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You Get Out What You Put In

During a recent coaching session with Mark, I was ... of how it feels to give your all to your business andhave it spit in your face.的 just don稚 get it! I知 putting all my time and energ

During a recent coaching session with Mark, I was briefly
reminded of how it feels to give your all to your business and
have it spit in your face.

的 just don稚 get it! I知 putting all my time and energy into this
business, and I知 still scraping by. I知 so tired of fighting to
阻ust to make it but this is what I really want to do.

典ell me about what痴 happening in your life, I inquired.

溺y wife says I知 spending too much time working, and I
know she痴 right. But I also know that I知 the one who is
responsible for paying most of the bills. As it is, I知 probably
working 80 hours a week.

的 really want to spend more time with her and our son, but
if we池e barely making it now, I can稚 imagine what would
happen if I slowed down. I壇 lose the business for sure. What
I need is more time, not less.

Oh, it was terrible to hear Mark experiencing such pain. It
brought back all of the feelings I had also experienced during
the first years of my business several years earlier.

He had fallen into the same trap that many of us do. He
believed that his degree of business success was directly
related to the number of hours he put in. And, I knew, that
until we altered that belief, he would never be free to achieve
great financial success and to enjoy the freedom that the
life of a business owner can provide.

Somewhere along the way, many of us pick up the perceived
connection between time and results. Yes, it痴 true that if
you spend 10 hours a day practicing piano that you will
likely be a better performer than if you spend 5 minutes a day.
And that same logic might apply to specific skills you use in
your business. If you spend 4 hours every day doing anything
(creating graphic designs, writing press releases, writing sales
letters), you will undoubtedly develop your skills.

But, in an endeavor like business, success is based on much
more than the total amount of time you put in. It痴 based on
what you do during that time, what skills you have, what
customers want, how you present yourself, what you charge,
how you market your business, etc.

Some things in life are easy

Staying Thin = Eating Well + Exercising
Baking Cookies = Measuring Ingredients + Following Directions

The stinker part about running a business is that you get out
what you put in. And, it痴 not easy to figure out what the
monster wants to eat but that痴 your job as a business owner.

If you spend countless hours networking at events that don稚
yield results, you are adding time to your week. If you re-create
the wheel every time you have to put a proposal together,
you are taking up time that you could be spending on other
marketing activities, taking a lunch break, spending the
afternoon with your spouse and kids. If you are starting
numerous projects without bringing any of them to completion,
you are wasting time spinning your wheels rather than
profiting from one of those great ideas.

You see, it痴 important that you know where your time is
going, what results you are getting from how you spend it,
and what price you are paying (both professionally and
personally) for spending so much time in your business.

Please don稚 take years to learn this one. It痴 a truth. If you
figure out what your monster wants to eat, and you feed it
to him on a regular basis, he will give you the key to the

Are you ready to find out what you致e been feeding your
monster (i.e. 努hat you池e putting into your business)?

Don稚 hate me when I ask you to track your time. 践ow
boring you might say. Doesn稚 she understand that taking
the time to track my time just takes more time (you can
read that line again if you need to!)

Yes, it can be boring and it does take a little bit of time.
However, if you invest tiny little bits of time throughout the
day (adding up to only 10 minutes/day probably), you can
discover the keys to propelling your business forward.

Start today by tracking how you spend your time (track every
15 minute segment) for the next 5-7 days. Include all the time
you spend working, including evenings and weekends.

After the week is over, look back over the completed
worksheets and tell me what you see. Look for things

* breakdown the number of hours you are spending on:
- marketing
- providing your services
- office work (invoicing, paying bills)
- email
- other functions

* add up the number of hours it takes you to do certain
standard functions that are part of your business
- attending a meeting (driving to/from + meeting)
- writing a proposal
- adding a new client to your practice
- doing your accounting work

Too much time spent on office work could tell you that
you need to outsource some of your administrative work.

Too much time spent on email might tell you that you
need to stop reading so many ezines (except mine!),
only read/answer personal email during off hours, or
learn how to use the sorting function of your email program
so the most important emails are highlighted.

Too much time spent on marketing efforts that are not
yielding new customers could tell you that it痴 time to
quit that networking club or stop using direct mail, so
you値l have more time to invest in the types of marketing
that are working well for your business (where have your
current customers come from? Do more of that!)

Too much time spent attending prospect meetings might
tell you that you need to reduce the geographic area you
are targeting in order to decrease the time it takes to go
to/from prospect and client meetings.

Too much time spent writing a proposal might tell you
that you need to automate your process more so that
you only have to input a few items of data to create
each new proposal, contract, or spreadsheet.

There is so much to learn by tracking your time. Yes, it
might be boringScience Articles, but it痴 an investment of 10 minutes
a day for a week that might just buy you the freedom
and financial success you致e been seeking.

Happy Time Tracking!

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Kimberly Stevens is a Business Life Coach who supports business owners and entrepreneurs in their pursuit of a fulfilling life and profitable business by offering individual and group coaching, ebooks, teleclasses, and live workshops. To learn more about creating a richly rewarding life as a business owner, visit or send a blank email to: for an automatic reply.

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