It is still pretty much a fact of life that female entrepreneurs who are also moms do take on more family-centric roles, especially when they work from home. How female entrepreneurs can thrive in biz and life is something we talk with our coaching clients about. It is easy for any work from home entrepreneur to be drawn into non business growing activities like mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, running the children to activities, cooking dinner… you get the idea.
Juggling motherhood (and fatherhood) and a business while working from home can be challenging. We have some tips for helping entrepreneurs thrive in business and in life because what is the sense of “having it all” if you can’t enjoy it all?
How Female Entrepreneurs Can Thrive In Biz And Life
What are you committed to doing for your business? Focus on the commitments you’ve made and the commitments you have to fulfill. Don’t focus on motivating yourself to fulfill those commitments — motivation can be fleeting. You need to focus on your long term goals and how you will meet them. If you’re not motivated, you may not thrive as an entrepreneur. Your commitment will drive your motivation.
Are you keeping up on your personal and professional development? It is easy to work from home and lose touch with the outside world and even current trends in your niche. You need to focus on your personal and your professional development and your business results will follow. Schedule time for personal and professional development.
“I just can’t do it/have it all.” If you think that you will live that. Don’t hold onto limiting beliefs. If you want to have it all and you plan to have it all and you ask for help, you just might be able to have it all.
Be creative. You may need to have more flexibility with time and resources when you’re working from home. Be creative and learn to go with the flow. Your home office may not be perfect or have a room with a view, but believe you will get there eventually and be creative with your current space.
Don’t give into distractions. If there is someone there with the kids, close your office door. Let the children know that you’re working and cannot be disturbed. If the kids are at school, but the floor needs to be mopped or the lawn mowed, close the door or pull the blinds. Don’t be distracted by chores during your working hours. If you simply can’t let it go, give into your distractions on your lunch hour.
Have fun. If you’re not having fun as an entrepreneur, why are you doing it? Sure, there are times when being a business owner simply is not a great time, but those bad times will pass. Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing and the fun may just flow back into your day.
Don’t forget to practice self care. You cannot run your business and care for your family and give no thought to yourself and your self care. If you get ill or burned out, who will run your business and your life? The time you take to go to the gym, walk the dogs, lift weights or run on the treadmill is time well spent!
What are your limiting beliefs? What is holding you back in your entrepreneurial endeavors?
We’ve all been there. We are looking forward to a seminar or a networking event and cannot wait to hear the information from the presenter… but then it all goes downhill. It is. BORING! Don’t let that be you or your presentation! How to give an engaging presentation: 5 tips is a must-read if we do say so ourselves.
When you’re in front of a crowd and have been asked to speak or give a presentaiton you want to be memorable for all the right reasons — that you and your speech are interesting. You don’t want people to be bored and be remembered for that, right?
How To Give An Engaging Presentation: 5 Tips
Start with a story. Chances are, if you’re speaking, people know your name and have read your bio. You don’t need to start out with, “My name is John Smith and I’m here to talk to you about XYZ.” They know. that’s why they are there! Start with a story. “I’ve been in your shoes… I never thought I’d dig myself out BUT I did and you can too!? Be relatable and offer a solution to their pain point. Sharing a story draws them in and makes them feel like they are confidants.
Talk about your project or solution. Offer insight into how this has worked for others. Social proof is crucial!
Ask questions. Don’t be a lecturer. Be an interactive presenter. Ask them for comments, questions, insights into their own lives and issues. Give them “tasks.”
Don’t make your slides be loaded with words. Use a key word or two and an intriguing image. Speak to the audience, don’t just give them a slide show they could read without your being present.
Get to know the crowd. If you think you’re speaking to an experienced level of audience but they are really beginners, you will be speaking above their head. Conversely don’t speak 101 level topics to experts. Know the crowd by asking questions to gauge what they want to know. Slant your topic toward the majority.
Offer take aways and handouts. Or offer them a link where they can get more information BUT they have to sign up to get your newsletter first!
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!
Are you an entrepreneur who has a handle on your daily to-dos? Do you make the most of your business day? Or, at the end of the day do you ask yourself, “Where did the day go and what exactly did I accomplish?” In order to be a productive and efficient entrepreneur you need to have a plan in place to address your priorities.
Making the most of your business day also means you know what to delegate, to whom to delegate it and when it makes financial sense to delegate. We know that delegation isn’t easy because your business is your “baby” but when you measure your hourly rate against how long it takes you to do a taks that may not propel your business forward, it’s time to delegate.
Make The Most Of Your Business Day
Guard your time. Block off time in your calendar to focus on your priority tasks. If you work in an office, set aside time where your door is closed and you know you will have uninterrupted time to focus fully on the tasks at hand. If you are continually aware of the possibility of an interruption, you will be half aware of that and not fully aware of the work at hand.
Set up time savers. If you answer the same email almost daily, set up a “canned response.” Set up systems that will help you get things done more quickly. If you do many of the same tasks regularly, these should have systems in place to make them rote.
Done is better than perfect. If you wait for perfection, you won’t get anything done. You will spend too much time tweaking and not enough time launching. Aim for 90% perfection then let it go. Nothing is so set in stone that it cannot be reworked once it’s live.
Make decisions. When you put off making a decision, you’re procrastinating the inevitable — in many cases — and this decision will weigh on your shoulders and pull emotional energy from the task at hand. Write a pros and cons list if you need to in order to pull the trigger and either say, “yes” “no” or “I need more information.” Don’t forget that “no, thank you” is your friend!
Five minute rule. Are you trying to create a new habit or rid yourself of a habit? Set aside five minutes per day to commit to doing it, or to not doing it. After a week, add additional minutes until this new habit is part of your routine — so much so that you don’t even think about it any longer. Remember, you can always fit five minutes of a habit into your day, no matter how busy you are. Couldn’t you devote five minutes to your health by getting on a treadmill and walking for five minutes per hour? We’ll bet you could.
Check off the small tasks. Sometimes you just get so overwhelmed that the priorities you’ve set for yourself can lead to being frozen in place. When this happens, take some time and complete some small tasks. Choose a small task that is part of a larger project or coal and do that tiny task. Taking immediate action and seeing that check mark that denotes a task was completed will help your forward momentum.
“I’m not a salesperson. I’m a (fill in the blank with the type of business you run.) Guess what? You are a salesperson. If you weren’t making sales then how would you be in the business that you’re running? That wasn’t meant as a trick question but how to be a salesperson is something we talk with our coaching clients about.
Making sales is the only way to stay in business. Even if your business runs on referrals, you still need to be the one who closes the deal — again you’re the sales person!
How To Be A Salesperson
You need to be willing to shake hands, interact with people online and tell people about your business, how great it is and why you’re the best person to provide them with the unique goods and/or services you’re offering. It’s business ownership 101, truly.
Here are my best tips to be the best salesperson you can be.
Be yourself. You don’t have to act like someone you’re not to make a sale. If you have a product and/or service that solves a pain point, it may sell itself, but it will be you and your personality that seals the deal.
Be positive. Too many business owners find they are experiencing drudgery and burnout and that shows through. Be in a good, GREAT, frame of mind before you attend any networking events or pick up the phone to talk with a potential client. No one wants to work with a negative person.
Be encouraging. Even if someone doesn’t want to buy your products or hire you for your services, you can still connect with them and foster a relationship. In fact, you definitely want to foster and build relationships. Encourage the person you’re speaking with in his or her endeavors and even if you can’t help them, if you can offer an introduction to someone who can then do that!
How strong are your sales skills? How much time do you set aside a week to make sales? Don’t neglect sales then have to scramble if you begin losing customers — that is not a good position to be in.