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.

Overdelivering vs. Overcompensating

By | Success Mindset | 12 Comments

Originally posted on April 4, 2013.


 

Overdelivering is overrated in my opinion. This strategy of throwing in tons of bonuses and extra goodies for clients can actually set up some really skewed expectations that can ultimately get in the way of serving your clients.

How do you know if you are overdelivering or if you are overcompensating?

There is actually a very simple “test”…

Does it come from a place of joy or a place of fear?

Overdelivering comes from a place of joy – you know you are already providing great value to your clients and you want to give them something extra. For example, I love to send people in my Mentorship programs some of my favorite books… it is an unexpected gift, they love it and it makes me really happy to do so.

Overcompensating comes from a place of fear – when you wonder if you are giving enough value? Are you doing enough? They are paying you good money, so it should feel really hard and you need to bend over backwards right?

If you have any fear that the value of what you are offering may not match what people are paying, then overcompensation can sneak in… perpetually going over time on coaching calls, not billing for all the hours worked, letting clients break your boundaries, randomly throwing in other stuff along the way just to make sure they are happy.

Put simply, overcompensation will NOT feel good and in fact puts you in a highly stressful work environment.

If you aren’t sure that what you offer provides value then you need to either work on your mindset (to OWN your inherent value) or work on your packages (to ensure they are truly giving people what they want.)

Aim to keep it simple and deliver 100% on what you promised! That alone will be more than enough for most clients to be thrilled with you. Wow your clients with that FIRST and if it makes sense to throw an extra goodie in along the way and surprise your clients go for it – just make sure it brings you joy to do so.

Stop the chaos in your business and double your profits in the next 90 days! Check out my ‘From Solopreneur to CEO’ Profit Kit. Click Here to Get Immediate Access

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.

 

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.

3 Paths to Creating New Revenue Streams

By | General Biz | No Comments

Originally published March 2014

Curious what kind of revenue streams could be created from what you do already? Let’s look at how you can leverage your talent, experience and desire into your next level of success.

Want to learn more about how to ‘clone yourself’ via the Team-Based Business Model? Join us for a free training: The 3 Biggest Mistakes Team-Based Business Owners Make That Keep Them Struggling to Find  the Right People and Make a Profit

 

//