Excuuuuuuse me!

If you want a reason to justify what you are doing or, perhaps more importantly, what you are not doing, here are some excuses that might just do the trick.
  • If it is worth doing it is worth doing right, or not doing at all.
  • I don’t have the time.
  • It’s not that I’m a procrastinator, I just work better under pressure.
All of these excuses and others just like them exonerate us from taking responsibility.  They give us a scapegoat or a reason, they transfer the guilt to someone else, and ultimately leave us powerless. According to Camilo Cruz in Once Upon a Cow, there are three things that we know for certain about excuses:
  1. If you really want to find an excuse for something, you will find it.  There is never the loss for an excuse when you need it.  They lurk in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to present themselves.  Once you use an excuse you will stick with it as long as works for you.
  1. Once you starting using an excuse you will undoubtedly find allies.  You will find others that will believe the excuse and our willing to share a similar experience using the same excuse.  You may hear something from these collusion partners like ‘I agree, that happens to me too’.
  1. Using an excuse doesn’t really change anything.  You are in same place you were before.  You are giving yourself permission to remain the same.  If you consistently use the same excuse – you will actually start to believe it and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you are no longer satisfied with the status quo and want to accomplish even more either personally or professionally then put the kibosh on excuses.  Liberate yourself from the typical arsenal of excuses…take them out of your life. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Find the excuses in your life that are holding you back and start eliminating them from your life. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.  

Habit Forming

As we start a new year, some of us will make resolutions, others will refute the concept and decline to participate in the annual ritual of forming resolutions that will soon be broken.  Regardless of what camp you are in – consider habits as an alternative to traditional resolutions.  Look at opportunities to create new habits or replace old habits with new and improved habits. Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit describes habits as the cycle of cues, routines, and rewards.
  • Cues – A habit starts with a trigger in our environment, it could be the time of day, something we see, an emotion like hunger or boredom, or a route we take.
  • Routine – This could be what we do, what we eat, what we say, or how we react. This is when we go into auto-pilot often without any thought at all.
  • Reward – The final step is the reward, or the benefit we get from the habit. It could be a feeling, or something accomplished.
Give some thought to what habits you want to create this year.  Then build cues and rewards around the habit you want to form.  If you want to walk more, put your walking shoes near the dog leash.  This builds a visual cue each time the dog needs to go out. Also think about the habits you want to replace with better habits, then start to notice the cues that trigger the habit you want to change.  Once you notice the cues then you can begin to replace one routine for another.  For example, if you want to replace smartphone surfing with reading, then notice the triggers – every time you find yourself getting bored or waiting you turn to your phone for entertainment (aka, the reward).  Now that you know the triggers you can insert reading material in strategic locations where this is likely to occur. Remember when an activity becomes a habit, we start to anticipate the reward based on the cue and then the routine is almost unstoppable. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Consider what habits are getting you what you want and which ones should be replaced and take them head on this year. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Managing Margins

If you are like many business owners you have defined your products and services based on the opportunities presented over the years. I recently worked with two clients evaluating their respective business margins.  We looked at material, labor and total cost to serve across each of their offerings. If you haven’t evaluated your true margins by product or service in your business you are likely leaving money on the table or worse yet, you are devaluing your brand in the marketplace. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Take the time in your business to review the margins.  Are you priced to make money.  Be sure to measure the true margin on each of your products and the effort required to service your clients. If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Per-fect Your Hiring

I meet many business owners that dread the hiring process until I introduce them to an alternative way of recruiting team members. I use a recruiting method that compresses the entire interview process into one evening, sells the candidate on the company, while creating an informal environment where the candidate can truly be themselves and allows the hiring team to evaluate the work style of the candidate while accessing cultural fit. Not only is the process efficient, it dramatically reduces hiring mistakes and increases employee retention. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Look at your hiring process as one of the most important things you can do to grow your business, expand your impact and build your culture.   If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Time, Energy and Money

I have never met a business owner that didn’t want to save themselves: Time, Energy and Money. If you are looking for the fastest way to become more efficient in your business, then you need to implement systems and processes.  As I tell my clients systematize the routine, humanize the exceptions. By implementing checklists, improved forms, defining roles and responsibilities, and mistake proofing the process – you will increase your capacity without adding headcount. YOUR CHALLENGE:  Start looking at the most common activities that you and your team are involved in – then build a checklist of those activities required to exceed customer expectations along with timelines and responsibility.   If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for our complimentary workshop, 6 Steps to a Great Business, and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Getting in the Flow

If you want increased productivity and more satisfaction during your day – find ways to get into the flow. The flow can be described in several ways. Have you ever gotten lost in your work, fully absorbed where time did not exist? I am not talking about being busy or moving from one task to another while checking off your ‘to do’ list. I am referring to single tasking – when you are focused on a singular task and everything around you disappears. This is when true productivity occurs, when you can accomplish long term goals or significant projects. It could be completing an operations manual, or an annual marketing plan. It could be setting up your CRM and making it operational. The flow is where you lose yourself in the activity, your stress decreases, and your ability to produce quality results increases. You are in the flow. Here are some key steps to finding your flow:
  1. Limit the interruptions, limit the distractions.
  2. Find work that you love, that you have the skills or knowledge to accomplish. If you hate it, it’ll be unlikely for you to ever get into the flow.
  3. Choose the right place and time. If evenings are best, then start after the work day. If you require a quiet environment, then choose first thing in the mornings.
  4. Do something that is important. It needs to be challenging, yet doable – a result that will be meaningful to you.
Getting into the flow is something you will have to practice. As you work on it, you will get better at finding your flow and you will reap the rewards. YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Consider how you will start to find your flow. What do you want to accomplish that can help you find your flow?     If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for an upcoming workshop and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Key to Success

There are a lot of theories on what makes one person successful and another less successful. You might think it is where they went to school, the opportunities they were given, the type of business they are in, how smart they are, who they know, or just good fortune. The common denominator among truly successful people is that they work hard. They do what others won’t, and they do it consistently. The key to success is “Hard Freakin’ Work.” Think about it this way – life is a series of base hits, not home runs. It’s about what you do every day to get on base, rather than a swing for the fences approach. Focus your energy on getting on base each and every day, because success is earned one day at a time. One step at a time. One decision at a time. One phone call at a time. One meeting at a time. YOUR CHALLENGE: Setup a daily routine that sets you up for success and start driving base hits in your business every single day.   If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for an upcoming workshop and let’s work together to help your business grow.

Productivity Equals Profit

Consider what productivity means in your business. At the end of day do you know what was accomplished or are you left wondering what happened to the day? In the words of Margarita Tartakovsky:

“Productivity isn’t about being a workhorse, keeping busy or burning the midnight oil… It’s more about priorities, planning and fiercely protecting your time.”

The most successful people are also the most productive. They get the most out of their day, consistently get more accomplished and it shows in their results. Here are some ways to get even more out of your day. Don’t leave things to chance. Schedule them. If you want something done – put it in on your calendar rather than on a ‘to-do’ list. Give more time to the important stuff. Don’t fall into the trap that all activities get equal time. If it is more important then give it a disproportionate amount of time. Do the important stuff early in the day. Don’t be dragged down into the day to day managing until you have given the time to the highest priority related to moving your business forward. First thing will equate to first priority. Avoid sabotage. Fight the distractions. Be protective of your time. Be okay with saying no. Time is your most important asset. You will never get more of it, and you will never get it back. So treat it with the respect due to your most valuable asset. YOUR CHALLENGE: Know what your priorities are and block your time accordingly to get them accomplished.   If you would like further information or you have any questions about this blog, you can email me at pjweiland@actioncoach.com or call 847-739-3079. Please visit www.workingonthebusiness.com to register for an upcoming workshop and let’s work together to help your business grow.