Make sure you plan tomorrow before you finish today

Preparing for tomorrow, today can have an enormous effect on how successful you are.

Writing out your goals and your tasks on paper helps to solidify them in your mind and is so important when it comes to making plans for your future and it applies to planning your next day as well.

Brain Tracy the Author of so many books including “Eat that Frog” and “The Art of Closing the Sale” gives this advice for planning your day.

1) Always Think On Paper

Take a piece of paper and write down everything you intend to do. Include everything, even your plans to eat a healthy lunch and workout, prepare dinner for you and your family, every detail.

Then organize the piece of paper by asking yourself: “If I could only do one thing on this list today, which one thing would it be?”

And if I could only do two things which would be the second and the third? And then when you start first thing in the morning, start off with number one, and discipline yourself to work only on number one until it’s complete. Then move on to number two.

2) Don’t Check Your Email In The Morning

Checking your email in the morning makes getting off track entirely too easy. It starts with just one email, and before you know it, you’re several hours into your day and you still haven’t started on your number one task.

Keep your phone away from you or off to avoid distractions from your most important task.

Focus on your most important task for the day, work on it until it’s complete and then you can check your email and other incoming requests.

3) Make Your List Of Written Tasks The Night Before

The final way for you to make sure you have a productive next day is to make this list of goals and tasks the night before.

Your ability to make good plans before you act is a measure of your overall competence. The better plan you have, the easier it is for you to overcome procrastination, to get started and then to keep going.

By writing down your goals before you go to sleep, you will think about the things you need to do and mentally prepare yourself to do them before you even wake up the next morning.

When you plan each day in advance, organize your list by priority, and stick to your plan, the work will go faster and smoother than ever before. You will feel more powerful and competent. You will get more done, faster than you thought possible. Eventually, you will become unstoppable.

Those are his 3 suggestions for increasing your day-to-day productivity and I can tell you from personal experience they work.

Get in touch if you want to talk about how you can be more effective.

01225 944 404

andywalter@actioncoach.com

Delegation is what you need

To steal a line from the old 80’s TV show record breakers:-

“If you want to be the best and you want to beat the rest delegation is what you need”. Well they sang dedication and you need that too but you really need to learn how to trust others to do their jobs. The amount of times I have seen businesses employ good people and pay them good money only to them micromanage everything they do staggers belief.

Now it sounds like just good sense to trust someone to do the job you are paying them for but for a variety of reasons this sometimes just doesn’t happen, people will come up with all kinds of excuses or to be polite reasons why it’s not the right task or the right time to delegate, there are of course some things you should do yourself but if it’s a task you are paying someone else to do then it’s just insane to not delegate.

Some of the possible reasons for failing to delegate could be:-

Time

Sometimes people can have the perception that they simply do not have the time to adequately explain the task or teach someone how to do the job, there is also the fact that at that current point in time it may well be quicker for the task to be completed by the person who should be delegating it, but where does that leave them the next time the same task comes up, this can be a never ending cycle and strangely enough delegating this the first time will eventually save a lot of time.

Control

People can often feel as though they are giving up control when the need to delegate arises and this can be a little worrying for some people. You are in fact asking someone to complete a task for which you are ultimately responsible however checking in frequently with the progress can help to decrease this fear.

Credit

However daft this sounds some leader genuinely feel that if they do not personally complete the task that they will not get the credit, forgetting that the better their team looks and performs the better they look.

Enjoyment

Sometimes it’s the simple fact that the person who should be delegating the task actually enjoys doing it the role of a leader is to lead not to be bogged down in completing recurring tasks.

Quality

If you want a job doing right, do it yourself this is surprisingly common it’s much better to coach someone else to do it as well as you can.

Job Security

So if you delegate to someone who does the job as well as you can and as quickly as you can why would they need you? Well if you are that good at coaching people and that good at leading someone will have promoted you or you will have been head hunted.

Trust

Some leaders resist delegation because they just don’t have faith in their team members to do the job properly. Leaders need to learn to see the potential in their teams and make sure that they have adequately prepared their team members for the tasks they assign.

So if all this is true what are the steps to successful delegation?

Define the task

What is the task and who should be completing it.

Select who this should be delegated to

Why you are choosing this person or this team, what are they going to get out of it as well as what you will get out of it?

Asses the Abilities and any training needs of those selected.

Is the person or team capable, what training/coaching will you need in place in order to ensure success?

Explain the task and the reasons for delegating it

You must explain why the job or responsibility is being delegated and why to that person or people? What is its importance and relevance? Where does it fit in the overall scheme of things?

Explain the expected outcome and results

What must be achieved? Clarify understanding by getting feedback from the people or team selected. How will the task be measured? Make sure they know how the key indicators of success.

What resources are required?

Agree what is needed to get the job done. Think about people, location, premises, equipment, money, materials, other related activities and services.

Set deadlines

When must this task be completed or when will it be reviewed? What reports are due and when, also consider what priorities may come into play.

Support

Support the people you are delegating to and communicate with them, think about who else needs to know what’s going on and make sure they are informed, involve your delegates in this but do not leave them alone to inform others, make sure you have considered and matters of politics within your workplace.

Feedback

It is essential to let the person know how they are doing in the task you have set them and whether or not they have achieved the aims, if not you will need to review with them why things did not go to plan and deal with any problems that have arisen, you need to absorb the consequences of failure and pass on credit for any success.

Delegation isn’t just a matter of telling someone else what to do. There is a wide range of varying freedom that you can confer on the other person. The more critical the task then the more cautious you need to be about how much freedom you extend, especially if your job or reputation depends on getting a good result.

Be creative in choosing how you set the levels of delegated responsibility, and always check with the other person that they are comfortable with the responsibility you are placing on them. People are generally capable of doing far more than you and sometimes they imagine.

The rate and extent of responsibility and freedom delegated to people is a fundamental driver of organisational growth and effectiveness, the growth and well-being of your people, and of your own development and advancement so when faced with a barrier to delegating overcome it will save you time and help your business grow in the long term.

Cheap or Quality?

Rolls Royce, Bentley, Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Gucci, Armani, Apple, Nike, British Airways.

Or

Trabant, Lada, Yugo, Dacia, George at Asda, F&F by Tesco, Alcatel, Ryan Air

I am not saying there is anything wrong with cheap I am just saying that in my experience there are few if any businesses out there that are both market leading and cheap.

Even massive businesses with billion-dollar marketing budgets can’t pull that off so why is it that so many that I meet think they can?

If that is true in the businesses above surly you should want that to be true in personal or professional, services right? Do you want a great Doctor or a cheap one? Do you want a great Accountant that saves you money or a cheap one that costs you money?

I know If I am paying for the services of a Dentist I want the best I can find, if I was looking for a Senior manager of any description I would want the best I could afford.

Competing on price is usually referred to as a cost leadership strategy. Cost leadership strategies are really only viable for large companies who can enjoy the economies of scale with large production volumes or buying power and a large market share. Small businesses can be cost focused if they can enjoy some advantages that help with lower costs for example being below the VAT threshold allows a 20% reduction in costs yet limits growth but they are rarely cost leaders, likewise a small local restaurant in a low rent location can attract price sensitive customers and compete if they turn tables quickly enough and pay minimum wage.

Listen I am not saying you can’t try to do this, you can offer great value and a great product at the same time the problems start when you try to market that you are doing this.

Imagine what you would think seeing a headline that read

“Rolls Royce Quality at Dacia Prices”

I imagine you wouldn’t believe it, because in your heart you know it’s not true and in your heart, you know that you can’t do it and grow your business for any length of time either.

Have you done your best?

Any of you out there with kids in their last year of Primary School will know that it’s SAT’s time and for me the stress they put 10 and 11 year olds under to get results can be counterproductive, yes it’s important to get a good education and the next step for these children is Senior School where things change dramatically yet high levels of stress caused by the fear of getting low scores or failing can affect performance in two different ways. Stress can help when it makes people more alert, more motivated to practice, and gain a competitive edge. In the right amount, stress helps prepare, focus, and perform at an optimal level. Conversely, too much stress, or bad stress, can cause performance anxiety, which hurts health and does not allow people to perform at a relaxed, confident, and focused level.

For me I am always prouder of myself, my Children, Team and clients when they have performed at their best than at the actual results. After all we can really do is do our best to achieve what we set out and if we miss it or get it wrong then we can always have another go.

So how do you approach building your business, have you achieved your potential or are you still avoiding trying so that you don’t fail?

What is your true potential and have you really done your best to achieve it?

Are you still trying your best to achieve it?

Have you asked for any help to achieve it?

How long have you been hoping things get better?

If you still have things that you want to achieve, teams that you want to be better or simply want to discover what you best is then

Book a 10 minute call here

Nothing to sell on this call just a chat to see if there is any way I can help. 

Andy

A Call to Save Common Sense

Today we come together to save a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.

No one knows for sure how old he is, since his birth records were long ago. He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools; hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

– If it’s to be it’s up to me;

– If you keep doing what you have always done you will always get what you have always gotten;

– Life isn’t fair;

– and maybe it is my fault.

Common Sense lives by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it’s okay to come in second.

He is in danger because good people have become ruled by the only out for themselves attitude and the desire to be famous not for achieving greatness but for achieving nothing.

Common Sense is losing ground as parents attack teachers for doing the job that they themselves have failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.

Common Sense almost gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense, Truth and Trust, Discretion, Responsibility and Reason are on the endangered list hunted by the 3 evil poachers of success

  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is to Blame
  • I’m A Victim

If you want to help save Common sense then use whatever you have left and get in touch

Email me at andywalter@actioncoach.com

Or

Book a 10 minute call here

Andy

2.5 Billion People to Choose From?

In the last week, I have had more than one person tell me that their customers are not on LinkedIn or Facebook and that they don’t see the point of maintaining a Strong Social Media presence.

I mean seriously who exactly are their customers and where the hell are they hiding, 2.5 billion is pretty much everyone in the developed world.

You know how he told me this?

On LinkedIn messages, yep on Social Media I was told that Social Media doesn’t work for this person, and I am they type of person who might buy his services.

Of course it doesn’t work if you have no interpersonal skills, if you can’t talk to people then do the rest of us a favour and get out of business right now or employ someone who can interact with people.

5 days a week I write these tips and ideas that are aimed at helping people grow their business, these are given freely and without expectation of anything in return, I simply offer to talk to people who feel they would like to achieve more and understand they need a different perspective to move forward.

For the most part analysts agree that a 5-7% churn rate is good so even if you are performing at the top of your game you need to replace 5- 7% of your customers every year just to maintain current sales levels, on top of that the average increase in costs for a business is currently 2 – 3% so just to stay safe you need 10% growth every year to maintain your level of performance.

If your customers aren’t on Social Media where exactly are they?

For those of you that like your numbers, 63% of the UK population are on Social Media, (ONS) the makeup of the UK population by age shows that 64.6% are in the ages between 16 and 69 that’s pretty much everyone.

If you don’t want to move forward, if you don’t want any new customers if you are just waiting for your existing ones to leave and quietly close the doors of your business why the hell are you reading this?

If you do want to grow your business then start taking Social Media Seriously.

If you want to talk please

Book a 10 minute call here

Nothing to sell on this call just seeing if I can help

Andy

Don’t Blame Me!

That was my response when a rather large and well know corporation tried to blame me for the fact that what they had sent me was not fit for purpose, it just didn’t do what I wanted it to do end of story.

Well not quite the end let me tell you how this came about, when I discovered that what I had didn’t do what I wanted I went back to them to point this out as I thought maybe they didn’t know it didn’t work the way I expected or they might well have a problem somewhere that needed fixing.

I wasn’t blaming anyone for anything and I wasn’t looking for money or an apology even I just wanted to get it fixed.

Apparently according to the Corporation, I don’t know how to use it, they have never asked me about Skills or Capabilities or even experience all of which would have told them I definitely do know how to use it and in fact could quite possibly have shown them how to make it better, nor did they clarify the issue or ask what I would like as a possible outcome they simply blamed me for it.

How many of you out there think I will go out of my way to do business with them again? How many of you have noticed I haven’t mentioned them at all? It’s not because I am worried about being sued I just don’t want to give them any publicity at all.

Way to take responsibility for their actions huh, if you take the word responsibility and break it down you get Response and Ability so this is your ability to choose how you respond to any situation and in this instance, I think they could have chosen to respond in better way.

If you work few hours and take a lot of holidays and live a relaxed and happy life then that is totally on you and congratulations.

On the other hand, it’s not my fault that you work long hours, take few holidays, feel stressed and under pressure, and it’s not my fault you haven’t achieved what you want to, spoiler alert! It’s yours.

Blame, Excuses and Denial are the Bed fellows of Mediocrity, if you deny that you are doing anything wrong or deny that you need to learn to be better and grow your organisation, if you are making excuses for why you don’t have the time, money or the team to do this, if you blame circumstances or the economy for your current lot in life let me give you the same tip I gave the corporation.

Take some bloody responsibility for where you are in life, be accountable for what you have or have not achieved and start taking ownership of your life that is the path to achieving whatever you want.

Did The Dog Eat Your Homework?

I heard a great line last week at a seminar, we were covering the excuses people make and as part of the exercise we were all recounting the ones we had heard from business owners for not growing their businesses.

At one point and I can’t even remember the excuse that prompted it but Brad who was presenting just came back with the line,

“Congratulations that’s a fantastic Excuse”

Now isn’t that interesting because the very next thing he said was that “I don’t have the time” or “I’m too Busy” were the adult equivalent of “the dog ate my homework”

Peter Jones of Dragons Den fame once lost everything he had, he was sleeping in his own office with not a penny to his name and a few years later he was a millionaire.

My point is that if you are being honest with yourself (the opposite is you are lying to yourself) then you know that if you are to grow to the next level you need to learn some stuff.

We have a CPD certified course that we run once a month that helps business owners find out the stuff they need to learn to get to the next level, the next one is on Tuesday 2nd May 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm here in Trowbridge and this time it’s all about Marketing.

So, what is going to be your excuse to avoid it this time?

Hit me up with your best ones or for those of you actually serious about growing your business to tell me you want to come along

Andy

Meet 30 – 40 Other Business Owners?

Yesterday I offered you the chance to come along to our course to help you market your business and for those of you that didn’t rush to come along (that’s most of you) I thought that as your marketing is obviously working 

fantastically and producing more business than you can handle that you would definitely need to come along to our whole day event to create a plan to deal with that growth over the next 90 days.

I don’t actually know if your marketing is working fantastically or if you felt that the course wasn’t right for you at this time but this day is for you and you should absolutely come along.

This is where we get around 30 – 40 business owners in a room and a pack a day with fun and practical advice to help you plan your next 90 days of growth, we have 3 Coaches to help support you and our goals is that you come away with real actions you can take that will produce the growth you want.

Previous attendees have said “Absolutely Brilliant it made me feel I am not alone and other business people have similar challenges to me and the ideas I got that day are invaluable” – Ed Hodgkinson ETH associates

“Lots of information that was presented in a way that was easy to understand and gave me clear actions to take going forward” – J Cannon Cannonbridge Consultants

“It has made me much more aware of the task ahead and has helped me focus on the future” T Holdsworth Silver Fox Gin

The next one is on the 20th June and the day normally involves an investment of £345 + VAT the first 5 people to message me with “I’m in” will get a complimentary invite for them and one team member.

If you would rather chat to me first then.