First, Lead Yourself

First, Lead Yourself

Most of us have probably been in a situation where we worked with a group of people, and the project went well or terribly depending on the quality of the group leadership. In your business, whether you’ve got a company of 100, 10, or 1 – YOU are the leader. What’s the quality of that group’s leadership?


Do you think of yourself as a leader? If you’ve got the title of entrepreneur, CEO, or “wearer of all the hats,” you’re leading your company. It doesn’t matter how many people work for you – if you’re not in the regular habit of leading yourself, you won’t be able to lead anyone else, now or in the future.

What steps are you taking to become a better leader in your business? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

Are you prepared for each day?

Do you regularly take time in the morning (or at the close of working time the night before) to prepare for your day? Do you have a list of tasks and one to three goals you want to accomplish each day? Do you know what absolutely must be done, what would be nice to accomplish, and what can be left off the list?

If your answer is NO, then take some time to think and plan at the start of tomorrow’s work day, and every day after that. Give yourself a list of no more than 3 tasks that must be accomplished, and set an intention for how you want that day to go. Establish this as part of your morning routine, and stick with it! You’ll be surprised how much more productive you are throughout the day when you’ve got a clear plan.

Do you regularly seek to improve?

Nobody ever got really good at something if they didn’t regularly strive to improve their skills, and the same holds true for running a business. As the leader of your business, you’ve got to start with improving yourself, and you’ve got to keep up the habit regularly. Read more business blogs or books (and apply the lessons you’re learning!), participate in webinars and online classes, go out and attend conventions or other events. There’s a ton of education available out there to help you get better at whatever you’re trying to improve, from marketing to operations to profit. Pick something and start learning! Put it on your calendar so that you’re setting aside time each week to learn something new.

Do you ask for feedback?

How do you know you’re good at something? Someone tells you! (The same is true for knowing if you’re not so good!). You can give yourself feedback by setting up regular times to review what’s working and what’s not in your business (once a month for a quick review and once a quarter for a longer one is a good rule of thumb). At these same intervals, it’s a good idea to get outside feedback, from employees, contractors, business advisers, consultants, and customers. Create a survey, send a quick email, give them a form to fill out, and ask them what you’re doing well and what could be improved. Then, the all-important next step is to follow up and make changes according to the feedback you receive.

What’s the very next step YOU will take in order to lead yourself toward improving your business?

If you feel like you need to work on improving your skills, we’ve made it easy to incorporate reading more business books (and applying their lessons!) into your routine. Sign up for the Small Biz Book Club and you’ll have the option to read along for free, and get weekly updates to remind you to make the time to improve. Enter your e-mail into the box to get all the details:

5 Time Management Tips from Our Favorite Time Lord

5 Time Management Tips from Our Favorite Time Lord

Although I have always loved Sci-Fi, I only became a Doctor Who fan after the reboot 10 years ago. Since then I have discovered that Doctor Who not only knows how to manipulate and move through time, but how to manage it as well.

Even though his antics may seem like they are only about adventure, human nature and morality stories, there are also good ideas on time management and achieving our goals. I mean, in the end, his goal is always achieved, right?!?!

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How Recurrance Features Save Time

How Recurrance Features Save Time

Activities we engage in on a regular basis are often described as habits. But before they become habits, we must first develop a discipline of repeated activities. This is where recurrence can come to the rescue.

Most of us develop a habit of brushing our teeth while we are young, but rarely does that occur without some level of nagging from our parents. They are critical in providing the discipline and accountability for us to develop the habit. As we move out on our own we have to find new methods for developing habits. Whereas self-discipline is the method we use for personal habits, there are often repeating tasks that are critical in developing a business that runs smoothly. Recurrence is a feature that is available in a variety of program and applications. When utilized properly, it can develop new patterns, reduce time spent on administrative tasks and free up mental energy for more creative endeavors. Recurrence features save time not only in your business life but in your personal life as well.

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Managing Your Calendar for Increased Productivity

Managing Your Calendar for Increased Productivity

For as long as I can remember, my productivity has been guided by two things: my task list and my calendar. However, these two items have rarely truly been managed in tandem.

I would set appointments with clients, for meetings or personal activities and then the time I had left was available for my task list. For some of my job positions (particularly some of my first jobs) this actually made sense. But as I moved up in management it probably was not so wise. And now as a solopreneur, it is even less so.

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6 Simple Steps for Task Management

6 Simple Steps for Task Management

Most folks are so busy these days that managing tasks has become a critical life skill. So much more so for those of us solopreneurs juggling business, family and other social obligations.

[featured-image single-newwindow=”false” id=”140120-Juggling” alt=”Juggling”]Photo Credit: Mathieu Péborde via Compfight cc[/featured-image]

Making task management work for me has long been one of the skills I believe that has led to my success in many areas. These 6 task management tips, when used consistently will greatly improve your results day in and day out.

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