Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

February 2013

Recent Posts

As a small business entrepreneur, you know too well the impact of the recent economic upheaval. With an average economic growth of .6% annually from 2007 – 2012, you’ve most likely spent a sleepless night or two worried about how you’re going to meet your financial obligations. It appears we’re turning the corner. Finally! The economic recovery projected for the next 5 years is 3.3% per year. Nevertheless, wouldn’t you like to get your small business growing ahead of the projected recovery?

Atlhough there are different strategies to get your small business growing, how about trying one additional strategy for fit? Why not market your products/services to those industries involved in high growth emerging markets?

Recently, IBISWorld, the world’s largest independent publisher of U.S. industry research, outlined the top industries projected to outpace the current economy recovery. What better way to grow your small business than by capitalizing on the projected growth in the following industries:

1. Solar Panel Manufacturing. With trends moving toward developing more sources of clean, sustainable energy, the solar panel manufacturing industry is experiencing quite a growth spurt. From 2000 – 2012, the industry enjoyed an average revenue growth of 32.3% per year. But it won’t stop there. Growth projections for solar panel manufacturing are 8.2% per year – 5% ahead of the overall projected economic growth.

2. Green and Sustainable Building Construction. As the desire for energy efficient building composed of sustainable materials grows, so does the green and sustainable building industry. Having enjoyed a annualized growth of 28.9% since 2002, the green and sustainable building industry growth is projected at 22.8% per year through 2017.

3. Self-Tanning Product Manufacturing. This is certainly not your mom’s orange-stained tanning product! The recent scare of the increased risk of skin cancer from tanning beds has people turning to healthier alternatives. In 2012, the self-tanning product manufacturing industry celebrated a growth of 18.1%. Over the next 5 years, they are looking for an average growth of 10.7% annually.

4. Pilates/Yoga Studios. There’s no surprise here. We all want to get healthy and stay healthy. As a result, Pilates and yoga studios have grown 12.1% annually in the past 12 years. Between today and 2017, they are looking to continue their growth at 4.8% per year.

5. Social Networking Game Development.  Farmville, anyone? With the explosive growth of social networks, you had to know social gaming would follow in its footsteps. In fact, growth in social networking game development was 128% in 2002. Projected growth over the next five years is 22% annually, still significantly above the average economic growth of 3.3%.

6. Online Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses. With advancements in technology, it is becoming easier to shop from your seat rather than your feet. Virtually ‘trying on’ lens wear is now possible. The online eyeglass and contact lens industry have enjoyed an annual growth rate of 28.2% since 2002. What’s in their ‘line of site’ for the next 5 years? They’ll be ‘seeing’ a projected growth of 8.8% annually. (Pun intended.)

7. 3-D Printers. Looks as though it’s not just Raj and Howard from The Big Bang Theory enjoying 3-D printers. The 3-D printing industry takes pleasure in an 8.8% annual growth since 2002. As for their future? They are looking forward to expanding their growth to 14.0% annually.

8. For Profit Universities. If there’s one thing business has learned the past few years, it’s the need for advanced education to keep skills relevant for the marketplace. As state/federal education budgets are cut, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain admission into traditional advanced learning institutions. Online teaching has proven to be a low cost alternative. Since 2002, for profit universities have grown an average of 13.6% annually. This industry will be looking to continue its growth by 5% annually over the next five years.

9. Generic Pharmaceutical Market. Yes! We’re getting older (not that I’m bitter or anything). A rise in the aging population means an increase in prescription drugs. The generic pharmaceutical market has had the benefit of an average of 9.6% over the past 10 years. Although changes are likely, due to the healthcare bill, the generic pharmaceutical market is projecting to grow 6.3% annually.

10. Hot Sauce Production. This probably surprised you as much as it did me. With the growth in diversity and the expanding palate (and girth) of the consumer, hot sauce production has grown 9.3% annually with a projected growth of 4.1% per year over the next five years. Who knew?

Other industries worthy of honorable mention include:

  • translation services  – 2013 projected growth 3%
  • secure online data sharing – 2013 projected growth 16%
  • digital forensic services – 2013 projected growth 11%
  • IT security consulting – 2013 projected growth 9%,
  • TV/home theater installation – 2013 projected growth 5%
  • online travel agencies – 2013 projected growth 6%
  • online shoes sales – projected growth 16% over the next 5 years. This was our most favorite. It seems we’re getting more comfortable with online shoe purchases. Although it may appear that Zappos and Amazon have cornered the market, they actually have only captured 16%!

Strategies to Grow Your Small Business

How can you, as a small business entrepreneur, leverage the growth probability in various industries? Here are a few applications to consider:

1. Offer your product/service to the high growth industry. Most small business entrepreneurs have decided on a target audience. However, if the industry in which your target audience exists is not experiencing growth, so goes your small business. Wouldn’t it be better to consider marketing your products or services to industries involved in high growth emerging markets?

2. Inform, enlighten and bolster your clients growth. Do your current clients exist within the identified growth industries? Does their business enjoy the same growth as the rest of their industry? Do they even know their industry growth rate? This really is your opportunity to shine! Not only can you inform them of the growth, you can enlighten them on the projected growth anticipated for their industry and, if possible, propose your services as a tool to bolster growth in their business.

3. Support realignment of your clients with the high growth industries. Armed with information of projected growth, you can support your clients in realigning their offering to the high growth and emerging industries. They’ll love you for it.

As you may guess, there are plenty of opportunities for small business growth to occur within the next five years. The question is how will you leverage this news for your own business?  Let us know. We’d love to hear your ideas and plans for the future of your small business.

And, while you’re at it, is you’ve found this information helpful in thinking how you might grow your small business, we’d be honored to have you as a subscriber.

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Small business resources, such as time and money, come at a premium. Limited resources, however, do not have to mean limited success. It does mean making the most of your wherewithal by developing clear goals for your small business.

The ability to develop clear small business goals doesn’t come without challenges. For instance, with so much to consider, small business entrepreneurs find it challenging to decide which goal is most important to focus on. Others are confronted with identifying a goal that inspires them fully to withstand the complexity of small business entrepreneurship. Some small business owners haven’t had the chance to learn the importance of setting goals or even where to begin to develop clear goals for their small business.

Develop SMART Goals

No matter where you’re at as a small business entrepreneur, when it comes to developing clear goals for your small business, be SMART.

1. Be Specific. A goal that lends itself to such generalities as “I want to make more money”, can be achieved by making $1 more in revenue. It’s unlikely that’s what one would intend with such a goal. Being as detailed and explicit as possible promotes clarity. The more clearly stated your goal, the easier it will be to achieve.

2. Make it Measureable. “Wanting to do well” in your small business, although worthy of your time and attention, is impossible to quantify. Select goals for which specific outcomes can be calculated and proven.

3. Ensure it’s Attainable. You want your small business goals to challenge you and reflect reality. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by developing goals that are beyond your small business capacity and/or capability. The wise approach is to create an achievable goal, realize it, and reset your goals to the next level. Success breeds success.

4. Make it Relevant. Wanting an outcome isn’t the same as being committed to a goal. Develop clear goals for your small business that you’re willing and able to accomplish. Also, make sure all your goals align with one another to ensure their success.

5. Attach a Timeline. In order for a goal to truly be SMART, it needs a reasonable time-frame for its achievement. If the timeframe is set too far in the future – or not at all – your goal loses its ability to motivate and inspire action. A time-frame set too close can be unrealistic. Setting timelines for achieving your goals is like the porridge in the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears – not too far off, not too close but ‘just right’.

As you can see, there’s much more to achieving goals in your small business. And, it all begins with learning how to develop clear goals. Follow these five SMART actions and you’ll be well on your way to making your small business dreams a reality.

What sorts of SMART goals are you working on?

If you need a little support for your SMART goal setting, download our free goal setting workbook, Are You Heading in the Right Direction, Unlock Your Future with SMART Goals here.

Additional blog posts we think you’ll like:

The Do’s and Don’ts of Goal Achievement in Your Small Business

Five Steps to Better Manage Your Goals

Questions Every Entrepreneur Needs to Ask at Year End

This is a guest post by Brian Collins. Brian is a blogger and freelance writer with experience posting on a variety of tech related topics.

These days, small businesses are increasingly centered around digital environments. This is not to say that traditional office environments have, by any means, become obsolete, but the trend is certainly leading toward increased implementation of advanced web development and technology in business practices of all shapes and sizes. And, along with this trend, one of the most important things for developing small businesses in today’s world is to become convenient, efficient, and accessible in a virtual network. Here are a few tips on how to set up your website or online business for success in digital networking and business practices.

Implement Advanced File Sharing

One of the quickest ways to give your business website more professional capabilities is to take advantage of advanced file sharing options. A quick glance at a site like can show you the range of specific options involved, but the two most significant perks are support for large files, and increased security. With advanced file sharing, you will be able to transfer large files (presentations, videos, photo albums, extensive documents, etc.) with ease between employees and clients. Often, such files cannot be sent by ordinary email because they can be too large. Additionally, advanced file sharing programs and services can offer you increased security options for these file transactions, helping you to ensure that business communications end up where they’re supposed to.

Take Advantage of Cloud Storage

Another perk of advanced file sharing services that can help make your website more appealing in an increasingly digitized environment is cloud storage. As it currently stands, many people still rely on individual devices for their data and work. For example, you may be working on a business project that you can access only from your work computer. With cloud storage, such work can be saved to a digital “cloud” where it can be accessed from any device, using the proper login. This allows you not only to be less reliant on individual machines to preserve your work, but also allows you to share work digitally.

Improve Your Web Design

Finally, it is also important in today’s digital network of business to improve web design as much as possible. And, ultimately, this goes well beyond making your business website aesthetically pleasing. It also means implementing tools to make the functions on a website particularly user-friendly, both for employees and clients. Some advanced file sharing programs also include options for improving the visual and functional quality of a website, which in turn makes your online business more accessible and more appealing to the virtual community.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can share files online and protect your data with, please join Synnovatia at Virtually Anywhere, a virtual B2B networking group, on Thursday, March 14, 2013 from 8 – 9 am PST where a rep from will provide additional information. For further details, contact Jackie from Synnovatia at

Linkedin recently celebrated its milestone of achieving 200 million profiles by sending a congratulatory message for those whose profiles were in the upper 1, 5, or 10% of profiles viewed. (If you’re on LinkedIn and didn’t receive a notification, our condolences.) Even my husband, who is NEVER on Linkedin, received a celebratory 10% viewership. (That does seem to water down the magnitude of the message, doesn’t it?)

Before you light the candles and pop the champagne to commemorate your profile viewership, let’s pause for a moment to consider what viewership means. For instance, it may mean:

  • Your Linkedin profile is optimized with key words frequently searched for by others.
  • You have a captivating title that attracts others to want to know more about what you’re up to.
  • Your comments in groups, or on the now defunct Answer section, sparked interest in your profile.
  • You’re connected to someone who knows someone who knows someone that you know.
  • Others in your industry are stalking you.

However, just like visits to a website, it means little unless you can convert views to leads to clients to raving fans. How you move others successfully from viewers through the continuum to raving fans doesn’t happen in one leap. It occurs over time with a strategic focus that builds the relationship.

Here are a few of our favorite – and successful – business development strategies for turning Linkedin viewership into clients:

  1. Personalize the invitation when requesting a Linkedin connection. What did you find intriguing about their profile? Is there something you have in common? Let others know why you want them to join your network.
  2. Thank each person with a customized message when your invitation is accepted. Politeness is still popular. It goes a long way in building relationships. Plus, so few people follow this strategy that you’ll really stand out among the crowd of 200 million. It’s what your mother taught you when meeting new people. Make her proud!
  3. Engage in a conversation about their business. Ask them about themselves, what they do, what’s happening in their industry…without trying to sell them your wares! Demonstrate your sincere interest in them.
  4. Respond to conversations initiated by others. Would you ignore a question or a conversation directed at you while at a cocktail party? If you did, you wouldn’t be invited to many parties. How and when you respond speaks volumes about your business. Don’t be the hollow chocolate Easter Bunny!
  5. Engage with those in your network. Just like offline networking fosters relationship building and develops trust, the same principles apply with online networking. Show up. Make comments. Contribute to the conversation. Ask questions. Unless your well-known among your industry, or your name is ‘Warren Buffet’ or ‘Bill Gates’, you’ll want to advance your audiences experience and knowledge of you through the nine stages of building virtual trust.
  6. Don’t sell your wares until you’ve earned the right. If you’ve followed the business development strategies up to this point, there’s a good likelihood that you’ve discovered the possibility of a need – or not – for your services. If you’ve not uncovered a need for your offerings, you’ll likely appear cheesy and desperate in your attempt to sell to your Linkedin connection. Selling is about finding a need and filling it. No need? No sale!
  7. Don’t just promote – engage. The recent trend in groups seems to be posting blog links without any further conversation. I liken that it to an offline-networking event where someone hands me their business card, expects me to go to their site to read about them, and then waits for me to initiate the conversation. What?! Give others something to go on when posting your blog links. My favorites are those that add a question to their blog links that sparks a conversation.
  8. Follow-up and follow-through. Each time you have an opportunity to engage with your fellow Linkedin networkers, be sure to follow-up and follow-through in a timely manner. Someone once said, “In the absence of information, people make up their own.” Untimely or delayed follow-up with a connection on Linkedin may lend itself to others falsely believing your service follow-up will be slow also.
  9. Thank those who have viewed your profile. Linkedin provides a way to see who is viewing your profile. It’s a wonderful opportunity to ‘thank’ the viewer and ask if you can be of service. It’s a simple yet powerful business development strategy.
  10. Invest in a paid Linkedin subscription. Linkedin will probably love me for promoting this! There’s so much more you can do with a paid subscription. And, the cost is less than one offline networking event a month. Don’t leave the potential to develop long-lasting relationships to chance by limiting your options to connect.

Although these are common-sense business development strategies, many people seem to park their rational and reasonable networking skills at the home page of their favorite social media sites. Don’t let your Linkedin viewership go to waste. Take time to nurture those important relationships that can spell the difference between success and failure in your social networking attempts.

What business development strategies have helped you move someone from a viewer to a client?

Related Blog Posts:

Uncover the Moments of Truth in Your Business

5 Tips to Improve Your Linkedin Experience and Grow Your Business

Does Your Networking Persona Get in the Way of Growing Your Business?

One of the most effective ways to grow your business is to develop strong relationships – online or offline – with a group of people who know you, have a clear understanding of your products and/or services, AND enthusiastically promote you to their network. How do you create such a robust network?  Here are five steps to ensure that your “net” is working.

  1. Take the first step. Find out how you can support those in your network and their endeavors BEFORE asking for support. Show you’re sincerely interested by your actions. Be the first to provide referrals.
  2. Know how many people you can successfully serve. Networks need tender loving care to thrive. When you can no longer cultivate the current relationships in your network, you may have reached your capacity. Don’t spread yourself too thin.
  3. Be visible. Do you know the old saying “out of sight, out of mind?” The same principle applies to your network. Remain visible through calls, notes, e-mails, luncheons, and meetings. Caution—know the difference between being visible and being annoying.
  4. Support the members of your network. When a member of your network has an open house—attend. If you are in the vicinity of a member’s business, stop in. Distribute your network’s business cards to your clientsand/or display their cards in your place of business.
  5. Clearly articulate your needs. Be clear and concise about who you are, what you provide, what you do for your clients, and the type of clients you are seeking to make it easier for your network to grasp your offerings and promote you to others.

Given the fact that the average person knows 250 people, devoting valuable resources to cultivating a productive network can produce a substantial return on your investment. (Can you imagine what your return would be if your network was greater than average?)

What’s your favorite way of ensuring your “net” is working?

Additional blog posts we think you’ll enjoy:

5 Tips to Improve Your Linkedin Experience and Grow Your Business

Does Your Networking Persona Get in the Way of Growing Your Business

4 Tips for Entepreneurs to Make the Most of Their Networking Efforts

4 Ways Entrepreneurs Sabotage Their Networking Efforts

4 Must Do’s for Entrepreneurs to Achieve a Networking ROI

entrepreneurial time squeeze

According to Science Nordic‘s James W Vaupel, head of the new Danish Max Planck research center, the 40-hour workweek is outdated. Professor Vaupel believes a 25-hour workweek is sufficient. The notion of a 25-hour workweek, although eerily tempting to most small business owners, sends shock waves through the small business community. Is a 25-hour workweek just wishful thinking on behalf of a professor who is likely tenured and possibly never run a small business or is it a brave, new, creative reality?

Since 1850, the patterns of work in the US have trended up – moving from 70-hour workweeks in the mid 1800’s to 60-hour workweeks in 1900 to 40-hour workweeks by midcentury. Since then, the hours worked have increased substantially – and 63% of all people are not happy about it! According to Families and Work Institute, most people would like to see their workweek reduced by ten hours, if possible.

For the small business owner and entrepreneur, the 40-hour workweek is rare. Although you may be open for business 40 hours each week, it’s likely that you’re using the hours before and after work – and on weekends – to tackle the multitude of things that need to be addressed in order to provide service when you’re open for business.

70-Hour Workweeks Spell F-O-O-L

Mounting evidence points to the accumulative impact of the extended workweek during which a small business owner is ever-on and always-connected. Conditions like exhaustion and burnout have a damaging impact on efficiency, creativity, effectiveness, productivity, and performance – the very traits that drive innovation and revenue for your small business.

Judge Ziglar, the brother of renowned motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, put it quite aptly when he said, “Work 50 hours a week and you’ll be in the top 5% of your industry. Work 60 hours a week and you’ll be in the top 1% of your industry, and if you work 70 hours a week, you’re an F-O-O-L.” Of course, that was during a 1980 presentation long before technology made business faster.

Rethink Your Workweek

Small business has certainly benefited from advancements in technology. We’re smarter, faster, more cost-efficient to run, and certainly more competitive with the leveling of the David vs. Goliath playing field. Could Professor Vaupel’s assertion be correct? Are we mentally stuck in outdated ways of operating? Is it time to re-engineer our approach to work?

Meanwhile, back in Denmark, Professor Vaupel’s based his premise for a 25-hour workweek on extended life expectancy. Living longer also means the opportunity for working longer. The shortened workweek, Vaupel asserts, can extend over a longer period of one’s life, which is both psychologically and physically beneficial.

Younger entrepreneurs can spend more time with their young families while the “more mature” entrepreneur can take better care of their health and both can enjoy a better quality of life.

Whatever you think of Professor Vaupel’s theory, is it time we rethink our workweek? Is it possible to run a successful small business on a 25-hour workweek? We’re curious to know what you think.

Want more? Read on:

Five Ways Entrepreneurs Restore Work-Life Balance

Confessions From a Strategic Coach on Work/Life Balance

Ten Signs You’re an Overworked Small Business Entrepreneur

Recess for Entrepreneurs

Getting Past Your Fears and Growing a Successful Business

 Goal achievement is powerful for the small business entrepreneur. It fuels and sustains the growth of your business. It moves your small business forward. More importantly, goal achievement energizes the central component in your entrepreneurial success – YOU – the small business entrepreneur.

Yet, ask any small business entrepreneur their business goal and few can answer with any specificity. Why is that? As small business strategists, we’ve discovered that some small business owners have not been taught how to properly set goals. Others who have had little luck in the goal achievement department are discouraged from facing that reality again. In addition, other small business owners find it confusing to set and achieve goals.

Regardless of the reason, the absence of clear goals can certainly take you and your small business on the ride of your life. Plus, without the benefit of the unmistakable direction provided by goals, you can expect your small business to cost more to operate.

When it comes to small business goal achievement, here are a few points to keep in mind:

Do’s of Small Business Goal Achievement

  • Do choose a goal for your small business. Growing a small business without a goal is like sailing a ship without a rudder. Your small business will end up wherever changing technology and trends take you.
  • Do go for goals that inspire you to action. Nothing is more stimulating than goals that arouse positive emotion.
  • Do select small business goals you’re committed to achieving. Wanting to achieve a goal is not enough for you to achieve your goal. Commitment is what makes goal achievement a reality.
  • Do realize the goal-setting process. Goal achievement is more than selecting a goal, developing a plan, and writing it down. Understanding the total progression for setting and achieving goals, including the accompanying personal growth, is important to your success.

Don’ts of Small Business Goal Achievement

  • Don’t opt for small business goals set by others. It’s easy to get caught up in wanting what others want for you. However, unless your goal belongs to you, the likelihood of achieving it is minimal.
  • Don’t set vague goals. Unclear goals, such as “make more money”, can leave you disappointed. Make sure your goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-sensitive).
  • Don’t overanalyze your small business goals. Getting snagged by the ‘what if’s’ of selecting your goals can lead to paralysis. No matter how long you plan or how much you research, it’s impossible to account for all the possible scenarios. Carry out your due diligence, select your goals, work your plan, and adjust your goals as needed.
  • Don’t have too many goals. Although that sounds counter-intuitive to goal achievement, having too many targets to hit in your small business makes it’s unlikely you’ll hit any of them. Consider selecting the major goal that will give you the greatest return for your effort.

There really are no secrets when it comes to goal achievement for your small business. Now it’s your turn to develop clear goals and achieve your full potential. What pointers have you found most helpful to achieving your small business goals?

Webster defines power as the ability to act or do. Given that definition, every small business owner and entrepreneur has the power to grow his or her business. Although ever business individual has the ability to act, not everyone taps into their personal power or uses it properly to grow their business.

Power can easily be confused with manipulation. That’s control, not power. The good news is when you have true power, you don’t need control.

Here are some ways you can plug into your personal power to grow your small business:

  1. Become toleration-free. When you’re tolerating (i.e., putting up with stuff), like poor performance or delayed delivery from vendors, you’re giving your power to the very person, place, or thing you are putting up with. By shifting from someone who routinely tolerates ‘stuff’ to that of being a business owner free of tolerations, you take back what was yours to begin with.
  1. Clarify values. Values are who you are. Your values show up in the behaviors and activities that you’re naturally drawn to. Think back to when you were 6 years old. What was it that you loved doing? Were you naturally inspired to create, explore, teach, or learn? Have you incorporated your values into your small business? Knowing your values helps you to tap into your power and make smart business decisions.
  1. Develop a reserve for fear. You’ve likely heard the most common advice for facing fear: “Feel the fear and do it anyway.” (That concept never quite worked for me.) Fear indicates a pending risk. One way to alleviate fear is to develop a reserve around what you fear. For instance, if you fear making a marketing decision because of a limited budget, establish a greater budget than you feel you’ll need. Eliminating fear by developing reserves makes it easier for you to move into action.
  1. Practice self-kindness. Self-kindness is the ability to take better care of oneself. Considered by some to be a luxury, it is a necessary resource required of a powerful small businessperson. Habits of self-kindness include saying “No”, maintaining work-life balance, healthy eating, regular exercise, and hanging out with those who treat you as a bright small business owner who can accomplish great things.
  1. Operate at 51%. Unless you’ve had a frontal lobotomy (i.e. removal of the frontal lobe of the brain) that renders you negligent, rash, and unskilled, you are responsible for all that is happening or not happening in your life. Erica Jong said, “Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing; there’s no one to blame.” Take control over your response to your business growth and you’ll be surprised at all you’ll achieve.

If you’re ready to tap deeper into personal power, select one area to work with at a time. Master that that area before moving the the next. As you do so, you’ll begin to feel your personal power – your ability to act – begin to return and along with it, the confidence to make a difference.

If we can help you develop some strategies around any of the areas listed above, contact us for you free strategy development call.

If you don’t have time to do things right the first time, how much time do you have to do them over? 

This was the sign my dad, Johnny Nagel, a common sense, hard-working man with wisdom beyond his sixth grade education, had posted on the door of his makeshift small business office of his machine shop.

As a diesel mechanic in a small, farming community, grain farmers relied on Dad to deliver their hay bailers, combines, and tractors within a suitable timeframe.  Due to North Dakota’s limited growing and harvesting season, timing was critical.

With a rush to get back into the fields, Dad felt the pressure to deliver machinery before its time.  Although it was difficult for some to see the value of ‘doing things right the first time’, Dad’s commitment ultimately prevented costly delays for his clients.

Entrepreneurs Feel the Heat to “Hurry Up”

In a rush to get to market, you hurry through your business planning process.  You didn’t feel you had the time to do things right the first time.  Failure to identify critical strategies triggers a flurry of costly marketing mistakes and the need to take up the planning process once again.  How much time do you have to do things over?

You sprint through research overlooking vital statistics that would accurately position your offerings. You didn’t feel you had the time to do things right the first time.  After months of lack luster results, this fundamental mistake forces you to realign your products.  How much time will it take to do things over?

Corners are cut on a critical project for a high-profile client ultimately doubling your project overhead and drastically reducing your profit.  You didn’t feel you had the time to do things right the first time.  Not only does this create grounds for the loss of future contracts but puts a permanent dent in your reputation.  There’s no chance to redeem yourself!

Certainly, interpreting ‘doing things right the first time’ is left to the individual.  Whether it includes your planning process, client promises, or work quality, when you find yourself unreasonable rushing or struggling, remember the philosophy of Johnny Nagel — If you don’t have time to do things right the first time; how much time do you need to do things over?  This simple, yet profound business approach will save you from costly mistakes and unnecessary stress.

Have you rushed a critical aspect in your business? What price did you pay? Tell us your story so we can learn, too.

Here’s some additional blog posts you might enjoy:

6 Lessons Entreprenuers Can Learn from Ron Johnson

Common Pricing Mistakes to Avoid

The High Cost of Indecision on Your Business

4 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Howard Stern

Is Your Business Ready to Deliver?

The quest for work-life balance for entrepreneurs and small business owners is nothing new. The dichotomy of work-life balance dates back to the mid 1800’s. Even then, blurred boundaries between work and play created excessive work hours that entrepreneurs and small business owners admittedly wanted to avoid. Today, with continual advances in technology, we are even more connected to our work. It’s exhausting! It’s stressful! It’s impacting your health.

Although work-life balance seems to be allusive, it truly exists within the reach of every entrepreneur and small business owner. Try some of these strategies and see for yourself how to bring work-life balance back in your life.

  1. Identify the imbalances in your life.  The components of a balanced life are many. They may include your career, recreation, community, family, health, physical activity, and spiritual growth. As you think of each area that is important to your achieving balance, what percentage of time do you currently spend in each one of those areas?  What percentage would you like it to be? What would you need to change in order to make that happen?
  2. Underpromise.  Overpromising creates a great deal of stress. In fact, most people make promises too quickly, and then become ensnared by the effort that it takes to keep their word. Here’s a quick fix: promise half of what you think you can accomplish. You will experience much less pressure to perform, plus the extra time and space created will allow you to be more resourceful.
  3. Reduce your roles by 50%. Have you thought about the many roles you play? You may be the entrepreneur, small business employer, spouse, parent, caretaker, volunteer, landscaper, painter, personal shopper, organizer, schedule coordinator, bookkeeper – the list goes on and on. Each requires time and effort. Have you considered the roles you selected and agree to versus the ones that unknowingly crept into your life? Decide which roles are essential to your values and goals and do away with the rest.
  4. Unhook yourself from the promises of others. Has anyone ever made a promise to someone else that quickly involved you? Did they check with you first or was it something they assumed you would automatically agree to? Did it cause you to have more things “to do” as a result of their commitment? Be aware of who’s commitment is who’s.  Allow others to take responsibility for their commitments. It helps them grow and assists you in creating balance in your life.
  5. Establish realistic expectations.  High achieving entrepreneurs are a unique group of people that expect more of themselves than anyone else would or could.  They wear a shiny “S” on their chest (designated for “super-entrepreneur”) and continue to set expectations far beyond what can realistically be accomplished within the allotted time. The space that exists between the level of expectation and what is possible is a source of continual imbalance and stress. There are no opportunities to celebrate as you continue to raise the bar with higher expectations. If the “overachiever gene” challenges you, create reasonable expectations for yourself each day. Your balance will grow in direct proportion to the expectations that you achieve

WIIFM (what’s in it for me/you?) to achieve a healthy balance between your personal and professional life? Balance keeps you sharp, creative, quick on your feet, happy, energized, and ready to take on your goals and succeed. And all balanced entrepreneurs say “ahhhhhh”!

Other Blog Posts You Might Enjoy:

        Confessions From a Strategic Coach on Work/Life Balance

        Ten Signs You’re an Overworked Small Business Entrepreneur

        Recess for Entrepreneurs

        Improve Your Bottom Line and Waistline

        Ten Things a Solopreneur Can Do Without

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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