Secrets Of Super-Productive Female Entrepreneurs
QuickBooks are celebrating Women’s Month in August by celebrating the fairer sex in our monthly newsletter. The rise of the female entrepreneur has been immense in the past couple of years and continues to show an upward trend. Women are indeed a force to be reckoned with in the entrepreneurial space and here are some of the elements that successful female entrepreneurs agree are key to their achievement and tips on how to achieve this:
The biggest time drain for nearly all women business owners is lack of focus. Even if they manage to free up some precious time in their overly busy schedules to work on their business for a change, they haven’t the faintest idea where to start. Faced with a to-do list so long and so full of huge jobs that they are paralyzed into inaction. Needless to say, this is not the way to be super-productive. Instead, they need to make their to-do list more manageable and less terrifying and the best way to do this is by breaking every huge job down into bite-sized chunks. It’s the old adage of eating the elephant one bite at a time.
Time flies, especially when there is too much to do. So how does one get a grip of their time and fit more into their days? The solution is a simple one, but might sound strange, it’s to set a timer. There is nothing like a good old deadline to get ones mind laser focused and their productivity gland working overtime. Use the timer on your phone or get a kitchen timer and set it for 20 or 30 minutes. Even 10 minutes if it’s a small task that you just need to get done. Don’t look at or touch anything else during that time until you’ve completed the job in hand. You will be amazed how much you can achieve working this way. Try it!
Getting by day-to-day is all very well but you’ll be much more productive and much more motivated if you know where you’re going and have a clear direction. To achieve this, it is really helpful to create a business vision that shows what one wants their business and life to look like in, say five or 10 years. They think about how much money they want to be earning, how many hours they would like to be working and what they will do with their time off. Take the time to think these things through – What does success look like to you? You can either tear up magazines and create a vision montage on a sheet of paper or use Pinterest. Whenever you have an ‘off’ day or you take a knock, look at your vision board and remember why you’re doing this. Once you have created the roadmap of where you want to go, it will be much easier to get there.
Confidence, or rather lack of it, is a productivity killer. Many women business owners and female entrepreneurs have let lack of confidence rule their lives and break their business. Lack of confidence is what makes women say ‘yes’ to things they’d rather not be doing, to take on bad clients because they thought any clients were better than none or not stand their ground when they were being taken advantage of. Lack of confidence is characterised by mind chatter telling you that you’re not good enough, you’re not clever enough, no one will pay those prices or even ‘you’re a bad mother.’ Women need to believe in themselves, to believe they are better than they think. Just like positive confidence can help reap success, the lack of confidence can hinder ones ability to succeed.
Smarter Not Harder
Working smarter involves outsourcing those jobs you hate (book-keeping, admin, social media marketing) to someone else who loves those kinds of jobs. The time you free up far outweighs the minor expense and you get to free up some valuable mental bandwidth instead of having your mind on a task you need to do but are avoiding. Leveraging your time is another smart working technique. Doing lots of one-to-one work when you could be working with groups and earning more for the same time? Having to come up with new blog content every time instead of adapting and reworking other stuff you’ve done? There are loads of ways to work smarter not harder.
Think Like a Business Owner
Many women business owners suffer from ‘little old me’ syndrome which is no help when you’re trying to be super-productive. ‘Little old me’ gives in when you’re faced with a neighbor at the door who wants a chat because you work from home so you can’t be busy. ‘Little old me’ gets put upon by friends and family because you don’t have a ‘proper’ business. Sound familiar? The antidote to ‘little old me’ syndrome is to think like a business owner. Would a business owner stand and chat or would she stick to her schedule and get back to her desk. ‘Little old me’ syndrome is self-imposed – stand your ground and you’ll start to get taken seriously.
Super productive business owners surround themselves with other successful people. They don’t tolerate negativity or put up with whingers and whiners. There’s a saying that goes “Those who say it cannot be done should not stand in the way of those doing it.” There are many groups both on and offline for business owners. Find a network that works for you (there are so many different networks out there that you’ll find the perfect fit) and use it. Share your problems, ask for help, be inspired, celebrate successes and use the power of the group – it’s a wonderful thing.
These are just a few ways for female entrepreneurs to cement their success. Celebrate Women’s Month by using the month of August to implement these 7 ways to make you super productive – you are bound to reap the benefits.