As you prepared for the “historic” snow storm last week – I was not out buying milk and bread. I was on the beach, in Mexico, with my favorite magazines (yup, the old-fashioned paper kind), a cool drink, the perfect mix of sun and clouds, and a lovely breeze on top of the tropical 80 degrees… now that’s what I call an awesome “workation” location.
This is where I restore and draw inspiration. Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 gig. There are insanely high highs and low lows – it’s exhilarating and exhausting. And, just because I’m on vacation, doesn’t mean I can just turn it off. I don’t try to turn it off anymore. Now, it’s more about integration than “work-life” balance.
Want to work from the beach in January? Here are a few suggestions:
1. Be Intentional But Flexible
My greatest ideas don’t come on my timetable. I can’t force them. They come in a flash of inspiration. Understanding this about myself, I have learned that my job is to create the setting and the intention.
The setting was not just being on the beach, which is very inspirational for me, but it was also filling my mind with inspirational information. Those magazines I mentioned were Entrepreneur and Fast Company, both filled with tons of inspirational stories and strategy building information on future trends (very important people!).
The intention during this trip was two specific strategic initiatives to work on – that’s it, two. They are the big picture and are very important to the growth of my organization. I didn’t even put pen to paper, which is my preferred creative mode, until day 5 and the answers came in a flash. I was done with the work in less than 2 hours.
2. Do Less to Accomplish More
I know it sounds crazy, but it’s not. Both of my strategic goals involved working smarter, not harder. There are a gazillion ways to do this, but they all start with SLOWING down, getting quiet, and stopping the whirlwind of task related thoughts that can consume the typical entrepreneur. In other words, get off the hamster wheel of trying to do it all yourself – you can’t, you’re not saving money, you are simply heading for burnout.
3. Follow the 80/20 Rule
Wikipedia Definition: The Pareto principle (also known as the 80–20 rule, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.
Donna Definition: In order to avoid the entrepreneurial ADD/shiny object syndrome, get very clear on what activities belong in your 20% because they will account for 80% of your results. Did I mention, you cannot do it all? There are probably only 4-5 activities that you can do well.
Do less. Better. To completion.
Suggested exercise: Take time to analyze where your results are coming from. As the business owner, you are likely responsible for new business development. Make a list of all your NBD activities, track how much time you spend on each and what results you are getting (ultimately this data will help you determine your cost of client acquisition – which will probably make your head spin). Then, make a list of all your clients/projects and how you acquired those clients. Do those client sources align with the amount of time you are spending on NBD activities? Are you developing niches or verticals? This is a process that should be ongoing since that data will define what your 20% is and will absolutely get you better results!
Here’s the most awesome part of being an entrepreneur… we are never “done”. Every day is different. There is always more to learn, trends to incorporate, services to improve, more prospects, more opportunities, more failures to turn into lessons. Am I the only crazy person who totally loves that??
Well, I’ve had a week on the beach, I’m inspired, I’m rested and I have accomplished my two strategic goals… watch out world, here I come… again!!
Stay tuned …
P.S. If you’d like a complimentary Client Analysis template to begin building you big data, just email me and I’m happy to share the tool we use in our Earn More Program.
P.S.S. We are about to start another round of the Earn More Program (where I will teach you what I’ve learned over my 20+ years of building an organization that runs itself while I’m on the beach in January). Don’t miss out!
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