Self-Evaluation: Why It's Important for Achieving Goals

business growth Sep 28, 2018

You wouldn’t plant a new seedling, set it in a window someplace and then completely ignore it for three months. Or if you did, when you came back you wouldn’t be shocked to see that it had withered up and died. So why is it that we are surprised, disappointed, or frustrated when we set goals, walk away from them and go back to our usual day to day routine, and then check in at the end of the quarter to find none of them have been met?  What's needed is self-evaluation.

Daily Self-Evaluation

A key piece of the puzzle of meeting your goals is to do self-evaluation on a daily basis. This can sound overwhelming. But the type of evaluation we are talking about here is not a 10-page essay at the end of every day or a lengthy emotional diary entry. Instead, we suggest a simple, quick set of valuable questions to ask yourself each work day, that will help you gauge more honestly how successfully your steps were toward meeting your goals that day. While we recommend you jot...

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Profitable, Or Just Busy?

business growth Sep 21, 2018

It can be easy to get busy and stay busy in business, especially as an entrepreneur. You are often filling multiple roles in your business and having to do everything from day to day operations, to financial analysis, to running your social media pages. It is common for entrepreneurs to get buried under this mountain of tasks and lose sight of what is actually going to help their businesses grow, being profitable.

Being busy is Not Being Profitable

When you are merely “busy” it is easy to get caught in the thinking trap “I’m working long hours, and doing a bunch of stuff, I must be making money” But what you will often find when you look at your financial reports is the exact opposite. “Busyness” leads to wasted time, missed opportunities, and often inflated expenses. Even if you are bringing in a steady income during your busy times, it is difficult to keep up with tracking expenses, budgets, and important financial metrics when you are...

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Lifelong Learning: Why It's Important

business growth Sep 14, 2018

Do you engage in lifelong learning? Or do you have trouble remembering the last time you read a book? Over the years, most of us have heard the idea that reading is good for us. But what is the real benefit of reading new books and continuing to learn consistently?

The Advantages of Lifelong Learning

When you are consistently learning new things, whether it’s through books, magazines, journals, online courses, podcasts, or live lectures, you are expanding and growing your mind and your understanding. It’s impossible to learn new skills, understanding, theories or principles without experiencing some level of growth along with them. This growth doesn’t just stay with you, it’s contagious. It spreads to your work, your business, your employees or coworkers, and your family. Continuing to learn has far-reaching effects that go beyond simply having more facts or skills.

Learning new things as a habit can also help you get out of a rut, or keep from getting in...

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Productivity: Have Your Best Year AND Avoid Burnout

We talk a lot about productivity. Especially in today’s fast-paced, competitive world where it feels like only the strongest and most hard-headed individuals really “make it”, how do you and I boost our productivity while avoiding getting burnout? The short answer is to stay focused, happy, and healthy. But what does that really look like in the context of a busy, stressed out, business owner who also has a family and hobbies that he or she cares about? Let’s take a look at each of those basic ideas individually.

Stay Focused and Reduce Stress

The type of focus we are talking about here is not necessarily a hyper-focus on one singular interest, task or goal that takes over your entire life. Instead what we should be cultivating is the ability to focus on just the task at hand. This is effective at work of course, but for many of us the place we need this skill the most is at home. How many times have you left the office for the day, but brought all of the...

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Pareto Analysis: 3 Ways it Can Help Maximize Efficiency

business growth Aug 31, 2018

A Pareto Analysis is a way to identify which of your clients (our group of clients) are providing what proportion of your business’s revenue. Conducting a Pareto Analysis of your client base should be at minimum an annual thing. But once you have that valuable information, what do you do with it? Here are three ways that you can use the data from a Pareto Analysis to maximize your efficiency:

Trim your client base

A Pareto Analysis will reveal who your least profitable clients are. For the vast majority of companies, the 80/20 rule applies to your client base. The 80/20 rule is the idea that 80% of your revenue is coming from just 20% of your clients. So for example, if you have 10 clients just the top 2 would be bringing in 80% of your revenue. The problem this creates for business is two-fold. One issue is that if you lost one of the 2 clients, 40% of your revenue might go with them. The other issue is that the majority of your time, energy and resources is likely being...

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Checklist: 5 Month-End Tasks to Keep You On-Track

business growth Aug 24, 2018

Do you keep up with your financial metrics, and goal tracking every month? OR do you scramble at the end of each year to put reports together? No matter which of those fits you, we have a great checklist to help you stay on track for the year, and get more done!

Checklist Task 1: Reconcile your bank accounts

This is one of the most neglected monthly duties, especially for small business that doesn’t have a dedicated accounting staff. BUT, this is one of the most VITAL month end tasks for your business. Until your accounts (all of them) are reconciled, you won’t know where your company stands financially. Once you get into the habit, reconciling your accounts monthly won’t take up nearly as much of your time. Check with your current bookkeeping software to see if they offer an integration with your bank to pull transactions in automatically. This will save you tons of time and headache each month.

Checklist Task 2: Record your progress toward your goals

Whether you...

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Self-Limiting Beliefs: How to Get Rid of Them

business growth Aug 17, 2018

Years ago I struggled to get the results I really wanted. I was full of self-limiting beliefs about my business and achieving my goals. My thoughts centered around negative beliefs like; “Good clients are hard to find”, “No one will ever pay me $X-number-of-dollars more than my competitors”, “I’m not good enough”, “I don’t have the answers”. I was focusing daily on these thoughts and it became a habit that consumed my life. I was allowing these self-limiting beliefs to hold me back and make me miserable.  The result? I got exactly what I was focusing on.  I was frustrated, broke and had miserable clients who were not what I was looking for. I was swimming with tadpoles when I wanted to be swimming with whales.

Things changed for me, though, when my business coach walked me through a powerful exercise, which I am going to walk you through now.

Revealing the Lies

He asked me to create a list of all of the times that...

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Success: Three Concepts to Consider

business growth Aug 10, 2018

In our fast-paced world full of climbers, dreamers and achievers it can be easy to get distracted from working towards your own goals by someone who seems to be climbing higher, faster or better than you are. We have put together a few ideas about success that may help you get back on track.

Success is infinitely abundant

In today’s world we often get so caught up in competition and striving, that we start to imagine that one person’s success somehow robs us of our own. We think that if a peer, or family member, or coworker gains success that it has taken something away from ourselves or someone else. In his book “Excuses Begone” Wayne Dyer promotes the idea of a world full of abundance. The abundance mindset says that success, or joy, or contentment is infinitely available and yours for the taking. Dyer says that our cultural influences the things we were told as children, and the behaviors we have seen displayed have conditioned us to believe things about...

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Habits: 3 Steps to Forming New Ones

business growth Aug 03, 2018

In his book “The Power of Habit” Charles Duhigg talks about the impact that habits have on the day-to-day living of our lives. Our habits, even when we don’t recognize it, shape the things we do, what we eat, say, think and choose. So how do we lose some of the negative habits of pessimism, unhealthy eating, or procrastination, and replace them with positive habits like optimism, regular exercise, and productivity? Duhigg highlights a 3 step process that leads to habit formation in our brains: The Cue, The Trigger, and the Reward.

The Cue

The first step in forming a habit is recognizing the trigger or cue which tells your brain to go into “habit mode”. Depending on the habit you are trying to develop this could be a time of day. For example, every day at 5 pm you leave work and go to the gym for a workout. Or it could be an internal trigger. For example, when a co-worker starts to complain, instead of joining in, you use that as a trigger to think of 1...

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Cash Flow: 6 Tips to Improve It for Your Small Business

business growth cash flow Jul 27, 2018

One of the top reasons that small businesses fail comes down to not having enough cash. You have heard the old saying "It takes money to make money," and if you are a small business owner you know that in many cases that holds true. When you run out of cash, or cash reserves get low your business operations come to a screeching halt. You can't pay your employees, invest in new equipment, or eventually even keep the lights on. And if your business is the primary source of income for your family, these lean times can be especially scary. But don't be overwhelmed, we have some tips that you can implement starting right now to improve your cash flow, turn things around and get on the right foot.

Keep Cash Reserves

We do this in our personal finances: keep an emergency fund. So why aren't we doing this with our businesses? If cash is tight right now, just start small. Save as much as you can into a business savings account each week, or month until you have enough cash to cover your...

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