Don’t be Perfect

I know what it’s like to have a business. I have so many things that I want to do.

I want all of it to be perfect.

In fact, I could spend an hour making a single social media graphic. I could spend an entire 40 hour work week perfecting my website. I could spend 5 hours writing a blog post.

All in the sake of being perfect.

But you know what? Perfect isn’t always the best way to go.

Perfect can be your downfall.

You should just finish it. Your graphics should look great, but they don’t have to be perfect. Your website should look great, but I’m not sure those are ever perfect. Blog posts should be helpful to your readers, but it doesn’t have to be award winning.

Don’t use perfection as an excuse.

Don’t delay creating a blog because you can’t write perfect posts every week. Don’t delay launching that e-book because it isn’t perfect yet. Just do it!

You can always edit it at a later time, but don’t let perfection be an excuse.

In fact, launching a product that isn’t perfect is absolutely ideal. You’re going to get feedback from users and you can adjust the product to suit their needs!

If you wait on everything being perfect, you’re going to lose out on sales, spend tons of valuable time doing tasks that should be used elsewhere, and you may never actually launch it!

Do you find yourself coming up with amazing plans, research it, start this amazing product, only to never actually finish it? You begin getting bored and discouraged because it isn’t perfect?

Stop doing that!

You’re probably your own worst critic. Do you ever think your own work is ever perfect? I feel I can always tweak and improve nearly every aspect of my business.

You should always be proud of your product, but perfect is a nearly impossible goal to reach. Don’t let that get in the way of you putting out an amazing product.

So, are you pushing back starting/finishing anything in your business because you’re concerned it won’t be perfect?



Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here


 

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Stay Productive by Planning

Plan to have a productive week in your business and an entrepreneur
How to have a productive week even when you’re an overwhelmed entrepreneur. AmandaLeighVA.com

Staying productive can seem like such an impossible task, but it is completely doable with a plan.

Set out a time every week for a plan. I like to plan on Sundays, but first thing Monday morning or last thing on Friday works as well.

Bonus tip: while planning out your week, make sure you schedule time for batch processing!

Ideally, the planning would include several aspects.

  1. What is your biggest priority for this upcoming week and how are you going to accomplish that goal? (Examples: Write your blog posts, course creation, follow up with x number of leads, big client projects, etc.)
  2. What activities do you do daily? (Examples: Check emails, social media interaction, other client work, etc.)
  3. What appointments do you have set up?

First, look at your biggest goal for the week. What do you have to do every day to complete that goal? For example, if your goal is to write blog posts for next month, start every day dedicating an hour to writing blog posts. If you batch process your blog writing, take one hour on Monday and Tuesday to write your posts, one hour Wednesday and Thursday to edit them, and one hour on Friday to make graphics, format, and schedule them to post.

(Note that I didn’t say to do this after you check your emails and social media, those take too long and can be way too distracting)

Next, schedule blocks of time to work on your business and your client work. Don’t worry about the details just yet!

For example, maybe your week will look like this:

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Friday

Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal
Business admin/marketing Business admin/marketing Business admin/marketing Meetings Business admin/marketing
Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
Client work Client work Meetings Client work Client work

Everyone’s list is going to look differently. Because much of my work is other entrepreneur’s “business admin/marketing”, I group my email, social media, and Asana updates with my clients, so my weeks look more like this:

Monday

Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

Friday

Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal Work on week’s goal
Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails Check and respond to emails
Social media posting Amanda Leigh Marketing Client work Client work Client work
Update Asana Update Asana Update Asana Update Asana Update Asana

After the days are somewhat grouped and batched, it’s time to plan out the details. Try to batch as much as possible together. Do you have multiple clients that you need to create graphics for? Are you creating multiple brand boards or logos? Try to batch like projects together.

I would also suggest not giving yourself exact times to work on these. It just seems like once you start running behind, it’s easy to get stressed and less motivated.

Side note, I can’t talk about planning a productive week without touching on emails and other incoming notifications. You can schedule time open and check your emails/social media, if that’s what you’d like to do. It is known to be best practice to only check your emails at certain times, but I understand how difficult that can be. I do, however, believe that you should schedule a chunk of time to check emails and then perhaps just glance at it throughout the day to satisfy the need to stay at inbox zero.

Instead, provide yourself with a list of tasks from most to least important that you’d like to get done each day, and in each category.

The next day, look at what you didn’t complete the day before and repeat!

How do you plan for your week?


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a FREE Discovery Call here


Get out of the overwhelm

Solopreneur Overwhelm - AmandaLeighVA.com

We all do it. We have a to-do list with exactly 1,382,401 items on it. It’s overwhelming. How in the world are you going to complete all of these tasks!?

You aren’t.

I hate to break it to you, but you just aren’t going to complete 1,382,401 tasks. Well, not without doing just one task first.

When I get overwhelmed, I go get myself a cup of hot tea (I’m not really a coffee drinker, does this make me less trustworthy 🙂 ). I sit down and come up with one goal.

I’ll look through my Asana projects and determine what I’d like to get done TODAY? Not tomorrow, not at some point, but today.

Maybe it’s to be more active in a certain Facebook group or write 4 blog posts. Maybe it’s to finish a project with a client. Now I determine what I can do to complete that one goal.

Then do the first step! Check it off the list!

Now you are one task down! Then do another and check it off!

How are you feeling now that you’re rolling?

You see, you can’t do everything at once. It’s impossible, I promise. But you can do one thing at a time.

So, what are you going to complete today?


 

Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here

You Can Achieve Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero 1 - AmandaLeighVA.com

Inbox Zero. It’s something that many dream about, but is it actually possible? I’m here to tell you that it is. A zero inbox is something that is achievable even if you get hundreds of emails every day and even if you have thousands and thousands of unread emails in your inbox.

An inbox with zero emails is achievable, but it does take time and some preparation.

Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe to any newsletters that you do not read. They are just taking up precious real estate in your inbox and precious time out of your day.

Canned responses or templates. Everybody has emails they write over and over again. You may also be one of those people that copy and paste from your draft folder. Making these into canned responses and templates is such an amazing tool that will save you a ton of time.

Only touch that email once. If you’re checking your emails, you should only be checking that email once. Look at the email. Can you respond or complete the required task in less than 2 minutes? If so, do it. If not, create a system to schedule a time in your day to do that task. Then you add that email to your process.

When I say schedule a time in your day to complete the task, I don’t mean leave it in your inbox. Having your inbox as a “to do list” may work if you get only a few emails per day, but the more emails you receive, the harder that will be. So, instead of leaving it alone, put it somewhere. Add it to a folder in your email, desktop,or Google Drive. Add it to your project management system and archive the email. You’ll have to see what works for you, but leaving it untouched in your inbox should not be one of them!

How does your inbox look? Do you have any of these systems in place?

Did you know that I offer email management as one of my packages? Take a look here and contact me to schedule a discovery call.


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here

How I use batch processing to be more efficient

Batch processing.

You may have heard to term, but do you use it?

If you don’t, you should!

Batch processing is a time management tool where you group like tasks together. By doing this, completing your tasks simply become more efficient.

There are so many examples, but I’ll give you a few of the ones I use most frequently.

  1. Batch process your blogs. I like to be a month ahead, so I do a month’s worth of blog posts at once.
  • I already have outlines in Asana that I put in there as soon as I come up with an idea.
  • One day a month, I block out time to write the following month’s blog posts. I just sit and write. Don’t worry about editing.
  • Another day, I’ll edit all of the posts at one time.
  • I’ll batch process all of the graphics for each posts (for the blog, Facebook, and Pinterest).
  • I’ll then schedule these out for every platform that I use.
  1. Batch process your invoicing.

I invoice once per month, but send updates every week. I will batch process my invoicing by preparing invoices from every client at one time.

  1. Batch process checking notifications.

Do you find yourself with your email and social media accounts open all the time? You can’t get anything done because you’re always checking every email and notification as they come in. Now, I’m not going to tell you to check your emails once or twice a day, but I am going to suggest batch processing this task. For example, if you are working on creating graphics, don’t check anything! Shut off your email and social media accounts. After you’re finished with creating your graphics, take 10 minutes (seriously, set a timer) to check your emails and other notification.

Batch processing makes things so much easier for 2 main reasons.

  • You get less distracted. You are focusing on one task at a time, so your brain isn’t going back and forth between different types of tasks.
  • You get things done ahead of time! Yay! By batching projects together, it forces you to plan everything out. No more waiting until the last minute because it is already done!

What tasks are you going to start batch processing?

Batch Processing Pinterest Image 1  Batch Processing Pinterest Image 2  Batch Processing Pinterest Image 3


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here

How to Use Canned Responses in Gmail

Do you find yourself typing the same emails over and over and over again? Maybe you go back to previous emails to copy and paste the information. It just feels like such a waste of time. Fret no more because Gmail’s canned responses will come to the rescue!

I’m sure you’ve heard of canned responses before, but never really understood what it was. Well, you can type an email, include the subject if you’d like, and any formatting and attachments you would normally include in this email. Save this as your Canned Response, and you will never have to type that email again!

 

In order to create a canned response, you have to enable the feature in Gmail.

  • Click on your settings icon
  • Click Settings
  • Go to the “Labs” tab
  • Find “Canned Responses” and select enable
  • Save Changes

After the feature is enabled:

  • Open a new email
  • Type your email template. Be sure to include:
    • Recipients, if you use the same one for this particular email
    • Subject, if you’d like to always use the same one
    • Any formatting you’d like to save
  • Click the arrow on the bottom right of your email for more options
  • Hover over Canned Responses
  • Click “New Canned Responses”
  • Enter the name of your canned responses (it will use the subject if you entered one)

That’s it! You never have to type that email again. Now, to use it:

  • Open a new email (or respond to an email)
  • Click the arrow on the bottom right of your email for more options
  • Hover over Canned Responses
  • Select your Canned Response to enter into that email

How to Use Canned Responses in Gmail.png


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here

How to Automate Your Business: Client Onboarding

Automate Your Client Onboarding

The first step automating any part of your business is to write down every step in the process. Don’t skip over anything.

With onboarding, for example, your process probably looks like this:

  1. You are contacted by the client to set up a discovery call
  2. You go back and forth trying to find a date that works best for you both
  3. You email them a questionnaire before the meeting
  4. You realize that you aren’t sure who is calling who or what platform you’ll be meeting on – email back and forth to figure that out
  5. You were supposed to meet with the prospective client, but one of you forgot about a prior appointment or just forgot about the meeting
  6. You go back and forth again determining a new time
  7. You finally meet with the prospective client
  8. You send an email with any follow-up questions including what the next step would be
  9. Client hires you
  10. You send the contract and invoice to the client via email
  11. You then figure out how you will set up your first meeting or begin working

Why are there so many steps!? It should not be that complicated. You should not have to go back and forth so many times, there shouldn’t be any kind of mix-ups as to how you’re meeting (or when, if you’re in different time zones), and there should be no confusion. This is your first impression with the prospective client and it should go smoothly.

So, now that we’ve determined what our problem is, how do we fix it?

First, set up an account with a calendar booking application (I use 10to8.com, but there’s so many available) and put a link on your website. This way, the client can open your public calendar and select a date a time that works for them. Steps 1 and 2 are complete without you having to do anything! (Bonus tip: If the client emails you, respond with an email template that has a link to your calendar.)

Using the calendar booking application that you choose, they should automatically receive the client questionnaire, meeting reminders, and a link to your Skype or Zoom meeting room. Steps 3-6 are done and you still haven’t had to do a single thing!

You have your meeting. Sorry, you can’t automate and miss out on this one! Step 7, done!

After the call, send an email to the prospective client. You could use an email template (see how to do this in Gmail) and change any details to customize it for the lead. This should include a link to digitally sign the contract and an invoice so the client can pay you. Steps 8-10 are complete!

Once the contract is signed, the new client should automatically receive a welcome packet that includes vital information about your business such as your office hours, basic payment information, etc. This email should also include a link to set up an initial meeting, if necessary. Step 11 is finished!

That 11 step process for you turned into a two-step process for you! It’s like magic.

What does your client onboarding system look like?


Amanda Leigh, with her business savvy tools and upbeat attitude, helps entrepreneurs develop systems that work for, not against them. By setting up project management systems and email management protocols curated specifically for each business, Amanda’s dedication to helping others thrive means making sure nothing is forgotten.

 

If you could use an extra set of hands in your business, Schedule a
FREE Discovery Call here