How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

How to Stop Wearing Your Busy Badge

Emma O'Connell

30th July 2020

Being busy for the sake of being busy is not going to get you where you want to go. You need to slow down and take a step back. We need to start accepting that taking time off is OK. The world won’t end, you’re business won’t collapse, social media will still be there.

The problem is when you fill your schedule up with busy work, you feel more valuable. Society has placed a greater value on being busy, because busy means productive and productive means worthy. I mean that’s what our ego tells us, so it must be true. Mustn’t it? But that is in actual fact a load of bullshit.

When you see other coaches and consultants produce a load of content, showing up everyday on instagram stories, hustling hard, winning, with loads of clients and a 6 figure business, you feel the pressure to do more, work more hours and then you hope that all of that will turn into greater results. But being busy just means you are being unproductive.

Being busy is impacting on your wellbeing

You are left scattered, lacking focus, mentally and physically exhausted and stressed AF. 

You are not super woman. So stop acting like her.

You need to slow down and take a step back. We need to start accepting that taking time off is OK. The world won’t end, you’re business won’t collapse, social media will still be there. Honestly!

You are not superwoman. Stop acting like her.

For us as women, the best time to really slow down and take stock of our lives is during our inner Autumn and our inner Winter phases of the menstrual cycle, this is also know as the luteal phase (which lasts approx. 12-14 days) and happens immediately after ovulation and the menstruation phase. During this time, our critic and ego is at her most vocal, so instead of listening to her and just pushing through trying to find the energy you had a week ago (trust me, you won’t and you can’t, its hormonal), take the time to slow down and really listen to what she has to say. There is great wisdom in it, but you need to honour these phases and their request to slow TF down. Be more intentional with the things you spend your time doing. 

 If you don’t slow down and take some time to nourish yourself, turn inward, rest and restore your energy, you’ll just keep spinning around the ‘busy’ wheel until suddenly you collapse from burnout and that is not a place you want to be.

Busyness is procrastination in sheeps clothing

I should know, I used to be the champion of procrastination!

You see, we often use being busy as an excuse because we are stalling. Stopping ourselves from doing what we really want to do, something that is going to add REAL value.

Be honest with yourself, do you go to bed late too many times in a week? Do you spend far too much time scrolling through social media? Perhaps you spend your evenings binging on Netflix? How often do you say ‘yes’ to meaningless activities that just eat up your precious time? Do you keep putting things off because you are too tired?

I am guilty of all these things. I’m not perfect, I get sucked in to busy work every now and again. And this is exactly why being aware of how you spend your time is the first step to making a change and creating a more balanced life. Start by saying NO a lot more. Only say yes to the things that REALLY matter, that LIGHT YOU UP. 

Simplify, SIMPLIFY and then simplify some more

When we are constantly busy, it’s because things just aren’t working. We are saying yes to too many things, taking on too many projects, trying to do all the things and lacking structure in our lives and business.

It’s time to look at simplifying. Simplify your life by decluttering your workspace, your office, your bedroom, your house, your life! Get rid of the stuff that Marie Kondo says no longer “sparks joy”.

Simplify your business by doing the same – decluttering. Clear out your digital files, take the time to create and document your systems and processes, relook look at the million programmes and courses you offer and scale them back.

There is beauty in simplicity. Own it.

How you spend your time and energy starts and ends with you. What are you going to do today to stop some of the busy work and make a step towards creating a better balance? If you need some help and support, come and joined like-minded ambitious females over in the Facebook Group.

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How to Make Better Decisions in Your Business and Your Life

How to Make Better Decisions in Your Business and Your Life

How to Make Better Decisions in Your Business and Your Life

Emma O'Connell

21st July 2020

Are you terrible at making decisions?

Do you go back and forth a million times, agonising over what to do? Then in the end you get so overwhelmed that you end up making NO decision at all because quite frankly it’s just easier. Perhaps you’ve struggled to sleep, tossing and turning, worrying about doing the ‘right thing’. Sound familiar?

I am bad at making decisions. Not so much in my business, but give me a menu in a restaurant and I struggle to decide what I want to eat. I just find it very overwhelming because I LOVE food. But that isn’t the only thing I agonise over, choosing a school for my son was also a pretty overwhelming decision.

We are faced with making decisions everyday of our lives. Some are small, but some are massive life changing decisions that have the power to completely overwhelm us. But what if there was a way to lift that heavy weight off your shoulders and make decisions with greater ease? Well there is and it involves tapping into your menstrual cycle (and the hormones at play).

Here is how you can get started:

TUNING IN WITH YOUR BODY

There is no one size fits all solution here since we are all different, but the key lies in understanding the natural rhythms of your body through your menstrual cycle and knowing where you are in your cycle before making any decisions.

If you know that you feel terrible at a certain point in your cycle, it probably is not the best time to make any decisions. Be aware of making decisions around ovulation since any  decisions you make now you will likely need to be followed through on during the luteal phase when you are premenstrual.

We are faced with making decision every single day, some are small but some are big life changing decisions that have the potential to completely overwhelm us. What if there was a way to lift that heavy weight off your shoulders and make decisions with greater ease?

UNDERSTANDING THE SEASONS OF THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE

Winter (menstruation, your time to bleed) is the perfect time to reflect. You can go deep and meditate and journal, but equally grabbing some fresh air and being outside in nature can make a huge difference to getting some mental clarity. Take a break, get off social media and see what happens, you may find that suddenly all the pieces of the puzzle slot together.

Spring (pre-ovulation) is a great season to test things out. Go with what feels good and make a decision from that place.

Summer (ovulatory phase) is the part of the cycle where you feel more daring, ready to take a risk and try something new. This is the best time to make big bold decisions and take any steps that are going to propel you forwards.

Autumn (post ovulation) is a time to slow down and assess what is and isn’t working for you. For some, it is a great time to make decisions because making decisions can be easier. On the other hand, having to make decisions during this phase can be overwhelming.

MAKE TIME TO EAT RIGHT

If you are fueling your body with sugar and caffeine and have a tendency to skip meals as well, this really won’t help you make decisions with ease or clarity. Instead you are adding fuel to the fire as this concoction is a recipe for de-stablising your blood sugar and causing more mental confusion.

You need to make sure you eat regularly. Now is the time to stop skipping meals. If you ensure that every meal contains protein, this will help give your body the nourishment it needs to make effective decision, ones from your gut (the good old gut instinct) rather than being ruled by your head (and your ego).

If you loved this blog post, don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter to get weekly doses of inspiration and insights. You can sign up at the bottom of this page.

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How to Conduct a Business Systems Audit for Growth

How to Conduct a Business Systems Audit for Growth

How to Conduct a Business Systems Audit for Growth

Emma O'Connell

4th July 2020

You might not even be aware, but running an online business involves a lot of processes and systems. Every task you perform is linked to a process and a bigger system.

Systems don’t last forever, sadly. They are in fact an ever evolving part of your business that change as you build, grow and scale. With that in mind, it is a good idea to audit your business systems every quarter to six months by blocking out time in your calendar to take stock.

Time to step into your CEO shoes.

WHY YOU NEED TO AUDIT YOUR SYSTEMS

The whole concept of systems might seem overwhelming, but our everyday life is full of them. The way you clean your bathroom, do your washing, even putting your children to bed at night, is your own little process or system. But systems don’t last forever. Your children grow up and things need to change.

Sometimes systems just stop working.  It isn’t because they weren’t good systems in the first place, but rather our needs shift and our systems need to adjust in line with those changes.

Before the whole world was thrown into a pandemic and covid-19 created a new normal, my grocery shopping was disorganised. I didn’t meal plan. I frequently dragged my two children to the supermarket in search of food and inspiration. When the government told us that we were to “Stay home. Save lives. Protect the NHS”, suddenly things needed to change. So we actually started meal planning, making a list of the things are needed for those meals and then going shopping once a week, our one essential trip. I’ll be honest, it has been a complete game changer. The stress of looking at the fridge and wondering what the hell I am going to cook, and then making a desperate trip to the supermarket has stopped and with a new process in place it has suddenly become so much easier, even more joyful. And it is a process that is here to stay.

At times it can be very obvious that things aren’t working out and something needs to change. Other times you might not be fully aware that things are broken. This is why taking the time to check-in and review is so important, so you can actually ask yourself – is this really working? Or could this be done better?

Whilst conducting a business systems audit in itself isn’t really rocket science, blocking out time to go through every process with a fine tooth comb, is pretty dull and boring. But it is essential. Take the time to ask yourself whether the systems and tools that you DO have in place are being used and leveraged to the best of their ability or if there are further systems and tools you need to look at implementing. Doing this will save you time (and subsequently more energy) and will help you move your business forwards.

Having clear systems and processes in place will remove the overwhelm each time you have to tackle something you dread, such as client on-boarding or writing a blog post. It might not be the most fun or sexy task (like creating graphics in Canva), but trust me, taking the time to go through this will be worth it in the end because you will be able to remove yourself from a lot of the ‘busy’ work and that is the end goal we are all working towards.

Whilst conducting a business systems audit might not be rocket science, it is pretty dull and boring. But oh so worth it to see your business grow the right way, without the stress and overwhelm.

HOW TO AUDIT YOUR SYSTEMS 

The best way to approach a systems audit is to break it down into three parts: Reflect, Review and Refresh. 

STEP ONE: REFLECT

Make some time to sit down and reflect on the past 6 months. Ask yourself these questions:

 

  • How do you feel about the past 6 months?
  • What has worked well? What hasn’t worked so well? 
  • How do you feel about your business over the past 6 months? What are you happy with? What needs to be improved?
  • How was your work/life balance?
  • How did you spend your time over the past 6 months? How do you feel about that?
  • What did you prioritise over the past 6 months? How do you feel about that
  • Have the past 6 months bought you closer to your big goals, your big picture vision or taken you further away?

STEP TWO: REVIEW

Time to walk through and review all of the systems in your business and ask yourself these questions:

 

  • How do you feel about the systems you have in place? Are they working for you?
  • What systems and tools are working well? What aren’t working?
  • Do you have recorded processes and systems for ALL parts of your business?
  • Do you feel like something can be improved?
  • Are there people or automations that can replace some parts or even some steps?
  • Is there a step that doesn’t make sense?
  • Is there a step that is missing?
  • Has something shifted or changed in your business that now renders a particular step obsolete?

STEP THREE: REFRESH

Now you have identified what is and isn’t working and the areas for improvement or change. It’s time to implement. Re-record any videos you have created, rewrite the checklists, update the documentation, tell all team members about the changes and run through them. Either test them yourself if you don’t have a team or get your team to run through them and check they are working.

Now the only other thing left to do is to schedule in another business systems audit for the next quarter or for six months time.

 

I’ve created a Business Systems Audit Worksheet for you, that you can print off and reuse every 3-6 months. Click here to download it now.

If you want to join other like-minded female entrepreneurs who want to create a simplified and streamlined business that enables them to focus on maximising you impact, income and influence come and join the Facebook Group.

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How to Find JV Partners That Don’t Suck

How to Find JV Partners That Don’t Suck

How to Find JV Partners That Don’t Suck

Emma O'Connell

13th June 2020

No matter how proudly you embrace the “solopreneur” title, there comes a time when you absolutely must reach out for help. And for smart business owners, that help often comes in the form of JV partners.

Also called affiliates, JV partners act as your own private sales army, spreading the word about your products and services to a whole new audience—theirs. Not only do you reach people who might otherwise never encounter you, but you also benefit mightily from your JV partners’ existing relationships. By promoting you, an affiliate is endorsing you to her audience. She’s saying, “I know this seller; I trust her, and you should, too.” 

But even with all those many benefits, coaches and product sellers sometimes struggle to find great partners. Sure, lots of people will register for your affiliate program, but the Pareto Principle is alive and well when it comes to JV partners: 20% of your affiliates will do 80% of the work. That means your goal is to recruit higher performing partners. 

The only question is, where do you find these great partners? 

When it comes to JV partners: 20% of your affiliates will do 80% of the work. That means your goal is to recruit higher performing partners. But, where do you find these great partners? 

Pick Your VA’s Brain

Chances are good that your VA works for other business owners in similar niches. If you’re a business coach, she very likely works with several other coaches, and she’s in a position to know…

  • Where her clients are in the business development cycle (ideally you want established partners, not newbies)
  • Their audience demographics (so she’ll know if they’re a good fit or not)
  • Their willingness to promote (some people simply don’t do JV partnership, so it’s a waste of time to approach them)

Look to Your Best Clients

Especially if you’re a business coach, your clients might just be your biggest fans—and they’re in a position to recommend you to friends, family, social connections, and elsewhere. 

Be sure your clients all know that you offer a referral/affiliate program, how to sign up, and what the benefits are. 

Your Competitors

It’s true—your competitors might just be your biggest affiliates, if you give them a chance. 

In some circles (such as business and relationship coaching) clients tend to “graduate” from one coach and move to another. This is normal and to be expected. And when you’re on good terms with your competitors, the coach their ex-clients move to might just be you. 

Don’t be afraid to look in unusual places for your next JV partner. You really never know who can connect you with potential clients and partners. Think about all your relationships—from your team to your social circles to your competitors and colleagues—and consider all of their relationships and how far that might stretch. Then pick up the phone or draft an email and start leveraging your contacts!

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