Pamela Wilson

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What Nonstop Work Won’t Get You

brand strategy includes taking breaks from being a busy beeAll your hard work this year has gotten you … where?

Have you accomplished what you expected? Do you remember what you expected to accomplish?

This is a perfect time of year to stop what you’re doing, and schedule some time to reflect on the state of your business.

Stop Being a Busy Bee

As a small business owner, your long days and hard work may be obscuring the ‘big picture,’ the long-term vision you have for your business. When you spend every day with your nose to the grindstone, it’s hard to see what’s going on around you.

Look Up from Your Work

Here’s what I recommend:

Schedule some thinking time this week. Grab a pencil, paper and your favorite beverage, and plan what you’d like to accomplish in the second half of the year.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. What were my 2011 goals? What did I plan to accomplish this year? (If you didn’t start the year with goals in mind, this is a great time to set them).

2. Have my actions over the first half of 2011 moved me closer to accomplishing my goals?

  • If you answered “yes” to the question above, what can you do in the second half of 2011 that will continue to move you toward your goals?
  • If you answered “no” to the question above, what can you do to correct your course, and get your business back on track?
  • If your goals have changed (and that’s a perfectly acceptable answer), what can you do to move your business toward your new goals?

3. What does my ‘big picture’ look like now? What has developed over the first six months of the year that changes your long-term vision for your business?

Take Your Nose Off the Grindstone

If you never stop to re-evaluate your long-term vision and short-term goals, you won’t know if your hard work is actually taking you where you want to go.

Take some time in the week ahead to review the first half of this year. Make fresh plans for the second half. I’ll be working on it with you. 🙂

How about you? Has the first half of 2011 brought changes to your business? Will you make adjustments in the months ahead? Tell me about it in the comments.

Pamela Wilson

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19 thoughts on “What Nonstop Work Won’t Get You”

  1. Pamela,

    Great points to think about and do!

    I am all for having a plan and sometimes I forget to re-evaluate the course of action I’m taking midway through.

    Thank you for the reminder,
    Theresa

    PS: From now on, I going to work “re-evaluating” into my plan. 😉

  2. Ooh, you’re in my home territory now, Pamela! I love this stuff. (Truly. I get all giddy and bounce on the couch. It’s embarrassing. Which is why it’s probably a good thing I’m single … ANYhoo…)

    I encourage my coaching clients to engage in several kinds of “review” — a mini-review at the end of the day, a weekly review, and a more “big picture” review every few months or so. What you’re talking about here is so key for business owners, bloggers, artists, writers … anyone who depends on their own efforts for their income or self-satisfaction. I use the analogy of the “three hats” – the CEO hat is about creating the vision for the business or website or undertaking; the manager hat is for figuring out the mile marker goals that will achieve the vision, and the line worker hat is the day-to-day action-oriented mindset.

    So, basically, taking a step back as you suggest here is about switching out of the lineworker hat for a moment, putting on the CEO hat, and taking the long view — and then making whatever adjustments in goals and actions for the next few months.

    For myself, I’ve made a few adjustments in the goals, and some of my actions aren’t bringing the results I’d hoped. So over the next few weeks, I’ll be trying to get to the bottom of that – if my actions were the wrong ones, if I’m just not doing enough of them, if I need to try something new, etc.

    • I’m so glad to hear this, Annie. I don’t usually post about this kind of stuff, but I’m glad to hear it resonates.

      Love your “three hats” idea. It boils down the concept and makes it easy to understand.

      Maybe I need to get a fedora, a baseball cap and a hard hat and switch ’em up throughout my week. 🙂

      Good luck with your goal setting! I’m right there with you working on the same thing.

  3. A very timely post. I’ve been trying to launch a self-published book while working a very full-time job. “Busy bee” is an apt description. I’m mulling over where I’ve dropped the ball in the first six months, realizing that even great jugglers can keep only so many objects in the air. I’m paring down my load and taking a fresh look at the “goals.” It’s time to concentrate on the personal connections. As in any business, it’s not what you know, but who you know. Time to work the “who” quotient of the “big picture.”

    • A great observation. The “who you know” is so important, and sometimes our noses are down into our work so long that we don’t make those connections (I’m guilty of it, too).

      I can tell you that when I have made personal connections, though, it has paid off many times over. Not immediately, but in the long term.

      Good luck with it all, Jim. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Amazing how fast the time goes by eh? Heck, it feels like just last week we were talking New Year’s Resolutions and whatnot 🙂

    For me, yes, I have inched towards my goals and I’ve made some unexpected progress in other areas. A little over a month ago I launched what Chris Garrett would call a flagship product and so far, it’s going really well.

    The rest of this year is dedicated to growing our efforts and visibility through speaking and lots of content (webinars, blogging, etc.). I started a guest speaker webinar series that is doing a fine job of attracting 80 – 100 people per webinar. That has proved a better lead generation tool than most other things we’ve done.

    Anyway, it’s always great to pause, reflect and re-adjust. And always, keep moving forward! Thanks for the reminder Pamela.

    • That’s great to hear, Ricardo. As you know, I’ve done webinars, too … they can be very effective, and I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate them as I move forward.

      Which company do you use to host them? That has been the sticking point for me — before I commit to the big bucks required to have one of those accounts, I want to be sure they’ll bring in enough money to cover the expense and make a profit for my business. I’d love to know how you’ve figured that out!

      • We’re currently using GoToWebinar but we’re capping attendees at 100 per webinar. As you may (or may not) know, their price goes up significantly for attendees above 100. Currently we pay $99 per month. If we went up one plan, it’d be something like $499 – it just seems like they’ve effectively priced out the solo-preneur/small business.

        We have a recurring revenue model and I’m sure we can cover the cost but I haven’t quite nailed down the conversion numbers to justify the price at $499. Some people won’t make a purchasing decision till a week or two (or a month) after the webinar.

        Currently, I’m doing 3 webinars per month (averaging 140+ registrations and 90+ live attendees on the call which is great because often times you’ll get a significantly smaller number on the live webinar). Those registrations we then have opt-in to our newsletter (which I look at as a marketing asset, so that’s good).

        Then I’ll post a webinar replay on a separate landing page and share that with all of the live and other attendees who might have missed it. The verdict is still out on the landing pages 🙂

        The content I’m looking for is:

        – Web Design (hey, you interested in coming on?)
        – Site Optimization
        – WordPress Security
        – Social Media

        Anyway, enough blabbering from me Pamela. I hope I gave you some good insight. And if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch, I’d love to answer/help in any way that I can…

        • I suppose having a cap in place is an effective way to promote it with genuine scarcity. I’m familiar with those numbers, and I agree — that’s a business offering that’s ripe for the picking for someone who can come along and offer it at a more competitive price.

          I’d love to talk about web design! I did a webinar with Derek Halpern of Social Triggers back in March that was very well received. It would be fun to talk about it again. Watch for an email in your inbox. 🙂

  5. What’s been helpful this year is finding good help to build my website. Then help from your course Pamela to tweak the design!
    I notice what eats up precious time are those things I struggle to do well. Right now that’s copywriting! I’d get through my goals much quicker if I could find a clone that was excellent at those things I’m not. A key goal for the second half of the year is to create great content and get it presented in a way that works to grow my business. I have to say I need help to do some things and will prioritise finding a great support copywriter who can work with me. That’s about building good relationships to support our businesses and finding the absolute right people when help is needed. Thank you Pamela for your role in that so far this year.

    • I think you’ll find that person, Siita. And you’ll be able to recognize quality work because of all you’ve been doing to educate yourself on the topic.

      The good news is that there are plenty of strong copywriters out there. Some of them read this blog! If you’re a copywriter looking for freelance work, feel free to add to this thread and I’ll connect you with Siita.

  6. First half of 2011 ended with a move to a bigger office, so when my live courses for children, teenagers and students begin again after vacation time i will have better accomodation for my clients. We got a separate room for coaching clients and for other stuff to hold. And all that office space being 100% bigger than the last one costs me only 50% more. So i guess i can tell i got pretty good bargain.

    I ran 4 live courses for one Bank employees last 6 months and at the end of the series i got a tell from their training manager that they want to continue doing it with me regularily. But lets wait till september. Im not couting on them before i get a confirmation.

    Another thing is i finally ended my 1 person company website 🙂 and for last month when it was up stats went 2x UP. Bounce rate 50% down, pages view per visit x2-6 higher, time on page x5 longer. So i guess i did a great job with design and my fiance did a great job with copywriting. But as with last example i will be happy only when in september when we go back on market with our courses i see some money from this.

    On topics of adjustments:
    I m setting my feet into more automated business: ebooks, repororts to add as extra to our live courses and/or sell separately as part of a blog im launching in a week or so. Because maybe i had some success when u read last 3 points, but it cost me a lot and i now know that i cant keep it up as lately a lot of stress is getting into me and im full of fear and rage interchangeably. Because of this relationship with my fiance is suffering. And to think we are getting married in 1.5 month… I hope that fear and rage wont destroy that relationship pulling down my micro company with it into oblivion. As me and my fiancee work for our own company together. So if one thing goes down in flames the other one too.

    So there you go from one side its looking promising (but i wouldnt call it good untill i reap some real life benefits) but from the other side the costs of all that i have done in first half of 2011 are getting into me hard. I dont know if i can afford to stop and think instead of working hard. Competition is not sleeping and if i dont get my products fast into market others will…

      • Heh. Thanks i will need it.

        Btw i REALLY liked the “Thank you for commenting first time” page. Can you tell me how is it done? I would really differentiate myselff from other Bloggers in Poland by implementing such thing. I dint see it used even by the biggest in Poland.

        Thanks in advance if u decide to share the secret with me.

        • I’m happy to share. It’s a plugin called “Comment Redirect by Yoast.” You use it to send the first-time commenter to whatever page you’d like. And it’s free: enjoy!

  7. Pamela, You have been a tremendous help to me as I begin my website and consulting business. I’ve read your archived posts on logos, color and design, and Design 101. I’m also learning so much from E-Book Evolution. My goal is to be set up with a logo and promotional materials when I speak at a conference later this summer. Hoping to build my subscriber list. My audience is parents of teens with disabilities. I’m reviewing several logo drafts now. These are my favorites. Any input you have about color, font, composition would be MOST valued and appreciated. Thanks for your generous heart and your wonderful expertise.
    Blessings!

    https://www.LogoDesignTeam.com/projects/design-concepts/LifeAfterIEPC60a-A00aT03a-A.jpg
    https://www.LogoDesignTeam.com/projects/design-concepts/LifeAfterIEPC79a-A00aT03a-A.jpg
    https://www.LogoDesignTeam.com/projects/design-concepts/LifeAfterIEPC70a-A00aT03a-A.jpg

    • Hi Mary,

      Of these choices, I think the third one is the strongest. The only changes you might try asking for are to reverse the colors in the company name and make “After” green, and “Life” and “IEPs” blue.

      Also, the tagline is pretty small and light, and when you reduce the logo in size it might get lost. You could ask them to enlarge it and perhaps make it a bit bolder.

      Good luck with it, and thanks for reading. 🙂

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