March 12th, 2012
What are you doing on a daily basis to build your business? Are you focusing on the most important activities? Or not.
When you “work” on your business…what are you actually doing?
- Tweaking your website favicon or changing the font?
- Worrying about your company name and trying on new ones often?
- Are you creating your first product or program offering, because you know that you need to be selling something to even BE a business?
- Or maybe you’re planning your first launch of a product that’s ready to go?
- Plotting out your promotion & launch schedule for the next 2 quarters?
- Trying to finish a guest post for a site that has a potential but not exact audience fit?
- Meeting with potential clients and offering them your services?
- Checking your e-junkie account for new sales?
- Refreshing your site for new comments for your latest blog post?
- Talking on the phone all day with each and every one of your mastermind partners about what you want to do and getting a lot of “great ideas” from them?
Some of these are important business growth activities – and some are not.
We’re all guilty of doing not so important things every once in a while, but if you can’t honestly say you spend enough time working on important, i.e. revenue-building activities..then, sooner or later you will realize you don’t even have a business.
Don’t Forget Your Business
Funnily enough, sometimes during a launch or when we’re creating content for a product, we forget about our businesses.
We’re working on the project with our noses so tight to the grindstone that while it seems we’re working on our business, we’re losing context and sight of the bigger vision.
We might be so focused that we veer away from the idea that fueled us in the first place.
Have you ever looked up from what you’re doing and realized that a day has flown by without one thought to what you’re doing and how it fits with your business?
Weeks locked in your product creation cave or off the grid can disconnect you from your business…to the point that it may be hard to re-connect.
I think about this a lot – because I know how important it is to keep your big vision top of mind. Lose that and you end up creating products that don’t mesh with the people who want to learn from you, you end up spending hours on social media counting new followers, and you get stuck doing tasks that make you feel busy but really aren’t helping your biz move forward.
How do you shift your focus from only the everyday tasks and know for sure that you are working toward your big business goals?
1. Open Your Eyes + Pay Attention
Always a key part of your role as the head honcho – you need to keep your eyes, mind + heart tuned in on every aspect of your business. You need to know what the people who AREN’T on your promo webinar are doing and want – you need to focus on getting people in your door AND keeping people happy who are already inside. You need to think about where your customers will need to go next.
You need to be thinking about where you want your business to be in 1 year, 2 years, or even next month!
One great way to build the skill of awareness is to hire a coach who you answer to on a regular basis.
Coaches will ask you the hard questions – they might even have answers and tell you when you’re spending your time on the wrong things.
They CAN help you get and stay unstuck – help you identify and keep your priorities straight.
Hiring a coach might seem like a too expensive or counter-intuitive way to help you bring in more money to your business, but it also makes you accountable and responsible to the money you’re putting out for the service.
Sure you could find someone like a friend or peer to report to every week, but paying someone to look at your business really helps you stay in line and keeps you focused.
That said – sometimes coaches can be crutches JUST LIKE YOUR FRIENDS. So – as you build your awareness muscle – look at your time with your coach the same way you look at your daily business activities.
And when the coach starts being an excuse to NOT work… time to make a change.
2. Stop Being Your Business Bottleneck
Imagine having someone who can juggle or manage all the details of your launch or specific projects while you make decisions for the global good of your company.
An example of how this works really well in my day to day life – I work with LKR as the overall project manager, director of operations, etc. etc. etc.
When I started working with Laura, I took all those details that she’d been keeping in her head onto my plate – which then allowed her to look at the company from a more visionary standpoint.
It gave her the freedom to make sure the company’s vision is strong in everything we do.
After my role shifted a bit – I started working on the overall strategy with her, we moved many of my detail/moving parts tasks to another person.
I stopped being the bottleneck AND it freed me up to work on the big moves for the company.
And now in my own business – I have someone helping me do the tasks that took me out of strategy mode – loading blog posts, scheduling Aweber broadcasts, and worry about social media.
Fire yourself from the minute tasks and you’ll have a much easier time keeping an eye on the direction of the business – and seeking out new ways to grow!
3. Get Revenue In The Door
I’ve read and heard Danielle LaPorte talk about those first 3 year years of your business and how IMPORTANT it is to be focused on revenue-building activities. I’ve also watched companies not worry about the revenue, live “paycheck” to paycheck and then disappear after 2 years.
If you want longevity – focus on money-making activities for your business.
List everything you do each week. Go through each item and ask yourself if that activity directly brings your business MONEY.
If it doesn’t create or bolster an income stream and it never will – like loading blog posts and emails to your list, fire yourself from those jobs ASAP.
Also – some of the mind-numbing activities that make us feel busy like social media – oooh I’ve got so many RTs today – well, sitting behind your screen is not going to get money in your business bank account.
Online entrepreneurs often hide in their home offices and stop physically talking to people.
This is a huge mistake.
You should be seeking out – by phone, email, in-person – ways to connect DIRECTLY with people who might want to hire you. I find that making direct connections a priority makes my online communication much easier too.
Forget to connect with living breathing humans…and your online communication gets funky and weird too.
Make a point of meeting or talking with 5 or more potential business leads every week!
Ask The Reader
Today – It’s all on you… It hurts to look at yourself and what you’re REALLY doing to grow your business because it feels like you are pointing the finger or placing blame or being scolded or admitting that you aren’t really doing business yet.
But trust me on this – the more you allow yourself to be the leader for your business – really look at what’s going on inside – the more you’ll grow.
Leave a comment below or send me your answer directly:
1. 3 activities you are spending too much time on that are not directly helping you grow your business.
2. 3 activities that you should be doing regularly and put them as recurring appointments on your calendar.
I’m really looking forward to seeing your answers and also helping you identify the right work you should be doing to grow your business.