I used to think writing a journal was a complete and utter waste of time.
Then I did it for a year.
One day early on in the following year when I was feeling a bit low and telling myself I had not achieved very much over the last twelve months, I picked up my journal and started dipping into it over the months.
Do you know what I found?
I found that I had actually achieved a lot. Personally and professionally.
It brought back memories of when I ran off the edge of a cliff and loved every minute of it (I was attached to a parachute at the time! I booked a tandem paragliding session and went for it. I don’t like heights but I did it anyway).
The cliff was 3000 metres up and I can remember feeling a sense of freedom like I have never felt before when we were soaring over the land below.
That memory made me smile and brought everything back into perspective.
Check out my Facebook page for that memory.
In my journal, I also learned to write down on a daily basis what I was grateful...
1. Take Adequate Time Off
Ask your body, “How many breaks in a day do you need? How many vacations per year? How long should each vacation be?”
Entrepreneurs tend to skimp, even when they do take breaks or vacations. Decide what works better for you—a long three-week vacation, or three separate weeks off, spaced out at intervals? Two half-hour breaks or four 15-minute ones?
Resist the urge to skimp. Build breaks and down time into every day.
2. Don’t Over-Commit
Don’t promise to have something done if you know you’re going to have to stay up all night for a week to finish it. First decide how long, realistically, any project should take: Then add at least an extra day on it (more if it’s a big project; even more if you have other team members involved).
And don’t take on anything that cuts into your non-negotiable self-care time. Look for alternative solutions to suggest, or spread the work out over your team.
The same goes for...
Dealing with business burnout involves facing hidden habits we may not even be aware we have … and getting to the cause of them. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Stop the Hurry Before You Start
Many entrepreneurs rush into the day’s business activities without pausing for breath. This doesn’t just mean eating a healthy breakfast and meditating. It also applies when you sit down at your desk and begin to work.
Take the first 15-30 minutes to plan your day. Clean up your desktop, close unnecessary browser tabs, if you have left them open. Check your To-Do list. Determine your priorities. Turn on any productivity apps you are using… then go.
2. Remove Clutter and Distractions
Clutter can be confusing and distracting. Clean off your desk; either at night or first thing before you start work (whichever feels better to you).
Donate or toss any item on your desktop and in your home office that doesn’t give you pleasure or inspiration, or...
Over the last three weeks we have covered twenty-one ways to identify and deal with toxic clients.
That’s a whole lot of valuable information.
Doing something about toxic clients can be the difference in remaining frazzled to the core and wanting to stay in bed every day, or jumping out of bed enjoying your business.
Ensuring that you and your business have tools in place to deal with toxic clients will save you from a huge amount of wasted time, money and extreme frustration.
I know, I’ve been there.
It doesn’t matter if you have been in business for twenty days or twenty years.
If you don’t have toxic clients, you will now know how to identify them.
If you do have toxic clients, the tips I have given over the last three weeks should enable you to do something about them now.
As promised last week, I want to share with you my ‘7 Steps To Deal With Toxic Clients’ worksheet.
Use this worksheet to identify toxic clients and decide on and organise...
It all boils down to maintaining your own self-respect and joy. Investing time in learning the most effective ways to deal with – or downright avoid – toxic clients is always time well spent.
Here are seven more ways to deal with toxic clients.
1. Just Say ‘No’
Sometimes even the best clients will put us on the spot. The natural instinct is to be obliging. But stop to think: In addition to putting yourself out if you agree to their request, will it affect other people? Will it affect your income? (Example: A client wants to go on hiatus but wants you to “hold” her spot for six months.)
If it’s not viable, say so, clearly and up-front.
2. Beware of Clients Who Tell You They Are ‘Easy to Work With’
Most clients wouldn’t even think of this. If you get a prospective client on a discovery call who volunteers that information, make sure she qualifies it. WHY is she easy to work with? (The only acceptable answer...
Last week we covered a few ‘tough love’ ways to deal with toxic clients. Here are a few more to help you be aware of what to look out for.
1. When You Terminate or Graduate a Client, Suggest What to Do Next
A huge part of the anger or hurt that can come from a client who has been terminated is the feeling they’ve been ‘dumped’.
If you offer next steps they can take, what you’ve actually done is turn it from a dumping to a graduation—much easier on a client’s pride (and in some cases, emotions). Do it right, and they’ll leave you with a sense of hope.
2. Hold on to Your Joy
Don’t let negative nellies suck the joy out of your day. If you’ve had a particularly draining client you’ve had to deal with, take fifteen minutes to recharge.
Think of the things you are grateful for, things that make your life worthwhile. Think of what or who brightens your days. Be thankful and repeat your favourite affirmations.
It’s not practical to ‘fire’ every single client who causes you grief: Especially if the problem is your own lack of assertiveness and unwillingness to protect your boundaries. Sometimes you want to say no, sometimes you want to say ‘go’ – but what you end up doing (much to your frustration – after all, you’re a business owner; this should be easy-peasy) is putting up with it.
1. Taming Time Suckers
This type of client often pays big but expects an exclusive on your time. He calls, emails, wants your advice on stuff outside of your area of focus, and expects you to fit in unscheduled sessions at the drop of a hat. (You may especially notice that he always wants you to see him or Skype him during hours you have explained are not available – like your evenings and weekends!)
He’ll even phone you or email fifty times on vacation!
If a client is losing you money by sapping time you aren’t offering and cutting into your...
In my last blog I covered 5 ideas about how to get your motivation back. Here are six further ideas to win back your motivation and fall in love with your work all over again.
1. Align Your Work with Your Life Purpose
If you combine your area of genius with a deep, inner life purpose that drives you, regaining your motivation comes naturally.
Your life purpose is not external, like “teaching kids to play hockey”. That would just be a manifestation of what drives you. The sort of life purpose to identify and embrace is spiritual, even if you are not. It gives your life meaning. It’s something you want to live for every day, like “leading by example”.
Even if you don’t like journaling, this is a highly useful tool to embrace when you are on an inner journey. Articulating your thoughts on paper helps you quickly see through premises or statements that aren’t really true (just as it does if you talk about a topic in a group). It...
How do you help your clients to motivate themselves?
You ask questions, encourage them, call them out on avoidant or excuse-based behavior, praise them for steps forward. All of this you can apply to yourself – become your own client.
That’s one useful tip… and here are five more ideas to win back your motivation and fall in love with your work all over again.
1. Recognize that Goals and Paths are Two Different Things
You’ve been focusing on your goal but not really getting closer. Your business is much too busy, and you feel like you’re expending all your energy on clients.
If this is happening to you, you’ve likely wandered off the path towards your goal. Re-evaluate your path: Is it moving you forward? Are you letting yourself get caught on tangents?
Lack of progress can diffuse motivation. Rethink your path and set it up to really move you forward.
2. Create Checkpoints
Milestones or checkpoints – these are markers along the way...
Here are 6 proven ideas for building your confidence so you can magnetically attract new clients. Choose and put into practice the ones that best resonate with you.
1. Start Small
Do you have a big change to make? Don’t wait for the “right time”—start small. For example, if you want a new office but can’t afford it, try buying a new piece of furniture or an accessory for your office that will make your life easier—like a bookshelf; or even just a shelf. Or a new lamp, to reduce the chronic eyestrain you suffer. Or even just some flowers because you deserve them!
When you start to surround yourself with things that signify success or make life easier, you are sending yourself a strong message - “I CAN have this in my life! I deserve this!”
2. Make Confidence a Habit
Contrary to what others might think, no one is born with supreme self-confidence. It has to be learned. And it...