5 Fast and Easy Ways to Leverage Your Time and Talent Series: Part 2 of 4


People ask me all the time how I’ve managed to create a 6-figure+ business while only working about 15 hours a week. First, I had to build a solid foundation and set up systems that would support the business as it grew, systems that were either automated or delegated or easily repeatable.

Once I had the foundation and the beginning systems in place, I was constantly looking for ways to leverage my time and talent, and I still do. I could write a book on the many ways we do this in my business (and maybe I will someday) but in this 4-part series, I’m going to share with you some of the most effective ones that you can apply to your business today.

1. Use Google Alerts

Part of using leverage in your business to by being aware of what’s going on out there that has to do with you. Lucky us, we have Google to keep us informed.

Simply set up a Google Alert for your name and the name of your business. You can also set up alerts for specific keywords in your business and for your colleagues. And you should set up alerts for your clients as well. You want to know what your clients are doing. If you see them doing something great you can say, “Yay.” You can also say, “You might want to try something else.”

Letting Google keep you informed of what’s going on in your online world is a great way to leverage your time.

2. Leverage your content

I teach a whole 12-part content leverage system, but you want to at least be leveraging any piece of content you write for your ezine or your blog.

So, if you’re writing an article for your ezine, make sure it goes on your blog. If you’re writing a blog post make sure at least part of it goes in your e-zine. People will read your content in different ways. They’ll read it in your e-zine in their inbox, or on your blog site – or via an RSS feed from your blog to your inbox.

Those are just two ways. Other ways are to turn that content into a podcast, a video, and social media posts, and promote them via those media.

3. Create an email campaign from your sales page

When you’ve created the sales page for your offer, you’ll need to create an e-mail campaign to promote it and your offer.

You’ve done the hard part of writing the sales page itself, even if it’s a short sales page. To leverage that hard work, take pieces of that sales page and repurpose them into your email campaign.

I know we sometimes think we have to do everything fresh and new from scratch. You do not have to do that. Take pieces from what you’ve already written and plug that into your e- mail promotions. Take something from the top. Take a piece of your story. Take the benefit bullets. Tweak them a bit and put them into your emails.

4. Do your ezine differently

If you’re writing an ezine and it’s in HTML and you find that it feels heavy, you’re not getting it done, it takes too much effort, it feels too complicated or you don’t have someone helping you do it then change to text.

Make it easy for yourself. If you struggle with HTML then creating an e-zine that way only translates into lost time and wasted energy.

If you need to do text until you’re ready to hire someone to help you do something prettier then just do text. I promise it won’t hurt you.

Also, if the ezine is just too long, you can make them short.
You don’t need to have seven moving parts. It’s more important that you’re consistent with sending it out on a weekly or twice a month. You can send them once a month if that’s correct for your market. That is more important than having them long.

Do text. Keep it short. Be more consistent about sending it out.

5. Repeat what works

I talk about this a lot. Sometimes it seems obvious. People often don’t do this. We’re too close to it. We can’t see it. That’s why you need other eyes. We get excited about new ideas and keeping things fresh. There’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t forget to review what you’ve done before that worked really well and repeat it.

(Watch for Part 3 in this series next week…)

Fast and Easy Ways to Leverage Your Time and Talent Series: Part 1 of 4


People ask me all the time how I’ve managed to create a 6-figure+ business while only working about 15 hours a week. First, I had to build a solid foundation and set up systems that would support the business as it grew, systems that were either automated or delegated or easily repeatable.

Once I had the foundation and the beginning systems in place, I was constantly looking for ways to leverage my time and talent, and I still do. I could write a book on the many ways we do this in my business (and maybe I will someday) but in this 4-part series, I’m going to share with you some of the most effective ones that you can apply to your business today.

1. Is there something that’s happening in your market that’s got a buzz around it that you can take advantage of?

One of the ways to increase your exposure easily and more quickly is to seek out something in the news that applies to your market that you can ride on the coattails of.

Read the headlines of the New York Times or the Huffington Post for ideas. It can be something that you’re excited about in your industry. It can be something that you totally disagree with. It can be either end of the spectrum and it should be because either end is better than the middle.

For example, maybe there’s a book that was written that’s really hot right now. It addresses some of the problems that your market is struggling with that you help solve. You can piggyback on the popularity of the book simply by saying, “You’ve probably heard all of the raves and praise about this book. Here are my thoughts.”

You can either agree or contradict, and you can write or speak about it, whichever is your preferred modality. Doing this will help you stand out, you’ll get search engine rankings, and it could get you other media attention as well.

2. Get emotional when you’re writing your marketing copy.

If you can write passionately about what it is that you’re putting out there in the world then that’s fantastic. You should put energy, enthusiasm and passion into your overall marketing copy.

And that’s even more important when you’re telling your story. Telling your story is a critical piece to creating copy that sells. If you can write from a place of depth and passion about your story, then just sit down and write. Don’t try to get it perfect, don’t try to follow some copywriting formula, just write from your emotions, knowing you can always hone it. You can always make it more clear and concise. And you will.

If you get emotional about your marketing copy then three things will happen. It will draw your reader in and engage them. It will make it much easier for you to write if you’re emotional about it. And you’ll get more sales because emotion is what sells.

3. Put all your passwords in one place.

This was a time waster for me. All of my passwords were everywhere, on whatever little scrap of paper was near me at the time I made it. At one point I chose the same password for everything, which is not recommended.
Then I found this great little product that I’ve fallen in love with. It’s a cute little pocket-sized notebook that I keep in the middle drawer of my desk. It’s called the password keeper.

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/open-sesame-password-reminder-… $13-

This is something so simple and yet I know that most people don’t keep all their passwords in one place, like on a single piece of paper, or in something like the password keeper.

Just don’t keep them on your computer. Your computer can crash or get hacked and your passwords can get hijacked. This simple idea will save you tons of time when you’re looking for your passwords.

4. Create a web page with all your log-in links and info.

Another time waster is trying to locate the log-in pages for the places online you utilize in your business. You can bookmark those pages, or set up tabs so they automatically open when you first connect with your browser, but that’s not an efficient way to run your computer, especially if you’re on battery power as when you’re traveling.

When I first did this it was a hidden webpage. It wasn’t password protected, but it was just a gobbledygook webpage attached to my main site. I had all of URLS of the sites I used regularly in my business on that page, so I could just click on AudioAcrobat, Aweber, 1ShoppingCart, NING sites I was a host or member of, etc. whenever I needed access to those sites. (The username and passwords were in my password keeper.) This page was one of the few pages I had set to open up as soon as I logged into my computer.

Then we moved everything to #5…

5. Create a wiki for your log-ins, your SOPs and more

As the business grew, the information we needed to run it grew and we needed a way and a place to organize it. I wanted it to be secure, easy to use, inexpensive and a place where my team could access the information as well.

And although I’ve tried a few paid services, we started with a wiki and returned to the wiki because it met all of those criteria – and it’s free (we use Google’s wiki).

A wiki is simply a place online where we keep all the info we need to run my business. All of the log-in URLs are there, all of our standard operating procedures are there, all the processes for how the business runs is housed in this one location online.

You simply create a table of contents and under each ‘chapter’ is where you put the info for it. It couldn’t be easier to organize all of your info and processes for your business.

Using the wiki saves a ton of time and money in my business. My team has access to the wiki to get the information they need instead of asking me for it. When we have a new team member come on board, we just point them to the wiki to find what they need to do the task they’ve been assigned. When I’m looking for something, I can just log into the wiki for it, instead of playing email tag with my team to get the info.

(Watch for Part 2 in this series next week…)

I’d love to know which one of these leveraging tips resonates the most with you – share with me below…

Don’t Let a Client’s Money Drama Become Yours


One of the ways I see entrepreneurs staying small (and frustrated) is by not being serious enough about how they manage their receivables in their business. Receivables is simply money that is owed to you. For example, there isn’t a business owner I know who hasn’t had at least one client’s payments become an issue, so if this hasn’t happened to you yet, know it most likely will. However, if you have certain things in place, it will be a lot easier for you to handle these situations, gracefully and respectfully.

So, let’s take a deeper look at that most common scenario: a client is late with their payment. When you address this with them, they tell you their situation and while you can and should listen with compassion, it’s imperative that you not take on the problems that they’re having and make them your own. That doesn’t serve either of you.

While we all can have money issues from time to time, if the client takes no responsibility for it – and yes, even when it seems it’s completely out of their control – then they’re coming from a victim mentality. But you can’t let them make you a victim of their situation as well.

First and foremost, ALWAYS listen to your intuition when signing on a client. You’ll only make the mistake once of not doing so before you regret it and realize taking them on didn’t serve either of you.

But there are also times when this situation comes up with a great client too. While the money situation is still theirs, for you, it’s a boundary issue. And it’s an opportunity to tighten your parameters and policies too.

We need to remember that we are running a business and as a serious business owner, we are entitled to monies owed to us. It’s why having clearly written and signed agreements and a written policies page are so important.

So while it’s the client’s responsibility to pay what’s owed, it’s your responsibility to collect what’s owed. This can and should be handled gracefully and respectfully. And it’s as easy as staying detached from their story and creating a plan to handle the situation.

If you commiserate, let the payment slide, and/or don’t make a plan on how it will be handled, not only will you start to feel resentful, but you’re also enabling the client to continue this disempowering behavior.

This is a perfect opportunity for you to step more fully into being a powerful model and mentor for them. When you’re talking with your client, tell them that you understand that this is a difficult situation for them, and then ask them what they are going to do to resolve it as soon as possible.

I know it feels easier to avoid conflict and commiserate with the client, but I have found that if you do that, the situation just keeps happening until you no longer put up with it. When you’re firm on your boundaries, you respect yourself and your business enough so you attract more and more ideal clients who are a joy to work with. I know this to be true.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this – it’s a hot-button issue for lots of business owners and clients alike, so please leave your comments below.

Time Management Tips for Busy Businessowners

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 full-time 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 main reasons why I went into business for myself in the first place).

1. Setting my work hours

When my kids were younger and still at home during the day, my typical work day looked like this: I got organized the night before for the next day. That jump-started my day and made sure that when I did get those tiny pockets of time to get something done, I knew exactly what to do. That made me feel like I was accomplishing stuff in-between having tea parties, blowing bubbles, crawling around on the floor, exploring the neighborhood or running errands.

But I didn’t get any real work done until naptime. I worked 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 went 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 would give 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 gave me about 8-10 productive hours to work on my business each week.

Fast-forward to both kids being in school from 9-3, and my day has definitely taken ona different look. I now have about 5 hours a day during the week when I can focus on my business. But you may be surprised to find out that I still don’t work more than about 15 hours a week. I’m very clear on my priorities and where I want to focus my time, so although I may not be taking care of the kids during most of the day (unless they’re home sick or it’s school break), I’m spending that time doing other things that bring me joy.

2. 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, instead of letting the interruption take me off task.

3. 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 decide to go forward with working with me, they could apply the fee they paid towards the program or product they were interested in. It’s fair and values 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 less stressed about trying to get it all done!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – share them with me here