bal·anced: adj. well-adjusted, levelheaded, stable, grounded, reasonable, sane, even-tempered (might I add “reduced stress”)
bril·liant: adj. intelligent, smart, clever, exceptional, impressive, remarkable
boom·ing: adj. flourishing, thriving, prosperous, successful, strong, buoyant
Do any of these words describe what you want for yourself and your business?
Most small business owners aspire to at least some level of balance, brilliance, and boom in their personal and business lives. However, for many, achieving this can sometimes be elusive and overwhelming. How do you make the changes necessary to experience any or all of these goals?
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. This same concept can be applied to tackling what might appear to be a monumental feat. One change at a time. One month at a time. Experts say it takes 21 days to make a habit. With this guide, you have 30 days to institute change.
Let’s Start with Balance…
Month 1: Address Personal Burnout
It is challenging to achieve any sense of balance until you address any amount of burnout you might be experiencing. Burnout comes from excessive and prolonged stress, an inability to meet constant demands, and failure to address the emotional drains in your life. There are a number of things you can do to start reducing burnout:
- Connect with the positive and loving relationships in your life
- Start and follow through on a healthy diet and exercise regime
- Identify your stressors and work on eliminating them one at a time
- Set aside regular time to relax and have fun
- Learn to say no and set healthy boundaries
- Engage in creative pursuits that nurture you
Month 2: Start a Meditation and Gratitude Practice
Start your day with a meditation and gratitude practice. Every morning I spend some quiet time reflecting and writing in my gratitude journal. It does wonders for settling my mind, getting me in the right headspace, and starting my day on a positive note. Meditation is one of the best things you can practice to achieve mental and emotional balance in your life. According to HuffPost, in their article “8 Ways Meditation Can Improve Your Life,” meditation reduces stress, improves concentration, and increases self-awareness, happiness, and acceptance. Oh, and by the way, it reduces aging. Who doesn’t want that?
Month 3: Become Super Selective with Your Time
If you are burning the candle at both ends, how will you feel balanced? Your time is precious; you will never get it back. So be extremely careful about who you spend your time with, and how you spend your time. Take an honest look at your life. Where and with whom do you need to say no? Is it “no” to too many meetings, phone calls, timewasters, energy suckers, or activities? You cannot be everything to all people. So, pick the people and activities that will bring the most amount of value to your life and business.
Month 4: Become a Productivity Guru
You’ve heard it a million times. Stop working harder and longer. Work smarter! With today’s technology, there is no shortage of tools to help you work smarter, be more organized, and manage your time better. But it’s true you can spend too much time on technology tools. Do a little research, follow your favorite productivity guru, and commit to a couple of tools and practices that will increase your time, organization and efficiency. Find something that works for you and stick with it, even when it feels uncomfortable and you want to revert to your old ways. Productivity is a habit that needs to be repeated over and over until you perfect it.
Moving on to Brilliance…
Month 5: Invest 10% of Your Time and Resources into Learning
Yesterday I was reading an article on 15 things you need to do immediately if you want to become a multi-millionaire. I don’t much care about that result, but I was curious about what new habits I might learn from this article. I’ve heard this idea many times before. Invest in YOU. When I owned my first business, I spent an inordinate amount of time learning. I read countless articles, purchased business courses, attended conferences, and poured over hundreds of books. It paid off because today I use that knowledge to advise not only myself but countless other small business owners. You can’t be brilliant unless you are constantly learning.
Month 6: Build Strategy Time into Your Calendar
One of the things I’ve been helping my small business clients do is build “whitespace” into their calendars for business strategizing. When you own a small business and wear multiple hats, it is easy to get sucked into working in your business vs. working on your business. Brilliance happens when you carve out the time to take a big picture look at your business, ask yourself the tough questions, address the overarching problems, and plan for your next moves and changes. I know from experience, if you don’t actually calendar that time, it will not magically appear.
Month 7: Join a Mastermind Group to Access More Creative Ideas
Have you ever wondered how you were going to solve a challenging business problem? Have you ever felt stuck, and unable to access creative ideas? That’s normal. You aren’t meant to manage and grow your business alone. It takes a “mastermind”. A mastermind, in my world, can be a higher intelligent mind, a group of experts or a collective group of people focused on a common purpose. Better yet is all three combined. Imagine what you could create if you had the power of many vs. just you. There is a reason there are so many business mastermind groups. They work. Not only do they help you access creative ideas and a brilliance you can’t have on your own, they provide the community and support that so many business owners need.
Month 8: Integrate Your Personal Values and Vision into the Business
What a brilliant idea! Without your personal values and vision to guide you, you are aimlessly wandering while creating a potentially purposeless business. Your business should scream loud and clear, who you are, what you’re all about, and why you are in business. When you’ve identified your personal values and you live out those values in everything you do, not only will you reflect a magical authenticity, you will attract exactly who you want to work with. Your business will fulfill you, and your vision will guide you to create and live out your purpose. Spend this month identifying your values, writing out your vision, and aligning every aspect of your life and business with these things.
Finish with a Boom…
Month 9: Identify and Overcome Your Mental Blocks to Success
To earn my black belt in Taekwondo, I had to break a 12x6x6 cinder block. Everyone else in my testing class made it look so easy. I had “master” instructions on how to carry out this mission, but yet the first four times I tried, I failed. I thought my mind was in the right place, but obviously, I had blocks. “Who the hell can break a brick with their hand? Those guys are much stronger and bigger than me. This is hard. I’m gonna hurt my hand.” All those things came true until I shifted my mindset. When I saw the brick breaking, believed I could do it, and followed the technique, I broke my brick with EASE. It literally felt like it just crumbled. What mental mindsets and beliefs do you have that are blocking your success? Break through them.
Month 10: Develop Your Personal Marketing Strategy
If there is one thing I learned from being a two-time business owner, you can do everything all the marketing experts tell you to do, but until you develop your own personal marketing strategy, you won’t have the business growth you desire. Go out there and public speak or network. But what if you hate large crowds of people? Start content marketing and blast it out to your social media channels. But what if you aren’t good at writing? There are so many ways to market your business, but it needs to work for you, or you aren’t going to do it. There is no better way to market your business than to practice authenticity. Be you and pick the marketing tools that feel the best for you.
Month 11: Charge What You’re Worth
This is an easy path to increasing revenue and growing your business. Raise your rates and outperform your competition. Kick that self-doubt out the window and believe you are worth it. One of my clients keeps raising his rates, and guess what? He keeps attracting clients because they believe he is worth it. AND HE IS. Of all my clients, this one experienced the biggest business growth last year. Even when it feels scary, keep testing the market to see what clients will pay. I know from experience (I live in the San Francisco Bay Area), some people will pay ridiculous amounts for things they want. But don’t compromise your reputation – deliver brilliance!
Month 12: Hire Help to Compensate for Your Weaknesses
I wish I was good at everything, but I’m not. And sadly, neither are you. But it’s okay because someone out there is good at exactly what you’re not good at. Two of the greatest assessments I use to identify strengths and weaknesses is the CliftonStrengths Finder and the Kolbe Index. First, identify what you excel at and be honest and aware of the areas you fall down. Then search for individuals to grow your team and help you compensate for these weaknesses. Not only do you need to build a team to create a booming business, you need a well-rounded team that encompasses all the necessary strengths and talent.
Well, this should keep you busy for the next year, as you work to create a balanced, brilliant and booming business. Remember, you have 30 days to implement a new change before moving on to the next. Stay focused and concentrate your energies in one area until you are successful. I believe in you and wish you much success!
One Change Per Month to a Balanced, Brilliant and Booming Business
March 14, 2018