Archive for April, 2010
They say that you can’t teach old dog new tricks, but you can teach them something new about business. Okay, so the last part is made up but there is truth to it. There are new things about business that are best learned in person at live events.
Live events have so many opportunities, that you almost have to be wearing track shoes to get around to taking advantage of them all. One plus in particular is learning new business techniques. There is not a single person (and that applies to gurus as well) who couldn’t stand to learn a thing or two. In fact, they will probably be the first ones in line.
The person who has stopped learning has also stopped growing. The only limits that are placed on your business are self-imposed. The Internet is a wealth of knowledge for the one who can access it, but did you ever stop to think where that knowledge was received?
At least some of it was gained at live business events. Here, you are exposed not only to people who can expand on marketing techniques that you currently utilize, but also individuals who have found new ways to harness business power.
Stop and think for a moment. Those who host these events are looking for the best and the brightest to entice you to come. These people prove time and time again that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to business.
In case you didn’t know or haven’t thought about it in a while, here are a few things you can take part in and learn from at live events:
1. Brainstorming sessions – Imagine the energy in the room when hundreds of entrepreneurs get together at tables to discuss new ways to improve each others businesses? Be sure to take copious notes to refer to later and get the names of everyone at the table.
2. Visit the vendor area – This is an opportunity for businesses to highlight their products and services. You can learn about new programs computer programs, business software and get to demo items right there on site.
3. Keep all materials given to you – Within the pages of those handouts are vital information. Speakers may lay out for you how they go about promoting new products, implement new programs and techniques and list online resources for you. You may want to bring a tote bag or a briefcase to hold everything you will get so it is easier to reference later.
Attend live events with an open mind. Be ready to expect the unexpected and get immersed into business techniques you haven’t tried before.
When you go into business for yourself there are many challenges you prepare yourself for. You know that you need to be financially prepared. You know that you need to market your business and are ready to face those challenges. However, one challenge that is often overlooked is the simple but always present time management challenge. It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with the tasks and responsibilities of any given day that nothing gets accomplished.
Multi-tasking isn’t an option. Multi-tasking is one of the most ineffective ways to accomplish anything. Rather than focusing on completing one task, your attention is divided and it actually takes you longer to complete anything. And quite often the results aren’t as stellar as they would have been if you’d simply focused on the single task.
Schedule everything. Schedule time to work, time to play, time to network, time to plan and time to check email or make phone calls. Sounds easy, right? Scheduling your time forces you to focus on the task at hand. It also helps to prevent distraction.
Make a to do list at the end of each day for the next day and prioritize it. Put the most important task at the top of the list. The reason to create the following day’s to do list at the end of each day is so that you are able to let the day go. It actually reduces your stress and you can go to bed knowing tomorrow is in order and you’ll be productive.
Schedule your tasks around your body clock. This may sound strange because we’re taught to tackle our task list from the top down. However, that doesn’t always work for our personalities and habits.
For example, if you’re a night owl and getting up in the morning is rough, the last thing you want to do is schedule an important business call for first thing in the morning. Save that slow wake-up time to check email, do a little social networking and so on. Schedule that important business call for after you’ve had lunch and your brain and body are in prime working order.
Make sure you’re firm with your friends and family. When people work from home, it’s easy for friends and family to get too comfortable. You can be buried in your office, your brow furrowed in concentration and your spouse will walk in and want to have a discussion about what to have for dinner next week when the Smiths come over. You have to set boundaries and stick to them. This focused working time, this uninterrupted working time, will help you be productive, leaving you time to spend with your family later.
Use your resources. There are more time management tools available than you’ll ever have time to explore. You don’t have to use all of them, but certainly some of them will make you more productive. Whether it’s Outlook, Google calendar, your PDA, or a paper calendar and your favorite pencil, develop a system of staying organized and use it.
Take time away. This may sound contradictory, however, in order to remain productive during your work time you have to play some too. If you don’t, burnout will certainly ensue and you’ll move at a slower pace than a two year old that’s been ordered to eat their vegetables. Take time to play and you’ll feel refreshed and energized, ready to go back to work!
Time management isn’t tricky but it does take a plan, some patience and certainly fortitude. You’re an entrepreneur so you definitely have what it takes to get it done. Create a plan, use your resources and make it happen.