12 GREAT Tools to Manage Your Time, Your Team and Your Projects

Entrepreneurs are great at coming up with ideas for new and innovative projects. Completing the project, however, can be quite the struggle.

Choosing the right tools can be the difference between a good idea and a goal achieved. The right tool will put an end to duplicated work, wasted time, lost documents and lost accountability.

How so? Consider what the right tools can do for your project: Read more about 12 GREAT Tools to Manage Your Time, Your Team and Your Projects

5 Keys to Setting Goals That ACTUALLY Get Accomplished (SSMS Episode 90)

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Subscribe to Sydni's PodcastSmall business owners are great at coming up with ideas! But we’re not always very good at finishing the projects we start and turning our ideas into results. Without proper planning, one can easily get overhelmed by a new project and give us, thus missing out on the very rewards they were so excited about in the first place! Listen in as I share 5 proven tips for setting and achieving goals that create more success in your business.

How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve

Entrepreneurs are great at coming up with ideas! But we’re not always very good at following through and turning our ideas into reality. Too many business owners fall in love with an idea or project, but then quickly become overwhelmed when it’s time to execute. Thus they give up and never reap the rewards they were so eagerly seeking in the first place!

Overwhelm leads to paralysis and unfinished projects. Don’t let this keep happening to you! You need a better way to approach your goals. Follow these five steps to reach your goals and create more success in your small business. Read more about How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve

5 Steps to Banishing Distraction and Procrastination

Procrastination and distraction instantly derail your efforts to grow your business and achieve your goals. Follow these five steps to banish distraction and work more efficiently:

Step 1 – Get honest with yourself.

distracted while workingThis step is hard for most people. It can be difficult to admit that you’re not focused – but it’s essential to get real about the situation. This isn’t about judging yourself or beating yourself up. Your goal is to be more efficient and more productive, so take a deep breath and ask, “Where am I procrastinating or getting distracted?”

Make a list of the projects you seem to avoid. Pause and notice when you feel the urge to goof off on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other diversions. Notice what you are working on when you get distracted. In contrast, think about what you are working on when you get in the flow. When does time seem to fly by? You can use this evaluation to become more aware of your work habits.      Read more about 5 Steps to Banishing Distraction and Procastination

Four Steps to Better Marketing Habits (SSMS Episode 79)

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Subscribe to Sydni's PodcastIf you’re having trouble finding the time and energy to market your business, it may be your habits are to blame! You can’t grow your business if you aren’t marketing consistently and putting yourself in front of people who are already looking for your solutions. And you can’t market consistently if you have poor time management and productivity habits. What you CAN do is make simple shifts in your mindset to break through these challenges and make progress in reaching your goals. In this week’s podcast, I share some simple ways you can change your habits to find more time for marketing.

How to Change Your Bad Marketing Habits for Good

The gift of timeIt’s time to be honest! Are you really spending the time you need to each day on growing your business? Or are you getting distracted with time wasters like surfing the Internet, hanging out on Facebook or other busy work that isn’t leading to profits?

If your time management and productivity habits are holding you back, it will be impossible to grow your business. That’s why it’s so important to start building good habits that support your marketing needs and help you reach your goals. I know what it’s like to try to overhaul your life (and habits!) in one fell swoop. It doesn’t work so well! But what ALWAYS works is taking one step at a time. Here’s where you start:

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Don’t Let Discouragement Stand in the Way of Your Success

Think You CanMost of us have heard the phrase, “Perception is reality.”  And while it may mean different things to different people, it’s really about how your limiting beliefs, self-doubt and negative thoughts all play a part in your business.  Even if you think these feelings are only tied to your personal life – think again.  They can always interfere with your business.

Why?

For solo service professionals, your personal and business lives are often intertwined.  It is important to recognize this potential problem because it could actually be holding you back in achieving the business success you are looking for.   For example, let’s say you are just plain discouraged with your life right now.

Your personal life is less than stellar – maybe you haven’t had a date in awhile, or you and your significant other have been at odds with each other lately.  Then, you start to focus on the things “wrong” with your life and you get discouraged with everything, including your business.  You start to think that you can’t be as successful as you want to be because of your competition, lack of knowledge or lack of funds to take a continuing education course, or whatever.

Once you get “down in the dumps” about yourself and your business, that’s exactly what you project to everyone else.  That in and of itself will limit your progress.  That negative energy you are putting out to everyone and to the world around you will only attract more negative energy.

So how do you fix this? [Read more…]

SSMS Episode #8 – The #1 Thing Holding You Back from BIG Profits in Your Business

Subscribe to Sydni's PodcastHave you set a goal for yourself and your business and find yourself struggling to make it happen? Are you wondering why having the business you desire seems just out of reach? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of solo service professionals feel this way. The good news is the answer is very simple. And it has nothing to do with the economy, how long you’ve been in business or what type of business you have. Listen in as I share the secret and how to overcome this common challenge.

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How to Breakthrough Your Challenges and Get Back in Gear

It’s hard to believe that more than half the year is over.  It seems like time moves faster than you can keep up with when you are a solopreneur.  There is so much to do and yet so little time.

Breakthrough Your ChallengesIf you have felt “stuck” with where you’re at in your business, especially as it relates to accomplishing the goals you’ve set for yourself,  I want to assure you that it is possible to get “un-stuck”, breakthrough the challenges you’re facing and get back in gear.

How?

First, stop being so hard on yourself.  Many times when I start working with a new client, I find that they’ve been spinning their wheels trying to move forward and are feeling very frustrated that they aren’t making progress.  It’s all too easy to put undue pressure on yourself and to feel buried under feelings of guilt.  All this is doing is draining your energy and distracting you from moving forward.

So, if you’ve been feeling this way…let it GO!  Stop being so hard on yourself! Getting distracted can happen to the best of us and if this has happened to you, it doesn’t mean you’re a “failure”.  You can’t change the past, but you can most certainly take control of your future, starting today. Forgive yourself, make the commitment to change and open your eyes to see all of the possibilities in front of you.

Second, take stock of your assets.  You likely have a lot of good things going for you in your business.  (You may have been too busy focusing on the “negative” things to see this.) So make a list of all the things that are going RIGHT.  Also, make a list of all the opportunities you have at your disposable.  The prospective clients that have expressed an interest in working with you.  The referral partners who would like to partner with you or send client leads your way.  The request you had to speak at an industry event or conference.  Also, I want you to start capturing all of your great ideas in one place so you can refer to them again and again.  Once you’ve organized your thoughts and opportunities you can start to see clearly what your next steps should be to take advantage of them and grow your business.

Next, set some achievable goals for yourself for the next 90 days.  This isn’t the time to focus on your long-term goals.  While I wholeheartedly agree that you should have a BIG vision for what your business can become and steadily work towards that, what you need to get back in gear right now is a few “small” victories.  So make a list of 5-7 things you’d like to accomplish that seem manageable, achievable and inspiring to you.  Then break this list down into actionable tasks and schedule these on your calendar so that you have dedicated blocks of time for working on your business.

Finally, I want you to reach out for support.  Just because you are a solopreneur, doesn’t mean you have to be “in the trenches” alone.  No one who is successful in business has become so on their own.  We all need a helping hand.  If you feel overwhelmed by all that you have to get done in a day, partner with a Virtual Assistant to whom you can delegate.  Consider working with a coach to keep yourself accountable and on track with your tasks.  If you really want to leap ahead and overhaul your business within the next six months, contact me about my VIP Coaching Program and enjoy the support of working one-on-one with me AND a group of likeminded entrepreneurs.

At certain times in my business I have faced feelings of being “stuck” and have had to work my way through the challenges I was facing.  By implementing the steps I just shared with you, I was able to breakthrough my difficulties, get re-aligned with my goals and start making progress.  If I could do it, so can you!

I’d love to hear about how you’ve conquered your own challenges and how you can implement today’s strategies in your business. Comment below and let me know your thoughts! 🙂

Leap Ahead to Achieve Your Goals With the Support of a Mastermind Group

Sometimes, the most difficult part about being a solopreneur is keeping yourself accountable.  When you’re the boss of yourself, there’s no one looking over your shoulder to see if things are getting done.  Of course there are clients, but since they pay the bills, getting their work done isn’t usually the challenge.

Growing your business and achieving your goals is often the biggest challenge solopreneurs face.

As a business owner, you know all (or almost all) of the things you need to do to make your business successful and prosperous.  For example, you know you should:

  • Keep your website up to date
  • Network strategically
  • Have a plan for marketing your business
  • WORK your marketing plan
  • Stay abreast of trends in your industry
  • Outsource non-revenue generating tasks
  • Keep your financial records in order
  • Invest in continuing education opportunities
  • Apply what you learn

…and the list goes on.

But, while your to do list and wish list get longer, there’s often no one holding you accountable to make sure you get things doneThat’s where a mastermind group comes into play and can be the critical piece you are missing to move your business ahead.

Round conference tableThe basic principle of a mastermind group is that like-minded professionals join forces and commit to helping each other accomplish their goals.  As a group, you celebrate each other’s victories and support each other in times of need.  One of the essential players in a successful, profitable mastermind group though, is a strong leader.

The leader of the mastermind group should be someone whose success you admire.  In other words, they need to be successful themselves first to be able to give you the direction you need to create the same type of success in your business.  Think about it, would you want to learn from a ski instructor who’s never been on the slopes?

Here’s what you want to look for in a potential mastermind group:

  • A strong, seasoned and dedicated leader that has created the same results in their business that you want to create in yours.
  • A group of like-minded professionals – While they don’t all have to be from the same industry, it helps if there is some common ground for support and they are at the same general place in their business.
  • Regular access to the leader and other members – A forum is a great way to interact with the group and get fast answers to your questions.  It needs to be a safe place, where no question is off limits.  You also want to have regular interaction with the group through virtual and live meetings.
  • A structured program designed with your needs in mind – Having structure is necessary to ensure that each individual receives what they need.  There needs to be clear expectations for the leader and each group members, which creates a supportive environment where each entrepreneur can thrive.

There are many benefits to participating in a mastermind group.  First, you receive ongoing support in your business from people who know and understand what you are going through.  While your family may be cheering you on, even the most supportive family can’t understand all the moving pieces in your business.

Second, you have friendly yet professional accountability.  While you won’t get beat up over not accomplishing your goals, a good accountability partner and/or mentor will help you identify why you didn’t reach your goals and then help you overcome those challenges.

Third, you get real life education while avoiding common pitfalls.  Working with a successful person as the mentor of the mastermind group will save you time, money and needless aggravation. Their insights and experience will help you avoid common pitfalls and give you the support you need if you’ve made a few mistakes.  And, ultimately knowing someone who has “made it” is a great motivator and will keep you inspired.

At the end of the day, you are still solely responsible for your success.  However, that doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself.  Consider joining a mastermind group to reap the benefits of collaboration and help you leap ahead towards accomplishing your business goals.

Have you participated in a mastermind group?  Or are you interested in participating? Contact me at Info@SmartSimpleMarketing.com to find out about the programs we offer. We offer ongoing enrollment and certainly have space for you!