Episode 27 Show Notes

Are You Focused On $10 Tasks Or $10,000 Tasks In Your Biz? Find Out The Best Use Of Your Time

Information overload is one of the most common issues CEO’s face. We tend to get our hands so busy with small tasks that we forget to take care of those activities that actually move the business forward. 

This episode focuses on getting a clear strategy and following it to achieve our business goals. Pam provides some help with this by sharing some tips on creating and following a strategy to generate revenue and Jane tells us how to think and plan for the long run.

Today we discuss:

  • [01:28] What is the real solution to information overload.
  • [03:12] What traps you should avoid to move your business forward and the importance of having a strategy.
  • [09:40] How to plan and create strategies for a long-term run.
  • [13:08] How to prioritize your tasks according to Perry Marshall.
  • [17:57] When is a good time to outsource.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Pam (00:00):

You’re listening to the flourish and grow to CEO podcast. This is episode 27.

Are you a lady boss making 50 to a hundred thousand in your business? And you’re ready to break through that six figure barrier. Have you, you’ve

Jane (00:34):

Done a great job of creating a nice life as the ultimate gig master, but no, your inner CEO is calling you to greater Heights. You’re in the right place. If you want to create and implement solid fundamentals in your business without sacrificing fun.

Pam (00:48):

I’m Pam Ivey, I’m certified in small business management and I concentrate in the areas of training and certifying real estate assistants, coaching and mentoring entrepreneurs, and online business marketing, growth, and profit acceleration, and I take men and women business owners, aged 40+ to bucket list destinations around the world for a month at a time to work, explore, and live in community.

Jane (01:14):

And I’m Jane Garee, known as the sales strategist for the non-sales person, and I work with business owners who want to increase their conversion rate, shorten their sales cycle and have more impact and influence with the work they do, all while having more fun with selling.

Pam (01:28):

Hey everyone. And welcome back to the Flourish & Grow to CEO Podcast. I’m your host, Pam Ivey here with your other host, Jane Garee. Hi Jane.

Jane (01:39):

Hi everyone.

Pam (01:40):

We’re talking today about, are you focused on things that will actually move the needle in your business or just on that fun, busy stuff?

Information overload is a real hazard to business owners today, right? A quick Google search will supply you with books, articles, webinars, videos, and training that all claim to have the best answers in the midst of this avalanche of information. The traditional advice is to just do something, get the ball rolling and tweak your strategy from there.

The thing is it’s easy to move the needle, but it’s harder to make sure that it’s pointed in the right direction. So that’s exactly what we’re talking about today. It’s that you don’t simply want action. You want strategic action. You need to narrow down your options and choose a method that you believe that you can see through to the finish line.

Jane (02:41):

Our nemesis, the finish line. The finish line is a nemesis for a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs, because we tend to get all jacked up on our ideas and our visions. And then when you have to carry them through and carry them out and carry them over the finish line, it can be a little bit of a challenge. So, I’m excited to dig this topic today and really talk about why it’s important to focus on the activities that will really move the needle or otherwise known as move your company forward or more importantly known as making money with your business.

Pam (03:12):

Absolutely. You know, without conviction in your strategy. So you really have to have a strategy. You got to know where you’re going and how. We harp about that and it’s one of our growth pillars for Flourish & Grow, Vision & Strategy. So, without that conviction in the strategy, you’re going to end up half-heartedly working on it and trying a number of different tactics. You know, we talk about jumping in first without a strategy, we jump into the tactics; we’re going to post on social media. We’re going to shoot out an email. We’re going to host a Facebook live without a real clear strategy of where we’re going. Really. We’re just trying to, I don’t know, maybe generate some income immediately or just being busy to feel like we’re doing something and getting something done.

Jane (04:07):

Usually, one of the biggest things that happens, or the biggest trap that you can fall into is number one, you’re going into doing tasks that they’re, they’re just fun. They are the tasks that lights you up. They get your buzz going, you know, you want to do them. So you do those. And then the second thing that often happens is fear will crop up. And so you kind of default to doing things that aren’t really moving your company forward, but it provides you with a feeling of comfort or safety

Pam (04:38):

Been there. That’s why I procrastinate because either I don’t feel like I can do it perfectly, or somehow I might be judged for the results that happen from it.

Pam (04:53):

You know, we’re squirrels, most of us entrepreneurs, I know you can relate. So you just can’t get better at something when you’re being pulled in a hundred different directions, it’s just the truth, right? So you’ve got to choose a strategy and stick with it. So focus on one single strategy to improve. And that creates a string of little wins for you. One way that you can kind of structure your day so that you’re actually making your business or moving the needle, moving things forward, is to focus on revenue generating rather than fun, exciting new projects that may or may not make sense in the moment. So plan your day, the night before, and this is how I try to do it. I’m not going to say I’m perfect at it, but I want to pick the top three items that I’ve got to complete. And that’s how I have to start my day. I don’t get to do anything fun until those really important things are done. And you just can’t let yourself get distracted. So, you’ve got to make yourself complete those three activities or tasks before you can move on to the fun stuff.

Jane (06:10):

Yeah. Breaking it down into something that’s kind of bite sized and manageable like that is really helpful when it comes to getting things done. And I don’t know about you Pam, but a lot of times I find that if I do those three things, first thing in the morning before everything starts to get crazy or before I start to get all wrapped up in whatever I’ve got going on in my head, my planner, or in my day, that it’s such a sense of relief to just know that that those are, that those are finished. I’m not a morning person. I’m really not. But I have discovered that if I stayed disciplined to get up a little bit earlier than I normally would and get those three things out of the way, it’s, it’s really kind of amazing because I like being on the phone by about 10 o’clock. I don’t really like to talk to anybody before 10:00 AM, but I know that I need to be in, in revenue generation mode, which usually requires phone calls and conversations and video chats or whatever. So the days that I would make myself get up early, it was such a sense of freedom for the rest of the day, because I went check it out. It’s only 10:00 AM and all the hard parts of my day are done.

Pam (07:17):

Right? So accomplished. It’s a big thing for me. And I mean, truth be told, we know that I’m not a morning person. I know that we’ve said that number of times before, but if I do get up and I mean super easy, like 7am, which normally I would say 7 should not be seen twice in a day! If I get up then and start working on my three things, get those out of the way. Then I tend to move on to more productive, valuable work. But I do like the idea too, of having a reward. When I get those three things done, I can play in Photoshop, which is one of my little sinful pleasures. Cause I can get lost in it. But you know, you’re giving yourself permission as long as you get those really important things done. So that every day you’re moving a little bit forward.

Jane (08:06):

Yeah. Every day you’re moving a little bit forward. That’s key right there.

Pam (08:10):

Yeah. And the next kind of tip I have down here is to avoid shiny object syndrome and stick to the plan. And I am notorious for this, like many of you are. So, just call me Doug. You remember the movie up? Yep. Just call me Doug “squirrel! Squirrel!”. So again, planning the night before can really help you to kind of avoid that distraction. Cause you know what you’re going to do. Cause that’s another thing. if you’re not planning your day out, you just start off where it’s fun. I do that’s for sure. And really hold yourself accountable to finish those three really important tasks before moving forward. It’s pretty simple. Sounds really easy, but I think it really takes discipline.

Jane (09:00):

It does. Yeah. It definitely does.

Pam (09:03):

Another tip for you is to really think strategically and long-term — so you’re thinking longterm as opposed to short term and in the moment. It comes back to having a strong vision for your business, knowing where you’re going. So, you know, the important activities that’ll get you there. And then of course we speak about this, a great deal as well. We’ve got to create that life vision first and then you can create a business around that. That’ll really help you then kind of strategize your strategy. So you really know what the important things are to keep moving forward.

Jane (09:40):

Yeah. They’re very similar, but they’re just a little bit different. So, let’s go into those for a second here. I always tell everybody think play the long game, play the long game. You know, I do that with my friends. I do it with colleagues, clients, because what happens is people really? And I mean, we all do it. I do this too, but you start thinking more short-term what’s my short-term gain. What’s my short-term win. And sometimes thinking short term short term gain short term win is you have to, you know, you need to make a decision in the moment or the priority is really maybe a short term win. And that’s fine. A lot of cases though, I think what happens is people forget that there is a long game. And so when you make a decision in the moment or impulsively, or just because it’s kind of like, I want it and I want it now you, you really do kind of run the risk of getting yourself off track or, or really, really not great getting herself to railed long haul.

Jane (10:39):

So I was thinking about this actually yesterday in this context, because yesterday I got to tell ya I was craving a hamburger and French fries so bad. It was ridiculous. And I kept saying to myself, you have a salad at home, eat the salad or all right, if you really feel like you don’t, don’t feel like dealing with dinner at all, get some soup for 360 calories, but you do not need a hamburger and French fries. And I really had to remind myself of what’s my long game. You know, my long game is really, I want to look really slinky and sexy in, in a dress that’s appropriate for tango dancing. When we go to Buenos RAs is we’re hoping to do next year. I want to be at optimal health because as I continue to get older, it’s becoming more and more important to maintain good health.

Jane (11:23):

So the long game, those are really the priority. So in the short term is a hamburger and French fries, really what I want to do well, no, cause it’s actually gonna get me a little derailed off of my, off the long-term, you know, so play for the long game. And there are just going to be days where you’re going to eat the hamburger and French fries metaphorically. So that’s fine. Just be really intentional about it. And, and think in this moment, what is more important to me, sometimes the short term, it’s really going to be more important, but other times you’ll be able to kind of bear down and get through it and just keep your eye on the prize, which is that long game.

Pam (11:58):

Hey lady, boss, do you think like a CEO when your business starts taking off, you’re ready to scale up at this point, you’ve got to stop thinking of yourself as a solopreneur and start thinking of yourself as the CEO of your company. If you remain in the mindset of a one person operation, then you won’t be able to grow. You’ll never have the time, energy or expertise to do everything by yourself and your business won’t be the success that it has the potential to be. So are you thinking like a CEO? Take our free assessment to find out. You can find it at www.flourish.biz/think.  That’s F L O U R I S H dot B I Z forward slash T H I N K. All right, lady boss. Let’s get back to the show.

Yeah, that’s right. So you had a really good win last night cause you had that soup and not the hamburger.

Jane (13:03):

I had the soup 360 calories and a salad. It rocks.

Pam (13:08):

Good for you, because you know, success breeds confidence, which in turn leads to more success. So think of it like this. It’s possible to put together a puzzle by picking up two random pieces over and over to see if they match. But it’s a hell of a lot easier if you can focus on putting together one section before you move on to another. So each missing piece you fill in, it motivates you to continue on that competitive person in me, it motivates me too. But all those little wins begin to snowball and you feel something click the task that was giving you trouble earlier will start to feel a lot more effortless. There’s a book that I’ve read called The 80/20 Sales and Marketing from Perry Marshall. And if you aren’t familiar with him, he’s been around for a long, long time and has written a lot of books.

Pam (14:01):

He’s kind of a online marketing bro. He’s kind of, you know, lumped in with the bros I have to say, but he is brilliant. So when we’re talking about productivity and really pushing your business forward, continually pushing your business forward. One of the concepts that he talks about in that book that I just mentioned, the 80/20 Sales and Marketing is when you’re thinking like a CEO. Cause that’s where we want you to really start, you know, moving towards you have tasks that are worth different amounts of money. Let’s say because we’re going to keep what’s called a scorecard. So, you have $10 tasks, $100 tasks, $1,000 tasks and even $10,000 tasks. A $10 task would be for instance, running errands, talking to unqualified prospects, cold calling, fixing stuff on your computer, or building your website, doing expense reports, or attending meetings.

Pam (15:09):

How about cleaning and sorting? Those are all kinds of $10 activities. This is according to Perry. So, $100 activities are more like solving a problem for a current client or a prospect, or talking to qualified prospects, writing an email to prospects or customers, creating marketing tests and experiments, managing a pay-per-click campaign or customer follow-up. $1,000 activities can include planning and prioritizing your day. See how important that is – negotiating with qualified prospects, building your sales funnel. So if we said the $100 task is creating marketing tests and experiments, a $1,000 task would be judging those marketing tests and experiences. $10,000 type activities are, again according to Perry Marshall, improving your USP or your unique sales proposition, creating new and better offers, repositioning your message and your positioning,  executing bolt from the blue – I love what he calls bolt from the blue – um, brilliant ideas, negotiating major deals, or public speaking.

Pam (16:23):

So, those are all kinds of activities that would fall under the $10,000 category.

So where are you spending the most of your time? Are you tinkering with your website a lot? Are you filing papers? Are you cold calling of any variety, that kind of thing, or are you doing things like planning and prioritizing your day?

So, if you’d like to do an activity that will help you really drive your ship in the right direction, create a chart. Get a piece of paper and create a chart, divided into four sections. At the top, write $10, the next column, $100, then $1,000 and finally, $10,000. Then listing everything that you do on a daily basis or a monthly basis or a weekly basis. However, you divide your activities, write them in the appropriate column and see where you’re spending most of your time.

Jane (17:17):

Those are great tips, Pam. And really, the purpose of this exercise is just for you to be aware of where you are spending the majority of your time. So, I know that there are plenty of days where I think, “I just rocked it today. I was super productive,” and then I’ll go back and I’ll look at it and I’ll think, yeah, I was super productive. I spent an hour creating the perfect post for social media. Okay. Yeah. I was super productive. I researched in quotation marks for 90 minutes on the next project, you know, so there are all these things that I think that well, they’re legitimate, they’re important to my business, but they’re really not. They’re $10 activities in the moment in the moment.

Pam (17:57):

And it’s a really great way to determine where you can start outsourcing. So if you’re spending a lot of your time on the $10 tasks and it’s keeping you away from the %10,000 or the $1,000 tasks, maybe it would make a lot of sense to hire a virtual assistant or an assistant of any kind that can take that off your plate. And maybe you can pay them $20 or $30 if you’re really, you know, working in the $1,000, you should be generating income. So, it should help you pay for those people.

Jane (18:31):

The whole goal is get yourself to focus on the $10,000 activities as quickly and as soon as possible. So you can create revenue that will then allow you to outsource all those $10 activities.

Pam (18:46):

Sounds great. So I think that’s wraps up this episode. I mean, there’s not a whole heck of a lot that we can say more than we’ve said, but I really do hope that you’ll take the time to do that activity. Divide your activities up between $10 to $10,000 activities. See where you’re spending the majority of your time and see where you can maybe shift your time so that it’s more valuable to your business.

Jane (19:10):

All right, everybody hope you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast. So, go take a look at where you’re spending your time actually kind of log it for a couple of days. That’ll give you a much better and objective idea of how you really are spending your time every day and then make adjustments accordingly.

Pam (19:27):

Awesome until next time everybody enjoy your week and keep on flourishing.

Well, that’s a wrap everyone. Thanks for joining us this week on the Flourish & Grow to CEO Podcast. Be sure to visit our website at www.Flourish.biz. That’s F L O U R I S h.biz, where you can subscribe to the shows in iTunes, Stitcher, or via RSS, so you’ll never miss an episode. You can also find our show notes and resources there too. And while you’re at it, if you found value in this show, we’d love for you to leave a rating on iTunes. Or if you’d simply tell a friend about the show that would sure help us out to now get out there and flourish!

About Flourish + Grow to CEO

What does it take to build a successful business? That’s the question we want to answer for women business owners, so we can flourish and grow together from solopreneur to strategic CEO. Flourish and Grow to CEO is hosted by small business management certified, Pam Ivey and sales strategist, Jane Garee, who share their experiences in business ownership, sales and marketing to help women entrepreneurs scale their business and flourish confidently into the CEO role.

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