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Johanne Narayn


Category Archives for Jackie’s Blog

10 Things That Cause Business Burnout (And How to Avoid Them)

If you’ve been trying to start or run your own business for any length of time, you know it can be hard work. You also know that burnout eventually sets in, but it can come on pretty quickly too. Sometimes, it’s the burnout that keeps you from succeeding. However, there are usually underlying reasons why you start to feel burned out in the first place. Recognise those reasons, and you can move on and minimise the feeling of burnout as much as possible.

What causes burnout?Burnout

People suffer from burnout for different reasons. Some are common factors experienced by a lot of people, while others are not so common. We’re going to discuss the most common causes.

Often, people suffer from more than one of these areas. This can lead to almost total devastation for the business owner and take a while for recovery. Let’s try to avoid these common pitfalls from the beginning. If you’re already seeing these in yourself and your business, then it’s time to make some changes.

1) The Wrong Business
This is the most common cause of burnout and often leads to failure. If you’re in the wrong business, doing things you hate, if you dread trying to work on your business, it’s likely you’re in the wrong business. This does not mean you’re a failure. It simply means you’ve failed to create a business or business model that resonates with you.

When you hate what you’re doing and have to force yourself into doing it, that’s no different than having a regular job outside the home. You came into business to escape that rat race. Don’t build a business that’s going to feel like any other job to you!

2) The Wrong Niche
Another leading cause of burnout is being in the wrong niche. Perhaps you’ve picked the right business model, like affiliate marketing or a niche blog where you sell products, but if it’s in a niche that doesn’t resonate with you, it’s likely you will suffer burnout or maybe even give up on it completely.

Never choose a niche because you think it will make money, or because someone else is making money in it. If it’s not your thing, you should avoid it. Instead, think of a niche that you do love and figure out ways you can monetise it and earn money from it.

3) Not Knowing Enough
This can be frustrating and overwhelming. You know you have most of the pieces to this internet marketing puzzle, but for some reason you can’t get them all together. You even watch your favourite marketers to see what they do, but it still doesn’t click.
What are you doing wrong? It could be that you aren’t doing anything wrong. You simply may not be doing enough of the right things.

It can be really difficult to figure out what the right things are. One way is to scale back on doing too many activities. Target a few things until they become habit.

Once you’ve scaled back, this will help you avoid “shiny new object syndrome”. This is the problem that affects many entrepreneurs – we always feel we need to learn more about the latest and greatest technique, instead of sticking to what we’re already doing.

Sure, you will want to broaden your skills and knowledge at some point, but you can only concentrate on a limited area at first. If you haven’t figured that out yet, don’t keep buying info product after info product hoping that you will. Focus and you’ll eventually feel like things are moving into place.

Of course, if you’re really struggling you can always hire a mentor to kick-start your business (as long as you can afford it).

4) No Systems in Place
This can be a tricky. Chances are you’re not even sure what systems you need to have in place to make running your business more efficient and streamlined. You search on-line for types of systems, but the results you get are just more articles telling you to get systems put in place!

A system can be as simple as having a daily routine. When you have certain things you do on a routine basis, develop a system for getting it done in a short amount of time.

Examples:
• Set up templates for emails
• Schedule social media updates to go out through the day so you’re not having to check in every hour
• Set up a blog posting schedule
• Schedule a time to update your financial files

5) Trying To Do Too Much
This one can definitely lead to burnout pretty quickly. For example, if you’re still new to running a business, you probably can’t afford to outsource a bunch of the daily tasks yet. In this case, it’s a good time to take stock of where you’re at, what absolutely has to be done and what can be taken off the list.

For instance, if keeping up with Facebook isn’t bringing in business for you, give it a break and focus on another site that is. If you’re getting ReTweets on Twitter, people are sharing your content and your business, which may be a better place to spend your time networking. If neither of those are bringing you results, maybe that time would be better spent in a forum, a membership site or with a mastermind group.

If you’re feeling social media too overwhelming due to all the different networks out there, you can focus on your favourites, or make use of a premium service like Buffer App or HootSuite to make them all easier to manage from one place.

Running your own business really is about balance and juggling a lot of things. You haveclocks juggling to decide what’s bringing in results, what isn’t and cut out the things that aren’t bringing you results.

Also consider the quality of the results you’re getting. For example, you may have thousands of Twitter followers and get a lot of replies, but if they don’t lead to sales of your product or service then is your time really best spent there?

Remember – when you do have a stable cash flow, then outsourcing is the best way to expand your business. You simply won’t be able to reach the level you want on your own, and you’ll feel burned out!

6) Not Using Your Strengths
You may be wondering how this can lead to burnout. The truth is if you’re focusing on doing things you’re not good at, it’s not only be a big waste of time it will also suck your mental energy. If you’re not good at web design, don’t do it. Either save the money to have it outsourced or barter with a web designer and offer them your skills in return.

If social networking isn’t your strength, stop trying to be a social butterfly. You can still share useful information and be nice, but you do not have to comment on everyone’s posts to get attention. Just be yourself, share your content along with other great content and leave it at that.

Do figure out what your strengths are and work with those. If you’re good at graphic design or writing, then target people who are looking for those services instead of people looking for complete web design. If you’re good at motivating others, consider a coaching business to help people stay focused and inspired.

Remember – it makes a lot more sense to work to your strengths than spending all your energy working on your weaknesses!

7) Not Specialising
This one can go hand in hand with not using your strengths. If you’re offering a ton of services and having to jump from project to project to get things done, you should consider specialising in only a few things.

Once you’re business is established you can add more services, hire helpers and outsource some of the work. For now, though, stop trying to do so many things at once. Stick to a few things until you’re established in those areas.

8) Too Much Repetition
On the other hand, doing things that are repetitious and tedious can zap your energy and cause burnout too. If there are small tasks that must be done each week, maybe it’s time to hire a VA to get those done.

Using a VA is great for things that only take 15 to 30 minutes, but it will save you a lot of frustration. Most VAs charge by the hour, but they will track how many 10 to 15 mins time blocks they do for you and make sure you get your full hour’s worth of work. You may only need to purchase one hour per month for some things. This makes it very cost effective for you and can keep you from putting off those mundane tasks.

9) Networking the Wrong Way
This one is definitely hard to balance. You need to network and get to know other people in your field, find possible clients and partners, but if you spend too much time in this area, it will eat into your work time. On the other hand, if you spend too much time trying to work and not enough time chatting with other business owners, mentors or people who are trying to start their own business, you can suffer burnout by feeling like you’re all alone in this venture.

The opposite of not networking enough is doing it too much. This can lead you to comparing your success to others who are more successful or further along in the game than you are. There’s a fine balance between being inspired by others, taking action to create your own success or simply watching their success until it brings you down. If all you’re doing is watching their success, it can leave you feeling uninspired or thinking you’ll never make it to that level!

Remember, they put in a lot of long hours and hard work to get where they are today. If you take action and do the same, you can have similar results. However, you still need to take breaks from work or it will lead to burnout.

10) Not Planning
planningThis is an area where many newbies fail. It can lead to burnout because if you don’t spend some time making weekly and monthly plans, you will end up wasting time each day trying to figure out what you should be doing. After a while, this leaves you frustrated and making very little progress.

Spend an hour or two at the beginning of each month deciding what you want to accomplish for the month, whether it’s gaining new clients, building your email list, making more sales or doing product creation. Define your monthly goals and then break those down into weekly tasks.

At the end of each workday, see what’s on tomorrow’s schedule so you’ll know what to expect each day. Also, spend some time on Sunday evening looking over your weekly plans so you know what’s ahead for the week and which areas you need to focus on.

There’s a common phrase that states:

People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan 

Benjamin Franklin said “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Don’t be one of those. Start working on your monthly plans – you can do this several months in advance or even make out a yearly plan. Just get busy planning.

Remember, even the best plans are bound to change, and working for yourself does mean you have the flexibility to change them if you want to. Don’t let that stop you from planning in the first place, though. It’ll really help your productivity and reduce feelings of burnout!

Following the tips above will help prevent you from becoming burned out in these keys areas. Business building can be hard work and it can take time. Don’t let yourself get discouraged or feel overwhelmed if things aren’t working as fast as you’d like. Simply take account of where you’re at, where you want to be, and which unimportant tasks you can eliminate to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

woman gazing

And remember, if you do get burnt out, it’s OK to take some time out to get things back on track. Things will get better if you work on them!

 

Why collaboration in business is good

At the recent 1230 TWC Margate meeting, special guest speaker Paul Andrews chose “Collaboration” as his topic. It reminded me of a Blog I wrote almost a year ago to the day “Synergies and Collaboration – why would you?” Here for you to read; and this has prompted me to re-visit the topic and include some vital current statistics - so thank you Paul!

collaboration women

So let’s look first at the definition of collaboration = the action of working with someone to produce something. (Oxford Dictionaries)

Paul’s collaboration and discussions with other business owners, concluded that small (business) is beautiful and good; being a large business has potential to lose sense all of reality and this applies globally, not just UK.

A few stats:

  • Female entrepreneurship is growing in Britain, and has been since the recession of 2008 – 2011. 1.5m women in the UK are self-employed, which is an unprecedented increase of 300,000 since before the recession – that’s 80% of the new self-employed during this time.
  • Women are nearly three times as likely to collaborate with research institutions (universities in particular) than male businesses (11.4% compared with 3.8%) (ibid British Chambers of Commerce 2004).

When it comes to team building, as women we have a terrific advantage. Our style is collaborative. We connect and collaborate, do business. There’s that word again - “collaborative”.

Why would you want to collaborate with others? We simply can’t be experts in everything…

Some ideas on collaboration:

  • Look for synergies when speaking to others
  • When networking, listen to others’ 1 minute talks. For example, are you a photographer? Is there a wedding organiser in the group, or jeweller, beautician, a florist? A bride would need all these things. All these have potential for collaboration. One step further, why not put an event together.
  • Perhaps you’re a web designer and often get clients who need a logo, branding and someone in your circle can make that connection for you.
  • If you’re a solicitor who writes employment contracts, a VA could be someone who could make useful connections for you with their clients… You get the idea? Think complimentary business.

Maybe you don’t see the synergies straight away, but they’re clear when you revisit your meeting notes later – you do take notes, don’t you?

Collaborate with another person/s and your business offering is stronger, different, more successful.

Let me know how you get on!

Business Networking: Are Venues Important?

Are venues important?

We think so, we know so!

From day 1, 3 March 2002, 1230 The Women’s Company has always held its monthly lunch-time business meetings in attractive venues with ambience, and delicious food.

1230 TWC is not a run of the mill network with sandwiches and sausage rolls!

Inspiration flows in great surroundings and solid, trust-worthy relationships are built with regular attendance, not only for those who attend, but with our venues too.

So we blow the trumpet for our fabulous venues and their helpful accommodating staff, here they are!

 

Bexley – Ferrari’s Restaurant

Blackheath & Greenwich – DoubleTree Hilton

Bromley – Aqua Restaurant

City of London – Devonshire Terrace

Croydon – Ponte Nuovo

East Dulwich – Tart

Margate – The Powell Restaurant

Mayfair – Jak’s Mayfair

Orpington – Scala

Sevenoaks & Tunbridge Wells – The Hand & Sceptre

Don’t miss out, we’d love to see you there – be productive, and, enjoy yourself!

Meet Jane Kenyon

well heeled divas bookJane Kenyon is a natural giver. She can’t help but share her lessons and continual learnings.

Last year she found re-ignited her writing mojo and produced 2 books. These are selling well and getting rave reviews.

She often posts her own inspirational quotes across various social media platforms on a daily basis.

Jane is also invited onto global radio stations to share her story and life philosophy, writes for several on and offline magazines and speaks internationally. You can meet her at the Make It Happen event in Spain.

If you’d like to order your books, Jane can deliver them to you personally in Spain.

You can order here

Meet Jackie Barrie – Make It Happen

Jackie Barrie is a renowned copywriter, networker and speaker.

You can meet here in Spain at the Make it Happen Event 2016


Meet Annabel Kaye

Annabel Kaye will show you how to have a business with friends and family that doesn’t end in tears.


Thank you – not

It happened on 11 November 2013.

I opened an email sending me a voice message from a fairly new friend of ours, in fact, she was the 12 year old daughter of my son’s new girlfriend.  We’d sent her a birthday card so it was nice to think she’d got in touch  The spelling of her name wasn’t quite the same – let’s say her name was Lia and the email message spelt it “Lya” – not knowing her long I assumed I’d spelt it incorrectly.  On clicking the message nothing appeared, so maybe it hadn’t saved correctly.  The phone ringing distracted me and as I was talking a small red box flashed at the bottom of my screen.  Still distracted I clicked on the box, nothing happened.  A few moments later, my screen was filled with a large red box stating that all my files had been encrypted by Cryptolocker – an exceptionally nasty piece of ransomeware.

This virus was so new that I’d been hit in their first UK targets.  You might think as an IT trainer I should know better than to open a message like this, and I’d agree, normally.  The total coincidence of the name just blinded me into a false sense of security.

Why is Cryptolocker exceptionally nasty?  It encrypts EVERYTHING on your computer.  And then demands that you pay $300 for the files to be released.  Not only that, but any attached external drives, eg, usb / hard drive, would also have been included in the attack.  I have an incremental remote back-up.  Guess what, yes, it encrypted those files too!

To say I was in despair was an understatement.  My entire 13 years of business had been encrypted. And in case you’re in any doubt, the files I could open were lines of complete mumbo jumbo.  I researched on the Net. If I paid up, as a police department in USA had done, how did I know these villains would release my files?  After 70 days they’d destroy my files if I didn’t pay up.  The next stage in their master plan was to up the anti after 70 days and, providing details of a Bitcoin account demanded $2,000 for the files safe return!!!

The incremental remote back-up.  I spotted that the back-up company could restore 30 day deleted files.  So I got in touch, maybe, just maybe…..  Yes, based in America, they knew about Cryptolocker and were frantically working to help their clients.  They thought that they could help me.  On 3 separate occasions they phoned me, talked me through and remotely accessed my machine to restore my files.  Not all the files were saved, but the majority were.  They didn’t charge me one extra $ / £ to do this – the annual charge for the back-up was then, just $54.  The company?  Carbonite.  And I shall be forever thankful for their help in saving my business and my sanity.

So, beware.  There are very clever, but equally nasty people out there.  Make sure your anti-virus software is always up-to-date, buy the best you can afford, and don’t be lulled into a false sense of security as I was.  Not everything is as it seems on the Internet.  Think once, think twice, think 3 times and then run that email/attachment manually through your updated anti-virus software.

Jackie Groundsell

1230 TWC 

Who manages your diary?

I manage my own dwriting_in_diaryiary, but increasingly many of my contacts now have someone who does this for them.  In an earlier life, I’ve been a PA and managed diaries.  I’m curious as to how up-to-date today’s “diary owner” is with the arrangements.   It feels very different.  Sometimes I feel as though the person I’m meeting / having a phone call / Skype with is totally detached from any of these “behind the scenes” arrangements – I appreciate that is the general idea to some extent!  Recently I’ve been blown-out again by someone who I met, we agreed would be good to have a follow-up coffee / conversation, it then got down to a Skype call as she’s too busy for a meet.  On the last arranged time, I got an email from the diary manager, at the time of our arranged Skype to say meetings had overrun and she’d be in touch with alternative dates.  She and I originally met end April.  Busy lady!

So this set me wondering.  If you manage someone else’s diary – how does this work for you?  Do you get told about overruns last minute?  If someone manages your diary for you, how do they keep you up-to-date with your movements.  Do you touch base with the arranged person at all, or is it all managed by the “diary manager”.  I’m genuinely interested to know.

I Hate Mondays

hate_mondays

Actually, I lurve Mondays!

Let’s look at Bank Holiday Mondays.  She Who Bakes, the delightfully inspiring Britt Whyatt recently posted on Facebook “Oh good, a bank holiday!” said no self-employed person, ever.”  I tend to take extended weekend holidays, rather than 2-3 week holidays, so I play with the Bank Holiday;  I may not do any business work at all, I may do a little, I may work all day, or I may play all day, but it’s mine to do with what I want.  Mostly!

So, what prompted this missive?  There’s another reason I particularly like Mondays, or this week, Tuesdays.  I have a very dear chum, who, subject to her diary, if I’m lucky will phone me on her journey from home to her office.  The conversations are not without challenges.  In-between dips and humps in the road the signal fades and then vanishes just at that crucial part of the conversation; sometimes we put the world to rights but mostly it’s about how we are both personally and in business, what we’ve been doing and what we’ll be doing, with some fun and laughter.  Sometimes these conversations get cut short mid-stream, ending on a serious note with food for thought or equally it can end on a high fun Love Mondays&Tuesdays! (1)note, either way, I greatly value this start to my working day!

Yes, I love Mondays (and Tuesdays)!!

How about you?  Do you have a chum who phones you for a chat like this?

 

Threes or 3s – a day (or half day) in the life of a trainer

Y’know how people say that things happen in threes or 3s?threes

Well that’s what happened today.  Four people were booked in for a training session, three dropped out at short notice, variety of reasons, all sounded legit.  That left one and me as trainer – that’s fine, great 1:1 session coming up.

Arrived at training venue, staff not expecting us, ok after seeing my confirming email except that the booked room was full of unmoveable machinery.  (That’s two, by the way).  No problem…  handy café nearby would suit our purpose.  Staff very happy to have us.  Order drinks, delegate goes to treat me only to find that she’s left her purse in the car!  That’s three!

Well dear reader – you won’t be surprised to find that a great 1:1 training session followed!  That’s life!

Liz_testimonial