So it is well and truly into the new year.
Have you made new year’s resolutions and are you still keeping them?
By complete accident early this year I came up with this year’s motto which I personally think is a little more life changing. Let me set the scene for you. I had travelled to the Mornington Penninsula where a wonderful bookkeeper friend lives and runs her business. We had met at a conference a couple of years earlier and we kept harping on about how we should just spend some quality time together planning stuff in our own businesses. So we chiselled out the first week of 2017 to do just that.
I rocked up on the Monday public holiday to her home office where she was busily doing payroll for about 60 employees. The whole process was complicated with overtime, penalty rates and different awards. A couple of hours later, with a pizza run in the middle, all of the pays had been checked, processed and paid.
Towards the end of last year I had noticed that my attitude was becoming negative but seeing my friend see what she did every week and this was only for 1 client I then realised that I have no reason whatsoever to complain.
Later that evening I was explaining to a dear friend and staff member about the payrun that took place and she came up with this corker of a phrase gratitude not grumbling.
We now have this on display in our office and it helps us every single day to not get bogged down in the negative but to be grateful for what we have even if those are challenges. What phrase or motto would you use to describe this year?
Here are some of my girlfriends phrases for the year for inspiration and the awesome thing is that we are holding each other accountable by asking each other for an example of how we have done that since seeing each other.
So often I think that we live this life as a sprint rather than a marathon.
Sometimes we often want instantaneous results in both personal and business but so often in life this is not the reality.
Being in business is not for the faint hearted or the weak. It takes perseverance and strength.
How do you cope when things get difficult?
I had a moment the other day where I had something trivial yet was crappy happen that instead of handling with strength and calmness I let it crumple me. I had a pity party but I only allowed myself to be in this place for a few short hours. I had a drink and then woke the next morning to a greater sense of perseverance.
Ask yourself the question are you passionate about what you are persevering in? Or are you miserable and stressed all the time? Maybe it has had it’s time and you now need to let it go.
On the weekend I spent time sitting around with a few ladies crafting, eating and talking.
I relish the opportunity to sit back, doing nothing but do a little craft and listen to the chatter of the other ladies.
The usual topic of conversation is about the struggles and joys about family and parenting. But yesterday my friend had said how she had recently being struck by setting her intent even before she got up. She said that instead of focusing on the little sleep she had she would consciouslly say that she is grateful for the sleep she has had. She said how it really made a difference in the perspective of her day.
It made me realise how often I go about my day not setting my intention and then getting overwhelmed or confused about what I should be doing.
So today I put this into practice and I can say that I have done all I planned; went to the gym before starting work, actually had a good time at the bank when I needed to do some personal banking and was productive in my work.
How has setting your intent made a difference in your business?
When you start something do you have the end in mind or do you just wing it and hope for the best?
So often I have found myself in business just running from one thing to the other and not giving a moment’s notice to how I am feeling, whether I am on track or forgetting that life is a marathon and not a sprint.
So how do you prepare for the day, the week, the month, the quarter and the year?
For me taking time out to reflect helps and this is usually good at the end of the year over the Christmas period however sometimes doing this during the year can be a little more difficult. But is it really difficult or is that just an excuse I am giving? I think that it is an excuse because I should be making time to work out what needs to be done, how it is going to be done and by whom in advance rather than while I am already running and then trip or get fatigued and wonder if I will finish the race.
What strategies do you have for preparing for the work that you need to do?
So what processes and systems do you have in place to complete the tasks in your business or in communicating with your staff?
For me it has been very liberating to move away from just storing everything in my head or using a whiteboard or pen and paper to remind me to do things.
As business has grown this way I doing things became more and more stressful and I continued to look for ways to work better and not forgetting to do things. We now have a task management system in place – Wrike (www.wrike.com), a system for emails – Outlook (www.Outlook.com) and a Work in Progress (WIP) folder for emails still needed to be answered and a centralised system for all client work with staff and clients – Dropbox (www.dropbox.com) and Google Drive (www.google.com/drive).
Depending on what industry you are in there are specific task management software, programs and apps that can assist you with you completing your job.
Is there something that you could be doing better in your business in regards to how you complete tasks? What will you do to make this better?
What is the first reaction when someone owes you money and how do you manage this?
I have one client who didn’t know how much money was owed to him when I first started working with him. Over the months we discovered how much was owing to him and we were able to successfully recover money. Woot!! This is exciting stuff!!
Once we started this process my client then started looking at how he could make the process of collecting money even better so that he could spend less time on chasing debt.
A new system is now in place for this client and his able to get money a lot quicker because this process is a lot more streamlined.
What change can you make in your business to improve your cashflow?
Efficiency, it is a great word isn’t it? But what does it mean? A quick google search reveals that it means: 1) achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense. 2) working in a well-organised and competent way.
So are you efficient in how you do things? Could you be using your time more wisely? Is there an area where you struggle because you lack the skills or knowledge?
Last year I had my emails connected on multiples devices and I was nearly constantly checking my emails. No joke it would be the first thing I did when I woke and it would be the last thing I did before I went to sleep. But the thing was I thought I was being efficient by answering the emails right then and there even if it meant that it was late at night when I was answering it. But was this well-organised? No. Was I achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense? No.
I deleted my emails off my phone and other devices and now only have email access on my laptop. I am now able to achieve maximum productivity with minimum effort and I am working in a well organised and competent way as I am just focusing on this task.
What changes can you make to be more efficient?