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Secrets to Better Productivity

The ability to maximize the productivity of your day is one of the greatest abilities of the successful business owner.  While some who find themselves challenged in this area may think that there must be some great secret to being able to accomplish this, there are many simple concepts that can be implemented that will allow you to make the very most of every day.

1.)     Make a to-do list.  Even if you think you have a terrific memory, you will forget something.  WRITE IT DOWN.  Plus, there is something cathartic about being able to cross an accomplished item off of a list.  This will help to keep you motivated.

2.)    Schedule your time and do your utmost to keep to the schedule.  This includes responding to phone calls, answering emails, even breaks.

3.)    Sleep.  Without a good night’s sleep your ability to focus will be severely affected.  Lack of sleep is one of productivity’s greatest enemies.

4.)    Organize.  Know where everything is.  Take the time to find a place for everything and then put everything in its place.  It is a simple concept, but it is an important one.

5.)    Delegate.  If you are fortunate to have a capable assistant, ask yourself if this is something that MUST be done by you or if you can hand it off.  Even if you delegate them personal items—such as scheduling doctors’ appointments and keeping your calendar you will find that it frees up valuable time in your day to do your most important tasks.

6.)    Minimize distractions.  This includes background noise such as televisions and radios.  If possible, shut your door.  Anything that competes for your attention can be detrimental to your productivity.

7.)    Break complicated tasks into steps.  It will provide you with a better way to measure your progress toward its completion and will make it seem less overwhelming.

There are only so many hours in a day.  In order to have your business grow and thrive you have to make the most out of each day.  Taking the time to put a few good practices into place will ensure that every day is as productive as possible and that you have the ability to get to the most important tasks—thereby ensuring the continued success of your business.

Micropreneur Ventures

I talk a lot about owning your own business around here. Primarily because I adore all things about business, and also because it’s one way for people to do what they love and make a great living. But I’m not fond of just any old type of business model – I love our new Online Micropreneurial Business Model, which is based on the years of experience and research I’ve done while working in and around some of the best virtual companies. And boy do I have some stories to tell…

From product selection to daily schedules, I’ve seen it all. These companies often fly under the radar and they don’t make Money or Inc. magazines. They are ordinarily run by anywhere between 1 to 7 people, and provide product or services to a niche market. These companies are all virtual. They hardly ever touch products, they take out advertising with precision, sometimes their websites aren’t even very elaborate – but they provide details that speak to a particular market and they make it easy for people to pay them. Plus they all make at least 7 figures per year. What’s not to like about that?

Our Online Micropreneurial Business Model helps new micropreneurs grow small and nimble niche companies – based on something they have a passion for.  But I think the key to being a successful micropreneur is in the setup of the virtual business.You can’t just throw it online, post a few blogs and product links and hope for the best. So here is a quick preview of my list of the top 6 things that are absolutely essential for upcoming micropreneurs to include in their virtual business planning and setup:

  1. Process Automation for 90% of your Sales, Marketing & Advertising
  2. Beneficial Information Products
  3. Niche Market Expertise and a Unique Voice
  4. Multiple Payment Portals
  5. Attractive, Trust-Building Branding
  6. Residual, Passive, Active and Leveraged Income Streams

Without any one of these six areas in place, you’re probably working too hard to make a living doing what you love.


The Difference between Owning a Job and Owning a Business

Recently Sanofi-Aventis made the news when they handed out pink slips to over 1,700 employees by phone. I won’t get into the callous delivery of this news – instead, I’ll just focus on the next steps for each of these people.

Some of them will seek a new position in the same industry. Even if you change some of the variables like choosing a smaller company, different industry, or alternate career path; these job seekers open themselves up to the same type of situation that just occurred. They are in essence buying time, but not stability.

Others, will strike out on their own, putting their expertise to work. This new group of consultants will end up owning their own jobs.  While they do gain some additional control over their future, they often end up working harder than they ever did in the corporate environment.

Another smaller percentage will buy or create a system that makes them a business owner, hopefully with their eyes on employing other people. These people are looking at franchise opportunities and long-term growth.

The final group of people will become investors and take control of the resources made available in their 401k and severance packages to invest in their own future cash flow.

I’ve got to tell you that my bet is on the people that choose to buy or create systems and become smart investors. Gainful employment is not a bad thing mind you – it’s just that when you don’t have a plan to transition to something that provides you more security you become a sitting duck.

And I don’t like being a sitting duck –

For Pete’s sake – you just need to ask for the money already…

Okay, so maybe you can relate to my two colleagues. They probably read this, so I’ll change their names just in case I introduce the two of you later. So let’s call them Donna & Annabelle. Just like you, they are both brilliant, accomplished and poised for super-stardom. Annabelle and Donna have both stepped into the spotlight and launched incredible new ventures that have skyrocketed very quickly.  So here’s the deal….

Over dinner, Annabelle says she has this idea to bring her new members together quarterly. These people are all the top people in her field and she wants to get them in the room and have a roundtable discussion; make the acquaintance of other leaders in the area; and hear first hand how to navigate through this marketplace and achieve more success.

This is a fabulous idea for many reasons that I won’t go into here, but immediately seeing the value the rest of our conversation went something like:

Me: “How much are you going to charge to attend?”

Annabelle:  “Nothing.”

Me: “Ummmmm really? Who is sponsoring your event”

Annabelle: “No sponsors.”

{Cue the crickets}

So here’s my message to you, if you don’t want to charge people to experience all the inherent benefits you are offering, your offering will not sustain itself. This is not charity. It’s business… know the benefits and value you provide and charge accordingly. If you can’t see it, ask a trusted colleague who can.

Scenario Dos –

In brainstorming with Donna, (again, equally as fabulous and accomplished as you) about the launch of her new service, she hesitates to put up a service page to collect revenue immediately because as a start-up “people won’t want to pay me.” {Where are those crickets?}

That’s just fear of success or of failure. (I’m not really sure which because they both seem like they’re intimately intertwined.) I don’t care if your site has been up for decades, if a new person strolls along to your site and finds it – it’s new to them. Launch your platform, products and services knowing that you’re going to make money. Kay? Good. If your work is beautiful charge for the value it provides. If your work sucks, well that’s a different story.

So this week’s mantras are:

“I shall not work for free.”

“I shall ask for what I’m worth and not compromise”

Know that this issue of ‘pricing for value’ comes up all the time with clients who are just as accomplished as you are.  Ask someone who is already a star earner to help set your pricing model. Chances are you’re probably not being objective enough about it and I don’t want you leaving any more money on the table.