Entrepreneurs – 5 Steps to Get Your Life Back

by Bria Leave a comment

Many of my business clients start with me in an exhausted state. They went into business excited about the concept and the freedom they envisioned. And instead, they ended up feeling worn out, stressed out, and frustrated.

The greatest joy for me is helping them regain their health and happiness.

If you are feeling unhappy and exhausted in your business, please consider these steps to help you regain your joy: (And if you don’t feel this way, count your blessings, and please pass this on to a friend who is feeling this way)

Step One: Come back to your vision.

When you started your business, you had a vision for what you wanted your life and business to look like.

Come back to that vision and write it out. Start with regular work hours, healthy vacation time, and ways you want to take care of yourself and your relationships. And then describe your ideal business- how your assistant/ team works with you, what you do each day, realistic salary and profits, etc.

We get where we want to be much faster when we are clear with where we want to be!

Step Two: Identify where you are off track.

Take 30 minutes, in quiet solitude, to assess what’s going well and what’s not going well. What is impeding your larger vision?

Is your assistant or team doing great work?

Are your systems clear and in writing?

Is your focus clear and do you delegate in areas that drain you, that you dislike, that you aren’t good at doing, or that you just don’t have time for?

Do you take enough time off to take good care of yourself and get your business off your mind?

Where else might you be off track?

Step Three: Assess what you need to let go of.

I include this step because getting to the next level in your business, and getting your life back, always requires “letting go” of something. Suffering occurs to teach us something.

What is the lesson to learn? What do you need to let go of?

Is it micromanaging employees? This doesn’t work because they feel stifled, unable to grow themselves, and often become terrified of making mistakes. And it piles on extra work, and extra stress, for you.

Is it expecting perfection from yourself or others? This doesn’t work because nobody is perfect. Unrealistic expectations creates anxiety and keeps everyone chronically frustrated.

Is it expecting people to remember their responsibilities when they are not in writing? Frustration often is a sign that something is misunderstood. The best way to avoid misunderstandings is to have job descriptions, communication systems, accountability measures, and pretty much everything that occurs in your business, in writing and available for all to see.

Or do you first need to let go of something else?

Step Four: Prioritize what you will tackle first.

Focusing on too many problems at once is paralyzing and impedes progress. Identify ONE obstacle and give yourself 2-3 months to tackle that one first.

Know that you are not alone. Overwhelm and exhaustion is the #1 problem I see in entrepreneurs.

Celebrate the completion of every baby step in the direction of your larger vision.

Step Five: Find compassion for yourself and ask for help if it’s needed.

Life is too darn short to stay stuck in misery. No business, truly, is worth that.

The ultimate goal here is to tackle the obstacles in a manageable, clear manner and to bring compassion and passion back into your life. Compassion includes good self-care and adequate time away from your business to live your values. The passion piece is restored when you get back to doing what you truly love in your business.

If this feels too overwhelming to do on your own, and it often does, please reach out to someone for help. You have worked hard and you deserve it.

Good luck!

Meditation for a Better Business and a Happier You

by Bria Leave a comment

In addition to a regular yoga practice, another way to center yourself, think clearer, and enjoy more energy, is through meditation.  Meditation is essentially quieting your mind, to the best of your ability, and focusing on your breath.  As thoughts come, the goal is to let them pass on by and shift your focus back to your breath.  It’s about taking a break from outward activity, cultivating stillness, and staying rooted in the present moment.  Some people prefer to meditate on a mantra, words of meaning, and some just focus on their breath. 

Dr. Andrew Weil, a world-renowned expert, says that even 10-15 minutes a day of meditation has a phenomenal impact on your ability to stay calm and centered. 

Whatever you choose, yoga, meditation, or some combination, make time for mindfulness and a connection to deeper wisdom.  You will become calmer.  You will become closer to your higher power.  You will quiet your soul and be able to hear its insight.  You become more at peace with yourself and the world around you.  Guidance appears.  Wisdom deepens.  You are able to see the truth.  As you can see, the benefits for your life and your business are enormous. 

Entrepreneurs- Remember to Track Your Results

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For optimal results, track how well your business is delivering an experience at each step. 

Once the customer care and daily operation systems are in place, you or a team member needs to monitor them.  Are you and your team consistently doing what you’ve set out to do with your systems?  Unfortunately, if systems aren’t monitored, they often fall back to human variability and the consistency is lost.  Once you’ve lost consistency, you’ve lost your key to bringing customers back again and again. 

The thing is- to keep customers coming back for more- certain things must happen in a certain way every time for people to feel like they are getting the best possible experience and for them to trust that they will get that same optimal experience the next time.  Your attention needs to be focused on creating and monitoring the systems to produce that outcome. 

Entrepreneurs – 5 Keys to An Exit Strategy That Works

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Whether you want to pass on your business to a family member, sell it to an individual, or sell it to another company- keep these 5 strategies in mind as you grow your business:

Key #1- Create Your Operations Manual.  Develop your  Operation Manual that describes all the processes and systems in your business.  Think about new potential customer systems, client care systems, daily operations, and team communication- to name a few.  With an Operations Manual in place, you are able to run a much more efficient, effective business and it is much easier for a future buyer to replicate and improve upon your company if you have an up-to-date Operations Manual.  It is often the difference between a chaotic, unorganized business and one that runs like a well-oiled machine.

Key #2 – Document increased profits each year.  If you don’t have a book-keeper who documents your income, expenses, and profits, hire one.  If your profits are minimal, work with a business coach to determine what needs to change.  A better team? Improved low-cost marketing strategies? Better systems? More incentive-based pay for your team?  Creative ways to lower your expenses? And so on. 

Key #3 – Maintain a happy, highly productive team.  Even if your entire team is one assistant, s/he needs to be very good at what she does and enjoy doing it.   Be sure to give a clear description of your expectations for each employee/contractor.  If a team member is not doing an excellent job, work to help them improve and fire them if they don’t.  You can’t afford the multiple negative effects of a dysfunctional or unproductive team.  And your business will be much more attractive to a prospective buyer when it is supported with an awesome team.

Key #4 – Be prepared to demonstrate growth potential.  Prospective buyers want to know that your business has excellent potential for growth.  Does your business have “horizontal scalability”- the ability to sell more products or services to your existing customer base?  Does it have “vertical scalability”?  Can you add a lot more customers without adding much to your costs?  How is its “geographic scalability”? Can it work in another location or a different city?  Think through the various measures and ways that you can increase the scalability of your business.

Key #5 – Don’t wait until after the sale to live life on your own terms!  Are you exhausting yourself with your work? You are not alone.  It’s the #1 complaint I hear from entrepreneurs.  Thinking of the good life after your business ends?  Stop that!  Ditch the archaic belief that long hours creates a better business.  Efficiency and productivity is what creates a better business.  With the right focus,  effective systems, and an excellent team, you can enjoy a profitable, efficient business without the long hours. 

And let’s face it…life is short.  The relationships you care about are the one you have now and the memories you will have later are the memories you make now.  So don’t put it off any longer, develop the efficiency you need in your business to enjoy the life you want now!

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