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In a seminar, I asked, “What one thing have you done that has made a huge difference in your life over the last year?”
One fellow raised his hand and said, “I used to write down my projects and to-dos on little scraps of paper and sticky notes. It was messy and confusing. So, I started using a single notebook to write down everything I need to write down. This has helped me stay so much more organized.”
Nice! I asked how much time a day this was saving him.
“Oh, maybe 10 minutes a day,” he replied.
That’s more than an hour a week, and 52 hours over the course of a year. Or, 520 hours and 13 work weeks, over the course of 10 years. Not to mention, there are savings of emotional energy, which was previously spent scouring through slips of paper trying to find something.
A small change can reap huge results. In the last 23 years of business building, I’ve become an expert. Here’s what I’ve learned: Business is easy.
We make things too complicated. Pretty much everything I do to help my clients become more successful relates to un-complicating stuff.
Do less and achieve more. Sound good? It is!
Here are seven ways to streamline and maximize results.
Get clear on what you want
Write your perfect life essay or create a vision board. Most of my clients know what they don’t want. Only a few are willing to lay claim to what they do want.
When you have clarity of intention you can say, “No,” a lot more often. That frees up tons of time and focuses your energy. Share your vision with your family and your team. Be unabashed in your desires.
Raise your prices
I caught up with a past client who is still woefully underpriced. “What if you had doubled your prices 10 years ago, when we first met?” I asked.
One can argue that making a move from $50 to $100 (or $150 to $300 or more) per hour would be the demise of this company. However, in my experience, the owners who: A.) go out of business or B.) amass a big pile or debt or C.) have no money stashed for retirement are those who don’t raise their prices. Even $10 per hour times 1,000 hours per year times 10 years is $100,000. A $100 per hour increase would be $1,000,000.
Considering what you do to protect the health and safety of mankind, don’t you think you deserve it? Doesn’t more money make lots of things easier?
I’ve given this piece of advice more than any other in my career because this one thing will make the biggest difference in your life and for your family, team, customers and community.
Spend time with your employees
Ride along and sit side-by-side. Listen and learn. Share your vision and ask them what they think of it. Ask them what you might do to improve your performance as a leader. Ask them what you are doing that’s getting in the way of their success.
Add their ideas to your list of projects and to-dos. Engage them to solve problems and grow your business. They will!
Put this week’s to-dos and projects on the calendar
You can’t do everything at once, so commit to a few projects at a time. Then, make sure that project time hits somebody’s calendar, yours or someone to whom you have delegated the project.
Plan your week and add in meeting times, personal time (gym, dates, kids’ things) as well as your day-to-day job activities. Your calendar is your best defense against the “gotta minutes” that can suck the life out of your day.
Shoot more video
Create videos for team training and for your operations manual. Film your customers when they brag on your and post to Instagram. Build a YouTube channel, starring you and your team, DIY tips, and reasons customers should call a pro.
The most successful marketers of the future will be the ones with the most video views. Ask your 12-year-old about PewDiePie, an online video game player with 40 million subscribers and a $12 million dollar top line last year.
My friend Juanelle Teague says, “Tell the truth, quicker, faster.”
We do so much damage when we spin a situation. Be real. Tell a team member, “This is our salary ladder. It doesn’t go on forever. It tops out here.”
Tell a customer, “We can do better. Let’s meet and review what’s happened and how we can make it right.”
When you damage your integrity, there is no price you could pay to get it back. Only truth creates trust. If you have some communications to clean up, take the hit and get started today.
Take care of yourself
A family friend is a nurse, and he told me that he is in danger of burning out. I understand that a lot of nurses are overworked and underpaid. However, what he shared really got my attention.
He said, “My patients demand the absolute best care, most comprehensive tests and an unwavering commitment by the medical staff to do everything possible to help them. This is frustrating because, prior to getting sick, many of these patients didn’t do the minimum that they could have done to stay healthy. If you smoke and are overweight and never exercise, you will probably end up in the hospital. Now, what can we do then that can counteract what you’ve been doing — or not doing — for the last ten years?”
Commit to developing one healthy discipline. Consider, before you speak the words or do the activity, “Is this worth my time and energy? Is this aligned with what I really want?”
If not, pare it out. If it is, do it now. So many people at my seminars can’t name any one thing that they have done in the past year that has changed their lives. It’s so easy to get on the “treadmill” and unconsciously spin through another year.
Try just one of these simple disciplines on for size, and let me know what you discover as you make it part of your life.
“The best time to plant an oak tree is 10 years ago. The second best time is today.”
~ Chinese Proverb
Ellen Rohr provides “in the trenches” insight that business owners can relate to. Comments? Questions? A different view? Reach her at 417-753-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the Bare Bones Biz community, at www.ellenrohr.com, for free tips, problem-solving webinars, money-making tools and lots of love.