Online Business Blueprint

Quick Tip: Increase Productivity With Time Management

Do you battle the “time demon?”  I know I sometimes do.  Thankfully I’m really fortunate to work with some fantastic entrepreneurs and business coaches who are skilled at teaching others how to manage their time.  I’ve learned some great time management techniques over the years that have increased my productivity and enabled me to do more in less time.

Here’s a quick video by Gavin Preston in which he shares two of his tips for managing your time more effectively.  Enjoy!
Gavin Preston Burning Acceleration Zone: Time Management Tips

Celebrate Good Times

I attended my first ever Bachelorette Party this past weekend (don’t worry, there was nothing to happen, or stay in Vegas, so to speak!). My little sister is getting married later this month and I joined her and her best girlfriends for a night of Sushi and dancing to celebrate the wonderful life milestone called Marriage.

Have you ever noticed how many rituals and celebrations we have around key milestones in our lives? From the moment we’re born (actually from the moment we’re conceived) to our last days, we move through a series of celebrations and recognition of our achievements.

Baby showers, graduations, engagement parties, weddings, funerals… each has a way of being recognized and celebrated.

Why is it that the lives of our businesses lack the same routine celebrations?

When was the last time you celebrated an achievement for your business?

Have you ever stopped to take the time to celebrate a new client, a business breakthrough, an a-ha moment or even a sale of an item through your website?

One of my clients, Cecil McIntosh, The Relax and Get Rich Mentor, reminds us “When a goal is attained, it should definitely be celebrated, however it is equally important to continue to set new and more challenging goals, as you move forward.”

Stop and celebrate… even if its only with a happy dance the next time you make an online sale or a tweet the next time you attain a personal or business goal.

2012: The Year of YOU!

Okay okay, I’m a dork!  I haven’t yet wished you a Happy New Year!

Do you have any special new years resolutions? My suggestion is that if you’re going to aim for a BIG Hairy Audacious goal, try reaching for it with smaller, easily attained goals (or baby steps!) that will help you get closer
and closer to your ultimate goal.  That’s what I like to do, though I’ll admit that sometimes the baby steps I take are ultra-mini steps and I end up crawling across the finish line. LOL
Attaining Your Goals
I was watching late night tv earlier this week and caught an episode of George Stroumboulopoulos that inspired me to write this post… or at least peck out some notes on my Blackberry as I was watching.

Seth Godin advises us to pick ourselves.  “Don’t wait for someone to pick you…  If you want to write a book, you don’t need a publisher to pick you, you can publish it yourself” he says.

He also goes on to advise us to stand out from the crowd.  “If you can figured out how to do something interesting or unique or noteworthy, people will find out and pay you extra because you’re not like everyone else but cheaper, you’re different than everyone, but more expensive.”
Seth Godin: Pick Yourself

Great advice for the New Year.

I especially loved when Seth spoke about stepping up and raising your hand “I want to sing for you, I want to write for you, I want to connect for you…”

Make 2012 the year you do that.

I know I will!

15 Simple Strategies To Increase Productivity

In part one of this series, we discussed how Saying No is the world’s best, fastest and easiest productivity strategy, primarily because it simplifies things.

You will succeed on the basis of what, where and how you say “no”. And Saying NO allows you to get more control over your daily life and activities — IMMEDIATELY!

For the first 100 days of 2012, you must resolve to give “NO” the strategic resolve it deserves!

The following are fifteen simple, effective and empowering strategies that you can use to get results — IMMEDIATELY!
1. What strategies, initiatives and activities will you say no to?
There is great feeling, focus, empowerment, and impact when everyone agrees on paper the activities that will not be done.

Pull out a piece of paper and list all of the superfluous activities that can slow down, or prevent progress from happening altogether.

Everything is fair game and absolutely nothing is sacred in this exercise. Simply put, if it does not advance you forward, then say no!
2. What meetings will you decline or delegate?
List every meeting you have in place for the remainder of the year and determine which you will NOT be attending. Meetings consume large chunks of productive time, most are run improperly and inefficiently, and most can be declined or delegated to someone else.
3. What relationships will you not keep?
The way you manage your relationships has an enormous impact on your ability to perform at consistently high levels.

Identify the top three energy-draining relationships, that you are committed to saying “no” to for the next 100 days. Then focus on creating strategies to free yourself from each of them.

Finish The Year Strong!

I woke up this morning and realized that we’re two weeks away from the beginning of the New Year. How does that song go? “I hear the ticking of the clock, I’m lying here the room’s pitch dark” (Alone by Heart or the cast of Glee for my fellow Gleeks)

It’s December 19th, kids, and we’re all staring down the barrel of the same reality: the clock is ticking and no matter how you look at it, we are approaching the final days of 2011 and the beginning of a New Year.

Something became very clear to me this morning (well as soon as I finished singing, that is): You must use the remaining days of this year to achieve two objectives:

Finish the current year strong. Consider the remaining few days of this year as a now or never opportunity to finish the year strong and to exceed your expectations that you had set at the beginning of the year.
Establish a fast start game plan for making 2012 the best year of your life, both personally and professionally.

Let me ask you: have you been successful in achieving the goals you set for yourself this year?  I’ll be honest, I’ve been super successful in some areas and not so successful in others.  Where I was most successful is the areas where I had a clear productivity strategy.  A clear plan of how to get the task done!  Let’s cut right to the chase, by looking at the results of your actions year to date, that REALITY tells you if you have been successful or not in achieving the goals you set at the beginning of [...]

Living Your Legacy

I’ve been thinking a lot about legacies lately.  Not so much in terms of my own legacy, but the impact and living legacy of a special person in my life.  While many believe a legacy to be what you leave behind once you’ve passed, I view it a little bit differently.  I believe your legacy is how you live your life every day: living your truth, being the person you want to be and taking actions that help you live a powerful life.  I try to live my life according to those principles.

I remember a conversation I had with an old friend many years ago.  He had recently broken up with a girlfriend and he regretted having gotten involved in the relationship.  I quoted Tennyson’s In Memoriam:
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
He didn’t find that very comforting so I simplified it for him and advised him not to have any regrets, they only hurt.  I still remember the lengthy discussion that followed about how he couldn’t believe that I didn’t have any regrets.  I was in my early 20′s, so I’ll admit I may have been too young to have done anything I regret, but I firmly believe that regrets are born of risks not taken, or roads untraveled.  How many movies have you seen that speak of the regrets of a life lived in the shadows? Of the risks that could have been taken but weren’t?  How many times have you said to yourself “Someday, when [...]

I Heart My Business

I’m back!

Did you miss me?  Did anyone even notice I was gone??  Does anyone even read my posts???
Health & Online Business Success

I’ve never been happier about being an Online Business owner than I have these past few weeks.  As you discovered in the video above, I got into a wee bit of trouble recently but am quickly on the mend.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered how much time and productivity I would have lost had I still been working in Corporate when this happened.
Online Business Freedom
Some outside observers may say that I’m much too tied to my computer and that I spend too many hours working but the fact is my online business offers me a great deal of freedom.  I’m able to schedule my work hours around the things that I want to do.  I exercise daily in my home gym but even when I used to go out to the local gym down the street, I was able to schedule my workout times for when the gym wasn’t busy. Not only that but things like Doctor appointments, visits to the dentist, even trips to the grocery store or the hairdresser can be scheduled during off-peak times.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy NOT having to stand in line at the grocery store.

And best of all, if I want to take time off to spend time with my family – take an extra day on the weekend or enjoy an afternoon off here or there – there are no complicated negotiations with employers and co-workers.  I just let my clients know that I’ll [...]

Where Do You Find Inspiration

Oopsie!!  As I was recording this week’s video, the battery died on my Flip cam.  Guess I ran them down last week as I was recording my video for Round 3 of the Tiger Blood Intern search.  Gosh if only I’d spoken a little faster (I think it cut off the last five seconds or so).  Well you’ll see enough to get the gist!
iDeborah Asks: How Do You Find Inspiration

Whenever I’m stuck for ideas for a blog post (as I was this morning), I get my body moving.  In the Winter, I usually hop on the treadmill and walk for 30 minutes to an hour.  I’ll be honest, I started my daily exercise routine earlier this year with the goal of simply doing something for me.  Setting aside an hour a day where I could just focus on doing something strictly for my benefit.

If you’re a busy solopreneur, I’m sure you know how challenging that can be!

I was amazed at the hidden benefits that came along with my daily exercise.  Yes, I am getting in shape.  Yes, I have more energy.  Yes, I don’t crave as much junk food. Yes, I’m better able to manage stress.

But I was surprised at how a daily walk has helped me grow my business.  I find that I do some of my best thinking on the treadmill.  I’ve come up with ideas for blog posts, thoughts on marketing campaigns for clients or my favorite — solutions to coding challenges that just seem to appear all of a sudden like lines of code running down the screen in the Matrix LOL

iChat: Where Do You Find Inspiration?

How do [...]

Where Would You Live?

I recently caught up with an old friend through Facebook.  We went to Junior High School together and life took us in different directions decades ago but through the magic that is Facebook, we reconnected.

Interestingly enough, out of all the school friends I’ve had, he’s the only one who is in the same field as I am.  There was no need to explain what it is that I do, he knew instantly as he does much the same thing.
iDeborah Asks: If you could work from anywhere, where would you want to live?  Why?

As I mention in the video I’ve always wanted to visit Paris but I don’t know if I could live there full time (though I might change my mind when I first land on Parisian soil). I think I’d like to travel more as there’s a lot of the world I’ve yet to see. My business could allow me to work from anywhere with high speed internet and my laptop. So my goal in my own business is to be able to travel for a few weeks at a time without having a serious impact on my business (and income!).

iChat: Where Would You Live?

Do you love to travel? Is there some place that you’ve been that has made you say “I’d love to live here”?
Would you work while you travel? Is your business set up to be able to do so?

Let me know your thoughts by posting a comment below.

Are You Still On Track?

Well we’re halfway through the second business day of the New Year and it’s time for a check-in… are you still on track with all the goals you set for yourself for the New Year?  I heard someone remark yesterday (January 3rd, by the way!) that 50% of those who had made New Year’s resolutions had already broken them.  There were no hard statistics to back up the claim but I wouldn’t be surprised if the statistic were 100% accurate.  I remember how busy the gym would be on January 2nd and 3rd and how many new faces I’d see.  Come January 4th, I could claim my regular locker again and come the end of the first week of January, there were only a handful of new members who were on their way to becoming regulars.  The rest had fallen back on their old habits.
I’m going to predict your future for 2011.
Forgive me in advance if this is rubs a bit too close to the bone.

It’s not meant to be offensive, but it is meant to be objective. (I’ll explain in a second.)

You will break your resolutions by the end of January.
You will make the same amount of money as the average of your last 5 year’s total income.
You will gain 2 pounds of body fat.
You will struggle with the same habits, patterns, and behaviors that you always have.
You will get to the end of the year and have made very little progress in your life.

Why do I make these predictions?  I’m a people watcher: I like to observe patterns of behavior both in my personal [...]