I shared my mid-year business review with you back in June. Well, only a few short months later (not even 6 months) and I've got updates and insights to share with you. When you ask me questions, I listen…read on.
You’ve been thinking about your success or lack of it.
You may have heard that you’re going to “blow up” this year and wonder when will things break for you? And what does “blowing up” mean?
You feel like you’re doing everything right and yet still Nada-Zip-Nil-Nyet.
Well – let me ask you this – how do you spend your day?
Not just today or yesterday – but everyday.
What actions are you taking consistently?
Instead of putting you on the spot and asking you to list all those things out, I’m putting myself in the hot seat.
Since I know what peeping toms you all are–haha admit it. Ok – even if you’re not. It’s okay. You’re safe here.
We are all a little voyeuristic – especially when we’re searching for signs that we’re on the right path to success.
You seek out people:
- Experiencing the same hardships and setbacks you are
- Overcoming those same hardships
- Making mistakes once in awhile – and then seeing them rebound
…and – that someone else gets exactly what is making us crazy 24 hours a day.
You want – and need that validation. That you are not so far off the path really – even though it feels like you’re watching paint dry.
So – today I’m starting a series of very revealing behind the scenes posts, where I share exactly what I’m doing, the results I’ve achieved (or am achieving) and how I did it – what I did wrong – how I fixed things… and how I’m growing even with setbacks.
How I Do It
How do I work running a full-time business, grow my own business, and still manage to spend a ton of time with my family?
Today – you’re going to see exactly what I do from dawn till dusk (and later). You’ll see how I spend my day, where I goof off – and my weaknesses will be center stage for you to see and connect with….and I’m okay with that.
Keep this in mind as you read how I spend my day:
- I just had my best month online – finally hit a very nice 5 figure mark
- I tripled my launch revenue in 6 months (last launch was in Feb) with the same number of new students as my first launch.
- My list is still very modest – and just under 2k. Yep there I said it.
- I’ve been blogging and learning about online business since Fall 2008. So – this is NOT one of those overnight stories of success.
530am wake up – not my choice. Mila wakes me up
6-7 coffee, breakfast for Mila and the cat
7-8 LKR email, cue up any emails that need to go out
8-9 Mila preschool
10-12 LKR block – check in with team – new assignments, meet with Laura
12 Lunch and a little social media – sometimes I get sucked in to a webinar replay
1-2 Work block – emails out to potential interviewees, set up sessions with clients, outreach
2-3 Work block – creative, writing, blog posts, editorial calendaring
3-5 LKR block – another time during the day
5:30 Pick up Mila
DINNER – bed/bath – chill
8-9 Work block – but not intense… catch up on email – writing – depends
Each day I make time for reading, finding new resources, and reaching out to people I want to interview….and of course a good share of goofing off.
The great thing about my schedule is that some days are 100% LKR work – and some aren’t. I decide how to structure my days.
I have no problem switching back and forth between LKR and my own work fluidly – depending on the situation.
What’s different from my day and your day?
I bet not much. No, I’m serious.
I do a two really simple things to make sure I get the most out of my day without spending every moment hunched over the computer.
Here’s are just 2 of my biggest sanity secrets:
Spoiler Alert: (this is a big one) …
I keep most of my systems the same for both LKR and my own business:
I use tools/systems like:
- google docs
I delegate when I need to – which is often.
I hire people to…
- make pdfs
- edit video
- help me with headlines
- write tweets
- edit my sales pages, etc.
- design graphics
- set up special web pages for launches
- do all other backend work
How + when did I start to experience business growth then?
I know – it’s hard to believe that systems and delegation alone can cause business growth.
It’s true – you do need something more ….here’s what I think really has helped me finally feel like I’m growing, evolving and doing what I was meant to do….
First of all it wasn’t fast and it wasn’t easy…nor was their explosive growth. As soon as you understand this, the pressure to be at some marker in your biz at a specific date will fall away.
Tip: Remind yourself of this fact. It CAN happen fast, but it may take longer. Detach from that timing and you’ll be doing yourself, your health, and your business a huge favor.
Second – it’s all about relationships. I look at every relationship in my life as important and I engage in each one – because I truly do care what others are thinking. This natural curiosity has made it easy for me to meet new people + simply offer my help.
Tip: If you’re genuinely interested in the people you want to speak to, teach, provide value to – then you’ll have no problem reaching out, meeting, and offering help when it feels right. Just be a nice, decent, engaged human being.
And Third – I never give up. Let me say that again – I seriously NEVER give up. I learn what works for others, try it for myself by taking fast decisive actions – and I just keep doing what works.
This is not a one-time thing.
Tip: Always be on the lookout for interesting advice you can take action on – even if it’s a different business, a different industry or someone who kind of annoys you. Learn, take, apply, discard what doesn’t work.
Always ask – what’s the action here? How can I apply that to my situation or my business?
It’s Your Turn
I’d love it if you’d share your day with me. Also – please comment below and tell me what’s the most important activity you spend time on in your business? How often and when do you do that activity?
I like how transparent this post is. Excellent!
Same here Erin. Thanks for sharing Anne!
Thanks Erin! It was hard to come up with the actual time blocks for work – I have found some easy ways to switch back and forth… but generally stick to one topic, one biz at a time.
Glad you liked… I know it’s helpful for me to get this info. I like reality ya know!?
Thanks for this post, Anne….the timing is PERFECT for me to read this!
I consider myself a ‘part-time’ entrepreneur, since I still have a day job.
However, I’m a veteran trainer/instructor in the Fitness industry and co-founder of two performance groups, in which I co-create evocative/interdisciplinary original evening length works. Since my last corporate layoff 4 years ago, I’ve been working a combination of freelance and part-time gigs to make ends meet (let alone develop/launch my own business).
Outside of my day-job, I spend my business development time (approx. 20 hrs/wk for the past 6 months and counting) devising/packaging my offer(s) for creativity & fitness consulting services, reading/learning about best practices for solopreneurs (currently reading Chris Guillebeau’s “The $100 StartUp”) and networking (i.e. subscribing to newsletters, blogs, forums, YouTube channels).
Speaking of networking, here’s a link to my Labor Day guest post on Terra Bohlmann’s blog, TheWorkingHouse.com (she invited me to guest post after I commented on one of her posts and we struck up an email convo).
In this post, I share my own insights about the shifting paradigm of “Work/Life Balance”. I’d love to hear your feedback!:
I look forward to more posts in your ‘behind-the-scenes’ series, Anne… thanks again for launching it! 🙂
Kimberly Houston says
Love this look “behind the curtain.” It’s refreshing to see someone willing to put it out there, honestly.
I think we all get caught up in that deadly “comparison-itis” thing from time to time. We see that this one over here ramped up to a 6-figure business in under a year, and that one over there crushed it with a healthy 5-figure launch her first time, and so on. But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll often find that these same people were slogging away at something else that *didn’t* work for a long time before they found the thing that did.
Instead I try to compare myself to myself — where I was 6 months or a year ago. When I do that I see massive improvements. : )
I love your transparency. It brightened my day!
For me, it helps to have a strong vision of what I am creating and to write it down in the present tense. When I go through the inevitable ups and downs or don’t see immediate results, I can feel firmly planted in my vision (like a seed that has been planted and just needs nurturing). That reminds me: I’m going to start reading my vision statement daily again. It really helps.
Catherine Just says
Love this post Anne. I really love your systems outline.
I really don’t have a daily schedule like this where I block out time for certain activities.
I know that when the babysitter is here, I have 4 hours to work or run errands or both.
I’m actually looking for more help so that I can have some 8 hour work days. I think that would help it feel less “all over the place”.
It’s true, I look up to people and think what they are doing appears easier for them than for me, or people look up to me and I think “really?” It baffles me. We are all on different paths with different circumstances so it’s really impossible to compare.
Some of us have children at home, and no time to dedicate to our business, others have day jobs and then there are others who don’t have either of those things and seem to have unlimited time to dedicate to their work, but we don’t really know what that looks like do we?
Thanks for sharing this Anne. Love the transparency and it inspires me to get my systems together.
Nikole Gipps says
I bow down in shame to your nice little work blocks during the day. 🙂
Tanya McGill Freeman says
Wow, just WOW! Thank you for the awesome post, Anne! I, too, appreciate your honesty & transparency. You rock. Love it!
My typical M-F day (only since you asked!) is something like this:
4am-ish: Wake up with a bang!
4a-5:45a: Work on MY business (not my day job but my start-up)
5:45a-6:45a: Get ready
6:45a: Leave for work (at least an hour commute, minimum)
8:15-5:30p-ish: Work at the station (my day gig is in TV. IF I take an hour break for “lunch,” it’s to work on MY business)
5:30p-7p: Commute home in horrible Atlanta traffic (BUT also get to listen to webinars & recordings so actually fairly tolerable!)
7p-7:45p: Dinner with my hubby & time with the puppy
8p-10p: Work more on my start-up.
There you have it. Are you sorry you asked?! Biggest challenge is finding enough time in the 24 hour day to actually get high-value stuff done…but I keep trying to remind myself it’s a marathon, not a sprint. And your guidance has helped me A LOT. Thank you, Anne!
Danielle diamond says
Great post Anne- love to see how people organize their day. I have my google calendar blocked and chimed to tell me what to do- my problem is listening to it! Lol
Trying to get better and restricting the social media which is the biggest distraction..
Thanks for the insight
I think the trick is definitely finding what works for you. I love the work I do with LKR and I love my own business – and want it to grow – so I do this to survive! Also – I never want to subtract or detract from the time I get to spend with my husband and daughter. They are why I do what I do – so if I were to ignore them and just work, how NOT fun would that be?
Thanks for stopping by!
Tanya – I think if I worked in an office, my day would look exactly like yours does! Holy moly… so you know what I deal with really – are you in production? What aspect of tv do you work in?
Thanks for sharing – and letting me peek into your world too!
Nikole – you always make me smile or snicker. LOL. I am not 100% perfect on the blocks – somedays I’m like,”to heck with blocks!”… but I always pay the price if I don’t stick to those. I make it a game – and yes because I was a nerdy McNerd in school – I act like they are my “classes”. 1st period is calculus – or LKR! LOL.
Catherine – I hear you on all your challenges.
I’m starting to think that this is all going to change next year – I don’t have my full day pre-school cushy schedule when Mila starts kindergarten. I’ll have a full afternoon block of Mila and puzzles. LOL. So – we’ll see how I do!
It’s tough – and the one thing I didn’t mention is this – I get migraines A LOT… I melt down in front of my husband a lot. I am not always a happy camper. You know that!
Thanks for taking the time — your precious time really — to support and leave me a comment!
Thank you so much – to know that I brightened your day in a small way – makes me so happy!
I love this…. it’s almost like a daily mantra – and I like starting my day like that too!
Maybe you can write an inspiration phrase in the FB group to keep all the Fearless Launchers focused on their vision!
You got it! I know what you mean. The one really interesting and great video i watched recently was Jeff Walker talking about his first launch, 2nd launch, 3rd launch… and how the numbers started small. It’s not like he walked in and said – hey yo I’m the launch master people! I loved when I heard him talk about that growth.
And I think it’s so important to talk about your results – because big or small – they matter. There’s always going to be someone who needs to hear what you’ve gone through to get them THERE.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Thanks for stopping by – I’ll check out your post for sure. I’m so glad you enjoyed this post…and really appreciate you sharing your FULL schedule right back to me!
Heather Thorkelson says
Loved this post Anne. Especially the part about hiring people to do stuff…even the little things. This is a move I MUST make in my business soon. Your transparency is super helpful to those of us still figuring our sh*t out. 🙂
Heather – my pleasure! I’m all about being real – and showing people the steps that don’t normally get talked about! It usually goes something like this – I had no subscribers and I was so sad to I have 5000 people on my list and I’m uber awesome! There’s a lot of exploration and great stuff that happens in between. And I’ll be sharing it all!
Niight Wind says
Wow, great post, so honest. To answer what is the most important thing I spend time on, I would have to say putting out brochures for my business, only half my business is online and I get an amazing turn around rate from brochures. Plus I get to talk to owners of Coffee Shops, Yoga Studios, Bookstores and the Public and let them know what I do at the same time. I’ve gotten asked to do talks from this and some great referrals. I am out putting up brochures in different places about once a week.
I love that you’ve identified what brings in a lot of return for your business and keep doing it! That’s great – plus you’re essentially surveying every single time you go to these businesses – PLUS you get past a hurdle many biz owners have of talking about what they do! Thank you so much for sharing.
Jamie DuBose says
Anne – I commend you on your willingness to be so transparent with your readers! I’m always looking for ways to improve daily work routines, and I really love the fact that you schedule chunks of time throughout your day, yet they don’t have to be huge 4 hour blocks!
Giving myself permission to be flexible with a daily work schedule is definitely one of the things I constantly have to remind myself to do, and after reading your post, I think it’s time for me to go make some tweaks!
Can’t wait to read the rest of the series! 🙂
Jamie – I know we’ve got a lot to talk about! I think uber systems people would be annoyed that I set systems that I can easily alter… they might think what’s the point of a system. Some days I say – you know what I need 2 hour blocks to get x done for LKR… or I need all day to spend on LKR and not so much on my own business. I look at both businesses as important to my overall vision so never really feel like I’m losing time when working on the other. Does that make sense?
I’ll be in touch soon Jamie – really can’t wait to chat!
Jamie DuBose says
Yes – that makes complete sense to me, and that’s what I have a tendency to do, too. Lord knows no two days are ever alike in my line of work! 🙂
Looking forward to it!
Love the sneak peek, Anne. Thanks.
I’m wondering how you do the subcontracting — where do you find folks to:
edit my sales pages, etc.
Are all those things done by 1 VA or do you hire per project when needed?
I find that we do it all ourselves — or not get it done sometimes — because we don’t know where to find help. We have web developer help and they can do a squeeze page or add more wordpress customization but I wouldn’t know where to look for someone to do the other stuff.
Particularly video work.
Thanks for any explanation and advice you can offer. Love your videos!
I do have someone on odesk.com that I work with regularly for web related work. For pdfs and even editing video – I have worked with a few different people on Fiverr.com. Transcription – There’s a separate person that does that – and not surprisingly, we use the same person for LKR transcripts. Tweets/Sales Pages and other writing related work – I have 2 copywriters that I go to – depending on who’s available!
The thing about video is that I was a film major, am used to doing most of the editing myself – and my husband does too because he also worked with me in film/tv/animation way back when.
But..simple video work – you can actually find people on Fiverr, odesk and even craigslist.
Send me a message with more details on what type of editing you need done and I’d be happy to point you in the right direction!
Heather Chauvin says
My days are very similar to yours and I agree very true about relationships. Nothing comes easy but when you love what you do, everyday is AWESOME!
Thank you for being you Anne, I love your openness.
Sue Bates says
My day is seeing clients, a lot, so it is slow for me to build online. BUT, I never give up either:) And this blog was really helpful, thanks
Michelle Rodriguez says
Wow, Anne, just when I think I’ve learned quite a bit from you, you’re like, but wait there’s more. And the more with lots of “for real” is why I appreciate you so much. Thanks for revealing that your success wasn’t overnight or over a Mai Tai on the beach. You took the time, learned…tested…learned some more…tested some more, until you found a rhythm that worked for your family and family income. Looking forward to the behind the scenes series you have lined up for us.
Your welcome – and thank you for stopping by!
Sue – awesome! Glad to hear it was helpful!
Kimberly Houston says
I know Jeff Walker’s story well – every year I watch his launch videos for PLF to learn as much as I can about launching, but haven’t bought his program to date. I too love his story about starting really small, and hey, look where he is now. : )
Another story I had in mind as I wrote my original comment was the Freshbooks story — those guys launched and 24 months later had only 10 paying customers and revenues of $99 per month. But they kept at it and now over 5 million people have used FreshBooks. Obviously their revenues have grown too. ; )
I think of that story often, and it always makes me feel pretty good about my own progress.
That’s a great example – I didn’t know that about Freshbooks.
Love it – thanks for sharing with us!
Thanks for being so honest. My day is not as productive as yours sounds. I think having a schedule like that might help me. Right now, nothing is done in a particular time frame. I get more done than I used to because I’ve implemented a non-overwhelming to do list system (yay systems!) but not nearly as much as I could. Some days I find myself wondering how I spent all those hours and only came away with one or two tiny accomplishments that day. I like the idea of scheduling blocks of time where you work on a certain type of tasks. And I think it would allow for brilliance if you put tasks in time slots that work for you, like more creative ones early in the morning if that is when you feel most inspired and excited. Now I’m getting all inspired! Thanks again, Erin!
Eep! Anne! I was looking at Erin’s name way up on the first comment… oh lord…. 😉
I thought that was funny lol… and maybe you were mentioning Erin because of her post above!
Thanks for your comment Laura – I’ve learned to get a lot done – when I say I’m going to – out of survival. The time blocks really does help. And for me – I just allow those blocks to be different, but I always work in a block. It’s the only way for me to stay focused for a big part of the day.
Tanya McGill Freeman says
Thx for your kind reply, Anne. You are SO amazing…responding to everyone’s post comments & the like. How do you do it?! 🙂 During the day I am the Sales Office Manager for the Atlanta ABC affiliate, so deal with lots of paperwork, not really any production. I do also do voiceovers for TV & our in-house radio stations but probably nothing very similar to what you did in production. Having your background in production helps explain how organized & knowledgable you are about every aspect of business. I love it!
Thx for sharing your wealth of knowledge with us. Was wondering (on a separate note): would you share who your person is at odesk that you mention frequently? I will need help in the future posting sales pages & I have heard you mention that this person was awesome on more than one occasion! She must be wonderful! Appreciate you SO much, Anne! And I adore Fearless Launching…awesome!
Can’t thank you enough for the bit about releasing our expectations about how fast our business will grow. The unbridled, passionate creative side of me can be impatient with the baby steps approach to building a solid foundation for a beautiful, abundant, joyful business. And that is my heart’s true intention!