SH Episode 6

Episode # 6 - You Can't Do All the Things At Once

When we panic, we try to do all the things at once, fail miserably, then feel terrible. Instead, lets figure out what to prioritize and make a plan.

The hardest pill for many business owners to swallow is this: You Can’t Do All the Things At Once.  Yes, that voice in our minds says otherwise, but the truth is that without prioritization, panic is inevitable.  Join Kelly in this episode of the Sink Handle Podcast where she discusses one of the biggest challenges that every single business owner faces at some point: prioritizing objectives.  

Topics Covered:

  • How being realistic when setting business goals can help us banish the panic of an overwhelming to-do list

  • How Kelly uses the Strategic Mapping Method™ to nail down an entire business game plan

  • The importance of getting it done and moving on!

Hello everyone and welcome to episode six. Today we are talking priorities. I don't know about the rest of you crazy people, but I am the kind of person that really likes to do all the things right now at once. And then get very stressed out when that doesn't work. It's just my natural state.

My poor husband has to kind of wrangle it in sometimes and be like, honey, you cannot do all of these things in one day and not feel like falling over. That's how I work. My brain just goes and goes and goes, right? So I will have 15 extra minutes in a day. Then I'm like, huh, have 15 minutes. Most people would say, I'm going to rest for 15 minutes. I think, uh, I wonder if I can get this 30 minutes worth of work done in 15 minutes. My brain just works like that. So I wanted to admit that coming in.  Because talking about priorities, I help other people prioritize their lives and their businesses and strategize for the next quarter, all those kind of things.  But I am terrible at making myself do it. So I want you to know that this isn't always easy, even for the person who does it for a living. But I figured since I do for a living, I could, you know, help you out here.

Most of the time we're going to panic because we're going to try to do too many things. They're not going to be planned out. And then we're going to scramble. We're going to fail miserably. And then we're going to feel like crap. So in order to stop doing that, I would like to kind of map out what I do with clients, and with myself when I'm really being good. Because I'm a Director of Operations, Certified Director of Operations, I am licensed in the Strategic Mapping Method™. It is this thing where you go through your business and you make a quarterly plan. That's what our Business Game Plan strategy is with Reynolds OBM. So you come in and you have two calls with us. There we deep dive into your business and what's going on. And then you come away with like a plan for the quarter projects to be done when they're supposed to be done, that kind of thing.

So, first thing that we do when we go through that is we prioritize the objectives. So there's seven strategic objectives that we use in this method. And they are: Financials, Operations, Visibility, Client Experience, Products, Team and Personal Growth, And for a good amount of us, that's the order of importance they're in. Financials is almost always number one because we're here to make money. Then the operations getting your business efficient.  Vvisibility, getting out there, having people know who you are, that's that kind of marketing aspect.  Client experience, are your clients happy, do you have a good onboarding system, that kind of thing.  Products, creation or refinement, if you have other products do you want to like change them up or do something with them or are you going to create new products. Team growth and then personal growth.  So a lot of that, I think personal growth ends up at the bottom a lot. And I don't know that that's a bad thing most of the time. It's not that it's not important. It's just less important because most of us are kind of like junkies on learning new things. We buy courses and do that kind of stuff and read books. So that's not like a big push to go out there and do right away. So we're going to put these seven objectives in order, figuring out what's most important to you.

Financials is really important to me right now.  Product development, because I have the podcast starting and I have also two other products that are getting put kind of into gear. And then visibility is a huge thing for me right now. Right? I want all of you to listen to this as much as possible. And then I want a whole bunch more people to come and listen so they can get help with their small businesses as well. So getting out there and sharing all of this stuff, that we've been talking about for the last couple of weeks, and we'll continue to talk about for a very long time hopefully!  Those are the kinds of things that I am really big on right now. So right now mine are financials, visibility and products, operational efficiencies. We'll get there. Like it's just not my priority right now. All of this stuff is really important. So it's not like you're saying it's not important. It just needs to be, what are we tackling first?

We go through, we do a deep dive into all of this stuff. I mean it's two, hour and a half calls. So I mean, we really do a deep dive here, but from each of these, we're going to pull projects out that we're going to work on. Financials are really important, right? You know me, I'm going to talk about that forever. A lot of times, there's not a lot of projects to work on because all of the other projects reflect back on that. But sometimes it's getting your books set up. Sometimes it's doing a big financial audit so that you can, your expense audit that we talked about in episode two, figuring out how to save yourself some money. Visibility: am I going to start trying to pitch podcasts? Am I going to start a podcast to get guests, try to get a bigger audience for my whole business.  Am I going to start Facebook ads? Am I going to I'm starting networking events, things like that. I mean, obviously pandemic stuff, but you understand.  Do I need a better client or onboarding system? Am I going to really buckle down and get all my systems set up? Because I don't know where anything is. And every time I do something, I have to like reinvent the wheel because I didn't write it down last time. So that'd be like a big operations project. Getting all the SOP is organized so that maybe you could take all the things that are in your head and get them out onto paper so that someone else like a VA, a virtual assistant, could do them for you instead. So maybe that's a big project of just getting things out of your heads that you can off-board them to someone else.

And that you can then go focus on other things. That's a big, big one for a lot of online business owners products. What are we doing this week? We've launched this podcast in the last couple of weeks. That was a big thing of figuring out what we had to do. I've never done this before. I've never done this for any clients. This is not my forte. This was a, uh, alright, let's Google it. So we figured out how to do it. We figured out how to edit things and put things where they're supposed to be. And all of that, that was a big thing in my Q1 projects, all of these little things, what are you going to be doing for this quarter? Now you can list out a whole bunch of things, all the things in your head, it's kind of a brain dump.

And then you can start prioritizing what we're going to do now. And you really get down to only a few things. So depending some things are very small, but very important. They won't take a lot of time, but they're very important. And other things like mapping out SOP is could take a long time just because  you're tracking all that. You're maybe you're recording everything that you do. And then letting a virtual assistant type that all up and put into SOP is things like that. Like some of those things just take longer. So we're going to try to be as realistic as possible with our goals for the next quarter, and then rotate those projects and then prioritize them as well. What are we going to do? And when are we gonna do it? You cannot do all the things at once. I have a client say to me, I would like to launch three websites and a new product with like a huge launch in the next four weeks.

By the way, that's like a year's worth of work.  Launches take time. They can, little launches can take, I don't know, two months to get all set up, figuring out what the software is, where are your emails? What's going on? A big, huge launch is like four to six months. You need to be able to be prepared. What do we need to do? What do we need to have ready building a whole website and rolling out a whole new product and all that kinds of it takes time. Just because you have thought of it quickly does not mean all of the parts of it can be completed quickly, or if it can be, it may be very, very expensive because you have to have all of these people to complete all the work. And then you become the bottleneck because you have to write copy for something.

And no one knows what's going on. Having these unrealistic goals of doing things all at once. We're going to do everything in the next three months. It's going to work and you are going to be miserable. Your team is definitely going to be miserable. If you are sending people work at 10 o'clock at night, because you just got around to it or you're so slammed, you can't get it done. And you expect them to have that work done at 7:00 AM. The next day, that is not going to be a happy team. You cannot run a business like that. If you're in a jam once, okay, you can give it a shot, but I gotta tell ya. If people are emailing me at 10 o'clock at night, I do not even look at it until the next morning. And then I see how that fits into my morning.  Because I have meetings already planned. So all of these things, you have to really pick something, plan it out and then work on it. Everybody always wants to add more mostly because especially like with this, like with the podcast, I thought I'd have to do eight things. And then it's like 30 things. And then it's, I didn't know. I had to do all these things, right? Like, I didn't know. I had to have a separate webpage for every episode. And then I had to have graphics and then show notes and then this link and that all of that has to happen. And a lot of times we don't understand what we really need to do unless we have the experience until we get in there. So leaving time for things to have to take longer, it will be much easier. So many times when you add more, so many things get started and never finished.

It's amazing to me, the things that people start and never finish. And they paid for, they pay for an enormous website. They paid a lot of money for it, where they pay for someone to build something out a course or whatever, and then they never finish it because of whatever. And that it always makes me so sad, like all that money and time spent. And it may be a fantastic idea that the world really needs. But now it's just stuck in like this black box somewhere. So picking something, the most important thing to get done right now, and then get clear on what happens and how it has to get done. That's what you need to do. And then I'm going to say something crazy, but figure out what you need help on.

I'm going to say it again, figure out what you need help on and then go get some help. Look, this podcast is my husband figuring out how to edit because he's better at that than I am. And me pretty much doing everything else, except the show notes, which my Gwen on my team does because hers are better than mine. They're way better than mine. I wrote show notes. They sucked. She said, I can do the show notes for you. She wrote them. And I was like, they're way better than mine. Fantastic. You know what? That means. One, I get a better product and two it's done faster. Get help when you need it. If you can do things yourself because you want to save money. Great. But try to just think about what will get this across the finish line because not finishing, not helpful.

On an aside, perfect - not useful. It has to be done, not perfect. And I know that bothers a lot of people. It bothers me. It's been a real test lately to be like, it's done, it's gotta be done. I'm moving on. Instead of being perfect. So knowing what your priorities are, and then getting a plan in place, figuring out if you need help or what you need to do, what kind of research you have to do that when you feel in control and then you start checking things off, which is one of my favorite things in the earth is to check off everything on a to do list and feel accomplished. And then nothing is left to the last minute. Some of the stuff takes so long that you feel like you're never going to see the end of it. But if you kind of know where you're going and you're like, all right, we're exactly where we're supposed to be right now.  Even if it's going to be a six month project, knowing month one is exactly where month one is supposed to be, that's killer. And you feel like you're on track. You don't feel out of control once you get these things done. There's an enormous sense of accomplishment. Are there things that I could pick apart in everything I do? Of course there are, I'm a detail oriented crazy person, but that doesn't help me sitting here redoing my first episode, eight times, not helpful.  Giving it to my husband so he can edit it and make it sound better than I did? Way better. It's still not perfect. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter if it's perfect. My perfect episode will not help anyone any more than my slightly less than perfect episode. Done, not perfect. And then move on. So prioritize, figure out what you really want to do.

And please be realistic. I want you to be successful. I want you to have this great business. And if you pick a couple of things for the quarter and you do them in the first month, then go down the list. You got a whole list. I'm sure you picked a bunch of stuff. You could do. Start at the top. Just prioritize, start at the top, work your way down. And then as you do things, check them off, move on. And by the time we get out of houses and are allowed to, you know, talk to people and see our families again, you're gonna have some kick ass business. Cause all of these things have gotten done. You're going to feel great. Your business is going to be great. And then you get to tell everyone about it over lunch, because we'll all be able to go see each other again. I know you can do it. I'll see you next week.

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