I was feeling a bit out of sorts. My creative self felt like it was moving at a crawl and my decision-making at a snails pace. Something was off but I couldn’t put my finger on it until I started to reflect over the last eight weeks. I had traveled two times in 30 days to the East Coast to see my father who’s ailing and followed that with a week-long business trip. I realized that our home never fully recovered from the holidays. There were “loose ends” in many places which left me feeling unsettled. Even though I have a housekeeper (I highly recommend for all women!) there are some tasks that she can’t do – like clearing clutter from desks and drawers.
The one question I get asked over and over from women entrepreneurs is, “How do you know what to delegate to an assistant?” I love this question because it tells me you realize that you can’t (and shouldn’t) try to do it all in your business and your ready to get the support you need.
Remember Lucy Van Pelt in the comic strip Charlie Brown? I woke this morning thinking about one of her famous lines, “I told you so, you blockhead!” Lucy was known for setting up a psychiatric booth in the neighborhood offering advice to her friends for five cents per person. Clearly she caught the entrepreneurial bug early but I’m not sure I’d want to get my business direction from her. : -) This got me thinking about how women entrepreneurs need to be cautious when seeking advice, coaching and mentoring on their road to success.
Remember the Alice Cooper song, “School’s Out”? The lyrics are running through my mind as I write this article. The last bell rang, the kids are running through the house at all hours of the day and their summer camps are spread all across town. My schedule has become a mere shadow of the nice, tidy, organized days I experience September through May. Sound familiar? I’m finding this is true for many women entrepreneurs so today’s article offers a few coping strategies when summer arrives and suddenly it feels like your schedule has been hijacked.
My favorite quote by Einstein is “Vision without execution is merely hallucination.” The first time I read this I was surprised at the glaring truth to this simple statement. I also realized it’s sometimes easier said than done.
Einstein’s quote helped me realize there are two distinct parts to reaching your big ideas, dreams and goals. First you need a vision. Second, you need a plan to accomplish the vision. One does not happen without the other. Visionaries can be challenged by creating a plan and planners sometimes lack the necessary vision to keep the dream alive.
A few weeks ago, I took some time to evaluate where most of my clients come from and the two areas where I consistently receive highly qualified clients are referrals from happy clients and public speaking. It’s essential that you spend your valuable time doing the things that consistently bring you the clients that you love to work with. This week, I’m going to focus on public speaking as I get many questions from Smart Women on this topic.
No, I’m not talking about your cell phone or the phone in your home or office. All the women in my Success Circles know that I don’t believe in picking up the phone every time it rings. I do believe in listening to my messages and returning calls and emails within a reasonable time period. I’m talking about answering your call—the call that is unique only to you.
A few weeks ago, my sister Rene and I had the opportunity to visit our parents in Florida. It was a “girl’s getaway” filled with shopping, going to the beach, tasty food, wine and great conversation. Every morning we had a ritual of getting up, grabbing our coffee and heading out to the beach for a walk. On the first morning, I noticed a large, magnificent lighthouse that stood in the distance.
The other day, I was speaking with a smart woman entrepreneur and at one point she said, “Joy, I think I need to take my business offline.” My response? “Bravo!” In today’s world, with all of its moving parts and the opportunities to build an online business, I sometimes see entrepreneurs leaving a valuable tool out of their marketing plan—building “offline” relationships to create another stream of referrals.
One question that I hear frequently from the women I support is “How do I find and attract more new clients?” After all, new clients are necessary for your business to survive and thrive. The good news is, “new” clients are closer than you think. What do I mean? Have you ever heard the old phrase, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?”