Christine Kane's blog entry about business time-wasters really lays it on the line - and some of the items on the list might surprise you. I'd add feeling guilty (the flip side of number 6, "blame") as not only a time-waster, but an energy-sucker, as well. Aren't you doing the best you can with the energy, information, and inspiration you have at any given moment? Your best is good enough! And if you need more support -- Christine's list is a nice little jumping-off point for areas you might choose to look for it.
And I, for one, love any advice that suggests someone else should be cleaning my house and running errands! :)
Top 10 Business Time Wasters for Entrepreneurs
by Christine Kane
When you say “I don’t have enough time!” … are you always telling the truth? (Be honest.) Is it possible that you DO have enough time – more than enough – but that you’re wasting it on stupid things?
Let’s get brutally clear about what must be removed from your plate. Maybe it’s bad habits. Maybe it’s the little things you do all the time. Maybe it’s a limiting mindset. It doesn’t matter what it is. It matters that you begin with awareness.
Here is my list of top 10 Time Wasters for entrepreneurs who know it’s time to Uplevel their business…
#10 – Bookkeeping
Yes or no:
A] Do you toss your receipts in little piles, telling yourself you’ll get to them soon?
B] Do you announce every April that you’ve got to keep better track of your invoices?
C] Are you considering a QuickBooks course at your local college?
If you answered yes to ANY of these, you need a bookkeeper.
The reason you stink at this stuff is NOT because you’re a procrastinator. The reason you stink at this stuff is because YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO! If you were meant to be a bookkeeper, you’d be one!
#9 – Customer service
In the early stages of your business, it’s good to connect with your prospects and clients and directly respond to them. However, if the routine emails and calls swallow up hours each week, let go and hire someone to take over.
#8 – Running errands
One of my clients is a successful realtor. Last week, she ran a “quick” errand to put a lock box on the door of a house. With traffic, this errand took 90 minutes. This is a classic case of: “By the time I show someone how to do it, I could just do this myself.”
If you do this activity once a week, you just wasted TEN 8-hour days of high ROI work you could be doing each year. Will it take you 10 working days to show someone how to run your errands?
#7 – Housecleaning
The simple act of hiring a housekeeper can save marriages, heal relationships with kids, and make you believe in God. That’s all.
#6 – Blame
Blaming anyone (including yourself!) for your results or your actions is pointless. Instead, take your power back and own your results. Create a weekly habit of getting back on track with your priorities and your focus. We all get off track. We all have excuses. Keep up the habit of seeking solutions, not blame.
#5 – Worrying about competitors stealing your content
The days of intellectual property are mostly gone. (And I say this as somebody who has had entire blog posts cut and pasted with a new byline on other websites.)
Here’s what’s truer than theft: No one can steal your energy.
The people who steal your content crack me up because – try as they might – they can’t steal the energy and intention that is behind the content. AND, even if they get a client from your content, they most likely wouldn’t be able to deliver on the promise. Not really.
And besides, your job is to just keep getting ideas and putting them out there. Your loyal fans and readers will come to you when they find someone ripping you off. By that time, you’ll be on to something else.
#4 – Endless alerts
How many alerts are pinging, binging, ringing, blooping, bleeping or vibrating your ass in any given hour? (Or even as you read this.) Turn them off. They’re making bad chemicals happen in your brain. They’re distracting your focus. And they are turning you into an anxiety-ridden rat.
#3 – Half-Ass Delegation
Here’s a 7-Act Play in one paragraph:
Hire someone. Be excited. Tell him a few things to do. Get busy the next day. Forget to show him other things to do. Get frustrated because he didn’t do what you wanted. Call friends and complain that you can’t find good help these days.
Try this instead: When you hire someone, tell him EXACTLY what you want him to do. Lay it out in step-by-step format with desired results and timelines spelled out clearly. Take time each day to continue the training. This requires consistent clarity and focus. And it pays off.
#2 — Looking at your unsubscribes
Sigh. How many times do I have to tell you to stop doing this? Your unsubscribes are none of your business. Turn off that alert NOW.
Then, hire someone to manage your list and keep an eye on your unsubscribes. (And yes, she will inform you the day your whole list decides they don’t like you anymore and collectively makes a mass exodus. In the meantime, the three people who unsubscribed this week can go out for cocktails together and talk about you.)
#1 — Taking the word “solo” literally
Solopreneur or solo business owner means that you run your own business. It does NOT mean that you should “go it alone.” You can’t succeed without support from someone who is already successful at what you want to do. It’s time to reach out, hire a coach, get a mentor, or surround yourself with other successful entrepreneurs.
Read Christine's full blog entry here.