Here’s a question I get asked all the time:
“I don’t know you how do it, Alicia…with two little ones to care for and so few hours in the day to actually focus on your work. Somehow you manage to write your weekly ezine, hold a bunch of teleseminars each month, run your group and private coaching programs, AND be creating and promoting new offers and new products all the time. I’m so impressed and inspired by you, but more than that, I want to know how you do it all!?”
To be honest, sometimes I wonder myself! Something I often say to other, especially new, mothers is, “despite what everyone tells you to do, do whatever works for YOU.” In a way, that’s how I started running my business after I had my daughter. I just did whatever worked. I still do.
When she got a bit older, it was easier to manage both being a fulltime mother along with running a successful business. Then enter baby #2 and it was back to square one. It’s not easy but it is possible. And here’s what’s really interesting (mompreneurs, take note): I started making about $3k more each month since having my son – and I’m working LESS.
A client once pointed out to me that it seems the biggest growths in my business have been when I’ve been having babies – and she’s right!
Over time, I’ve figured out how to get the most important things done while still being able to focus the majority of my time on my family (after all, that’s one of the reasons why I went into business for myself in the first place).
Here are just a few of them:
1. Setting my work hours
My typical work day looks like this: I get organized the night before for the next day. This jump-starts my day and makes sure that when I do get those tiny pockets of time to get something done, I know exactly what to do. This makes me feel like I’m accomplishing stuff in-between drop-off and pick-up from school, making crafts, playing trains, exploring the neighborhood or running errands.
When I started my business, I didn’t get any real work done until naptime. I work for about a total of an hour or so while the kids napped, five days a week. Then I put in some more time after they go to bed at night, whether I was leading a teleseminar or catching up on emails. My biggest block of focused time, usually reserved for writing and product creation, was on Saturdays, when I worked approximately 4 hours.
During a perfect week, that gave me about 12 hours of time dedicated to business. However, there’s never a perfect week (one or the other doesn’t nap, I have some pressing non-business-related task that I can only take care of when they’re sleeping, one of them is sick, etc.), so my best guess is that this gives me about 8-10 productive hours to work on my business each week.
Now that the kids are both in school, my dedicated work time is a couple of hours in the morning until I pick my son up at noon, a little at naptime, and sometimes in the evening (again if I’m hosting a teleseminar) or on a Saturday, if I have a launch going on.
So, although my hours have shifted, the amount of hours is still relatively the same – about 15 hours a week.
So how do I decide what to focus on that will move my business forward the fastest in that limited amount of time each week? I use what I call a Priority Card…
2. Using a Priority Card
A Priority Card will help you organize all your tasks in a way that will SHOW you every day what you should focus on. There are a lot of details that will threaten to take your mind off your priorities (this is where a virtual assistant can be of immense value), but those details are not necessarily what will move you forward in your business. To do that, you need to consistently focus on completing the projects that will move your business ahead big-time.
You can create a system for helping you focus on your priorities in a number of ways, but I’m going to give you mine. Like I said, I only work about 15 hours a week on my business, so adjust your own plan accordingly.
At the beginning of each week, I choose 3 to 5 projects with looming deadlines (self-imposed as they may be) from my master task list (which really is so massive that I write it on a 8.5 x 14 legal pad). For example, at the moment, I am working on my Online Business Breakthrough Workshop and my L.E.A.P.™ Gold program.
On a colored index card, I write down those projects and prop the card in a standing clip holder, right in front of my computer screen. When I start to feel that sense of overwhelm, or when I find myself getting distracted by new ideas or other tasks (all of which seem important), I remind myself to look at my Priority Card and focus only on what’s written there.
Once I started using my Priority Card, my own business growth leaped forward ten times faster than when I was doing a little of this and a little of that, working on a dozen things, but taking much too long to actually complete just one project.
3. Ignoring the phone
I’m serious when I say that I ignore the phone. Some of my clients get heart palpitations when I tell them that I NEVER jump when the phone rings and suggest they do the same. I don’t even have the ringer turned on on the business line. Does this mean I miss some important calls? Probably. But my virtual assistant checks my messages in a timely manner, takes care of what she can, and forwards the rest to me. I then call people back at a more convenient time for me.
4. Quick consults
When a prospective client wanted to speak with me about ‘just a few questions’, I used to gladly schedule a time to talk. But instead of a few questions, I’d be on the phone for at least a half hour, basically giving a free coaching/consulting session, and being frustrated with myself for not valuing my time more.
And until recently, when a potential client or customer requested to talk with me further about working with me or about one of my products, they could schedule a time to talk for a much smaller fee than my usual hourly rate, and if they decided to go forward with working with me, they could apply the fee they paid towards the program or product they were interested in. This was fair and valued both our time and investment in the process.
Now, however, prospects can talk with my virtual assistant should they need more information about any of my programs or products. If someone is interested in working with me one-on-one, they need to apply for a private coaching spot and if I feel it’s a good fit, we set up an interview to discuss moving forward.
BONUS: Make and use lists
I’d be lost without my lists! I’d never remember to do anything if I didn’t write it down. I keep a bunch of reporter’s notebooks around the house and anytime I think of something I need to do, I write it down in whatever room I’m in – whether it’s business or personal. Then I periodically gather the lists and separate them into three main lists; personal, business, and other (which includes the “someday I’d like to…” stuff; things that aren’t a priority but that I want to remember to do at some point), and check things off in priority order from there.
If you start applying some of these steps now, I guarantee the number of productive hours you spend on your business will increase. And you’ll also feel less overwhelmed and lessed stressed about trying to get it all done!
Leverage Your Time to Make More Money Online
One of the most critical lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is that in order to double my income (or more) I have to do HALF of what I’m doing now. I’ll teach you which HALF of your to-do list are the right things to get done, and how to get them done faster.
I want you to learn how to work LESS while creating more wealth, time and freedom for you and your family. You’ll be amazed at what happens when you quiet the multi-tasker in you!
Reserve one of the *very* limited seats TODAY
I’d love to hear which of these tips you’re willing to embrace today. Feel free to share with me below.
While the message and the market of your business may be different, there are some stumbling blocks that seem to pop up for even the seasoned entrepreneur.
Here are four of the ones that I frequently coached on with my private clients:
1. Not moving ahead even when they know what to do.
Almost always, this is a fear-based immobility. Whether it’s fear of failure or fear of success (the later seems more prevalent for entrepreneurs, including myself). We come up with all kinds of excuses as to why something isn’t getting done, but most often it has nothing to do with anything other than fear of the possible result of moving forward.
If you’re afraid of failing, remember that in our online world, we get to test things out with very little risk. My favorite strategy is to ‘fail fast’. Put it out there, see what happens, tweak until you get the result you want.
If you’re afraid of success, then you need to take a look at your Big Money Why (BMW – see #4) to see how you can make it more powerful and motivating (tip: money is never enough of a motivator, believe it or not). And you need to put in place a process for how you will handle the abundance that’s too come.
2. Being self-disciplined enough to make and stick to self-imposed deadlines.
The wonderful thing about being an entrepreneur is that you’re your own boss. The tricky thing about that is most, if not all, of our deadlines are self-imposed. Which makes them very easy to move, doesn’t it? I know because I’ve struggled with this one more than once.
If we go back to knowing what your emotionally driven motivator is for the success you desire, you’ll be more likely to stick to those self-imposed deadlines – but only if that BMW is strong enough.
Here’s a simple but very powerful tip for you in sticking to your own deadlines: Make them public. When I launched my first info-product, I told my ezine list that they would be able to buy it on a certain date, which gave me about 3 weeks to get it done. And done it was.
3. Claiming leadership status and fulling stepping into the role of the CEO of your business.
Once an entrepreneur gets the foundational pieces in place for their business, it’s actually easy to stay in the start-up phase, because it’s comfortable. And because often they don’t know what the next step is, what the next layer of the business should look like, to take them to the next level.
The sooner they can take on the leadership role, by becoming the CEO of their business (even if they don’t call themselves that), the faster the growth of both the entrepreneur and the business.
One of the ways you can step more fully into that role is by delegating. So if you’ve been in business for a couple of years and you’re still doing too much of the managing of it, and especially if you’re doing all the admin work, and you haven’t hired an assistant yet, it’s time. Start with one small project and add from there,
For every task in your business, ask yourself, “Is this something I should be doing?”
Because remember, even if you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
If the answer is no, then pass it off to a capable assistant.
4. Having an emotionally driven motivator for your Big Money Why (BMW).
This is probably the most important one…
Money is NOT enough of a motivator, no matter how much you want it, or are attached to the ‘6-Figure’ or “million-dollar’ mark. There has to be a reason behind wanting it, something that is so strong that it drives you and the business forward, no matter what.
If you find things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like, or it feels too hard much of the time, or you just aren’t using your time and talent effectively, take a look at your Big Money Why. And if you haven’t done this before, then that’s your coaching homework.
In as much detail as possible, write out why you want the financial success you do. Is it to give to your family, is it to give to others, is it to create a charitable foundation, is it to take care of elderly parents, is it to enable your children to get the best education you can give them, is it to travel and expand your world view, is it to buy a nicer home for your family, is it to give experiences to those you love – they are a thousand reasons why, but you need to be very clear of what they are for YOU before you can make them happen.
Do you Have the Courage to Create Wealth?
Other than with my Platinum clients, I don’t talk about this too often, but your mindset is as important to the success of your business as your skills are at what it is that you do. In my brand-new L.E.A.P.™ GOLD* program, we’ll cover this topic first so we can get you in the perfect frame of mind to have the clarity and peace to boldly move forward in your business.
This one topic alone could unlock the door to unlimited prosperity for you.
Reserve one of the *very* limited seats TODAY
I’d love to hear which of these four mindset shifts you’re willing to embrace today. Feel free to share with me below.
As part of your launch strategy to boost your online sales, create partnerships with colleagues, and increase the overall value of your product or service, add a bonus (or several) to your offering.
Here are 5 ideas for bonuses you can use to increase your sales:
1. Offer a special report.
Take several of your articles with a common theme that complements your offering and compile them into a special report. If you don’t have articles that seem to fit, think of additional information that you did not include in the original product and write it up as a special report. Use your word processing software to write it, then convert it to Adobe PDF to make it look nice. Or offer a special report written by a colleague of yours with information that complements your offering.
2. Offer an audio.
If you are selling a product that is education-based, offer a follow-up teleclass to answer any questions that your customers may have about the material. Or record a special audio to go along with your product that offers some additional material that you didn’t get to cover in the actual product itself, or that is an introductory or overview of the material covered in your offering.
3. Offer a resource file.
If you want to increase your customer’s satisfaction with your product, offer a quality resource list, so they don’t have to waste time and money searching for where to go or who to hire to follow your sage advice. Put together a list of the service providers, websites, ezines, books, magazines. etc. that you personally use (or that come highly recommended to you by your trusted colleagues) and that are related to your product or service. Create a PDF of your compiled resources to offer as a bonus. For example, one bonus that comes with my 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System™ is Alicia’s 6-Figure File of Recommended Resources, which is a list with links of who and what I personally use to make my business run successfully.
4. Offer a workbook.
Just like so many self-help books do, create and offer a workbook, action guide, success journal, or the like to go along with your product or service. Pull out the main points of your material and create exercises to deepen your reader’s understanding, or create sections in which your reader can add their own thoughts and ideas as they work through your information.
5. Offer a discussion list.
You can do this a number of ways, but the easiest and the one that will require the least amount of effort on your part is to create and offer a discussion list via Google Groups, Facebbok Groups, or NING. It’s free and can help to build a community of people who have YOU in common, and it gives them a place to offer each other support. You can pop in and out at your leisure, maintaining and strengthening your relationship with your customers.
Another way to do this is by offering a membership site as a very valuable bonus. For example, with 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System™ I offer a trial membership in my L.E.A.P™ MasterMind as a bonus.
If you haven’t tried tacking on a couple of bonuses to your offerings, do so and see what happens. My bet’s on increased sales… 🙂
Are you ready to learn how to “Launch Your Products, Programs, and Services to Instant Success”?
In my brand-new L.E.A.P.™ GOLD* program, Once your product or program or service is complete and you’re ready to offer it to your market, if you don’t know how to effectively launch it, you’re leaving a ton of money on the table. There is a science to it and I’m going to teach you the precise steps to take, pre-launch, during the launch, and post-launch to guarantee you get the biggest return on your investment in your time, energy and money.
Most entrepreneurs simply don’t know how to offer their products, programs and services to make the most of them in sales and clients. It’s a simple process that you’ll learn from me (the first launch I did using this formula converted 40% of my list from potential buyers to paying customers (many of whom turned into clients as well) – that’s unheard of in the industry).
To make it even easier for you to follow this process, I’m including the same checklist we use in my business every time we launch something new.
Interested? Reserve one of the *very* limited seats TODAY
I’d love to hear which of these bonuses you’ll offer next and what your results are. Feel free to share with me below.