When I get in a rut, I change venues and/or make a point of blocking off specific chunks of time.
Sometimes, that means meeting a friend for coffee. Or, it means giving myself permission to goof off for a little while (so that I’m recharged and ready to work when I return).
Other times, that means setting goals and deadlines. I also use my advisors to add accountability – did I do what I said I’d do, when I said I’d do it? If not, why not and what’s my plan to get it done?
That’s most important for the things I’m not as good at doing or that I enjoy least. When I’m stuck in solving a problem, I often go for a walk or head to the gym. Even just 30 minutes ‘around the block’ gives me new insight or helps me sort out ideas. Insight happens when we least expect it; I’ve found it helps to create a little space for me to actually recognize the insight when it arises. After, I’m more productive.
Where do you go for help with the administrative aspects of running a business?
I focus on what I do best and the best value for my time and money. I leave accounting, 1090s, and taxes to the experts – Mason, DiMarco & Shaw.
I’ve used Your Minions, LLC for miscellaneous things that suck up my time but add little value. Someday, I’ll probably look for a virtual assistant as well. For marketing strategy, I work with Denise Aranoff-Brown, a marketing consultant who gets what I do, keeps my messages real and relatable, and forces me to stay on track.
Share what you’ve learned from your biggest success in business.
I’m hopeful that my biggest success is yet to come!
To date, I’ve learned to make room for opportunities. I have a strategy and I pursue it in a focused way.
But, I also look for things that create options for the future. That’s part of how I manage uncertainty; I can’t know what will be, but I can be open to the possibilities.
One part of me is always scanning the horizon. But, I’ve also learned that focus means reflecting on the ‘possible’ with specific strategic criteria in mind. In what way does this opportunity help me to achieve my objectives? What new options might it create for later? How much time and energy am I willing to invest to determine if it’s the right fit or will bear fruit?
Tara is a leader in our Women Grow Business community. As CEO of M. Beacon Enterprises, Tara works with mid-sized businesses to develop strategic priorities at multiple levels and solve complex problems. You can contact her directly on Twitter or LinkedIn. You can find part one of our interview with Tara here, and part two here. On behalf of the Women Grow Business community, I’d like to thank Tara for doing this interview, and her ongoing contributions both on and offline to the thriving women business owner community in the Washington DC metropolitan area. We appreciate you so much, Tara.