Daily Worth: 7 Strategies To Work Successfully From Home

Daily Worth: 7 Strategies To Work Successfully From Home

Elaine Quinn was quoted in Cynthia Ramnarace’s article on the Daily Worth Blog. “Because we all have those days when distractions abound and deadlines are pushed aside. Create a schedule, not a to-do list. When no one is looking over your shoulder and you’re only accountable to yourself, ignoring your to-do list is ridiculously simple. To counter this, Quinn recommends creating a regimented work schedule. Take each task and, using an electronic calendar like Outlook or Gmail, assign it a time frame. This gets your workday started and helps you maintain momentum. I gave it a try and it really worked. I devoted the first hour of my day to e-mail, the second to scheduling interviews, the next to an editing project, then a half-hour lunch followed by two hours of writing and another hour of editing. I accomplished so much and yet still had time to work on a blue-sky project. Not only did I accomplish more in one day than I had in the previous three, I had the added benefit of looking at a day’s worth of tasks that were no longer “to do” but instead, ‘been done.'” Click here to read the other tips Elaine gave in the article  “7 Strategies To Work Successfully From...
Is The E-Myth Still Relevant?

Is The E-Myth Still Relevant?

Remember Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth? The business guru who proclaimed in 1985 that an entrepreneur (the “E” in E-Myth) who tries to run a business single-handedly is doomed. He said that a one-person business is not a “real business” and is in fact nothing more than a job. One the occupant will inevitably come to hate because running a business requires a variety of roles that no one person can fill. As long as the business owner remains solo, without employees, he or she cannot have the time or perspective to work “on” the business; they’re too busy working “in” the business. According to Gerber, the goal of a business owner should be to reduce the business operations to simple systems and procedures that any employee can follow, with no particular talent, skill or love for the work required. Unless the business can function independently of its owner, he or she can never escape its burdensome demands. The business will die. Wait just a minute! Perhaps that was true in 1985, but today, there are thousands of us solopreneurs around the world, running successful one-person businesses that we love. Our idea of a “real business” is doing work we enjoy, that there’s a need for, and that generates an income that supports the lifestyle we want. The types of businesses that fit that definition are as numerous and varied as the people running them. When Gerber wrote The E-Myth, his opinion may have been valid. But almost 30 years later, his definition appears hopelessly outdated. It’s no longer necessary to have the kinds of business processes and...
“Entrepreneur” or “Solopreneur?”

“Entrepreneur” or “Solopreneur?”

An entrepreneur usually establishes a business with the explicit intention of growing it quickly,  adding employees as needed, and then selling it for a profit. The entrepreneur enjoys the challenge of launching the business and is not necessarily passionate about doing the work itself. The fun part is setting the strategy for the business and getting it off the ground. She prefers to hire employees to perform the actual work while she lands the next big deal. It’s an exhilarating, but exhausting, lifestyle requiring a huge investment of time, energy and money. It’s high-risk:  the payoff can be great if the business is successful, but the letdown is crushing if it’s not. And once the excitement is over, she needs to move on. Can she do it again? In contrast, the solopreneur often simply wants a lifestyle that includes doing something she loves, that provides a comfortable income. However, there’s an inherent problem with being a successful solopreneur. The more successful the business becomes, the more difficult it is to stay a single-person business. However, she doesn’t want to take on the responsibilities and complexities that come with hiring employees. She just wants a nice, simple business. But soon she discovers she’s spending less and less time doing the thing she loves and more and more time dealing with the business. She becomes overwhelmed by the sheer quantity and range of tasks that need doing. And because no one person is good at everything, her business is no longer so rewarding – and maybe not quite so successful. Her vision of a happy life staying comfortably busy with something...
The ONE Habit That Will Make or Break Your Business

The ONE Habit That Will Make or Break Your Business

Last week I was listening to one of my new clients as she explained why she had called. “I need help with my business! I’m just disorganized and overwhelmed,” she said. “There are so many things I need to do; just look at my to-do list!” Sure enough her to-do list was a couple of pages long. So I asked, “These items at the top — how long have they been on here?” “They’ve been on there for weeks and I can’t get them done! I just get more and more new things to add. I know I should get organized – look here, I’ve grouped them by category. I’ve even prioritized them, see? I’ve got them marked A, B, and C, and numbered them within their A-B-C priority. It doesn’t help!” Of course, she’s right. Getting stuck at the planning and organizing stage without actually doing, doesn’t help! When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it is helpful to write everything down that’s swirling around in your head and making you feel anxious and confused. It can clear your mind. However, creating and constantly revising and refining your to-do lists can be deceptive. It makes you feel like you’re doing something, when in fact you’re not. You’re putting things off instead of just doing them. Now it’s true that just about everyone procrastinates some of the time, but it’s a destructive habit and the more you do it, the more of a habit it becomes. Hey, I understand. My personal torment is keeping up with QuickBooks. Every month I swear I’ll update my QuickBooks as soon as my statement comes in,...

What Keeps Us Solopreneurs Motivated? Remembering How Things Used to Be!

When I worked in a big company, I never had much trouble feeling motivated to do my job. There was energy and activity all around me. There was always a deadline to meet. Everyone was busy doing something interesting, and the truth is, so was I. I really liked my job—most of the time. Granted, there was too much of it. And some of my co-workers weren’t exactly team players. And now that I think of it, I did have a boss or two I truly despised, but all in all, I stayed motivated to do well. Besides, NOT doing well would have been mortifying. At staff meetings I didn’t want to be the one who didn’t have an answer or hadn’t met my goals. In a department filled with overachievers there’s nothing like peer pressure to spur a little extra effort. On the other hand, there were things I didn’t find at all motivating. I didn’t willingly vote for that “team-building” paintball outing the guys wanted so badly. But it was unacceptable not to go along, so I did. And once on the battlefield, I shot and got shot – like everyone else – until it started to really hurt. Then it dawned on me that behind our masks and other protective gear no one could tell who I was; we were anonymous! So I quietly found the ladies room – where, much to my surprise, I discovered a couple of colleagues already hiding out! All of us, refugees from the paintball war raging outside, were happily AWOL for the rest of the afternoon. Still, even with the...

“Work Smart, not Hard.” Sure, but How, Exactly?

The latest advice we hear from the business gurus is “Work smart, not hard.” Yes, of course; that makes sense. But what does it mean? What exactly should we do to work “smart?” Working smart means being effective – focusing on the results we’re after, not the process we use to achieve them. Don’t mistake activity for effectiveness. You can stay busy all day without accomplishing anything important. We only have a limited amount of time and energy, so we need to use those resources in a smart way. Use them for the things that make a difference. For example, before calculators became so inexpensive that people now give them away, most people had to do complicated mathematical computations manually – hard work! You can still do math that way if you want to, but it’s so much smarter – faster and easier – to use a calculator. Both methods produce the same outcome. Likewise, you can work hard, mowing your lawn in the blazing hot sun and sweating yourself into a puddle, or you can work smart, by waiting until the sun goes down and mowing in the cool of the early evening. Either way, the lawn is mowed, so wouldn’t you rather work smart? Here are 6 tips to get you headed in the direction of working “smart.” 1.    Have clear objectives Make sure you understand what’s needed. Don’t spend time and effort on some side issue that doesn’t contribute to achieving the goal. 2.    Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill Not every job requires an A+ effort. Consider who or what will be affected...