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Great missions require a great deal of support

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

It’s been almost 4 years since I got divorced, and although that time was challenging on many levels there was one thing that (secretly) hurt me the most.

It was when people would say “Tina, I’m so sorry! How are the girls? You are so strong, I know you’ll be fine…

It was said with love and the best of intention – I get that. But every time someone said it I would think:

“What about me? Why don’t they ask how I’m doing?”

The truth is that I am strong. I could take care of everything during this challenging time. My girls and I would be fine – I knew that.

BUT I secretly craved support. I wanted nothing more than to have someone say “Tina, let me help you here. Let me take this off your shoulders.”

I didn’t know how to ask for that support – so it didn’t happen.

Truth be told I’m sure it was offered at times but my own beliefs that “I have to take care of everyone, and I have to take care of things on my own” would have blinded me to it.

As time went on it became obvious that I could NOT keep doing it all alone. In order to keep running my business as a single mama I had to learn how to ask for – and RECEIVE – support.

I had to learn how to stop feeling GUILTY about asking for help and instead embrace it as a gift from one human to another.
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The truth of what’s been going on in my business

By | Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

In my last blog post I opened up a can of worms, chronicling about the Dark Night of the Business Soul.

Today, though, I want to share with you about my own journey…

It started a couple of years ago. I had hit the point of success in my business that I had always wanted.

  • I was making great money
  • Doing work I enjoyed with great clients
  • Had an awesome team
  • Working about 30 hours per week – no weekends!

I had accomplished what I set out to accomplish and it was good… but something was off. Something was missing and I couldn’t put my finger on it.

Despite my success, I wasn’t truly happy. And those sneaky little thoughts crept in:

“It wasn’t supposed to feel this way”

“Why aren’t I happy?”

“If this isn’t ‘IT’ then what is?”

I had everything that I wanted from my business – an amazing team, good money and plenty of free time. And I was feeling this way? Read More

The Dark Night of the BUSINESS Soul

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | No Comments

I’ve been going through an interesting journey the past couple of years and I’m curious if you can relate…

It starts with a hint of dissatisfaction.

“It wasn’t supposed to be this way”

“Why aren’t I happy?”

“If this isn’t ‘IT’ then what is?”

That quiet voice in the night – saying things that you would rather not hear.

After all, you’ve been working your butt off to get this far. You’ve achieved what you set out to achieve. And it’s working.

You’ve created a business doing what you are good at.

You are making a comfortable amount of money.

You do great work and your clients love you.

Put simply, you are where you wanted to be and you still don’t feel like you’ve arrived.

After all this work, you still aren’t satisfied. It doesn’t feel like enough.

Another little voice kicks in now:

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4 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Are Too Busy

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Systems & How-Tos, Team & Outsourcing | 3 Comments

“Help me Tina! I’m too busy and something needs to change…”

Young overworked business woman sleeping on floorYou are right – it does. Being too busy isn’t sustainable and doesn’t serve you or your clients. The good news? It’s fixable, so grab your to-do list and ask yourself the following questions.

Question 1: Does this really need to be done? (If yes, now or later?)

We often have things on our to-do lists that either:

  1. don’t need to be done at all – they are ideas, maybes or “wouldn’t it be nice ifs”. They are things we are thinking about, but that we haven’t actually made a firm decision on yet. Ideas are not to-dos – create a separate idea list and get those things off your to-do list!
  2. don’t need to be done now – if you aren’t strategic about planning ahead, then as a default everything on your to-do list feels like it needs to be done NOW. Work through each item and ask yourself – when does this really need to be done? Could it be put off until next week? Maybe even next month? Take your list and put realistic due dates beside each item.

You should be left with a list of things that are actually do in the next week or so – and a list of things that aren’t due yet (or are ideas and are no longer on the list!)

Question 2: Do I need to be the one to do this?

If you are anything like I was for years, as a default you feel like you must do everything. You are good at what you do. You are used to being the one to get it all done, but now things are starting to fall behind and slip through the cracks.

Run through your list again and ask yourself – could someone else do this for me? Be aware of the following when you answer:

  • “Well yes, someone else could do this for me but it’s only me so I have to” If you don’t have anyone working with you right now this could be true, and you also have the power to change. Growth dictates that you will need to hire help at some point – when you do it is up to you.
  • “But no one can do it as well as me – so I have to be the one to do it” This is a dangerous spot to get stuck in, because as long as you believe it to be true, it is… and it could be the thing sucks the life right out of you. Yes, you may be the best at doing something but that doesn’t mean you can’t train another person to be as good as you (or at least close enough 😉 or find someone who does it already and bring them on board.

The goal here is simple – identify the things that others could do for you. It doesn’t mean you have to hire a bunch of people tomorrow, but at the very least you can look to give more to the people you have already and plan ahead for getting more support (which becomes a light at the end of the busy tunnel!)

This second question can be a doozy as it brings up all kinds of stuff for many of us – it can have our inner control freak kicking and screaming! I highly recommend getting the support of a coach or OBM to help you here if you go through your list and still have your name beside every task. An outside eye can often see what you can’t.

Question 3: How can I create more space?

At this point you should have a realistic list of what needs to be done in the next week or so. Now you want to ensure you have the space and time to get it done. Here are two of my favorite tips:

  • Plan ahead –book the time in your schedule to get stuff done. You might book in specific tasks, or you might book in time for types of tasks (ie: writing time, client time).
  • Set boundaries – distraction is the death of productivity. Be it team, clients, family or social media – every time you get distracted it takes you off track, and for many people it happens all day long! Close your door. Turn off your phone and email. Let people know when you aren’t available and when you are. And get really good at saying no (because they will test your boundaries!)

Question 4: Do I need to renegotiate any deadlines?

If you are truly in over your head and can’t get everything done, then you need to revise your deadlines. I get that this sucks and you may hate having to do it, but it’s better for you to own up to something ahead of time vs. having people get upset with you because they are waiting/asking. To simply say to someone “Hey, I got in over my head here and that’s on me. I won’t be able to get X to you until next Monday and wanted to let you know.” Yes, you might need to make concessions for being late if this affects their timelines.

Even if they are frustrated, people will respect you for stepping up and being real with what is going on – and quite often they are OK with adjusted timelines if they know ahead of time.

The beauty of these 4 questions is that you can use them over and again. Every time you find yourself too busy work through this process, and ideally overtime you won’t need to anymore.

Let me know how it goes k?

The Top 3 Reasons Why You Are Too Busy

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

Many of my clients come to me because they are too busy.

They are working too many hours.
They spend most of their time putting out fires and trying to keep up with everything.
They are having to say no to opportunities because there literally isn’t anymore time to do more work.
Their family members are mad at them for working too much.
They are tired, frustrated and demotivated because they can’t see a way to change it.

Before you can make a change it’s important to first recognize this simple truth.

Being too busy is the result of our choices, it’s not the cause of our problems.

It’s easy to think that being too busy is the problem, but it’s actually the symptom of the underlying causes that need to change. The good news? It’s fixable! The bad news? We are the only ones who can fix it. 😉

The first step to fixing it is understanding the top 3 reasons why business owners are too busy.

1) Saying yes more than you say no

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our results. This also means that 80% of our efforts contribute to only 20% of our results.

In other words, we may be spending up to 80% of our time on things that don’t really matter. Ouch!

essentialismThis happens when we default to saying yes to everything that comes our way. Yes to every new project. Every new client. Every new idea.

Every time we say yes to something there is less of us to go around. We end up making small progress in many areas, vs. measurable  progress where it matters the most.

Greg McKeown summarizes this beautifully in his book Essentialism.

“Once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone [and everything], you can make your highest contirbution towards the things that really matter.”

2) Still seeing yourself as doer vs. leader

For the first 10 years of my business it was just me. I was a soloprenuer working 1-1 with my clients was able to handle all the work on my own. 2009 was the year that I shifted to a leveraged business model and began to focus on growth. It was the year my business officially became bigger than me and I quickly started to feel the pressure of getting it all done.

The simple truth was that there was more work to do, and I could no longer handle it all on my own. Something had to change, and it started with redefining my role.

All activities in business can be categorized into doing, managing or leading. The more time & energy you spend in doing, the less time you have for managing and leading.

Doing is a habit. If you are anything like I was, you are simply used to being the doer because you’ve done it for so long. You may take pride in the fact that you are a doer and can ‘get it all done’! If you continue to identify as the ‘doer’ you will always be too busy, for the simple fact that you won’t be willing to let it go.

3) Not building a strong foundation of team & systems

You’ve embraced your role as leader and are ready to let go of the doing – great! Next step is to bring in the right people to do the work and build a strong foundation of systems for everyone to work from.

It’s not rocket science to say that you need to hire a team – I’m sure you’ve heard it before! And yet many people struggle here when they don’t know who they need, where to find them and how to lead them to success.

Most of us aren’t naturals – finding, hiring and leading a team is a learned skill. If you are committed to getting out of the ‘too busy’ cycle you need to be willing to invest in your own leadership skills & development. You need to be willing to invest in hiring great people who can help you take your business to where you want to be.

If you are too busy I invite you to explore these 3 areas and let me know which of them you are going to work on next. I assure you that even small changes in any of these 3 areas can make a measurable difference.

Here’s to your freedom!

You can’t help a client who is missing this…

By | Leadership, Success Mindset | 11 Comments

I’m at the point where I won’t work with a client who doesn’t have urgency behind their desire.

There is a big difference between:

“I’d love to have this but if it doesn’t work out, oh well”

VS

“I have no choice but to create this because if I don’t there are real consequences.”

without-a-sense-of-urgency-desire-loses-its-value-quote-1If we don’t have urgency we won’t do what it takes. We will take the easier path. We will put things off.

If there aren’t any consequences attached to the things we want then we simply won’t stretch ourselves to the place we need to go to create success (anything new does require stretching!)

This isn’t a reflection on the person – it’s simply human nature and we are all wired this way! (It’s easy to say that I’d love to lose 20 pounds but truthfully it’s not that urgent – so I don’t do what it takes to make it happen.)

Always explore urgency with a potential client! Ask them why they want to make the change they are making now. Ask them what the cost is if they don’t make this change now? What if they did nothing and were in the same place next year – how would they feel?

Pay attention to their answers – look to hear and feel the urgency. If they don’t really want it or it’s not really that important you need to be willing to say no to them (even if they want to work with you!)

You can’t want it more for them than they want it for themselves. I see this happen all the time, and it simply doesn’t work. People say they want something and you decide to work with them, but there is no urgency so one of two things happens:

1) They don’t take any action, which leaves you both frustrated (and you feeling totally disempowered because you really want to help!)

2) They blame you or the program for not working, which again leaves you both feeling frustrated (and could have you questioning your value!)

Bottom line is – if there is no urgency have the courage to say no to that client, even if they are willing to spend the money.

If you want something but can never seem to make it happen – explore your urgency. Be honest with yourself – are there any consequences if you don’t create what you want? Do you have an exit door or safety net of some kind that makes it OK if it doesn’t happen?

If something is important enough you may need to create your own urgency:

  • Fire a client who no longer serves you, so you can create space for the client who will.
  • Make an investment that goes beyond your comfort level – spending money you can’t afford to lose. <– I did this just last week!
  • Presell something so that you have no choice but to create it, because people have paid and are waiting for it! <– One of my favorite strategies

Yes, urgency is uncomfortable and that is where the magic happens… for us and our clients.

I’m curious how you’ve seen this play out for your clients? And yourself? Comment below and let me know…

Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Team & Outsourcing | 6 Comments

Originally posted on Feb. 25th 2016.

When I used to do corporate recruiting back in the day, one of the questions we always asked people was:

“Are you a starter, finisher or maintainer?”

I love this question and have continued to use it in my business – with team & clients. It’s important to understand this distinction for ourselves, as well as for the people we work with.

A starter likes to get the ball rolling – you are a visionary. You see the world through a lens of opportunity and how things can be changed for the better. You are passionate and driven by your ideas – nothing gives you more pleasure than a great (new) idea and the possibility it creates.

A finisher likes to get stuff done – you love to plug into someone else’s ideas and help bring them to life. You naturally see what it will take to accomplish a goal – the steps, resources and timeline – and don’t feel satisfied until measurable progress is being made.

A maintainer likes to keep the engine running – you are driven by stability – chaos, messes and surprises drive you crazy! You have an eye for detail and a heart of service, knowing that a strong foundation is what keeps the vision (ideas) alive. You are satisfied when everything is running as it should, on a daily basis, with excellence.

Which one do you identify with the most?

Could be more than one – I’m both a starter & a finisher, but I am NOT a maintainer.

I am great at coming up with big ideas – solving big problems – and I love to bring them to life. (My business is built on programs we’ve created to solve big problems – Certified Online Business Manager and CEO Business School to name our biggies)

Once the programs are created and serving where they are meant to serve, then I start to disengage. Once the creation is live my natural inclination is to move onto the next thing.

This is who I am but I fought this for YEARS! I thought that I should want to keep focused on the same thing – I created it, this is my baby, how could I possibly be ready to move on? (Or dare I say, bored!) I beat myself up because I thought something was wrong with me.

It’s only in recent years I’ve come to accept that I’m not a maintainer, and because of this I need strong maintainers on my team. Because of this I have structured my business to allow my starter/finisher nature to play while building on the success of past creations <– this took me a LONG time to figure out.

How can your team compliment your nature? If you are a starter you need strong finishers around you (our OBMs are GREAT at this). If you are a finisher you need to connect with powerful starters. If you are a maintainer you are needed to keep the success engine running!

Know yourself. Honor yourself. Let go of what isn’t true for you. That is where real success is found.

How to not lose your mind while running both a business and a household

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Success Mindset | 4 Comments

I was joking today with my Program Manager Ashley that there are days I’m lucky that I haven’t lost my mind.

Because let’s be real – my life is pretty nutty. I’m a single mom of 2 young girls (8 & 10) and am running a business that is the sole provider for our family. It’s a busy life, to say the least.

Here’s what I find helpful when it comes to juggling everything and keeping myself sane:

Delegate at Home Too!

Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week. Why? It’s the day my cleaning lady Patty comes over, and there is a brief window of about an hour where my house is gloriously clean (then my kids get home from school…) As business owners we talk a lot about the importance of delegation, but what about our lives?

I’d like to challenge you at home with the same question I would in your business – What are the things that you can do, but that others can do just as well as you? Could be cleaning. Cooking. Laundry. Yard Work. Shoveling. And what would it look like to get help in those areas?

Put Your Self Care First

Last year was a tough year for me. There were a lot of challenges I was dealing with and I found myself feeling surprisingly blah on a very regular basis. After reading Dan Harris’s book 10% Happier (which I highly recommend!) I decided to give meditation a try. Just 15 minutes in the morning – sitting quietly and being mindful, nothing fancy. In a matter of days my energy and mood changed dramatically, and to be honest I was surprised that such a simple thing made such a difference! And on the days I don’t do it I can feel myself slipping back into the blahs.

Self care comes in many forms. What are you doing to put yourself first on a DAILY basis?

Rely on the Power of 3

I have a little mind-trick that I like to use whenever I feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff that needs to get done both on the home-front and in the business. I call it ‘the next 3 things’. Whenever I feel that ARGHH moment of too much on my plate, I pause and ask myself:

What are the next 3 things I need to do?

Then I focus on doing only those 3 things and forget the rest. For example, last night I could feel one of those ARG moments coming on so I paused, asked myself that question and decided that all I had to do was 1) Make the kids lunch for tomorrow, 2) Clean the litter boxes and 3) Pack Lexi’s bag for gymnastics. I did those things, felt accomplished and avoided a potentially grumpy night for me and the girls (You know what they say… if momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one happy!)

Unplug baby!

My friend Tara has been my bestie now for 39 years. When I need an evening of ‘whine &  wine’ she’s my gal. We have a lifetime of inside jokes in our arsenal, so that all it takes is a quick comment or sideways glance to get us laughing. And laughing. And laughing. (From the outside looking in I’m sure people think we are crazy. 😉

Unplugging is necessary for our sanity. I need to unplug from being mom every once in a while, as much as I need to unplug from being CEO. Go out for dinner. Get to the gym. See a movie. Give yourself permission to unplug from the responsibilities of your life at least once a week, so that you can bring the best of who you are the rest of the time!

How about you? I’m curious what keeps you sane in the craziness of running a business and running your life – post your tips in the comments.

The 3 Key Elements of a Strong, Trusted Team (without all 3 it falls apart!)

By | Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | No Comments

I’ve had a handful of conversations lately with business owners who are struggling – they have a team of people working with them and it’s going “OK”, but they aren’t sure if it’s actually working or not? They are starting to question if they have the right people in place?

I recorded a NEW video for you today re: the 3 Key Elements of a Strong, Trusted Team. If you are missing any one of these elements you (and your team!) will struggle.

The 3 Types of Faith Required for Business Success

By | Leadership, Success Mindset | 4 Comments

Success is part action & part faith.

We talk about the first part alot – about what we need to do, when to do it and how. But action doesn’t come with a guarantee of success. We can do all the ‘right’ things and still not create the success we are looking for.

This is where faith kicks in – where we believe in the unseen. Where we trust in a future that we desire but that hasn’t happened yet. Where we KNOW that everything is happening for a reason, even when we don’t like what we are seeing.

In today’s new video I share 3 areas in business where faith becomes an important ally in your success journey.

 

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