Lose Track of Time [Business Flow]

One of the characteristics of being in a flow state according to famous researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is to lose track of time. Think about it — when you are doing something you love, totally engrossed in a task, time vanishes from your mind.

So to get more flow in your business, take steps to lose track of time. Use a timer for 30, 60, 90 minutes, remove all distractions, and dive in. To get more flow overall – get away from all distractions and do something you love. That flow state will transfer over to your daily life and build your “flow” habit.

 

What do you do to create more flow? Comment below…

3 Signs Your Business Needs a Health Checkup (And They Are Not What You Think!)

When was the last time you sat down for 60 minutes or less and gave your business health the checkup it deserves? If you’re like most growing small business owners, the answer is…. “It’s so long I can’t remember. Maybe, never?” Juggling Your Business

That’s because you’re so busy growing the business and juggling life, right?

It totally makes sense. Yet, regular checkups are the absolutely best thing you can do to ensure growth happens (continues) and that you actually thrive in the process. The images of entrepreneurs slogging away and dedicating life and limb to the business to “do whatever it takes” are a disservice to every small business owner. When I read these articles I cringe…because our businesses are meant to serve (and that includes serving us and our households!)

First, let’s be clear… when I talk about a business health checkup, this is not about a business that is dying on the vine. That’s more appropriate for a business triage or ER situation. That would be defined more as a business turnaround. What I’m talking about is taking something that is budding, growing, or even stagnating a bit and making it (and you) thrive. This is about thriving, not surviving.

Much like with our physical health, the best time for a checkup is when there is nothing drastically wrong. You’re humming along. You might have a few complaints. You have some areas you’d like to experience more wellness, but overall, you’re doing ok. It is from this space that the most fruitful change can happen because you are not in crisis!

3 signs that now is the best time for you to do a business checkup and tune-up.

Your Business Has Grown “Just Enough”

Your hard work is paying off. You’re starting to grow. In fact you’ve grown “just enough” to make things different than they were before. You are serving more clients, making more money, and entertaining new, exciting opportunities. This is all good news, right? It is! And, you have grown just enough to need to start to do some things differently. You may or may not be sure what those things are… but you know that in order to continue to grow, you need to make a few changes in order to make the growth sustainable while taking time to have a life! 

You are Ready to Take Your Business to that Next Level

You have been in business and it’s time to take things up a notch. This happens at each next natural point of evolution for every business. You might be at the point where you’ve been in business for a little while and are ready to get out of “starting up” mode and take things more seriously. Or, you might be a seasoned business owner breaking through another major growth point (like six figures, multiple six figures, adding a team, etc.) Either way there is a point at which a moment to stop and assess the holistic health of all the aspects of your business is necessary. You can’t make the leap without a clear focus of what is most important. Leaping to the next level is not possible without assessing the holistic health of all aspects of your business.

You are Starting to Drop a Few Balls

As a small business owner you have a lot of balls in the air. Family, home life, hobbies, children add even more balls to your juggle-fest. You’re noticing that you’re starting to drop a few balls. Not the most critical ones. Nothing is crashing all around you. Most of the balls you drop bounce (sometimes at a cost to time, money, or confidence, but nothing fatal…), but you know you can’t keep juggling at this pace. You might be feeling like you are dedicating so much time and effort to your business but you’re still not contributing financially to the household in the way you really want to. You still don’t have any time for yourself. It can feel like you’re going in circles. You might even feel some dread or sick to your stomach when you even think about taking stock of what’s what in the health of your business. Wouldn’t it just be easier to keep the balls in the air the best you can and push forward? In a word….no.

How to Do a Business Health Checkup

You might be wondering…what does a business health checkup entail? How do I do it?

It is simply a method for taking stock of the health of your business in a holistic way. That means it looks at all areas of your business from finances to marketing to happiness/personal life. This is because everything is connected. The purpose of doing this is to identify exactly what you most need to focus your attention on right now in order to get what you want.

Much like you wouldn’t do your own health checkup (you’d see a doctor or holistic practitioner), to do an effective business health checkup, you need a guide. That is why I created a short business health checkup that anyone can do in an hour or less. It walks you through the 6 key indicators of business health. It’s the single most cost-effective and inexpensive way to catapult yourself to sustainable business growth that gives you the lifestyle you want.

How it works is you walk through your own business health assessment with easy to answer questions (no essay tests here – just yes/no, 1-10 rankings…) and then you get a 30 minute consultation session with me to review and diagnose exactly what you next most important focused action needs to be.

Simple. Powerful. Effective. You have my “No-BS” promise on that.

Learn more and grab your business health checkup here:

If you have questions before diving in – don’t hesitate to contact me.

photo credit: Elvert Barnes via photopin cc

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 Choose [Business Flow]

By the very nature of choices…when we say yes to one thing, we say numerous no’s to other things. It’s called opportunity cost. The (cost) of opportunities we forego when we choose something.

There’s no right or wrong choice…and sometimes we have to choose what serves us most, instead of “shoulds” or “obligations”. Sometimes we need to speed up, other times the need is to slow down and heal.

Today’s video talks about making one of those choices and how you can be more discerning in how you choose.

Is Your Customer Service Transparent Enough?

Transparent Customer ServiceEveryone gives lip service to the importance of customer service, but few actually do it well. As a result, service gets “rubber-stamped” if delivered at all. Since your customers are human beings (not just a number or dollar sign) how might you give them more of what they really want rather than what is convenient for you?

Let me explain what I mean about being more transparent and giving the customer what they want with a little story. A few weeks ago I had gone out to eat to a brand new restaurant and bar. They had literally had their grand opening that same week. So, they were working out the kinks. That’s just the reality of things. I have no problem with that if it is handled right.

We each ordered entrees and then waited. And waited. And waited. All the tables around us were getting their food, finishing up, leaving, and we were still in a holding pattern. The waiter came by a few times to apologize for the delay and assure us our food was coming soon. Frankly after the second time it wasn’t enough. I wasn’t in a hurry or anything, I just wanted to know what was going on. Most “customer service” stops where this waiter stopped. However, the manager went a step further. She came over and explained to us why everything was delayed. She shared that when they cooked my dish the first time it simply didn’t meet their standards. So, rather than send out a dish that was less than acceptable, they chose to start over and cook a new one. That is why there was such a delay. Our first round of drinks and dessert would be on the house.

Now THAT is transparency. To me that makes the difference between “ok” service that may or may not have me return as a customer and service that makes me feel good and yearn to return. They could’ve just kept apologizing vaguely or blamed the kitchen or blamed it on just opening up. But they didn’t! They gave me a rational explanation for the delay that I could not only understand but also respect (wow – they have standards! They take pride in what comes out of their kitchen!). That takes courage, confidence, and a willingness to not hide behind smoke and mirrors.

Now, apply this to your business.

First the inner awareness: When something does not go as intended, are you afraid of being vulnerable so you find yourself hiding, avoiding, or being vague? What would it take for you to be confident and transparent about a circumstance?

Now the practical action: What will you do differently next time there is an opportunity to serve your customer better? Will you get on the phone and speak directly? Share more information and be more transparent (as appropriate)?

The great companies know how to do this and make it a habit (think: REI, Zappos, LL Bean, Ritz Carlton). Whether you are a company of millions or a company of one, you can do it too.

Need help dissecting what’s working and what’s not in your business? Contact me for a discovery session to explore how I can help you grow your business.

photo credit: Ben Zvan via photopin cc

Break Free of Obsessive Thoughts [Business Flow Video]

Have you ever found your mind going in circles and grinding over and over on something that concerns or troubles you?

Maybe it’s business finances, being able to pay your mortgage, a medical challenge, a sick loved one…

Whatever the topic, your mind just obsessively chews on what is bothering you.

Not productive… but how do you get out of this stress? If someone tells you to just relax or don’t think about it, you want to hit them… because it’s not that simple! So what should you do?

Shift your attention…focus on something else. This video will tell you more about how you can do that and get out of the mind-suck and back into the flow.

 

Tell me how this video helps you by commenting below!

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