Noticing Changes Through the Seasons [Business Flow]

When you revisit something over time, you can notice the changes. I paddle Lake Nockamixon near my home through all seasons (well, all the seasons that don’t involve a frozen lake!). Because I revisit it during the different seasons I notice the constant changes – some subtle and some dramatic.

In your business, the only way you can measure the health of the enterprise is by noticing over time. You do that through measuring something (metrics). Then you can notice – what is growing? What is dying? What is different? How am I as a business owner growing?

This is one of the most valuable skills you can develop as a small business owner.


Meanwhile – let me know what actions you take so you notice the changes within the seasons of your business?

Navigating Obstacles [Business Flow Video]

What happens when you hit obstacles?

On the river, sometimes you have to portage because a dam or other obstacle which you cannot pass safely via the water stands in your way. In business we hit all kinds of obstacles. So how do you navigate them?

You need

  • Clear guidance from someone who can help.
  • A supportive team member who can help you.
  • Resilience so you can quickly recover from unexpected challenges and get flowing again.

Watch on to learn more…

Get in the conversation – and comment below… let me know what you do when you hit obstacles?

How to Know What Metrics to Track in Your Business

What Metrics to Track in Your BusinessI recently surveyed hundreds of business owners and posed the question “What is the #1 question you have about business metrics?” One of the top questions both new and experienced business owners had was:

“What should I be tracking?”

I can understand this since no one really teaches the small business owner what to measure and why.   Frankly this is one of the main reasons businesses fail is because they don’t have enough data to make wise decisions and then simply run out of money before they have time to succeed.

I am here to change this because numbers don’t have to be:

  • Hard
  • Intimidating
  • Only for people whose “brains work that way”

In my upcoming free webinar I will be teaching you exactly what you need to track. That said, I want to empower you to think clearly about your own business so you can start to understand what to track right now.

So, if you’re not sure what to track, answer the following questions.

What would you have to know/like to know so you could:

  • Make wise financial decisions?
  • Choose how to spend your time and energy most effectively?
  • Maximize your return on your marketing and client attraction efforts?

I pose these broader questions not to be vague, but to empower you to see and think as a CEO would. It allows you to reverse-engineer what you need to track so you can know what you want to know!   Ask yourself:

What do you wish you could know about your business that you don’t know now?

And start there….

 If you want to know exactly the 6 most important key indicators of business health, Learn more and grab your business health checkup here:

photo credit: elias_daniel via photopin cc

No Time to Do Your Metrics?

Find time for business metricsI recently surveyed hundreds of business owners and asked them what their #1 challenge was when it came time to tracking their business metrics consistently.

Do you know what the answer was?

“ I don’t have/make time to do it consistently.”

Fair enough. We all have limited time and can feel pressed for time on occasion. Yet, I want to ask you a few questions…

  • Did you brush your teeth this morning?
  • Did you pay your mortgage/rent this month?
  • Did you “find time” to go to the restroom today?

If you answered yes to even one of these (I don’t want to know which one if it was only one!!!)…you have proven two things:

1)     You have time to do your business metrics on a consistent basis.

2)     You are capable of building and maintaining positive habits.

We make time for what matters in our lives. If you own a business, knowing your numbers matters. If you don’t know your numbers, you are simply hoping and guessing. Hope is not a business plan!

You and your business deserve a stronger foundation than that. It doesn’t have to be hard.

It can be done in as little as 5 minutes a day. If you can stand with an electric toothbrush for two minutes twice a day you can do this!

Here’s what I want you to do (and I’ll give you options because I know every person has a different style of working). I want you to set aside sacred time to do your metrics. Consider:

  • 5 minutes each business day
  • 15 minutes a week
  • An hour a month

In that time I want you to track your numbers. If you don’t know what to track or how to interpret them yet, that is ok, I am going to teach you that. I want you first to make the decision, make the commitment to treat your business like a business and carve out this time.

Surely you could find 5 minutes a day if you were guaranteed that an activity would make you more profitable, right?

I know you would.

So today, commit to the habit and the time. If you can brush your teeth, you can do this!

Not sure what to track, how to track it, or how this could possibly be easy (it is, trust me….)? Join me for a free webinar on Thursday, June 26th where I will teach you exactly how to do that (even if you are not a numbers person). Register for free here:

photo credit: Indalo Art via photopin cc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Value of Extra Effort [Business Flow Video]

What happens when you put in a little extra effort and go where most people aren’t willing to?

Bliss… and results…

Join Paula G for this episode of business flow as she talks about the value of putting forth some extra effort and taking calculated risks during a recent kayaking trip. On the water it resulted in beauty and solitude on a busy holiday weekend (try THAT in a metropolitan area!)… so where might a bit of extra effort and calculated risk take you in your business?

Find out in today’s 1 minute clip from on the water…

Orient Yourself & Move Forward Confidently [Video]

Recently I took a day to kayak before a business conference in Austin, TX. After several hours of paddling I got more settled in, comfortable, and confident with where I was heading and the equipment I was using. It reminded me of the importance of giving yourself permission and time to orient yourself in new situations. Whether traveling to a new city, presenting a new topic, launching something new in your business, or growing to a new level, you need time to get your bearings and orient yourself.

Learn more about how you can do that by watching this video.

 

How are you going to give yourself permission and space to orient yourself when you do something new (rather than expect yourself to be perfect instantly)?  Share your thoughts in the comments below.

It’s NOT a Luxury [Video: Creating Business Flow]

Recently I took a day before a business conference in Austin, TX just to paddle. Enjoy the whole expansive day doing something I love in a new city. In the past I never would have given myself permission to do this.

Voices in my head would have said:

  • Too luxurious
  • I need to be working
  • I need to make more money so I don’t have time for fun
  • If I’m not meeting my goals, I am not worthy for this fun time…and on and on.

Well – I don’t fall prey to that voice like I used to…. so today’s “selfie” edition of Business Flow will give you more tips on how to indulge so your business can experience more flow.

How about you? Do you give yourself space for fun, rest, joy along the way?  Or do you struggle with it?  Share in the comments!

Is it Worth the Effort?

ROI for your efforts“Wow, that sounds like a lot of work. You guys are nuts. Why do you go through all that trouble?”

That’s the reaction my partner and I usually get from family members and friends when we tell them the great lengths we go to in order to bring wine back from our trips to prime wine destinations.  We recently visited the Central Coast of California, home to some superb wine, especially from the boutique producers.  So, as is our routine, we ship some of our clothes back to Pennsylvania so we can check a case or two of wine (in protective containers) as luggage.  Why? Because you can’t ship the wine to PA (don’t even get me started on this law!).

So, are we nuts?  Do my friends just not “get it” or what is really going on here?

It comes down to the following key question: Is doing “X” worth the trouble?  Is the return on your investment of time, money, energy, and effort “worth it”?

This is the very question you need to ask yourself each and every day in your business.  Depending on your circumstances, goals, and unique way of being authentically you, the answers you give may differ wildly from the business owner next to you.

That is OK. One person’s idea of a great time is another person’s purgatory. You get to choose what is right for you and your business.

For us, we have studied wine, developed our palette, and rejoice in being able to drink great wines that are simply unavailable to us where we live.  I will be the first to tell you that it is a total pain in the rear to drag luggage plus two full cases of wine in and out of the rental car, through the airport and checked bag process, and then repeating the whole routine at our home destination. However, for me personally, the ROI is worth it: from the joy of tasting and purchasing through the bliss of indulging and pairing it with a meal back home.

You need to be looking at the choices you make in your business with the same lens.  There is no magic pill for marketing, income streams, or service delivery.

Are you seeing the return you want to see from your efforts?  If not, what are you going to do differently?

It’s not just about dollars and cents (of course you want to maximize that return as well).  It’s about how you show up, nurture relationships, give back, and spend your extremely precious time and life energy.  Are you having the experience you want to be having?  Or are you a non-wine drinker schlepping 50 pounds of wine on a $5 luggage cart with one rogue wheel through a crowded airport?

So, it’s not about whether you or I are nuts or not. It’s about consciously choosing each and every day the actions that are worth the effort, assessing what worked (and what didn’t) and then factoring that in to the next plan of action.

How is this analogy helpful to you? I would love to hear from you in the comments below…

Meanwhile, if you could use some help assessing the effectiveness of your business operations and the ways you spend your time, let’s have a complimentary discovery call and talk about it! Click here to schedule…

photo credit: kalleboo via photopin cc