Focus On Your Strengths
Focus, say what??? So are you being pulled in 25 different directions? Forget about all of the different directions life is pulling you in. Today we’re just talking about the directions we’re pulled in as business owners.
We have to know the legal, business, social media, marketing, PR, accounting side of things, not to mention what we need to know about our own business. It gets really overwhelming. But when you’re doing “all of the things” are you going to focus on your strengths or the things that make you uncomfortable?
All the advice in the world
All the while, we’re getting advice like “you have to go LIVE on Facebook” or “host webinars!” or “you have to post on Instagram at least __x per day!” I see so many posts, webinars, and courses touting some definitive all-or-nothing approach to business.
Like if you don’t do this one exact thing, there’s no way you’ll succeed. Ha…is that what you want for YOUR business? It’s not what I want for mine!
Do you ever see something online — some statement or recommendation about the way you have to grow your business — and think “yuck! That really doesn’t speak to me.” Listen to your gut.
Maybe we don’t like Facebook or we’re not too thrilled about public speaking. Maybe we do much better with people in person than we do online, or vice versa.
But what if we focused on our strengths and exploited the crap out of them instead of forcing ourselves to do things in our business that don’t feel right? Don’t get me wrong here.
There’s plenty we have to do in business.
Not many people like legal or accounting — but we all know it’s a required part of being an entrepreneur (sorry!).
But I’m not talking about not liking some of the tougher areas of being an entrepreneur. I’m talking about instead of doing things that don’t feel right or good to you, playing up your strengths. Playing up your strengths when it comes to marketing and finding new clients, giving presentations, or hosting giveaways.
What to do
Not a super techie person? Either hire out someone to build out your sales page when you can or focus on in-person marketing until you get more comfortable.
You don’t need to force something just because “everyone else” is doing it. Trust me — plenty of people have no idea this “online business” world exists, and they’re doing just fine.
Definition of focus plural foci play \ˈfō-ˌsī also -ˌkī\ also focuses 1 a : a center of activity, attraction, or attention the focus of the meeting was drug abuse put immigration into focus as a hot topic for commentators b : a point of concentration 2 : directed attention : emphasis The focus is on helping the homeless. 3 a : direction 6c the team lost focus b : a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding tried to bring the issues into focus c : adjustment for distinct vision; also : the area that may be seen distinctly or resolved into a clear image d : focal length
Starting out in business
When I started my business, I felt like I needed to fit a certain mold I saw online in order to be successful. Post tons of pictures on Instagram of my perfectly arranged food, work out all the time wearing the perfect clothes and have killer hair and makeup. Or I felt like I needed to use certain language to sound like I fit a niche that didn’t speak to me and my journey. And if I wasn’t doing those things, I felt like my ‘weaknesses’ were being exploited. So yes, I hear you!
But what was I doing to play up my own strengths?! What about all of the things I liked that made me confident and who I am?
Yes, the Corporate World!
I reminded myself that when I was no longer in the corporate world, that there was a reason why I started my own business. One of them being that I wanted to be truer to myself and help others. I’m not being true to myself OR helping anyone else if I’m not sharing the most authentic version of myself. Either people like me for me and need my services, or they don’t. And that’s OK! I’m not for everyone. You’re not for everyone. But you’re not appealing to everyone, you’re appealing to people who have or want the same vision as you do. Remember that!
What I felt like I should do and look like, wasn’t me. I choose comfort over style and I post pictures I want to post. Instead, my strengths are real and I love helping women take steps to grow their businesses.
So that’s the real me.
I try to write like I speak, share parts of my personality here and there, and prioritize my strengths by connecting with real people. Not “fake” people like those in our current world. I could tell you stories but…
How are you focusing on your strengths in your business? What can you do to focus more on those, and less on the things that just don’t speak to you?
Let me know in the comments below or email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!
Are You Achieving Your Goals?
What if you could achieve your goals and attract the success you want, using your thoughts? It is possible. Along with taking action, positively imagining what you want your success to look like is the key.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung
Keeping your attitude positive, even in difficult times, is crucial to succeeding.
Here are six ways you can use positive thoughts to imagine yourself attracting success.
1. Visualize. Picture yourself achieving the success you are after. Visualize yourself in detail. For instance, if your goal is to lose x amount of weight, envision yourself putting on a pair of sexy jeans. If the goal is to sell x amount of products, picture yourself receiving paid invoices. Keep visual reminders around you.
2. Be thankful. Acknowledge three or four things you are grateful for each day. Embrace the day with the goal of being thankful. Picture in your mind how you would be grateful for your success.
3. Have a plan. Schedule each day in advance. A plan helps you see where you are going and make changes accordingly.
4. Take time to meditate or spend time in nature. Silence the noise that is around you. Sit quietly with your thoughts, removing negative noise.
5. Surround yourself with positive influences and people. Associating with positive people rubs off on you. See yourself being positive and kind.
6. Be enthusiastic and excited about your daily activities. Enthusiasm is contagious. It draws others to you. Force it when you don’t feel enthusiastic. Picture yourself being happy and excited.
You’ve got this. Use your mind’s creative visualization ability to see yourself attaining your goals and getting the success you desire.
visualisation. noun. the act or an instance of visualizing. a technique involving focusing on positive mental images in order to achieve a particular goal.
Visualize where you want to be and set your goals to get there.
Check out this Free Goals worksheet I created for you. Go ahead and download it and start filling it out.
But, if you need help creating your goals, please contact me by putting your information in the form below. I would love to help you.
10 Easy Ways to Be Happier
Here’s a quick list to help you create a more positive attitude and to be happier.
- Listen to good music. Music improves your mood and is a simple thing to do.
- Don’t watch television passively or at all.
- Be aware of negativity. Negative thoughts and feelings drain your energy.
- Make time to be alone. Sit quietly in your favorite room, in nature, or anywhere that you can be alone for at least five minutes.
- Take some time to figure out who you are or who you want to be.
- Exercise daily. Even a short walk will improve your mood.
- Have projects and goals to work toward.
- Do the things you enjoy doing. Like to crochet? Do it daily. Love to read novels? Do it for a few minutes daily. Enjoy hiking? Go ahead and take a hike.
- Ignore things that don’t make you happy.
- Just smile. Smiling will bring on a happy feeling, so even when you don’t feel like it, do it.
Cultivating happiness is one way to build your positive outlook. Every day, find ways to be happy, even if you have to force it. There you have it. You can cultivate a positive attitude. If you’ve always had a negative attitude, the tips in this guide can help you banish that negativity. Begin by becoming aware of your thoughts.
happy [hap-ee] Synonyms – Examples – Word Origin – See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com adjective, hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est. 1) delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person. 2) characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind. 3) favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky: a happy, fruitful land.
➡ When a negative thought enters, replace it with a positive one.
➡ Do things that make you happy.
➡ Meditate and visualize your way to success.
➡ Successfully changing your outlook may require digging deeper into your subconscious mind where your thoughts and actions have been recorded repeatedly.
In the end, you are the one who is in control of your thoughts. You can make the choice to be successful, have positive thoughts, and be happier. What do you think? Do you control your own thought?
Need help with changing your thought process? Contact me below and let’s set up a 15-minute FREE call to see how I can help.
YOU are NOT alone…
Acting Like the CEO in Your Business?
(This post is written with humor and fact. You decide which is which.)
Are you running your VA business as a business? Most of us would answer ‘yes’ to this question right away. If you’re NOT you should ask yourself why you aren’t. Aren’t you the CEO?
We get up every morning and we do our client work. We bill our clients once a month usually, sometimes they pay for their service up front.
But that’s not the whole scope of actually running a business. (It’s not?)
It’s a big part of it, of course, but there is much more.
So How Do YOU Act Like a CEO?
Whether your only income is coming from your VA business, or you are working a job and launching or running your VA business part-time, are you devoting your full attention to the details of building a successful business? (I can hear you mumbling under your breath!)
Do you have a daily plan of action that helps you move your business in a profitable direction? Or do you just get up every day and do client work?
A business mentor or consultant might call a business that you are not giving your full attention to, a hobby. (I can’t believe she just said that out loud!!)
It’s not fun to hear, but it might be the truth. Is it true for you? hummmm?
When you seek help to build or grow your business, the first thing your mentor will do is take a quick assessment of your mindset as the owner of your VA business.
If you don’t have the right mindset, no amount of planning or grunt work you do will help you find success. (But I want to be a success!)
Get Into Your Groove
Consider these questions right here:
- Do you know exactly how much money your business is bringing in each month?
- Do you know how much money is going out each month?
- Do you have a business plan and/or marketing plan?
- How many clients do you have, and do you have a pipeline of prospects?
These are some of the things that are important to consider right out of the gate. If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you aren’t acting like a business owner. (OH NO, how did SHE get into MY head?)
Keep in mind at this mindset stage that the actual pieces of these questions are not the important part – it’s the assessment of where your mindset is that is key here. I call it putting on your CEO hat.
Answer those questions honestly and you’ll know if you have the right frame of mind right now.
Do you need to make adjustments to how you are thinking about your business? Because NOW is the time!
Here are a few tips to help:
Approach each day as the person who makes the decisions in your business. To think like a business owner, you have to think about your decision making. Everything is a decision. (You’ve got that right sister!)
Be confident in the decisions that you make. No one knows your business like you do. Weigh your options and then make a choice. (OH NO I have to make a choice?)
Don’t worry about making mistakes. (Do I make mistakes?) As long as you are monitoring the decisions you make, and ensuring things are going in the direction you had planned, you are doing fine. (OKAY)
It’s Called Pivoting
Change course when necessary. If something doesn’t go as planned, identify why that is, and then change direction to keep your goal or strategy on track. (You know this is easier said than done right?)
Think about driving from your house to the mall. If you use a driving app like I often do, you can see where there is congested traffic ahead, and you can change your route so that you don’t get stuck in the traffic. (So easy for YOU to say!)
Your business is the same. Keeping an eye on things daily helps you to avoid the big problems. (Because BIG problems are exactly what I don’t want!)
Let’s Talk Money
When you see that you aren’t going to have enough revenue in any given period, you must make it a priority to go out and find a new client. (Oh geez, why can’t it just be easy!!)
When you see that your expenses are getting out of hand, you must analyze them and do what you can to keep as much money as possible. (Yes, because I’d rather spend MY money on new clothes! LOL)
You will always need new clients at some point, so recognize that a pipeline is essential to the longevity of your business. (What is this pipeline you’re talking about? I don’t need oil! LOL)
Doing the client work is just a part of your business. If you only focus on that, you will lose the most important piece of being able to shape your business the way you dreamed.
Put that CEO hat on and you will start to see more success and pretty quick too.
Ok, so the point of this article is for you to see that you really need to up your game. You need a plan of action as well as the desire to have a business. You need to be the CEO of your business.
Need help with that? Contact me, yes you should really do that, and let me help guide you into that role of CEO. I have a super great deal for you where you can show up and get all the support you need.
Come on…it’s not THAT hard!
5 Great Business Tips for Summer
1) Develop An Organizational Business System
If you don’t already have an organizational system for your business, now is definitely the time to start. Different people work best with different systems, so, unfortunately, I can’t tell you which type to use. But, here’s a cool business tip for you. Paper or Plastic – I mean Digital! lol Some people like paper systems, because they can cross items off their list as they complete them. And some people like digital planners because they can send their lists to their phones, i-pads and have them on their computers.
Google Calendar can be a mix of both because you can set appointments online and then print out your calendar as well. You can also view it from your phone, and have reminders go off on your phone and computer too.
Personally, I like the feeling of crossing things off a to-do list, and I like to see them, so paper is what works for me. But like I said, everyone is different. Find what works for you and go with it! Here’s a FREE PAPER TO-DO LIST you can use if you like paper.
2) Start Planning
The first step in taking time off in your business is to start planning for it. How much time do you need to take off? You need to know how much work you need to do in advance so that your business doesn’t fall apart when you take the time off. This is such a great business tip.
Let’s say you want to plan for a two-week vacation. Well, if you blog 3 times per week, that’s 6 blog posts. You’ll also want to plan for your Twitter and Facebook status updates, as well as any promotions you are going to do before taking off on your vacation.
On the other hand, if you are going to be working a reduced schedule, you need to plan for that, as well. For example, if you normally work 20 hours per week within your business but need to cut it down to 10 hours per week in the summer, it’s time to figure out how much you need to do each week, so you can start working extra now to make up for it, and to make sure you schedule the most important tasks in your limited hours. This little business tip is GOLD!
When you figure out how much work will need to be done, don’t feel overwhelmed. We’re taking this one step at a time. You don’t have to do everything in one night.
Look at the big goal and work backward. Using the first example of someone who is going on a two-week vacation, let’s say you have four weeks before you leave. Well, if you wrote two extra blog posts for the next three weeks, you’d have the six you will need, plus one extra week to schedule your Twitter and Facebook updates to let people know when new posts are published.
3) Work Smarter
Now is the time to start working smarter, not harder. Like I said earlier, you can write posts now, and schedule them to publish later. I for one think this is an excellent business tip!
If the idea of writing extra blog posts gives you a big case of blogger’s block, start doing the following:
- Reuse old content – Take the content that is already on your blog and re-use it in a new way. Some examples include “Top 10 Lists,” where you list the links to some of the best tips you’ve previously written. If you don’t write tips per se, you can still use that idea and just call it a “My Faves” post where you list the links to some of your favorite previous blog posts.
- Get Readers to Create Content – Get your readers to help you create some content! Ask a question and ask them to answer it!
- Guest Posts – Ask some of your favorite bloggers to guest post on your blog! You can ask them to write an original blog post or ask for permission to post one of the posts that was previously written on their blog.
When it comes to taking time off during the summer, technology is your best friend! All the major blogging platforms let you write posts now and schedule them in advance. Your email newsletter service should be the same way. It would be impossible for me to know the facts on every single service out there, but all the ones that I know allow you to create your newsletter now and send it later.
HootSuite (https://www.hootsuite.com/) allows you to schedule social network updates, such as Twitter and Facebook. I use the free version, and it works just fine! Once you schedule your blog post and have the link for it, you can sign in to HootSuite and schedule an update with the post title and link on the publish date. It’s like you are right there, publishing it live at your computer, even though you are out on your vacation!
Delegating can be hard. Really hard. It’s kind of funny – you start a business because you want to be your own boss, but it can be really hard to start bossing other people around. Doing that requires letting go – and your business is a lot like your baby and putting that “baby” into someone else’s hands can cause you lots of anxiety and worry.
But eventually, you’re going to have to learn to trust, and start letting go…
You can let go in small steps. Let someone write your newsletter. Get someone else to answer your customer service questions. Have someone else post your items to your Etsy shop… Let someone else do what you are comfortable with. When the world doesn’t fall apart, let them do another task. It all depends on what your goals are.
So, where are you supposed to find these people? Well, you can hire one. Look online for a virtual assistant. You can go to sites like elance.com and guru.com, where you can post your job opening, and qualified people can “bid” on it.
These people will tell you how much they would charge you to take on the job. Now, don’t just pick the cheapest one. Look at their past work references! Just because it’s “cheap” doesn’t mean it’s good, and just because it’s “expensive” doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Look at their past work and let that be your guide. Of course, you can also send a shout-out through Twitter or Facebook and see if any of your “friends” are interested in a side gig.
Another option is to find an intern. In most cases, interns do not get paid, but they should be learning something. So, you might be working with someone who has never used Twitter before. That’s okay. You can teach them! Yes, it will take more time, but you are getting work done for free, so you’re going to have to trade some time for that exchange. There are so many virtual assistants in the marketplace these days that will jump at the chance to be an intern. You can offer a testimonial for them to include on their website in exchange for the work they provide to you. Such a great idea!
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