Eat the Frog First

As every entrepreneur should, I subscribe to Entrepreneur.com and look forward to reading articles full of insightful information that could help me not only grow, but better manage my business. One of their latest articles, titled "Optimizing Your Daily Schedule for Maximum Productivity" caught my attention. In it they list six tips that will help any entrepreneur make the most out of their time. One advice given in the article, was tip number four. Eating the frog first. What does this mean, you ask? It means doing what you hate the most, what you feel the most uncomfortable doing, first. 

"In his book, The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss wrote, “Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.”

We will do anything we can to avoid doing the thing we dread the most. But the tasks we dislike most are usually the most important. Instead of worrying about that task all day, it’s better to “eat the frog” first". Patel, Sujan. Entrepreneur, 4 Sept. 2017 (read the full article)

Everyone has a frog or two that they avoid at all cost. In my case, I hate doing my expenses. There, I've said it. Ugh..I know, it's interesting since it's one of the services I offer but, my issue is not in doing someone else's expense, its just my own. When doing other peoples expenses, I see it as just one more box to check off. But when it comes to my own, well.. I look for every excuse under the sun to delay it. 

That being the case, this article resonated with me. Doing your least favorite thing early on will make everything after it, a piece of cake! It would remove added stress and weight off your shoulders, making your day more upbeat and easier. So tell me, what's your frog? What are the aspects of your business you hate dealing with?

Here's to eating the frog first, my fellow entrepreneurs! 

PS. Want to avoid dealing with your frog all together? Then get it together, get organized or better yet....get yourself an assistant.

Make sure to post a comment, subscribe and share! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips and Tools for the Busy Entrepreneur

As a person that has worked in the administrative support field for many years, I know how essential it is to use tools that can help you stay organized and improve and streamline your work processes. I also know how hard it is to choose which tools will be the best option for you and your work style. The truth is that there is no way to really tell which tool will function best, unless you do some trial and errors. As entrepreneurs it is often a challenge to stay on top of everything that keeps our business running. From reading and responding to high volumes of emails to managing multiple projects, and managing your business website and social media. All these aspects of the business can seem daunting, when we know what we would most like is to just focus on our business objective. Here are some tools that I am currently using to help alleviate the workload and improve the way I run my business. 

  1. Asana - is a great tool for project management. It allows you to create multiple projects, assign tasks, and check on team progress, without having to schedule meetings in order to check on project progress. In your projects your able to have conversations with teammates and upload relevant documents. 
  2. Dropbox - is a great storage tool to have, as you can later access your documents from any device. As entrepreneurs we are constantly moving, so having access to important documents from any location is essential. 
  3. Boomerang - I love Boomerang! It works with various email providers, and it's a must have on my list. Why? I currently use gmail and outlook and though I love their functionalities, adding Boomerang, is like Outlook and Gmail on steroids. It allows you to clear up and archive your inbox of emails that perhaps do not need a response immediately. This is different than Gmail and Outlooks current functionalities in that it later reminds you of the archived emails, so that you can respond to them. Another cool task it does, is remind you about emails that you are waiting to hear back from. This is key when working on projects that require input from others. 
  4. Slack - This is an app that I currently use. With Slack you can do instant messaging with those listed under your created group. What I like the most about Slack is the ability to upload and store documents. This is specifically useful if you are working with teams outside of your company, who are also using Slack. You can offer real time responses as issues or questions arise, and provide any needed documentation. 
  5. Google Docs - Need to get a document proofread and edited by a group? Then Google Docs is the way to go. This tool allows you to keep track of document versions and  to see who is currently working on the document. 
  6. Concur - Concur is an expensing tool. Do you travel often? Take clients out for lunch, dinner or drinks? Keep track of your expenses with Concur. One of the aspect that I enjoy the most with this tool is the fact that you can take a picture of your receipt and upload the image to Concur. Making the need to keep receipts no longer necessary.
  7. Meet Edgar - If you are finding yourself overwhelmed with the amount of social media management you now need to do, Meet Edgar is sure to become your go to tool to use. Through meet Edgar you are able to create postings ahead of time and schedule their release on all your social media outlets. Depending on what social media outlets you use and what topics are discuss within them, you can also schedule postings to specific outlets.   
  8. Freshbooks -  Another great tool to have when managing your invoices and accounting, is Freshbooks. You no longer need to worry about invoicing clients or sending those pesky and sometimes awkward reminders of payments needed, Freshbooks does this for you! You can now focus on your core work knowing that these notifications are being handled. 

So there you have it, my favorite go to tools to use to manage my busy schedule and to keep me on track.  Do you have tips and tricks or tools of the trade that you use in order to manage your business? Please share by commenting below!

Tired of feeling overwhelmed with your to do list?

Then get it together, get organized or better yet....get yourself an assistant.

 

 

 

 

Don't be the Yes Man!

Do you find yourself with a calendar full of meetings? Are you meeting with business partners so often that you barely have time to do actual work? If you are, then yes, you are a YES MAN! (...or woman). Starting a business, means that you may have to continuously meet with vendors, clients, collaborators and many more, in order to push your brand or idea. But failure to continuously work at your brand will leave you with lots of buyers, but no product to sell. We often confuse not being readily available as not being reachable or approachable, but that is not the case. All it takes it finding that happy medium.   

Here are a few tips...

• Make sure to carve out time for work. Actual work time, where you are focusing on your idea or brand. Go somewhere quiet, somewhere where you often feel inspired and...unless you have something major going on, that you would need to be kept abreast of,  put your cellphone and your outlook notifications on mute, as you I know they can become major distractions. The goal here, is to get stuff done!

• As mentioned in my previous post, plan out your time and stick to it. It may feel good to make people happy by saying yes to everyone, but ultimately it sends the wrong message. That you have nothing better to do. Your time is valuable, you are running a business! Let's learn to say NO. This of course does not have to come across as written, I wouldn't want for you to alienate potential customers or collaborators. But this could be a simple...."I can't this week, but what about this date? I am fully booked this week and I would really like to make sure I can give you my full attention".  

• Use the technology available to you. How many times have you attended a meeting, that could have been an easy email or a call? With all the methods of communication that exist, we should be using the resources available to us to get the most out of our days. Why not shoot a detail email and follow up with a phone call to clarify any remaining question, or arrange a Skype or teleconference call in order to share meeting content and visually see those attending the meeting. This will not only save you time, but could save you lots money, if the alternative is a flight in order to meet.

Ultimately is your job to define how to best use your time, but know this, the "Yes Man" is rarely ever recognized and is often working overtime in order to get his objectives done. 

Don't want to be the "Yes Man"? 

Then get it together, get organized or better yet....get yourself an assistant.

Double Bookings, Ugh...

How many times have you looked at your calendar and cringed at how badly double booked you are? Or sat down at the end of your day and realized that you've spent most of your day traveling to and from, meeting vendors and business partners. Taking an hour each month, then weekly, to plan out your speaking engagements, meetings or travel can seem onerous, but could save you time and money in the long run. Creating positive calendar management habits, will increase efficiency and productivity, as a better managed calendar will allow you to maximize your day.

Here are a few tips...

• Plan out your day - not a  morning person? Fine. Use your morning hours to catch up on emails, phone calls, billing, expensing or anything else that you can do from your office space. 

• Plan out your meetings! Whether by phone, telepresence or in person, your business partners want to feel that they have your time and attention. Give yourself at least 15min prior to a meeting for any IT issues that may come up. Go as far as doing a test run, especially when meeting with VP's. Map out your in-person meetings. Traveling in most cities is difficult, map and schedule your meetings so that they work for you. Arriving late, sweaty and then having to rush through is unprofessional and somewhat gross. Remember, you are the brand! 

So get it together, get organized or better yet....get yourself an assistant.