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The topic of “how to get it all done” is crucial, especially for a new or emerging coach.
I am going to talk about strategies and walk you through my process of how I get things done. Also crucial is mindset shifts, you can get it in your head for how things are going to be done, and when it doesn’t quite happen, it’s okay!
I started by only doing life coaching over at yourcourageouslife.com, with one-on-one client meetings and teaching the occasional online course. These days I’m doing even more with my business, like the Courageous Living Coach Certification, multiple podcasts, and I even published my first book, The Courage Habit. On top of that, I’m a triathlete, mother, wife, and somehow squeeze in a social life in between it all.
So what are the tools I use to do it all?
A lot of it comes down to how you focus on and understand your next businesses priority and figure out how it fit in with the overall scope of your business. Now, I have a virtual assistant. When I was first starting out and people would talk about hiring out for everything they needed to get done, I was like, “sure, with what money?!” But my virtual assistant averages only four to six hours a week. My ability to get things done relies solely on my ability to streamline my systems so the workload is manageable.
Another thing I want to add, for most of my entrepreneurial career, I was working my salary job alongside trying to run my business. There was a long time I could have financially afforded to quit my salary job…but my salary job had my health insurance.
So. Saving time and implementing manageable systems is directly applicable to those full-time people who are also trying to build their business on the side. Deciding to run your own business is a choice. I am happier working for myself, even with the problems and challenges it comes with, than working for someone else. If you work at this hard enough, you will succeed.
You can have every excuse in the world for why it won’t work, or you can have every reason in the world for why you will do it. You can make money at this. It will happen. You have to decide if you’re in it for the long haul and that you’re going to keep coming back to the drawing board if you need to to learn what you need to learn.
Here are the basics of running a coaching practice:
See clients, taking care of admin — scheduling, billing, client emails, and then marketing — or how you get the word out about your business. The problem people run into is looking at all of that, and going “I have to sit down every day and do all the things.” Guess what…you don’t! When we’re running these businesses, we’re not focusing on all of those things every day. You’ll burn out if you do all that at once.
I operate by starting on the big level. What’s my next business goal? What do I want to create next? Instead of thinking you have to pick the right thing, what thing makes you happiest?
The next thing I do is decide what I am going to prioritize over the next three months. I plot out my business life one quarter at a time. This takes a lot of discipline. Getting it all done does NOT mean getting it all done at once. Get certain pieces done at certain times.
From there, I break it down even more. If I want to get this one priority done, what are the three things I need to do to accomplish it? This concept is very trickle-down. Here’s my big thing, here’s my priority for three months, then there’s the break down of what three things I need to do to get each priority checked off. Every time I do something, I get faster at it. That’s the good thing about being in business for a while. Each time I set up a Facebook ad, it gets so much easier next time I do it. In the long term, it’s not so overwhelming.
Here’s the tough moment of truth. You’ve probably made plans like this before, and decided to get really focused on your business, but then you go back into life, get quickly overwhelmed, and things fall behind. I have those days, weeks, and months too. I look around and go, where are things falling apart? When I’m not following through, is it because I’m not motivated, or because life is too crazy? Do I need to put my to-do list somewhere more visible? By figuring out where I am getting thrown off, I can more quickly get back on track.
The second moment of truth question: What do I need to say no to? Instead of needing to do more, many of us actually need to do less. Do you check your email too much? Are you trying to create too much too quickly? Every once in a while you may need to cancel that dinner in order to meet your deadline. Or are you having too little fun, and need to stop depriving yourself in order to regain that life balance?
I use these tools to help me get shit done. I use Basecamp for project management, seeing in one easy list what I’m up to and what I need to focus on. Voxer helps me communicate with members of my team. I use a regular paper calendar (digital calendars are NOT my thing); so many people try to force themselves to make a digital calendar, but it just doesn’t work for me. My last big helpful resource is INBOX ORGANIZATION. The goal is inbox zero, though that hardly ever actually happens. But if you know who the email is coming from, and it gets sorted into specific inbox folders, it will save your life.
It is tough to run your own business, but you have to hang in there. I get how tough things are, but they can be done. Especially if you make a bet on yourself and know you’re in it for the long haul.
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