Introducing our new series, Adventures of an Entrepreneur—one woman’s first-hand approach to solving common small business problems
It’s 9am. You’re feeling positive about the day ahead. Your to-do list seems manageable. Your clients are all where they should be. It’s sunny outside. Nobody posted an unflattering photo of you on Facebook overnight and there’s just enough honey in your tea to make it absolutely delightful. You open your Safari browser and dive-in head first. Fast forward to 2pm. You realize one task has been checked off on your list and you’ve been rereading the same line of copy on your WordPress site for the last twenty minutes. What happened?!
Time management and goal setting is essential in taking your business to the next level, creating a fantastic client experience, enjoying your self-employment, staying sane and running a profitable, free-flowing business.
Managing your time will either make your business or break it. Plain and simple.
I used to write daily task lists so long, but quickly learned that setting manageable, reasonable goals for the day was the only approach to take. Having long, drawn out lists of random tasks emits a negative vibe and brings on certain levels of unwanted stress.
I would literally think, “When will this end? I’ve totally messed up here.”
That’s not what being self-employed is about! Most woman want to be able to make their own schedule (an added benefit of being an entrepreneur) and run the show according to their own rules, but what envy is to be had when all you want to do is rip your hair out? Not a good look.
Do you have more than seven tasks listed? That’s too many; try to keep it under three. Think about the steps that have to be taken to complete just one task. Each will time and if you are to complete the task with legitimate thought and executed to the best of your ability, it will likely take you more than just 30 minutes.
Do you have a GOAL card/sheet—a list of your goals, both short-term and long-term? Do you have a vision of what you’ll be doing in the next six to 12 months, how much your business will be making, or who you may be partnering with? These are things that are very much apparent and can be real if you are consciously aware of them.
I’m constantly zoning out (shocking!) envisioning what I’m going to be doing in the next year or two. When I see it, I can feel it and then I can act as if those goals have been reached and I’m doing all of the things I want to be doing for myself and for my business. This creates a way of thinking that is undeniable. Nothing can get in your way. Goal setting is a way for you to keep yourself in check, track your progress and build a strong foundation for your start-up. This isn’t an option. You must set goals.
I challenge you to ask yourself how badly you want your business to succeed. If you can say, “I’ll do anything to take my _______ business to the next level. I won’t sleep. I’ll network. I’ll clean up my social media pages. I’ll invest all that I have,” then congratulations! You’re on your way! If you cant say you’re willing to do the above, you might want to rethink your whether you’re ready to continue dedicating time to your venture.
The best thing to do from here is to take a few minutes and reevaluate your approach. Maybe you are already doing all of these things, but are you staying consistent with your task list and updating your goals as you reach them? If you’re on the other end, and you haven’t really thought about this, I urge you to adopt these values. The second I started envisioning my goals being reached, stuff happened for me.
I’ll never forget that last year at this time, I learned about GOAL cards and all of their glory. I took notebook paper and some old school Crayola markers and wrote out the following, “I will easily attract a new partnership in the health and fitness field that will allow me to increase my revenue, offer a fun client experience and broaden my network.”
I taped that note on my bedroom wall so I could see it everyday. Scouts Honor: Two days later I ended up emailing with the marketing director of a national company. I now get their product sent to me, monthly, to hand out to my clients as a fun perk and was connected to a popular blogger who interviewed me shortly after, through this connection.
You decide where you want to take your business. I guarantee that every goal you write, and every task you check off will come back to you ten fold in the weeks and months to come.