I have never worn as many hats as I do now as the founder and CEO of Due. That’s because I’m overseeing its growth and development, marketing, business strategy and daily operations while still managing my personal brand, networking, traveling, doing speaking engagements and more. It never stops, and I love that. However, trying to continually stay on top of everything and do it well is definitely a challenge. It reminds me I’m human and not a superhero.
It takes physical effort, technology and the right mindset to effectively manage everything there is to do. Here are some ways I stay on top of everything:
Keep to a schedule
The most important thing I do is have a formal structure to my day. It keeps me on task, especially on the daily operations work I have to take care of, plus it helps me carve out time for taking care of all aspects of the business. I get up and go to bed at nearly the same time every day so that I can stick to a clockwork schedule.
It takes time at first to plot out what this regimen looks like for you. There are also times I do have to make changes to it, such as when I travel or there are fires to put out. However, the main structure always stays so I know where to get back to once the unexpected is handled.
There is no way I could get as much done if I winged it every day and changed when I got up, ate meals and took care of my email, daily projects and meetings. It’s too easy to lose track of what little time you have this way.
It’s okay to delegate
As part of the physical aspects of tackling everything, I do outsource work and delegate to trusted team members. While I did not always have people around me to help, even a one-man band that is starting small can begin to add freelancers as the budget allows.
It’s important to implement this assistance from the start because there will be a point in time when you suddenly realize you can’t do it all and have to stop to find others who can come on board. Since I’ve always had at least one freelancer from the start, I could delegate more to this person as I scaled up until I could see the freelancer had reached a limit and then I added another.
Physically, I was still tackling it all with my business, but the additional talent that I was managing was handling some of the more time-intensive projects so I could continue focusing on expanding the company. Start with people that you may already trust, including any family or friends who have specific skills that you can work with.
Also, add people that come via referrals from trusted colleagues or those within your network. Later on, you can resort to larger talent pools, but I’ve always worked from the inside out of my circle because I felt more comfortable delegating tasks that impact the state of my business this way.
Technology saves the day
I’m not sure I could actually do everything I do with my business if it wasn’t for technology. It is the true game changer in terms of maximizing time and money. The integrated platforms that I use to track and handle projects, collaborate with others, fill in and file any forms, and communicate with others eliminates many time-consuming tasks. I use automatic bill pay and online payments to handle all my obligations and freelancer payments.
I’ve automated as many aspects of my business as possible. That means that social media is handled through tools like Buffer while WordPress, Google Docs and Slack provide time-saving capabilities to oversee marketing, content and communication. I also have apps for my calendar and schedule as well as use my own time-tracking tool to oversee my productivity. Now, I am adding an AI-enabled chatbot to help with email and other basic correspondence.
Look for technology that takes out paperwork, is cloud-based so you can use it anywhere, and that integrates with other tools so you can remove repetitive tasks and automate as much as possible. It’s essentially delegating much of what I do to technology so I work smarter.
Stay mentally ready
I’m ready to take on the world every day and am not put off at all by the mountain of responsibilities I have in running and growing my business. My attitude is “bring it.” It’s important to stay positive, maintain a sense of humor so you see the funny side of even stressful situations, and stay determined to make success happen. I also reflect with gratitude on what I’ve done so far. In looking back, I realise what I was able to accomplish already once seemed impossible so when I look ahead and see hurdles, I know I can fly over them.
Surround yourself with positive people who have a similar perspective and enjoy the same adrenalin rush that comes with tackling everything a business can throw at you. I have a supportive wife, friends and colleagues that are just as positive – if not more – who cheer me on and believe I can do it.
Nothing is perfect. Despite working toward that end, I realise things will happen and to-dos will get overlooked in the rush or when the unexpected comes up and takes over. Recognize where these mistakes occurred, don’t beat yourself up over them, and look for ways to minimise or eliminate those from happening again.
Everything is a learning experience that has been put in front of you for a reason: You can choose to panic or you can see a way to improve it.
No one can truly do it all, especially when you hit that tipping point of growth when you start rapidly scaling up. However, these tips and having an extremely awesome team surrounding you can make you come very close to tackling everything that is thrown at you and doing it well.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
What To Do When You Realise You Hate Your Job
Do you give in or get started on something new?
In this episode of Leaders Create Leaders, Entrepreneur Network partner Gerard Adams sits down with entrepreneur and influencer Dr. Mona Vand of Hot & Healthy. Vand trained to become a pharmacist, and throughout her education she was driven by that goal.
However, on her first day of work as a pharmacist, she suddenly realised that this path wasn’t for her. She cried when she got home, realising that she had tied herself to this career through her education, and that she might have to continue this for the foreseeable future.
That realisation helped spur her to branch off and build a business that fit her better. Click play to learn how she did it.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
7 Reasons Why Keeping The Job You Have Might Be Your Smartest Career Move
Leaving your comfort zone is not automatically a brilliant idea.
With U.S. unemployment coming in at a healthy low of 4.10 percent last quarter, and better-than-average employment figures across the globe, job seekers have new choices. “Get a new job!” may be at the top of many resolution lists, but before you push “send” on that employment application, you might want to take a few things into consideration:
1. Finding a new job is not as simple as it appears
The number of people looking to ditch their current jobs and find other employment was estimated by some to be as high as 50 percent in 2017 (although our DecisionWise employee survey results show that figure to be less than 20 percent). Whether it’s 20 percent or 50 percent of the world’s population on the job prowl, competition may be steeper than one might think.
Now, further complicate this with the notion that millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce in 2020. In the competition for the perfect job, there is a high degree of likelihood that your job-hunting competitor may be very similar to you when it comes to skills, experience or education. And, while you’re actively searching for that ideal job, you may not be giving your current role the attention it (and your employer) deserves.
2. You will be starting over
While the possibilities of that new job and compensation package may be enticing, that move may be financially taxing. Many companies have benefits policies that do not kick in for a period of time.
The paid time off and vacation time you’ve previously earned won’t transfer across companies. In many areas, you will be starting over.
3. Job switching is stressful
Workplace adjustments like changes to a different line of work, changes in work hours or location or new work responsibilities can significantly impact personal health. The Holmes and Rahe stress scale ranks a change in employment as one of the most significant when it comes to life’s stressors. When the average workweek for many of us is 45-55 hours, some of us spend as many as half our waking hours at the office. That’s a significant chunk of one’s life to disrupt.
4. You’ll be the newbie
Remember those new employees that you were asked to train – all of those questions and mistakes? Well, now that’s you! For the first three months of employment, you’re more of a liability than an asset, regardless of how valuable you think you are. Mastery takes time. Yet, mastery has repeatedly been shown as one of the key factors in job engagement. Institutional knowledge that comes through tenure is highly valued by most organisations.
Are you ready to spend a good part of 2018 as an apprentice again, acting as the learner rather than the expert? Many employees tie a sense of self-identity and worth to the expertise, title and necessity of their job. That change may have more of a psychological impact than you realise.
5. Relationships take time
A new job means a new team, new customers and a new boss or subordinates. Connection to others around you continues to show up as a primary factor in employee engagement, not to mention the ability to get things done. All that effort to build relationships in your current job won’t be transferred to your new role.
Additionally, trust typically must be earned over time, and that absence of trust may impede your short-term effectiveness. Relationships and trust take time to build. Remember, you will likely be starting over.
6. Growth often involves pain
When professional growth opportunities are absent in an organisation, you get stagnation, boredom and attrition. Those who remain in growth-impaired environments are operating on autopilot. They aren’t mentally present; their minds are not on their work. Errors happen and quality drops. Indifference sets in when work becomes routine. While a no-stress job seems ideal to some, challenges and growth are key components of employee engagement.
Growth most often occurs when we are stretched beyond our comfort zone. Yet, when some people run up against challenges, they take the easy way out by looking outside the organisation. Consequently, they never grow because the grass is always greener elsewhere. Which brings up the next point.
7. Maybe the problem is you
In 2017, employee engagement firm DecisionWise analysed more than 24 million employee survey responses gathered over three years. When it came to disengagement, the findings weren’t completely surprising: fully disengaged employees rarely turned the engagement corner. According to the study, if I’m disengaged in my current job, I’m likely to disengage in my future job.
Why are you thinking of making the switch? Is it the working conditions? Compensation? Bad boss? These are valid reasons. However, often it’s not just this job; it has become a pattern. What’s the common denominator here? Are most team members always doing less work than you do? Are all companies made up of tyrants? Will the people at your new job really value you more than those at your current job? Or, maybe… just possibly…is the problem, you? Look in the mirror. As they say, “wherever you go, there you are.”
Before you rush out to fulfill that job-change resolution in 2018, consider the above. Maybe that switch isn’t what you want after all.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Business Travel Is Alive And Paying Off
The rise of conference calls and video conferencing systems like Skype and Google Hangouts may seem like the end of face-to-face business encounters, but experts don’t agree.
A number of business leaders and industrial psychologists reckon that there’s no substitute for meeting someone in person, especially at critical junctures in a business relationship, like introducing yourself or closing a deal.
So how do you make business travel easier and worth your while? Dawn Weir, Head of kulula work, suggests the following:
Maximise the business benefits
Business travel can benefit the individual traveller and their business, whether it’s a small enterprise or a multinational conglomerate. kulula work for example, guarantees you the best fares of the day on kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair), and you won’t pay booking or flight change fees — only the difference in fare and the airport taxes. You can now also earn and redeem Avios loyalty points whilst flying with kulula.com. Not only will earning more Avios graduate you to higher tiers where you can, for example, get cabin upgrades and access to business lounges, but you can also use the points to, say, take your family on a business and leisure holiday
Get rid of unnecessary paperwork that can weigh you down and store your boarding pass on your smartphone wallet app when you check in 24 hours ahead of departure.
Take a breather
Airport lounges provide a haven from the hubbub of departure lounges, but not all are equal by any means. The best ones have space for some work, fast WiFi, a good selection of food, a decent wine list, and facilities to shower and freshen up. The Slow Lounges at a number of South African airports have these facilities. There’s even one at the Radisson Blu Hotel opposite the Sandton Gautrain station, SLOW in the City that provides boardrooms, lounges, and can arrange for quiet areas to do media interviews. A new lounge called SLOW XS, has also opened at Lanseria International Airport and has, among its many attractions, wine tastings offered by local drinks specialists Winesense.
Add some colour
Many business travellers will go to great lengths to ensure they only travel with cabin luggage, but if you do have to check luggage into the hold, take a moment to familiarise yourself with bag-drop arrangements and any restrictions on the size of cabin luggage. Also, many travellers find it helpful to mark their luggage with a brightly-coloured tag of some sort that makes it readily recognisable on the conveyor.
Stash it all
So, you have your boarding pass on your smartphone and you’ve stashed keys, wallet and change in your carry-on baggage, to save you time passing through the metal-detectors at the security checkpoint. If you’re travelling internationally, you may have opted to wear slip-on shoes and to pack your belt in your carry-on luggage to avoid having to take them off and put them back on again at security. We’ve all stood behind fellow travellers who arrive at the checkpoint with coins and keys in every pocket, and electronic devices in the bottom of a suitcase. There’s not much you can do about that, but you can make your own passage through the metal-detectors easier.
Related: Kulula: Erik Venter and Gidon Novick
Remember to rest
Many business travellers tend to put in more working hours when away from the office and home. Rather than thinking that every mail in your inbox must be answered immediately, get some work-life balance by taking a walk or a run, or just a nap.
To make sure you are on time — every time — comfortable, refreshed, organised and stress-free when you seal your next deal, use kulula work to take care of your travel arrangements. Our team includes professionals dedicated to your account who will assess your business travel needs so that you have a healthy combination of work and play, on your road to success.
The following is exclusively available when your next business trip is booked via kulula work:
- Best fares of the day on kulula.com and British Airways (operated by Comair)
- Flexible flight changes (only the difference in fare and taxes will apply)
- No booking fees
- Competitive car hire rates with Europcar and Avis
- Great hotel rates with Protea Hotels and City Lodge Hotel Group
- Invoicing and reporting
- Account management
- Access to our qualified Corporate Reservations team. *
* Legal stuff applies
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