Growing a business requires a lot of time and effort. But those things are not the same. Many new entrepreneurs—and even established business owners—make this same crucial mistake. They think hours equal effort. But rather than just marking off all your tasks and to-dos on a calendar by filling in each hour of the day and week, it’s time we start paying attention to what tends to drain us—and how to cut it off at the source. Wrong relationships, lots of personal texting and e-mail interruptions during the day, drifting on social media or shopping sites when we should be focusing can destroy our efforts . . . it’s time we start taking the steps we need to eliminate our drainers! This is the secret to how we’ll get more done in less time and make more money with less stress. For example, if you know that meetings with your team or clients tend to go very well early on in the day, then stop coaching and consulting late at night or even in the afternoon. Go do a workout in the afternoon and do most of your business-related work before noon. Trust me, no one is ever going to show up and file a complaint against you as you begin to reinvent how you do life. It might feel like you’re being watched, or judged, or even misunderstood, but oftentimes that’s just mirroring neurons in our brain questioning what we’ve always known and always done, as we forge ahead along new pathways. Keep doing the things that serve you best without apology and you’ll create new memories and new neurons that will reinforce your new beliefs and habits. This is why NO ONE can talk me into doing a speaking engagement late in the afternoon, nor can they pay me enough to jam into my day 20 hours of stress just for a bigger bottom line. I know myself and what supports me. I also know what tears me down, and I’m just not willing to go there anymore.
Decide to be production focused, rather than time focused. This will change your entire perspective. If you got done what was most important to you in only two hours, who says you’re more powerful if you strive to stuff eight more hours of crap into your day to feel “legitimate”? You got done what was crucial! Go to the gym early. Take a hike, go shopping, take a nap, or go out to lunch with a friend. You earned the rest of the day to be what you want it to be, because the things you’re committed to got done. Who cares how long it took you?
Look at what you have gotten done rather than all of the things that are still undone. This was critical for me as a young mother and is a governing factor in my life as a business owner. Have a “Got Done” list that is more important than your never-ending “To Do” list. Reward yourself for the small things and you’ll be amazed by how much you actually are accomplishing every day. Don’t get stuck in the overload of all the details. Even if you’re a “detail to big picture” person, you can find a big picture inside many of the details that are connecting your path forward. Otherwise, if you are constantly walking around with an attitude of things “never getting done,” you’ll never get to where you are designed to be, and will most likely end up disillusioned and depressed.
Life as a mother, an owner of a top ranking London SEO agency, and a homeschooler meant that things were never “all done.” There was always something else that had to be attended to and completed. Yes, I homeschooled all three of my sons from K–12. As I look back on that today, I think to myself, Were you insane?! Yup, quite the overachiever. But that time period produced some of my most favorite memories of learning how to live like an anomaly, how to reinvent how things were done, and how to use my energy, and not just my time, to plant deep roots that serve my sons very well even today in their careers. Creating results didn’t look the same every day. But the demands of every season helped me to learn, and to grow personally more than anything else in my entire life. I often say that while I’ve built more than 15 companies in my career, all of which have been successful, this is not my greatest work or the thing I am most proud of. Raising my sons—even while battling my own pain and horrific illnesses, feeling unloved in my marriage, and facing the remnants of childhood abuse that wanted to destroy my entire life—was my greatest accomplishment. Growing up with them, living life with them every single day, trusting God with them, was the greatest thing I have ever done with and in my life. Knowing that helps me stay strong even when—especially when—things get tough.