5 Things Only Online Business Owners Get

As an online entrepreneur, you know that running an online business comes with unique challenges and specific knowledge that people with a 9-5 or even a brick-and-mortar business simply won’t understand.

While working from home is often marketed to the masses as living a glamorous lifestyle, you’re well aware of the reality, and sometimes you wish that your loved ones understood the truth, too.

Do You Need A Map?

You have a grand vision for your business. That vision gives you the drive and motivation to push forward and not to give up when things get unbearable. But the same guiding light can as easily become the source of anxiety if you can’t figure out to how to actually reach it. The Conversation This is why you might find yourself having a conversation like I had with a friend the other day, who said: “I’m confident that I’m on the right track.  I can figure out my next actions.  I’m good at next actions!  I know what I need to do tomorrow, next week, even February.   But what about February 2017?  How do I conceptually fit together what I spend my time on today, so that it brings me closer to my big audacious goal several months from now? How can I balance making money to make a living now with ensuring that I’m headed in the right direction long-term?  For example, I can create a bunch of products, but is it really the best use of my time?? The thing is, I’m pretty good at figuring out what to put on my immediate to-do list.  I’m also clear what I’m working towards.  But the path to get there, that’s where it gets foggy.” The Tour de Mont Blanc Her words took me back to 2008 when I decided to go on the Tour de Mont Blanc to explore the tucked away paths of French, Italian, and Swiss Alps. …It was misty gloomy September morning.  I forced my feet into still damp hiking shoes fighting the feeling...

What Systems Do You REALLY Need?

Ever wonder what systems you absolutely must take care of right now and which ones can wait? Not all systems are as essential as others. And, what’s crucial to one business owner might not be vital to another.     The nature of your business is a determining factor in which systems you really need. Those of you who sell products might not need the same systems as those of you who have service-based businesses. Your business model also factors into the equation. One-on-one services don’t always require the same systems as group programs. Personal strengths and preferences are also important to consider. You might be great on the stage and use public speaking to rally people to your cause or you might use books and blogging as your main marketing tools. These things need to be taken into consideration when it comes to systems. But what’s the most decisive factor when it comes to prioritizing systems? The stage your business is in is the most critical factor. There are many ways to classify the stage of your business, but the one that resonates most with me is the one by Todd Herman.  He defines five stages of a growing a business: Dream Up, Start Up, Ramp Up, Scale Up, and Leader Up. In other words: Vision, Chaos, Clarity, Impact, and Ripple Effect. As your business goes through each stage, it’s critical that you work on the systems pertaining to that specific phase. “Skipping” a set of systems results in a shaky foundation, and you’ll wind up needing to constantly put out fires. Vision In this initial stage, you’re...

How to Finish That Project

By Jennifer Wilson Tell me if this sounds about right? You have a brilliant new idea in the shower. You sit down to start researching domain names and competitors. Fireworks are happening and you know this is the idea you’ve been waiting for… except you had planned to spend today finishing up that other project. Creatives often feel called to follow their inspirations, wanting to strike while the iron is hot. What can result, unfortunately, is a long list of half-completed projects coupled with disappointment about time squandered. Fortunately there’s a way to achieve balance between leveraging your brilliance and making sure each project gets completed. Four Steps to Finishing a Project Step 1. Create an Idea Bank To ensure that distractions don’t squash your productivity, make sure that you have a designated home for those inevitable new ideas. Whether it’s a whole new project or just a task, hold those thoughts for later. Your idea bank can be an Asana project, Evernote notebook, Google document, or even just a special page in the back of your paper planner. Set it up now so those new ideas have a home, then schedule a regular time to review your idea bank. Step 2. Stop Feeling Guilty Frustration, guilt, and disappointment about the past needs to be left there. Negative feelings won’t help you move forward and only diminish the progress you have made. The easiest way to finish a project is to let go and start right where you are. In practice that means setting a new due date instead of letting that “Due: 6 months ago” hang over your...

Overcoming the “I-don’t-have-time-for-myself” Syndrome

by Sheila Shuster Have you ever caught yourself thinking that you just don’t have time for yourself?  You can make EVERYTHING a priority, but yourself? Left to my own devices I do that to myself as well. That’s why today I wanted to talk about our self-care system.  A simple routine we can start establishing today to prevent burnout tomorrow. What are those small steps we can start taking to take care of ourselves better? Here is a guest video from my friend and Systematic Success graduate Sheila Shuster answers that question and more… You’ll become more productive and feel better if you just… allow yourself to slow down. Tweet this! Back to You: What are your favorite self-care routines?   What works best for you?  Please leave a comment and let me know 🙂 BIO: Sheila Shuster began her career in biotechnology and healthcare education. A series of losses and an enlightening experience with her dying father catapulted her in a new direction in 2009. She is now a professional speaker and coach, teaching skills that cultivate a natural calm and help people to discover their capacity to acclimate to change.  Sheila’s passion is to share what she has discovered in herself – that looking at life with relaxed attention changes what you see.  She enjoys hiking, music, cooking and travel. Sheila currently lives in Northeastern...

Systematically Successful Blueprint for 2015

Another year is coming to an end. Were you able to reach the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of 2014?  Or did you have to pivot so many times that you had to scratch the old goals and never managed to define the new ones? Devising a plan to achieve goals can get very challenging.  Even when we take time to do it, we quickly give up on our goals, because we never translate them into day-to-day actions that actually fit our very busy schedules. As a result, our plans look wonderful on paper, but are quite impossible to achieve. How DO we create a plan that motivates us instead of bringing us down and making us feel bad about ourselves? 5 Steps for Realistic Planning 1. Accept that You’ll Never Stick to Your Plan 100% Creating a detailed plan, especially several months in advance, and being able to stick to it 100% is simply impossible. We don’t work and live in a vacuum.  Things happen.  Sometimes something that you wished would never happen happens.  Other times, the most amazing opportunity comes your way and you can’t pass on it.  Or, even more often, things take much longer than you estimated.  So, you’ll have to make adjustments and, possibly, go in a direction that’s not in your plan.  And it’s OK.  Don’t be harsh on yourself.  Evaluate your priorities and act accordingly. Action Step: Look back on 2014 and congratulate yourself on your wins and forgive yourself for situations where you fell short.  I’m sure both wins and failures taught you invaluable lessons.  So they’re all...