You have a grand idea, product, service, event, or project to pull off. Everyone is excited. You have a project to manage. But there’s a problem. Project management has always created problems for you. How can you assure you are not biting off more than you can chew? How do you set yourself up for success by making a project manageable to begin with?
Tent Pole Project: This is the big project. It usually has a firm deadline or drop dead date associated with it. There is some sort of clear consequence tied to not meeting this date. The date is firm and is usually controlled by something outside of yourself (even if that something is just a pressure to get it done).
Sub Project: These are time sensitive projects that exist within the tent pole project. They might be a little more movable in deadline than the tent pole project itself. However, too much movement on a sub project and the outcome of the tent pole project can be put at risk. Example: You are attending an event, but you need to reorder your business cards because you are out.
Milestone: Tent Pole Projects can be milestones if they are under a larger tent. For example, I have a client who is speaking at a TedX Event. This event is one project inside a larger tent pole of a direct to consumer toy industry product launch. The TedX Event is a milestone for her. The development of her web site as well as the manufacturing of the product are also milestones until this major tent pole project of the direct to consumer campaign.
Then, you need to get real.
Where leaders get hung up on this in the perception of time and what can be realistically achieved in a time frame. This is where it helps to have a clear handle on start dates, completion dates, project types, costs, and responsible parties. Business will do its thing and interfere with your projects. Knowing where you are in your timeline will help you manage expectations and set yourself up for success as your project moves along.
Have you ever just felt, blah? Like, you felt so blah you couldn’t shake it? The solution to shaking the blahs is literally in what you do with your body. And, yes, that mean shaking it!
You can change your mood and energy, as long as you are willing to do three things.
Recognize your attitude sucks. Yep, you have to get real with yourself and occasionally others to shift. I have gone into situations totally stiff and then when I opened up about my commute, my day, my challenge du jour, I felt lighter. Try it.
Decide how you want to be. You have total control over how you show up in the world. You just have to identify how you want to feel and then take steps to feel it.
Take action. You have to do the stuff to feel the good stuff, whether that is peace, energy, enthusiasm, connected, sexy (yep, I said sexy), powerful, or anything else.
Watch my video on it.
Stop right now and check in. Really check in with yourself and see how you are feeling. Check your body. Do you have a headache? Check your emotions. How are you feeling? Check your vibe – are you sending out a good one or a bad one? This check in will help you get a grip on what you are dealing with.
Consciously level up. Close your eyes and use that big beautiful imagination of yours. Did you know your body doesn’t know the difference between imagination and something that is really happening. That’s why your palms sweat and your heart rate goes up when you imagine bombing a date or interview. Guess what? Your body thinks you have already done it! So imagine success, get real with it. Feel it, taste it, smell it. Let it level you up.
Breathe. In through your nose and out through your mouth, this is breathing in a conscious way. Follow your breath down to your stomach. Observe it inflate. Follow it up and out of your mouth. This exercise brings you mind to a single focal point. It can pull you out of reaction. This practice of following the breath has saved me from doing some stupid stuff!
Post your results in the comments. In many cases, they are immediate!
Today, What Works Coaching officially opened the doors to new direct recruitment contracts through its sister company, What Works Recruitment. What started as the fulfillment of a consulting client need has grown into its own division specializing in locating specialized and educated employees for today’s complex companies.
We recruit to fit your culture.
We interview every client company to determine cultural fit needs, screen resumes, and hire for select positions on a flat rate basis. We’ve eliminated the disincentive of negotiating salary when dealing with a recruitment agency by instituting a flexible flat-rate structure and per-position agreements. That’s right, we don’t have to handle all your recruiting. But after we send our superstars your way, you might want to!
Never impersonal. Always supportive.
What Works Recruitment is supported by a team of supportive, caring, and best of all, personal recruiter who truly focus on the applicant and their fit with our client companies. Plus, every applicant is supported with 30 minutes of complimentary career coaching once you decide to interview them! It’s a unique model which assures we deliver well-screened, talented, and capable individuals for you to interview.
Pure talent sourcing.
What Works Recruitment does not do testing, drug/alcohol screening, or other HR procedures at this time. What we do is save you time and money in sorting through applicants and give you great candidates to interview.
Once upon a time, there was young woman who loved her business. She loved it so much, she worked on it night and day. When she worked with others, she expected them to love her business as much as she did. She didn’t understand when people would take vacations, or breaks for that matter. She ate her lunch at her desk. She was dedicated! She was proud of her work ethic and the fact she would “do what it took” to succeed. After awhile, she was also burned out. No matter how hard she would try to sustain her performance, she just didn’t move as quickly as she wanted to. She lost her energy. And, then, she started wondering why she was working on her business at all. She had a full life. It was just full in ways that drained her.
It’s a nightmare of a fairy tale.
Yet, day after day, this is what many business owners do to themselves. They push hard. They lack working boundaries. Soon their life becomes work until one day someone asks them about their hobbies. The answer becomes, I work.
Awhile back, I wrote an article called “7 reasons why down time is not a waste of time.” This is a continuation of that article. Not only is downtime not a waste of time, it’s essential to re-energize, receive inspiration, and stay healthy. According to Psychology Today, workaholism is a disease. Those who work, regularly, in excess of 50 hours a week without extended time off or regular breaks are more likely to get sick. Additionally, relationships are affected and (gasp) they make less money, not more.
There are two types of full life: 1) the type that is full just to be full and busy, it’s mostly work, and 2) the type that fills your heart and spirit, it energizes you versus drains you.
So what’s a motivated person to do?
You have to work. But, what would happen if you told yourself, “I have to play?”
Step 1: Calendar it out. If you love your calendar, use it to help you build your new habit of play. Pick a color that represents play to you. Mine is bright yellow.
Step 2: Start slow. Remember, it’s not about running away from it all. It’s about taking time away to recharge, get some new ideas (no, you aren’t forcing these ideas by traveling with a way to take notes).
Step 3: Sabotage yourself. Go somewhere its not necessarily convenient to work, a beach, a lake, hiking, horseback riding, somewhere where thoughts can come of their own accord but you have to stay present. Persistent working is a hard habit to break. So set yourself up for success by making sure its hard for you to fall back into old habits.
Step 4: Enjoy. Allow yourself to get into what you are doing. Part of the benefit to play is the release of endorphins and dopamine. It’s that feel good formula that leaves you energized versus tired.
Step 5: Observe. Without trying to make anything happen you will see something is! You are sharper at work. Your body may feel lighter. You may be inspired. You might have more energy overall. And (oh no) you might want to do it again.
I would love to hear how your play experiments go. Drop a comment below. If you need help structuring this full life experiment for yourself, schedule 30 minutes with me. I swear it will be productive.
A year ago, I began using the Daily Greatness Yoga Journal. I can’t believe it has been in a year. In that time, my relationship with myself, my health practices, and how I schedule myself has completely changed. I dropped 25 pounds. I feel better. This year, I started applying the Daily Greatness Business Journal to the business practices of What Works Coaching. The result has been more strategic partnerships, more content for you to enjoy, and building a family of superstar clients. It’s only been two weeks!
What’s the secret? Accountability, process, and flexibility. The three work hand in hand.
Stop me when this sounds familiar.
Example: You want to commit to accountability but you skip a day. You feel like you’ve blown it. You can’t hold to this new habit, practice, discipline for a week or two without messing up. The stick comes out and you start beating yourself up. Whatever you’ve been trying to do gets put on the shelf.
I know I relate. Do you?
Success comes with process and flexibility.
Fortunately, the Daily Greatness journals don’t have hard dates attached to them. I have “blown it” for a month or more and come back into my accountability practice. Overall, in the sum of the year, a month or two of oops is still majority win.
So, I decided to reach out to Daily Greatness to let them know I would like to start coaching my clients using their Daily Greatness Business Journal. I didn’t hear back directly. But, I did get this nifty discount code.
Then, I had an idea.
What if, I gave clients (new or existing) who booked my most popular accountability package the Daily Greatness Business Journal for FREE? I decided I would do it. And, I would structure my already popular text and email accountability program around What Works Coaching practices and using the journal!
What’s in my accountability package normally?
An hour long coaching call to address your challenges and apply them to how you will use the journal.
Five days a week of emails (48 hour response time)
Five days a week of texts (24 hours response time)
Use every day or just one or two. How you use it is up to you!
An hour recap coaching call to review your progress, fine tune anything that needs it, and send you off for success.
I am so excited about doing this. I can pilot this with 20 CLIENTS. That’s it. I’ll even start a very neat Facebook mastermind group with it, during the pilot phase, for no extra charge. So, book a customized accountability package and get a Daily Greatness Business Journal for free (A $50 value)! As soon as I see your order come through, I will order your journal. When it arrives, our work begins! What a great way to get a journal that will guide you for the rest of the year (or two, or however long it takes you to finish) and a solid month of coaching to kick it off!
Working from home.For some, it sounds like a dream come true: roll out of bed…put on yoga pants…turn on your computer…brew your coffee…and spend the day working in peaceful bliss. No traffic, no interruptions, no problem. Right?
Except…by noon, you may find yourself distracted by the television or laundry, with a crazed look in your eye as your hair begins to mat around your face (or is that just me?). For those of you who work from home on a daily basis, youknow the drill.
This past weekend, Diane and I found ourselves hunkering down during a flood warning. As the news urged us to “not go to work tomorrow,” (an adult-dream come true) we quickly grabbed our planners and started planning an #epic Work-From-Home-Day.
This was not any ordinary work-from-home day. It was one complete with a play-list. We thought it would be fun to share our day and some of our tips for working from home during these winter months.
Create a Morning Routine You Look Forward To
8:00am Wake Up and Morning Mediation
When you don’t have a commute urging you out the door in the morning, it can seem tempting to stay in bed longer. That’s why it’s important to have a morning routine that you look forward to. This can be anything that you enjoy: brewing a cup of fresh tea, reading, journaling, taking a walk, or anything that gets your mind to transition from the groggy sleep-state to more fully alert.
Diane and I chose mediation and quickly realized that this WAS NOT the right one for us. It almost put us back to sleep which was #counterproductive. However, with some trial and error, you can find the right morning ritual that you enjoy and ACTUALLY look forward to waking up to.
Our Trial & Error Story: During our mediation the previous night, Diane’s Dog, Roxy was lying on the bed between us. When the instructor said, “take a deep breath in,” Roxy took a huge inhale. We both busted out laughing and couldn’t stop laughing for the next hour.
The bottom line: Have fun experimenting and finding what works for you!
Energize and Make Getting Ready for the Day Fun
8:30am Dance Workout While Getting Ready
Since mediation was a no-go for us in the morning, we decided to try something more upbeat to match our personality types. Que the dance party! The night before we curated a “Work from Home Play List” complete with choreographed dance moves. Yes, we are both theater people (if you couldn’t tell).
Now, we realize this may not be your style, but the key is to find something that fits your energy levels and personality type to get you going for the day.
You won’t have an office of co-workers to push you along, so the key is to MOTIVATE and ENERGIZE yourself for the day.
Here’s a play-list to get you pumped for working from home. Turn up the volume while you get ready for the day and have some fun with it. We laughed hilariously at these songs and it got us in a good mood for the day.
We had our breakfast together as I checked in with my team and Diane wrote her column for Carson Now. When working from home, it’s important to be available via email and phone so that your team can reach you throughout the day.
Create Structure in Your Day with Online Classes
10:00am Instagram Webinar
It’s learning time! At 10am, we both tuned into an Instagram webinar that was teaching us the basics of growing a following and using hashtags. With a variety of webinars and online courses, there’s plenty of ways you can increase your skill-set during the day. I especially like adding courses to your schedule because it adds structure to your day.
Get Out of Your House for Socialization
11:00am Work from Coffee shop
After the webinar was finished, our Wi-Fi stopped working, so we headed to a coffee shop to get out of the house for a bit and change up the scenery. Getting out of the house really helped me focus and improved my productivity.
Hold Conference Calls and Meeting Virtually
12:00pm Analytics Meeting
At noon, I jumped on a conference call while Diane worked on her website. Having a meeting scheduled mid-day helped me prioritize my tasks.
If you don’t have any client or team meetings scheduled, set up a call with a mentor to check in. Having structured items on your calendar can hold you accountable and help you make progress in your workday.
Take a Break and Eat a Nutritious Lunch
After my meeting, we headed back home to have lunch together while taking a short break. Whether you eat at home or go out to a café, make sure you make eating regular meals a priority to keep your energy up.
Block Out Time for Focused Work on Bigger Projects
2:00pm Finish up Web Projects
With emails and meetings out of the way, the rest of the afternoon was reserved for focused work on bigger projects that we both needed to complete. Remember, 80% of your results come from 20% of your work. That’s why it’s important to block out time in your schedule with sufficient breaks so that you get your most important work done.
What we did we learn from our #WorkFromHome Day? A little bit of routine, structure, socialization, and variety can go a long way.
Are you struggling with your work from home routine? Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Working with a friend or hiring a professional coach can do wonders for establishing a productive routine and getting out of a rut.
This morning, I was back in my office…. but I jumped out of bed, ready to start the day, because I was excited to dance (umm… and start working *cough*)
Hallelujah! This month, I paid off my Mercedes ML350. And I couldn’t be happier. However, something I must continue doing if I want to keep driving my baby is maintain it. This applies to business as well. If you want to maintain your company’s health, you need to do the work to keep it healthy. Here is an easy maintenance checklist you can use to make sure your business is tuned up and streamlined for long-term health.
Customer relationship management
Let’s break this down.
Lead funnel and sales process: How do customers get introduced to your company? What path do you walk your customers down to guide them to a sale? This is your lead funnel. You service your lead funnel with a well put together sales process. This may include a combination of tactics such as social media, article marketing, newsletters, personal calls, gifts and value added incentives, and bundling, among others. A review of your process on your business maintenance checklist, whether it be annual or multiple times a year, will keep your sales machine humming.
Cash flow and budget check: Cash is king in business and cash flow, along with budget control, is important. Cash flow is created by a good lead funnel and sales process. To monitor your cash flow in relation to sales, you will want to keep an eye on overhead, conversion rates, and cost of team, partners, or employees. Marketing costs should have a conversion rate associated with it so you can tell what is working and what isn’t. Cash flow and budget management is the oil on a business maintenance checklist that keeps a business moving along smoothly.
Customer relationship management: Once you have a customer, you will need a system to manage that relationship. This covers the way customers are communicated to, inside or outside of a sales process. It also relates to how they are invoiced, how issues are resolved, and if you have a mechanism in place for referral. Customer relationship management is the steering wheel that keeps everything on track. Be sure its on your business maintenance checklist.
Team structure and team culture: Your team carries the vibe of your organization. They can either take you higher or shoot you in the foot. Do you have the right players on your team? Do you have the right roles in place? Do those roles actively add to the bottom line of your company? Additionally, you need to do a pulse check on how everyone works together. Does your team buy in to the company culture? Is your work place one of harmony? These are some questions to consider for your business maintenance checklist. Good team structure and team culture will propel your business forward.
Technology, infrastructure, and legal structure: This is the frame of your organization and something you should never leave off your business maintenance checklist. Review your technology. Are you using the best software for your needs? How about hardware? An equipment failure at the last minute could put you behind. How are you doing with plant and equipment? Does your infrastructure support what you need? Is it too much? Is it too little? How are you doing legally? If you are a sole proprietor, have you grown to the point where you need to consider becoming an LLC? What legal structure suits your needs?
If you need help with your business maintenance checklist, you can also hire a coach once a year to check out all the moving parts. A coach will give you outside perspective which is necessary to avoid driving with dim lights or a tail light out. A different point of view could make all the difference in the ongoing maintenance of your business.
When it comes to motivation, do you coach yourself to success or paint yourself into a corner? Part of business is learning how to coach and motivate others. But you also have to motivate yourself if you are going to drive the success of your company.
I love Audible. I pay a subscription fee and I get to download anything I want for one credit. The subscription is motivation to keep consuming information. After all, a coach is only as good as the information they can provide. Hiring a coach is like taking a football team filled with coaches and committing to one to give you personal attention. I listen to a lot of books because I multi-task. I made it through seven chapters of Jen Sincero’s “You are a Bad Ass” between Coloma, CA and Carson City, NV. I could not have done that with a paper copy. In fact, I think this coach would have killed her business and herself in the process of trying. To save lives and expand minds, I am gladly giving away a 30 day Audible Free Trial [Digital Membership].
See, I am always on the look out for tools to motivate me. I see motivation as the gas that makes my business engine run. My company is healthier when I do the work to motivate myself. I motivate others better when I motivate myself. I have always used vision boards to propel my business forward. In fact, everything I coach I do myself. Go figure. Want to see if What Works Coaching works? Look at how healthy What Works Coaching is! Basic business 101 – no contractor’s dilemma here. I know I must fill my own cup first before filling others.
Yes, that means you need to motivate yourself and that will fill up your cup. So, how do you motivate yourself when energy is low, ideas are short, and time is shorter? Well, you might want to consider looking for a coach. For me, I downloaded “You are a Bad Ass.” I do highly suggest you read or listen to that book. You might like the You Are a Badass 2017 Day-to-Day Calendar. But, since Jen Sincero may not be on your speed dial, maybe consider putting me on there.
Schedule some time with me. If you are super convinced already that coaching is right for your business, go all in on one hour. If you want to stick your toe in the puddle of motivation and risk 20 minutes of your time to possibly motivate the hell out of yourself, schedule a complimentary 20 minute session.
Whatever you do, do something – anything. Take action. Because action is what motivation is really all about. Unless you can think of a company that stayed in the black doing nothing. I’m waiting… No company can do that? You would be right.
So my question to you, right here, right now, is this. How do you motivate yourself? Share in the comments below. Who knows. The way you motivate yourself might motivate others, which will great sweet rapids of motivation we can all raft. Let’s go!
Today, I posted on my Facebook page that I will be out of both secured and unsecured debt by the time I am 40. A rainfall of friendly kudos preceded my announcement. Then, a friend of mine asked, “Ok… so how did you do it?” That inspired today’s blog.
Here is how I will be out of debt by 40.
1) I set an intention: In 2013, I set an intention with a timeline. “I will have no unsecured debt by the time I turn 40.” Originally, the car wasn’t on my radar. I just wanted the cards gone. Since 40 is such a milestone, that’s the timeline I set. At the time, I also set having a PhD by 45. But I haven’t quite tackled that. Tackle one BIG intention at a time to minimize overwhelm.
2) I put it in writing: It wasn’t enough to just want it. I had to put pen to paper. I wrote out all my bills and balances to get an idea of what I was really looking at. It was scary, but I kept going until every single bill with its current balance and payment was listed.
3) I got real: Once I knew what I was looking at, I devised a plan to start making it go away. I could eat an elephant one bite at a time. It wasn’t so scary to look at my smallest card and say. “Ok, I’m going to pay YOU off.” Yeah, I personalized it, sometimes going as far as to name them as I paid them down. “Ok, Credit One. This is your last payment. And once you are done, I’m going to cancel you because I don’t need you.” I did it and then used that money (an extra $50 a month) to pay down my next one and so on.
4) I took action: Then I actually did what I said I was going to do. I didn’t just write a plan and put it on the shelf. I worked it to the best of my ability and my circumstances.
5) I was open to how it would happen: I left room for the universe to work. It wasn’t like everything went according to plan at ALL! In fact, at one point I was so frustrated that I had a temper tantrum. Which leads to…
6) I consistently reaffirmed my desire: Reaffirm my desire. It’s not enough to set the intention once, I had to set it over and over again.
7) I kept doing it until I was successful: Consistently repeating steps four through six results in success that feels easy and free. It doesn’t feel burdensome or overwhelming.
I have a few thousand left on a car and all my debt is gone. But I won’t stop there. I’ll set another goal. At the beginning of this journey, my credit score was in the low 400s. I was recovering emotionally, mentally, and financially from a divorce with a bankruptcy on my record. I’m getting SO close to the 700s now I can TASTE it.
Intention: My next goal will be to build my credit from high 600s to high 800s by 42.
I’ll tackle that goal in the same way, always using purposeful intention as my guide.
I’m thinking of offering this process as a part of life coaching. I can set up steps one through three and, if the client wants, I can help with the rest through accountability. But, as all coaches will tell you – it’s your action that creates the result. With intention, planning, action, reaffirmation, and more action, anything is possible!
Psst… I have a not so secret secret to share with you.
There is no formula for success with a coach. There is no single way to coach.
As unique as you are, there is a unique way to figure out what works for you. AND no one coach fully holds the market on what CAN work. There are an infinite number of options in the world.
So, what is a coach? Why get one?
Coaches are allies.
Coaches don’t push you or run ahead. They don’t position themselves in a place of power in your life. Instead, they respect your values, time, and budget while teaming up with you to help you fulfill your potential. What are you longing for an ally in? Where do you want to grow? A coach can work with you to set up a plan and offer accountability to it.
Coaches are never coercive.
They can ask you questions. They can challenge your assumptions and beliefs. What they should never do is tell you what to do. They can offer suggestions and ideas, but whether or not you respond to coaching is your choice.
Coaches provide perspective and facilitate what you may have heard of as the a-ha moment. They help you see but they can never make you act. Coaching is never mandatory. You do or you don’t. If you do, you learn. If you don’t, well then that too is your decision.
Coaches do not demean, criticize or assume.
If a coach ever curses at you, tells you that you are less than, paints a picture of doom if you don’t follow their advice RUN, don’t walk, away. Coaches aren’t there to blow rainbows and fairy dust at you, but they also should never use tactics that would be indicative of an abusive relationship.
Coaches take accountability.
A coach will admit when they have messed up. They will address mistakes fully and completely, not just to retain the trust of you (their client) but because if they ask YOU to have accountability they should practice what they preach.
Coaches ARE NOT therapists.
Coaches are absolutely not therapists. If you need to engage in talk therapy or you want to dig deeper into your psyche, seek out a licensed professional. A coach is simply someone who aids you in creating a plan, introduces you to tools, and allows you to use them as they help keep you on track and accountable.
I have a personal trainer, a fitness coach so to speak. She is my ally in fitness. She makes suggestions and asks me how I’m taking action but she doesn’t require me to fall in line to work with her. Instead, I naturally do what she suggests because I see results. She never criticizes me if I can’t do one more rep. She takes accountability if we have to reschedule. Mostly, we stick to fitness. Yeah, we talk about other things on a very base level, but she is there to make sure I’m using proper form, I’m doing the right number of reps, and I have an idea of what I’m supposed to do. She has certifications to assure she knows what to tell me.
So why get one?
You want a sounding board for your ideas.
You want accountability for yourself toward your goal.
You want suggestions on how to move toward a goal.
You have a desire but want help developing a map to get there.
You are looking for straight talk with an eye toward compassion.
If this sounds like something you want or need, What Works Coaching wants to hear from you. Our email consultations are free. We do coaching AND consulting. We currently have no licensed therapists on our team.