Do You Find Yourself Working More But Earning Less? 3 Reasons You Fall into this Trap and How to Break Free

Why You Are Not Getting Paid What You're Worth

Have you ever found yourself working extra but not getting paid for it?

I don’t mean over delivering by adding extra value and delighting your clients. I’m ALL for that.  In fact I highly recommend frequently delighting your clients!

What I’m talking about is the dreaded… (Cue the spooky music)

Scope Creep…

Or the

Over-needy client who wants “just one more little thing”.

Ever happen to you?

If you’re in business – of course it has!  Scope creep can be a natural byproduct of many different kinds of projects (think: design, tech projects, and construction just to name a few).  Wanting “one more thing” can be a sign of someone who is thinking through their requirements as they go.

Neither of these things is inherently bad.  It’s what you do with them that set you up for success or a spiral of resentment, misery, and lack of cash.

Here are the top 3 reasons why you may find yourself working like a dog but earning less and less and what to do about it.

Wanting to Be “Nice”

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AEP 024 – Turn Down the Noise

 

Turn Down the Noise to Focus

If you find yourself stressed with your emotional and mental energy leaking out of your pores, it’s time to take radical action.  The recent election results and plethora of social media and news firing from all sides can be deadly to your business. Now is the perfect time to stop comparing yourself to others, turn off the noise, and get to work.

[Read more…]

5 Good Reasons to Run Experiments in Your Business

5 Good Reasons to Run Experiments in Your BusinessDo you spend a lot of time thinking about taking action?

Are you often wringing your hands and gnashing your teeth trying to figure out the perfect action to take?

That’s a great deal of time, energy and opportunity wasted.

How might things be different if you treated your business as a series of calculated experiments?

My natural proclivity is to over-think, over-plan, and over-prepare.  The problem is it was sucking the life out of me and was working against me as a business owner.  That’s when a few mentors planted the seed of experimentation in me.  Things have never been the same – in a damn good way – since.

For the purpose of this discussion, I define experimentation as taking intentional action, consistently, over a long enough period time to get meaningful data.  You may or may not get the outcome you seek but you will get experience and data that informs your next step.  It’s not haphazard “throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks” style, but thoughtful, playful choices of what actions to take based on your overall strategy.

Here are 5 reasons to approach everything with a spirit of experimentation.

You will learn far more from doing it than from thinking about it

I was talking to a colleague the other day that admitted that she spends a lot of time thinking about thinking about taking action. It gets her hung up and in a vicious cycle of not taking (enough) action over a long enough period of time to see if her ideas are viable.  I said, “You will learn far more from doing the thing than from thinking about the thing.”   Action is the antidote to fear, uncertainty, and stagnancy.  If you treat everything as an experiment, you spend more time in action and less time thinking about it. [Read more…]

How to Know if You are Ready to Hire a Team

Are You Ready to Hire a Team?We self-employed business owners can be a bunch of control freaks.  Think about it, you likely left a more institutional job (think corporate, academia, etc.) for the freedom and flexibility of being your own boss. You wanted to be in charge and in some cases were adamant about never having to take orders from anyone else again.

Dammit!

I work with my fair share of (recovering) control freaks and perfectionists, and I would put myself squarely in that category.  When I am clear about what I want and why, I am particular. (My family would call me FUSSY…let that word drag out on your tongue a bit and you’ll have their tone…)

Being particular is not the problem. Being unwilling to let go can be.

There comes a point in every business where you reach a tipping point at which you must address the question “Do I bring on a team?”

What Constitutes a Team?

Many people mistakenly believe that bringing on a team needs to a look a certain way. It doesn’t. For the sake of this conversation let us define team as:

            One or more person(s) who performs tasks in your business that either you cannot perform yourself or do not want to.

So a team could be as elaborate as having full or part-time employees that work exclusively for you or as informal as a local high school or college student who helps you out from time to time. It can be anything in between or mix of all of the above.

It can cost you thousands of dollars a month or $50 every now and then.  However you want it to work, it can.  Creativity is your friend.

Are You Ready for a Team?

I was resistant to having a team at first but now I know the value it brings.  What frustrates me about conversations on this topic is that there appear to be two schools of thought:

  • The do-it-all-yourself forever camp
  • The bring on an elaborate team as soon as possible even before you’re ready school of thought.

[Read more…]

10 Benefits of Using Systems in Your Business

10 Benefits of Using Systems to Create Leverage in Your BusinessYour systems and habits will drive success in your life more than any other single thing. More than the goals you set, the talent you have, or the “big idea” you offer in your business.

Think systems are just for geeks?  Let these 10 benefits show you otherwise:

You don’t have to worry about missing anything

Have you ever worn a hole in the carpet of your office pacing as you worry about missing something important? Me too.  When you have a “system for that” you naturally create stronger habits and you no longer need to worry about missing something important.  Cue the wave of relief!

Keeps you out of overwhelm

So much to do. It all feels like it needs to be done RIGHT NOW.  Well, it doesn’t.  A process lays out why, what, when, and how for you.  Then you work the plan using your systems.  Overwhelm can move the heck out of town.

Relaxes your brain for more important things

Because you are not overwhelmed, worried, and fatigued, your brain is saved for more important things. You’ll have mental bandwidth left for thinking like a CEO, reflecting on what you most want, evaluating performance, and exploring new creative ideas. [Read more…]

How to Prioritize When Everything is a Priority

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