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Business Wisdom from Cows

by Bria Leave a comment

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”  -Eleanor Roosevelt

Learning from others is a key to success.  And today I’d like to write about learning from cows.  Yes, that is correct.  Cows.

The New York Times featured an article “Where Cows Are Happy and Food is Healthy”.  Not surprisingly, research shows that when cows are free to roam in a field (as opposed to being confined to dairy barns) they not only produce more milk- they live longer.  In other words, when cows are in an environment that makes them happy, they live healthier lives and are more effective and efficient in their business of producing milk.

How does this relate to YOU?  Well, the same principle applies.  When you are happy in your work, you will be healthier, more efficient and more effective in your productivity.  Your business runs better, is more profitable, and yes, I dare say that you are likely to live longer. 

When you are not doing what makes you happy in your work, you become chronically stressed.  You are tired.  The impact of chronic stress and fatigue on your health and on your business is too long to discuss here.  Suffice it to say, when you are not happy in your daily work life, your health and your business suffers.

 So how do you make yourself happier and more productive in your business?

Follow these tips:

  • Spend at least 80% of your time in your Unique Abilities. This is the intersection of what you love to do and what you are good at doing.  Aim to get to 100% if at all possible.
  • Delegate everything that you are not good at doing and everything that you do not enjoy.
  • Have an assistant schedule your appointments and manage your calendar. Give him/her open times for your clients, for meetings, and so on.  Your time is better spent in your Unique Abilities than in the back and forth of scheduling.
  • Don’t be fooled by areas in your business that you are good at doing but do not enjoy. Spending 10-20% of your time here is okay.  More than that will wear you down and diminish both your happiness and the effectiveness of your business.

If you follow these tips, you will see your focus, your happiness, and the efficiency and effectiveness of your business improve.  A big thank you to our friends, the cows in this world, for illuminating these points.

Entrepreneurs-Slow Down to See the Puzzle Pieces

by Bria Leave a comment

In order for a business to run like a well-oiled machine, you need to understand that all areas of the business need to work together.  Creating systems will help you realize big results in increased efficiency, more profits, increased customer/client satisfaction, and retention, just to name a few.   Here are some core areas that would be helpful to have a system for: 

  • Daily Operations 
  • Team Development 
  • Client Care/Customer Service (including follow-up) 
  • Marketing 
  • Work-Life Balance 

To learn more strategies to improve and streamline your business, check out the rest of my blog..

 

3 Simple Strategies to Make Your Business More Efficient

by Bria Leave a comment

With all the talk in politics these days about how to make our government more efficient, let’s talk about how to make your small business more efficient.  After working with and teaching hundreds of entrepreneurs, here are 3 simple strategies that I’ve found to be essential for a more efficient business.

  • Strategy #1- Keep your meetings short with a well-defined focus. Efficient communication within a business is imperative.  However, it’s alarming how much time is wasted in long, tedious, disorganized meetings. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather poke my eyes out than sit in one of those.  Limit meetings to only those that are absolutely necessary.  They should have a clear agenda and a leader who keeps the group focused on the agenda.  Approximately once a week, have “team check-in meetings”.  This is a time for your team to have 5 minutes to bring questions to the table, offer strategies for improvement, and receive feedback.  Again, short, sweet and focused!
  • Strategy #2- Reward results, not hours. In our culture, it’s easy to believe that longer hours equal better results.  Not true.  Better results equal better results!  If you focus financial rewards and other benefits on the results produced, rather than the time put in, you are encouraging exactly what you want- efficiency and optimal results.  Sounds simple, but is so often overlooked.
  • Strategy #3- Ensure that everyone is working in their “Unique Abilities”. Unique Abilities are that intersection of what you love to do and what your are good at doing.  The fastest path to profits and efficiency is to ensure that everyone in your business is working in their Unique Abilities.  If they are not, do not hesitate to move them to a position that is a better fit.  In some instances, you will have to let people go because there is not a place in your business for them to shine.  Although this is difficult, you can find solace knowing that they will be happier, more productive, more energized individuals when they find a job where they are working in their Unique Abilities.

 

Follow these 3 simple strategies and you will create a more efficient, more effective, more profitable business.

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!

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