5 Quotes to Grow Your Business

Sometimes what we need is a little inspiration to keep us chugging along towards our business growth goals. These five quotes have jumped out at me in my reading lately and I just had to share. You will see my core beliefs here. Our passion only comes to life in a transformational way when it is partnered with action.

Collaboration is better than competition. – Mara Shorr

1. To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business and your business in your heart. – Thomas Watson, Sr.

True passion comes from the inside out. The people who survive the business building journey through to success are the ones who simply couldn’t NOT do their business. When your motives on the inside drive powerful, strategic actions on the outside, you will have a winning outcome. It’s only a matter of time.

2. Dreams don’t work until you do. – John C. Maxwell

Making this business dream come to life involves rolling up your sleeves and getting the job done. There is no delegating leadership, and no shying away from your potential if you want to grow your business. I use the phrase Love Gift when I refer to the things we can do best to make the biggest impact in the world.

3. Collaboration is better than competition. – Mara Shorr

Those who want to travel fast go alone, but those who want to travel far go together. Yes, you will be breaking new ground and forging new pathways, but if you keep your tribe connected to the vision and inspire them to come with you, the journey will be more fruitful and more enjoyable along the way.

4. Strive for continuous improvements, instead of perfection. – Kim Collins

Persistence equals progress, so this is what we aspire to daily. It may seem noble and lofty to pursue perfection, but in reality this will see us falling every time. The aim of the game is never perfection, because it doesn’t actually exist. Working in grace towards ourselves and others will see us rise above every challenge in acceptance of reality.

5. A goal is a dream with a deadline. – Napoleon Hill

For me, this is at the heart of making things happen. We all work hard. We all pursue goals. The question is, do we make ourselves accountable to achieve them by putting them on a calendar? It’s amazing how motivating a deadline can be. It’s all about standing up and taking responsibility for your unique gifts and strengths.

As much as I don’t want to burst your bubble, I have experienced firsthand the reality that passion alone is simply not enough. My world is filled with passionate people who love what they do and would do it for nothing. Indeed, some who actually pay to do it. While this is admirable and inspiring to a point, at the end of the day we have big gifts to live up to and big visions to fulfill, and these things can only happen when we take that seed of passion and turn it into a life mission directed by strategic, focussed action.

Workflow Like A Boss

Time will pass regardless of how busy we in our business, but achieving growth requires every day to be full of productivity and high levels of output. It is not enough to simply “be in business.” For us to enjoy success and fulfillment in our business we need to learn these ten ways to manage our workflow Like A Boss

  1. Manage priorities, not time. – Larry Winget

It is so easy for time to be whiled away with busy work: The tasks that consume time without really giving you much to show for your efforts at the end. Productivity comes when we target those tasks that give us the biggest bang for our buck and push us ever closer to our goals. Do everything you can to spend most of your day actively working on your top business priorities. This is Boss Focus.

2. Success in management requires learning as fast as the world is changing. – Warren Bennis

Output is important but it will be short lived if we are not invested in learning along the way. Always be on the lookout for new apps, websites or software that make your life easier and get you where you are going more effectively. And to really learn Like A Boss, start a “One Course Per Year” rule where you step out of your world to learn from someone more experienced than you.

3. Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. – Peter Drucker

Regardless of how many in our team, being in business automatically puts us in leadership. Even if we have no staff, we have clients, suppliers and colleagues looking on to see how we respond to pressure, failure, and even success. Managing our workflow with integrity and class at all times will command the trust, respect and rapport that we need to rise to the top.

4. The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work. – Agha Hasan Abedi

Everything in business always comes down to people. Having quality relationships with strong leadership structures will get more out of all of the people you work with, even if you don’t have any team members in your employ just yet. Getting the best out of your business means inspiring and empowering your clients, suppliers and colleagues to get the best out of them.

5. Managing time without without setting priorities is like shooting randomly and calling whatever you hit the target. – Peter Turla

Annual goals can easily be thrown “out there” in the land of wishes and whims instead of directing your focus. They are only useful if they direct short term focus. Set clear monthly priorities to firmly establish for yourself and all those involved exactly what success will look like at the end. Track your daily progress and reward performance even before the target is reached to maintain momentum.

6. Building smart processes to streamline the workflow can make the work easier and the results more reliable, which keeps my head above water and my clients happy. – Mark Mason

If you are drowning in your business, chances are you have a management problem on your hands. Your solution to any business problem is to get behind that challenge to work out what caused it in the first place. The workflow in every area of your business will be managed Like A Boss if you clear bottlenecks and streamline each step of the process to create highly effective routines.

7. If you focus on results, you will never change. But if you focus on change, you will get results. – Jack Dixon

It’s easy to fall into the trap of measuring output rather than input. But if we want a guarantee that results will occur, the commitment needs to be made to make the daily changes required to create the desired results. The results you are looking for will only happen if you change what you do with your workflow on a daily basis.

8. There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction. – Winston Churchill

If a business isn’t growing, it’s dying, so being a Boss Business Owner requires that we be active change managers. But change should be directed towards aims we have already established, rather than being motivated by the old “shiny things” syndrome. Change for change’s sake can be an unproductive waste of time and money that can lead us up the garden path to nowhere.

9. Either you run the day, or the day runs you. – Jim Rohn

Our workdays can steamroll us unless we are on our best game daily. When we are managing our Workflow Like A Boss we should break larger aims down into weekly goals, which then become a daily checklist that we live by. This ensures that no matter how urgent the emergency, or how loud the squeaky door, you will always make time attend to the focus areas that will drive growth.

10. A good manager finds satisfaction in helping others to be productive and not being the most productive person in the room. -Paul Gle

Driving a growing business starts out like driving a car. So much to do simultaneously, while somehow paying attention to others on the road with you. But as our business grows it changes. It starts with adding one new driver who drives for you. Then we add another, and another, until our business is like a driving exhibition, where each car is one part of a greater movement all working in flow together. We can be the director of the fleet driving something bigger than our own car if we dare to let go of the steering wheel.

Hiring a VA? 5 Things To Do First

With outsourced labour providing such affordable options for small business owners these days, many are wondering just what they need to do to get started. A lot of SMEs have become very comfortable with having their thumb in every one of their business pies, so moving to outsourced services can feel like a big risky step into the unknown. Here are the five things you need to do to make your first steps into the world of Virtual Assistants smooth and successful:

Hiring a VA is the step that will revolutionise your business, but where to start?

  1. Assess

Take a good honest look at what you are currently doing, and which tasks might be best allocated to someone else. A SWOT analysis can be handy here, or a Value Stream Map to document exactly what steps are taken to conduct your core business processes. As you are conducting your analysis, note the parts of your business that you love, because these things keep you refreshed and recharged. Delegating those would not be nearly as valuable as delegating the tasks that you find cumbersome and laborious. As you work your way through the assessment, highlight the tasks which maximise your strengths, as well as those which are necessary but take too much of your valuable time. At the heart of this step lies the question: “How much is your time worth?”

Invest ample time into assessing your workflow to establish the best way to utilise your new team member. You would even be wise to seek advice from a business consultant to help you capture a true picture of what is actually happening in your daily processes, and how these might be refined. The foundations of monumental mistakes are laid here at this first stage of preparation. If you do not have a handle on your workflow and the best way to delegate tasks, you will be setting yourself and your VA up for a costly, time consuming failure.

2. Systemise

With a good handle on the tasks you need done to get through your business day, it is now time to organise these into a logical flow. If you have been thorough with your business analysis you will have a sense of your own professional strengths and weaknesses, and you will see exactly how one stage of your workflow leads to the next. It is likely that all of this knowledge has been locked away inside your head up to now, so having it out in the form of charts, lists and diagrams will give you an entirely new perspective.

From this vantage point you should be able to see ways to eliminate some of the bottlenecks in your core process. You can remove double handling, waiting delays, administrative waste and unnecessary tasks now, because when they are mapped out in front of you, it is easy to see the inefficiencies which waste your precious time and money. At this stage you will also be able to tweak your processes to accommodate a new staff member. Where are those tasks that can be portioned off and put on someone else’s desk to remove them from your own? As you are organising your workflow, keep a keen eye out for the jobs that are the most straight-forward to delegate.

3. Document

If the foundations of success are built in your assessment phase, the fulfilment of this success is established very firmly upon your ability to document with detailed precision. As laborious as this phase of preparation is, your documentation is the framework that your entire operation will hang on. Your documentation will initially provide the job description for recruitment and hiring. From there your documents will become your new VA bible. Every step that you want to pass on to your new assistant should be described, with screenshots wherever possible. Every piece of information that they will require to complete their work should be provided from the outset to create instant positivity and productive momentum. The better the documentation, the faster the wins will roll in for you and your assistant.

The most effective documentation makes your tasks Repeatable and Reproducible. A job that is Repeatable is one that can be completed to exactly the same quality standards every single time. If your documentation is to support Repeatable work, it must be so thorough as to prevent faults from occurring. Your documentation should be better than the flat pack instructions that allow you to build a cabinet with the shelving upside-down! It should be clear and systematic, with examples to show what each part of the task looks like as it is successfully completed.

A Reproducible task is one that can be completed to exactly the same quality standards every time, regardless of the operator. Your VA should not have to interpret what you mean, or draw on experience that only they have. Any one should be able to implement the steps you provide. If you are looking for a VA to perform a task that is beyond your current expertise (such as setting up an online course or automating your email sequence), you need to document as best you can what the final outcome of the work will look like for you. Then, when you have your VA up and running, you should ask them to help you with two things to ensure your documentation provides for Reproducible workflow: 1. Get them to help you systemise your creation and provision of content so that you are giving them content that they can use directly without needing to modify or interpret. And 2. Get them to help you document the key steps required to complete the work you have asked them to do. I know this seems dark, but I have first hand experience in losing the holder of knowledge that is central to running your business. A sustainable, growing business is one that does not rely on any one operator to keep things moving.

4. Interview

Having a clear idea of what you want your VA to do, and how you would like them to do it makes interviewing a breeze. You will remember to ask about the candidate’s previous work history, their access to technology, and ability to take initiative and solve problems, but also discuss personality, culture and lifestyle. You are looking for a specific skillset that comes packaged up in someone you can get along with.

Go back to your Assessment documentation to see the strengths you bring to the equation, and the weaknesses you would like help with. Use a standard set of questions which address these concerns to interview each candidate. Then, compare their suitability by implementing a scoring system for each question. Interview as many candidates as you realistically can to develop a shortlist of strong possibilities.

5. Hire

If you are anything like me you will want to rush to hire your favourite candidate, but slow and steady will win this race. Take your time to make your selection to ensure that you are confident with your choice, and that you have the time to set them up with adequate training. It takes about a month post hire to get the new person on board and functioning smoothly. Attempting to rush the process of hiring and training your new VA will not serve any one’s best interests. Your new VA may well end up being a team member for life. This is a big decision so make it carefully.

Like anything, you pay for what you get when taking on a VA. If it seems too cheap then it probably is. If your VA is coming from overseas you should look into the cost of living to see what your VA will actually need to live. Your VA offers you an affordable service but it is not one that should enslave them in desperation for income. Underpaying your VA might serve your short term budget, but it will undermine the loyalty, trust, and positive mutual regard that you need to sustain your long term business growth.

With careful research, planning and preparation, you will be able to make this move with confidence and see your business explode to new levels of growth. Believe me, once you cross over that line, you never go back! It will be clear skies and smooth sailing with your new VA. You used to look into the mirror and groan, “This guy’s the limit” and now you can look into the wide blue yonder of opportunity and quietly whisper “The sky’s the limit”.

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If this article has struck a chord with you, please go right ahead and message me. I would love to hear more about what you do, and how I might be able to help you refine your business process so that you can really step up to run your small business Like A Boss. It’s all about getting you to the stage where you are making more time and money out of your time and money. No matter where you are, I am only a message away. And to make stalking me really easy, here is my website 😀 https://www.kerryannenelson.com/