by Angela De Souza
Business owners are usually busy, very busy! In fact, they are so busy that they seldom have time to think.
Each morning presents a long to do list and at the end of each day they exhale, feeling satisfied by all the ticks they have placed next to the many items that were on the list. However, what they often fail to realise is that they are happily running in the hamster wheel of the never ending to do list.
Eventually they will exhaust themselves and never get free from it UNLESS they stop and think. Women are predominantly guilty of feeling guilty. They feel guilty for most things. Women even feel guilty for not working and can even feel guilty for feeling guilty. Taking time to think is classified as work, so business owners don’t need to feel guilty. Thinking time is what separates the self employed from business owners. The self employed will only ever be able to exchange time for money and since they only have twenty four hours in each day like the rest of us, their earning potential is limited to what they can do within these twenty four hours.
Hard Work is Not Enough
Hard work and saving money could earn you a living but smart work and financial investments will build you a legacy. To get ahead start with not filling every minute of every day with only hard work. Stop and THINK – relax and then formulate a plan to work smarter. One hour of thinking each day could turn your business from a small business into a large, successful company. Even one hour of thinking a week could turn things around significantly.
Think about what you are currently doing with your time. Think about where you plan to go with your business. Think about a smarter way to get there. Are you satisfied with exchanging time for money or would you rather that your money worked for you even when you are not even working on your business? Think carefully about ways to achieve that. Take time to ponder on what you really want out of every day of your business and life in general. Dream about what your ideal day, week, month and year can look like. Create a plan that will allow you to begin to live the dream.
Smart Working Principles
Multiply Energy – Piggy Back
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. What is there that already exists that you can use or who do you know that can help you get where you want to be? If you take time to think you will be amazed at what you will discover. Are you using the trending hash tags on Twitter to get your status and posts seen? That is a very basic way to piggy back. Do you network and connect with people in high places? For example, if you are a painter you might be going door to door to offer your services. Why not rather find an established business that does plastering and then collaborate with them - piggy back on the established company and save yourself hours of knocking on doors. Piggy backing could also mean volunteering your services to a larger organisation. You may not directly make any money by volunteering but you could benefit a great deal from the publicity that would result.
Piggy Backing Etiquette
• You must not be competing with them
• You can be aiming for the same target audience but should not get in their way
• You should piggy backing but not be a parasite, give something back
Multiply Time – Other People’s Time
Yes, you can actually make time too by using other people’s time. It doesn’t have to be as selfish as it sounds, you can use other people’s time and still benefit them as well as yourself. For example, ask five really good friends to share your Facebook status – it won’t take them more than a few seconds but you will reach hundreds more people that way, saving you loads of time that you would have spent trying to find and communicate with those new people.
This is the most basic example of other people’s time, but another important key to using other people’s time is to outsource. What can someone else do better or quicker than you? A common cause of businesses failing is when the business owner insists on doing everything all of the time! The problem is that you can only do so much in a day.
Outsourcing is the next step to your business growth. Use other people’s time to get certain jobs done while you focus in what you enjoy and do best. It doesn’t have to be a huge leap of faith either, start by outsourcing one or two hours a week and increase it as your business grows.
Think about what you can outsource and who you should outsource to. Perhaps take on an intern or student. The possibilities are endless, but you will need to put in some thinking time to come up with the right thing that works for you.
Multiply Money – 1 + 1 = 3
The saying, “It takes money to make money” is not entirely true. Well it is and it isn’t. You see, how you get the money to make more money is where most people are tripped up. Most people envisage a huge pot of money that will then guarantee business success. Most businesses that start this way will fail anyway. The reason they fail is because they haven’t had to put in the hard thinking time. When money is easily available, little effort is put into important decisions. Once the money runs out, the business naturally fails. However, those who start with little money are forced to think and be creative with it. It is these habits that are forged in the early days that ensure later success when their money pot has grown. Take time to think about what you have right now and how you can make it grow. Don’t make the excuse that you don’t have any money, you do, and it is enough. Richard Branson didn’t even have money to make a phone call when he started out but that didn’t stop him.
• Sell your knowledge – seminars, webinars, workshops.
• Take payment up front – create instant cash flow.
• Collaborate – offer swaps.
• Think, think, think!
There is so much that you are capable of doing and achieving and all it takes is a little thinking time that will prevent you from remaining chained to your never ending to do list.