Category

CEO Tips

We all fail more than we succeed

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

We all fail way more than we succeed – we just don’t talk about it.

And we are paying the price for it.

We look around and see everyone else succeed and wonder where we went wrong. And after repeated failures, we wonder what is wrong with us.

We suffer in silence – afraid that if we share our failures people would think less of us. Clients would be turned off and not want to work with us.

We stall – wanting to succeed but equally as afraid of making another mistake. So we do nothing and stay stuck where we are.

And yet – it is our failures that lead us to our greatest success. It’s a necessary part of the journey.

I can’t help but wonder…

What if we shone a light on our failures? Looked them in the eye and asked what lesson they have to give?

What if we shared our failures? Even celebrated them?

What if we explored our failures? Knowing that each failure leaves clues as to what will work – if only we are willing to do the work to find it.

This is the heart of the new ROI Lab that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month.

It’s a safe place to try new things, and to dig deeper when they don’t work, knowing that the answer to “what went wrong and what to do about it” can be found within the failure.

A place to tweak existing things, finding ways to make them simpler and easier – so that you can enjoy a greater return on all that you put into your business (ROI baby!!)

A place to receive the insight of others – including direct feedback from both Andrea and I – to see what you can’t see. To help ‘diagnose’ what went wrong and what to try next.

A place to show up and be real – in a judgement free zone where failure is the norm, and we have your back when you do.

Our failures can be our greatest teachers, but it is up to us to be open to the lessons they contain.

We have space for only 30 people to join us in the ROI Lab that starts next month – if you are interested in learning more comment below or send me an email.

Business advice from Stephen King?

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

Love this! I (perma) borrowed* a copy of the book On Writing by Stephen King from my friend Mike this weekend… such a great read! Even if you aren’t a writer or a fan of his books, what he shares can be applied to so many areas of business.

One of my favs is the fact that he doesn’t actually know what his books will be about before he writes them. Say what?! 

He comes up with an idea or a scenario and then starts writing to see what will happen. He is just as surprised and intrigued writing the story as we are reading it. <— wow!

I’ve heard George RR Martin (Game of Thrones author) say the same thing – if he knew the full story before he started writing it then he wouldn’t bother writing it because he would be bored.

Can’t help but wonder how this applies to the way we run a business?

Where is the sweet spot between laying out the plan in advance – vs laying it out as we go?

The extreme on either side can be problematic.

If we plan out too much or too far in advance we leave no room for being able to respond to what comes up on the journey. There is no room for creativity.

If don’t plan at all and just make it up as we go – we can end up wasting a lot of time and energy, and may never land where we want to go.

There is a middle ground that I’ve been playing in this past year. One part planning – one part flow – and it has served me well. Plus it’s been SO much more fun than just ‘laying out a plan and following it’… which I will admit feels boring at times.

This is something we will be teaching – and experimenting with – in a new program that Andrea Lee and I are starting next month. If you are interested in learning more about what we have cooking up let me know – comment below or send me an email.

*(Perma) borrowed – when one borrows a book with no intent of giving it back.  But don’t worry – Mike already knows I’m sending him a new copy.

22154571_10155541486426815_5997957093861143220_n

It is really possible to build a freedom based business?

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | 3 Comments

There are varying degrees of freedom in business.

On one end of the extreme is the soloprenuer – the person who does all the work themselves. If they don’t show up work doesn’t get done.

On the other end of the extreme is the owner who has structured a business that runs and grows without them. They don’t have to show up at all for work to get done.

Everyone talks about the second option as being a ‘real’ business – that it should be the ultimate goal of every business owner. And that if you fall into the first category you don’t have a business you have a “glorified job”.

That’s such BS.

Being in business is all about the freedom of CHOICE. The choice to do what we want. When we want to do it. And with the people we want to work with.

I was a soloprener for the first 10 years of my business and I loved it! Yes, I had to show up to do the work or I didn’t get paid. But it was on my terms. I set my own schedule. I (mostly) did things I wanted to be doing. I got to work with some amazing clients.

Beats a job any day imo!

I shifted to a leveraged business model in 2009 and had to learn (the hard way) how to shift my role in the company. How to get the right support and structure in place so I could do LESS of certain things and MORE of others. How to become a CEO.

But I am still working. I am still doing. Yes, I take weekends off and don’t work myself to the bone. I have an amazing team who takes care of the day to day running of my business. We have worked hard to setup solid systems to create ease for all of us. I can take an unplugged vacation and my business runs fine while I’m away.

But I’m still here. I’m showing up in my business.

I want to work. I like to work! And I dare say most of us feel the same… eating bon bons on the beach all day would bore the life out of me in short order. (what the hell is a bon bon anyhow?)

It’s more about doing the right things – and knowing that what we do makes the impact we want to make – vs doing nothing at all.

It’s also about recognizing that great missions require a great deal of support.

When you are looking a bigger mission in the eye, you are also being called to create a deeper level of support.

This can be especially challenging for powerful women who are rock-stars at making it happen and getting stuff done. Our default mode is carry it all and push through… which works up to a point, and then it doesn’t anymore.

Put simply, we can only take things so far on our own. We aren’t meant to carry the weight alone (believe me, I’ve tried!)

Great missions require a great deal of support.

I’ve got a few things brewing in this space and would love to connect if this speaks to you. Send us an email and we will get you the inside scoop.

Lead. Manage. Do.

By | CEO Tips, Leadership, Team & Outsourcing | One Comment

Originally posted on Sept 29th 2016

I lead our first Best Team Ever Intensive last week and it was awesome. The ladies who joined us rolled up their sleeves and got clear on who they need to hire next and how to find the best people. Here’s to support on your terms baby!

One of my favorite teachings in this intensive is about the role of leading, managing and doing. All 3 are essential for success but the question is – who does what? Where do YOU need to spend your time? Check out today’s new video for the inside scoop.

A Lesson in Doing What I’m Told (even when I don’t like it)

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Systems & How-Tos | 6 Comments

rulesI was in a workshop this past weekend learning a new business model (retail commerce) and my experience got me to thinking about something.

There is a lot of talk lately about NOT following someone else’s “7 steps to success formula” and to just do it your way. It’s almost become a rallying cry these days and I think it’s a potentially dangerous one (and yes – I am one of those who has been rallying that cry at times!)

I get it. We have all bought into programs with big expectations that didn’t work for us. Or that didn’t work the way we expected. And that sucks… especially when it feels like it keeps happening.

So it is tempting to say “screw the blueprint! – I’m going to just do it my way.” Especially if you have a bit of a rebellious streak like I do. (I know I’m not alone here… 😉

Ultimately you have a choice in how you want to build your business. You can blaze your own trail and work from trial and error. Or you can follow a formula that someone else has already proven works. Either one can get you there – it’s just a matter of choosing the type of journey you want to have.

BUT following an existing formula will only work if you are purposeful upfront in a few key areas… there is actually a simple formula to being able to successfully follow a formula (ha!)

1) Figure out first what you REALLY want to create. If you don’t know what type of business you want and are really suited for – then don’t buy into any formula to build a business yet! You need to first do some deeper work (i.e with a coach) to figure this out. I’ve seen many people waste time, money and energy trying to build something that they were never meant to do…

2) Find someone who has PROVEN the business model that you want to build. This is a surprisingly hard step as it requires some digging and potentially some patience. I’m always looking for the person who lives what they teach. Who has been doing it for years. And often these are NOT the people with the flashiest marketing because they are more focused on running their business! Great marketers are not always great business owners…

3) DO THE WORK. For the love of all things holy – do what they tell you to do! This is the hard part because yes – there is work to be done and yes – you won’t want to do all of it. But you need to do the work if you want to create success. Don’t complain that it didn’t work if you stopped after step 2. Or if you skipped steps 4 & 5 and went to step 6 because it was more fun.

Does this mean success is guaranteed? Hell no – this is business baby and unfortunately success is never guaranteed even with the best ‘formula’. But you will be more likely to succeed if you do the work. Start there. And if it doesn’t work dig deeper (again – a coach can be helpful here.)

As for me? I followed EVERY step I was told to do in my workshop this past weekend. And I will admit – there were times where I thought “I don’t want to do it that way” or “maybe I’ll try this instead”. There were even moments of “I’ve been in business for a long time already so I can do what I want”… But I gave myself a mental slap on the wrist and just did what I was told. I followed the steps that they had already PROVEN to work. And I left that workshop after 3 days with a live, running store. (Which I’ll share more about in the future… for now I’m keeping it under wraps as I play.)

If I had gone rogue and tried to do it my way I wouldn’t have a live store right now.

The bottom line is this:

If someone is building the same type of business you want to build then the easier path is to. Follow. Their. Steps. Until you have proven the business model for yourself (aka – made consistent money) THEN go ahead and start doing it your way.

You may still get there if you skip the first part and jump right into doing it your way – but usually at the cost of spending WAY more time in trial and error. Which can erode your confidence and passion over time, not to mention empty your wallet!

Know yourself. Know what you need. And choose accordingly.

The BEST article on pricing that I’ve ever read

By | CEO Tips, General Biz, Success Mindset | 12 Comments

It seems like everyone and their dog these days is touting the wonders of charging ‘premium rates’ for ‘high-end packages’.

Ugh. I’m tired of it… and here’s why.

First of all – it implies that if we aren’t charging ‘as much as we can!!’ then we are missing out. That the only goal of business is to squeeze every last dime out of the work we do.

Second – I’ve seen this set people up for failure. Either they struggle to sell at their new ‘premium’ rate (because deep down they don’t believe it’s worth it) or they sell at this premium rate but fail to deliver what the client was expecting (and find themselves in a bit of a pickle).

If the goal isn’t to charge as much as we can – then what do we aim for?

How do we know what the ‘right’ price is?

My friend Carolyn Herfurth shared this article with me recently and I daresay it’s the best article on pricing that I’ve ever read – including a really simple strategy to find your right price without going overboard.

Click here to read the article –> Your ‘Happy Price’ vs. Your ‘Sad Price’: How To Charge An Amount That Motivates You

And share below to let me know what you think? I’m curious to see if – and how – this might change the way you set your prices.

It certainly got my wheels turning…

Leadership is not a title

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

leadership is not a title

Not everyone is a leader by title, but we can all be leaders by choice.

A choice in who you show up as everyday.

A choice in what you focus on (common goals vs personal interests.)

A choice to speak up and share your wisdom & expertise (even when you aren’t specifically asked to do so.)

A choice to have the tough conversations and deal with challenges head on.

A choice to take radical responsibility in your work and do whatever it takes to honor commitment.

A choice to treat people with respect and trust that they are bringing their best to the table.

A choice to continually improve your leadership ability (there is no finish line.)

I don’t care if you are the CEO or the assistant – the face of the company or behind the scenes. How are you choosing to show up as a leader today?

Don’t expect to hire motivated people and not be challenged.

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

Simon Sinek2Don’t expect to hire motivated people and not be challenged.

Motivated people are leaders – they aren’t ‘yes’ people.

They are going to challenge your ideas. They are going to ask why you want to do something (to ensure that it makes sense and they understand where it fits in the big picture.)

They are going to challenge your timelines – to ensure that they can do great work in a reasonable time frame (vs. scrambling to do everything last minute, dropping balls and ending up with a half-ass result.)

They are going to challenge how you think things should be done if  – based on their expertise – they know there is a better way to accomplish the goal. They aren’t just always going to default to ‘the way it’s always been done.’

They are going to get frustrated if you try to micromanage them – If you hold on too tight or hang over their shoulders watching their every move.

They will get bored and leave if you can’t make up your mind – if they are left waiting for you to decide what you want next.

They will get annoyed and leave if you keep changing your mind – there is nothing more frustrating to a motivated person than having to start over ‘yet again.’

Motivated people ask for your trust and clarity so that they can do what they do best.

Here’s to the motivated people in our lives and on our teams – together we can do it all (and more!)

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!

//