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3 Ways to Make Planning Palatable (Maybe Even Enjoyable?)

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

MANY business owners I know hate planning. They find it annoying. They don’t know how to do it. They start a plan only to find themselves mired in the details of ‘who needs to do what’ and give up out of frustration.

Or they just simply prefer to go with the flow and see what life brings.

I get it – there are times I wish I didn’t have to plan either! But I know the benefit it brings to me and my biz so I’m willing to do it even when I  don’t feel like it. 😉

Here are a few things to consider to make planning palatable (maybe even enjoyable?)

If you’re thinking “I need your help, Tina, to create a solid plan!” then check out my upcoming 3 hour virtual “Planning Made Simple” workshop

Planning Made Simple Workshop1) Planning is about committing to your DESIRES

The heart of planning is simply about saying ‘here’s what I want in the next year’ and then getting clear on what it will take to get there. It is  saying to the world that you are ready, willing and able to do what it takes to create what you want.

This of course means you need to know what it is you really want. Sometimes a reluctance to plan can be masking a deeper fear or resistance  to what it is you really want to create. Embrace the truth of what you want and allow yourself the freedom to lay a path to creating it.

2) Planning means LESS WORK for you every day

Each day will start one of two ways – you are either waking up clear on what you need to do that day. Or you are flying by the seat of your pants and making it up as you go.

The first option allows you to get the right stuff done first, so that you have the rest of your day open to spend as you please. The second  option requires that you waste valuable time and energy trying to decide what to do, when and how… often leaving you feeling like you’ve been busy all day but never actually accomplished anything.

It’s time to get that plan in place so you can stop working so hard!  Say to another few weeks/months/years of exhaustion and overwhelm. Build in the 3 x 3 Planning Habits I share in the “Planning Made Simple” workshop into your business and you (and everyone around you) will know EXACTLY what to do each and every day (no more doing it all yourself).

3) Planning allows others to SUPPORT you

Be it an assistant or a team of 20, if you don’t plan ahead I guarantee that you will always struggle getting the support you need. The most  successful teams are the ones where each person is clear on what they need to do, when it is due and is empowered to do great work. Last minute requests and constant changes will suck the life out of a team faster than anything else – and leave you feeling frustrated.

If you are unwilling to plan you will never find the support you crave.

The bottom line is this – you don’t have to love planning. You just need to love what it allows you to create. In the same way you don’t have to love flossing your teeth, but you do it because you know it keeps you healthy.

I created my Planning Made Simple workshop with this in mind – to give you a simple and, I daresay, fun process to laying a path towards getting what you want next year.

You are invited to join me LIVE on December 15th.  Here’s where to find out more:  www.tinaforsyth.com/planning

You may not like it (wink) but I assure you that – if you do the work – you will feel clear and empowered as we head into the
new year.

I know you’re tired.  If you think about this for too long, you may just end up having another like this last year.  Join me December 15th and put a solid plan together in just a few hours www.tinaforsyth.com/planning. 

 

The 3 Dangers of Playing Big

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Leadership | 4 Comments

Reach for the starsIn the entrepreneurial world we are constantly bombarded with the message to ‘play a bigger game’. Or variations on that message, such as ‘shoot for the stars!’ or ‘if you aren’t growing you are dying!’ And I can’t help but wonder…

What if, instead of trying to play a ‘bigger game’, we aimed to play a ‘right sized game’ instead?

Striving to ‘play bigger’ has taken me off course many times in my 17 year journey as a business owner. When I look back on the times where I struggled the most and lost the most – it was when I was trying to play bigger and chase the elusive promise of ‘more will fix everything’.

There are 3 dangers to blindly following the ‘play bigger’ path that business owners need to be aware of.

Danger #1 – What works for them may not work for you

There are no end to programs and coaches who will promise you that ‘if you follow this simple formula you too can achieve the same success that I have enjoyed.’ If I’ve learned anything in my experience as a business owner it is this:

There is NO one size fits all solution to success.

The business model that works best for me may not work for you. The marketing strategy that works best for you may not work for the next person. I know I’m not alone in having spent thousands of dollars and countless hours of time following a formula that simply wasn’t a fit for me.

Our job is to know ourselves – to know our greatest gifts so that we can choose a business aligned with our strengths (and stop trying to be something we aren’t!). To know what we really want so we can set goals that match our true desires (and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses). And to learn from the right people who are simply ahead of us on a similar path to success (and won’t try to talk us into something that isn’t a fit.)

Danger #2 – Playing bigger generally brings bigger costs

“It costs money to make money”. I’m sure you’ve heard this before and for the most part it is true. But where business owners get themselves in trouble is spending ALL of their current money for the promise of FUTURE money.

They invest everything they have in the moment for the potential return of something in the future – which may or may not happen. And if it does happen they do it all over again, spending more and more money but never actually getting to keep much (or any!) of it. I spent years in this cycle and it was a lesson I had to learn the hard way.

The goal is not to make more money – it’s to keep more money. And this can happen regardless of how much money you are making right now. Get clear on your financial goals and commit to how much you want to keep The key is to balance spending with saving, so that every dollar you make contributes to your long term financial freedom.

Danger #3 – Striving to play bigger can trump your why

There is nothing worse than working your buns off to reach a goal, only to find it hollow and meaningless. I’ve seen many business owners reach amazing financial goals, only to find themselves burnout, tired and disillusioned. And in some cases they’ve lost their health and relationships in the constant pursuit of more.

There is no faster path to burnout than to keep doing work that isn’t aligned with your why. To blindly follow what you see others doing thinking that you should be doing the same thing. To make decisions from a place of ‘well everyone else is doing it so I may as well too’.

Your why is the fuel that will sustain you on your journey to success. If you lose track of your why you may lost yourself in the process.

The bottom line is this – more for more’s sake will never be enough. It is a game that you will never win because ‘more’ doesn’t have a finish line.

You need to want more for the right reasons. The reasons that are aligned with who you are and what you (really) want – not what other people want for you or from you. You need to be specific on the exact amount that fits your financial & freedom goals, and that allows you to do the right work to get there. You need to know how much time and effort you are willing to put in so as to allow you to enjoy the life you have right now (not the life you may have in the future.)

I want to acknowledge that this is tough. It is hard to step outside of the pressure to ‘play a bigger game’. It’s hard to resist the siren’s call of ‘more makes it all better’. To simply say no to the people who say ‘but you could be doing so much more!’

It takes courage to claim your space and say – this is who I am, this is what I want and it is enough.

I applaud your courage to play the right game, and I’m right here with you.

Embrace your inner control freak, just don’t let her run the show

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Systems & How-Tos | No Comments

If you are anything like me, you are a bit of a control freak (k, maybe more than a bit 😉

I know too many people who try to fight it – they try not to be a control freak cause they think it’s a bad thing. And yes, if you try to carry too much or shift into micro-managing it can certainly get in the way. But the truth is, your control freakedness is probably a HUGE part of the success you’ve created to date! You have high standards. You want things done a certain way and in a certain timeframe. You are committed to excellence and won’t settle for less! And this is something to honor.

Instead of trying to fight everything that’s worked so well for you to date, what I challenge you to do instead is embrace it… and there is a very strategic way you can do so that I share in today’s new video.

If you sign up for any paid version of Teamwork Projects using this link OR the referral code ‘automateyourgrowth’ at signup I will be paid an affiliate commission, and as such I’d love to give you something in return. I will gift you my 90 Day Systems Setup Guide & Checklist ($497 value) – this takes you step-by-step through setting up your OWN Top 10 Systems within 90 days. Email teamwork@tinaforsyth.com to claim your gift.

Want to see how we use Teamwork Projects in my biz? Check out my Tame the Chaos 90-minute training.

Day 13 – Let them do what you hired them for

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

LeeIacocca21 Days of Leadership

In our Certified Online Business Manager training we teach our OBMs that their job isn’t to serve the business owner (their client) – their job is to serve the business.

What does this mean?

When a business is at the stage of growth where they need to hire an OBM it means that the business needs to be run differently.

The business is usually in chaos mode – no structure, no plans, not enough people to do the work that needs to be done. Lots of stuff going on and everyone scrambling to keep up (and usually not doing a very good job).

A business owner will hire an OBM when they are tired of the chaos. When they know that they need structure. They need the right team. They need to start planning ahead.

But what quite often happens is they resist the very thing that they hired the OBM to help them with.

They resist laying out a plan because they prefer to ‘go with the flow.’ They resist structure because it not how they prefer to work. They resist hiring the right people because they wish they didn’t have to spend the money or don’t understand the amount of work that actually needs to be done.

Put simply – their personal preferences/fears are getting in the way of the OBM doing their job and serving the business.

When you find yourself resisting changes on your growth path it’s important to ask yourself:

“Am I making this decision based on what I DON’T want, or based on what the business needs?”

A leader recognizes that the team is there to serve the business, and not to serve you as an individual.

And there are times when what the business needs will not be what you want.

It’s your job as a leader to know the difference, and to allow those around you to do what needs to be done.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day13 #letthemdotheirjob #LEADMastermind

Day 12 – You can’t motivate anyone

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

21 Days of Leadership

Simon Sinek said it best in his book Start With Why

“Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. People are either motivated or they are not. Unless you give motivated people something to believe in, something bigger than their job to work toward, they will motivate themselves to find a new job and you’ll be stuck with whoever’s left.”

Makes sense right? We would all love to have a team of motivated people! And yet I know this isn’t true for many business owners.

There are two reasons why business owners struggle to find motivated people.

First, you don’t believe that they exist. Or that you will be able to find them.

I was talking with a business owner yesterday about hiring and he said “I want to hire rock stars but most of the people out there aren’t at the level I’m looking for.”

He’s right. Not everyone is going to be a rock star. Not everyone is going to be motivated.

How do you attract the best people? Be the best leader. Believe that there are great people out there and do everything you can to create an opportunity that will attract the best.

Second, you don’t know how to lead them.

Motivation needs to be met by inspiration. And if you aren’t a great leader you won’t be able to inspire great people. And then they will leave.

Motivated people need to be met by great leaders.

Hiring a motivated person doesn’t mean you get to wash your hands of them, setting them off on their own to ‘take care of things’ without your input. It doesn’t mean you have a team that leaves you alone so you can just do what you want to do.

That’s abdication – not leadership.

Be real with yourself. How strong of a leader are you right now? Where do you need to develop your leadership skills so that you can attract and keep the best people?

Work on yourself to become a rock star leader and you will naturally start to find rock star people.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

Simon Sinek

#21daysofleadership #day12 #stoptryingtomotivate #LEADMastermind

How to lead a virtual team (part 1)

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | 2 Comments

My entire team is virtually based – everyone is a contractor (a business owner themselves) who has other clients, and we rarely see each other face-to-face. They are the best team in the biz imo – bringing the best of who they are every day and supporting my business as though it was the only one they worked for.

So what’s my secret? How you lead a virtual team of contractors/freelancers is not the same as leading a team of employees. In today’s new video I share with you one very simple – and yet not obvious! – shift that you can make today in how you lead your virtual team.

Day 11 – Delegate your Distractions

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

Busy21 Days of Leadership

Ask someone how they are doing and chances are you will hear some variation of:

“I’m so busy!”

Perhaps you’ve said it yourself lately?

We live in a world where busy has become the norm. We wear busy as a badge of honor – unconsciously confusing our busyness with being productive.

Yes, we have a lot on our plates but the truth is if you are “too busy” you aren’t leading. You are reacting.

One of the first exercises I do with my clients is creating a YES list – essentially their CEO role description. For most everyone their YES list includes activities that are growing their business, serving their clients and leading their team.

The idea of the YES list is simple – if you are doing things that aren’t on your YES list they are distractions to your success.

I’m curious to know how much of your time is spent outside of these things? Make a list of these things and ask yourself:

Is this necessary to the growth of my business?

If I was to stop doing it how would that affect the business?

Look to delegate those things that serve the growth of the business. Look to delete or delay those that don’t.

Your time is your most precious asset as a leader – and it’s up to you to use it wisely.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day11 #delegateyourdistractions #LEADMastermind

Day 10 – Stop fixing their problems

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

Teach a Man to Fish21 Days of Leadership

What do you do when a team member comes to you with a problem? Do you:

a) give them the answer/ solution
b) jump in to fix it yourself (cause it would be quicker that way)
c) ask them what they recommend to solve it?

Many of us – myself included – are fixers. When someone comes to us with a problem our inclination is to jump in to fix it or give the answer.

This may solve the problem in the moment, but there is a long term impact to using this approach.

Being the fixer creates a culture of dependency. Every time you solve their problems you are (subconsciously) teaching them that they can’t do it on their own. You are teaching them that they have to come to you for the ‘right’ answer.

And then you start to feel frustrated that they can’t seem to figure things out on their own and always have to come to you for the answer.

As a leader it is up to you to create a culture where your team brings solutions and not problems.

Next time a team member comes to you with a problem coach them to find their own answer. You can start by simply asking them “what do you recommend we do to fix this?”

If they are used to you giving them the answer or jumping in to fix it this might catch them off guard. And it might take some time for them to come up with solutions, for the simple fact that they aren’t used to being asked!

Exercise patience while you are empowering them to learn to think for themselves. It may take some time but the long term impact will be well worth the investment.

An empowered team is one who rises to the occasion because you, as the leader, have created the space for them to do so.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day10 #empowerdontfix #LEADMastermind

Day 9 – You get what you inspect, not what you expect

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

What you Allow21 Days of Leadership

“Tina, I’m feeling frustrated that my team isn’t getting stuff done when they said they would.”

I hear a variation of this from business owners at least once a week, and I get it – when stuff isn’t getting done it can be downright annoying!

There are a few reasons why this may be happening, but one of the most common that I see – and the easiest to fix! – is that you aren’t holding them accountable.

It is one thing to ask someone to do something, but if you don’t hold them accountable then it leaves the request as an open loop. Which means the work may or may not get done, especially when that person is juggling multiple priorities and multiple clients (as many virtual support professionals are).

The easiest way to hold someone accountable? Ask them about it.

You get what you inspect – what you ask about – and not just what you expect. Or as I like to say (somewhat tongue in cheek), the squeaky wheel gets the grease. 😉

Agree on a deadline. Remind them of that deadline (via your weekly team meetings and automating reminders in your virtual office/ project management tool) and ask them about the status of the task the day BEFORE it’s due. If they don’t get the work done have them own the reason why and come to you with a solution and/or new timeline.

It’s human nature to want to do great work. No one wants to be the person to show up and not have their work done. And yet, most of us need a loving reminder of what is coming up and when it’s due. We need to know that someone is waiting on us and that the work we do matters.

Yes, I get that you may wish you never had to ask questions and follow up with your team. That you could just hand them a task and they would just get everything done without you having to check in at all. That falls more into the realm of abdication vs. delegation.

A leader embraces that it is part of their job to create a culture of accountability. To create a team where people own up to what did and didn’t get done, and why.

And the beauty is – once you create a culture of accountability you won’t have to ask so much. It’s a good thing.

I’m gathering together a group of women for my new LEAD Mastermind – where we are going to explore this and the other facets of leadership. Message me if you are curious to learn more.

#21daysofleadership #day9 #inspectdontexpect #LEADMastermind

How Positive Thinking Might be Killing your Business

By | General Biz, Leadership, Success Mindset | 11 Comments

In the book Good to Great by Jim Collins he shares the story of Admiral Jim Stockdale, who was the highest ranking US military officer in the “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp during the Vietman War. During his eight year imprisonment Stockdale was tortured regularly before his release in February 1973.

How did Stockdale manage to survive an experience where many others perished?

In his own words, he refused to become an optimist.

“The optimists were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again.

And they died of a broken heart.”

Put simply, every time they hoped for the best – kept positive – and then had their hopes dashed they lost faith in their survival. And this loss of faith impacted their ability to survive the harsh challenges of their reality.

Thus was born Stockdale’s Paradox, which states:

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

When I read this story the other day it gave me pause and made me wonder – could positive thinking be killing our success?

The promise of positive thinking is two fold: Read More

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