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Busy is not the same as being productive

Is this you? Are you really busy?  Yet you haven't got anything done?

Busy is not the same as productive.  This used to be me, all the time.  I would be soooo busy.  None stop.  To the point where friends would say I know you're busy...

This got me thinking...

                              'yes, but I am not too busy for you'. 

Then I started to think, ok so I am busy but what have I done?  Or what have I been doing? What things can I put to one side?

I also thought...

'How can I be soooo busy, yet I don't have the money coming in?  What have I been doing? Are you really busy?

Busy is not the same as being productive...

Too busy for friends

This saddened me, but yet all my own doing.  Everyone knew me as always running around 100mph, always working.  I had no time for anyone or anything.  Not even for myself.

Burnout

This is the fastest route to burnout, which I quickly realised.  Mentally, this is not good for us.  Physically this is not good for us.  Are you doing things that could lead to burnout?  Have a look at some things you could STOP.  Busy is not the same as being productive

Are you structured?

Do you have a structured day or do you let other tasks creep in?  Are those tasks really a priority or are you using them as a form of procrastination?  What I mean by this is, I find myself sorting out appointments and booking clients in and not getting on with some of the more 'business duties'.  You know those things only the business owner does?

So, I hear you ask, why am I filling my day with tasks that my employees can do with ease.  Or I could pay a  VA to take my phone calls and deal with messages.

I have realised, that is my procrastination.  Busy is not the same as being productive

Beliefs

This has made me think.  Why do I do this?  Well, I believe that by booking the appointments I am progressing the business.  It is as if I see this task as a priority.  Because by having clients booked in I know I have an income coming in that day, or next week etc - like an income generating task.

Does this make sense?

But, this is a belief I have set upon myself.  Believe me by doing the other tasks, that are really 'income generating', but for the future of the business.

The bigger picture

We can often forget to see the bigger picture.  As a business owner it is easy to feel like you should be a 'team member'.  I know I do this.  But set your boundaries and don't get sucked in.

Yet, we employee staff or outsource jobs in order for us to grow this business.

This leaves us with the much needed time to do these tasks.  Just because you can book the appointments in far quicker than your stuff.  I know you can see gaps where they can't.  Or maybe there is just you and you haven't got staff.

There are ways to automate.  Like using online booking systems.  This is another topic as it is huge.  I was totally against these, as I just didn't think it would work for me.  It worried me because what if:  Clients would book things wrong? or what if it crashed?  And, many other things.

But, since I got one 6 years ago it was life changing.  I am not on my phone for 2 hours at the end of each working day or at the weekend, when I wanted to finish.

I couldn't risk missing those bookings though.  Can you?

I get it...

Genuinely, I get it.  It is hard to make these changes.  Some times we just have to try things.  You just never know.

The thing that made me try this, was I had a staff member going on maternity and I just couldn't work out how I was going to do everything.  That is another topic, but it was my trigger.  So, I am just sharing that.  Running a business can feel very overwhelming, I know.

What are income generating tasks?

Email marketing

Sales calls

Grow your list of leads

Follow ups

Multiple streams of income

I have gone into more detail on each of these.  This is just to get your brain thinking.  What tasks do you do that someone else could easily do.

Email marketing 

If you’re not marketing yourself to your list, then you’re not making money.  If you don't have a list, then you need to get one.  You have your client base.  You don't have time in their appointment to tell them all the new things you have been doing.  Or things you are planning, changes you are making.  There is so much to share with clients.  I am not saying it has to be a news letter.  But there is so much content you can share.

Sales Calls

The easiest way to do this quickly is by offering free consultations.  If the prospect is a good fit, you sell them.  Sounds simple doesn't it?  These can work.  In our industry they just take some planning on how you are going to sell.  Have you ever done a Facebook post and it has hardly got any interaction.  Then you have a sent a text or called a client directly and they have taken you up on the deal?  People want to feel important.  They don't want to feel like it is a blanket offer for everyone.  Make that effort...

Prospecting and Growing Your List of Leads

In order to consistently make more money, you need to grow your leads/clients.  That’s why consistently prospecting and growing your list of leads is an excellent use of your time and energy as a business owner.

Here are some ways to do that:

Follow Ups

A good use of your time that also produces income is following up.  Most business owners fear follow ups, because they don’t want to be annoying. But, similar to email marketing, people have a lot going on so you need to send them constant reminders.  People have often said to me.  'I am so glad you sent me that reminder as I have been meaning to message'.  

What's that saying?  You don't ask, you don't get.

Multiple Streams of Income

Up until now, everything I’ve mentioned can help you make more money NOW.  But, if you want to make more money over time and build wealth, you’ll need more than that.  Millionaires have an average of seven streams of income.

The last of the income producing activities is to create new offerings you can sell to your audience.

For example, I have my salon, which I love.  I branched out into skincare.  I am not saying create your own products.  You could just have a skincare line you love working with and push retail.  Then, I have my membership website.  Now, this I love too.  And then of course my coaching programs.  Believe it or not, I love this too!!!

Just something to think about

I hope I haver triggered some thoughts here.  We all need guidance.  I know nobody knows your business better than you and nobody could run it better.  But, there is no harm with a few tweaks here and there.

Yes our business is our passion, but surely we got into business to help us have a better life.  Not to be soooo run down with it all.  Use lockdown as a time to put things into action.

Here's hoping we never have this kind of time off again.

Anything is possible

Believe me when I say this!!!  Just plan and focus and structure.  You can do this.

I am always here to help.  Join the membership and have access to so many workshops and LIVE coaching.  Which I know our members LOVE!!!

See you next time

Lots of love

Louisa x

That feeling of overwhelm?

Do you get that feeling of overwhelm?

Recently, I have noticed so many people are feeling overwhelmed.  When I speak to people it does seem to be a common theme of how people are feeling.

Now, I know the pandemic has a lot to do with these feelings.  But, talking to people it isn't just that.  The pandemic is just giving us too much time to think!  That seems to be what the problem is there.

You mind

Our minds are like an untamed ocean.  So many thoughts and feelings pulsating as if waves are crashing against the inside of your skull.  That feeling of when you are trying to stay afloat.  But, you can’t help feeling.  You know, as if it’s only a matter of time before your head disappears below the surface of the water.

This is you when you are feeling overwhelmed by life or lots of situations.  This is how your mind reacts when everything gets on top of you.  And you start to feel unable to cope with it all.

But why?

The cause of this may sound very obvious.  It is your minds response to stress.  I guess you could say this is a very superficial understanding of the situation.  But, at its most basic, the sense of overwhelm you get is the reaction of your body and mind to stress.

More specifically, it is the response to stress caused by a build up of many responsibilities.  Some big and some small.  It is that belief that you aren’t able to keep all the plates spinning much longer.

The unconscious fear of letting a plate fall and smash causes a stress response.  This is what results in the very conscious feeling of overwhelm.

This type of response is quite specific in that it relates to the compounding of multiple concerns.  It is not the type of response you’d generally experience when the stressor is a single thing.  For example being unfulfilled in your job or a recent bereavement.

Not just responsibilities though...

I know at lot of the people I speak to, their overwhelm is not just kids, houses, pandemic.  It is having this time to think about their businesses.  They have been gathering information over the past few months, even the past year.  So many are becoming desperate to put these ideas into action.  But, for some they are just not sure where to turn.  Not sure which idea to put into action first.

Many are struggling with:

Is this idea right for my clients?

Do they want this?

What do they want?

I want my business to go in this direction but I am not sure how to do that?

Who can help?

Can anyone actually help?

I don't know what to do first?

This results in doing nothing, or just becoming stressed because we can't think straight.  Do you relate to this?

For me.

I always want people to look at their current business and make this be working at its most efficient, before moving on to the next idea or thing to do.  But, I get it.  We are entrepreneurs and we want to keep moving forward and progressing in our business.

There is nothing wrong with that, except this feeling of overwhelm.

Don't lose hope

When overwhelm occurs, your brain struggles to process all of the different issues.  This is because you can only give over conscious thought to one at a time.  But, when you try to do so, the anxiety kicks in.  This anxiety is caused by all of your other problems/thoughts and it prevents you from thinking clearly.  This is why we can't focus on one single task.

Think of your mind as being a door.  Problems are matched with solutions when they pass through the door.  When you feel overwhelmed, there are so many problems trying to push their way through the door that.  This results in none of them being able to squeeze past the others.

What can I do?

The solution is quite straightforward.  Clear the roadblock so that the issues you face can pass through the door where solutions are found.

There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Drop some of the issues altogether so that the road is clear for others.
  2. Create a traffic management system so that each problem can be tackled one at a time with clear and concise thinking.

In practice, you will probably end up combining both approaches to form one coherent strategy.

Sounds simple, but how do you actually take this and implement it in the real world?

I don't get it?

Firstly you need to identify all of the things that have contributed to you feeling overwhelmed.  Without a clear idea of the many issues that need to be addressed, you will not be able to consciously tackle the whole problem.

Take a pen and paper and write down every single concern that is playing on your mind at this second.  Don’t worry about how insignificant some may seem.  It is best to get them all in the open.

I try and do this subconsciously.  I know this sounds crazy...  But it works.  The more you think, the more overwhelming it is.  This then stops you, once again, being able to think.  If you just start writing it will just come.

I once wrote 4 A4 pages back to back.  This was the first time I did this subconscious writing.  I cannot tell you how good I felt after.  I had no clue what I was doing, though.  Please don't think I did.

It started something like:

This is so stupid, how can I write subconsciously, I don't even know what I am thinking... (I find they always start along these lines, it is like I have to get my brain into a subconscious state or something).

Once I started, my pen was on fire.  I had a lot of pent up feelings about things.

I find this to be like a brain dump and then tis allows my mind to feel clearer to actually start to make a plan.  Why not use some essential oils to help clear your mind too.  Rosemary is fantastic for helping concentration and clearing your mind.  Along with sage and peppermint.

If you are struggling, why not create a vision board and start looking at how you want your life to look.  This can be a big help and also completely stops your brain focusing on problems.

After your brain dump

subconscious writing makes sense look back over it.  If you just feel better for getting it out, but you feel exhausted, just put it to one side.  Close the book and leave your brain to absorb and clear itself.

When you feel up to it

If you can use your brain dump, then do, I often don't as it makes no sense.  If you're like me, I need to write a plan now that makes sense.  So I may make a list of some of the things that are bothering me.  If any are worries, I look at think can I just bin those?  Look at your list and really ask yourself whether each item is something that deserves your attention.  Or, by seeing it written down have you realised you are fretting about something that has no concrete foundation in reality?

Hopefully you will now have a smaller list of concerns to work with.  After identifying those that you can blissfully ignore without any repercussions.  Your next job is to find a way to put those issues that remain in some sort of order.  But just take 3 things from your list and prioritise those.  Do not try and do the whole list.

Clear head

Then, with a clear vision of what should be done first, you can begin to tackle your issues.  Hopefully, without the sense of impending doom that you had before going through this exercise.

Your mind might not be entirely quiet, I get that.  But you will be able to dedicate enough of your mental capacity towards resolving each concern.  Just one at a time.

Try this approach next time you are feeling overwhelmed by life’s problems.  Let me know how you go...

See you next time

Lots of love

Louisa x

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