Trust, Team and Time

“There’s no way I can take time away from my business!” I have been getting notes and messages from entrepreneurs commenting on my recent 2-week vacation and asking how in the world I could make this happen.

I am going to keep this really simple for you. As I was on the airplane, returning home, I was able to sum it all up in 3 simple points and that’s what I want to share with you today.

#1 – SCHEDULE THE TIME

My 2-week vacation didn’t ‘just happen’. Last October, when I bought my annual wall calendar for my office, I started off by scheduling my vacations for 2015. I knew back then that I would be going away for 2 weeks in July and marked it (in ink!) on the calendar right then and there.

That’s when the planning and preparation began. I knew that some client group monthly calls would need to be rescheduled. I knew that I would need a certain amount of money for the trip. I knew that I wanted to generate a certain amount of revenue leading up to that time. I knew that I needed to communicate this plan to my team – because they like to take summer vacation too and it’s important to coordinate this kind of absence so the wheels stay on the bus while I am away.

So be sure to plan your time off – and do that well ahead of time. Map out your vacations for the whole year – mini vacations, long vacations, a day off here and there just for you. And stay committed to it!

#2 – TEAM.

I have a fantastic team – and what I mean by that is we communicate regularly, openly and honestly. They know the plan for my business for the year, they know my plans for time off, they have a pretty good idea on the revenue goals that are set for certain major events, etc. etc. etc. They are a key component in the success of my business. We discuss what needs to happen while I am away, who will handle what, how emergencies (if any… and which is rare) will be handled, who will be the main point of contact, and so much more. My manager, Denise, knows exactly how to contact me if/when she needs to. Otherwise, my team is very respectful of the time I need away from the business and pretty much run the show without me. And that leads to my last point.

#3 – TRUST.

I know, for a fact, that many entrepreneurs will not take time off because they don’t trust their team to handle things. One of the reasons for this is that communication has been very poor, if it exists at all. So there’s no way the team can step up to the plate and run the show. Lack of planning and communication puts everyone in a very precarious situation.

Trust is built over time. Team members are human – and so are you. Will there be mistakes while you are gone. Of course there will. Is my work of a ‘life or death’ nature? Absolutely NOT. Can some things wait if any team member is uncertain? For sure. But I trust my team – each and every one of them – to know and do what is right for the business, for the client and for me in my absence.

You’ve got to put your trust in your people. If this doesn’t exist, it should start now. It’s part of my secret sauce!

One of the other reasons I find all of this so vitally important is that, as a business coach, I want to model success strategies to my clients! Don’t you?

Pat Mussieux is an author, television personality, internationally acclaimed speaker and business coach.

Her newest book, Stop Compromising and Make All the Money You Want (A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Starting Up and Starting Over) is ideal for audience members at Be the Change! She has also co-written ‘Leadership Gurus Speak Out!” contributing her wisdom and expertise in the fields of Human Resources, Sales, Marketing and Training.

Claim Your Message – 5 Exercises to Create Your Compelling, Powerful Message

Your message – your brand, if you will – is crucial to your business. This message encapsulates who you are, what you do, and who you do it for… along with housing your uniqueness. Everything follows from that core statement. This message is woven through your elevator speech, your website copy, the topics you speak on, your social media updates.

Here’s the thing: if you can’t speak concisely, powerfully, and clearly about who you are and what you do, people won’t know what you do!

Case in point: as I’ve been talking to more and more people about my evolving direction as a business coach and strategist, people who have known me for years go, “Oh, really? I thought you helped people write fiction books.” OR “Don’t you teach grammar and writing?”

Well, not really. (I did teach writing classes, but that was years ago. And I did have one coaching client whom I helped write her fantasy novel, but that was just one.)

I realized that people didn’t have a clear idea of what I do – because my message and brand weren’t clear.

We’re all evolving and growing all the time, and entrepreneurs especially seem to reinvent themselves or go in a slightly different direction frequently. They go through transitions, but they don’t update their message. And so other people have a stale image of what they do.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years, take yourself through this process and see if your message and brand need a little freshening up.

One warning before you get started: claim your uniqueness, your quirkiness, the particular way YOU do things… CLAIM it. FEEL it. KNOW it’s powerful. Now you can go off and do the exercises!

Exercise 1: Ask yourself, “What do you want to be known for?” Keep going deeper and find the soulful core of what you really want to be known for. Keep asking yourself, “Why is that important?”

Exercise 2: Describe what you do… what you REALLY do. What are the benefits that people get from working with you? What are your natural talents and gifts? (These are the things that seem to be easy and natural to you… but if you pay attention, you’ll hear statements like, “I have no idea how you can do that! I could never do that!”) What is the experience people get from working with you?

Exercise 3: What successes have you had over the past twelve months? Write down as many things in the past year you’re proud of… these could be business related or life related. This is about you and you show up with your amazingness in business and in life, so it’s all important.

Exercise 4: Fill out your areas of expertise. Now that you’ve had some time to reflect upon your successes, see if you can categorize those successes into 3-5 areas of expertise. For example, high level of organization, leadership, ability to intuitively convey an idea into words, etc.

Exercise 5: Put it all together into your Purposeful Work Statement:

I _________________________________ (solve, do, manage, handle, create, etc.)

for ____________________________________________ (who you do it for)

so that they ______________________________________ (what they will be able to do as a result of working with you)

Bonus Success Strategy Tip: Now, talk to people (meaning in person or on the phone, NOT email) and try out your new Purposeful Work Statement (this is your message in elevator speech form). How does it land? Does it resonate? Do people get excited when they hear about what you do? Keep tweaking until you get enthusiastic responses like, “Oh, I need you!” or “I have clients who could use you!”

Claim your message. Put into a concise, powerful form, and get it out there!