5 Things to Do Before Buying Infusionsoft (or switching to any new CRM software)

Every week I talk to entrepreneurs who are ready to make a change to a new software to host their CRM (client relationship management). Sometimes they’re moving into Infusionsoft but others come up as well.

And just about every week I tell someone NOT to purchase that day. The reason is simple.

Most businesses are not organized and ready for a new CRM and waste hundreds or thousands of dollars.

So here’s my handy-dandy, top 5 things you must do before a move:


5 Strategies to survive when life goes crazy

It happens to us all. The month where everything happens at once, when someone quits without notice or family obligations keep you busy 24/7.

Most adults would consider taking extra vacation time from work in order to manage during the chaos.

Entrepreneurs remember with fondness that thing called “paid time off.” Sigh. “Wouldn’t it be nice?” you think as you send out another proposal, get that email copy finished, finalize a client meeting for tomorrow and wonder how you’re going to get it all done if you have just one more client or obligation added to the ever growing to do list.

While we can’t wave a magic wand in your direction here are 5 ways you can survive as an entrepreneur when life is just too busy.

Read Full Article »

1.  Say no

Instead of jumping on every business opportunity and every family obligation you’re presented with say no.

If it helps, practice by having your partner or assistant ask you ridiculous favors. Then say no and press an imaginary Staples button: “that was easy.”

You may be the most capable, responsible, giving person in the room but you can’t do it all, all the time. Saying no allows other people to step in and do their piece as well. Let them.

In fact…

2.  Ask for help

It could be as simple as recruiting a babysitter for the afternoons that you need to write or having someone proof your work while you work with clients.

In the business start by having a conversation with your team members. Let them know how this time is shaping up and get their support in new areas – even if it’s just for a short period of time.

At home you might just need to relax those standards. Unless you’re Martha Stewart few people will be judging how often you vacuum and if your garden is weed free. For those things you can’t set on the back burner (children, bill paying, grocery shopping), ask for help from your partner or older children or hire some temporary help in the form of a college student.

3.  Create self care time

It’s a little counter intuitive but when you’re the busiest it’s even more important to take care of yourself. Becoming ill or worn down to the point of collapse will do nothing to help you through this chaotic time so remember to put your needs in priority.

This might mean having a cut off time at night so you’re able to get enough sleep or making sure you hit the gym every day for a workout or time in the jacuzzi.

When you’re busy it’s easy to go to convenience options like eating out. Remember that when you’re working harder than before your body will need proper fuel which includes water, sleep and healthy food. Remember that college student who needs cash even more than you need rest? Hire him or her to spend a few hours in your kitchen prepping snacks, meals for the freezer and cleaning so that you have healthy options without the stress.

4.  Break it down

No, don’t have a breakdown, but when you’re staring at a mountain of work and responsibilities break it all down into smaller chunks.

You may have a big proposal that’s due in a few weeks. Outline it and devote time each day to finishing up the sections. Got a client whose workload is increasing? Set aside time during your week just for them.

And if you’re feeling the pressure to perform, remember that you’re human, not a machine and that quality work requires quality time.

5.  Remember the outcome

Every week when I’m out and about I see the local football teams working out. I live near a high school so it’s not uncommon to see them in full gear doing 3 a day workouts. Coaches have an enormous job in keeping these teenage athletes motivated and one of the best weapons in their arsenal is talking about the end goal. Making the touchdown, going to regionals, winning the division. That’s motivating when it’s 100 degrees outside and you’d rather be at the movies than running drills.

Entrepreneurs are the same way. Sure you could be on Facebook right now watching buzzfeed videos but won’t it be amazingwhen you’re selected as a speaker and up on stage at that event? True, you could be spending your evening watching a movie instead of slaving over a manuscript but it’s all going to be worth it to see your book on the shelves.

When life requires hard work it’s easy to look for ways out. We’re great at avoidance techniques. But when the only way to the other side is getting through it, keep your eyes fixed on the result.

Action Step: Which tip do you need most when your business and life become chaotic? Do one thing this week to put this into action.


A Cure for Boring Systems

When entrepreneurs hear the name of my business “She’s Got Systems” a lot of assumptions come to mind. For many of us systems are old school – reminiscent of businesses stuck in routines, thick binders full of policies and procedures and there’s nothing really sexy about systems.
Very few people wake up in the morning and exclaim, “I need some systems today!”

Just me? Okay, probably just me.

But here’s what I have learned about entrepreneurs…

Read Full Article »

They do enjoy consistent income, especially when it’s growing.

They enjoy free time and think busy work belongs back in corporate.

Entrepreneurs enjoy teaching but hate repeating themselves.

And maybe most of all, entrepreneurs hate hiring help that doesn’t live up to their expectations.

I could go on, but if you’re like most of the entrepreneurs I speak to you recognize yourself in those traits.

And in order to get consistent results in the areas you care about, systems are the way to go.

The problem with traditional systems is that it feels like you’re boxed in and we’ve all broken out of the mold in one way or another.

We love to start new projects, dream big, explore ideas and then Captain Killjoy says “let’s make some systems.”

Womp. Womp.

Listen, if I were interested in a boring business I’d still be working in accounting. Or answering phones.

Because I know the secret to systems that no one else will tell you.

Ready?

Systems don’t have to be complicated, intimidating or rigid.

In fact the best systems are simple, easy to understand and flexible for a growing business.

Don’t believe me? Back in January I taught a packed teleclass how to build their own Operations Manual step by step and during the call we created 3 new systems in follow along fashion.

I created this class because I wanted entrepreneurs to experience how easy systems could be with the right support.

Did you miss the class? Click here to get it free and see how easy systems can be.

Great systems don’t have to be boring instead, when you have them in place you have a starting point to achieve the results you want in your business.

Action Step: Check out the free teleclass to get step-by-step directions on building your systems.

 


It’s time to embrace the “how”

Over and over I see coaches and teachers lament about the “dreaded how” as they encourage their followers and students to embrace the magic, the faith, the intention of a result.

Let me put it in simple terms : stop worrying about learning something and dream it’s already been done!

Now I’m a fan of positive thinking, setting intentions and goals, even in focusing attention through manifestation. But there’s a reason I don’t talk about it often.

Manifest, sure. But then get yourself into action and work.

Here’s how:

Read Full Article »

1. Understand and embrace that learning never ends. Life doesn’t hand you a diploma that you are now educated in all things business. Markets shift, awareness changes, needs grow and we have to keep up. You’re never going to be “done” and most entrepreneurs I know love that their personal growth is on-going. Accept that your knowledge can be as well.

2. Give your attention deliberately. One of the reasons I believe manifesting works is that you’re focusing your attention on an outcome. When this happens you see opportunities, take risks and share those intentions with others which speed up the process. So give your attention to learning. Look for those courses and guides, ask about teachers and coaches, seek the “how” and you’ll find it.

3. Appreciate and honor work. At some level we know that the “overnight success” never is one – everyone goes through their own trials and work hard. Viewing your own work and learning time as part of the process is healthy. Be thankful that you have the capacity to learn, the intellect, the time and the resources.

Action Step: Most of all this is a shift in your mindset. The next time you hear yourself or others complaining about “the how” as in “I can’t figure out how to do this!” or “I don’t want to think about how this will get done, I’m focused on the bigger vision,” then stop and reconsider.

And since I love learning here are some of my favorite resources to get started:

Khan Academy – brush up on those skills
Codecademy – learn to code with this interactive site
TED – browse the latest and best videos from thought leaders around the world

And of course there’s YouTube which can teach you anything you can search for!
If you’re an Infusionsoft user bookmark our channel with campaigns you can create in under 10 minutes.


You can’t do everything. And you shouldn’t.

Business owners are driven by various motivations. Sometimes it’s influence, other times income, often helping those in need.

So it’s no surprise that when someone has a need and asks for your help the answer on the tip of your tongue is “sure, we can do that,” even if you can’t.

It’s not about deceiving a client or misrepresenting your skills, often it’s the thought that you can learn that skill, figure it out, or otherwise hire someone so you can help a client who has a clear need.

Other times it’s a self delusion that in order to be great, you must be an agency. Sure, it’s the first month of business but if you don’t have 12 sub-specialties and contractors and the ability to handle every challenge thrown your way then, well, the clients will go elsewhere.

Perhaps it’s time to envision your business like a construction contractor.

Read Full Article »

Back in the early days of my career I worked on many a job site and there’s much you can learn from the division of labor in a construction zone.

First you have the client, the one paying for everything. They’re going to own the thing that you’re building whether it’s a house or a website. While the client gets to make all the final decisions they’re also the one signing the checks. Clients don’t always have the knowledge of the process so many times they hire help.

Enter the General Contractor. A GC is like your Project Manager (or Online Business Manager) who understands the scope, timelines, budget and much more. As GC, it’s their job to make sure everyone else is doing their job correctly.

Then you have the Sub Contractors. Those who are skilled at electrical, plumbing, drywall, paint, and so many more specialties. In your business it may be graphics, web design, copy writing, course creation, customer service, etc. In some cases the Sub Contractors are hired by the General and their fees and management are inexplicably tied to the projects the General takes on. In other jobs, the Sub Contractors bid on the work and the General will chose the best companies.

Are you a General or Sub Contractor? It depends.

This is not all to say that you must begin to hire Sub Contractors and become the General who has all the services in your realm of business at the ready.

Many, many small businesses do just fine as Sub Contractors, they focus on delivering great work to the client, work under a General for management and earn a good living.

Building an agency or GC style business takes time. And capital. And patience. After all, the first contractor you find may not be the best fit.

What if I don’t have a General Contractor?

If you’re thinking of your business and relationship with existing clients and can’t identify the GC then there’s 2 likely scenarios.

1. You’re acting as the GC because you’re attempting to manage other team members or businesses also providing support. This can work but make sure you have the authority and are paid accordingly to take on this role.

2. The client is the GC. Usually when a client is unable to hire a project manager to protect their interests and manage their projects, the client will manage on their own. Results are mixed depending on the client’s leadership capacity, technical understanding of the projects and available time.

That interesting, but what do I do now?

Glad you asked! You know how much I love giving weekly Action Steps:

First up, identify if your business is operating as a General Contractor or a Sub Contractor in the space that you occupy. Each has benefits and drawbacks.

Second, take some time to decide if you want to be a General or Sub Contractor.

Third, infuse your chosen model of work into your marketing and branding so clients understand clearly what services you provide. If it’s helpful, link them back to this post to read about the differences.

All of this stems from the acceptance that you can’t do it all, nor should you try.

When you’re clear on that then you can build the business that you want to run to attract the clients you want to serve and reach the goals you’ve set for your company.