Virtual Assistant Leah

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Steps to take to Stay on Track with your Goals

You believe you’re on the right track. You have defined your career goals, and you’ve even set up a daily priority plan. Now effective time management should kick in and simply take care of itself, right?

Not so fast! As you become more productive, you may find that you’ll be forced to make choices. Some of these choices, if made properly, will lead you to even greater heights, or if made poorly will lead you to career disappointment.

Let’s use Ted as an example. Ted is a composite character made up of thousands of salespeople from around the country. Let’s look at Ted’s career: Ted has recently made some big changes in his career. These changes have expanded his prospecting skills and his presentation skills – so now several things are happening to him that have never happened before. 

First he’s got too many customers, so he feels pulled into many directions at once. 

Second, he can feel himself slipping on service with his customers. He’s not returning phone calls promptly, not following up, and basically dropping the ball. 

Third, he’s beginning to spend more time away from home, his children are beginning to become distant, and his spouse is becoming resentful of the business!

Sound familiar? Are these challenges you’ve faced? Unfortunately, when faced with these dilemmas, many salespeople resort to something we have all done at some point in our careers. They take steps to sabotage their own success.

Consider this quote from Dr. Joyce Brothers – “We cannot consistently perform at a level inconsistent with our own self image.” Is this true of you? Many salespeople view their new found success with suspicion. Why? Because they have rarely experienced it and may have a difficult time adjusting to a new self image. 

So instead of embracing success many salespeople will reverse course and begin to swim back to their old lives. How do they do this? Most salespeople don’t wake up one morning and say “Well, today I’m going to start failing!” Instead most salespeople just begin making bad decisions. These poor decisions can lead to a bad case of self sabotage and a career crash.

So you may ask yourself how can I succeed in my business but also not feel overwhelmed? How can I continue giving great service to my customers? And most importantly how can I stop working 80 hour weeks and still be productive?

Let’s look at these ways to Stay on track with your goals:

1. Relegate/Delegate/Terminate 

When studying your daily to do list (you have one right) you may find that you just have way too many items on the list to possibly accomplish. So what can you do? Apply the simple but effective RDT method.

Relegate – First decide which of the items on the list must be done to accomplish your long term goals. These of course, are your priorities. You must relegate yourself to the fact that these items must be done and most importantly done first.

Delegate – Next when reviewing your to do list ask yourself is there anyone that could be doing these items instead of me? Can you outsource it, hire it done, or could some else be doing this work? Wise salespeople attempt to delegate as much as possible. 

If there is a large project you need assistance with, ActiV Business Development Services can help you with a variety of tasks related to business and blogging.

Terminate – What is on your to do list that does not have to be done? Are there items that are nothing more than busy work? If you can’t terminate them, at least, put them on the very bottom of the list. 

2. Choosing your customers or clients

As your career begins to pick up steam you may find that you cannot simply work with every customer. You may need to begin choosing your customers. How? Qualify them harder. 

This may seem harsh at first, after all you want to work with everyone, but in the end you will be unable to work with everyone. 

This is one of the toughest aspects of time management: Knowing which priority takes priority. All customers are good, but the fact is some are better than others. 

Here is a quick way to qualify your customers:

Motivation Level – Do they really want to buy? 

Timing – Are they ready to act now! Or are they stalling? 

Ability – Can they close the deal?

3. Deal with Paper Once

How many times do you move one piece of paper around on your desk? Come on, it’s more than just once! We all know we should do something about the piece of paper, but we decide that for now, it will look good in a new corner until next week (or the week after). So we keep shuffling, and shuffling, and shuffling. Sometimes one piece of paper becomes two pieces of paper or more.

I still do this and have hundreds of papers that I’m still organizing around my desk from research and ideas to come back too.

So what can we do about it? Use the one touch rule. Only touch paper once before you do something with it. There are three uses for every piece of paper you have on your desk – Here they are:

File It – Put it where it needs to go – Which is off your desk! 

Toss it – don’t hoard unimportant papers or things (I find this one to be a bit difficult because I do tend to hoard some things).

Deal With it – If it requires your attention do something with it!

Now when it comes to item number three let me give you a tip: Deal with paper once a day! Set aside just one time during the day to deal with paper, deal with it and move on! 

4. Automate Yourself

How long does it take to make ten phone calls? Believe me it takes some time. You have to look up the phone number, dial it, wait for it to ring, and then you have to talk to someone on the other end. 

What makes it time consuming is that you if you beat around the bush awhile until you get to the topic you really called about.

So what is the solution? Force yourself to focus on the reason for your call, and in a polite, tactful way, cut to the chase. Your contact at the other end will appreciate you not wasting their time as well.

Email is another simple solution. How long does it take to email those same ten people? Not long, especially if your message is the same to each one.

Superstars learn to condition their customers to the fact that they will be communicating with them primarily by email, with a few sporadic calls mixed in. The truth is most of them will be relieved. Why? Because they don’t have the time to talk to you either!

Another way to automate is automating some emails, like an email that let’s the other person know you received an email and will get back to them in 24 hours or less. Or Messenger bots, they can click on your messenger bot where you have sequences that to your FAQ page or scheduler.

5. Time Log

Can you remember what you did five days ago? Hey, I can’t remember what I did five hours ago! But when you are trying to improve your time management skills you must have the ability to measure your actions against your results. Within the investment world we call this the ROI or return on investment.

What is your return on investment for your time? The only way to measure this key aspect of your business, is to take periodic stock of your business. Do this with a time log. A time log is a simple notebook, in which you record all of your business activities for a week and then compare your success with your actions. 

If you find that your actions did not equal success then it may be time to reevaluate your time investments.

Another tool that you can use is Toggl, a free tool by the way, and one of my favorites.

I hope you found this post useful. It’s difficult to keep track of everything and keep everything organized when working towards your goals. What tools are resources do you use? And don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments! 

Benefits of Time Management

Does it ever feel as though you don’t have enough waking hours in the day? That’s a fairly typical feeling for almost everyone and it can cause a lot of stress. For many working adults they have a lot to juggle. Full-time jobs mixed with busy family life can result in a person feeling overwhelmed.

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Define Your Happiness with a Vision Board

When was the last time you dreamed? I don’t mean when you woke up from a weird Alice-in-Wonderland-type dream; when was the last time you had BIG dreams of what you wanted to do or where you wanted to go? What motivates you to move forward in your business, other than the need to pay bills?

So often solopreneurs forget about the big picture of why they started their business and they get burnt out after putting so much concentrated focus on their daily business tasks. It happens, after accomplishing some goals and getting some of the things I wanted, there would be times when I wasn’t sure what I wanted anymore.

I find that Neelam Rai’s 5-Step Angelic Ritual to Start Attracting Money & Abundance helped me reach several of my goals. I was able to cross off some of the things I wanted and wasn’t sure what I wanted after I had the things I’ve gotten.

Looking back to my vision board and goal notebook helps remind me of my other goals and things I want. 

[insert image of my vision board and goal notebook]

Do you have anything to look forward to while growing your business? What’s your ultimate goal?

Remember, there are no wrong answers here but there should absolutely be some answers. If not, it’s time to define what makes you happy and what will motivate you to move forward and grow your business. 

Define Your Goals

Think about what you want simply by asking yourself some questions and be specific and detailed when answering these questions:

  • • Where do you want to be with your business in the next year? In 5 years? In 10 years?
  • • How much money do you want to make in these same time frames?
  • • Do you want to hire employees or a virtual team?
  • • What services or products do you want to offer your clients?
  • • Where do you want to live?
  • • What’s on that bucket list?

For example, I want to work with a virtual team in my business in the near future. One person will be a copywriter that will help improve my current content and help create new content. Another member will specialize in making and editing tutorial videos I plan to create more on topics related to my business. 

Why do I want to complete this goal? It will help me create more content faster and earn more money by repurposing the content into different formats like a paid program or product. I can add more affiliate links and opportunities too to increase affiliate income. 

Why do I want to have more money? I want to be financially secure, purchase the things I want, help more people in my community, and charities for wildlife.

When will I work with a virtual team? When I start earning $3,000 a month consistently with more than one income source, I want to be able to afford their services before I work with them.

If I put a timeframe on this and steps to take toward this goal, it can help me stay on track to achieving it. Having a vision board with images and inspirational quotes (like the ones I showed above) is also helpful and a nice reminder to look at each day.

I’ve also seen some gurus online say they are motivated to earn more because then they are able to give more to their favorite charities and causes that are close to their hearts. 

Again, there are no wrong answers when defining your goals. It’s more important to have them defined so you know when you reach those goals so you can find something new to achieve.

Create a Vision Board for Daily Motivation

I like creating vision boards because they are visual reminders of what you want to achieve. They also serve as a daily reminder of what makes you happy and they are meant to give you motivation when you just don’t feel like working that day. 

Take those answers to your goals questions and find visual representation for each one. Most people use old magazine pictures and paste them on a piece of poster board. Go digital and use online photos to paste into a Word document. Take notice of photos that catch your eye, even if it doesn’t specifically answer a goal question. There’s something that attracted your subconscious to the photo so it’s worth posting on your vision board. 

Post your vision board prominently in your office or as your computer wallpaper so you can see it every day. And remember that action is mandatory in order to reach those goals.

To know what action to take, you can break your goals into smaller pieces and into a step by step process. After that, schedule it in a planner and calendar and stick to it, working on your goals little by little each day.

Tumblr and Instagram for inspiration

Another place to find inspiration and motivation to work toward your goals are social media platforms like Tumblr and Instagram. I found that people use these websites as motivation and stay accountable for their studies in their education and goals. They are called studyblrs (a combination of study and tumblr), they also post their content on Instagram. 

Although their content is more about academic education, their content helped me stay on track towards my goals. I like the pictures they post of their study areas, like a beautiful scenery, a desk with nice stationery supplies, and how they use their planners. 

The planners they used were sometimes called bullet journals. And they would share tips on how to study, stay motivated, and resources related to their interests (like botany).

As you can see, it takes more than just writing down your goals in order to reach them. You need to be specific so you know which steps to take. You need to be able to see it, to help you believe it and remind you to keep going. You need to keep track of your progress so you know what you completed and celebrate these victories.

Do you have a vision board? Where do you keep it? I keep mine in my room above my computer and where I can see it when I wake up in the morning 🙂

It’s Time to Take Action

No amount of advice or “how-to” information is going to do any good without taking action. You could become an expert on setting up websites or be the best writer in the world. If you don’t start putting yourself out there, it will all be meaningless.

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