Episode 132 - Are you focusing on the wrong things?

 

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The business cycle can be crazy.  We can work nonstop and it can feel like we are not getting anywhere. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself if you are working on what is important? Join Kristin and Jeff as they explore this important topic.

Many small biz owners struggle to even get three hours of time per week to grow their business according to this OfficeMax survey

5 ways we waste our time 

  1. Excessively cutting the budget
  2. Doing busy work
  3. Organizing yourself
  4. Email and messaging people
  5. Social media for the ... business

The 3 things all small business owners should spend their time on

  1. Creating new products or content
  2. Delivering products to your clients
  3. Selling and marketing your products

5 things we can start doing now to stop the cycle

  1. If you can do it fast, just do it
  2. Automate tasks
  3. Create email templates
  4. ...
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Episode 121 – No more excuses

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Are you stuck in a funk growing your small biz?  Have you been putting off improving your health? Have your relationships suffered? Have you not been sleeping? It is the time that we all start living the small biz life and stop being lived by it. #NoExcuses 

You are not alone

Kristin and I have spent much of 2017 with you. We have had many excuses. Some real, but most where just extensions of our fear. Leading us to waste a lot of time, that is so precious. Join us in this podcast episode as we look at some of our biggest excuses, and some of the excuses we hear all the time. And how we can start working past them to live a year with no more excuses.

Any of these problems sound familiar?

  • What held us back?
    • Small goals
    • Using the pregnancy as an excuse early in the pregnancy
    • Lack of focus
    • Fear of selling
    • Too much to do, not enough planning
  • What is...
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Episode 120 – How to create plans that work for you and your business

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Welcome to the Small Biz Planning club

Kristin and Jeff extend this hand of invitation for you to start planning for success in your business. However, before you join Planning Club, you need to accept the 4 rules of Planning Club.

  • Rule 1 - Do not talk about planning club
  • Rule 2 - Understand the problems with goals and planning
  • Rule 3 - Plan smarter, not smart
  • Rule 4 - Create good foundations for your plans

Rule 1 - Do not talk about planning club

Okay, If you tell people to listen to the episode that is alright.  However, so often we plan and talk about the plan but fail to follow through with execution. So plan well, verify your actions daily and then EXECUTE

Rule 2 - Understand the problems with goals and planning

  • Finding good goals is tough
    • Measuring is a lot of work
  • We struggle to get from Goal to task
    • No idea how to prioritize
  • Life Happens
    • ...
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Episode 116 – Surviving the Holidays

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Holidays can be crazy!

Especially if you run a small business.  In the United States, it seems the craziness from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day can destroy us.  However, we do not have the Rocket War Day every Easter Day like in Chios island in Greece. It takes surviving the holidays to a whole new level.

Survival is key if you want to thrive a holiday season like we talked about in Episode 67 - Thriving through peak season. However, not everyone is busy during the holidays. If we are slow sometimes survival is more difficult so this year Kristin and I decided to look at both.

Busy

  1. Get organized before the rush
    1. Remember what worked and what didn’t last year
  2. Stay organized during the rush
  3. Hire help! Lots of college students come home around the beginning of December
  4. Cross train your staff

Slow

  1. Get some planning done for next...
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Episode 106 – 3 major mistakes getting tasks done, and how you can start fixing it now

Stop floundering creating task

Have you ever been told that if you work hard you will succeed? I was. I believed it. For years whenever I had an issue I just started to work more. Work more hours! Push! Push!
I kept moving.

I would do great for a while and then I would burn out. Sometimes I would kill it and prosper, but to be honest most of the time I seemed to go nowhere.

It was frustrating. However, I just kept doing it. I would also get very focused on the work. I was told if I just work smarter. all my problems would go away. I just needed to focus on the type of work I was doing. However, that failed to make my life better, or my business larger.

I also went through a period, where I cut out all the work that I didn't like, that was the worse mistake. I lost touch with so much that was important to my business because I did not want to do work I did not like. I would store up all that crappy work until I was forced to do it. I managed to 10x the work I hated. This is a 10x you...

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Episode 104 – How to get it all done

We all have so much to get done. Our small businesses can turn us into workaholics. Our family and friends are always trying to distract us. And all those hobbies take time. So can we really get it all done?

Human nature says no

Think of how much life has changed for humans since the dawn of recorded history. We have created air conditioning, air planes, escalators, teddy bears, the Theory of Relativity and all those major changes happened in the first 5 years of the 20th century.

As a species, we are driven to make our life, and the life of our family members better.  It has taken humans from small tribes of hunter gatherers to data scientist in ~5,500 years. So stop worrying about getting it all done, until we reach a utopian state we will always come up with new tasks to do next.

So stop trying to get it all done

Your time is better spent trying to learn how to figure out what to do and how to do what you are doing better to get to your next goals. And...

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Episode 98 - What to do when your plan fails

We all experience failure at one time or another. Successful business owners learn from their failures and keep going. In this episode, we discuss how to learn from failure to increase your success next time.

What to do when your plan fails

Jeff and Kristin discuss the following items this week:

  • First thing is to accept that your plans can (and sometimes will) fail
    • Understand there is risk
    • Go in with eyes wide open
    • Try not to risk it all for an opportunity
  • Own it!
  • Understand the damage
  • List out what when wrong
  • Determine what can be salvaged
  • Determine if there are other wins
  • Make a new plan to move forward
  • Breathe and smile
  • Keep moving
  • Learn from it

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Episode 96 - Pricing your products

Small business owners typically struggle with pricing their products, especially digital products. In this episode, we discuss the factors that must be considered when setting your prices.

For more information about pricing your services, check out episode 90.

The components of pricing

There are four components of pricing:

  1. Direct materials - These are the materials that go into each unit of your product. This might be the cost of a product that you have someone else manufacture for you or bonus items you give away with the cost of a digital course (maybe you mail a welcome packet or t-shirt). Direct materials can also be the cost of software that is incurred on each sale (if you are selling software as a service or other products with incremental software costs).
  2. Direct labor - This is the direct cost of labor to make or provide the product. An example of this would be the cost associated with your labor to record videos for a monthly membership site like Small Biz HQ. This would...
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Episode 92 - Simplifying your life

We spend a lot of time trying to simplify our businesses, but how often do you think about simplifying your life? In this episode, we discuss tips for simplifying your life. 

Simplify your home

  • Minimize your stuff
  • Automate your home maintenance
  • Have a cleaning kit
  • Pick up 15 minutes each day
  • Choose quality first

Simplify your money

  • Automate your bills
  • Pay off your debt
  • Have an emergency fund
  • Wait 24-48 hours for major purchases
  • Live simply
  • Be grateful
  • Find the root reason for overspending

Simplify your routine

  • Having a morning and evening routine
  • Create a monthly meal plan
  • Recreate leftovers
  • Have a few Plan B meals in the freezer or pantry
  • Don't get the mail until you are ready to deal with it

Other mentions

Episode 86: Finding your daily focus

Episode 33: Quick dinner tips

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

72 ways to simplify your life by Zen Habits

Dyson cordless vacuums

The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your...

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Episode 86 - Finding your daily focus

Most small business owners state that focus is one of their biggest daily struggles. In this episode, Jeff and Kristin discuss why we struggle with focus and how we can achieve more of it. 

You aren't the only one struggling

In a 2005 study of workplace efficiency, the average employee was able to focus on a task for just 11 minutes before becoming distracted. Once distracted, it took an average of 25 minutes to get back to the original task; sometimes, the employee never got back to that task! The most shocking stat for us: on average, we switch tasks every three to six minutes.

This explains a lot when you understand the effects of distraction. 

Why are we so distractable?

Our brains have not evolved as quickly as technology has. As part of our survival mechanism, we were programmed to respond to stimulus. Today, there is so much stimulus that our brains get easily overwhelmed. We are also overconnected. According to David Rock, author of Your Brain At Work: Strategies...

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