If you own your own business or work from home, it can be especially difficult to move your business in the right direction. You are your own boss. You are the accountant, you are the social media manager, you are the scheduler. You are everything. It’s super important that we know how to move the needle in our business and get out of a rut.
Most people I know want their 2020 to be better in their business than in 2019. If you had an exemplary year in 2019, awesome but most people I know want to increase what they did from year to year. You and I can’t rub a bottle as much as we would like and wish a genie would come out and grant our business wish without us doing any of the work.
Say no to busy work
Let’s talk about busy work. Busy work does not move the needle. Busy work makes us stay stuck. Here is an example: working tirelessly on the perfect website or the perfect layout. That is busy work. That is not giving you a return on your investment. Another busy work can be decorating or organizing your home office or your desk drawer. Checking Facebook and Instagram for likes, that is not going to move your business forward. Reading countless books or attending seminars and not putting what you learned into action, that is busy work. Meeting with people during your work day for lunch or coffee who you know cannot absolutely say yes to what you are selling. If you’re wanting to move the needle, you need to strategically work with people who actually might be able to say yes.
Say yes to productive work
What is some productive work that you can do that will move the needle?
- Know your numbers: If you don’t pay attention to your metrics or numbers and don’t pay attention to what’s happening in your business, you’ll never be able to forecast where your business is going. If you are recruiting, you need to look at your recruiting numbers and know what you did last year and then look at your reach-outs. If you want to increase your recruiting, you will need to double down on your reach-outs. If you have business social media pages, check your insights. Is your reach increasing? If not, you are going to have to check those numbers and decide what you need to do differently. Website traffic is the same way. Is the traffic increasing or decreasing? Perhaps you need to blog two days a week instead of one day a week and get it out to your email list.
- Get to know other professionals. There is nothing like being in a group of like-minded people and sharing your frustrations and sharing what’s working and not working. Consider joining Meetup, BNI or your local chamber of commerce. Make real genuine connection, not what’s in it for “me,” but what’s in it for “we.”
- Cut down on distractions. If you feel like you’re being pulled in a hundred directions and juggling five plates in the air, then you need to cut down on the distractions. Have specific business hours and close your office door when you aren’t working. Don’t check your email and social media all day. Run it like a business and cut down on distractions.
- Hire a professional business coach. I’m a certified coach and I’m also in a direct marketing company. Nine years ago when I joined my business, I knew it was something way out of my comfort zone and I knew I needed to hire a business coach. I asked people in my area if they knew any coaches and I began meeting with a woman once a month locally. It has since expanded that now I have had coaches through the years who are long-distance, but it’s worked. They make me stay accountable, they help me strategize and they’re in my corner just like I am for my clients.
- Get out of your house. It’s so easy to sit behind our desk and just stay there. That doesn’t move the needle all the time. Set appointments with like-minded people who you can share your business and they can share their business. Make connections.
- Sell yourself without selling yourself. When I first started my business I didn’t want to be thought as that person who was annoying. I decided that I could sell myself without selling myself. I really wanted to do genuinely make sure people knew me, trusted me and loved me so I became vulnerable. I want to be well-rounded and real so I make it a point by sharing things that I’m an expert on to Linkedin connections, my Facebook page and groups as well as Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I made a point to sell myself without selling myself because if I want the needle to move. People need to know what I’m doing.
- Follow the time block method. When you time block, you absolutely write in your calendar those non-negotiables that you have to do every day. For me, it’s going to the gym and then I fill my calendar with things that will move the needle. When will I do social media content? When will I do my Zoom meetings? When will I reach out to people? It will save you headaches. I promise.
- Focus on one thing — the Main Thing. What is the one thing that in so doing will make everything else easier and unnecessary? Ask yourself this every day. What is the one thing you know if you do it it’s going to move the needle today? I’m working with a client right now who has dreams and plans. She knows her one thing is she has to get a job that will pay her more.
You must believe in what you’re doing. If there’s no get up and go inside of you, it will get up and leave if you don’t believe what you’re doing. You might really want to grow your business, but are you willing to? You must believe in what you’re doing to move the needle.