Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

January 2013

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If you grew up during the Industrial Age, you developed a great appreciation for time management as a means of getting things done. With the dawning of the Information Age, managing time has become an obsolete and ineffective skill. Those who get things done and get ahead in life learn to be good goal managers. Goal management focuses on planning and prioritizing the day’s activities around your goals…not your time.

Let’s face it, the amount information and the volume of tasks you tackle each day is just plain dizzying. Is it any wonder you’re time-deprived and overwhelmed? It’s easy to be pulled off course in this “age of distraction”. Consequently, it’s essential to properly plan each day to make sure your primary focus is on actions and activities directly linked to achieving your goals.

We created the Daily Goal Planner with you, the busy entrepreneur, in mind. Its purpose is twofold: keep you focused on the most critical activities to move your business forward and shift you from “doing your business” to “growing your business”.

Download the Daily Goal Planner today and follow these five steps to ensure you’re moving toward your goals each and every day.

Five Steps to Goal Management

1. Enter your long-term goals. Your goals keep you focused, provide direction, and give your day purpose. A long-term goal may be your billable hours for the year that are part of your position description or it may be to improve profitability.

2. Record your short-term goal. Your short-term goal is tied to your long-term goal and gives you greater clarification. An example of a short-term goal may be the number of hours needed this month to achieve your long-term goals.

3. Determine your top priorities.Based on your long-term and short-term goals, determine your top priorities for the day—those actions that directly affect your short/long-term goals. Determine how much time is needed for your top priorities.

4. Design your day. Armed with your long/short-term goals and top priorities, you’re ready to plan your day. Begin by entering in appointments previously scheduled. Then, enter your top priorities and the time needed

5. Catalog your to do. This is your list of other actions that need your attention but are not associated with long/short term goals.

With your goals clearly defined and focus on your top priorities, you are ready to launch a high-performance day.

Stay tuned for our regularly scheduled “Five on Friday” when we share down and dirty techniques that you can implement immediately to grow your business.  Subscribe to our blog today.

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Although entrepreneurs say they want more time each day, what they really want is to be able to get more done with the time they have. Here are 5 suggestions you can implement immediately to get more done in a new section we’re calling “Five on Friday”:

1. Create an accountability calendar. Just like the success dieters enjoy from tracking their food intake, entrepreneurs enjoy greater productivity by journaling their accomplishments. Plus, tracking how you spend your time can be a huge wakeup call to unproductive and wasteful activities. Here’s an example of my accountability calendar yesterday morning (I’m a work in progress):

               7:00 – 7:15 am social media posts
               7:15 – 7:45 am meeting prep
               7:45 – 8:00 am download email
               8:00 – 9:00 am networking
               9:00 – 10:15 am marketing calls etc etc etc

You get the point. Be sure to take notice of the priorities tied in with short and long term goals.

2. Prioritize your day. Productive days don’t magically happen. They are a result of intentionally planning and prioritizing. How you spend the first 15 minutes of each day sets the tone for a productive or non-productive day. Establish your priorities before downloading your email. You’ll be surprised at how much more productive each day will be.

3. Say “no” or “not now” more often. When you say “no” or “not now”, you simultaneously say ‘yes’ to greater productivity and achievement.

4. Eliminate information that doesn’t concern you. News stories, social media conversations, and general websites may be appealing yet if they contain information you can’t use to achieve your goals, its much better to abolish them from your consumption. Email is the biggest offender of unnecessary information in the form of advertisements, email newsletters, and story or joke sharing. Unsubscribe, automate, and set up filters to control the flow of information coming to you via email.

5. Manage your goals. Those who get things done and get ahead in life learn to be good goal managers. Goal management focuses on planning and prioritizing the day’s activities around your goals…not your time.

What are your top 5 tips for getting more done?

You won’t want to miss an episode of “Five on Friday” when we share down and dirty techniques that you can implement immediately to grow your business. Next week, I’ll be sharing the Five Steps to Goal Management. It’s a real nail biter.

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When we first launch our business, our primary ‘want’ as an entrepreneur is seeing the business get off the ground.  Over time – and with experience and  wisdom that come from growing your small business – the principal ‘wants’ of entrepreneurs begin to morph.

Some of the most common entrepreneurial wants in order of their listed importance include:

  • More time in the day – This is an interesting ‘want’ in that entrepreneurs don’t really want to work more hours. Haven’t you already extended yourself and your days beyond the normal capacity for a human being? What entrepreneurs really ‘want’, however, is to achieve more in the time they have dedicated to their business. Would you agree?
  • Working capital – Available capital can be a challenge for smaller, boot-strapped organization. It’s a source of frustration, as well. Having the cash flow and the capital to acquire the necessary resources is important to the growth of the business. A business can’t grow beyond capacity without the infusion of capital to invest in the components that will free up the owners time to focus on the higher level, strategic development of the business.
  • More sales – Well, we can’t argue with this one! Sales make the business work. The question most small business entrepreneurs need to answer is: Do you need more sales or do you need more clients? From my vantage point as a strategic business consultant and coach, most small business entrepreneurs need more clients.
  • Reduce stress – No argument from me! I’m continually amazed at how common an experience that is among entrepreneurs. Isn’t it nice to know that you’re not alone?
  • More sleep – This goes hand-in-hand with reducing stress although it’s hard to decide which one comes first. Placing boundaries around work hours, initiating physical activity, unplugging from technology an hour before bedtime can make for a more restful night of sleep.
  • Adoring, paying clients – Oh, how I love this! Yes. Yes. Yes. Who wouldn’t want adoring, paying clients. However, would you be just as happy if you had good paying clients – whether or not they were adoring? It is a fact that working with clients that are a good fit make for a healthier business. (Is it Smart Business to Fire a Client?)
  • Successful exit – Your exit strategy is worthy of consideration from the launch of your business. The sooner you identify what it may be, the more time you have to develop and grow in that direction. And, its so much easier to be on that path from early stage business development than to have to deviate from an ill-fitting course that you are on in later stage business development.

Not all entrepreneurs are created equal, thank goodness. The ‘wants’ of entrepreneurs are as unique as their fingerprints. The key is to have a clear vision of yours. Once you gain that clarity, you’ll be astonished at how quickly solutions and opportunities come your way.

If we can help in any way to assist with identifying your true wants, reach out to us today. We’re here to support entrepreneurs – just like you – in growing yourself and your business.

Sound off. What are your primary wants as an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart – especially in these times. Take economic uncertainty, mix in a healthy dose of technology, add a rapidly changing marketplace and you’ll discover the learning curve for entrepreneurs is straight up!

A survey of small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMME) uncovered the primary topics entrepreneurs would like to learn most. Given that many entrepreneurs enter the field of business as a technician or a master craftsperson of their chosen profession, its easy to see why these topics are at the top of their list – they are the fundamental skills every SMME needs to know to succeed in business.

Topics in order of importance to the entrepreneur include:

1. Marketing their business, which includes developing the ideal client profile, value proposition, branding, market research, marketing plan, marketing budget, and social media plan – all the elements needed to generate leads and acquire clients.

2. Growing their business includes understanding the critical factors and focus needed to move their business forward including establishing reasonable growth goals. (To learn more about the different stages of business growth & development, click here.)

3. Personal growth consists of strengthening self-esteem, building confidence, honing a belief in ones abilities and value, understanding strengths, improving communication skills, creating a compelling and inspiring vision, as well as, learning how to set healthy work and client boundaries.

4. How to succeed embraces a wide-range of topics from time/goal management to organization to getting more done in less time, developing timely products and services, remaining competitive and relevant in an environment that’s continually changing, and gaining a clear understanding of what ‘success’ means to you.

5. Getting the most out of employees takes into account how to create an engaged inspired workforce in addition to knowing where to find the best fit for their company and how to entice them to join your workforce.

6. Financial management takes up such topics as gaining an understanding of cash flow, balance sheets, and profit and loss statements, pricing strategies, accounting and bookkeeping best practices, and budgeting.

7. Dealing with the pressure and stress. Who wouldn’t be frazzled after learning all there is to learn about the previous 6 topics?! Actually, more entrepreneurs are noticing a rise in the day-to-day stress of growing a business. It’s becoming so second-nature that stress seems to go unnoticed. Managing stress and pressure is a BIG topic. Perhaps it should be listed first as studies show that creativity, ingenuity, and innovation is greatly enhanced when people are relaxed and in-the-flow. Mindful meditation, making time for regular exercise, under promising, and learning to say ‘no’ more often are all topics – and skills – to be learned in this category.

What say you? What topic – or subtopic – would you like to learn most?

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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