Thursday, October 26, 2017

Planning Equals Freedom

Many people become lifestyle entrepreneurs because they want to live to the beat of their own drum.  And with that they want the freedom of time and flexibility to work when they want to, and to spend time on other things they enjoy when they want to.  

This is an "argument" I hear often when I'm working with clients when it comes time to creating an implementation plan.  When it's time to figure out how all the activity and tasks required to grow a business are going to get done.  This can be an overwhelming exercise if you don't buy in to a fundamental truth - planning and the discipline it takes to implement that plan will actually create MORE freedom in your life... and more money!  When you know in advance what you want to happen and how you're going to make that happen, you're not making decisions on the fly and falling into the whole "busy work" trap.  You will actually be spending your time focused on the things that matter, the activities that are bringing real positive results to your business.

Following are 7 tips to help you create more guilt-free time, while still getting the right shit done!

1. Create a 90 day rolling action plan.  This means knowing what needs to happen over the next 3 months...what do you need to accomplish? How are you going to make that happen?  What people and resources do you need?  

2. Book your free time, business planning days, mastermind days, training and learning days... all those days that are important to you and the growth of your business.

3. At the beginning of each month complete this exercise for the next 90 days...if that's too much for you do 60 days.  This way you will know what your priorities are going into each month and where your time is best spent.

4. When determining where to spend your time and resources ask yourself these questions?
  • what is the reward or result of doing this?
  • will this generate leads and sales?
  • will this grow meaningful relationships?
  • what are the benefits of doing this?
  • what are the consequence of not doing this?
  • is this in line with my overall business objectives and goals?
5. When you're creating an activity plan for yourself you need to know, or estimate, how long each activity will take you.  It's of no benefit to be optimistic by underestimating how long your tasks will take you.  You'll only end up working longer, or not accomplishing what you want to either.  Either is not going to move you or your business forward.

6.  When you're honest with yourself about what you want and where you want to spend your time, that will allow you to determine what other resources you need... people?  technology?  automation?  systems?  You CANNOT do it all yourself!!!!  Plus, you're not even good at everything!

7.  Do what you do best, what you love, your secret sauce, what will make the most contribution to getting you to your goals.

Getting what you want is about identifying what you want, creating a plan to get you there, and then figuring out what you need to make that happen.  When I started my business over a decade ago one of the top priorities was having more time off.  I take the equivalent of about 14 "corporate" weeks of vacation... meaning 70 working days.  That doesn't just happen...I need to plan for that.  The first things I schedule are my time off and then my mastermind days.  Then all my other activity needs to get done in the remaining time... Parkinson's law is the adage that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion".  When you know what you need to do, and schedule that, you tend not to waste time on stuff that's not important...(is anyone hearing "Facebook" echoing in their mind right now????)  By doing what I need to do when I need to do it, that allows me the time to play  ....  A LOT!!!

Being a Lifestyle Entrepreneur should mean that you're living the kind of life you want... on your terms, and reaching the goals that you have set.  And that is sooooo doable with some planning and the discipline to follow through... discipline doesn't mean a lack of spontanity or creativity, it just means a commitment to do what needs to be done by the deadline that you've set.  It's all about your pre-decisions.

I'd love to hear from you with any tips that you have to share that have helped you on this wonderful journey of being a "Lifestyle Entrepreneur".