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Where to focus when you don’t know where to focus

It’s not that you don’t want to be focused. You get how staying focused on what matters most is crucial it is to the growth and development of your business. You’ve probably tried a number of strategies to get yourself more focused. Perhaps you’ve set a timer while you work. Maybe you’ve turned off all social media distractions on occasion. You may have even buddied up with a fellow entrepreneurial friend to keep yourself accountable. And yet, you find yourself wandering. You can’t seem to complete the things you start, and you often question where you’re actually working on the right things in the first place. I am ALL for focus. I believe it’s a skill that we must develop as business owners, and those that do will lead the pack. But focus for the sake of focus isn’t the goal. If that were true, you could easily find yourself ‘focusing’ on reading cat memes on Facebook instead of writing a blog post. Or you could find yourself focusing on client work and never on the growth of your business. Focus matters. But what matters more is WHAT you focus on. And that’s where you might be getting stuck. So let’s talk about where to focus when you don’t know where to focus. I want you to be clear about where to put your valuable time and attention so that you can get the most from it and start to see results quickly. And by extension, I want you to know where NOT focus, giving yourself permission to say “No” or “Not right now” to the activities that aren’t...

Take your business personally (just not too personally)

If you’re like most business owners I talk to, your business likely feels like an extension of yourself — like it’s a part of who you are. It eats up a lot of your brain power and you probably find it hard to turn off.  I bet that you’re thinking, scheming, planning and processing even while you’re making dinner, playing with your kids or walking your dogs. (or is that just me?!?)  As small business owners, we care deeply about our work and the impact it’s having in the world, alongside how it’s feeding us, both emotionally and financially. Our business matters and we take it seriously AND personally. And that’s the way it should be if you want to build a business that endures. As Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz said about business: “You can’t build something unless you take it personally.” You already know this, I’m sure. You care about your business deeply, and you are heavily invested in its success. But here’s where it can get a little messy – particularly if you’re a one-person shop. While you must take your business personally, you must also separate yourself from the business. Because you are not your business. And your business is not you. This is a critical distinction that most small business owners miss and one that leads to massive frustration, self-doubt, fear and playing small. It’s normal and natural that this happens, because as micro-business owners, we’re likely doing 85% or more of the tasks inside the business — it’s no wonder it feels like an extension of us. This is where you need to flex your...

What season of business are you in? (and why it matters)

“We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to life when each arrives.” ~Gary Zukav For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has officially sprung. And while signs of life and growth are everywhere in the natural world, we may not be experiencing the same signals in our own businesses. And that warrants asking ourselves the question, “What season of business am I in?” Business, like life, is cyclical. And as owners, we must navigate all seasons and stages with the confidence that no matter what season we’re in, it shall soon pass into another. We may stay in certain seasons longer than others but eventually, everything will shift and move forward. This is incredibly useful to remember, particularly when things feel stagnant or stuck. Instead of fighting against it, we can work with its rhythms knowing that there are gifts to be drawn no matter the season and that it won’t be long before it’s behind us. Conversely, if we’re in a season of prosperity and busyness, we may feel gratitude for the success, but exhaustion at the idea of keeping it up. Knowing that another slower season is likely upon us can give us the stamina to ride out the busy season until we can once again rest and restore. Here’s what’s important: our business seasons may not line up with the natural seasons, nor the seasons of our peers or...
There are a lot of coaches out there who I hide from – the bubbly, infomercial types that lack the accomplishments they are telling others to achieve. Stephanie is not one of those people. She is smart, tough, and has built a successful business practicing the values-led business planning she has pioneered. If you are highly successful but feeling more drained than inspired by your work, invest in coaching with Stephanie.
Building a thriving business has never been a challenge for me. Not letting the business run over my personal passions and family time – that’s been my issue. In a way that no business book or personal resolution could do – Stephanie challenged me to look at my values and define practical actions to reshape my business and get more pleasure from my professional life. It is work everyday to stay true – but what she teaches, sticks.
Claudia Moore, Partner, Material Insight

Since we began working together I have redefined my business focus, clarified the look and feel of my brand, gotten myself a fabulous new tagline and am just overall feeling laser focused and inspired to take my business up a level – hell, I’m ready to skip a level at this rate. Michelle Barry Franco

Before working with Stephanie, my business was a mess of ideas, complicated packages, obscure pricing and lots of big ideas with no action. Since working with her, my business is completely unrecognizable, in the best ways possible. Before working with Stephanie, I faced challenges around mindset, putting ideas into action, and overthinking/getting stuck in perfection.
I can actually see myself as an entrepreneur and not as someone who is “playing business”. Stephanie’s motto of “going pro” is woven through all the work you do with her. Stephanie will pull or push you through those mindsets that are holding you back and make you face what it means to go pro.
Amy Deagle, Founder + CEO, Women of Possibility

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