Go Micro 2

Wow! My previous post about the Go Micro approach hit a nerve! I received many kudos about keeping expectations low and consistency high by dedicating a very small chunk of time to the same task every day.

When you are trying to accomplish a big task or create a new habit, you’ve got to start small – keep expectations low (10 minutes each day, every day, if that’s all you can stand), ridiculously low if necessary, to gain traction. Go Micro and you may want to extend that stint of time and finish sooner with greater accuracy. You asked for an example and here it is:

Charles, a wannapreneur from Minnesota with a background in construction, wanted to pass the real estate exam and get his license. He has ADHD and always struggled with lengthy reading material and big projects. We agreed that the least amount of reading he could tolerate every day, stress-free, would be 15 minutes. He set a timer and put in only 15 minutes; it was easy, some days he went to 20-25 minutes without effort. He never missed a day. That was in November.

Charles gradually increased his tolerance for reading by 10-15 minutes each week. Now he is up to 1.5 hours a day twice a day and ready to take the exam. The Go Micro approach not only helped him prepare well for the exam, but it increased his interest in the material, plus he learned a method for managing big projects.

Bart M. a software developer and an entrepreneur from Toronto, Canada wrote, “Rebecca, what I love about the Go Micro approach is that it is resistant to the fluctuations that cause me to resist working on a difficult project. No matter the weather, what mood I’m in or the quality of my sleep, I can still crank out that small window of time every day. It all adds up and I feel like I’m making huge progress! Go Micro!”

Lauren, a financial planner and solopreneur in Florida who does much of her own office work, exclaimed, “I Go Micro on a few tasks a day. Until I can afford to hire more help, just a small amount of time spent on each of the four tasks I need to do daily keeps the piles of work under control. Gone are the days when I would expect myself to spend an entire afternoon just cold calling or researching. That just doesn’t work for me.”

Do you want to Go Micro? Get things done, done well and on time? Let me help you get started! Contact me at [email protected]          

Get Work Done in 2021: Go Micro

Let’s say that you need to finish a business plan in 6 weeks. Just the thought of it may be overwhelming, but it’s a necessary task within a reasonable amount of time. Unless you are highly pressured and super motivated to crank it out within days, I suggest you Go Micro.

Here’s how. Pick the smallest chunk of time you know you could muster to devote to the task every day. Is it 10 minutes? 15 minutes? One hour? The duration of time doesn’t matter; you want consistency, so keep it on the short side.

For this example, let’s assume that you could easily carve out a half hour every day to work on the business plan which has 6-8 sections. Take that first day (just a half hour) and skim each section. You might use that half hour to mark the easy sections and double checkmark the sections that will take some research. Stop after a half hour. If you want to go longer, fine.

The next day, again hold yourself to just another half hour to focus on one section that is easy to complete. If you want to go longer, go ahead. If you can manage just a half hour every day, that’s 3.5 hours of work in one week and possibly two sections, or a quarter of the plan,  completed! At that point, you may find that a half hour a day is just right; it is a pace you can sustain to easily meet the 6 week deadline, so stick with it. However, if you find a half hour a day to be too easy, add another 15 minutes to that half hour. Then, working at 45 minutes a day, you’ve got 5.25 more hours done by week’s end.

You can Go Micro with most any BHAG ( Big Hairy Audacious Goal) and make significant progress, often in less time than you imagined.

Not every task has an obvious step-by-step system for completion, and you may have many projects to complete simultaneously. You can still Go Micro, but you may need some coaching to get started. Happy to help − [email protected]     

Focus on the Process to Reach Your Goals

Happy New Year to the COREageous ones! Current and future entrepreneurs: Enjoy time with family and friends safely, get good rest and exercise. But whenever you have the chance to slip away from the festivities, do these things to keep your competitive spirit engaged:

  • Take the time to review 2020 on a business and personal level and ask yourself a few questions: How am I better this year? What goals did I achieve? How did I do that and how can I sustain those goals? If I did not achieve them, what (besides Covid) got in the way? What are the top three things I need to accomplish this year, and what is my process for doing so?
  • If you are a college student studying entrepreneurship, review the material from last semester. Identify any murky understanding of the material to prepare for next semester. Just as a shaky foundation limits what can be built upon it, a weak understanding of core concepts will prevent your ability to apply new knowledge. Then, get ahead and preview your next course content. How can I refine my process for study and time management to be more efficient this year?

You may notice how I emphasized process in this post. You have goals, but what is your process for achieving and maintaining these goals? Need help? My CoreFour and CollegeCore Coaching teaches process. Contact me at [email protected]      

The Tipping Point for Sales Success

One of the greatest challenges for a startup is following up with leads. Cold calling and follow up is challenging in terms of time, “sales etiquette” confusion and your tolerance for rejection. According to research by National Sales Executive Association (NSEA), it is unrealistic to think that a few discussions with potential customers will help you meet your quotas. The tipping point is the fifth contact!  Here are the numbers:

  • 2% of Sales are Made on First Contact
  • 3% of Sales are Made on Second Contact
  • 5% of Sales are Made on Third Contact
  • 10% of Sales are Made on Fourth Contact
  • 80% of Sales are Made on Fifth to Twelfth Contacts

Discuss with your team creative ways to vary the kinds of interactions you have past the fourth attempt. Each contact should entice a customer with value, making it easier for you and your team to reach and exceed the tipping point.

Do you need to stretch the boundaries of sales etiquette or conquer the fear of rejection that keeps your sales numbers down? Let’s ‘follow up’ on that! Contact me at [email protected]         

My Team is Not Motivated!

 

Let’s get to the core of problems with motivation. There are lots of reasons to explore. Before you go and waste money on free lunches and bungee-jumping retreats, take a few minutes to see what lies behind your team’s sluggish behavior. There may be reasons that are not so obvious:

  • Are job expectations clear ( task process, quality, cooperation, deadlines)? See if they can tell you straight up what you expect. There is likely some confusion there.
  • Do they understand why their job is important? Show them how their part is essential to the mission and the company goals.   
  • Are you late in delivering performance reviews? It’s not only the raise they hope for, but it’s the kudos and the inspiration for improvement they crave. Employees feel jilted and de-valued if reviews are late. Review time gives them a chance to be heard and recognized one on one.
  • Are they a good fit for their position? Have they the right skills, tenacity and personality  for the job they are paid to perform? 
  • Is there any uncertainty about their job security or  the company’s goals, aside from the usual uncertainty associated with starting a new business? Mixed messages or no communication from the founders stunts follow through and drains enthusiasm.    
  • Have there been any big changes in personnel that have affected morale? Removing a player who was toxic to you but a mentor to one or more of your employees will take time to get over.     
  • Do they have the resources to do their jobs well?  I don’t mean fancy software or private offices. I mean opportunities for job training or short workshops on topics about personal growth?

Did you know that my new Lunchtime Learning sessions deliver a boost of insight and motivation for getting things done, done well and on time? Contact me at [email protected]       

A Shocking Discovery

Do not assume everyone gets your vision. The team nods, smiles and appears enthusiastic, right? At your next staff meeting, do a check. Ask each team member to write down, in their own words, how they understand your vision for the company or a strategy that you are trying to implement. You will be met with quizzical looks with some folks gazing out into space. When they do start to write they will jot down a few words, stop and think, cross out stuff and jot down a few more words. A few others will immediately start writing things down in a fluent manner, confident that they read your mind perfectly.

Once you compare their answers with your intent, you will understand why initiatives are slow to execute and why mistakes are made. There is confusion, vagueness or inaccuracies in their versions. A few employees may be close to your intent while others will describe a vision or a strategy from another planet. Notice the feeling of nausea mixed with disgust that surges through your veins. Who’s to blame and why? You are to blame because you assumed they “got it.”

To be sure they “get it” at your next meeting, utilize a mindful listening exercise. Periodically, ask your employees to tell back how they understand what you just described. Clear up the inaccuracies then and there. Over-communicate (e.g. repeat) important points. After one meeting like this, notice how your staff will become more attentive and ask more clarifying questions. Nobody wants to be on the wrong page. This action will result in more efficient and timely results from your team.

Miscommunication wastes time and money. Do you and your team need to weed out the communication problems that are sinking your startup? Contact me at Rebecca @MindfulCommunication.com                 

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