Episode 99

Episode 99: Having A Productive Summer


What you’ll learn in this episode:

Wow has this summer been a bit of a whirlwind for me as we’ve navigated into summer camps and changing kid schedules. To be transparent, I knew moving into this summer that things were going to shift, but I didn’t know quite how much they were going to shift.

Today’s episode is coming to you real-time, with me sharing how I’ve switched things up this summer, and what I’m doing to keep my summer productive while working through a new schedule and shifting days with my kids, vacations, and all the things that summer brings with it (many of which can be unpredictable and can throw us off of our game if we don’t plan accordingly).

I share the 5 things I’m doing in my business to keep productivity high and my sanity in tact (and even allowing for the unexpected changes to happen and to be able to embrace them – both for good and bad).

Take a listen to the episode to find out how you can keep your business thriving through the summer while navigating the shifting tides like an expert (and having some fun along the way too!)

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • Understand why dedicated business hours are important (both during a shifting summer and at any time)
  • Learn one of the most important things to ensure you keep your funnel full and people coming into your business
  • Why knowing your “1 Thing”, and making sure you get it done, is crucial
  • Automate, automate, automate – and learn to love leveraging technology whenever you can
  • Love your best laid plans, and also be prepared for when they go astray

Mentioned in this episode:

Rock Your Biz

The One Thing by Gary Keller

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Work/Connect with me:

Canyon Ranch Fall 2023 Retreat

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[00:01] Hello podcast listeners! And welcome to this week’s episode of the It’s Your offer podcast. Happy Summer! I hope all of you are enjoying your summer and really taking advantage of some of these beautiful, long, lazy days and dialing up the fun that I think summer is made for. Today’s podcast is coming to you real-time because I have navigated into this summer in a very different way than I have before. One of the biggest shifts that we have been having this summer has been the schedule with our children, for many of you that have been listening for a while you know that we have two young children that are elementary school age. And for the past summers, we have had somebody come, a babysitter, come and watch our kids. And basically they stayed at home for the summertime and did things sort of around the house and the neighborhood. But this year with both kids now in school, and we’ve transition away from the babysitters that we usually used, we are now in a situation where we have signed the kids up for different activities and camps for their summer so they can enjoy their time.

[01:15] And so could we in some capacity. This has introduced a whole new world for me, logistically, practically, emotionally, having my routine and my schedule in the summer be so different than what I have been used to for the last six months has caused me to really rethink what how my day flows, what I’m doing, and how do I prioritize things in my business during the summer, so that I can get the same results that I got during the year. But also so that I can navigate through the schedule that is now new. And also have a fun summer, which is really important for me, personally. And also, it’s important in the way that I run my business so that the people that are part of my team, and part of my business can also have a great summer too. So things don’t become so crazy.

[02:18] And I believe that if you want to continue, or if you want to have a thriving business that continues to grow and continues to make money, you need to learn how to be productive, and navigate the changes that inevitably come into your world into your environment throughout the year. And it could be a summer schedule is changing. Or maybe there’s a holiday schedule coming up, a lot of times people shift at the end of the year or beginning of the year, maybe there’s a vacation time. And you know, at some point during there could be a variety of things that cause you to have to shift what it is that you’re doing in a way that allows you to continue to be productive. When things change from the kind of the status quo. This could also be something very unexpected, like you know, getting sick or getting hurt or a loved one needing your attention. I could go on and on.

[03:21] But the bottom line here is if you want to be productive, and I’m just for the sake of this episode, I’m going to talk about if you want to have a productive summer, in the midst of your schedule shifting, because it’s a new time of the year and maybe your kids are doing different things or you’re doing different things, you need to learn what are those best practices, those most important practices to keep in mind to keep that productivity up.

[03:50] So today, I’m going to share with you what I have been doing for the last let’s see, what are we in July now. So the last month that I think has been crucial for me being able to stay productive and continue to grow my business and continue the momentum going. Even though to be completely transparent, this schedule is a really rocking my world. It was I didn’t expect that it was going to shift so much. But it really has. And so I wanted to come on here and share with you really the five things that I think that you can do right now as a business owner, to have a productive summer and to keep your business growing and thriving while you keep your sanity. And you also keep the fun intact in your summer.

[04:35] So here are the things number one, you need to have dedicated business hours I am a stickler for this. I think it is so important for there to be some structure around your day. And it to be clear to you and for your planning purposes when you are going to quote unquote be working. So setting business hours and those business hours would change day to day depending on what your schedule is, but having some structure around your day when you are working and when you are not. And being very clear with yourself, what that looks like, putting it on the calendar, communicating it to your team, communicating gets your clients or anybody else who is relying on you, so they know what to expect. And also so that you can be sure that you have that dedicated time to actually do the work to do work. I want to say as a caveat, and this will sort of roll into some of the other best practices that I’m sharing here. It doesn’t mean you have to have a ton of time some people get into this mindset, like I need eight hours every day, or I need to find four hours, there is no magic bullet of time. And I will argue that you need less time, the more clear you get with the things that you actually have to get done. So that you know how much time that you will need and or that you will just give yourself to make that happen. But the most important thing is that there is an intentional time on your calendar, regardless of how long or short it is, that is your dedicated time to work in your business. So that’s the first thing is have dedicated business hours, know what they are, and be very clear with those with those hours.

[06:27] The second piece is, a lot of times when we get into this spin sort of a place where there’s a lot of stuff going on and things are shifting, we ended up focusing on a lot of administrative tasks, a lot of things in our business. And we forget that a big part of the growth trajectory in our businesses is to keep the visibility and the outreach and the connection to our network. So those business building activities going, I had, I think four calls with four different clients today. And I will tell you, 100% of them said to me, I know that I need to be reaching out and connecting with people, I know that I need to be working. But it’s just I haven’t been doing lately, or it’s the thing that gets caught in the crosshairs, basically. And I’m here to tell everybody who’s listening to this. It’s okay, we are all guilty of this. But when I tell you that the connections that you make, the relationships that you build, and the networking that you do is the lifeblood of your business, and any business building activities. And that doesn’t mean that you have to go like meet with people one on one type of outreach. But any way that you are showing up to connect with other people outside of your business is crucial for growing your business and growing your audience and growing that group of potential clients that are going to buy from you. So in whatever way you need to do that. The second thing that I want to mention is that you need to have specific time on your calendar for the outreach and visibility. I have found that if I don’t put that on my calendar, it gets pinched. You know, you’re just, it’s tyranny of the urgent if the client that’s right in front of you, it’s all of the things. And as people who are running, you know, busy and successful businesses, we forget to keep that part of our business going. So putting that time on your calendar. And for me, my coach gave me the advice and I’m totally taking it to make sure that you do that for like an hour a day, if you can, and you could break it up, it could be 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes in the evening and sprinkled in, but you want to try if you can, to kind of have it amount to an hour of engagement. You know, I think that’s an important piece is, you know, an hour of engagement a day, if you don’t have the time, do a little bit less, but touch it every day so that you continue to keep that stream of interested people leads coming to you also going to touch on this point later on in the podcast. But some of that you absolutely can automate. So thinking about that, and keeping that in mind, you don’t have to literally be standing in front of people every single time or even doing that virtually, you can automate some piece of that, so that you are quote unquote, showing up for people and being visible. I lost social media, your lead magnet, you know, et cetera, et cetera, and not actually having to physically be in front of people.

[09:21] The third thing, which I think is really important, and this is something that I try to really put into my business all the time, but when it comes to the summer and shifting schedules, and potentially having less time or it’s more sort of tumultuous, for lack of a better word. It’s getting clear on what the one most important thing that needs to get done is in your business, that thing that is going to move the needle the most, and making sure that whatever you do, you do not end that day without getting it done. This is so important. And for all of you, sidenote who have not read the book, the one thing you absolutely We need to read it. This is a whole concept behind what is the one most important thing that you need to do in your business or in your day, that’s going to move the needle the most in your business and move you toward your growth. So when you wake up in the morning, and my offer to you is try to identify what this thing is the night before. So that when you start your day, the next day, whatever you sit down at that desk of yours, or whenever, wherever you are, where you’re starting your day, you tackle that one most important thing first, if at all possible. So you want to identify what is the one thing that if you do that thing that’s going to have the biggest impact, and you want to make sure that you do not end that day without getting nothing done. And if you can do it first thing, this also feeds back to this idea of dedicated business hours and things like that is that when you know the most important thing that you need to get done, and you know what it is you want to do, you can then plan how much time you need. And I would also argue, you will use the amount of time that you give yourself. So really keep that in mind. The less time you give yourself, the more efficient you become. It’s like a law of the universe. So think about the thing that you really need to get done, make sure you’re really clear on what that most important thing is, and give yourself a finite amount of time to do it. And you will be shocked at how quickly you get it done and how efficient you become.

[11:29] The fourth thing, which I also alluded to earlier was automation. You want to be automating everything you possibly can. And leveraging technology wherever you can. This is really important because we spend a lot of time doing things that we don’t need to be doing. Or there’s so many manual things that take up time in our day that we don’t need to be doing that we can automate or delegate or leverage technology to do it. A perfect example of this is if you do not have a calendar system, where you have it set up with your office hours or your available time for people to book calls, console calls, client calls, whatever it is, so that the only thing that you need to be doing is literally cutting pasting that link to send to somebody, if they want to talk to you or book any time with you. You are wasting a tremendous amount of time. Any of these calendar systems, they’re like $10 a month, you probably don’t need anything that sophisticated as an example. And you just literally click and it’s done. It is a whole different ballgame. Then let me open up my calendar. Let me get into my phone. Let me look at what we’re I’m available sending somebody a text message, then they send one back, oh, my goodness, forget it. It’s like a nightmare. So any way that you can automate and leverage the technology to make the time that you have more productive and efficient, again, especially in these timeframes, where things can be shifting, you know, day to day, sometimes hour to hour, I hate to say it, it’s really important that you streamline that. So where in your business, can you automate your calendar is one example. You know, can you go into your email box and set certain parameters? So certain messages if they come in go into certain folders? Can you automate the onboarding process for your clients? Can you automate reminders for people, whatever it is, leverage the technology and automate, automate, automate wherever you can. Also, leveraging technology is often a lot cheaper than headcount and a and when it comes to these repeated tasks, there, it’s also a lot more reliable. So you know, how can you also optimize your finances by leveraging some of this automation as well.

[13:47] And then the last but not least, number five, is you want to plan in a buffer, like the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray. We’ve all heard this. It’s your ideal day. It’s all on the calendar beautifully. Everything locks in and then bam, all hell breaks loose, breaks loose, something happens, right? You oversleep or your kid is sick, or you know, something goes down, who knows? I could sit here all day and talk to you about all the possibilities. The bottom line is you want to allow for flex. You want there to be some padding in your day, especially also, as you’re getting into this new routine if you’re like I am now where I’m kind of coming into that place where I’m sort of getting it but every week is sort of a different thing. Because we have the kids in so many different programs. It’s like you get there but then you’re still like learning you’re still adjusting. You know giving yourself that grace to adjust and not to be in this emotional place where your hair is standing on end because everything is so packed in and there is no room for error. So that might look like padding your calendar a little bit, that might look like leaning on a team member for backup. If you have a VA or an administrative assistant, which many of you do, it’s communicating with them and just having that as a stopgap. It’s also giving yourself some grace in there just in the sense that you’re not doing something like for example, you know, having a call back-to-back to back-to-back, which I will just say I’m definitely guilty of, but trying to just provide a little bit more space, so you have that flex.

[15:31] The other piece of this as far as planning, the buffer is not just for when things go crazy and arrive like when they’re breaking down. But if you live up here in the northeast, like I do, let’s just talk about last week, and the fact that literally, it rained. And I don’t mean rain, I mean, it poured for like five of the seven days. And I am super grateful for the rain, we needed it. However, when that sun came out, let me tell you, there were so many of us that were like to protect myself from seasonal affective disorder I need to get outside right now. So really allowing that buffer for your fun, and your inspiration and your passion to come up to the surface and allow you the freedom that frankly, so many of us became an entrepreneur for.

[16:20] And like I said, summers are about fun, it’s about the lazy days of summer, it’s about the beach reads, which I am absolutely trying to embrace this year. And it’s you know, having a business and having it thrive. And having fun, is how it’s supposed to be. You are allowed to and should be able to be productive and have a business that thrives and do the other stuff. And so when you plan for that, like I am going to intentionally plan so that when that fun shows up and almost like plan, knowing I am going to leave this open for the fun to show up, then you really can embrace the moment. And that’s really the most important piece. All of these pieces, when it comes to keeping our summer productive and having our business be productive. All of these pieces are really about creating the life and the reality that we want as business owners. And I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, I do think you can have it all, I think the most important piece is you need to get clear on what that is. And you need to reverse engineer that plan. And you need to allow for some of that flex. And I am going to say that this summer has given me a great learning opportunity. For me, it’s kind of flexing those muscles, and helping me remember like you can do it your way. But there’s just a few things that you need to put in place as best practices in order for you to do that.

[17:47] And so this is a little reminder for all of you to because I’m pretty sure that most of the people listening to this podcast, they want to have their business thrive, they want to continue to grow, but they don’t want to do it at the expense of their fun summer time with their family, and maybe some luxurious beach days, and vacation as well.

[18:04] So to recap, number one, set dedicated business hours if you want to have a productive summer. Number one set, dedicated business hours know when you’re going to be working. Make that on your calendar, make sure you communicate to the people that you need to communicate it to your team, your clients, etc. Number two, Plan time for outreach and visibility. Your business grows when you connect with people outside of it. And that outreach time and connecting and networking is really important. So make sure that there is dedicated time every day to keep that part of your business those that inbound traffic and touching those people and building relationships with people outside of your business top of mind. It will be very important when it comes to continuing your growth. Number three, identify what the one most important thing that needs to get done in your day. And make sure you get it done. Get it done before the end of the day. And if at all possible, make it the first thing that you knock off your list in the morning. Number four, automate, automate, automate, automate and leverage the tech as much as you can and wherever you can, there are so many things you do not need to spend your time doing. You do not need to have it be done just in time so that if something shifts or you know you need to be doing something else, now that thing’s not going to get done because you are the linchpin, automated, automated automated as much as you can. And five last but not least planning those buffers plan in the buffers for the inevitable thing that’s going to go awry. Planning the buffer for the thing that’s going to fall through but most importantly, plan in the buffer for you to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way the fun the sunshine, the joy, the passion that you know opportunity to spend that extra time with your family or whatever it is that you want to be doing friends lunching you deserve it your business owner and you are amazing. Till next week, everyone have an awesome and productive summer week!