Word of Wisdom

5_27_14 WOW“we find freedom in our brokenness”

– Larry Broughton

 

FLASHPOINTS: Turn Your Weakness Into a Motivator!

BAG Screen shot 052714Our weakness can improve our strengths, if we use it in the right way.

Ah, the shellacking we give ourselves for procrastination. Those times when we give in to weakness and wasted precious time. It’s Facebook, Twitter, or the latest gaming forums or business blogs … whatever thief we allow to steal our time. How can we actually take advantage of this weakness? By turning it into a reward system! We can treat ourselves to engaging in this activity when we’ve completed a certain portion of our to-do list. Take an unpleasant task that cannot be deferred, give it your full attention for a solid hour, then reward yourself with the guilty pleasure of 15 minutes of procrastination! Giving ourselves permission to indulge can work to our advantage if we use it judiciously. How can you turn your weakness into a motivator?

 

Words Of Wisdom

5_20_14 WOW“life may not have meaning, but who we are and who we become does.”

– Larry Broughton

 

FLASHPOINTS: Good For the Goose?

BAG Screen shot 052014What’s good for the goose may NOT be good for the gander.

In life, everything is relative to our personal goals and experiences … a small expense for some might be totally extravagant for others. Except it really isn’t about the expense—it’s about the value of the resulting experience. The same is true when taking action to achieve our goals. What might be bold and reckless for some might be baby steps for others. The resulting experience that the action can produce, how deep the desire is and the potential value gained are what will drive us forward, no matter how much our ego gets battered and bloodied. One thing’s for sure: if what drives us to take daily action is something worth fighting for, the fight becomes much easier. Can you articulate the value of what you’re fighting for?

Are You an Entrepreneur or a Wantrepreneur?

As we travel around the country speaking at business conference & entrepreneur gatherings, we run into a lot of people who are in love with the idea of running their own business.  They relish the idea of freedom, making their own schedule and doing something that they truly love.  Unfortunately, many of these people are what we term “wantrepreneurs” – since they aren’t ready for all the long hours and hard work that goes into running your own business.

So which are you…entrepreneur or wantrepreneur?  Here are a few ways to find out:

Failure Won’t Derail Entrepreneurs: Most start-ups and small businesses will suffer failures and setbacks along the way…it’s just part of the learning process.  Wantrepreneurs allow themselves to be knocked off course (and stay there) by the first couple of obstacles they encounter.  Entrepreneurs don’t get paralyzed by failure (or the possibility of failure), learn from their mistakes, take course corrective action and keep moving forward.

Entrepreneurs Pursue Excellence, Not Perfection: Wantrepreneurs are fascinated with perfection and can’t seem to move forward until their website, brochure, or sales presentation is perfect.  Entrepreneurs understand that “done is better than perfect”, since they understand that “perfect” is a myth on the modern business battlefield.  By seeking excellence and continually improving your product or service, you will achieve enduring success.

Entrepreneurs Don’t Get Complacent: Assuming a Wantrepreneur survives the business start-up phase, they often allow their business to stagnate once they get comfortable.  Entrepreneurs follow the Boy Scout motto…”Be Prepared!”  They realize that today’s innovative product or service may be tomorrow’s old news, so they are ready for changing market conditions, new innovations and alternative applications for what they offer.

For more information on getting the most out of your “work climate survey”, be sure to listen to this Virtual Jam Session replay.

In the Media

Hey, Vetrepreneurs and Veteran Business Owners! What are you doing on Monday, May 19th? Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti will be introducing me for the keynote at this event.

Mayor Garcetti's Vet Business Summit (5.19.14) (1)

 

 

Words Of Wisdom

5_13_14 WOW“leaders are defined by the achievements of their teams, not the details of their daily to-do list.”

– Larry Broughton 

 

Effective Time Management When You LOVE Your Business

Many entrepreneurs absolutely love their business and end up spending most of their waking hours working on their business, working in their business and talking about their business!  While this is great on some levels, it can also strain – or even break – important relationships with friends and family.  Ironically, many entrepreneurs got into business in the first place to create more freedom for these important relationships.

So, how do you solve this dilemma?

Here are a couple of thoughts on balancing life with your business:

  1. Embrace Productivity Enhancers: One way to create more “time” is to get more done during work time.  Here are some tips we use:
    • Use Multiple Computer Monitors: This is a huge time saver. The amount time lost each year by most single monitor users in open, closing and switching windows is at least one full workweek. Using 2 or 3 screens is a big productivity booster. A great app to turn your tablet into another screen for your laptop is Air Display: ($9.99)
    • Only Return Phone Calls/E-mails 2-3 Times per Day: Another big productivity booster is turning off your e-mail/message notification on your computer and PDA and returning calls/e-mails at specific times each day. For example, you could return these between 11 am – 12 noon and 3 pm – 4 pm each day. When you are focusing on a task, each interruption costs you 10-15 minutes of productivity time
  1. Only Work on Tasks Aligned with Your Strengths: Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should!  Many entrepreneurs waste enormous amounts of time on marginal tasks instead of outsourcing, delegating or deleting them because they either don’t have the right team or they aren’t using that team properly.  Don’t fall into this trap.
  1. Schedule a “Digital Detox”: To achieve enduring success as an entrepreneur, you must schedule downtime.  One of our colleagues, who is a very successful 7-figure entrepreneur is fond of saying “the less I work, the more money I make.”  Regularly taking time away from your business by completely unplugging (no iPhone, Blackberry, or e-mail) is crucial.  Letting the constant buzz or “white noise” of business subside actually improves your ability to think strategically, as it allows your subconscious mind space and time to operate.  Combining these strategic timeouts while spending time with family, friends and other important relationships is a powerful 1-2 punch.  We recommend starting with one afternoon a week as soon as possible and expanding from there.  Ultimately, you should aim for taking 1-2 weeks (or more) away from your business!

 

For more information on effective time management when you LOVE your business, be sure to listen to the August 2012 Virtual Jam Session replay.

Must Haves for Mompreneuers (and any start-up, for that matter).

Being a small business owner is both rewarding and challenging. It can be a balancing act between work and family. It can also be a financial challenge.

Here’s a list of top tools to consider for launching your small business or entrepreneurial start-up:

  1. Daycare or family care. Too often we postpone business success because we simply can’t juggle all our responsibilities.  The truth is we need to make a commitment to get help with caring for children, and perhaps enlisting the help of a part time housekeeper to do laundry and dusting, or an assistant to run errands so that we can get a few hours a day to focus on our business.  It’ll take some sacrifice, but it’s time to treat your business like a business, not a hobby.
  2. Ringcentral.com; Phonetag.com; Grasshopper.com.  Get a dedicated phone line and answering services/voicemail for your business use.  If a potential client calls at 6pm, better it goes to your automated phone attendant and voicemail than to hear dinner dishes clanging and dogs barking because you thought it was your mother-in-law calling.
  3. Dedicated workspace.  Even if it’s a corner in the garage, basement or tool shed behind the house, create a workspace that is yours.  Keep it organized and make it inspiring.  You’ll be more productive and feel a greater sense of accomplishment when you tell yourself you’re going to your office, than sitting at the kitchen table among the dirty dishes.
  4. HARO. If you can’t afford a publicist or public relations firm, Helpareporter.com is a must have for any business start-up. Subscribers receive a dozen, or more, queries each day about possible media opportunities. It’s free and it just takes a few minutes to see if a query is a good match for your business.
  5. Supportive spouse/significant-other.  Do we really need to go in to detail with this?
  6. Smart phone.  You’ll need to juggle web browsing, email, and calendars anywhere and at anytime.  iPhone, Blackberry, Android, and other smart phones will multiply your productivity and actually provide some freedom away from the home office.
  7. A good accountant.  Get one right away!  Don’t get trapped into thinking your can do it yourself.  They can offer insight and savings to areas you had no idea existed. A good accountant will make you money in the form of savings and avoiding costly mistakes. They’ll also lend credibility as you can refer to them as part of your team.
  8. Social networks.  Build your brand (whether that’s you or your business) on platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Consumers and clients want to have a connection to the companies they buy from.

 

Words of Wisdom

5_6_14 WOW“how long will you allow unforgiveness  to hold you hostage? find forgiveness, find freedom.”

– Larry Broughton