can even photograph their screen as they’re working when it’s being logged and you’re being charged so that you can see if they’re surfing the Internet or if they’re actually doing your work. How clever is that?
Another thing is you may say is how do I train them? I haven’t got time to train them. How did you learn how to do it? That’s my next question, is how did you do it?
You figured it out. And then you did it and then you did it again and again until you got better. So you now have the exact special way of doing it.
So video yourself or record yourself or just write down the steps. And when I say video yourself, there are screen capture tools that are for free if you go to Jing, it’s a free tool, and I use it every day.
They are all free and they are screen capture video software.
If you have Camtasia, (for a Mac) then you’ve got it already. Those are pay products, but you’ve got it. You can just work through it, you can speak as you do it and at the end, save it and send them the video.
Tthis is how it’s done, simple as that. So that was the first one, is allow others to do it.
The next one is, to make your life easier, avoid opening and looking at e-mails all day long.
E-mails will come in and they will interrupt you, and also interrupt your workflow and it enables people to dictate your day’s work.
What I mean by that is, say you’ve been working since eight o’clock in the morning, you’ve looked at your e-mails, you’re in the middle of writing out some long quote for a customer and you’re right in the flow, then an e-mail pops up because you’ve got your notifications on.
It pops up in your screen and you think “Oh gosh, it looks important”, you go and have a look at it, it mentions some other quote you gave earlier and it requires a response, so you go off and do the response right away.
Now what that means is that that other person has decided what you’re going to do right now. Should it be like that? Or should you be deciding.
You can find out more information about email organization by visiting this link.
When that person sent the e-mail, do you think they were expecting a reply within the first 60 seconds? No, they are expecting a reply in good time.
If you use Gmail, you can use a canned response, an auto-response that says something along the lines of “Thank you for your e-mail, we appreciate every single one, we answer e-mails between the hours of 9 and 9:30, 12:30 and 1 PM and 4:30 and 5 PM. If it is more urgent, please telephone us”.
You don’t have to give the phone number, because if they know you, if they know who you are and it is urgent, they will know the phone number, or will know how to find it.
That doesn’t upset anyone. And then respond in those times, turn off notifications and that includes especially social media.
Stop Letting Things Distract You
Can any of you remember, like I can, before social media existed? In fact, can any of you remember, before mobile or cell phones existed, before even pagers, how on earth did business survive back in the day?
Hmm…no videos, no social media, no Twitter, no Facebook, no mobile phones. What did we do? Well, we did the same thing and it all managed.
We just didn’t have as many distractions and were able to get on with our work. Clever, eh? We even managed without computers, but I won’t go into that because you won’t believe me.
So, that is something else, to avoid letting things distract you. Let you dictate your own day.
Now, another one is to plan, so map out, don’t have one of these forever long written down to-do lists. Have something tucked away in a drawer, preferably electronic user tool like Evernote or Teux Deux.
Again, just Google it, you will find it, use something like those and write down your to dos, but do not get overwhelmed with the list of 100 things; you only want to write down the important things, the things that progress .
And every day decide to take off two of those things and do them. The two most important. Yes, they may be horrible.
There is a Brian Tracy book called “Eat That Frog”, or “Eat The Frog” and it says if you can do the most dreaded task first of all on your to do list, your day will get so much easier and it will be done.
So plan your day, get a couple of things done and progress through it.
Say for instance you are a chef and you own a restaurant, now the chances are you’re going to be in the restaurant cooking or prepping. What about the business side?
When are you going to do that? Or, is someone else going to do it? Perhaps you won’t have time for all the other bits but you want to be in control because you are a control freak, you started it, you know how it should be done.
Make sure everybody knows exactly what their responsibility is, what their area of work is and stick to it.
You stick to yours, you may be the boss, but you need to define what you do and let everyone else know.
Things like this will make your life easier, I promise, and I can give you many more instances of other things that would just make your life easier, but I didn’t want to discuss the marketing today, I just wanted to make you think about the way you work.
Don’t make it tough on yourself, please.
Monday Book Recommendation
It’s by Scott Stratten, a very funny gentleman and it’s called “UnMarketing” and you can imagine, from the title, it has a different way of doing it.
But he explains his whole story of how he came about, how he learned to use YouTube, how he learned to use social media and everything he did wrong, it’s fantastic.
Some of the things he did wrong make me laugh.
If you want to learn what not to do, go read “Unmarketing” by Scott Stratten.
I’ll see you tomorrow and be sure to tune in to Wednesday’s interview as I am chatting with Marcus Sheridan of Sales Lion. It will be great.