Time Management – Putting Your Business First

When I sit down to focus on my business, I understand that I’m dealing with two key factors. These two, time and money, are in fact two incredibly important players in the entrepreneurial world.  They both are precious resources that we often consider that we may have too much of or too little of. Time cannot be taken back and money is how our world thrives. So, naturally, they are very critical parts in any entrepreneur’s journey. 

We – as business owners, VAs, and OBMs – have all struggled with one or the other, and most likely both, more than we’d like to admit.  Funny enough, the way we organize our days, weeks, and months are key to dampening that battle.  You’ve heard some people refer to “Finance Fridays” or something of that general nature and probably thought, “wow, super, you have a themed day for your finances.”  Well, they are actually on to something with that concept.

Implementing a System

When you hear about themed workdays, you’re hearing about systems. The entrepreneur who implemented Finance Fridays implemented a system to keep him or her from overwhelm. As boss lady Jordan Gill would say, Systems Saved Me. That’s the truth. Putting systems in place ensures the longevity of your biz. 

As busy entrepreneurs, we need to remember to put our business first and that’s often much easier said than done. Why is it easier said than done though? I used to think, I need to spend my time making money, rather than spending money. (i.e. making money = working, spending money = building habits/systems) I really thought that working on MY business was spending money, while working on my client’s business was MAKING money. Needless to say, I’ve had to reshape my thinking.

I had to realize that putting my business first ensures the growth of my business, which meant making money in the long run. So, although the steps to revenue – when you put your business first – seem tangential and not connected, they very much are. By working on my business, I ensured I had a strategic client onboarding process – as just one example – and that process has kept retainer clients with me for much longer than either of us anticipated. By building a strategy session model in my business, I was able to have a product that I could continue to sell passively while gaining some of my physical time back. 

 The moral of the story is, working on your business will allow you to gain back time and money. Time in the systems you implement and automate, and money in the longevity of your clients that are sticking around for your services. 

Types of Work Days

By understanding, and prioritizing, the importance of working on my business, I then shaped my time to balance both clients’ businesses and my own business.  One way you can easily do this is by blocking time in your weekly calendar, whether it’s an entire day, or blocks on various days, to dedicate to revenue-generating activities. These revenue-generating activities are unique to each business model, so you have to get clear on what your list entails.  The important thing is that you make an effort to dedicate a specific block of uninterrupted time to your business.

One of my favorite methodologies to use with clients was developed by Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach.  The model is built around three specific types of days:  Free Days, Focus Days, and Buffer Days.

Free Days

Free Days are spent entirely away from anything business-related. The purpose is to rejuvenate.  A great reminder that we need to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I like this on my calendar – it’s a reminder to unplug!

Focus Days

Focus Days are centered on money-making activities. These are those revenue-generation days I was talking about. These are the days you put your focus, your energy, and your time on making revenue without getting distracted by preparation and systems building.

Buffer Days

Buffer Days are for preparation. These are the systems-building days. These are the days that you streamline your workflow, you get with your team and talk through strategies, etc. These are important days! Although not explicitly money-making days, they are days that increase your revenue (I promise!)

Alright, now that I’ve gone on and on about my systems and the way I frame my weekly calendar, what does yours look like? I’m always looking for new wisdom to add to my mental bookshelf, especially if it’s a genius process that I should JUMP on. 

 

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