“E” is for Energy, Efficiency, and Effectiveness

I’m roaring right into my busy season. There’s something about the fall and winter that compels people to call me.

They are out of energy, desperate for more time, and feeling overwhelmed.

Sound familiar?

Today’s note is all about “E” – and I couldn’t decide on just one thing. So, let’s focus on efficiency, effectiveness, and even ENERGY.

In the past two weeks, I’ve done several expansiveMake Some Room Rendezvous sessions. Excellent results? You betcha!

  • “Lynn” and her team used the time to flesh out some very specific processes related to new business opportunities. There were quite a few things that needed to happen, but she and her team were fuzzy on priorities, timelines, and ownership of the action steps. This is actually the second MSRR they’ve participated in. AND they were able to successfully achieve the stretch goals they set in the first session three months ago. Rock on!
  • Two clients used their sessions to document their Client Intake processes. Now they have clarity about how to make a new client feel comfortably led through a solid onboarding process. Questions answered, payment terms clarified, welcome notes sent.
  • “Jennifer” called and said, “Angie, I don’t even know what I don’t know. I just know I’m stuck!” We spent her session helping her reveal her “why.” Once she understood this, we were able to wrap all of her communications and systems with this special energy.
  • “Bob” is desperate to get out of email overwhelm – we’re meeting this afternoon. He’s confused about where emails should go, what he ought to save, and what he can delete. (And I’m totally excited to teach him how to gleefully use the delete key!)

Feeling ready? Your turn!

Make some room,

Angie

P.S. I’m offering two-hour Make Some Room Rendezvous sessions through the end of the year. They’re suitable for just you and me or a small group or team. The investment is a mere $350 (and it goes up to $500 on January 1, 2014).

#UNPLUG

#UNPLUG Fast Company Magazine

What was the last time YOU unplugged?

Yesterday, I was sorting through quite a backlog of snail mail. Lots of junk, too many credit card offers (feh!), and a bill or two.

My favorite part of the mail is getting magazines. I don’t subscribe to many, but I love the ones I get. Inc. Magazine, Mother Earth News, Fast Company, and Our State.

It was the cover of Fast Company that grabbed my attention:

#UNPLUG: My life was crazy. So I disconnected for 25 days. You should too.

Egads! I let it sink in that I had just disconnected for 17 days. No smartphone, no email, no internet service of ANY kind. In fact, I lived without plumbing or electricity for 17 days. I’ll spare you the details on the plumbing. But if I needed a light, I either used my headlamp or the moonlight (which was full by the time we left the Canyon).

Now, to be clear, the dude who wrote this article was the Mayor of Four Square in his area. He was involved in EVERY social media outlet possible. His online presence was HUGE. You, gentle reader, may not be quite so connected. It doesn’t mean, however, that you don’t relate to his reasons for wanting to unplug:

  1. His life was indeed crazy. Crazy busy. 24/7 crazy busy.
  2. He wanted to be mentally free of obligations, most of which asserted themselves in some way in digital fashion.

Can you relate? If you think about it, I bet A LOT of the requests for your time, your money, and your energy come to you digitally. Probably mostly via email, but other ways, too.

And it is stressing you out. It’s making you distracted. And you’re suffering from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

I see you checking email in the middle of networking meetings; as your employees are trying to talk to you; while you’re driving (or at best while stopped at red lights); in the middle of dinner wth your families; and as soon as your eyes pop open in the morning.

You are afraid. Afraid of missing out: on the big deal; with the next big potential client; with the angry client (we have to be responsive, don’t we?). And you’re afraid of just not being “in the know.”

I’ll be talking more about digital detoxing in the coming months. The saturation of digital connectedness in our lives is epidemic. And I assert it’s unhealthy if we just “let it happen.”

There are ways to regain control and sanity. As the Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan would say, “We must embrace rules, boundaries, and limitations.” It’s the only way to beat back the crazy.

Sincerely,

Angie

P.S. All this digital connectedness can also be a HUGE time-suck. There’s stuff you want to get done. It’s weighing on your mind, keeping you stuck, stressed, and churning. I’m creating a new low-impact, high-results-oriented program to get the important stuff DONE so you have the time, energy, and money to do the fun stuff (like plan a real #UNPLUGGED vacation). Details Tuesday!

Wine snob, coffee snob, what kind of snob are you?

I confess: I’m a total coffee snob.

It’s gotten so bad that I can’t even stomach gas station or diner-type coffee anymore. Mediocre. Drinkable, maybe. But completely not worth it.

Now, I go all out.

Organic, fair-trade beans. Organic half and half. I even use non-bleached filters (because bleach is bad!).

I have a small, hand-crank burr grinder. The handle is wood. The burr and top are a pounded metal. The glass container at the bottom is a small mason jar.

And I bought something called a Chemex – it’s a beautifully simple glass carafe. I carefully fold and place a non-bleached filter in the top, add those organic, fair-trade, hand-ground beans, and slowly pour in filtered, boiling water. The water gently washes over the grounds and fills the carafe.

This whole process takes at least 20 minutes each morning. And there’s no plastic to be seen (because plastic is also bad!)

The result?

A beautifully perfect cup of coffee totally worth the wait and effort. Every single time.

Except when I get impatient and forget to fold the filter carefully. Or I pour the boiling water too fast. Then the filter bottom gives up the ghost and the grounds fall into the coffee.

Doh! Coffee ruined.

The lesson here?

If I follow the system, use the process, and do it with care, I get an awesome result.

If I skip steps, hurry, and get impatient, then my coffee is ruined.

The same can true for everything in your business:

  • Forgetting to send hand-written thank you notes every single week
  • Ignoring your billing and invoicing
  • Letting “stuff” pile up
  • Not following up when you said you would
  • Treating clients and customers like interruptions and problems rather than the gift that they are
  • Giving referrals with no expectation – just for the pleasure of being a resource
  • Continually being curious about how you add value to your clients and customers each and every day
  • Investing in your own education and learning – to be a better partner, boss, co-worker, and networker

My new book reveals many of these crucial system details and includes downloadable worksheets. The whole point of focusing on the systems is how improving yourself and the experience your clients have with you makes your business much more successful (and profitable).

Just like taking care in making my morning coffee – the details matter (and the extra time and care are worth it).

Sincerely,

Angie

P.S. No Kindle? No problem. Amazon provides a free download of an electronic reader that allows you to download and read any Kindle book right on your computer. Sweet!

 

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