When it comes to achieving more, our first instinct can be to do more. But this only leaves you with less time and focus to get things done to the standard to which your clients expect, leaving you with less energy and more stress. The key, therefore, is to focus on doing less.
And if you’ve been in business for a year or more, it’s highly likely that there is less you can do, because all businesses evolve over time. However, as they do, they often collect outdated products, processes and projects. Take-stock of what is really working in your business, and look for all the ways you can do less.
Perhaps offering fewer products would give you a stronger, more competitive offer. Maybe doing less marketing will allow you to create more value and impact. Definitely doing less of the tasks and activities that don’t drive results, will give you more time and resources to focus on your ‘needle-movers’.
Get rid of anything that is no longer working for you or serving your clients. And if you are the leader or owner of a small business or a solopreneur, look for ways to outsource and delegate tasks that take you away from what you do best.
Take more time for you
Your business is only as strong as you are. There is a myth that as a business owner or entrepreneur, you have to work 70 hour weeks, but that’s simply not true. It’s OK to put in extra time when a significant project demands your time and focus, but it’s important to create sustainable habits. Schedule time every day for your health, wellbeing and personal growth.
I learned this the hard way after coming close to burn out in my first business. So I created a new way of working, giving myself a grid-style to do list, that allows me to ensure that my focus is always on my biggest goals and personal growth.
In the middle of my daily To Do grid, I have three squares titled: Mind, Body and Soul’, their purpose is to remind me to focus on personal development every day (Mind), healthy habits such as eating well, getting exercise, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep (Body), and to take some time for me (Soul). This keeps me and my business is balance.
Trust your instincts
Over the years, many of us have learned to distrust our instincts. However, I don’t know about you, but I know that those times when things have gone particularly well for me, or particularly bad, it’s been when I have, or haven’t trusted my instincts.
It’s important to remember, that no one else has your vision for your business, and so they will never be quite so in-tune with it’s needs as you will be. And your instincts aren’t random. That gut feeling you have is based on a lifetime of knowledge and experiences, so it’s worth listening to.
Work with less clients
Not all clients are born equal. Some clients we accept are a dream to work with. They pay on time, they respect our processes, and value our approach. As a result, they walk away happy and fulfilled and sing our praises to more people just like them. And in the process, they help build our own confidence and self-belief that we are in the right place, and doing the right thing.
However, some clients are just the opposite. They do not value what we offer or respect our processes (especially payment terms!). As a result, they are more demanding, they are costly to manage and they have us questioning our very existence. These are clients that you do not want in your business, and should be fired at the first opportunity before they bring you and your business down. Focus on working only with your dream clients, and you’ll soon see your business (satisfaction and happiness) grow.
Ask ‘What’s in it for them?’
When it comes to marketing and messaging, I often see business owners make the mistake of focusing on promoting themselves and talking about their business. However, it’s more powerful to instead focus on how you can use your product, knowledge or philosophy to make a difference for others, ideally someone who is a potential ‘Dream Client’.
Do that consistently, and you, your business and your brand will be remembered for the right reasons, and you’ll soon have a thriving pipeline of clients wanting to do business with you.