Productivity is, and always seems to be, what every entrepreneur wants to become. How to be a more efficient entrepreneur isn’t all about productivity. Efficiency is about putting processes in place ot take care of those tasks that are regularly on your schedule, getting more done in less time and having time for yourself and your life outside of the office.
Being ambitious is great, but if your ambition is killing you slowly from stress or is damaging your relationships, it’s time to rethink productivity and efficiency.
How To Be A More Efficient Entrepreneur
Make your mornings easier and more relaxing. Plan your morning the night before. This includes planning what clothes you will wear, what food you will eat for breakfast, what you will do for lunch and what task is first on your list when you sit down to work.
Know your peak efficiency times and do your hardest, most intense work during those times. If you’re more creative in the morning, do your most creative work then. If your energy is flagging in the afternoon, set that time aside to do tasks that may not necessarily advance your business goals, but are necessary — bookkeeping tasks, returning phone calls, planning your next day.
Get up and get moving. It’s easy to say, “I don’t have time to get on the treadmill for five minutes every couple of hours… but you do. You need to make time for your health. If you’re a solopreneur, who will run your business if you fall ill? Obesity and sedentary lifestyles are the death of us and our health. Take time to clear your mind and move your body.
Pay attention to your schedule. If you’re working ten to sixteen hours a day, are you truly accomplishing stuff for ALL of those hours? We know you will get more done, feel better and be more efficient if you work fewer hours but focus more fully during those hours.
Stop multi-tasking. I’ve written about this before, but I know people still pride themselves on multi-tasking. Stop. You are NOT performing any of the tasks that you’re multi-tasking well. Focus on one task at a time.
Turn notifications off. Get in a habit of checking email every couple of hours. Turn off email notificaitons. Turn off notifications on social media. Don’t let yourself get distracted by notifications as that will pull your focus out of the task at hand.
Just say “no.” You don’t have to say “yes” to everything. In fact, you shouldn’t. You should say “yes” to those tasks and projects that further your personal career or your personal and emotional needs. If you don’t want to disappoint, tell the person you will get back to them by the end of the day. Don’t fret too long on making a decision as this will dran your emotional energy.
We know that blogging as a business endeavor has merit. We also know that if you are a blogger or if you’re blogging regularly on your website, you’re doing something even more powerful — you’re setting yourself up as the expert in your chosen business niche.
Some entrepreneurs do make a living as bloggers, but they typically enhance their bank account by blogging for others — many of them blog for entrepreneurs like you! If you’re an entreprenuer who isn’t a writer and doesn’t want to write, hire a copywriter to perform that task for you so you can focus on your core expertise.
Blogging As A Business Endeavor
If you want to focus your entrepreneurial efforts on blogging or writing, here are some ways to make it potentially profitable.
Position yourself as the expert. If you want to blog for others, show that you can blog, that you know how to blog and that you’re sharing valuable information on your blog.
Use Adwords to bring in some income. If you have a powerful niche and a following of readers, adding ads to your site may make financial sense and may fatten your wallet.
Become an affiliate. You can be an Amazon affiliate. You can find entrepreneurs who sell affiliate programs or services and partner with them. When you promote items or programs as an affiliate, you will earn a commission on sales made with your unique code.
Offer a sponsored blog opportunity. If your blog has a large enough audience you could bring in money by offering a sponsored blog opportunity; this means someone would pay you to post on your site. If you do this, make certain you’re offering those coveted spots to businesses whose values align with your own. For example, if you’re strictly vegan, would it make sense to offer a sponsored post to a beef producer? Probably not.
Position your blog in such a way that people know they can hire you. More importantly, they will WANT to hire you because of all of the valuable content you’ve been sharing that has positioned you as the expert (see number 1)
Are you a blogger, content strategist or writer looking to enhance your portfolio and grow your writing business? What steps are you taking toward that goal?
Are you attracting and retaining key personnel? Have you found “the right” person but they leave after a brief stint with your organization? Do you know why? What are you doing to not only attract talent, but to keep them? As with attracting new customers or nurturing and keeping current customers, it is a huge amount of resources you need to put into a new employee — it’s best to retain the talent you find.
In order to keep talent, you need to know why they’re leaving and if there is anything you can do to keep them. If they’re leaving because they were offered more money at a different position, you can’t always compete with that and after a time you will wonder if you’ve been played and if the threat of leaving for more money was just that — a threat. If that’s the case, then that person probably isn’t the “right” talent you’re seeking.
Attracting And Retaining Key Personnel
What can you do to make your place of employment for both in office and work from home staffers a place they want to stay?
Communicate. You want to touch base with in office and out of office staff regularly. Set up a team meeting at least monthly with all staff and touch base with all employees at least weekly. Let the employee or contractor know you are available to talk with them between those meeting times, and that your door is always open. When you’re communicating with staff make certain you’re listening to what they’re saying. Ask all staffers, “What can I do or give you that will help you better perform your job?”
Empowerment is key. When you let an employee take charge of his or her tasks and duties you are empowering them to take ownership and to become even more involved in their work. Make certain the roles are clearly defined; this helps everyone in their own lane and keeps projects moving forward without key components slipping through the cracks.
Offer feedback. In addition to your communication meetings with key players, offer feedback and constructive criticism. Almost every conversation is a chance to offer an educational opinion. When you give your staff feedback, they will grow into their positions. Also, when you praise a staffer for a job well done, that goes a long way toward them taking ownership in their job.
Are you having difficulty hiring and retaining key personnel? Do exit interviews and delve into the “why” of their departure as this will help you better tailor the position for the next person because course correction may be needed.
Is your business making the progress you’d set for yourself? Are you not making the strides you’d imagined? Have you considered working with a busines coach? A coach or mentor can halp you see your business from a new perspective and may even help you uncover new income stream ideas you had never considered.
Many entrepreneurs say that the investment they’d made in working with a business coach was one of the factors in their business growth. I don’t just say this because I am a business coach, I say it because I have hired and have worked with a business coach of my own and in a mastermind group for many years. I see the value in a business coach to push me further, challenge my beliefs and help me put ideas into practice.
Have You Considered Working With A Business Coach?
Working with a business coach will help you take thoughts and ideas and turn them into action items with specific, measurable steps toward completion.
Your business coach can help you determine if an opportunity is one that’s in line with your mission and vision or if it will sidetrack you. He or she will help you weigh your options and make wise decisions.
Accountability is key. It may not be enough to say, “I am going to complete THIS today, this week, this month or this year…” If you don’t have anyone holding your feet to the fire, it’s easy to get sidetracked. A business coach won’t do the work for you, nor will he or she nag you to do the work — if you’re committed to the coach and to your business you should be motivated.
A business coach is an objective, outside observer. He or she can also step in and help you look at an opportunity or a challenge in a different way and that might help you make progress.
If you’re a solopreneur you’re working in a silo. It’s helpful to have someone with whom to brainstorm and set priorities and break large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
Have you ever worked with a business coach? What was your experience? Did you feel you’d found the “right” coach? Keep in mind you should interview more than one coach to find the right fit. Let me know how your search goes!