Monthly Archives: October 2017

Life is about the journey not the destination!

Have you ever had a great idea, created a business and thought you’d be making 6 figures in no time and six months later you give up because you’re overwhelmed, frustrated and you’re not making any money?

This happens to a lot of people in business. In fact, people are trying new ways to make money every day and often times fail due to a variety of things including lack of patience.

You aren’t going to grow a successful business overnight, you aren’t going to attract clients or customers overnight and you aren’t going to make 6 figures overnight.

A business takes planning, organization, money and time. I’m human, too and I love goal setting. I set myself goals and then get super excited about them and have to make myself STOP and put together a plan. A plan to achieve those goals. If you don’t have a plan you’ll just end up wasting a ton of time doing non-productive tasks that will get you nowhere.

Besides my plan I also have to make myself STOP to remember that it’s not about the destination… it’s about the journey. The journey to success can be far more rewarding than the success itself. Why? Because you will cherish your success even more if you’ve worked your butt off for it. Your future self will be able to say ‘I worked my tail off for X years to get to where I am today. It took a lot of hard work, perseverance and patience!’

So how does one succeed in business? There are many factors but here are a few super important ones.

*Be okay with your business taking time to grow. You must have the patience before you begin or you’ll end up spinning your wheels, becoming overwhelmed, frustrated and to the point where you want to quit. Do you know someone who started a business and after a year or less just called it quits? Do you know someone else that has a successful business and it took them years to get to where they are? You have to put in the time – your future self will thank you!

*Make sure you are selling something people NEED. Your service or product must be something that people are willing to buy. This may sound silly but 90% of startups fail and one of the reasons is because the business isn’t selling an in-demand product. Do your research, find out where there is a need and fill that need.

 *Put together a marketing plan. So many people just willy nilly slap some marketing on social media and then are overwhelmed and frustrated that no one is seeing or paying attention to their posts. When I talk to entrepreneurs most of them feel like there is not enough hours in a day to do the social media they feel they need to in order to succeed. The truth is you can create a very effective plan to social media – start with the main form of social media that your niche market is on and grow from there. Don’t try to be everywhere and market to everyone – no one will see you. To truly grow a following, market to a niche and market on their preferred form of social media.

 *Set reasonable goals. Striving to meet specific goals is far more effective than just having a general goal of… I want a successful business in a year. What is your definition of success? How much money do you want to make? How many clients will you need? How will you get those clients?

 *Network and build relationships. Spend some time building relationships with potential clients. Your company will grow a lot fast if you actually start doing this before you launch your company. I spent three years networking before I launched my company and I think it really helped me in gaining credibility in the industry. People already knew me, they knew what I was capable of – this is where patience comes into play.

 *Hire good help. Anyone who has ever started a business knows that there really are NOT enough hours in the day to get it all done. In order to make more traction you have to hire good people to help you along the way. These people can help you with branding, marketing, social media management, administrative, and so much more. You need people you can trust – someone whose goal is to help you achieve your goals. Even though we try – we can’t do it alone!

 *Brand yourself! So this could go hand in hand with putting together a good marketing plan but your branding needs to be done first. Who are you, what is your mission, why would someone want to do business with you? Branding is making yourself recognizable so people see something and think of you without seeing your business name. Branding is your story – your personality – in order for people to buy from you, they want to know who you are.

 

Those are just some of the things that lead entrepreneurs to success and I could write an entire blog post and more on each of these points. But in the scheme of things, if you have a great business idea and you have a plan – patience is key. With persistence and consistence comes success and you will get there so in the meantime enjoy the adventure! And remember, patience, grasshopper – life is about the journey not the destination.

 

 

Plan for Success, Plan for Chaos

The holidays are fast approaching and for some that means there’s no doubt chaos will ensue! This year my goal is to plan ahead, to be prepared and if chaos rears its head – well that’s life. Flexibility and improvisation are traits to be desired.

What are the best steps to take to ensure this holiday season is as low stress and fun as possible? I’m going to share those with you now.

*Get organized! Take few minutes over this week and update your calendar for November and December. Include all of your holiday work parties, kids’ events, family gatherings, etc. After you’ve updated your calendar for the next two months you should have a clear picture of how many ‘working’ days you have left in the year. You may think this seems early but here’s the deal – do it now while you are LESS BUSY! Too many people wait until they are overwhelmed and then try to get organized. It’s so much easier to get organized now. Your future self will thank you!

*Create a list of goals that you’d like to accomplish over the next two months. This can include work, personal, travel, etc. Once you have them written down implement them into your calendar. If you have sales goals – look at how many working days you have left and figure out how much you need to sell each of those days to meet your goal and put that into your calendar.

*Say NO! The holidays are a crazy busy time and also a time where it seems everyone needs you for something – if it’s not important to you or your business feel free to say no.

*Plan ahead. Start putting things into your calendar so that you are prepared. This may be for work or home. For instance you may need to schedule time to send holiday cards for your business, or you may need to create a gift list of all of the people you need to purchase for. The more you plan and the earlier you get things done the better you will feel!

*Enlist help if necessary. Now that you are looking ahead you can see when and where you may need extra help to accomplish everything you need to accomplish for the remainder of the year. There are lots of things you can outsource from holiday cards and gift purchasing to appointment setting and social media marketing. Figure out what you need and get someone now.

If you do all of these things you’ll sleep better and be better prepared for the chaos. Remember in business and life, it’s all about balance. You have to take the bad with the good because the bad makes the good that much sweeter.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!
Danae Branson owns Elite Scheduling Services. If you are interested in any of the services, please check out www.eliteschedulingservices.com or give us a call at 515.309.2838.

 

Is It Time to Reinvent Yourself?

The great thing about business, careers and life is that there is room for reinvention. As we age our priorities change, our passions changes and our plans for the future change. We are constantly growing and changing and for some that doesn’t mean a change in career path, but for others – it definitely means a change in career path.

I know someone who went to school to become a lawyer, got her first job and after a few years realized that practicing law wasn’t at all what she wanted to spend her life doing. She decided to quit her job as a lawyer, get her real estate license and now she is loving life as a real estate agent.

Another connection of mine was a successful salesperson but after a few years she realized her heart wasn’t in it. She started her own photography business and is having the time of her life.

In both of these instances these people were making a lot of money. They were married and they had kids – but ultimately being true to themselves and their passions was how they wanted to spend the days of their lives.

I know successful financial professionals who have taken a year or two off, sold all their belongings and have travelled the world. A sabbatical seems to be a sought after opportunity and if you are in the position to take one I would think it would be an amazing adventure. These people come back refreshed, renewed and reinvented.

At the end of the day sometimes the stress and money just isn’t worth it. Sometimes you need the money but perhaps you can plan for a change in the near future. We are all unique individuals and some of us are planners and others of us are risk takers. Whatever your personality is, it’s still very important to be true to yourself. I know a lot of people who have quit lucrative careers to do something else – I will say one common factor seems to be that these people quit their jobs to work for themselves.

People today desire flexibility and more time to do the things they love. There are lots of career paths a person can take to gain the balance they desire. Employers are becoming more aware of the flexible job/life trend and are trying to help their employees achieve the balance they desire.

There are so many people that can afford to do what they want if they would just budget, look at their lifestyle and decide what’s truly important. How do you envision living your days? That’s a great place to start and then go from there. I firmly believe that where there’s a will there’s a way and you can do whatever you want to do!

When to know if it’s time to make a change.

  1. Does your job make you miserable?
  2. Do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning because you do not want to go to work?
  3. Has your job interfered with your ability to be a good partner, parent or person?
  4. Have you had a change in mental or physical health that is a result of high stress in your career?
  5. Are you just ready for a new adventure?

If you’ve answered, Yes, to any of those questions you may be ready for a new job, a new career or a new you!

Is it time to reinvent yourself?

Decrease Stress with Effective Communication

Communication seems like it should be a simple thing to do, right? It should be as easy as breathing, or eating or watching TV. Highly successful individuals have excellent communication skills. They communicate to others what they want, what they need and how they’d like things done. They know that in order to succeed communication is key.

Most issues can be resolved with simple communication. Think of all the issues and stresses you’ve had in your business and your personal life. How many of them were from lack of communication or a miscommunication?

I would like to think that most people that work for me don’t think I’m an evil Queen but if there is one thing I’m a huge stickler on its COMMUNICATION. I want to know what obstacles my virtual assistants are facing, I want to know when they are sick or taking a vacation, I want to know the good, the bad and the ugly. And I’d better not find out that they are not communicating with their clients. So my VA’s know me well and know that if they communicate with me and their clients in a timely fashion then no one loses their head.

So how can you prevent communication breakdown in the office or at home? There are some simple things that everyone can do, even if you are an excellent communicator but you are dealing with someone who doesn’t communicate well – try the options below.

  1. Really listen to the other person. Sometimes I think we are so caught up in what we are doing that we don’t really listen to the other person and we miss important information. When speaking with someone try to give them your undivided attention.
  2. Pick up the phone if you need to. Sometimes email and texts just don’t cut it. If we are going to have to text each other 10 times to make plans then we probably should just get on the phone and talk it out. Or if you are emailing back and forth with an employee or client several times over an issues pick up the phone and resolve the issue.
  3. Respond to important emails and phone calls in a timely fashion. I will admit when people don’t respond to important messages in a timely manner – even meaning within 24 hours- this is a pet peeve of mine. Now what may be important to you and what may be important to someone else could be two different things so you can make your best judgment on what you feel that you need to respond to.
  4. Schedule time to communicate. We are all super busy people and a week, a month, a year can go by so quickly. Schedule a weekly call with people that need to know what you are up to. Set aside 10-20 minutes each week to get this call in and it could save you so much stress and headache. Sometimes a daily check-in may be required, just schedule the time and stick to it.
  5. Communicate what you want from others. People aren’t mind readers and don’t know what you want if you don’t tell them. I will admit that years ago my communication skills lacked a bit in this department. Finally, my husband told me that he could not in fact read my mind and this came as a shock to me. I started wondering if all spouses were like this or just mine – in case you haven’t figured it out yet – I’ve learned that there isn’t a spouse out there that can read minds so I guess at work and at home we need to tell people what we want.

Once you start effectively communicating with others you may find a huge increase in productivity among your employees, a higher satisfaction rate among your clients and a happier home life. Take a step back and look at the things in your life that cause you stress? Can any of those things be resolved with increased communication? If so, then start communicating more effectively today!