Are you Busy But Broke?

Being busy is no excuse to be broke! Everyone knows someone who is always busy but never has any money. Has anyone stopped to ask why?

Why are you broke all the time? It is easy to stay busy with tasks that never affect your bank account. I see this all the time as a Coach. People come in with a list a mile long of tasks that they are working on or have finished and they are so proud of everything on the list, but none of it makes money!

We are going to find 3 ways to know if you have busy but broke syndrome. Then we are going to look at 3 busy but broke breakthroughs.

How Do You Know if You have the “Busy but Broke” Syndrome?

1. Does your bank account reflect a balance on par with the hours you are working?

Since my business is a success-based business most of my clients are excellent planners. One trait planners have is that they try and anticipate and structure their entire business, often spending more time in planning than executing money-making activities.

Some of my clients rearrange and re-plan their schedule because they feel they will have control over all of the details if they are safely in a plan. But if you’ve ever worked with people or technology you know life isn’t like that – some things will just take longer.

If you plan 10 minutes to check your email, it never fails: that’s the day you received 100 new emails to which you need to respond. Now you spend the rest of the day in catch up mode with tasks of low priority so that you can feel like you are accomplishing your to-do list.

This structure looks very important to you, but really it is masking the real things that are stealing your productivity.

2. Do you find yourself searching for every guru’s top tips for productivity?

Every guru has a different but equally awesome way they got to the top – because it fit them. If you spend all of your time reading the latest tips from the latest guru and then re-planning your life around their ideas, you’ll be chasing your tail.

It’s fine to get new ideas, but if you never stick with it long enough to see if anything comes from it, you will simply be busy but broke!

3 Are you always stressed and behind, running from one task to the next without completing anything or making money?

This is also very common. Many people do not have a great way to separate priority in their business put everything in the same box marked “urgent”.

Sometimes this looks like procrastination. Chances are if there is something you are procrastinating you need to look at your mindset around the task, but that’s a topic for another day.

This can also look like Attention Deficit Disorder. If you have A.D.D. you understand the extra time it takes to process your life. Unfortunately, a lot of people claim to struggle with ADD but truthfully they are just poor time managers.

I followed one client through their morning and this is what it looked like for this work at home mom: Boot up computer, remember needing to unload the dishwasher. Unloaded top rack of dishwasher and remembered she needed to return a client email from the previous day. Opened email and noticed a refund not issued properly for a separate client, called to resolve bank issue. Remembered needed to post on social media account and picked up her phone. A friend called and she spoke with that friend for a while. While on the phone realized she needed a specific outfit for the next day and began a load of laundry, then proceeded to put laundry away. While putting laundry away she stepped on the infamous LEGO and set her little one to cleaning his room. While he was cleaning he decided he was hungry so Mom went down to make lunch where she had an email waiting for her from the client from the previous day.

Her morning was running from one crisis to another.

I had her sit down with a Post-It note and every time an item popped into her head she wrote it down. She came up with 32 other items she needed to complete right now. 32! And the one deadline she had that day that was non-negotiable wasn’t even on the list. At the end of her morning, she was busy but hadn’t gotten anything real done.

Now: 3 ways to break the cycle of Busy but Broke!

1. Like the stay-at-home mom I observed, I’d like you to go get a Post-It note pad. Go ahead and create two Post-It notes: one titled “Due Today” and one titled “Do When Time Allows.

As you go about your work, write down each distraction or the new idea on one of the two notes. Only allow tasks or expectations with looming deadlines to make it to the shortlist for today.

Guard this closely! If you need help saying “No”, read my recent post here then come back.

2. If you’re an expert on every guru’s advice ever written, pick one tip and implement only that one! Do it consistently for a period of time.

To know if something is productive you have to be able to isolate the data based on one change. That means you have to stick with it! I mean it too. It takes 21 days to make a habit and you should allow a reasonable amount of time to pass to know if the tip is working.

Hint: It might take longer than 21 days.

Do not change something that was working for you because you now want to achieve the same goal just like your new mentor did for their success. Your success is your journey, not theirs!

I see this all the time as well, clients who read a new book and feel they need to adjust their business plan to this style of leadership, business or success. All depending on the book’s focus, and they can lose hours or even days adjusting and editing what is already working.  Take note if you see yourself doing this!

Often we fix what we feel is easy to adjust, like our schedules in order to avoid changing what is harder to change, like a habit, mindset, or limitation.

One of the ways I help clients overcome this exactly is through mastermind groups. Having someone else who sees your business activity and overcomes the areas in your blindspot. Read more about Masterminds here! Do not waste 5 years going in circles when you could be part of a group that builds you and keeps you accountable to your greatness!

3. This is the most brutal but the most effective tip, and the shortest. Do what makes you money first then fill in the rest of your schedule.

If you’re struggling with being busy but broke, you’re not alone! I see it all the time in my coaching practice. Fortunately, there are actionable ways to solve the problem.

Know yourself. If you like to follow everyone’s advice limit the amount of advice you are ingesting. Make sure you are being strategic that the advice you are following is aligned with where your business is headed and it makes you money. Do not take your advice from broke and busted individuals.

Seek out situations where you have authentic, transparent relationships with other business people who are committed to growing their business and making money. If you are leaving excuses and time wasters behind get involved with a mastermind group to amplify your growth.

We have Masterminds starting soon. Email info@plantosucceed.net for more information!

 

 

 

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How Millenials Are Leveraging Technology to Work From Home

How Millennials Are Leveraging Technology to Work From Home

 

Welcome to the remote worker economy! Not only are more and more people working in gigs as freelancers from home, but even traditional companies are increasingly allowing work-from-home options. From 2005 to 2012, the number of Americans working remotely grew by 80%!

 

The freedom, enhanced work/life balance and increased productivity delight those who get to work from home. Employers benefit too, as allowing employees to work from home allows them to win top talent into the organization, hire regardless of geography, and keep staff motivated.

 

Solid communication is vital to encouraging teamwork and effectively meeting goals when employees are remote. To make working at home mimic the seamless connections of being in the office, millennials and the companies they work for are turning to several key technologies.

 

Video Conferencing

Need a face-to-face meeting? No problem. There are easily a dozen great options for video conferencing and web conferences, from Zoom to GoToMeeting to Skype for Business.

 

The benefits of video conferencing are significant. You can have face-to-face communication even in remote working situations, which is vital to avoiding miscommunication. 80% of communication is non-verbal, and signals such as eye contact, facial expressions, and even gestures convey far more than words alone.

 

Video conferencing is essential to capturing this non-verbal communication and ensuring that your team feels connected, motivated, and well-informed.

 

Facebook Groups

Facebook isn’t just for killing time – it can also be used to enhance productivity and communication among remote work teams.

 

Facebook has several advantages over other communication techniques. First, almost everyone already knows how to use it. Millennials especially came of age in the era of social media and are very familiar with Facebook and its social media cousins.

 

Secondly, Facebook is free, which is a major boon for smaller companies or organizations who are feeling the budget pinch. It’s simple to create a secret Facebook group that is only used internally, and then invite employees, interns, or other team members to join.

 

Slack

Despite the name, Slack isn’t about slacking off. It’s a team communication tool that helps everyone get out of the email inbox and into a more efficient communication system.

 

One-on-one communication has its limits. You probably need everyone to know what’s going on with a project, but you may not need to email them and interrupt their workflow. Slack allows team members to update a project, and other team members can see the update on their own time, ask questions, or interject additional information.

 

Besides being a great communication platform, Slack integrates with many other common project management tools. No matter what your work team is using to manage tasks and accountability, Slack can help you talk about it more transparently. Share files, search conversations, or even initiate a one-on-one private chat. The possibilities are endless.

 

Project Management Software

Work is about getting things done, and working remotely requires a central location where files, tasks, and updates are stored. Millennials are very comfortable working inside of technology, so project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, or even Trello are easy tools for them to adopt.

 

Project management software has a host of benefits, including allowing teams to easily collaborate on projects, delegate tasks, and stay on schedule. Because tasks can be assigned to individuals, it’s easy to hold specific team members accountable to meeting their deliverables.

 

Management and stakeholders are also able to log in, see the progress of various projects, and receive updates on a schedule that works best for them. Project management software makes communication with clients and vendors painless as well.

 

Millennials are digital natives, and leveraging technology for work is second nature. With remote work growing in leaps and bounds, knowing how to use these four types of technology to work from home helps millennials be productive and happy while avoiding traffic and spending more time with family. It’s a win for the worker and a win for the company.

 

What technology do you use work from home? Why does or doesn’t your company promote working from home? Share in the comments!

Five Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group in 2017.

Five Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group in 2017

 

If you’ve never heard of a mastermind group, you may wonder what it is. It sounds like a meeting of evil overlords, doesn’t it? Fortunately, that’s far from the reality.

 

A mastermind group is simply a group of highly motivated individuals that meet regularly to give each other encouragement and accountability. The phrase “mastermind group” was first coined 75 years ago by Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich.

 

Participants in mastermind groups challenge each other to set powerful goals and work toward accomplishing them. If you want to meet and exceed your goals for 2017, you need to join a mastermind. Here’s why.

You’ll Get New Perspective

One of the greatest things about a mastermind is that everyone comes from a different place. In a really good mastermind, there are motivated people from all walks of life and business who come together to help each other.

 

As a result, you’ll be able to get a new perspective on your work, goals, and ambitions. People who are looking at things from the outside will help you stay balanced, encouraged, and inspired.

It’s an Exclusive Community

One of the great things about a mastermind group is that not anyone can join at any time. You usually have to be invited or apply. As a result, the people in the group are committed, and you can generally trust that what happens in the group will be confidential.

 

This exclusive community aspect ensures that you are working with the best of the best and that you don’t have to weed through the nonsense to get the help you need. The other members need you and you need them – everyone is committed to a great experience.

You’re Not Alone

Being in business can be a very lonely venture, especially if your friends and family aren’t supportive. A mastermind group can help end the feeling that you’re in this by yourself and you have to figure everything out.

 

When your mastermind group includes people at different levels of success, or includes people in different forms of business, you can get advice about what works and what doesn’t. This advice can save you not only from frustration and time researching on your own, but it can save the heartache and financial cost of making major mistakes.

Extend Your Network

It’s not what you know; it’s who you know, right? Well, if that’s the case, a mastermind is a vital part of business success. Joining a mastermind group not only expands your network by giving you access to members of the group, it also can give you access to contacts those members have.

 

If you need trusted advice on a good accountant or who you should hire to do social media consulting, a mastermind group can put you in touch with the right people. At the same time, the people you know and trust become assets to others in the group. A great mastermind will dramatically increase and improve your network.

Accountability to Reach Your Goals

A mastermind group is not for the weak-hearted. If you’re not committed to reaching your goals and being accountable for the steps you take, don’t join a mastermind! However, if you are on fire to reach the next level and need accountability, a mastermind group is perfect for you.

 

Often, seeing what others in the group are aiming for and accomplishing will push you higher and help you set bigger goals that you would have ever thought of. You can lay out a plan of action and count on your mastermind to hold you accountable for those results. Being part of a mastermind can multiply and assure your success.

 

Being part of a mastermind requires commitment, passion, hard work, and willingness to give and receive. If you don’t have that fire, please don’t join one! But if you do, you must be part of a mastermind group in 2017. Your success could depend on it.

 

For more information about masterminds and how they benefit you, contact me at info@plantosucceed.net. I’d be happy to help you find your fit!

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

Goodbye Job: Welcome to the Gig Economy

 

If you’re ready to tell your boss to hit the road so you can work on your own terms, you’re not alone. The number of freelancers is rising steadily, and a study by Intuit predicted that by 2020, 40% of American workers would be independent contractors.

 

Are you ready for the opportunities and challenges offered by the gig economy?

The Forces Behind the Gig Economy

The increase in freelance work compared to traditional full-time jobs has been pushed forward by a number of different factors.

 

First, millennials now make up 34% of the American workforce, and by 2020 they are expected to make up 46% of the workforce. Millennials are well known for being job-hoppers. The reason they change jobs so often is that they truly want something different from their jobs. Their priorities are:

  • Opportunities to learn and grow
  • High-qualitygoodbye-job leadership in the workplace
  • Work they are interested in doing

 

In essence, the generation that will soon become the majority of the workforce isn’t interested in the traditional “work hard at whatever is available for 40 years and then retire” model of work that previous generations have held.

 

The second factor behind the gig economy is the swift digitization of the modern world, which decreases the number of jobs humans are needed to do. Because software can do so much, people are being quickly pushed out of full-time jobs. Instead, human input is needed intermittently – a perfect setup for a freelance gig.

 

Finally, there are economic pressures that are causing businesses to reduce staff, reduce benefits, and favor hiring those who have a smaller impact on the business’ bottom line. There are no longer significant rewards to being a long-tenured worker at most companies. At the same time, organizations are beginning to favor hiring consultants and outsourcing to freelancers as a way to control costs.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Gig Worker

There are definitely benefits to being a freelancer or “gig worker”. However, there are some significant drawbacks that need to be considered as well.

Pros of Freelance Work:

  • Working when and how you want is one of the major benefits of being a freelancer. You can adapt your work to your life rather than the other way around.
  • When you work a lot of gigs rather than one job, you get a chance to learn about a variety of topics and do many different types of work.
  • Work You Love. When you do freelance work, you can choose projects you are passionate about rather than being assigned work by a boss.

Cons of Freelance Work:

  • If you aren’t clear on your strengths and don’t know how to market yourself to those looking for freelancers, you can have a hard time keeping consistent work.
  • If you aren’t naturally self-disciplined, you will struggle with the degree of freedom freelancing gives. It’s easy to procrastinate endlessly if someone isn’t watching over your shoulder.
  • No Benefits. Some professional level workers who are used to receiving company-assisted benefits like health insurance and life insurance will struggle with having to secure these coverages on their own.

Are You Ready for the Gig Economy?

Changes have a way of happening whether we want them to or not. Our best option is to be fully aware of what’s going on and prepare ourselves in advance.

 

So, are you ready for the gig economy? Are you ready to do the hard work of discovering your gifts, standing out from the pack, and marketing skills, knowing that you will be able to control your own destiny if you do?

 

The first step to preparing for the gig economy is to do a comprehensive assessment of your skills and passions. What do you love and what are you great at? Where do those two come together?

 

Secondly, it’s important to decide how you can contribute to others. Not everything we’re in love with and great at is a marketable skill. Consider where your skilled passions overlap with other people’s actual needs.

 

Third, it’s time to stand out. Do some research on others who work in the area you are considering. How do they present themselves? What unique qualities do you have that are currently lacking in the marketplace?

 

Finally, it’s time to find work opportunities. Create a website and begin to share your talents online. You can also take a look at job boards for opportunities that are currently available. If possible, create a portfolio of your work to use as a part of your applications.

 

Does the gig economy excite you or frighten you? Both reactions are common. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 

If you need more help getting ready to for this change and moving from fear to enthusiasm, I’d love to help.  Contact me at plantosucceed.net for a free consultation today!