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Design Your Business to Fit Your Lifestyle

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Four and a half years ago I became a mother to a beautiful and sweet girl named Bella. I knew I wanted to be a “mom” but also continue to expand my business. I committed to a three day a week work schedule so I could be mom on Mondays and Fridays and be Lisa Cherney, CEO of Conscious
Marketing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

I took many steps to expand my business in 2009 and ultimately
triple my income
, and one of these steps was affirming this three days a week work lifestyle.

Think about your life and your business. Affirm and explore and decide on what lifestyle you want to have while balancing everything there is to balance. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who were like me many years ago, working six days a week, up late at night, not taking vacations. A lot of us are in business for ourselves because we didn’t want a boss. But we find thatwe’ve traded one boss for a worse boss – ourselves!


One of the things I really needed to do was to affirm what kind of lifestyle I wanted to have. So I did some soul searching and asked, is this three days a week work schedule for me? Maybe I should be working more – maybe that’s what’s going to help me increase my income.
I realized that working more was not the answer. The answer was that I needed to be smarter. This included questioning the way I was doing things and running my business. It led me to get some needed help for those tasks all businesses must deal with. It led me to think smarter about my approach and how I was selling (and charging for) it and completely overhaul many aspects of what I was doing. Because I need – and want – to stick with my three days a week schedule.

So affirm the kind of lifestyle you want to have and take the steps to make sure you can have it by designing your business to fit your lifestyle. For me it wasn’t trading hours for dollars anymore.

This may require steps that can feel like taking big risks, including:

  1. Saying “no” to low-end, smaller clients or projects that take a lot of time with little financial reward.
  2. Hiring help (virtual assistant, bookkeeper, cleaning service, etc.) even if it appears you can’t afford it right now.
  3. Raising your prices and/or creating a leveraged group program (or a high-end exclusive program). HINT: This is only limited by your ability to own and communicate the value of your expertise.
  4. Hiring a mentor that has achieved the goal you have (even it appears you can’t afford it right now.)
  5. Slowing down and/or taking a break from the day-to-day of your business in order to steer the ship in a new direction

For most of us out there, we didn’t go into business for ourselves so we could work 100 weeks and never take a day off. We’re doing it to have a certain kind of lifestyle. Are you living the lifestyle you want?


# # #


Lisa Cherney is a Marketing Intuitive and President & Founder of Conscious Marketing™.  Lisa has helped thousands of business owners tap into their intuition and market their businesses from the ‘Inside Out’.

For
15 years she worked at Fortune 500 companies and top advertising agencies. Lisa tells her story in her co-authored book “Inspiration to Realization,” available at www.ConsciousMarketing.com. Conscious Marketing also offers workshops and coaching. Visit her website for more details or call 887-771-0156

 

 


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Attending Events: A Crucial Element in Growing a Small Business

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Women business owners are constantly bombarded with opportunities to attend events. Whether the events focus on networking, business building or creating a desirable work-life balance, these events are constantly touted as life-changing, knowledge-building and business-growing. Female entrepreneurs may wonder why there are so many events out there – and whether they’re effective.

Savvy business owners, coaches, consultants and educators create events to help others find success – and by choosing to attend an event that fits her specific needs and desires, and by then putting her new knowledge to use once she returns home, an entrepreneur greatly increases the likelihood of getting a good return on her investment. .

Here are some points to consider when deciding whether to attend an event – and if so, which one:

Knowledge is Profit: Research shows that when a female entrepreneur invests in her business by investing in her own knowledge, she sees a huge payoff. New knowledge can be the key that jumpstarts profitability in any business because it increases an entrepreneur’s effectiveness in the area of focus. If it’s knowledge an entrepreneur is after, then she should select an event based on how well it will cover the areas where she feels she needs more information, such as marketing or business plan development. Because live events often do require a substantial investment, a business owner should read through the material carefully to ensure that she will learn exactly what she needs to know during the event.

Recharging is Vital: Every hard-working female entrepreneur runs the risk of falling into the day-to-day rut of running a business – especially when things are going less smoothly than she would like. In cases like this, attending an event can revitalize a business owner. Simply getting into a new environment, being around new people – and getting away from the confines of her office – may provide her with a much-needed break from the daily grind. When she attends an event designed to meet her needs, the business owner then has the opportunity to gain new knowledge while recharging. No one operates well when they’re exhausted and drained. To operate at the high levels of performance most female entrepreneurs demand of themselves, they must take time out to refuel – and sometimes that’s as easy as getting a change of scenery among a group of like-minded professionals.

Networking is Crucial: Sharing experiences with other women in her shoes can greatly improve a woman business owner’s experience, outlook and attitude, as she works to grow her business. Attending an event with other women of similar mindset can provide a stimulating environment in which to share ideas, success stories and even hardships. Also, it can provide an opportunity for women to find partnership or affiliate opportunities that can stimulate growth. Finally, every woman business owner needs a support system; attending events is an excellent way to build such systems.

For female entrepreneurs, knowledge, recharging and networking are vital components when seeking business growth and personal improvement. Attending an event – one that is designed to meet her specific needs in a certain area – is a fun, easy and educational way to get all three!

————————

Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at www.janeoutofthebox.com

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Can We Really Manage Time?

admin Posted in Work at Home, Work at Home Tips 1 Comment »

It’s a buzz word. Time Management. We manage everything to death! Can we really manage time? It seems to me that time manages itself on its own. I look at the clock and I never see the hands skip ahead or stop for a break. I would sometimes like it to begin to move backwards, but wishing won’t make it so! Can we stop or start it? I wish we could. We cannot manage time any more than we can schedule when the sun will rise or set!

Time Management is defined as self management and event control. What we manage is not time but, we manage ourselves and how we use time, and schedule and prioritize events. Time will pass regardless of what we are doing. There is no special way to freeze it or bottle it up to use a later time. So when we say “time management” we are really referring to the art of balancing events to increase our personal productivity.


Moving faster and faster does not improve our productivity. My father had a great saying, “the hurrieder I go, the behinder I get”. Many times if we try to move faster we end up making mistakes that would cause us to have to repeat the task in order to complete it properly. Increasing our speed does not necessarily increase our productivity. Increasing our speed is guaranteed to raise our stress levels, but not our productivity. So if self management does not mean stepping up the pace, what does it mean?

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”
-Mohandas K. Ghandhi

* Self management really relates to several things.
* Self Discipline
* Emotional Control
* Problem Solving Skills
* Communication

Learning the art of self discipline and emotional control is crucial, but often learning new problem solving skills and communication can speed up many difficulties that related to time. Think about those four areas. Where can you improve?

Event Control

Event control really relates to the tasks and how we schedule those events. You know your events are not scheduled well if you arrive everywhere out of breath , and you feel like your day timer has a life of its own!

Firstly, to be effective in managing our tasks we need to decide what things are important to us; to set goals. It is important that we decide what it is that we want out of our life and schedule our time to reflect this. In deciding our goals, we then need to rank importance or prioritize over all of our tasks in general and relate them to our goals. It is important when setting these goals that you remember to have personal and family goals too. You have a life away from work or your business. And remember this, if you are not setting and working towards your own goals, someone else will have you working towards theirs. (And maybe that is why your schedule is so full!)

The second part of event control has to do with grouping like events together. If you set a day specifically to run errands, you are often able to combine trips. I remember reading stories when I was younger where women running the household set certain days for certain tasks. Often they planned their days a little better! You remember: wash on Mondays, baking days were Saturdays, etc. It is only since technology has advanced and we have become more affluent that we lack organization. How many of us think nothing of jumping into the car to run to the store, several days a week? If we just went to the local store, it still takes more time to make three trips than it does to make one! So the trick is to combine like items together. If you are scheduling appointments, try to arrange them so that they fall on the same day. You will be dressed for success and out already anyway, so try to do them all on one day! If you have administrative errands to do, do them all at one time too!

About a month before Christmas a friend asked if I had done my Christmas baking. My reply surprised her. I told her no, I would do it all on one day. I explained that if I did it over the course of several weeks, I would take the sugar out of the cupboard six or seven times, and I would have dishes to do as many times as well. In addition to this I would have the general clean-up that we have to do after baking to do six or seven times as well. Therefore I do it all one afternoon and it is over and done. I involve the kids and we make it our bake day. In the end, I spend less time doing it all and it is less stressful and it does not all get eaten before the next baking day comes! Take some time to review your events. Can you schedule errands to be done all at once instead of on three separate occasions? Look at where you spent your time yesterday and add up all the trips out you made.

Grouping our tasks into different types of days is instrumental in how effective we are in doing the important things at the right times. Grouping days keeps us focused and we spend less time running around doing errands and tying up loose ends.

Working smarter means that we organize our tasks in a way that we begin to use our time more efficiently.

Managing our events means that we must begin to work smarter. Most of us have been raised with a strong work ethic. We believe that working hard will get us what we want out of life. This may or may not be the end result. One thing is certain, there are only 24 hours in a day, and we can work hard and long but if it is not effectively organized then all we end up with is a tired body and frustrated mind. Learn to work smarter, not harder and you will find that 24 hours really can stretch!

Mandie Crawford, author of “When Every Second Counts” and owner of
www.mandiecrawford.com responds to what she views as a growing need for the public to slow down and simplify their lives. Mandie now teaches Time Management, Organization, organizes homes and offices and  is a certified behavior consultant. Mandie also coaches people and  assists them to get their lives in order, and motivates them to set and reach their goals.


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