How to be Relentless: 3 Steps to Laser Focused, Fast Implementation, All the Time (Read Time: 6 min.)

RelentlessEver wiffle-waffle on a major life decision?

I have… on quite a few things.

And one area where I do the least wiffle-waffling is my business.

Why?

Because entrepreneurial success only happens when you apply RELENTLESS, persistent, consistent focus to a small number of things over a LONG period of time.

And most aspiring entrepreneurs stay “aspiring” because they do the opposite.  They focus on every Shiny Object that comes their way (thus the term Shiny Object Syndrome, aka SOS) and then wonder why not one of their “projects” have taken off.

Here’s the thing:

Successful people make decisions quickly and change their minds slowly.  If what you want is long term business success, you’ve got to get very clear (very fast) on what business activities will achieve the results you seek and be willing to stay the course UNTIL they do…

If you struggle with making big business decisions and sticking to the path, here are 3 steps to laser focused, fast implementation all the time:

STEP 1: Identify 3 revenue streams (1 long term, 2 short term)

One revenue stream in your business (example: being a life coach who only sees clients 1:1) is the same thing as having a job.  When your livelihood is based solely on one source of income, you commit a deadly sin of business that James Altucher writes about in his post 10 Reasons You Have to Quit Your Job This Year:

“I don’t like it when one person can make or break me.  A boss.  A publisher.  A TV producer.  A buyer of my company.  At any one point I’ve had to kiss ass to all of the above.  I hate it.  I will never do it again.”

You  might think you don’t have enough time to create three streams of revenue in your brand new business.  Guess what?  You don’t have time NOT to…

Here’s the reality: 

If you give one target market the power to feed you, you also give them the power to starve you.  Don’t set up your business that way.  Instead, identify 3 revenue streams (preferably a long term revenue stream plus two faster returning, short term revenue streams) that can bring money into your business.  Choose revenue streams that are scalable (i.e. don’t require you trading hours for dollars).

For example, my 3 revenue streams are:

  1. ebooks on Amazon (You can find my books at http://www.overcomingfearbooks.com)
  2. Online courses (Fear to Power Course)
  3. Voiceover work

The online courses are my long term revenue stream while writing ebooks on Amazon and doing voiceover work provides faster cash in shorter intervals.

Yes, you’re building an empire.  Support the process with immediate, consistent cash flow.

STEP 2: Time block your business activities based on priority. 

Sales activities come first… always.

Notice I didn’t say ‘networking events.’  Unless an activity has or is generating revenue in your business, it doesn’t need to be the thing that you do at your peak time of the day.  Whether you’re a morning or a night person, whatever time of day you’re in peak state needs to be the time of day you do sales.

What if you don’t have a product or service to sell?

You still have an email list to build and you need to start getting people onto that list (so selling is the key).

Product creation time needs to be blocked off and protected (i.e. no distractions, cellphones, grocery store trips, or walks on the beach).  Use a 60-20-60 approach (credit goes to Peter Voogd who outlines this in his book Six Months to Six Figures) where you work for 60 minutes, take a 20 minute break and do something else and then work for 60 more minutes.

STEP 3: Focus on the next 3 steps (and nothing else)

What are the next three simple, strategic steps you can take in your business to achieve your goals?  Write them down and don’t consider anything else for your To-Do list until those are done.

At the end of the day, being relentlessly focused is super simple but not necessarily easy.  It’s about being able to say a lot of Nos so you can get to an extraordinary YES.

You don’t need to be perfect to get it right but you do need to be consistent.  The focus you have will always be the focus you choose.

Choose wisely…

Want help in developing relentless focus?

Click to read Achieve One Dream: 8 Steps to Unstoppable Achievement

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Is Your Pride Hijacking Your Health? Why Women Breadwinners Need to Stop, Look, & Listen… (Read Time: 4 min.)

School 8I used to insist upon doing it all: myself, right, and perfect the FIRST time.

I used to expect, on the rare occasion that I asked for help, that people did it just like me, right, and perfect the FIRST time.

I used to shake my head in absolute knowing when people let me down, didn’t show up or didn’t do what I wanted to my super high standards.

And then I experienced serious, prolonged, and seemingly never-ending burnout… and I was left with no other choice but to ask AND accept help… REAL help.

Women breadwinners know what I’m talking about.  99.9% of all moms know what I’m talking about.

You want help.  You desperately wish people would psychically know that you need help… but you refuse to bow to the level of needing to ASK for help.

It’s this kind of pride that winds you up in one of three states:

1) Crazy

2) Sick

3) Mega-resentful

And, very often, in all three at the same time.

So here’s the question:

Is your pride hijacking your health?

Is your wanting to do it right, do it perfect, and do it yourself the FIRST time exactly the thing that is keeping you annoyed, frustrated, exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed ALL of the time?

It might be… and if you are the woman who’s bringing home the bacon, the financial provider of your household with all of the responsibilities that this role entails, what will it take for you to release, relax, and replenish so you have the health you need to keep bringing home the bread?

Here’s what it will take:

  1. Honesty.  Pull out a calendar and see how far your 24 hour day will take you.  When you’ve got 50 things on your plate, guess what?  It won’t take you that far.  In fact, you’ll be lucky if you get 3 MAJOR things done in one day.  When you get honest with how little time you actually have in a given day (yes, subtract out bathroom time, commuting time, and all the other 5-20 minute tasks we love to forget we actually have to do throughout the day), you start to realize that, no, it won’t all get done today but at least two or three big things will get done.  When you get real about your time, you begin to use it better (and criticize yourself less about all the things you didn’t have the time to do).
  2. Vulnerability.  I don’t like this word.  It sounds fragile, weak and painfully open but it’s clearly the thing you need when you have to open up your heart and ask people to REALLY help you.  I don’t mean the “let-me-give-you-the-small-tasks-that-you-couldn’t-really-mess-up-if-you-tried” kind of help.  I mean, “Can you watch the kids all day Saturday?” or “Can you cook all the meals this week?” or “Can you stay with the kids while I take a weekend away?” kind of help that requires the vulnerability it takes to say, “As much as I’d like to do this all on my own, I’m not an island.  I’m tired and I need help and your help is absolutely necessary to my success.”  That kind of vulnerability is scary but VERY necessary if you’re going to stay healthy and sane.
  3. Vigilance.  There comes a point where you have to become a master of two words: Yes and No.  Creating and keeping healthy boundaries are critical to keeping your life in harmony.  Forget about having balance.  The problem with balance is that it can never be maintained.  The moment you add one thing to one scale, you throw the other scale out of whack.  What we’re going for is harmony, different things taking a different level of priority at different times but all of it blending together to make beautiful music.  Sometimes, work will take 70% of you and family 30%.  At other times, family will be the 80% and work the 20%.  Be okay with harmony and forget about balance.  The best way to do that comes in being vigilant about creating and keeping your healthy boundaries.

Having all three is a work-in-progress lifetime process.  Don’t worry about getting it perfect.  Just get it going.

Here’s your first step:

Delegate a major responsibility that annoys and frustrates you to someone who you know can and will handle it…

and then don’t micromanage how they handle it…

for the next 14 days.

Yeah… not easy but oh so worth it…

5 Things the Pew Research Report on Women Breadwinners Isn’t Telling You (Read Time: 7 min.)

pew reportOn May 29th, the Pew Research Report on Breadwinner Moms came out and it caused a firestorm of controversy.  The mere fact that the percentage of households with breadwinning moms went from 11% in 1960 to 40% in 2011 was enough to make the world take notice.  Every media outlet was declaring the rise and dominance of the alpha female.  But, having read that report in its entirety, there are a number of things the report did not cover.  It didn’t discuss the quality of life lived by families where the wife is the breadwinner (socioeconomic status, quality of life, marital and familial satisfaction).  It didn’t dive deeper into what support and resource measures are required to help young, single, never married mothers do a better job of providing for their children.  It didn’t look further into the disparity between the percentage of people under 30 who felt that women breadwinning in a marriage or family was no issue versus the increased number of people in their 30s and 40s who felt that it was (hint: maybe it’s because most under 30 aren’t married with kids yet and most in their 30s and 40s are… #justsayin).  And the Pew Report provided no concluding thoughts on where the discussion needs to go next, how to create a paradigm shift for the 40% of households where mom does run the show, and how husbands and wives can embrace the new experience of family life without losing their identities and sense of purpose in the relationship.

The Pew Report was a starting point but it’s not a report that you look at and cry, “Return women to the home!” or yell, “More power to women!”  This is a much more complicated issue than either of these proclamations can even grasp.  What we need now is a bigger conversation, a deeper dialogue, one in which we unashamedly and fearlessly open our mouths and our lives to the realities of what it means to be women breadwinners in a world that still doesn’t fully embrace the idea.  It’s time for husbands to rally with their wives and openly discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of being Mr. Mom, Mr. Desi Ball, the husband of Sandra Bullock, or Reese Witherspoon’s sidekick.  We need to talk about the phenomena that happens all too often when a woman rises in her career… only to find her marriage falling apart at the seams.  We need to get into the discussion about why some men can’t hang with a powerful woman… even though they’d met her before the altar… and why some women lack the tools and skills necessary to embrace their divine feminine side and wind up feeling like the “man” when there’s a time to be the woman, not the boss.

Women breadwinner relationships are complex.  All relationships are.  But to narrow that down to one 18+ page report and to have Fox pundits acting like misogynistic coo coo birds and to have media outlets all over the world crying “Look what happened while we were asleep!” as if this revolution hasn’t existed since the beginning of time is an absolute slap in the face to the millions of women who fought and died for every right every woman has today.  Your great-great-great-grandmother dreamed that May 29th would come.  She dreamed that her female offspring would have even half the opportunities we have now… but never in that dream did she imagine that people would question the fall of man or the destruction of the family simply because women contribute more by being MORE of who they are.  If the tables were turned, we would never question a man’s rise financially, educationally or socioeconomically.  We’d pat him on the back and say, “We knew this day would come.”

It’s high time we gave every woman breadwinner a high five and say, “I knew this day would come.  Well done powerful lady!  Well done!”

Want to know the 5 things I believe the Pew Research Report

on Women Breadwinners isn’t telling you?

Click below and listen my podcast on it:

https://soundcloud.com/womenbreadwinners/women-breadwinners-and-the-pew