At any networking event I could guarantee to get every woman’s hand in the air, if I asked the question “Whose busy and never seems to have enough time?”
You see as business owners, there is always a glut of jobs that could be done. The key is to prioritise what is most important, outsource and automate. But sometimes that’s just not enough.
Many a business woman has felt like she is losing under a mountain of paperwork, emails and jobs to do. No matter how many times you cross things off of the list to do there is always something new to be added. I can appreciate that’s why business women come to me to get their minds organised, create direction and set goals to get them to the results they desire. But sometimes something else is called for.
How many of you reading this create space?
How many of you allow your mind to wander?
How many of you reading this allow yourself time to smell the crocus’s popping up or to notice the buds on the trees?
Sounds like a girly, non business focussed, fluffy idea right? But Google encourages their staff to do something they enjoy doing for 20% of their time, because they appreciate it allows for creativity, increased long term productivity, solution finding and happy people.
Latest research in Neuroscience is showing without down time, we take longer to restore, will find relaxation harder in the future and we lose our ability to concentrate and create. All of which massively impact on your business success.
So the next time you’re faced with a mountain of work, it may not strike you as the most productive approach but sometimes a little bit of nothing is the key. Creating space in your mind allows your mind to wander, and when this happens your subconscious is allowed to take over. The sub conscious from the moment you think of something is looking for the solution, and the reason you often can’t see the solution is because the conscious mind is so busy shouting instructions and getting on with the day to day stuff. Clare Lauwerys from Positive Web said “Making cheese sauce works for me. Whenever I’m stirring a cheese sauce I end up creating great ideas for my customer’s websites.”
As a business coach I help a client create space to work out what really matters and to help them direct focus to achieve. Having a non judgemental soundboard helps. And Google have gone one step further there by introducing grouplets – allowing staff to get together in working hours and work on their creative ideas, which have led to some of the great products and services that allow Google to remain at the top.
So if you find your feeling overworked, and fighting a losing battle;
Walk away for 10 minutes.
Turn your mind to a job you love doing for 20 minutes.
Before you go to sleep at night think of something that you would like a solution to and nod off. Research has shown that in the first hour before we go to sleep our mind is still processing the contents of the day, therefore your subconscious will have the space to start working on your problem while your sleeping.
Just as you ensure you are productive all day, ensure you created space in your day. In the best selling book, Art of Concentration Harriett Griffey (who spoke at The BWN a couple of times!) talked about the need to create space for productivity – it seems madness to walk away from the very issue you are trying to solve. But as we all know – “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” Mark Twain.
Time for new thinking?
As the title asked, seriously are you in love with your website?
Unfortunately the question is not if you are in love with your website but are your customers?
And more importantly, your potential customers.
Many of you already know that it takes about 3 seconds to work out if the website you are on is going to be useful so what are you doing to ensure visitors fall in love at first site?
Is it interactive? (Blogs, ideas, newsletter sign up, questionaires, reports, eBooks – can people easily learn more without having to talk directly to you – remember people want to buy when they are ready.)
Is it automatically interactive? (You need to be off earning the money, and that can’t happen if you are constantly replying to people – autoresponders will be a godsend.)
Can they get free stuff from you? (Getting known as the thought leader in your field is an ideal way of ensuring that when people are ready to buy its you they buy from.)
Are your contact details easily found? (You will be surprised by how lazy we all can be, and how easily we get turned off of the idea of picking up the phone or getting in touch.)
Is your social media links easy to access? (And tempting enough.)
Is your website too wordy? (Something that is too wordy will numb the pants off of your audience – sorry I never did go to subtle school, but short punchy relevant sentences are key – think inside your favourite customers head, what were they saying to you before you saved the day? They are the words you need to be using.)
If you have products and services are they even best served by words – many bypass Google altogether to get their answers, heading straight to YouTube and as fabulously corporate as it is to have a £1000 professional video, capturing your passion, energy and talent on film is a great way to bring you into someones office or home. Remember when surfing the net not everyone wants to read a ton of words – images and video are key.
And lastly if you don’t know the answer to these – ask your potential customers – What do you think of my website? Remember if you don’t ask you don’t get, so asking what people think is the key to knowledge and the key to finding out what & how people will fall in love with your website……and that leads to falling in love with you and all that you do and that leads to sales – Love it!
(This blog came out of my thoughts after 2 coaching sessions with clients this week and as I prepare for The Marketing Business Clinic this morning – hope you find it useful – for more ideas feel free to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org 07989935556 – because I just love hearing from you!)
Here are some examples of what the BWN does everyday for business women like you;
Business woman A worked for a large organisation and was great at her job, but now she needed to be good at marketing and networking too. Despite attending many events she was not getting the results she wanted. Thanks to the BWN she accessed like minded business women and business and development skills that have led to her networking producing great results.
Business Woman B was so low with running her own business she was reduced to tears when a coordinator asked “How’s business?” She was on the verge of quitting when she started attending the BWN and the work she had to accept was near on sole destroying to survive. Thanks to coming to the BWN she is now taking on her 1st member of staff and loves running her own business.
Meet Business Woman C, whose fear of public speaking was so severe, her voice wobbled, she gained the shakes and ran out of things to say! Within a few months of attending the BWN she was able to stand up and talk about her business to a roomful of business women and soon after was able to speak to 100+ with a microphone!
Business Womans D found that she was arguing with her loved ones over if she should go and “get a real job.” When she started attending the BWN she soon learnt new skills and made some connections that have led to 4-5 figure contracts not just in the UK but overseas too.
Meet Business Woman E & F whose businesses are growing fast. They now employ a few staff and find more and more they need to be in 2 places at once. Juggling family, work, health and life was proving to be too much. Somewhere down the line they were getting lost in mountains of paperwork and a sense of “Why am I doing this?” Thanks to coming along to The BWN they now know what they want out of business, have accessed the skills set to grow their staff and their business and are even gaining new leads even when they can’t get to a BWN event.
Lastly because Business Woman G is so amazing, we had to share this with you. Business Woman G is like many business women. Working hard day in day out. Having great weeks and tough days. Learning new skills and rising above the challenges of running her own business every day. She tenacious, she’s determined and she knows that however tough it gets there is the support and ideas to help her succeed. Business Woman G is like so many business women up and down the UK who gets on with it. But unlike many business woman Business Woman G has gained a plethora of leads, ideas and amazing opportunities thanks to attending the BWN regularly. However low she feels, she knows that The BWN is there just for her. She knows she is guranteed a roomfull of like minded business women who will motivate, inspire and connect with her for success spurning her on for another day.
So the BWN website is getting an overhaul.
I personally got raked over the coals for being too good at marketing and driving too many business women to the site and it couldn’t cope. Now that is the kind of telling off I like!
But the outcome is my IT Fairy (no really we have an IT Fairy!) said that we were going over to an even more interactive site.
The Business Women on our site would be able to use it more and it would work even better for driving traffic to their websites.
It would be easier for business women to access the information they needed.
And we would be able to add a shop with great business offerings and books from our favourite speakers.
It all sounded great……BUT…..
I like many have a passion for just getting on with it. And when confronted with something new something goes in my head. It’s my Mrs Negativity. I don’t know if you have one (But I’m betting you do) mine looks a bit like Maureen Lipman off of the BT adverts. “An ology” remember. Wow I bet I’m showing my age there!
But the fact is when she pipes up the real me. The capable, effective business women me kind of shrinks a bit. As Mrs Negativity says things like “Mmmm do you remember that time at Dads house when you broke the TV, best you leave that well alone don’t you think for the clever folk.” Then she whines “Still you are not bad at cooking, stick to that dear and leave the grown up stuff to someone cleverer. There’s no shame in being a good housewife love. Everyone needs clean floors.” Okay so there is nothing wrong with being a full time homemaker. I loved that time in my life. But the way Mrs Negativity says it she makes me feel about 5 again.
So why do we let this happen?
I know the quickest way to shut her up is to prove her wrong. And here is the thing. The minute you take action things get easier. Okay so you might make a mistake but with most things in life, that can be fixed and you can learn in the process.
The problem is the longer you hold off, you allow your Mrs Negativity to attack your success and your momentum. The less powerful you are and the stronger you make your Mrs Negativity.
Learning new things is so often an area that we procrastinate on. We hold fire. We “Wait and See” But how beneficial is that for your success?
What impact is that going to have on your business and your life?
In business there will always be a latest gadget, tool, idea that you are going to need to get your head round and you have 2 choices. 1) rise to the challengae and learn something new to grow your business and your success or 2) allow it to be an obstacle to your success.
Now who wants to put obstacles in the way of their success?
Mmmm so here I sit with a brand new layout to blog with, a new style website to up date, to interact with business women and slightly nervous as to how posting this blog will go. But Mrs Negativity (Sorry Maureen Lipman but it will always be your face I see) is firmly shut up. Oh yes I’m sure as I press a wrong key she will be there to say “told you so” but I will be ready “With don’t worry love, I have plenty of experiences of getting it right so it’s only a matter of time!” And as I say that confidently like the successful business woman I am, in my mind I am sticking my tongue out at her (Well everyone that knows me knows I’m very young and fun at heart – yes just a big kid really!)
Every time this week something new comes along. Don’t say “mmmm That looks interesting – I will look into it” Give it go. Get stuck in. And I would love to know how you get on. At the BWN there are always new things to learn, if you don’t see something you like, let us know and we will get that subject added.