Article #46, June, 2006
Make Time Your Friend!
In my coaching practice, I often talk with business owners who are weary. Not just tired, but weary. Does this sound a little bit like you?
A sense of urgency and ambition are wonderful traits and important to have as a business owner, but you don't have to accomplish ALL your goals this week!
Working too many hours can make you less efficient and less productive. This results in important tasks slipping through the cracks, besides the fact that you enjoy your work less and less.
Some things that contribute to working too much, and possible solutions, include:
1. Joining too many networking groups. This problem can be solved by targeting your marketing efforts. Unless you have a very large marketing budget, you need to pick one target and focus all your marketing efforts on that one target. Be very choosy about the networking groups you join and attend, making sure your target audience is there, or that the members also market to your same target.
2. Setting your expectations too high. Do yourself a huge favor, and stop comparing yourself to everyone else. Your personality, knowledge, abilities and finances are not the same as anyone else's. This habit will make you crazy and keep you focused on 'shoulds'. You need all your energy for positive actions. Really stay focused on your own actions and short- and long-term goals.
Also, keep your schedule in mind. For example, I work less than 40 hours per week so I can spend time with my children. This schedule works great for me, but will not make me rich fast! If I compare myself to other coaches, I'll only become frustrated and mad at myself for not doing more and doing it better. In doing the math, if I compare myself to a coach who works 60 hours and is making $100,000 per year after 4 years, it should take me 2 years longer to achieve the same - if everything else is equal (which it isn't, of course).
3. Setting too many 'coffees' and 'lunches' for networking purposes. Be very selective on how you spend your time - it's valuable! Stay very focused on your target here, also. Meet with possible clients (sales meeting) or possible strategic alliance candidates who market to the same target as you. It is very easy to waste lots of time with these meetings.
Bottom line - be kind to yourself. Put your ideas and plans on paper and logically put a time-line together to see if your expectations are in line with reality. Enjoy the journey! You only get one shot to enjoy your life - don't blow it!