How to Achieve Smart Time Management: 10 Tips for Busy Professionals

How to Achieve Smart Time Management: 10 Tips for Busy Professionals

When you are a busy professional running your own business, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything. Being strategic with your time is the best (and possibly the only) way to achieve all of your daily tasks. If you are struggling with time management, then coaching by a business coach in Atlanta, GA, will help you take control of your work life. Follow these ten tips to reap the benefits of time management for yourself and your business. 

Be Well Rested

The first tip for effective time management is to start your day well-rested. To function at a high level, you need to take care of your body by de-stressing and getting the recommended amount of sleep. You should also take short breaks throughout the day to keep your mind sharp.

Create a Distraction-Free Workzone

Optimize your workspace to ensure you are ready to focus when you start working. Clear out any clutter or distractions, then organize your desk. Avoid loud noises or stress that prevents you from concentrating intensely. 

Understand Your Productivity Levels

Everyone’s energy levels are different depending on the time of day. Take inventory of your productivity levels throughout the workday. Then schedule your tasks around those times, ensuring that tasks that require a lot of energy are planned in your peak productive hours.

Avoid Multitasking in Favor of Deep Focus

Try to work in organized blocks of time rather than jumping around between jobs. It takes time to refocus and readjust to new activities, so deeply focusing on a single task often saves time over multitasking.

Plan Your Time Management Ahead

Having a weekly schedule is essential when you run a business. Planning your week gives you a broader perspective of work goals and multi-day tasks. Investing in time management coaching can help you organize big-picture goals into smaller attainable tasks.

Organize Your Daily Tasks

Planning your day should be a priority in your time management strategy. Making a to-do list the night before can save you so much time in the morning. You can be ready with a list of top urgent tasks first thing in the morning. 

Prioritize Based on Urgency or Importance

Have a list of your most urgent and vital priorities and continue to scale down into unimportant and not urgent tasks. Time management coaches can help you prioritize these items and plan accordingly.

Have Measurable Time Management Goals

You should have long-term and short-term goals that your company is aiming to achieve. If you are having trouble setting or achieving your business goals, time management coaching will help you strategize. 

Delegate to Others Appropriately

When organizing your tasks, take note of the jobs that only you can do. Then delegate the remaining tasks appropriately to the members of your team that can handle them best. 

Automate Processes Where Possible

Try to find technology that will automate simple routine tasks to save time. Using helpful software can save you and your team time and energy.

Effective time management can seem like a faraway dream when you’re in the thick of a busy business. Working with time management coaches may be the boost you need to get the right strategy in place. Consider working with a business coach in Atlanta, Ga, to help you achieve the best time management strategy for your business. 

5 Ways to Use Email Automation to Boost Traffic

5 Ways to Use Email Automation to Boost Traffic

Every single business in the world wants to evolve and grow. This will happen using a variety of techniques and strategies. In 2022, digital marketing is more than a household name, and most companies will adopt at least a few ideas when long-term planning and coming up with new ways of evolving. If you need help with your small business and you aren’t sure how to evolve with the world, seek out an online business coach to guide you through.

Email automation is a common and useful technique in terms of bringing more eyes to the business and retaining clients or customers. The chances are that you have received automated emails and been a part of email campaigns over the past few years yourself. 

Hire a business coach to help guide you through the process and help you ultimately grow as a company. Here, we’re going to talk a little about how it all works and what it can result in with the help of an online business coach. 

What Specifically Is Email Automation? 

It’s a tool that allows anyone to set up groups of emails that are automatically sent out to recipients. Once a trigger has been pulled, the email automation will get to work. The trigger could be subscribing or buying a particular product. Emails are typically tactically sent out at a particular time – depending on what you want to achieve. All that’s necessary is one email, and they’ll be scattered around all subscribers at the same time. 

The Benefits Of Email Automation In Business 

There are many benefits of email automation in business, and that’s why so many small businesses, entrepreneurs, and corporations are all utilizing it. 

Firstly, the ROI tends to be significantly high for most who take part. Emails are received at the perfect time and, thus, quenches the thirst for people to input feedback or explore more. Automated emails tend to be opened more often than random emails out of the blue. This is because the recipient is comfortable with the company and knows the kind of thing they’re getting.

The relationship between recipient and sender tends to grow over the months of being linked via automated emails. This then helps when wanting to turn leads into sales. 

 With all of this, it’s a sure-fire way of growing and increasing revenue in the long run. Companies will invest little and receive a lot in return which can be streamlined if you hire a business coach online. 

Why Is Email Automation Used By Most Ambitious Businesses?

The most fundamental benefit of automated emails is that they’ll be able to collect feedback quickly and efficiently. They’ll get to learn about their audience, customers, and clients in a timely manner. 

It can be used to notify their subscribers about events or special situations that are upon us or to let them know about particular blog posts that have been published recently. Inviting someone via email to check out something online or in person is great for efficiency, convenience, and professionalism.  

Building up excitement and anticipation for the latest product or service certainly allows businesses to create a buzz about what they’re looking to bring out. 

5 Ways Businesses Are Growing And Boosting Traffic With Email Automation

  • Personalizing emails allows the bond between the two to grow. The business as a whole and reputation both flourish.
  • Longevity and a platform to work on both develop as customer retention becomes a more common theme.
  • It’s a comfortable and professional method of attracting even more subscriptions – once the trigger has been set off. 
  • Simple leads can go from being nothing to something through lead nurturing. Email marketing goes through the funnel of awareness, consideration, and decision-making. 
  • Businesses are able to upsell using email marketing.

While email marketing and email automation are commonly used, not every business owner will know how to get started with it all, which is why you should hire a business coach in Atlanta to help you navigate email automation and more. This is where we at Marc Borelli can come in. We can show anyone the ropes and provide a real strategy that will help your business grow. We’ve worked in this area for a while and have all the experience to see this kind of campaign through. 

6 Questions To Ask A Potential Business Coach Before Hiring Them

6 Questions To Ask A Potential Business Coach Before Hiring Them

Many entrepreneurs consider executive business coaching when they start struggling on their professional path. A small business coach is an experienced professional mentor who educates, supports, and motivates entrepreneurs. They will listen to your concerns, assess your weaknesses honestly, and help you capitalize on your strengths to maximize opportunities. Fortunately, we are one of the leading services many small business owners turn to when seeking to hire a business coach.

Why You May Need a Business Coach

There is no shortage of reasons why you may require a business coach’s assistance to boost your company’s chances of success. For instance, you may need one when you start a company and want support. You may also require their services when you lack clarity on your enterprise’s next steps or overall vision or are not seeing tangible results despite working hard towards your business goals. Furthermore, an online business coach is worth hiring if you are in the middle of a business transition, want to take your company to higher heights, or require support in specific aspects of your business like finances or marketing. Finally, you can simply hire a business coach if you are passionate about your professional development or want to identify any mental barriers preventing you from achieving success.

How is a Business Coach Helpful?

Your small business coach will eliminate mental roadblocks, provide unbiased viewpoints, and offer constructive criticism to address your specific business issues. They will also recommend new plans and may offer networking opportunities worth taking advantage of. Furthermore, your coach can:

  • Help you grow your business from the start
  • Analyze plans that have contributed to your enterprise’s success or failure
  • Assess your strengths and weakness and guide your development
  • Keep you accountable and motivated.

Who Should You Hire?

Generally, it is best to hire someone passionate about helping entrepreneurs and businesses unlock their true potential. In addition, their communication style and expertise must be a great fit for your company. Your business coach should be an empathetic and active listener. They should first seek to understand if they wish to be understood and must connect with you emotionally and cognitively. Furthermore, great business coaches like Kaizen Solution’s Marc Borelli aren’t afraid to ask powerful questions to get to the root cause of what is holding you back from achieving your goals.

Also, a good business coach should have admirable values of honesty and integrity, a commitment to constant learning, humility, accessibility, and trustworthiness. In addition, hire someone who provides the exact services you are seeking. For example, if you have a vision of what your business could be but require a solid plan to get there, we are worth hiring to help with strategic planning. We also offer financial improvement coaching, systems and operations optimization, and scaling assistance.

Finding a Great Business Coach

You will need to explore far and wide to find a great business coach, so keep this in mind. You can ask your network of fellow entrepreneurs to recommend someone they have worked with, for starters. Also, search trusted coaching directories and browse business-related Facebook groups. You can also find an online business coach by searching for relevant terms on Google.

Interviewing Your Small Business Coach

The best way to prepare for your interview with a business coach is to think about the question you will ask them ahead of time. Some of the key questions to ask a potential business coach include:

How can you help me?

This question is seemingly apparent but fundamental to hiring the best professional for executive business coaching. After all, several business coaches are out there, so it is difficult to differentiate between the good and bad. This simple question will help you understand their skills to determine if they are a good fit.

Have you worked with others in my industry?

Business coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor since all companies are different. Therefore, this question is worth asking to ensure that the professional you hire has experience helping companies in your specific industry. This way, you can confirm that they have the relevant experience to help you succeed.

What are your credentials?

Many coaching programs certify coaches based on the International Coach Federation’s standards. Consequently, ask about your coach’s credentials to determine their type of training. This question will reveal whether they have the knowledge and expertise to assist entrepreneurs like you, so it is worth asking.

How do you work with clients?

Enterprise business coaching takes many forms, so it is best to find a coach who delivers their services in a way you are comfortable with. Some coaches offer group or individual programs which may or may not appeal to you. Similarly, an online coach might not be the best person to hire if you prefer an in-person approach. It is also prudent to ask whether you can take advantage of any resources due to your working relationship.

What are your values?

This question is one of the most popular ones we receive at Kaizen Solutions. Shared values facilitate a great working relationship, so our clients are naturally concerned about whether we see things the same way they do. Therefore, consider your values and what is important to you in a coaching relationship. Then, share this with your potential coach to see if you are on the same page.

How many companies have you helped create?

The business coaching industry is saturated with individuals with no actual background in building businesses besides their own. As such, ask this question to discover how successful your preferred business coach has been over the years.

How Executive Business Coaching Can Help You Reach the Next Level

As per the Institute of Coaching, more than 70% of coaching recipients report a tangible improvement in communication, relationships, and work performance. However, you need to work with us to enjoy the best results. We can help you:

  • Increase revenue and boost your bottom line.
  • Equip you to become tougher through resilience-building strategies like positive psychology and questioning negative assumptions.
  • Expand your leadership skills.
  • Build your executive leadership team.

Marc Borelli has the tools you need to grow and manage your business and the experience to back you up. Find out more on our website.

What is a Peer Group, and How Can it Improve Your Career?

What is a Peer Group, and How Can it Improve Your Career?

If you are a CEO or key executive who has come to a crossroads or crisis in your career, you’ll gain valuable insights and solutions from a peer group connection more than anywhere else. But what is a peer group, and how can that statement be made with so much conviction? 

Using the Vistage Model with Marc Borrelli as Chair, business leaders from all industries and backgrounds are immersed in an environment that genuinely fosters developmental growth in work and life. CEO peer groups and groups for key executives meet regularly to engage with one another on the issues that only those in the same positions can understand. Through critical thinking and shared expertise, all discover new ideas that allow them to grow and prosper – personally and professionally. 

What Is A Peer Group With Vistage? It’s A Support System For Those At The Top

There are benefits to forming a peer group connection not found anywhere else. CEO peer groups exist because there is no one to turn to for help without them. Subordinates, family, friends – all of these people have a reliance on you, as you may have on them. This complicates matters when you require the kind of stimulation for growth that comes only from hard, unbiased truths. 

You may wonder how anything can get done when you violate the “too many chiefs” proverb. Still, the Vistage Model of peer coaching groups involves an entirely different kind of rivalry. With a genuine peer group connection, we do indeed challenge each other’s assumptions, destroy one another’s hubris, and engage in confrontational conversations (or rather, ‘care’frontational), but it’s meaningful and without any agendas. Each individual is their own rival; the members are different versions of you with valuable advice designed to uplift.

The Value Of Peer Coaching Groups 

It may be difficult for some leaders to admit it, but being at the top by definition implies they can benefit the most from support – it’s a long drop if they fall. Besides, CEO peer groups with Vistage offer a lot of value. 

Not only do Vistage members on average outperform their non-Vistage peers by 2.2x revenue growth and have higher profit margins, but they are immediately exposed to a network of 23,000 executives worldwide. Add to that the proof of success in our program demonstrated by the average five years top executives stay with Vistage, and the overall value cannot be quantified.

It Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely At The Top

Explaining what a peer group is is easy; the challenge is experiencing one. However, additional growth in business and life (for those who have already reached the top) requires challenge and an environment for cultivation. Discover your full potential with help from Vistage Chair Marc Borrelli.

Resolutions, Here We Go Again.

Resolutions, Here We Go Again.

2021 Resolutions, A Scorecard

Last year I shared how I came up with resolutions to meet my business and personal needs in my blog post, New Year’s Resolutions, Once More Unto the Breach. I broke my 2021 resolutions for 2021 into three areas and scored them as follows:

Business

  • Have five coaching Clients on annual contracts.
  • Have 14 Vistage Clients.
  • Start every day with affirmations and plan the day’s events around the 5 x 5 framework.
  • Migrate all non-value work to outside services, e.g., accounting, calendar control.
  • Stick to marketing plan for:
    • Social Media;
    • Blog Posts;
    • Newsletters; and
    • Webinars.

Personal

  • Walk five miles four times a week.
  • Do yoga three times a week.
  • Stick to a new diet of limited dairy, carbs, and sugar.
  • Work on Spanish 30 minutes a day and start having online conversations in Q2 once a week.
  • Read/listen for an hour every day for books on my booklist.

Relationships

  • Take a two-week vacation with my wife in 2021.
  • Take a long weekend vacation once a quarter.
  • Speak to my children once a week to support them and not solve their issues.
  • Develop a calling plan for “old” friends to be called through the month. 
  • Ensure that I am truly present when I am with my wife, children, or friends. I have put electronics away, emptied my mind of the usual distractions, and focused on them.

If I had to score myself on my achievement of the resolutions, I would give myself the following scores on a 0 to 10 scale:

Business 5.65
Personal 4.60
Relationship 8.20

Not great, but not bad. However, I looked over my resolutions; I realized that little had changed in my plans, and my 3HAG was still basically the same. Thus, the goals I had set myself were still appropriate. 

2022 Resolutions

So the real question was how to ensure that I do better. Listening to a podcast with social psychologist Wendy Wood, she said that you need to tap into your unconscious mind if you want to change your life. Wendy is the world’s foremost expert on habits and the author of “Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick.” According to Wendy, research had shown that the success of achieving resolutions had little to do with willpower but sticking to the plan. Contrary to popular opinion, it takes three months to develop a new habit, not three weeks. So if during three months you fail, don’t give up. Commit to it again and keep trying to stick with it; the longer you do this, the more successful you will be. Furthermore, To adhere to it, you had to do two things.

  1. Minimize friction that stops you from achieving it. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, and the reason you fail is you eat the wrong things, then get rid of all the “bad” items in your house, which will minimize the chance of your missing your goad.
  2. Increase friction for those things that lead you not to do it. For example, if your goal is to increase how much you read. Then make where you read inviting and comfortable and get rid of distractions, so don’t bring your phone with you and remove the TV.

So with all my resolutions, I have looked at how to change the friction involved. I need to ensure I don’t miss those items I succeeded with last year. However, to show how I am looking at friction, I thought I would provide examples of those resolutions I failed most.

Adjusting Friction

So let’s look at last year’s resolutions where I failed and determine what friction I can minimize and maximize to ensure better success.

Have five coaching Clients on annual contracts. 

This resolution I failed as I have far fewer than five on a yearly contract. However, last year, I had about five clients who hired me for short-term periods, i.e., three months to work with them. While admittedly, annual contracts would be better, I have found that these engagements were very positive. I was able to help clients with specific problems and improve the relationship between myself and my clients, leading to more repeat business and referrals. 

So what is the friction involved? 

  • Friction to reduce. A mindset that I had to sell an annual contract, rather than a mindset of fixing the client’s issue and seeing where the relationship would lead us. 
  • Friction to increase. Don’t propose anything until I know the prospect’s most significant issue and only focus on that. So I have built a questionnaire, and until I can answer it, I don’t propose a solution or relationship.

Do Yoga Three times a week.

So last year, I did yoga three times! Quite a fail, given it, was a resolution. So again, what caused me not to do it? Only with that knowledge can I fix it? There was a multitude, but primarily I realized that they all came back to allowing insufficient time. So what frictions do I need to change to ensure I get it done.

  • Friction to reduce. Not planning time for yoga meant I was trying to fit in when I had a gap in my time, which doesn’t happen. So I am now booking it in my calendar every Sunday for the week. I can’t preplan it on an annual basis as other things come up which change my availability. Still, I can set aside an hour and twenty minutes for yoga and shower three times a week, every week, if I plan accordingly.
  • Friction to increase. I am committing to a friend to do this and sharing my calendar with them. Then they can check on me and hold me accountable.

Develop a calling plan for “old” friends to be called through the month. 

Again, my performance on this item was mediocre at best. I called a few people but not nearly enough. Looking at my results, I realized that I would primarily forget. So what frictions do I have to change.

  • Friction to reduce. Make a calendar appointment every week to call some old friend. To assist, I have a calendar entry and put in their name and phone number, so I don’t have to decide whom I will call and then look for their number. Helping in this regard, I look on social media to see whose birthdays are that week and try to phone the day to wish them a happy birthday and let them know I am thinking of them.
  • Friction to increase. I am reaching out on social media, e.g., Facebook, Whatapp, or LinkedIn, to let them know I plan to call them that week and hope we will talk. I am also leaving a message to say that I called and hope they will call back.

Next year I look forward to reporting back and letting you know my progress. I hope you will look at your goals for 2022 and see how changing the friction involved will help you achieve them. If you want to have someone hold you accountable over them, then feel free to share them.

Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss this with me.

 

Copyright (c) 2022, Marc A. Borrelli

 

 

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You need to take an extended vacation. No, seriously, you do.

You need to take an extended vacation. No, seriously, you do.

Not only do you need a vacation, but it needs to be at least two weeks, and preferably longer. I have given many CEOs and business leaders this advice over the years, and I believe in it. 

Why a minimum of two weeks? Well, you need the first week to unwind and let work “go.” The second week, you truly relax, the tension of work and all its issues leave, but the brain continues to work in the background. After two weeks, I start to see the forest for the trees. The problems that were prominent in my life no longer are as relevant as I thought they were. Turning to my navigate sage power, I turn to my elder self to look back and see what is essential and what I should be focused on rather than that what has my attention.

Now I am unwinding

However, like the old saying, “Physician heal thyself,” I have failed to heed my advice until two weeks ago. I am now sitting in NE Spain, enjoying a quieter time and relaxing with good friends, food, and wine. To ensure my disconnection, I have adopted the following rules:

  • Limit email activity to 15 minutes a day.
  • Disconnect from Facebook (well, I effectively did that a couple of years ago) and all social media other than LinkedIn. 
  • Post to LinkedIn, but according to a plan, it takes about 5 minutes a day.
  • Avoid the news and television.
  • Reading lots but no business books.
  • At least 30 minutes of meditation a day.
  • Walk at least 5 miles a day.
  • Swim as often as possible in the ocean.

These rules are not complicated, but we are so conditioned to remain connected and tuned in that it takes effort to disconnect.

As I relax, I remember that I, like my clients, need to take an extended vacation to recover from the low-level stress of COVID over the last eighteen months. COVID has taken a toll on me, and more than I realized. While I have been active during COVID, I recognized that I have been reactive more than proactive. Now, not only do I want to change this behavior, but I am framing it around what I want to accomplish in Q4 2021 and 2022. 

The benefits for you

Sitting in quiet squares or overlooking the ocean, the focus has gotten more precise, the planning more effortless, and many things are just getting crossed off the list or deleted. Also, I am finding that I can better help my clients as my mind declutters.

I am focusing on achieving my long-term goals and not get distracted by what is in front of me. By refocusing, I realized much of what I was doing was not relevant to the long-term goals and thus a distraction.

Now, I can’t say that everything will be done and perfect at the end of this. But I will have more energy, be much better mentally to deal with what lies ahead, and cope with winter.

The benefit for your business.

Taking a minimum of two weeks off provides additional benefits too. You can see how your business operates without you. You will have answers to the following questions:

  • Does my leadership team function well in my absence? Are they aligned, and Is there conflict?
  • Do my team and company understand its mission, strategy, and purpose?
  • Does the organization continue to hit its KPIs for the quarter?
  • Do my clients need to deal with me, or can my team handle the clients’ needs?

I have asked many clients how their business would perform if they were unavailable for three to six months, and the answer is usually “Fine.” However, if you cannot go away for two weeks and disconnect, is that true?

If your business cannot operate without you, you don’t have a business; you have a job! To successfully leave your business, you have to make yourself redundant. Only by creating your own redundancy can you sell it, pass it on, or assume a non-executive position. I realize for many business owners, this isn’t easy, as their identity is tied up in their business, but to create a more significant legacy, ensure it operates without you.

So when did you last leave?

As I said earlier, with COVID, I hadn’t taken a vacation in 18+ months. Not only that, but with WFH, I had, like many others, increased the amount of time I was working which typically included at least one full day of every weekend. All of this took a toll.

So when did you last take a “proper” vacation for at least two weeks? Did you disconnect, or were you on calls and emails all the time, putting out fires and saving the company? The stress of the last eighteen months has taken a mental toll on all of us. If you don’t take a break and let yourself recover, you will be ill-prepared for what is ahead. While none of us know what is ahead, we can be sure that labor, supplies, and demand will be unpredictable. 

COVID and its effects are not done. I feel like we’re just finished the first half, but there is another half to go, and the opposing team that emerges from the locker room has a new strategy.

If it has been a while since you took an extended vacation, take one now, you will be amazed at how much you and your business will benefit.

 

Copyright (c) 2021, Marc A. Borrelli

 

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