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Improve My Business

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July 14, 2009

Reward Yourself!

We’re only 20 days into summer, 73 more days until the first day of fall, and here in Austin it is HOT! - 105° today! The weatherman says to stay inside, stay hydrated, and limit exposure to the heat. Seems like it would be easy to take the weatherman’s advice and use your time in the A/C to concentrate on your business, but still, this time of year the mind wanders to thoughts of vacation. The TV commercials for Sea World, Six Flags, and Schlitterbahn only exaggerate the feelings that you should be doing something else. Are you afraid that the summer will pass you by?

How about making that summer excursion the reward for reaching a goal? I’m sure you have some work project that’s 75% -85% done you just lack the motivation to finish. Go ahead and finish it up, or at least move it to the next step. Then have a little fun. You know you need to relieve the stress, and that you will come back felling refreshed and revived, with a new zest for getting stuff done. It’s a win-win situation! The sooner you finish that task, the sooner your mini-vacation will come!

Here’s my simple goal: I will fill out my work calendar and schedule for the next two months. My reward will be to schedule in the time to go see Shamu!

What will you do? Do you have any easy, but necessary tasks that deserve a reward? Please share your tasks and rewards, with a few good ideas to choose from maybe I’ll see you at the zoo, aquarium, movies, or outdoor concert!

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July 10, 2009

Getting everyone to work together -

I came across this great youtube video - when you watch it, notice the faces of the babies:

and then watch this video to see how it was done.
This is similar to a lot of industries - a lot of hard work goes into something behind the scenes so that it can appear to be ‘easy’, ‘flawless’, even ‘fun’.  Hospitality industry comes to mind - when going to a counter at a hotel, it’s nice to see that my reservation is there, with keys already prepared, vouchers for breakfast inserted in my folio, and my requests (top floor, away from elevator/ice machine) have been considered when assigning a room.  But what really goes into that?
- getting reservation request
- verifying availability
- noting preferences
- reserving room
- preparing keys
- noting elite status and including breakfast vouchers
- inserting all into folio, marking name on front and room # inside…
and more.
All this is done so when I arrive at their desk, it’s an easy, flawless check-in.
How is this done?  Systems.
What systems do you know about that work behind the scenes to make an event come off?  Consider
- special events at hotels or clubs (weddings, anniversary parties, etc.)
- conference logistics (my friend Glenda works these behind-the-scene - amazing all she does!)
- vacation planning (even if it’s only your family vacation)
- restaurants
- car rentals
- airline reservations
- etc.
Do tell - what do you have insight to that goes on behind the scenes?

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July 7, 2009

Systems are the foundations of your business

You can’t build a skyscraper on sand; you can’t build a business on memory.  - Mary McDonald

OK, this probably isn’t the most deep, philosophical  quote you’ve ever seen - I admit it.  But it DOES emphasize the importance of having a good foundation for your business.  Everyone from Michael Gerber to Tony Gattari to Ragen Chastain emphasize the importance of implementing a solid system for your business.  Whether it’s organizing your business to allow you to work ON the business rather than IN the business, writing a policy and procedures manual so that each person can exactly duplicate the work that needs to be done (think franchising level of detail), or setting aside 1 hour a week to do your admin hour (organizing, filing, etc), you need to spend time working on implementing a system that works for you and your organization.

If you haven’t already, click on the link for Tony to see a quick video on the importance of systems.

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July 3, 2009

11 things to do to save money (Funny Friday)

Every once in a while we take a break from all this serious “Improve the world one idea at a time” stuff, and post something silly - today, it’s 11 things to do that don’ cost much/any money from  the Learn me Good blog.  Enjoy!

For those in the US, happy Independence Day!

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June 30, 2009

Making Time for the Things you Love

Today we’re sharing some time management advice from Ali Brown. Please comment on how you make time for the things you love in your life!

“Making Time for the Things You Love”
by Ali Brown

Keeping up with business and social engagements sometimes means sacrificing our personal hobbies and relaxation time. But making time for ourselves, even on a busy day, can and will help us feel better and function better. Although it’s admirable to spend time taking care of work, friends, family, and pets, it’s even more important to spend time taking care of ourselves.

Here’s how to carve out time for yourself and the things you love.

*Learn to say no. As women, we’re often guilted into taking on extra work or attending meetings or events that don’t interest us because we’re too nice to say no. However, you need to practice saying no so that you can clear some time to yourself and say yes to the things that you want to do. There’s no shame in skipping a committee meeting every now and then so you can get a massage. Or RSVPing no to a networking event if you really need a quiet evening of rest and relaxation.

*Don’t forget family time. Family time can be converted into relaxation and bonding time together simply by selecting an activity the whole family can enjoy. Relationships can get a new lease on life too, if both partners decide to pursue a hobby or chosen form of relaxation together.

*Incorporate your interests into your vacation. Don’t be afraid to take time off! You’ve earned it, plus it’s a chance to follow through on hobbies and interests that might not fit into your regular routine. It doesn’t matter if the vacation is with family or friends; it’s about selecting opportunities that work for everyone - say, diving for you, lying on the beach for Jane, and bar hopping for John.

*Identify what makes you happy. Over time, our lives change - we pursue different careers, get married, have kids. Often we lose sight of what used to make us glow. Spend time remembering those magical moments and then commit a few hours each week to rekindling them. Ensure that you have a specific project in mind, because that eases up on the time it takes to get the project going. Saying “I want to write” is too ambiguous. Saying “I want to write a memoir about traveling to Japan” will give you more direction and focus.

It doesn’t matter how much time you’re able to spend each time on your personal project. The important thing is that you commit to doing it regularly and frequently so that it becomes a habit. Realize that once you’ve found the things you love to do, whether that’s swing dancing, cooking Indian curries, or making pottery, you need to hold onto them and never give them up.

You may have to change your daily schedule or work and social commitments to fit in this extra time. But doing so will be beneficial in the long run, because the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment you get from pursuing your passions will make you a happier and more productive person.

© 2009 Ali International, LLC

Self-made multimillionaire entrepreneur Ali Brown is devoted to creating financial freedom for women globally through the power of entrepreneurship. To learn how to create wealth and live an extraordinary life now, register for her free weekly articles at www.AliBrown.com

WANT TO SEE MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS ONE? See Ali’s Blog.

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