Among the holiday parties and gift giving, entrepreneurs are also focused on their year end numbers and goals. This alone is a massive focus and we can’t do it without support. Suddenly your 2010 goals are more real and require more focus.
Can you keep going as a solo-preneur?
One question I get consistently is “How do I build a teamwhen I can’t afford a full-time salary for someone?” This is an excellent question and the best ways to do this are:
1. Give Back
When you give to others through mentoring, masterminding, giving referrals, sharing ideas and tools and simply making an effort to assist someone else in their business, the door swings wide open for you to receive the same support. Solo-preneurs wear a lot of hats and the biggest mistake I’ve made is to do tasks that take up time from me actually receiving the hourly rate that I am worth. I have utilized masterminds and people who can contribute a few hours here and there in exchange for trade, money or simply service.
Always remember there is a win/win. When you are truly committed to creating something in your business there is always someone who is willing to give you a hand, to a beneficial trade or cut you a break. And never underestimate resources coming into your space so you can make things happen like #2 below.
2. Hire an Assistant
3. Participate in a Regular Mastermind
Having participated in many masterminds, I’m continually amazed at the power they bring to my life and business. This is the best way you can create a team without capital!
A mastermind is a group of 3-8 people (I prefer no more than 8 and they may be a little big) that meets on a regular basis and you discuss ideas, challenges about your business. Everyone in the group focuses on your business and provides ideas, feedback and support to break through the barriers holding you back. My preference is to have a mastermind that includes a variety of expertise and people who will be HONEST with their feedback. If you are in a mastermind where everyone thinks just like you, you will NEVER grow. Wouldn’t you rather know sooner than later that a business idea you have needs an adjustment? Having people in your mastermind who will give you honest feedback is ESSENTIAL to making sure you continue to grow.
Ideally masterminds, meet at least monthly and I like to give each person in the group at least 10 minutes to get feedback from the group. The key to having a successful mastermind is you have to meet regularly and consistently. All members get to participate and be committed to attending for a mastermind to be effective.
4. Time Management:
When you manage your time, you will literally have physical, mental and emotional room for people to join your team. When you don’t make time to come up for air, it will be impossible to manage one other person let alone a team.You have to first make the “space” in your life before you an add more to it.
Rene Johnson, The Power Zone Coach, teaches the 4-D Decision making process, which I use every day and has saved me a ton of time and worry. This puts me back into control over my time and what I focus on. Separate your tasks into Delegate, Delete, Do It or Defer. Have a file folder that you review regularly with each set of tasks in each category. If something has been in your defer file for two weeks or more, considering just dumping it. One of the reasons entrepreneurs feel so overwhelmed is because everything feels like it’s urgent.
When I feel like everything is important, I ask myself “What will make me money today?, What will take me closer to the biggest goal I have right now?”
More Time Management Tips:
- Schedule your time in 15-30 minute increments if you have to so you can get into a regular pattern of managing your time. Schedule time to do your self care, eat high-energy meals and take a break.
- Categorize your time into Focus, Flex, and Free.
James Roche, the Info Product Guy, who is a coach to Ali Brown and very successful (and a really great guy), gave me these tips:Focus Time: plan long-term projects. This is where you work ON your business not IN your business. Get away from your office or home to do this so you can truly focus and plan. When you are in Focus time, turn off your phone, close your email and shut your door. Give yourself allotted time to work on something. Work on a project for 30 minutes and set a timer. Then take a five-minute break and move onto the next project.
Flex Time: This is when you are actually making money, when you are working with clients, making calls, emails, managing your team, etc.
Free Time: This is when you do everything else.
- Batch Your Time: Run all of your errands at once, make all of your phone calls together, answer emails during specific time throughout the day, rather than having it interrupt you through the day. Do your social media all together and set up Twitter and Facebook on your phone so you can stay active in social media (if you choose to) without having to use the computer. I personally recommend turning off all of the mobile alerts on your phone so you aren’t bombarded with texts or emails when other people interact with you on social media.
Overall, the key to creating a team to support and assist you is you have to first believe in your value of what you are offering. When you work on yourself, you start seeing results in your business, relationships, health and your entire life.