Category Archives: Feeling stuck

Feel the Power! It is in the Choice.

It is easy to feel like we have no control. No control over our time, No control over our clients. No control over our dogs chewing your brand new slippers! This feeling builds into overwhelm. Overwhelm builds into stress, bad health, low quality of life and satisfaction. “Thanks Talmar for bringing me down…” I really don’t want to bring you down but it is important to remind you that ONLY your choices can bring a different result.

Change is a result of action. Action is a result of decision. Decisions come from acknowledging that there are choices that you can make to start the change. Yep…You have all the power even in those moments of overwhelm and stress. You can effect change by making a choice.

Feeling stuck, like you don’t see a choice other than a glass of bourbon or sleep less? Not sure where to turn or which direction to drive your business? One of my superpowers is helping clients clarify their decision points and focus on an actionable decision so let me offer you the starter 3 choices that can help in any situation. I want to help you because I hope that we can move bourbon back into your “reward” column instead of the “medicine” column, poor mis-used bourbon! Start with a pause. Take a breath. Now consider…

  • Choose what to prioritize. Set a priority list of actions based on the most immediate need (profitability, cash flow, staff, time). Let your full focus be on one item at a time.
  • Choose to let go. Items that continually need to be moved down your “priority” list probably do not really need to be a priority. Give your self a break and let it go! (Ya. I’m humming it too. Damn song gets in my head EVERYtime!)
  • Choose to ASK FOR HELP!!! This is the one that is really self flagellation. Hire more staff. Outsource to vendors. Hire an expert to move you along faster. Your business is NOT growing by you insisting to do it all yourself. Stop it! NOW!

It happens to everyone. That feeling of drowning in “to do” lists. Looking at your calendar trying to imagine what it must be like to have time to sit still or be spontaneous with your company’s time.

It can happen but it takes a choice to prioritize your business’ needs, a choice to let go of doing business the same as you always have and the choice to surround you and your business with experts, influencers and staff that will get you to your ideal role within your company. Chief Change Agent and Master of Choice. Most people call the position CEO.

Choose wisely. Buy your next bottle of bourbon and write the most immediate goal you want to celebrate on it. I can hear the clinking of the glasses as you toast with your reward. You got this!

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Never Ending Cycle…but it’s Never Dull Either!

Never ending cycle…but it’s never dull either!
By Talmar Anderson

Being a business owner feels like one long to do list sometimes.  You must keep on top of vendors.  Make sure your staff feel heard and appreciated.  Check the numbers regularly to protect profit margins. Be accessible to clients and continually improve on customer service. Develop communications. Develop new opportunities.  Reject mis-matched possibilities….and so on. And so on. But it is fun too! At least it can be if you let it. Here are some of the ways YOU could make space. As the business owner, give yourself permission to be human.

Calendar it or be spontaneous but consider giving yourself space. Make space to celebrate the completed and accomplished. Space to think about and research an entirely new service or product.  Space to decide which position to hire next.  Space to meet a fellow professional and have a drink and LAUGH out loud.

Maybe not even talk about business at all. Start small if you are not already doing this. Maybe you would enjoy…

  • Calendaring a day to play…mid-week. (Imagine…You and a loved one going to the movies. There is something particularly decadent about being in a mostly empty movie theater when everyone else is at school/work).
  • Sleeping in when you are extra tired or feel “something” coming on.
  • Turning off the computer 2 hours earlier than usual to go grocery shopping for your home.
  • Refusing first appointments twice a week to workout.
  • Refusing to book anything on Tuesday evenings to cuddle with your family and go to bed early.
  • Meeting your spouse for early happy hour to connect 1 on 1 before the family launches into the evening circus.
  • Go sit, alone. Not talking to anyone. Watching the people, birds, boats go by.

I recommend that you do this regularly!  That is the whole point of being a business owner, right? Or at least a major reason.  Doing what YOU want. Supporting your personal needs as well as business growth needs.   ONLY you can set realistic expectations with staff and clients on your availability.  STOP over promising. Tell them you are busy or don’t. Just say “No”.

If you can’t get it on your day to day calendar, then schedule time to get away.  1 day or 2 weeks can give your business a whole new perspective.  (Be clear on whether you are going to focus on business or take space away from business during your trip. As always, have a purpose to your action!) Make it about you some of the time.

Knowing you have personal time to take care of your needs can alleviate a lot of that “I have to” stress. Clients, kids, friends…they willing let you prioritize their needs because they ARE looking out for themselves. I give you permission to look out for you too!

Don’t feel guilty. Don’t think about the phone calls going to voice mail. Unless you are a heart surgeon (and most of you reading this are NOT!) life will go on without you for a little while. But you will not be able to go on if you do not prioritize your own personal space. Who knows…you might have some fun too!

Are you on the Talmar It Up mailing list yet? Join now to be sure to directly receive insights, clarity and business operation answers. Or reach out to chat with Talmar for structure and process to grow your business HERE

Time for a Big Push!

Time for a Big Push!
By Talmar Anderson

How is business?  Are you looking at your goals? If you are like most business owners, end of the year is when you start to consider how you will finish your fiscal year.  While you can start planning for the new year, don’t be so quick to call this year done! Have you broken down each specific goal item to see where you can create a push?   Not just the big money goal.  Let’s look at your history. Here are three areas you can look at to find some cash flow and prospect opportunities to smash your goals!

  • Is one service or product more popular with your market at this time of year?
    • If you have been in business for a few years you can look back to understand what specific product or service is in demand this time of year. Spend focused energy there with the prospects that need/want your offering. Consider a new marketing outreach to educate others of the reason for the current demand and how they could benefit too.
  • Is one service / product trending up in your business right now?
    • Let’s look at the last 3-6 months and consider blowing up that trend even more! Look to see what piece initiated that upward tick.  Was it one specific product / service benefit that you newly highlighted?  Was it new pricing?  Maybe a new referral source? You could create a promotion to ramp that trend even higher.  Maybe some educational marketing on the benefits of buying your service or product?
  • Have a piece of your offerings that needs a shot in the arm?
    • If you are missing your goals in one specific area, now is the time to refocus resources. Can you pull a small bite out of the product /service and offer it at a special price for a limited time?  It could be a “try this” offering that can easily lead into the full engagement.  Setting limits on time is especially critical if this is structured as a loss leader to a larger sale. SPECIAL NOTE: Develop a strong and consistent follow up process for the upsell into the full product.

This is where all that work you have been doing all year can quickly pay off.  All the tracking, measuring and data recording you have built into your company.  This structure allows for agile actions and specific decisions that can save your company from “throwing money after bad”.

Last thought. If you are going to put these specific pushes for more business in place, don’t forget to plan for success! Make sure you consider how you will fulfill each new order and track what “Sold out” could be very specifically. This will protect your reputation, quality of deliverables and sanity!…It is NOT too late to effect change.  This is a great moment to look at your goals and metrics to take action.  Now GO! Grow!

 

Are you on the Talmar It Up mailing list yet? Join now to be sure to directly receive insights, clarity and business operation answers. Or reach out to chat with Talmar for structure and process to grow your business HERE

Hiring Questions?

WOW!  I am listening to you and you are stressed and frustrated with trying to hire the right people to build your company.  My clients over the last couple of months have  specifically been tackling the hiring challenge that is a requirement of growth.

“Talmar! I keep hearing that I have to get help.  That I “can’t do it alone”.  And I agree. It is time to get help but…..”

Oh, the “but”s are many. And the crazy stories you share are GREAT because I completely understand.  I have been there.

In an effort to make sure I am getting the answers that would help you, please go to this VERY short survey and let me know what YOU want to know about hiring!

It is HERE.

There is even a place for you to share YOUR hiring horror story if you are so inclined!

Thanks,

Talmar
www.TalmarItUp.com

 

 

Time Flying? Let’s Discuss “Who” IS the Boss of You.

Time flying by? Let’s Discuss “Who IS” the Boss of You.
By Talmar Anderson

When I ask clients and contacts how their companies are growing, I hear a familiar response.  “Phew…it’s been busy”. Yeah, I get it. Are you getting what you want done?   I can relate to wanting more hours in the day but today I am calling you out on your busy day. In fact, I call B**S**T. Yep.  I’m looking at you. Today we are talking about something that I consistently review with clients and yet it always elicits an “I know, I know.…”

No. It’s not about numbers but it will make your eyes roll.  Look, I get that your days are busy.  I even recognize that what you are spending your time on is valuable and purposeful. However, I will challenge that most of you are not being consistent. And that this lack of consistency is actually keeping your business stuck right where you are today.  Are you are talking about and obsessing over “getting ahead”, getting “further down the line”, or up to the “next level”? What are YOU DOING about it?  There is one thing that will actually ensure you get it done.

The best part is that it is easy to do. This act itself does not even take any real time from your day. It is also easily the most frequently seen self-limiting behavior across the boards for business owners trying to grow. You MUST put anything you value or truly intend to do ON YOUR CALENDAR!

Now, if you are putting these on your calendar but keeping pushing, moving or cancelling, well then you have found the hard part. Stop flat out lying to yourself.  You are not valuing the commitment to your company to effect change that likely can ONLY come from you. And this is no one else’s fault.

  • Not the 10 new clients.
  • Not the sick kid.
  • Not the assistant that quit.
  • Not the vendor that will only deliver on Monday.

You are in control.  You can move an appointment once but I challenge you to MOVE it, not cancel.  You must take time from somewhere else.  YOU are the decider. And while a week can go wonky, having this time calendared out for a full 12 months can get you back on schedule.

Last rule, you may not move these for client needs. If you are careful and considerate you will strategically pick operational and planning days and times that are less demanding.  That means that client work can be scheduled into an available calendar time. Whether customer service issues, invoicing and accounting or missed opportunities, your clients will work on the timeframes you teach them to expect.  In the end, your clients will likely suffer if you do not take care of what your business needs first and foremost.

Giving yourself set time on the calendar will allow you to feel truly in control of your company.  Remember; put your own oxygen mask on before you help others.  It is the only way to survive and thrive.

I’d love to know what tricks you use to keep your commitments to your own company.  Please share them in the comments or you can reach out to me at TAnderson@TalmarItUp.com.

Been there. Done that! – Mentorship

Been there. Done that! – Mentorship
By Talmar Anderson

I am sure that you had have heard plenty of talk about mentors and that is for good reason!  We need them to inspire us.  To guide us.  To give us answers and give us a kick in the pants.  Mentorship is the sharing of expertise and experience.  Great mentors give insight into how decisions have been made or exactly what catalysts spurred a specific course of action. Mentors talk through the failures AND the successes.  A great mentor shares the “why” to really allow the person listening to gain clarification on cause and effect.

As your company grows, your mentors will likely change because you will set your business sights on different business models or processes and will have new areas to tackle. Additionally, your personal experiences will have value to others that are just starting out.  I believe there are growth possibilities in both working with a mentor and offering mentorship.

For full benefit in either role, let’s understand some guidelines that can make sure this is a part of a formalized effort.  Whether as a board of advisors or a one on one relationship, these steps can help mentors and mentees get what they need out of each encounter as well as exit gracefully with a valuable business contact still intact.

Be a mentor –

  • Ask what result they are looking for in the relationship.
  • Give completely and candidly of your experience and opinions or do not bother doing it.
  • Set limits on meeting time, meeting frequency and access as well as consideration for an end game. Maybe this relationship will last a lifetime. Maybe it will serve a limited purpose.  Regardless, exiting the mentor role in a predetermined way can save hurt feelings and professional bashing down the way.
  • Consider what progress you would hope to see from someone you are working with in the specific area. Maybe some requirements that will prove to you that the mentee is using the insights in a fruitful manner. Any suggestion should come with possible recommended result or action expectation. This allows for evaluating and measuring whether the mentee is benefiting.  If it is not working, it is ok. Then you can withdraw.
  • Don’t forget to consider from their point of view. Remember questions asked are not questions on your expertise or value – so don’t get your feathers ruffled. Questions actually mean that mentees FIND VALUE in what you are talking about!
  • Limit the number of people / groups / businesses you work with as a mentor in any given year. If it turns into a “job” it can poison the effectiveness for each of you.

Best use of YOUR mentors

  • Be clear that you are asking for mentorship. In all likelihood, this WILL not help grow their company too…unless you plan to pay them their market rate!
  • KNOW what you want to gain from their insights. Have a strategic reason for asking a specific person and communicate that value to them. This will again clarify how they can best help YOU.
  • Clearly and specifically have questions and discussion points ready for each set meeting time. Run this like you would a client meeting. Don’t be late or disrespectful.
  • Offer deadlines out loud on actions recommended. This shows the value you are gaining from what they are delivering. Actions and results will encourage a lasting mentorship if they can see movement in your business.
  • Remember, THESE ARE NOT YOUR accountability partners or coaches.

A great mentor can be life changing. Mentors and mentees can end up with a great friend or a strategic partner in a future effort.  Best of all, a mentor can help inspire and focus change in the business RIGHT NOW. Mentorship should be driven by the needs of the company at its current stage of growth.  Now go, grow!

Of course, I’d love to hear about your experiences, either as a mentor or a recipient of mentorship. Leave a comment or feel free to reach out to me at tanderson@TalmarItUp.com.

How Big is YOUR Bathtub? – Business Growth

How big is YOUR bathtub? – Business Growth
By Talmar Anderson

A common denominator for my clients is growth- whether unplanned for growth or written out, controlled growth. For some, it has been slow, staged, incremental growth and for others it was full court press, hit them ‘til it hurts growth. There is a second thing that all of the clients that are already in the midst of growth have in common.  They identified the best way to get the message out!  Not only identifying the target market and the ideal client, growing companies have identified how best to get in front of their people.  While I understand that it is easier to work with an existing client base for growth, today we are talking about new clients for growth. So let’s stop fishing in our own bathtub and look to the big beautiful ocean!

For a company to experience growth we need to have successfully identified the metrics of our new clients and find where they are swimming, right?   “BEEEcause you know… it is all about the data, ‘Bout the Data. NO guessing!” (Thank you VERY much Meghan Trainor).  We should understand exactly how your clients are coming in to you.  How many similarities do your new clients over the last year share? What specifically was happening in each life or business that made THIS the buying moment? And the one I like most, how did they hear about you?

How you are getting your clients will specifically tell you how to spend each and every marketing dollar and the even more precious, marketing time! THIS can be extremely important if you as the business owner are spending any of your own time to be out in the business development of your company.  If your branding and marketing efforts include face time, you must be very strategic about it! I will assume that you are already fully on-board and gloss over the fact that marketing must be a part of your budget not just every year but for each and every month. (Don’t already agree? Reach out and we can find some ways to convince you!)

So now that we know who has historically bought from your company and why, we can be strategic about how to expand that reach.  Thinking about that market how can you get in front of them?  I am not talking about your email list and your social media current connections.  If we agree that new client growth is a part of your company’s needs, then we need to stretch beyond our current contacts.

I have complete faith that the prospects on each of your email and social media lists are consistently being followed up within your own company’s sales pipeline process.  So this is not about helping them get to the buying decisions faster.  (Again, another discussion)

We need to advertise and educate in a space where people that do not know they should be working with your company can find your solution to their problem!  How can they buy from you if they do not even know who you are and how you can make their life / company better? We need to be front of that ideal client so that they can even consider hiring us. As each individual’s time is limited, we have to find ways to put our information out there and attract new inquires to develop new prospects.  We can close a lot more people from 200 inquiries a month than we can from 4 inquiries.  Advertising, whether taking advantage of free opportunities available for your market or as a budgeted item that is systematically addressed, must be a part of your companies processes and marketing efforts.

Get your clients from referrals?  Then you still need to advertise!  You will now be advertising to your potential referral sources.  Your company’s marketing efforts are about expanding the number of referrals sources that lead a perfectly qualified prospect to your fishing pond.  Then you can hook them!

If we are going to serve a higher number of prospects to allow for higher sales revenues, then we need to stop just looking to our back yard pond.  Yes, it is easy to get to and we know what they like but they already know about you and will be on your lists for when their buying needs come around.  Now we need to grow our possibilities.  We need to educate and explain to new people how your company can offer great value and benefits. So let’s cast our line wider.  Try new avenues that are specific to your ideal market.  Make sure to be feeding them to your connections or email list so that it will be easier to keep educating them.  Then a little nibble will turn into a nice big bite!

I’d love to hear where you are having “fishing” success!