Business coach Brandi Starr says that women entrepreneurs can obtain balance by making sure they are focused. Read Brandi’s three steps for a life of balance and focus.
Women business owners naturally face different challenges than their male counterparts. Although each household dynamic is different, many women entrepreneurs also carry the roles of mother, homemaker, caregiver and/or spouse. Managing it all can feel more like juggling chainsaws than an act of balance. As a wife, mother and entrepreneur I often get asked “how do you do it all, and make it look so simple?” my answer is two-part and always the same…It’s about balance and focus as a woman entrepreneur.
Women by nature are nurturers which often lead to feelings of guilt when we put our needs (or the needs of our business) ahead of others. This guilt often holds us back from reaching our full potential because our attention is centered on being all things to all people at all times. And that is where the problem arises.
When I decided to launch Cassius Blue Consulting I had to first accept that though I CAN do all things and do them well, I CANNOT do them all at the same time. I am a very involved mother, a loving and attentive wife, a supportive friend and daughter and a successful business owner. I give 100% of myself in each of these areas but at different times. There are days (or weeks) where my family or my husband needs me most, and therefore are the priority and other times where my door (both literally and figuratively) is shut and my attention is on my business. Once I shifted my thinking to this mindset I recognized that neither my family nor business was being neglected. Guilt. Gone.
Activity does not equal accomplishment, because your calendar is full and your to do list has tons of activities checked off does not mean that your business is growing. Are you familiar with the phrase, Business vs. Busyness? One word from the phrase, busyness, leads to exhaustion not success. In order to grow your business (and avoid burnout) you have to maximize efficiency by focusing on the things that matter most, the tasks and projects that have the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time. Here are three tips for being more efficient and staying focused:
- Identify 3-5 Key Goals: Start by writing down the 3-5 short term goals that are most critical to your business growth. I then recommend using two separate to do lists. Create a “priorities” list which only includes those tasks that directly align to your goals. Then create a “tasks” list for everything else. Every day begin your day with the items on the priorities list and only after you have completed those items move on to the tasks list. Although some of the tasks may get behind you will always be moving forward by completing the activities that matter most.
- Turn off Distractions: Email, social media and phone calls are among the biggest time zappers. On more occasions than I care to admit I have spent my entire day responding to emails and voicemails. In order to stay focused, establish a routine of responding during specific times and close or silence your email, phone and social media accounts until those times. For example, spend 30 minutes mid-morning, 30-minutes after lunch and another 30-minutes at the end of the day.
- Establish Boundaries: Do you have clients calling you all hours of the day and on weekends? Have you set a precedence for unsustainable response times? Does your family frequently interrupt you during your business time? All of these scenarios are examples of a lack of boundaries. Establish your rules, write them down and share them with all involved. You can post policies on your website, include them in your newsletter, discuss them directly with clients and family members. Once you have established your boundaries stick to them. People may try once or twice to see how firm your rules are, but don’t bend and they will begin to take them seriously.
Brandi Starr is a Coach, Consultant, Brand Strategist and Speaker of Cassius Blue Consulting. Brandi believes that “most small business owners are extraordinary at doing that ‘thing’ that they built a business around; but they lack the ‘know how’ to develop a solid strategy and to effectively market and sell their product or service. Through action-oriented consulting and training, Brandi helps her customers see real results! With 13 years of marketing experience in both B2B and B2C environments Brandi energizes small business owners who are in the early stages of their business to win more customers, grow sales and build reputation.