3 mistakes service providers make around boundaries

Boundaries are a hot topic… and for good reason! Without strong boundaries in our client relationships we can end up run ragged. In today’s new video I’m sharing the 3 biggest mistakes I see service providers make around boundaries.

I’m curious – do you feel like you have strong boundaries in place with your clients? Or is this an area that you know you need to work on?

4 Levels of Delegation

Delegation isn’t as simple as “hey – do this thing” – there are aspects of delegation that will vary from role to role, based on the needs of the business. When we are clear on these different levels it can help alleviate some of the more common frustrations that come up in working together.

I’m curious – how do you see these different levels applying to you and your team? Leave a comment below and let me know.

Do you need a tweak or a change?

You feel like something is missing from your business model /current offering and are wondering if it’s time for a change.

Maybe you’ve been doing what you do for a while now and are (secretly) bored and want to up level.

Maybe things are pretty good but you know that you are meant for more and want to make a bigger impact.

Maybe you want to make more money, but are tapped out with your current client load and don’t have the time or energy to take clients or projects on.

Conventional wisdom will tell you that it’s time for a CHANGE – to stop what you are doing now and do something totally different.

For example, to stop being a VA/OBM/copywriter [insert your title here] and become a coach/trainer/consultant instead.

I’m not a fan of this advice for 2 reasons:

1) You are essentially starting your business over from scratch when you change what you are doing. It’s not just about a new business model or offer – you are also now having to find a whole target market (the people who bought your services are not the same folks that will want to buy a training program from you), new messaging, new marketing, new branding/materials, etc.

2) It’s generally not necessary to make that big of a change to get what you want. Many times when I’m working with clients it’s more about looking for a TWEAK than making a big change. To leverage what you’ve already created vs. starting over again from scratch.

This is where your zone of genius comes into play… often it’s ‘weaving’ your zone of genius into what you doing already that can make the difference that you are looking for. That can allow you to charge more for your work. That can attract a more aligned, ideal client in your current target market. That can get you out of doing the stuff you are tired of doing so that you can do more of what you love.

And it also doesn’t require you to go out and start from scratch – taking months (or even years) to get things flowing again.

This is exactly what we are doing in my Make Money from Your Zone of Genius Workshop on February 3rd.

We are going to roll up our sleeves together – virtually – and look for that tweak you are craving to take things to the next level. To feel excited and fulfilled in your business again. (And yes, to make more money.)

Would love to have you join us if this feels timely – details can be found here. (no fancy webpage or anything – just a simple invite)

Let me know if you have questions.

The invisible workload

I saw a post over the holidays talking about the invisible workload of the holiday season and the weight of having to think about & plan everything… getting gifts, coordinating family dinners, putting decorations up, putting decorations away and taking care of ‘all the things’. As a mom I could totally relate!

This is referred to as the invisible workload because even if we aren’t the one doing everything, we are the one THINKING about all the things and making all the decisions. Who is going to bring dessert for family dinner? What gifts should we get the kids? When do we put up the xmas lights? Should we take the tree down on new years day or wait? I could go on.

And even if we have help in the household – a spouse, partner or kids – we are still the ones having to ASK folks to do things. Sometimes more than once. (something I’m very familiar with having 2 teenage daughters in the house… I’ve asked my daughter to take her dishes upstairs twice already today 😉

As I read this post it occurred to me – this happens in our businesses as well!

How much of what we ‘do’ each day falls into the invisible workload category? Things that aren’t obvious and that we can’t necessarily check off a to-do list, but that can take up a surprising amount of time & energy.

Things like:

  • Thinking about what needs to be done – when, how and by who
  • Delegating what needs to be done – we may not be doing the work but having to ‘pass it along’ to someone else still takes time
  • Following up on tasks – checking in with folks re: “what is the status of this?” is work, in particular when things aren’t getting done or are falling behind
  • Making decisions – be it big or small decisions, there is energy required to think through everything so we can decide (and decision fatigue is a very real thing)

Now to some degree the invisible workload is just part of the gig – as business owners there is always thinking & decision making to be done.

But as our businesses grow we simply don’t have the capacity – or the desire! – to keep all of this invisible workload on our plates. And it can start to show over time through exhaustion, frustration or by things being stalled waiting for our input & decisions.

There are a few things you can do when you find the invisible workload is becoming too much:

  • Hire an OBM to take some of the invisible workload off your shoulders – once you hit the early to mid 6-figure range there is simply too much going on to keep it all on your own shoulders. An OBMs expertise is taking your vision/goals and turning those into actionable plans, getting the right folks in place and ensuring that the work is getting done on time and correctly.
  • Lead your team to take more ownership of their role – where is your team relying on you to make decisions or tell them what to do? Work together to clarify their role and lay out expectations of where they can take more ownership and make decisions on their own.
  • Look to simplify where possible – are you trying to do too many things at once? As a visionary I can easily fall into the trap of “let’s do all these things and do them now!!” which of course means more thinking, decisions and delegation. Instead of trying to do 3 things this month, what if you focused on doing only 1?

I’m curious – where/how do you feel like the invisible workload is showing up in your business?

And if you are an OBM/service provider – where could you take more of the invisible workload off your client’s plate? They may not be asking you for this, but I assure you they will thank you for it when you do!

My favorite strategic planning questions

Here’s some of my favorite questions to ask when we are doing strategic planning work – whether it’s with clients or within my own biz.

Q1 – Why?

This one word is my favorite question of all time and I use it often. You have some amazing ideas of what you want to accomplish – why? It’s so easy to go from “let’s do this thing” to “alright, let’s lay out a plan”… but is it the right thing to do? Why is this important? Why now? If you (or your client) can’t answer the why question in a deep, meaningful way then I would hesitate to move onto in depth planning yet.

Q2 – How will we know if we are successful?

When we aren’t clear on what success looks like, we will never be successful. It’s not enough to have goals like “more money” or “more clients”. Or to “work less”.  Exactly how much money? How many clients? How many hours do you want to be working? Specifics are measurable and you can build your plan to work towards them. [This is also a great place to ask why as well – “I want to make $X next year… why is that important? what does more money allows you to create in your business & life?]

Q3 – What do I want my role to be in all of this?

If you are anything like me, you may default to doing way too much yourself. (yes… I am a recovering control freak. 😉 When you are planning it’s important to also plan for what you want your role to be. What do you want to do? Not want to do? What should come off your plate? (even though you could be doing it.) Give yourself permission to let go of the things you no longer enjoy and the places where you shouldn’t be involved anymore.

Q4 – Who can do this better than me?

This goes along with the previous question – as you clear your plate you will want to look for folks who can step in and bring their brilliance to the table. I like to look through the lens of “who can do this better than me?” vs. “who can I hire to do this” as it brings a different flavor/expectation to the table (and I promise you, there are always people out there who are better than we are at the things we should no longer be doing.)

Q5 – What if this doesn’t work out?

Yes, I’m all for big goals and having a positive attitude about it all. But I’m also a realist and like to spend some time considering the options if it doesn’t work out. What if we don’t reach our goals? What impact does that have on the business? On revenue? On me as a leader? What is our backup plan if we don’t reach our goals? [I’m a fan of having a list of ‘fastest path to cash’ strategies in my back pocket for these moments… as we all have them!]

I’m curious – what are your favorite strategic planning questions? Comment here and let me know.

Tina

PS: Heads up on a couple of things that you may be interested in…

1. I’m going to be having a ‘flash sale’ on 1-1 strategy sessions later this month – a 60-minute session for just $597 (I rarely offer standalone sessions and my coaching packages start at $3000 and up). If you are interested in getting some 1-1 time with me stay tuned…

2. I’ve got a monthly ‘mini retreat’ series planned for the new year, and am going to be offering a smoking hot deal if you sign up before the end of the year. These 3-hour virtual sessions are designed to be both affordable and highly impactful (I love when we can make meaningful change together in just 3 hours a month.)  More details to come…

3.  I have another round of the Certification Accelerator LIVE starting in the new year. If creating a certification is on your list for 2022 hit reply and I’ll put you on the early notification list.

How to differentiate yourself (when other people do what you do)

“Why would someone want to hire me, when there are so many people who do the same thing I do?”

Such an important question to consider as a business owner, and one I suspect has crossed your mind before.

To answer this let’s imagine that our business is a peanut butter cup.

There are 2 parts to the peanut butter cup – the chocolate and the peanut butter. Although each part is tasty on it’s own, when we put the 2 together that’s where the magic happens!

  • The chocolate is the ‘thing you do’ – your title or profession. OBM. Coach. Copywriter. Etc.
  • The peanut butter is about YOU – who you are, what you do best and who you are meant to serve. It’s about your zone of genius.

When we focus on our title alone – the chocolate – then we end up feeling the same as everyone else. The fact is that yes, there are lots of other folks out there who do what you do, and it can be easy to get lost in that crowd… sometimes to the point where we don’t even bother putting ourselves out there at all.

When we bring our zone of genius into the mix – our peanut butter – this is what allows us to differentiate ourselves from all the other people who do what we do.

Our zone of genius is the thing that our ideal clients are going to connect most strongly with, and have them choose us over someone else who does the same thing.

It’s the difference between saying “I’m a business coach” vs. “As a coach I help overwhelmed and frustrated business owners who are offering too many things to step back and identify the ‘one thing’ that will be most enjoyable and profitable for them to offer.”

Or “I’m an OBM” vs. “I’m an OBM who loves nothing more than creating order out of chaos, and I work with my clients to clean up what feels really messy in their business right now so that they can continue to grow on a strong foundation vs. a flimsy house of cards.”

This is exactly what we are working on in my Genius Accelerator that starts next week. We are going to start by identifying your zone of genius, and then work to ‘weave’ it into what you offer so that you stand out from the crowd.

Or – put another way – we are going to create your peanut butter cup together. Yum! 😉

If you are interested in joining us email me and I’ll send you the details.