168 Hours A Week
We're at that time of year where we're trying to wind down this year and gear up for next year. The question I have for you today is, how would you like to improve your business in the new year? Well, I've got three things that I want to share with you, but before I do that, I want to give you a little background.
Number one, all of us share the same 168 hours in a week. That's seven days at 24 hours each. Now, most of us spend a third of that sleeping, a third of that working, and a third on everything else. And I know some of you actually spend that last third on Facebook. But that's up to Santa, whether you get coal or something nice for Christmas. That's something completely different.
What you have to do is look at that everything else time. And you have to look at your work time, because you can't cut out sleep, right? And eight hours a day may seem like a lot, but think about the time you're prepping. Maybe you're brushing your teeth, taking a shower, reading something, watching TV, whatever it is. When it comes to work, okay, eight hours a day, yeah. Most people are working eight hours a day. Think about your commute, getting back and forth to work. That leaves another eight hours a day for everything else. What if you have kids and they're in soccer, basketball or football or whatever. Think about shopping and cooking and eating and all the other things that you have to do. You have a limited amount of time, and what you do with that time is incredibly important.
These are the three things that I want you to think about before you hit the ground running next year. The first one is to have a set of goals and write them down. Now in order to have a set of goals, you should have financial goals. You should have personal goals. You should have business goals. All of those things matter.
Write Your Goals Down
The first thing you want to do is look back. Look at your books from this year. Were there any changes from the year before? Did you make more money in one area of your business and less in another? That starts to show you trends that are happening in your business. The next thing you have to do is move forward.
Now based on what you've learned from the past year, set a budget. Not just a budget as far as money goes, but a budget as far as time goes, both at work and outside of work. What are you going to do with your time that's going to be different? You've all heard the saying that doing the same thing over and over is the definition of insanity. Well most of us don't make any changes. There are a ton of people that go buy gym memberships at the beginning of the year, and for the first month or two they may go a few times, and the gym makes a ton of money the rest of the year on that membership because nobody shows up, and you're paying for something that you're not using. Make sure you have a plan and act on that plan.
Be Held Accountable
The second thing I want you to do is start becoming accountable. Now you may already be in this space, but some of you aren't, so I want go to through those steps. Number one, I'm a huge proponent of hiring a coach. Now, there are tons of different coaches out there. There are business coaches, mindset coaches, sports coaches. The bottom line is, whatever it is that you want to achieve, it really helps to have somebody there who's been there, done that, and can hold you accountable.
The next thing that you may want to look at is joining a mastermind. Masterminds are where you get together with a group of people, either in the same industry as you, or at least relative industries to you, in the same space. For example, if you're a million dollar business, you don't want to be hanging around with a bunch of people that are in network marketing, because those are two completely different places. Now, get together with a bunch of network marketers if you're in that space. Get together with a bunch of contractors if you do contracting work. Get together with a bunch of coaches if you're a coach. Whatever it is that you do, find like-minded people and get together at least once a month.
I don't care whether you do that online like I do with my Bacon Weekly Mastermind. I do that via a phone call. I also do it via Skype and GoToMeeting. Or, I'll do it in person. It just really depends on what the group is and what the dynamic is. It could be as little as one to two hours a month, but it's time well spent and time I invest in myself and my business.
The next thing that you want to do is far as being accountable is get out there and network. Nothing replaces face-to-face meetings. Now, again, sometimes you don't have time to go do coffee, so maybe you do it over the phone. But the bottom line is getting to know people one-on-one. Get out there and meet people and see if there are ways that you can engage with them. Help them first, and then maybe they'll find a way to help you. Do something, expect nothing in return, but get out there. Get your messages in front of people and see how they respond. Spend some time getting to know some people that you don't know. But get out there and network. Learn how to get in front of people, how to share your messages and be the best citizen of your environment that you can be.
Invest In Yourself
The last piece of this puzzle is to invest in yourself. The bottom line is that if you want to make changes to that 168 hours that you're currently spending month after month after month, you have to book that time. That means going into your calendar and scheduling it. Schedule the networking. Schedule the coach. Schedule the mastermind. Schedule time to do things, like reading books or taking courses.
Ultimately what you're doing is investing in yourself. That means that you actually have to put some money where your mouth is, too. All of those things are going to cost something. Books, audiobooks, $20? Not a big deal. But if you do that every single month, that can add up, $240, whatever it is. If you decide to take courses, maybe you have to put $1,000 aside a month for new courses. Maybe that's too much for you. But the bottom line is to figure out what that number is and stand by it.
Then when it comes to coaching and masterminds, a lot of times there's money associated with that, as well. So budget that for your business. I could tell you that over the course of the years, I've hired a lot of coaches. I've also worked with a lot of mentors. I've also mentored other people. I've taught courses. I've created courses. So I understand how all this stuff works.
Ultimately, the ball is in your court. You have to make the time and you have to show the effort, and ultimately you have to put your money where your mouth is and spend some cash in order to grow yourself and grow your business. So with that 168 hours, where can you take time and invest it in yourself? Maybe you book it into your eight hours a day. Maybe most of us as solopreneurs know we don't work eight hours a day. We're lucky if we get paid for half of that time.
So what are you doing with the other half? Are you making phone calls? Are you doing billing? Maybe you can outsource some of these things. I've got virtual assistants that help me do a lot of the tasks that I used to do myself, which has opened up more time for me to be able to spend on growing myself. Even as a person who educates others, I still need to educate myself. As a business owner, you want to make sure that you're the smartest person in the room, especially in your business. And in a mastermind and in other places, if you're the smartest person in the room, chances are you're in the wrong room, but that's necessarily true in your own business.
So write down your goals. Make sure that you look back and look forward. Be held accountable. Hire somebody. Get into a group. Do something to make sure you're living up to your expectations. And finally, invest in yourself. I guarantee you it's the best investment you can make in growing your business.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on how you manage your time and tasks like these and others. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you or your business ever run into a problem by NOT planning ahead for the next year? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at http://www.baconpodcast.com/podcasts/