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    Aug 2009

    Time Management for Entrepreneurs

    Posted by / in Consulting, Marketing, Tips and Tricks / Link

    Many of us start the day with the best of intentions but by dinner time, are not entirely satisfied with our accomplishments. It’s hard to stay focused with emails, phone calls, text msgs, IM, SKYPE, Twitter and FB updates constantly interrupting us. Not to mention blog posts!

    ethnicomm time management for entrepreneurs

    The time management courses that I took while in the corporate world always focused on making a TO DO list. I tried this one particular Monday and ended up moving the list to Tuesday. This was easy to do using the Day-Timer binder – just click open, remove the list, flip the page and insert the list. I did the same thing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday, I felt bad that I did not accomplish most of what I had intended to accomplish.  Knowing that this was a best practice, followed by the masses, I kept at it. By the end of the month, I realize that this doesn’t work for me so I did what I always used to do – successfully I might add!

    1. Focus on the stuff that will get me promoted.
    2. Then, focus on the stuff that would get me fired if I didn’t do it.
    3. Ignore the rest until it fell into either 1 or 2 above.

    This is fine if you are in a position where you can be promoted or fired. But what if you’re running a consulting service that helps companies develop a marketing, sales or web strategy? Or any other entrepreneurial venture where you are the boss and thus determine where you actually spend your time? I have found that the primary focus seems to be on keeping the business going NOT on thinking about the future.  What are YOU focusing on?  With proper time management, you can find time to keep the business going while you work on filling the sales funnel.

    I recently read a Harvard Business Review blog post that I think will do the trick. It is called “An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day” and suggests three steps that one can easily do. The first step, plan your day, and last step, review your day is obvious. What is unique is the author’s suggestion to refocus every hour. Review what you accomplished (or didn’t accomplish) and recommit every hour. As an entrepreneur, I find this to be a great tool. Now, when clients call and say “what have you personally done to grow my business”, I can quickly respond with specifics!

    TimeLeft is a free utility that will help you by quietly counting down and popping up a message every hour. My message is “What have you accomplished this past hour?” Of course I lose 5 seconds reading that 🙂

    Have you found an effective time management system? Please share via text or video.

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    Feb 2008

    Closing time…every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.

    Posted by / in Consulting / Link

    One of the challenges with consulting is that you can be an active part of a team while you’re working on the assignment but once the gig is over, you’re back to being a free agent again. No more understanding the business, developing the strategy, ratifying the marketing plan, recommending the tactics, helping it execute and constantly thinking about how to make it better. It becomes an obsession while you’re there because you want to add value and see the company become significantly more successful as a result of your efforts. Unfortunately, when it’s time to move on, it can be hard to slam on the brakes and change course.

    I don’t generally find this to be a problem but sometimes you really connect with the company and stopping is a bit difficult. Consulting for TLBC (The LaparoscopicBAND Center) in Toronto was an incredible experience due to their super friendly staff and the fact that I was able to contribute towards their efforts in helping people make positive lifestyle changes. I even made some personal changes myself as a result…and am lighter, happier and healthier! Those that I care about are benefiting from my experience since I’m spreading the gospel to them as well. So it’s with a heavy heart and a lighter body mass that I bid adieu.

    As SemiSonic said in their one hit wonder back in 1999: “…every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

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