How to Get Past Perfection Paralysis and Start Seeing Results

Over the years, I’ve coached dozens of business owners.

I love it. Together, we identify what’s holding them back. Then over time, we work to chip away at their challenges.

People who work with me over several months make very tangible progress in their businesses. It’s gratifying to watch and I’m honored to help.

But there’s a problem.

Client after client, this one issue keeps coming up

It’s a particular challenge that haunts business owners. And it has begun to bother me enough that I knew I needed to write about it.

Whether you’re just starting out or have an established business that you’re working to grow, chances are you’ve been held back because of the same issue.

Business owners suffer from a specific type of paralysis that makes moving forward nearly impossible. I call it “Perfection Paralysis.”

Perfect Paralysis sucks. It’s a continuous loop of thoughts that runs through your head and keeps you stuck where you are.

Today, we’re going to attack Perfection Paralysis head on, together. Ready?

Read article …How to Get Past Perfection Paralysis and Start Seeing Results

5 Innovative Ways Your Customer Testimonials Can Win You Business

Have you ever bought something because a friend or relative recommended it?

Tickets to a movie, perhaps? Or a meal at a restaurant?

So you know this is true:

Happy customers make brilliant salespeople.

What they say boosts confidence and persuades us to buy. No wonder business websites often include a page for customer testimonials.

Many businesses stop here, though. But what if you look beyond testimonials? Can you do more to let grateful customers spread the word about you?

You can.

Put happy customers in the spotlight on your website, in your emails, and on social media to encourage referrals, build relationships and win business.

Like to know how?

The following five tips will help you unleash your super sales team.

Read article …5 Innovative Ways Your Customer Testimonials Can Win You Business

How to Find Calm in the Chaos and Dedicate Time to Your Priority Tasks

“How am I going to get it all done?”

Has that thought ever crossed your mind?

Overwhelm seems to be a common side effect of building your brand and growing your business.

But you can’t live in a prolonged state of overflowing to-do lists. When there are too many things on your plate for too long, things start to fall off. The finish line for your goals floats farther and farther away.

That’s no bueno.

Don’t fret. There is something you can implement that will add some calm to your chaos, and give you more time to work on the priority tasks on your list.

You just have to be diligent about adding it to your business’ toolkit.

The simple tools that can transform your business

I recently chatted with Kate Erickson of Entrepreneur on Fire, a multi-million dollar business built around the hit podcast of the same name.

Kate and her partner, John Lee Dumas run a very lean business. Here’s Kate explaining the linchpin that’s helped fuel their rapid business growth.

Systems and processes are indispensable when it comes to growing your business.

Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page with what these two essential elements are:

A system is a set of connected parts which form a complex whole. Think content creation systems, sales systems, or accounting systems.

A process is a series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular end. A process is a component of a system. For your business, you could have a process for writing proposals, hiring new team members, or even writing blog posts.

Two coveted benefits of these essential tools

Most people know that utilizing systems and processes could improve the way their business works. But they aren’t always able to see the full benefits.

So let’s look at two important perks that will come from adding these elements to your business.

Increased effectiveness: You’re human. You make mistakes. And when you’re moving at lightning speed to get everything done, it’s easy to miss a step here and there when it comes to finishing your projects.

Using a process helps minimize the mistakes. In one study, hospitals in Michigan used a simple checklist to cut its intensive care unit infection (ICU) rate to zero — results that outperformed more than ninety percent of ICUs across the country.

Within eighteen months, the use of checklists saved Michigan hospitals more than $175 million, and more than fifteen hundred lives.

Now if the stakes in your business aren’t quite as high as they are in hospitals, don’t worry. Following processes can still have a big impact on your performance.

Here’s Kate again, talking about how they’ve impacted the way she works:

Processes help you perform better. They improve your results.

Increased efficiency: Wouldn’t you like to get better outcomes with less effort? That’s what processes do.

They keep you from having to recreate the wheel every time you do something. They cut out unnecessary steps for completing a task.

For my podcast, I got much more efficient with scheduling interviews by automating the process.

So instead of having to send all the back-and-forth emails to find a time that works well, I simply send the guest a link to my automated scheduler. It has all my available time slots, because it is synced with my calendar.

ScheduleOnce

Then the guest finds a time that works for her, and boom — we’re done. What used to take several emails, and a little bit of frustration is now made simple for all involved.

Processes save you time. And you can use that time to focus on other important activities to grow your business.

How to start getting out of overwhelm

Adding processes to your workflow doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. You simply need to follow a few steps to start seeing the benefits. Here are three quick ones I picked up from Kate:

1. Track your every move

For one week, write down everything you do for your business, and for how long.

At the end of the week, you’ll be able to see categories of where your time is spent.

Here’s a list of how I divided my time:

  • Blogging
  • Podcasting
  • Social media
  • Email
  • Wasting time (I’m still a work in progress!)
  • Building relationships
  • Reading
  • Special projects

 2. Identify high impact areas

For me, I publish a new podcast episode every Monday. Getting an episode ready to go live takes a big chunk of time.

Because there are a number of moving parts to producing my show, I need to create processes around the activities associated with getting an episode published.

Here’s a list of my primary podcasting tasks in the order I complete them:

  • Find a potential guest
  • Invite potential guest to be on the show
  • Schedule the interview
  • Record the interview
  • Edit the interview
  • Create show notes page
  • Create show artwork
  • Publish episode

 3. Cut the fat

When it comes to figuring out how to improve the way you accomplish a task, there are three options to help you do that.

Delegate: Find someone else to do the work for you. This could be a contractor, intern, or someone else on your team. This is great for important steps that don’t require your level of expertise to accomplish.

This could also be for projects that you don’t have the proficiency to do at the quality level you’d like.

Automate: Find an electronic system to work for you behind the scenes to complete components of your process. By programming the tool to get the results you want in advance, you can set it and forget it.

This step is cool for low-risk activities such as social media and appointment scheduling, or certain accounting functions.

Batch: Rarely does anyone just bake one cookie. They bake a bunch at one time, because it’s much more efficient. You should do the same with recurring work that you must do yourself.

Batching is beneficial because it minimizes task switching. Diverting your attention from one activity to another has been shown to add between 25% and 100% more time to completing a task, depending on the level of complexity.

You could batch your time creating content, doing design work, or even answering email.

In doing this exercise for my podcast process, I was able to figure out where I could find efficiencies in each one of the needed tasks:

  • Finding guests – delegate
  • Inviting guests – delegate
  • Scheduling the interview – automate
  • Record the interview – batch
  • Edit the interview – delegate
  • Create show notes page – delegate
  • Create show artwork – delegate
  • Publish episode – delegate

It takes me about 4.5-5 hours over the course of several days to get a podcast episode published. Over time, as I delegate more of the activities I don’t personally need to do, I’ll be able to save myself an additional 3.5-4 hours per week. That’s up to sixteen hours a month!

And then I can spend the time I’ve freed up on other high-value activities that grow my business, such as coaching, writing new blog posts, or creating new courses.

You don’t have to live in overwhelm

You can get control of your overgrown to-do list. And you can get more done with less time and effort than you ever thought possible.

By establishing and implementing systems and processes, you can add structure to recurring tasks, save time, and improve your results.

Don’t feel like you have to get everything done at one time. Once you’ve got your systems and processes mapped out, you can work on a path forward to make improvements methodically.

They will transform the way you work, so take the first step toward ditching overwhelm.

And start enjoying the freedom these tools will give you.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Product Names Your Customers Will Love

Creating product names your customers end up falling in love with … seem impossible?

Here’s the thing …

When something has a name, it has value and an identity.

A baby becomes ‘Jonathan,’ a cat becomes ‘Fluffy’… Friday night with the kids at grandma’s becomes ‘date night.’

With a name, the generic becomes specific. Filled with meaning.

Marketing companies know the power of creating the right product names, which is why millions of dollars are poured into branding.

Get the name and image right and your product is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and they slip into your everyday life. Your wife doesn’t ask you to get tissues from the store, she asks for Kleenex, your son doesn’t ask for acetaminophen, he wants Tylenol.

And sometimes a name skyrockets the price.

In the UK, common painkillers such as acetaminophen cost around 16 pence from the supermarket.

Choose a ‘famous’ product with the same ingredients (and effects) and you can be paying 1000% more.

Read article …A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Product Names Your Customers Will Love

4 Surprising Realizations I Had During My First Year in Business

4 Surprising Realizations I Had During My First Year in Business


In October of last year, I celebrated a major milestone.

The month marked one year from the time I pushed past my fear, stopped questioning my abilities, quit my job, and started my own business.

Oddly though, when that one year anniversary hit, it didn’t feel that much like a milestone.

Like many things I experienced during my first year of business, that day wasn’t at all how I imagined it, and it reminded me of the other surprising realizations I had during my first year of business.

Read article …4 Surprising Realizations I Had During My First Year in Business

4 Techniques for Finding and Interviewing Your Dream Subject-Matter Expert

4 Techniques for Finding and Interviewing Your Dream Subject-Matter Expert


No matter the industry, we all have a favorite subject-matter expert (SME).

They’re the people whose books fill your bookshelf, whose newsletters fill your inbox, and whose tweets dominate your Twitter feed.

Their knowledge is the content compass that guides you as you create the informative, engaging, and valuable information your readers adore.

Now imagine interviewing those same SMEs on your website, delivering your readers’ favorite content direct from the experts themselves.

You’ve seen big names do it in their articles and podcasts, and you’d like to do the same.

It’s a privilege reserved for Internet insiders, right?

Not quite.

In fact, from local leaders to Internet superstars, you’re only four steps away from interviewing your dream subject-matter expert on your website:

  1. Connect with an applicable SME
  2. Ask the SME for an interview
  3. Craft the interview questions
  4. Interview the SME

Grab your notepad and take notes — it’s time to interview that SME you’ve admired.

Read article …4 Techniques for Finding and Interviewing Your Dream Subject-Matter Expert