What questions to ask when your business needs to change

What questions to ask when your business needs to change

Happy New Year! As we jump headfirst into 2017, you’re probably thinking a lot about where you want to take your business this year. And if you know that it’s time for a change, today’s Beyond PRO Podcast will help you ask yourself the right questions. A couple of quick housekeeping items before we get into the heart of today’s content. If you’re in planning mode for 2017 (or need to be), I’m running a free email course called Plan with Purpose 2017. In it, I walk you step-by-step through my planning process. You can register for it by clicking here I wanted to share that last week, Entrepreneur Magazine named this podcast as one of 24 Exceptional Women-Hosted Podcasts for Entrepreneurs in 2017. I am thrilled to be included in such amazing company, and I wanted to thank all my long-term listeners for their support, and welcome my new listeners to the podcast. Thank you. I have big plans for the podcast in 2017. Now onto today’s content — Last episode we spoke about what to do if you’re facing a crisis of confidence. If you want to go listen to that episode, you can find it here. One of the challenges that can easily put the most confident entrepreneur into a tailspin is when they realize that their business needs to change. It might be small, it might be big or somewhere in between, but regardless – something has to shift (and most likely soon). You know your business needs to change when: You’re no longer excited to do your work (day after day, not just once in...
How to bounce back after a crisis of confidence (BPP #031)

How to bounce back after a crisis of confidence (BPP #031)

“Life will not always deliver your desired outcomes. It has to teach you that your spirit will get its muscle by bouncing back and giving it all you can.” ~Dodinsky At some point in your business journey, you will likely find yourself at a crisis of confidence. It might be because of something that has happened in your personal life – a baby, a divorce, a death, a marriage, or a financial change. Or it might be because of something specific inside the business from a shift in the market, an economic downturn, disinterest in the current business or a failure that stung. Everyone has moments where they are shaken to the core of what’s true. We all experience times when we wonder if we are on the right path, or if we’ll ever be able to get back on it to begin with. But we don’t talk about it – it’s like we are not good business owners if we aren’t sharing our big successes from the mountaintop (or Facebook). I want to talk about it today. Because I KNOW it happens over and over again in business, and when you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to know what to do next.  And  I’ve seen it more than a few times lately with clients, friends and colleagues. These challenges include things like: An unexpected death in the family which made this entrepreneur just not want to work on her business at all (and wondered if it would be ok while she grieved) An ongoing struggle which  made this entrepreneur wonder if they could take the toxic...
Where to focus when you don’t know where to focus

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)

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)

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...
How to create a personalized success plan (BPP #027)

How to create a personalized success plan (BPP #027)

“Not my monkey, not my circus!” As a business owner, sometimes it’s easy to jump on every bandwagon that comes along because we think it’s what we ‘should’ do, what will work and what will get us to success. While there’s always merit to learning from others’ experience and implementing proven tools, over the long haul it won’t be sustainable to simply follow someone else’s path. You have to define your own definition of success. And that’s what we’re talking about on today’s episode. Your business will only work if it works for you – in all aspects. Even if it doesn’t line up with the common and over-hyped success indicators we see online. A personalized success plan is tailored to you – your values and priorities – anchors into the whole picture of your life. The only way to live your life by your design is to get clear on what you truly want and then incorporate strategies, habits, checks and balances that support you. Enjoy today’s episode!      Recommended Resources Work, Sleep, Family, Fitness or Friends: Pick 3 The advice that changed my life (BPP #003)  CEO Fast Track – on sale until February 18 for just $25 My PRO Plan – a comprehensive planning system for small business owners Your business will only work if it works for you. Click To Tweet By design – not by default – that’s where your business sweet spot is! Click To Tweet Success is nebulous. Define it for yourself. Click To Tweet   Thanks for listening! I want to thank you for listening and to those that have...
My Sunday Night Planning Ritual (BPP #025)

My Sunday Night Planning Ritual (BPP #025)

It’s a fine balance, isn’t it? As entrepreneurs we struggle not to be consumed by our work, to spend time with our families and to make sure we have it all under control. It’s great in theory, but how do we live it out? How do we find that sweet spot that allows us to work on our success and our business, and also gives us the freedom to choose our own path? Suggesting a Sunday night ritual may sound almost hypocritical coming from someone who works diligently at being with my family when I need to be with my family, but part of what keeps me sane is spending the few minutes I do on Sunday evenings, getting a head start on my week. If I go to bed knowing that I’ve set up my week and I’ve got a handle on what’s ahead, I sleep better. I also wake up better, because the anxiety of Monday morning chaos combined with wondering what I’ll be facing work-wise has been removed. It’s not about being a workaholic, it’s not about giving up my Sunday evenings, but it is about working smarter. If we truly commit to a 15 minute jump start to get focused and create a plan, we are freed up to concentrate on other things. Keep in mind what will work for you, what will set you up for success. Maybe it’s end of day Friday or Saturday morning over coffee – whatever plan you know will work, work that plan. I look forward to having you join me on the podcast to discover that finely tuned...
How to gain more control by designing your ideal week (BPP #023)

How to gain more control by designing your ideal week (BPP #023)

Squirrel! Your phone vibrates as a text comes through, your email pings and your little one asks for a cookie while you’re speaking with a potential client on that phone. You feel pulled at from every direction, but as an entrepreneur you also feel that you are required to be available for every distraction that gets thrown at you in any given moment. How do you combat that sense of defeat before you even begin your week? Can it really be as simple as designing it ahead of time? What’s the point if the busy-ness of it all is just going to disrupt the best laid plans? Living life by design puts you in the driver’s seat and allows you to solidify your own agenda before it gets taken over by the demands (or plans) of others. Think about it: why does someone else’s agenda or even lack of planning constitute an emergency on your part? Why do we live in the belief that it’s required of us to respond to the pings and beeps as they arrive? Gaining more control by designing our ideal week puts our priorities at the forefront, and therefore gives us pause to consider our actions or reactions before we succumb to the week in and week out hamster wheel of circumstance. After all, if we don’t execute on our own business goals and live our values, we pay the ultimate price of not experiencing the success that we started out to achieve. Join me on the podcast as I share how I set up my ideal week, along with how to get the...
Nothing is ever wasted, it is all useful (BPP #020)

Nothing is ever wasted, it is all useful (BPP #020)

Here’s a couple of patterns I see play out again and again at this time of year. Pattern #1: To completely ignore all past business missteps and hard knocks, in favour of focusing on the bright shiny future and possibility. Pattern #2: To completely dwell in the past, get locked in a story/personal narrative, and never go beyond it. Naturally, neither are constructive. Pattern #1 misses the critical opportunity and gift of past experience to shape the future direction and decisions we will need to make in business. Pattern #2 keeps us stuck, miserable and never moving forward. It does a number on our self-confidence and worth, and becomes a never-ending destructive cycle of doubt, shame, fear and guilt. I want you to embrace a third pattern. One that holds the perspective that nothing you’ve done is ever wasted, and contains valuable inside to drive your business forward, while not keeping you locked in past mistakes or regrets. The idea of making New Year’s Resolutions has come under fire the past few years because they simply set us up for failure. Why is that, do you think? We talked last week about implementing an intention for the year and how it differs from goals or resolutions. Along with setting an intention, reflection is a necessary tool to replicate more of what works and to learn lessons from what didn’t. As you review the past year, regardless of when you’re starting, do so with a perspective of curiosity rather than judgment. The past is the past, and the future still awaits your design. Learn from the triumphs and the challenges...
The key ingredient to have a stand-out year (BPP #018)

The key ingredient to have a stand-out year (BPP #018)

in·ten·tion·al inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/ adjective done on purpose; deliberate; done in a way that is planned. I know, I know. We hear repeatedly how ‘this one thing’ will change everything, but when we peel back the layers it becomes apparent that ‘this one thing’ consists of a thousand other steps before we can bring it all together. The reality is that there will always be steps we need to take to get where we want to go. But how can we possibly maintain our grit and determination to get there when we are constantly bombarded with distractions and circumstances? All you need to do is have a couple of kids to realize that the road ahead is anything but straight and narrow, so how can you help yourself stay on that winding road without sliding down the slippery slope of living an average year? As Robin Sharma says, “Postponing your greatness is a recipe for heartbreak; and being casual about the life you deserve leads to casualty.” Do you feel yourself heading towards heartbreak because you have postponed yourself or your business too many time? Is this the year you decide to stop postponing the possibilities, realize your dreams or experience a slam dunk in your business growth? You know you are in charge of your own destiny, but you feel the need for something more – an injection of some kind to breathe excitement into your planning. Well, ‘this one thing’ could possibly make all the difference for you, in order to have that stand out year you so desire. “Done in a way that is planned.” That’s how the...

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