Your Community is Vital to Your Success

Your Community is Vital to Your Success

 

Being well-connected to your community is vital to your business’ success. And I’m not just talking about your community of customers and followers – I’m talking about the actual city or town that you live in.

 

In business, it’s not just what you know but who you know. A good friend of mine has invested herself in building a brand behind her name. She has become quite a bit of a digital nomad, however, if you walk into our town everyone knows of her. If they don’t physically know her they can at least recognize her from her presence in the community and social media.

 

Her visibility in the community gains her the social proof to be seen as an authority. People go to her first because they see her and associate her with success for their programs and events. Her name has become synonymous with connectedness.

 

Being known and having her reputation enter the room before she does lowers people’s concern about working with her, it also builds know, like, and trust factors! This is how you draw people to what you are doing authentically and without having to be salesy.

 

Interested in seeing the same results yourself? Here’s how you can build relationships in your community.

 

How to Build Relationships in Your Community

Engaging with your community isn’t just about building your brand and reputation, although it will do that. It’s about having an authentic focus on being involved and caring about the people in your city or town.

 

Be a Partner or a Sponsor

A great way to build community relations is by being a partner or a sponsor in an academic or charity setting.

 

What ways can your business connect with a local school or university to hold events or offer internships? Can your company offer scholarships as part of a community-wide contest? What other organizations can you partner with?

 

You can also look for charity events to sponsor or partner with. If your company has a focus on helping children with a fun run related to schooling or children’s health would be a great sponsorship.

 

Fun and Games

Consider having your organization put up a team for a local softball, basketball, or bowling league. Or, look for volleyball leagues, billiards leagues, or bean bag tournaments. Not only will your employees enjoy bonding outside of work, but your business will be a participant in community events.

 

Whether your company’s team wins or loses is far less important than the fact that your company is involved in the community in a playful, fun way. You don’t always have to be selling or building your brand – sometimes it pays to just relax!

 

Volunteering

Encouraging individual employees to volunteer in their spare time is great, but why not take the next step and bring together a group from your company to give back to your city? You can even allow people to volunteer for part of their paid hours each month.

 

There are a ton of different ways to volunteer as a group, including Habitat for Humanity, helping at food banks, cleaning up the sides of the road, and more. Get creative and make a difference!

 

Why Your Community Matters to Your Business

Your company doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Being connected to your community has been a fundamental part of the health of a business for decades.

 

Being well-connected to your community not only builds goodwill and brings in customers, it helps you attract the top talent from your area. Your company will be a desirable place to work, and you’ll be able to retain your best workers more easily.

 

Community connections also help you win major business accounts. Why not be the supplier of choice for the industries in your area? Why not show your commitment to relationships and social responsibility and reap the rewards of being a good neighbor?

 

When you take the time and energy to build real, long-term, valuable relationships within your community, you’ll strengthen more than your market position. You’ll also build morale among your staff, become a desirable place to work and reap the intangible rewards of giving back in ways that matter.

 

Are you ready for valuable relationships in your business? Have you been asking how do I get to the next level, and break through the noise?

 

Join us in person Wednesdays 9:30-11am or you can join the Facebook community here.

 

Gain Visibility Using Online Video

So we’ve all heard that people now have the attention span of a goldfish and it’s hard to gain attention and visibility. There’s so much going on online that many times your message gets lost in the noise.

 

Fortunately, there’s still a way to stand out.

 

And that way is through video.

 

Not just any video, mind you – but video of you, talking, relating, and getting to know your audience.

 

It may seem scary to get in front of a camera, but it’s unavoidable if you want visibility online. Here are several different platforms you can use, and how to choose what’s best for your business.

1 – 30 Minute Videos

You can create any length of video you want, but research shows that there are two “sweet spots” in length: up to 2 minutes, and 6 to 12 minutes.

 

For videos two minutes or more, you’ll need a standard video platform (micro videos are shorter, I’ll talk about those in a minute.)

Option 1: YouTube

YouTube, owned and therefore beloved by Google, is a great place to put a video that you want to have appeared in search results. It’s also an incredibly active platform and serves as the second-largest search engine after Google.

 

  • Key Demographic: In an average month, 80% of 18 – 49-year-olds watch YouTube.
  • Best Ways to Use YouTube for Business:
    • Create a channel that matches your branding.
    • Use keywords to target your audience (search is a big deal).
    • Be consistent in creating valuable, interesting content.
    • Don’t forget calls to action – tell folks what you want them to do!
    • Promote your videos on multiple platforms.
    • Respond to feedback to keep interaction strong.

Option 2: Periscope

While Periscope seems forgotten in favor Facebook Live (more on that one in a second), it’s still alive and kicking. Based on Twitter, it takes advantage of more professional relationships rather than just friends and family.

 

  • Key Demographic: 75% of users are between the ages 16 – 34. You can use hashtags to attract audiences with specific interests.
  • Best Ways to Use Periscope for Business
    • If your customers are active on Twitter, Periscope is a great way to build visibility by sharing that you are live.
    • Use your scope to add real value, not just ride hype.
    • Choose the best time – research to find out when your audience is most likely to be on Twitter to watch your broadcast.
    • Keep it under 10 minutes, as viewers tend to drop off after that.
    • Use hashtags to extend your visibility and reach.

Option 3: Facebook Live

Facebook Live takes advantage of both the massive popularity of live stream video and Facebook’s huge user base. The lack of ability to target your video to a specific audience is a major drawback of this platform. While it may seem “obvious” that Live is better than Periscope, it actually depends on where your paying audience spends time. Also, you’ll have less competition on Periscope than on Facebook live.

 

  • Key Demographic: This one is tricky – you’ll only be seen by folks who are friends and followers on Facebook. You can go live in specific Facebook groups if it’s allowed by the moderators.
  • Best Ways to Use Facebook Live for Business:
    • To get more viewers, you can try to attract more followers, and you can share your video post-broadcast with a larger group.
    • Use keywords in your title to attract folks who are browsing in the Facebook Live tab and aren’t yet your followers.
    • Announce your upcoming live stream in advance, so followers who are interested can plan to attend.
    • Be consistent in broadcasting. The more consistent you are, the more of an audience you’ll build.
    • Be focused. Have a topic ready that you want to discuss, don’t just talk aimlessly.
    • Communicate with viewers and respond to comments live to encourage interaction.
    • Use Facebook Live in a group or on your page, wherever you have more followers.

Micro Videos – Up to 1 Minute

Micro videos are very short, up to one minute. There are two primary platforms where these can be useful – Snapchat and Instagram.

Option 1: Snapchat

Snapchat videos can be up to a whopping 10 seconds long. That doesn’t seem long enough to say much of value, but you’d be surprised. You can use both video and pictures to build buzz, share tips, and more.

 

  • Key Demographic. Very young. 60% of Snapchat users are 13 – 24, and only 14% are 35+. There are more females than males. This is a great way to reach younger customers.
  • Best Ways to Use Snapchat for Business:
    • Show your customers a shot or video of what goes on behind the scenes at your business.
    • Share discount codes or special announcements specifically for your Snapchat followers.
    • Feature your followers.
    • Demo your product or share a key feature of your services.
    • Work with an influencer who has a similar base to cross-promote.
    • Address relevant issues in an authentic way that resonates with those under 25.
    • Use Snapchats short snap lifespan to promote limited time only events.

Option 2: Instagram

Instagram is a great place to build relationships – don’t expect to gain traction if you just want to talk about and promote yourself. Instagram’s video feature allows you to post videos up to 60 seconds in length. There are tons of ways to capitalize on this popular platform’s video sharing.

 

  • Key Demographic: Young and international. 80% of Instagrammers are from outside the US, and 90% of users are under age 35.
  • Best Ways to Use Instagram for Business:
    • Hashtags! Use five to ten hashtags per post, and put them in the first comment rather than on the post itself to avoid detracting from the image.
    • Show what you do in a creative way. Instagram is an incredibly image-focused platform.
    • Use Instagram Stories, which combine images and video and are live for 24 hours.
    • Show behind-the-scenes shots, similar to Snapchat
    • Collaborate and @mention others. Instagram is about relationships more than demos and selling.
    • Build anticipation for an announcement or launch by giving small tidbits of info at a time.

 

Of course, all of this assumes you focus on basic marketing best practices: focus on your audience, not yourself; focus on the benefits and outcomes you create for others before mentioning a specific product or service, and honestly care about what others are sharing and doing as well!

 

How do you use video to create visibility online? Share in the comments!

Now What? Finding Purpose as a Millennial

Now What? Finding Purpose as a Millennial

Now What? Finding Purpose as a Millennial

 

There are certain times in life when we find ourselves at a “Now what?” moment. Right after you graduate high school, right after you graduate college, and right after you find your first job are common times to ask yourself, “What is the point of this?”

 

In order to be successful and thrive, it’s essential to find a sense of purpose for your life. It can be a large, overarching life goal, or it can be a focus for this particular season of your life.

 

To find this sense of purpose and focus, however, you have to know what skills and passions you have. When you work within these strengths, you’ll find the most joy.

What Skills and Passions Matter?

As we move through life we learn how to do a lot of things. We learn to read, we learn to type, we learn – and then forget – how to use quadratic equations.

 

Those are not the skills and talents I’m talking about. I’m talking about identity-based skills and passions, things you are naturally good at that you can develop and leverage into work that makes you both successful and fulfilled.

 

One of my clients, for instance, found that her top strengths were:

  • Futuristic Thinking. She loves to plan for the future and big visions and dreams drive her forward.
  • She always wants to take action and implement the next step.
  • She loves to give praise, smile, and brighten others’ days. She also expects good results in her life.
  • Problem Solving. She is an incredible problem-solver. She thinks of every situation in terms of how it can be made better.
  • She’s a competitive person and loves knowing that she’s rising to the top of the group.

 

As you can see, these strengths can be used in a variety of ways, but this client will be unhappy if she’s in an inactive role, around negative people, unable to make a difference in her situation, and unable to plan for the future.

How to Discover Your Strengths

There are a lot of tools that help you discover your strengths and passions. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Self-Reflection

Taking some time to journal and reflect on times you’ve felt very happy and fulfilled. What did those situations have in common? What did you do to create them? This will give you a lot of insight into your passions and strengths. Some are near the surface, and some take some digging to find, but it’s worth the effort.

Asking Others

It’s very common for those close to us to be able to see more of our strengths than we do, especially if we’re self-critical. Ask supportive close friends and family what they see ask key strengths in your life. Also take note of what others are always asking your advice about. It’s likely to reveal a key expertise you haven’t thought of.

Strength-Finding Tools

One of my favorite tools to use in helping my clients identify strengths is the CliftonStrengths Finder. It uses a detailed survey to measure your strengths in 34 areas, giving you a top five that you can focus on. If you purchase the extended results, you can also see which areas you are weakest in. Knowing your weaknesses can help you choose business partners, friends, and more that compliment you and help you grow.

Coaching

A good coach can ask you questions and help you explore your life in ways that uncover strengths you never thought you had. Having an impartial outside person help you discover strengths and passions may be just what you need to get on the road to success!

Making the Most of Talents and Passions

Once you have discovered what your talents and passions are, the next step is to apply them in ways that help you live a purposeful and successful life.

 

Because talents and passions are often general and can be applied in many ways, you may need help. A qualified coach can help you find ways to move your life closer to what your talents reveal would make you happiest.

 

It doesn’t matter where you’re starting now, what matters is where your focus is. There are always ways to take steps toward your dreams. Let me help you find them!

 

In my work,  I’ve helped clients change careers, increase their income, make money from passions they assumed would always be hobbies, and more. Contact me today at info@plantosucceed.net for a free consultation to take the first step toward your own dreams!

This Isn’t Working Anymore!

This Isn’t Working Anymore!

I am exhausted! This isn’t working anymore! I work all the time and can’t catch a break. If only I could land my dream client… If only my family support the hard work that I do… If only I had a chance to slow down a bit. If only I knew exactly what the right answer was, I’d just do that!

Does this sound like something you’ve said lately? Maybe you’ve only thought it? Being an entrepreneur can be one of the most rewarding jobs. And it can be one of the most lonely.

Next to money problems; feelings of isolation, burnout, and indecisiveness on where to take the company can be overwhelming. With so many entrepreneurs struggling with direction in their businesses how do you beat the slump?

I took your advice here and what has worked for my personal 1-on-1 coaching clients and here is the top advice I have compiled from you to you!

Real Work Connection

Overwhelmingly the response was having an authentic connection to a business best friend took some of the pressure off. Get up close and personal with an individual or a mastermind group that will push you to grow your business and tell you when you need to slow down. Having like-minded individuals around will increase your ability and function in your business because we all know,

“You become like the 5 people you spend the most time with!”

So spend your time well!

Having a business friend or a mastermind group to work with to keep you growing your businesses and not just working in your business carries a value that grows exponentially. As vulnerable as you are the greater the potential for growth.

Mindfulness and Relaxation

The next response I have from your peers was mindfulness and relaxation. Being able to unplug from your business to be fully present with your family and friends increases the personal connection. It allows you to be fully present with the ones you love the most and support you while you take on the market you are a part of.

One of my clients advised that until he took the time to slow down with his family he found it harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning to work in his business. By cutting out the quality time he had with his family he had lost sight of the “why” he had started his business in the first place. He originally wanted the flexibility to go to family events, coach his son’s baseball team and have a regular date night with his wife.

While he was building his business he struggled to set the boundaries necessary with clients to protect his why. Until he focused on mindfulness to deal with the stress he had completely lost touch with what originally charged him up to accomplish great things in his business.

He took the time to make the necessary changes and unfortunately lost a couple of clients but the quality of his work grew. Most importantly his family got their husband and father back!

These traits of leaders make all the difference in growing your company in a personally sustainable way. 

Take the opportunity to grow your relationships with peer businesses and share this article! Comment below your favorite Mindfulness technique or relaxation activity!

 

 

 

 

Banish Burnout

Banish Burnout

With the Holidays behind us and the New Year stretching out seemingly endless, it can be overwhelming to get back into action. Don’t worry if you are feeling burnout, stressed and the struggles of a drained bank account.

I have had several clients reaching out to me asking, “How do I create a plan for 2017 when I’m already so tired? Where do I go from here?”

First, I feel you! I have had many years where I spent in a dead sprint from Nov 1 until it seemed like the end of January. This year was the first year I had the holidays off since high school. (ahem, no comments about my age!)I was in a rut where I wasn’t able to enjoy the holiday season, let alone my family. It took me until the third holiday season in my business to take the time off to be with my family.

How did I banish my holiday burnout?

Mindfulness. Now a lot of people talk about mindfulness but how do you DO THAT? When I’m talking about mindfulness its a combination of focus and intentionality. One way you build mindfulness or stress into your life is the story you have in your head while activities are happening.

One of my clients (really all of them) is brilliant! But she so easily sweeps that aside, especially in her business. We know being an entrepreneur is wonderful, however, it rarely has all peaks without the valleys. One bump happens and she forgets she is a poised, intelligent, capable business woman. Not just her but sometimes as owners, we become crisis driven.

Take the time to be mindful each day and as often throughout the day as possible.

When you are in a situation, what you say to yourself in your head around the situation creates a tie in your brain. For instance, when you are looking around and your house is much messier than you would love for it to be day to day think about what you say to yourself.

Do you use phrases like, “I can’t believe I live in this filth! I’m/ this is disgusting. I should be better, more organized…” or any other accusatory speech? These words and phrases build and reinforce the story that you are a failure. You will begin to have an emotional response based on the story you have been hearing in your head.

One way you can be mindful in situations where your house doesn’t look perfect is to practice gratitude.

Look for 3 things for which you are grateful. For example, I’m grateful for the blanket strewn across the couch because it symbolizes quality time with my family.

Being mindful of the benefits and consequences of having a family, love, community or connection often look messy. It can look like dishes, or crumbs on the floor, groceries to put away, laundry that needs to be done.

In a work setting, this is reflected in having new challenges. You can be upset about challenges popping up or having new places to overcome. That is one way to view business flow.

Another way you can spin the story in your head is being grateful to have new challenges, that they symbolize growth, expansion, a healthy company.

I was speaking with a client in one of my mastermind groups and they informed me they were not getting the sales they wanted and couldn’t understand why. They had made a post on Facebook about selling a product in their new business one time.

That’s the equivalent of shouting from your porch, “I started a business!”

and never following up. We spoke a little about managing expectations and the story they had in their head about what people thought.

As humans, we still don’t read minds but we like to make up what others think. Staying open, and vulnerable, to give people the benefit of being personally invited into our story builds a connection to the business. We worked on being open to giving people the benefit of the doubt, that maybe the customers were distracted or hadn’t seen the post.

In that case, it would be a disservice to not repeat the message about the product.

My client was able to move from stressed and overwhelmed to hopeful and open to sharing the product they offered and get back out there!

When we look at these stories we are being intentional with our focus and the conclusions we draw from actions and reactions to ourselves.

We choose every day the connections we make from all of the data streaming into our lives.

When you tell the data where to go and how to connect we respond intentionally. When the data has us running scared, running stressed we are reacting in the moment to a temporary position as a permanent issue.

I challenge you to start paying attention to what you say to yourself about what’s going on!

If you are looking to Up-Level Your Mindset We have a free 5-day challenge to help you Banish burnout, Gain Clarity and Build Momentum to have your best year yet in 2017!

Email info@plantosucceed.net or click on Up-level your Mindset.

 

 

Five Myths of Entrepreneurial Success

Five Myths of Entrepreneurial Success

 

As Millennials become more and more of the workforce, entrepreneurship is surging in popularity. The millennial generation favors independence and meaning in their work, and don’t see becoming a senior executive as the apex of their careers.

 

It’s no surprise, then, that 67% of millennials have a goal of starting their own business. Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but you get to shape the company and set the vision yourself. That, along with incredible flexibility and purpose, makes entrepreneurship ideal for young adults.

 

There are, however, a lot of unfortunate myths surrounding entrepreneurial success. Believing these myths can hold you back from creating the impact you intended to make. Before you set out on your entrepreneurial adventure, make sure you don’t believe these five myths.

 

Myth #1:  You Can Never Quit

Many entrepreneurs go into business with a “burn the ships” mentality – that is, they cut off all opportunity to change course, and feel like they have to stick with their idea no matter what happens.

 

Unfortunately, this can lead to dismal results. Sticking with an idea that doesn’t have a good fit with the market is one of the primary reasons businesses fail. It’s vital to be willing to pivot or even abandon a product or service if it’s not something that other people want to pay for.

 

If you can’t sell your product or service, you are digging a financial hole and not making any progress, or your business is ruining your personal life, quitting could be the best decision you’ve ever made.

 

Myth #2: You Can Be Prepared for Everything

The Boy Scout motto, “Be Prepared”, is also an important mantra among entrepreneurs. Planning for how you will handle challenges (distributor falls through? Less demand than expected? Turned down for financing?) is an important part of being successful as an entrepreneur.

 

You should also have some plans for success – how you’ll handle production for a big jump in demand, making sure your servers are strong enough for a surge in website traffic, and more. However, don’t think for a minute that you can be prepared for everything. Being adaptable and able to adjust to changing circumstances is essential to entrepreneurial success.

 

Trying to be too prepared can be a delay tactic – a way to prevent yourself from taking action on something that scares you. Don’t hold back – over-planning won’t help you, it will just make you more frustrated if things don’t go the way you expect. Instead, take reasonable precautions and be prepared for change. For more information here Read.

 

Myth #3: If You Build It, They Will Come

Having a great idea is the seed of entrepreneurship. But it’s only the seed – there’s a lot you have to do to nurture it and encourage it to grow. Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs assume that if they build their good idea, the world will flock to their door.

 

Many business owners think they can spread their idea simply by posting on Facebook or Instagram. While that’s a start, being active on social media isn’t enough. You have to market yourself in a way that stands out. Consumers have a huge number of options in every category, and all of the information is at their fingertips thanks to the internet.

 

Instead of practicing “random acts of marketing”, create a marketing plan that allows you to systematically build awareness about your company, move people through your sales funnel, and gain customers on a regular basis.

 

Myth #4: Winners Don’t Work

There is a certain segment of entrepreneurs who are looking for a “silver bullet” that will allow them to make large amounts of money without working very hard. I see it all the time in Facebook ads, where gurus claim to be ready to show you how to “earn six figures while working 10 hours a week”.

 

First, let me tell you that the only way they’re earning six figures – if they even are – is by selling the idea of “no work” to others. Secondly, the idea that winners don’t work – or that they only work for a few years and then sit on their laurels – is not the foundation of business success.

 

Instead of looking for a silver bullet that doesn’t exist, take the attitude of the tortoise from the “Tortoise and the Hare”. Slow and steady consistent work wins the race.

 

Myth #5: Mindset Doesn’t Matter

On the other hand, there are entrepreneurs who understand the need to take action but focus on grinding it out every day to the exclusion of working on their mindset and personal and professional growth.

 

Being a successful entrepreneur takes more than long hours. It takes learning and making changes in your internal world as well. Some of the mindsets that are vital to entrepreneurial success include:

  • If you don’t have a clear vision for what you want the company to be and what purpose it serves, you won’t be able to be successful over the long term. You also need to learn to communicate that vision effectively to others as your business grows.
  • Believe in Yourself and Your Business. Believing in yourself and your business will give you the emotional resilience you need when you encounter setbacks. Buy In
  • Willingness to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. Brandon Burchard said, “Mediocrity begins the precise moment you swap love for a challenge with love of comfort.”
  • A Bias Toward Action. Learning is vital, but it isn’t true that knowledge is power. Knowledge is only potential power – true power comes from acting on the new understanding.

 

Having the right mindsets will help you take the right actions, which will help you succeed. You can’t overlook the importance of working on yourself from the inside out.

 

If you’re ready to embrace entrepreneurial success in 2017, I’m here to help. I’ll help you identify limiting mindsets, take action to make changes, and break out of any false beliefs you have. Join us today here to connect with a group of Firestarters in the Fired Up! Entrepreneur Community Growth.

Are you Busy But Broke?

Are you Busy But Broke?

Being busy is no excuse to be broke! Everyone knows someone who is always busy but never has any money. Has anyone stopped to ask why?

Why are you broke all the time? It is easy to stay busy with tasks that never affect your bank account. I see this all the time as a Coach. People come in with a list a mile long of tasks that they are working on or have finished and they are so proud of everything on the list, but none of it makes money!

We are going to find 3 ways to know if you have busy but broke syndrome. Then we are going to look at 3 busy but broke breakthroughs.

How Do You Know if You have the “Busy but Broke” Syndrome?

1. Does your bank account reflect a balance on par with the hours you are working?

Since my business is a success-based business most of my clients are excellent planners. One trait planners have is that they try and anticipate and structure their entire business, often spending more time in planning than executing money-making activities.

Some of my clients rearrange and re-plan their schedule because they feel they will have control over all of the details if they are safely in a plan. But if you’ve ever worked with people or technology you know life isn’t like that – some things will just take longer.

If you plan 10 minutes to check your email, it never fails: that’s the day you received 100 new emails to which you need to respond. Now you spend the rest of the day in catch up mode with tasks of low priority so that you can feel like you are accomplishing your to-do list.

This structure looks very important to you, but really it is masking the real things that are stealing your productivity.

2. Do you find yourself searching for every guru’s top tips for productivity?

Every guru has a different but equally awesome way they got to the top – because it fit them. If you spend all of your time reading the latest tips from the latest guru and then re-planning your life around their ideas, you’ll be chasing your tail.

It’s fine to get new ideas, but if you never stick with it long enough to see if anything comes from it, you will simply be busy but broke!

3 Are you always stressed and behind, running from one task to the next without completing anything or making money?

This is also very common. Many people do not have a great way to separate priority in their business put everything in the same box marked “urgent”.

Sometimes this looks like procrastination. Chances are if there is something you are procrastinating you need to look at your mindset around the task, but that’s a topic for another day.

This can also look like Attention Deficit Disorder. If you have A.D.D. you understand the extra time it takes to process your life. Unfortunately, a lot of people claim to struggle with ADD but truthfully they are just poor time managers.

I followed one client through their morning and this is what it looked like for this work at home mom: Boot up computer, remember needing to unload the dishwasher. Unloaded top rack of dishwasher and remembered she needed to return a client email from the previous day. Opened email and noticed a refund not issued properly for a separate client, called to resolve bank issue. Remembered needed to post on social media account and picked up her phone. A friend called and she spoke with that friend for a while. While on the phone realized she needed a specific outfit for the next day and began a load of laundry, then proceeded to put laundry away. While putting laundry away she stepped on the infamous LEGO and set her little one to cleaning his room. While he was cleaning he decided he was hungry so Mom went down to make lunch where she had an email waiting for her from the client from the previous day.

Her morning was running from one crisis to another.

I had her sit down with a Post-It note and every time an item popped into her head she wrote it down. She came up with 32 other items she needed to complete right now. 32! And the one deadline she had that day that was non-negotiable wasn’t even on the list. At the end of her morning, she was busy but hadn’t gotten anything real done.

Now: 3 ways to break the cycle of Busy but Broke!

1. Like the stay-at-home mom I observed, I’d like you to go get a Post-It note pad. Go ahead and create two Post-It notes: one titled “Due Today” and one titled “Do When Time Allows.

As you go about your work, write down each distraction or the new idea on one of the two notes. Only allow tasks or expectations with looming deadlines to make it to the shortlist for today.

Guard this closely! If you need help saying “No”, read my recent post here then come back.

2. If you’re an expert on every guru’s advice ever written, pick one tip and implement only that one! Do it consistently for a period of time.

To know if something is productive you have to be able to isolate the data based on one change. That means you have to stick with it! I mean it too. It takes 21 days to make a habit and you should allow a reasonable amount of time to pass to know if the tip is working.

Hint: It might take longer than 21 days.

Do not change something that was working for you because you now want to achieve the same goal just like your new mentor did for their success. Your success is your journey, not theirs!

I see this all the time as well, clients who read a new book and feel they need to adjust their business plan to this style of leadership, business or success. All depending on the book’s focus, and they can lose hours or even days adjusting and editing what is already working.  Take note if you see yourself doing this!

Often we fix what we feel is easy to adjust, like our schedules in order to avoid changing what is harder to change, like a habit, mindset, or limitation.

One of the ways I help clients overcome this exactly is through mastermind groups. Having someone else who sees your business activity and overcomes the areas in your blindspot. Read more about Masterminds here! Do not waste 5 years going in circles when you could be part of a group that builds you and keeps you accountable to your greatness!

3. This is the most brutal but the most effective tip, and the shortest. Do what makes you money first then fill in the rest of your schedule.

If you’re struggling with being busy but broke, you’re not alone! I see it all the time in my coaching practice. Fortunately, there are actionable ways to solve the problem.

Know yourself. If you like to follow everyone’s advice limit the amount of advice you are ingesting. Make sure you are being strategic that the advice you are following is aligned with where your business is headed and it makes you money. Do not take your advice from broke and busted individuals.

Seek out situations where you have authentic, transparent relationships with other business people who are committed to growing their business and making money. If you are leaving excuses and time wasters behind get involved with a mastermind group to amplify your growth.

We have Masterminds starting soon. Email info@plantosucceed.net for more information!

 

 

 

How Millenials Are Leveraging Technology to Work From Home

How Millenials Are Leveraging Technology to Work From Home

How Millennials Are Leveraging Technology to Work From Home

 

Welcome to the remote worker economy! Not only are more and more people working in gigs as freelancers from home, but even traditional companies are increasingly allowing work-from-home options. From 2005 to 2012, the number of Americans working remotely grew by 80%!

 

The freedom enhanced work/life balance and increased productivity delight those who get to work from home. Employers benefit too, as allowing employees to work from home allows them to win top talent into the organization, hire regardless of geography, and keep staff motivated.

 

Solid communication is vital to encouraging teamwork and effectively meeting goals when employees are remote. To make working at home mimic the seamless connections of being in the office, millennials and the companies they work for are turning to several key technologies.

 

Video Conferencing

Need a face-to-face meeting? No problem. There are easily a dozen great options for video conferencing and web conferences, from Zoom to GoToMeeting to Skype for Business.

 

The benefits of video conferencing are significant. You can have face-to-face communication even in remote working situations, which is vital to avoiding miscommunication. 80% of communication is non-verbal, and signals such as eye contact, facial expressions, and even gestures convey far more than words alone.

 

Video conferencing is essential to capturing this non-verbal communication and ensuring that your team feels connected, motivated, and well-informed.

 

Facebook Groups

Facebook isn’t just for killing time – it can also be used to enhance productivity and communication among remote work teams.

 

Facebook has several advantages over other communication techniques. First, almost everyone already knows how to use it. Millennials especially came of age in the era of social media and are very familiar with Facebook and its social media cousins.

 

Secondly, Facebook is free, which is a major boon for smaller companies or organizations who are feeling the budget pinch. It’s simple to create a secret Facebook group that is only used internally, and then invite employees, interns, or other team members to join.

 

Slack

Despite the name, Slack isn’t about slacking off. It’s a team communication tool that helps everyone get out of the email inbox and into a more efficient communication system.

 

One-on-one communication has its limits. You probably need everyone to know what’s going on with a project, but you may not need to email them and interrupt their workflow. Slack allows team members to update a project, and other team members can see the update on their own time, ask questions, or interject additional information.

 

Besides being a great communication platform, Slack integrates with many other common project management tools. No matter what your work team is using to manage tasks and accountability, Slack can help you talk about it more transparently. Share files, search conversations or even initiate a one-on-one private chat. The possibilities are endless.

 

Project Management Software

Work is about getting things done, and working remotely requires a central location where files, tasks, and updates are stored. Millennials are very comfortable working inside of technology, so project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, or even Trello are easy tools for them to adopt.

 

Project management software has a host of benefits, including allowing teams to easily collaborate on projects, delegate tasks, and stay on schedule. Because tasks can be assigned to individuals, it’s easy to hold specific team members accountable to meeting their deliverables.

 

Management and stakeholders are also able to log in, see the progress of various projects, and receive updates on a schedule that works best for them. Project management software makes communication with clients and vendors painless as well.

 

Millennials are digital natives, and leveraging technology for work is second nature. With remote work growing in leaps and bounds, knowing how to use these four types of technology to work from home helps millennials be productive and happy while avoiding traffic and spending more time with family. It’s a win for the worker and a win for the company.

 

What technology do you use work from home? Why does or doesn’t your company promote working from home? Share in the comments!

Five Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group in 2017.

Five Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group in 2017.

Five Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group in 2017

 

If you’ve never heard of a mastermind group, you may wonder what it is. It sounds like a meeting of evil overlords, doesn’t it? Fortunately, that’s far from the reality.

 

A mastermind group is simply a group of highly motivated individuals that meet regularly to give each other encouragement and accountability. The phrase “mastermind group” was first coined 75 years ago by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich.

 

Participants in mastermind groups challenge each other to set powerful goals and work toward accomplishing them. If you want to meet and exceed your goals for 2017, you need to join a mastermind. Here’s why.

You’ll Get New Perspective

One of the greatest things about a mastermind is that everyone comes from a different place. In a really good mastermind, there are motivated people from all walks of life and business who come together to help each other.

 

As a result, you’ll be able to get a new perspective on your work, goals, and ambitions. People who are looking at things from the outside will help you stay balanced, encouraged, and inspired.

It’s an Exclusive Community

One of the great things about a mastermind group is that not anyone can join at any time. You usually have to be invited or apply. As a result, the people in the group are committed, and you can generally trust that what happens in the group will be confidential.

 

This exclusive community aspect ensures that you are working with the best of the best and that you don’t have to weed through the nonsense to get the help you need. The other members need you and you need them – everyone is committed to a great experience.

You’re Not Alone

Being in business can be a very lonely venture, especially if your friends and family aren’t supportive. A mastermind group can help end the feeling that you’re in this by yourself and you have to figure everything out.

 

When your mastermind group includes people at different levels of success or includes people in different forms of business, you can get advice about what works and what doesn’t. This advice can save you not only from frustration and time researching on your own, but it can save the heartache and financial cost of making major mistakes.

Extend Your Network

It’s not what you know; it’s who you know, right? Well, if that’s the case, a mastermind is a vital part of business success. Joining a mastermind group not only expands your network by giving you access to members of the group, it also can give you access to contacts those members have.

 

If you need trusted advice on a good accountant or who you should hire to do social media consulting, a mastermind group can put you in touch with the right people. At the same time, the people you know and trust become assets to others in the group. A great mastermind will dramatically increase and improve your network.

Accountability to Reach Your Goals

A mastermind group is not for the weak-hearted. If you’re not committed to reaching your goals and being accountable for the steps you take, don’t join a mastermind! However, if you are on fire to reach the next level and need accountability, a mastermind group is perfect for you.

 

Often, seeing what others in the group are aiming for and accomplishing will push you higher and help you set bigger goals that you would have ever thought of. You can lay out a plan of action and count on your mastermind to hold you accountable for those results. Being part of a mastermind can multiply and assure your success.

 

Being part of a mastermind requires commitment, passion, hard work, and willingness to give and receive. If you don’t have that fire, please don’t join one! But if you do, you must be part of a mastermind group in 2017. Your success could depend on it.

 

For more information about masterminds and how they benefit you, contact me at info@plantosucceed.net. I’d be happy to help you find your fit!

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

 

If you’re ready to tell your boss to hit the road so you can work on your own terms, you’re not alone. The number of freelancers is rising steadily, and a study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40% of American workers would be independent contractors.

 

Are you ready for the opportunities and challenges offered by the gig economy?

The Forces Behind the Gig Economy

The increase in freelance work compared to traditional full-time jobs has been pushed forward by a number of different factors.

 

First, millennials now make up 34% of the American workforce, and by 2020 they are expected to make up 46% of the workforce. Millennials are well known for being job-hoppers. The reason they change jobs so often is that they truly want something different from their jobs. Their priorities are:

  • Opportunities to learn and grow
  • High-qualitygoodbye-job leadership in the workplace
  • Work they are interested in doing

 

In essence, the generation that will soon become the majority of the workforce isn’t interested in the traditional “work hard at whatever is available for 40 years and then retire” model of work that previous generations have held.

 

The second factor behind the gig economy is the swift digitization of the modern world, which decreases the number of jobs humans are needed to do. Because software can do so much, people are being quickly pushed out of full-time jobs. Instead, human input is needed intermittently – a perfect setup for a freelance gig.

 

Finally, there are economic pressures that are causing businesses to reduce staff, reduce benefits, and favor hiring those who have a smaller impact on the business’ bottom line. There are no longer significant rewards to being a long-tenured worker at most companies. At the same time, organizations are beginning to favor hiring consultants and outsourcing to freelancers as a way to control costs.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Gig Worker

There are definitely benefits to being a freelancer or “gig worker”. However, there are some significant drawbacks that need to be considered as well.

Pros of Freelance Work:

  • Working when and how you want is one of the major benefits of being a freelancer. You can adapt your work to your life rather than the other way around.
  • When you work a lot of gigs rather than one job, you get a chance to learn about a variety of topics and do many different types of work.
  • Work You Love. When you do freelance work, you can choose projects you are passionate about rather than being assigned work by a boss.

Cons of Freelance Work:

  • If you aren’t clear on your strengths and don’t know how to market yourself to those looking for freelancers, you can have a hard time keeping consistent work.
  • If you aren’t naturally self-disciplined, you will struggle with the degree of freedom freelancing gives. It’s easy to procrastinate endlessly if someone isn’t watching over your shoulder.
  • No Benefits. Some professional level workers who are used to receiving company-assisted benefits like health insurance and life insurance will struggle with having to secure these coverages on their own.

Are You Ready for the Gig Economy?

Changes have a way of happening whether we want them to or not. Our best option is to be fully aware of what’s going on and prepare ourselves in advance.

 

So, are you ready for the gig economy? Are you ready to do the hard work of discovering your gifts, standing out from the pack, and marketing skills, knowing that you will be able to control your own destiny if you do?

 

The first step to preparing for the gig economy is to do a comprehensive assessment of your skills and passions. What do you love and what are you great at? Where do those two come together?

 

Secondly, it’s important to decide how you can contribute to others. Not everything we’re in love with and great at is a marketable skill. Consider where your skilled passions overlap with other people’s actual needs.

 

Third, it’s time to stand out. Do some research on others who work in the area you are considering. How do they present themselves? What unique qualities do you have that are currently lacking in the marketplace?

 

Finally, it’s time to find work opportunities. Create a website and begin to share your talents online. You can also take a look at job boards for opportunities that are currently available. If possible, create a portfolio of your work to use as a part of your applications.

 

Does the gig economy excite you or frighten you? Both reactions are common. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

If you need more help getting ready to for this change and moving from fear to enthusiasm, I’d love to help.  Contact me at plantosucceed.net for a free consultation today!