4 Ways to Catch Up in a Learning Curve

Dealing with learning curves It’s odd to think you might not want your business to grow.

“Of course, I want more clients, revenue, and leverage so I work less,” you say.

To upgrade your business and life, you must do things differently, as well as, do things you weren’t doing before. But your unconscious protests,

“I can’t do any more.

I can’t add any thing else to my plate.

Changing is stressful.

I don’t want to do it.”

Making sure you got the message, your unconscious halts activities that makes your business prosper, (and you squirm a little).

You say, “Make the difficult phone call.” Your subconscious says, “No, let’s work on your website instead.”

You say, “Follow up with that potential customer,” or, “Spend some time learning how to use that new client contact software better”. And your unconscious mind directs you to cut work short so you can run an errand.

What does your unconscious mind know that you don’t?

It recognizes that with each leap forward there is a learning curve. Learning curves definitely slow you down and can, on occasion, be quite painful. So, your unconscious hedges its bet thinking staying the same would actually be a lot better and does everything in your power to keep you there.

When life throws you a learning curve, you have to know how to catch it. Here’s how to grow your business with the inevitable first time slowdowns without losing your mind.

1) Always Know Where You Are in Your Business and Your Next Step

Always visualize where you want to take your business. Without it, your unconscious doesn’t need to pester you; you threaten no one.

2) Identify the Tools and Processes You Will Need to Get There

Without researching the details to accomplish your up-levelling, you can get paralyzed. Even with an outlined process, implementation can still be challenging. The new process will slow you down, which annoys many entrepreneurs. You’ll need to work out bugs. But, you probably won’t improve your flow without a blueprint in place because of overload with too many unknowns.

3) Do First Things First

Business people either ignore new processes they need to create or try to implement too many systems at once. Create outcomes you need to see in your current initiatives before launching new improvement projects.

4) Create an Order of the Growth-related Projects

Progressive planning, mapping projects over time helps you see the logical order of your system.

5) Build in Accountability and Support

Accountability keeps you on task and ensures you have the right kind of support you need when you need it. The feedback of a trusted accountability partner helps buffer the inevitable kinks that accompany growth.

Learning curves go away with time. Instead of just dealing with learning curves, they become welcome friends to those desiring the abundance in their business God wants for them.

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tip: Describe and write down where you currently see yourself in your business and identify your next up-levelling step.

Do You Know Where You Are Going in Your Business?

determine business direction Recently, my family and I vacationed in the New Mexico mountains on the Pecos River. Runaway fires tore through the mountains very near that cabin the summer before, destroying many of our favorite hiking trails.

The damage forced us to venture out. We discovered a popular trail leading to three mysterious caves, which the Pecos Indians believed to be a sacred ground.

But we didn’t reach the caves the first time we hiked the path.

Our kids ages, 13, 10, and 7, ran out of gas.

We queried the several hikers coming from the direction of the caves. Did they see the caves? How far were they from here? About how long might it take us to get there?

Were the caves worth the work to get there? We consistently got a resounding “yes”, inspiring us to figure out a way to walk far enough to reach them.

One hiker with a small girl a little younger than our youngest estimated the caves were two hours away, walking at a kid-friendly pace.

We headed to the trail next with a more realistic idea of the necessary time to reach the caves. But, we arrived at the trails later than we planned. We had to turn back for Saturday mass. I hiked a little ahead to see how close we were to the caves. I still wasn’t able to get close enough to see our desired destination.

Finally, our last day in Pecos, determined we found the secret caves, hidden in the mountain. We ate a sack lunch on rocks looking at their opening listening to the gentle waterfall and stream swirl around us. The caves were peaceful and holy. They were not that far from where we had been.

But because we didn’t know where we were going, we stopped short of our goal several times…very similar to what many aspiring mompreneurs experience.

Unfamiliar Territory

When you have never been somewhere before (like having the mom biz of your dreams), it is easy to miscalculate what it will take to get there. You may underestimate or underprepare what you actually need to do and the mindset you will need to have to achieve your goal. To determine business direction you must have orientation of where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.

Doubts

The unknown can create doubts. Can I do this? Is it worth it? Should I quit? Maybe this isn’t worth it.

Reassurance

Tenaciously pursuing and finding the caves gave us a sense of relief, accomplishment, and satisfaction. Getting an important part of your business to finally click and start seeing results delivers similar emotional benefits.

Moving forward over rocks and around sticks to ultimately reach your goals reassures you for the next challenge you will face in your business and personal life. It’s how you evolve as a business person.

Risk

Without goal achievement experience or a guide you risk abandoning the effort. Experienced coaches highly recommend you prioritize getting a coach, even in your early lean years. Without one you risk that the doubt, unfamiliar territory, and illusive destination stifle your will to have the mom biz of your dreams.

Experience and Proper Guidance

Should we decide to return to Three Caves trail, our experience will be completely different. We will know where we are going and who we need to be and what we need to do to go there. The journey will be much quicker. We will be more confident. And with satisfaction we will get the results we want….just like for you when you get the proper guidance to your mom biz success.

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tips: Invest in coaching early on in your business to determine business direction will save you time, money, and mental anguish. For a complimentary Getting It Done session go to www.talkwithchristina.com.

 

Is Your Brand Sending Mixed Messages?

Two cheerful young female friends dancing over white background I take full advantages of “me” days – Mother’s Day and my birthday – to dictate our plans. My birthday last month was no exception.

We dined with our favorite couple. Then I enlisted my husband Joe to join me for a night of country dancing at a local club El Rodeo, a novelty as we had never gone country dancing before in our 22-year marriage.
During my computer work sessions, Pandora Music introduced me to new wave of country pop. I was a relatively new country music fan, and was motivated to shake my bootie to my favorite country tunes.

“El Rodeo” delivered.

We had a great time trying to keep up with the complex line dances. (Next time we play to do a YouTube tutorial, so we’re more on the beat.) And my rusty hubby joined me for some swing dancing.
We warned our dinner friends that it was so fun, we would drag them with us next time.

The one oddity of the evening was watching a number of women at the club danced together – not line dances, but the more intimate swing dancing. In particular, there were two women who danced with each other all night in a way that made their bodies look a little too familiar with each other.

It was weird.

I can understand all dancing together for a line dance. But watching the women dance so fluidly and romantically distracted me – were they related, were they lesbian, or was something else going on.

I could see if it were a gay bar. My girlfriend told me, according to her 20 and 30 something kids, that “lesbian” is in, and many men find it attractive, prompting some young ladies to play to part for the attention.

I really did not want to know or ponder all of this information about these other patrons of the club. I was just trying to have a fun evening with my husband. It left me with an icky feeling.

That disconnect is what happens too when something is out of sync with your branding. If something isn’t jiving on your website, your blogging, your offering, and your customer service, it makes people pause, especially if you are selling a big ticket product.

Same is true with offline branding. How your business cards look (or whether you even have them), your physical presentation, and whether you can tell someone what you do in a coherent and natural elevator speech, may be just the element to have your prospect close their wallet. You’re lucky if they will give you another look down the road.

So, consider exactly what that dance you’re doing and make sure it has your prospects hungering for more, not walking away with a head full of unanswered questions.

Catholic Mompreneurs Biz and Life Tip: Ask what message you want to sell to your prospects and if everything you do is consistent with it. Take branding your business seriously.

A Mompreneur’s Guide to Survive Working During Summer

Woman exhausted her life Before I took my mom biz seriously, family summers weren’t that intimidating. I experimented with dragging my laptop here and there (not necessarily recommended) and other tactics I thought necessary  in my journey from mom to mompreneur.

I wasn’t stressed about productivity because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t understand my different business roles and the consequences of neglecting them.

But today I do. And with three active kids – ages 7, 10, and 13 – finding a summer schedule that works for me, my business, and my family could have been a daunting task.

While there were moments of uncertainty on how everything would fit, this system helped me create a plan we could live with:

1. Identify Key Business Roles

In addition to your time providing services to clients, list the various functions you must attend to keep it healthy and keep your cash flow coming in. My key areas include:  writing, business plan, marketing, leads generation, product generation.

2. Identify Weekly Personal and Business Maintenance / Development Activities

Often busy people neglect  time to organize, document and improve your work and home systems, and to recharge your own batteries. Each week I aim to have at least a two-hour block of time for creating personal systems, creating work systems, and personal peak power “me” time.

3. List Family Activities and Needs

Get the schedules for the swim team, music lessons, etc.  Plus, be tuned in for needs to have downtime, hanging out with friends, playdates, and relaxing at the pool.

4. Create a Summer Calendar and Start Plugging in 1,2, and 3

I opened a new Outlook calendar so I could experiment with different scheduling scenarios. It allowed me to come up with innovative ways – like get up a little earlier — to make the schedule work. I could also see where I could solicit the kids to help, for example, with walking the dog instead of me walking her; or riding their bikes to swim team practice. The hours you devote to create a workable summer schedule pay off. Outlook has a merge feature to overlay your created summer schedule calendar with your original calendar, if you would like.

5. Weekly Update

With activities and vacations and camps bouncing in and out of the schedule take your summer calendar template and tweak it each week so you get your work, personal, and family essentials done.

Doing  a summer calendar isn’t magic, sometimes requiring difficult choices when time blocks clash. But getting everything down on paper makes sure the important personal and business tasks take place and avoid wasted time.  And time chunking — designating what tasks you will do during scheduled times — helps you not sidestep more challenging or distasteful personal and business tasks.  A refreshing summer for you,  your family, and your bottom line rewards your discipline to proactively summer schedule.

The Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tip:  If you don’t have a summer calendar template, schedule two hours now to create one.

Is Earning More in Less Time A Hype?

Woman holding money and clock Is the chatter about biz moms earning more in less time for real?  Or is the promise just all about coaches puffing themselves and their offerings up?

The good news is that it’s true, and here’s why:

Necessity

Mom business owners with profitable businesses place a high priority on family time than your regular entrepreneur, leaving less time for business. To make their enterprises more than expensive hobbies, they MUST make the time they have to work count.

Ownership

Compared to moms working outside the home, the buck completely stops with the mom business owner. She must be results-oriented and skilled in developing effective processes.

Development

Successful mompreneurs are CEOs with an eye on the big picture. If there are gaps in her knowledge base, she seeks education or someone else to help her complete the task.

Agility

Mom businesses can adapt quickly to industry trends and make smart adjustments in strategies and tactics. Larger organizations are often too cumbersome to adapt and are vulnerable to misuse and waste talent and flexible strategies and systems.

Peak Productivity

The mom biz lifestyle provides the right framework for maximum productivity. The 8-hour work shift was designed for manual labor, not mental labor. Performance declines after a couple of hours. While interruptions and breaks for the mompreneur can be irritating, working intensely in short bursts actually produces better work output.

The Art of Good Enough

Mom business owners lack the luxury of time to get work projects just right. The work expands to the amount to time allotted for it. Sharp mompreneurs know when good enough is good enough.

What I do all day is help mom business owners leverage these advantages so that they create the life of their dreams with a profitable business, family and “me” time that is 100% in sync with their Catholic faith. I would love to help you, too. If you want to see how to ramp up the benefits of being a mom business owner schedule a complimentary “Getting It Done” session here: http://catholicwomensguide.com/getitdone/

Catholic Mompreneur Biz and Life Tip:  Recognize as a mompreneur you are in an elite group of highly skilled business professionals. Take your strongest mompreneur skill listed above and take steps to amplify its impact on your success.