Evaluate Your Life – 6 Key Questions You Need To Ask

Evaluate Your Life – 6 Key Questions You Need To Ask

Today is ‘Evaluate Your Life Day’. Yes it is an official day! It is an opportunity to think about your hopes, dreams, objectives. As well as your ambitions, passions and basically what makes your happy.

Evaluating is a very much like personal goal setting. It’s about taking a long look at yourself in the mirror and challenging yourself.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • Am I who I want to be?
  • What are my current goals in life?
  • Am I heading toward my goals?
  • What changes do I need to make in order to reach my goals?
  • Am I prioritising things the the way I want to?
  • What do I or can I offer to the world?

These are tough questions, but ones that will get you thinking about your next steps for both your business and your personal life. Remember without goals, you are basically just drifting through life instead of living with intention.

 Tips To Help You Evaluate Your Life

Here are some tips to help you in the thought process

1) Define what success means to you on a daily basis. Do this either the night before or in the morning, but make sure your definition is achievable

2) Do that thing that you’ve actually been putting off – eat the frog because the best things usually happen outside of your comfort zone

3) Once you have defined what success will look like, decide what metric you will use to measure it.

4) At the end of the day, ask yourself “Did today matter?” But, don’t worry if the answer is no, we all have good days and we all have bad days …it’s called life.

5) Ask yourself regularly ‘How am I feeling’ and ‘what do I really want’

Learn how to set SMART business and personal goals with my free download

Smart Goals | Bravapro | Virtual Business Manager
Why You Procrastinate, And How To Stop It

Why You Procrastinate, And How To Stop It

Are you continually missing deadlines and failing to complete necessary tasks, or simply spending too much time on menial tasks like checking email? You are not alone; we all procrastinate from time to time. However, if this is effecting your business growth, then you need to take action.

Why You Procrastinate

People tend to procrastinate for three fundamental reasons –

1) they enjoy the thrill of beating looming deadlines,

2) they want to avoid completing boring or unfulfilling tasks,

3) they can’t decide which tasks to finish first, so they choose to do nothing instead.

Understanding why you put off getting your work done is the first step to correcting this problem.

Once you accept that you procrastinate, it’s time to figure out how to stop this behaviour. In most cases, telling yourself to manage your time better, or to stop wasting time checking your Facebook page every hour isn’t going to solve the problem (or help you complete essential tasks on time).

How To Break Your Tendency To Procrastinate

Getting over your tendency to procrastinate involves changing your behaviours and habits. Procrastination is usually the easy route, the one that initially makes use feel happy. However, it prevents you from accomplishing your goals, so you need to learn to focus on the long-term goals and start to put the hard work in.

Identify Business / Life Goals

One way to fight the urge to put off work and surf the Internet instead is to create a daily to-do list.

Hopefully, some of these tasks will be enjoyable, but, realistically, most probably won’t be. Hence it would help if you accepted – at least so some degree – that some tasks will be boring, unfulfilling and maybe even downright annoying. But once you realise the necessity of these tasks and how they impact your business / life, these tasks will hopefully become a bit more bearable.

Create a list of business or personal goals that correspond to the tasks on your to-do list. This list can sometimes give you the momentum needed to stop procrastinating quite so often.

 

The Role Of A Virtual Resource

A Virtual Business Manager can take over responsibility for tasks you keep putting off. Ensuring they are completed on time. Relying on an excellent virtual resource allows you to work on more favourable tasks. Additionally, it frees up your time to pursue hobbies and interests, or business opportunities for that matter.

While a Virtual Business Owner can’t stop your tendency to procrastinate. The practical support they provide can keep you on the right path to completing tasks on time, tackling those tedious tasks you loath, and making your task-related decisions easier.

Delegating tasks to a virtual resource does require some level of involvement; you need to take time to help them understand your business and their responsibilities. However, it comes with all the rewards of meeting or exceeding business and life goals too.

 

Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination is a learned behaviour.

Often by pairing your business/life goals alongside the tasks you need to complete to meet these goals, you’ll quickly begin to see the long-term rewards of getting stuff done on time.

But, you don’t need to tackle this problem alone. A virtual business manager may be just what you need to ease the stress and frustration caused by tight deadlines, or the thought of having to work on endless, monotonous tasks.

You may never completely overcome your tendency to procrastinate. However finding a way to compensate for this behaviour by hiring a Virtual Business Manager is one way to ensure procrastination won’t hinder your ability to succeed!

If you found this blog useful you may also want to read 4 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

If this rings a bell with you why not check out our other blog

4 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

Beat Procrastination | Bravapro |Swindon Virtual Assistant
The Harsh Truth: Why Your Business Can’t Expand

The Harsh Truth: Why Your Business Can’t Expand

In order to be successful, you have to be able to replicate your secret and to provide the infrastructure and support as you expand. It’s quite simple really and this formula applies to the “one-man” entrepreneur operation and all the way up to the Google’s of this world. Unless you have that formula in place you can’t succeed.

Of course, you may well survive for a period of time, but in the grand scheme of things you will be just “spinning your plates.” Somebody else will come along who is a little bit smarter than you and be able to do what you do, a little bit better.

Survival in business these days requires not only ‘book smarts’ but also street smarts. Being ‘book smart’ requires you to provide an excellent product or service and a good reason for people or organisations to buy it. This enables you to set up your business in the first place. However, you also need to be street smart and this means that you have to be able to foresee difficulties and understand what it takes to expand and grow.

Every one of the most successful and most profitable businesses in the world shares a common theme – delegation.

Maintain or Expand

A growing business requires constant maintenance. As you grow, more and more jobs must be undertaken and each of these jobs takes a certain amount of time. Each one of us only has a set amount of hours in any given day and so we can boil it all down to a mathematical equation. As your business grows and expands you personally cannot complete all these jobs anymore and you must outsource.

This is where many businesses fall down. They fail to identify when this particular moment arrives. Instead, they simply modify their approach to make sure that they get everything completed that needs to be doing, but no more. It’s not as if they’ve refused to expand, it’s that they create boundaries around their organisation preventing them from growing. This is known as a failure to outsource, a failure to appreciate that expansion is not physically or practically possible unless you delegate.

It’s amazing what happens when you finally decide that you have to delegate. Look at it like saving for retirement. If you put a little bit away on a regular basis it can compound and before you know it you have a substantial nest egg. In business terms, if you allocate some of your funds to outsourcing to a virtual business manager or assistant you’re investing in your future. You release valuable time enabling you to expand and grow.

You may not end up with a Google sized organisation, but when you finally realise that delegation is crucial, the sky truly is the limit.

For more advice on how to ‘Delegation to Accelerate’ your expansion check out this Free Resource

Why Male Entrepreneurs Are Suffering Mental Health Issues

Why Male Entrepreneurs Are Suffering Mental Health Issues

June 15th sees the start of ‘Men’s Health Week’ and this year’s focus is understandably on the effects of COVID 19 which has obviously had an impact on male mental health.

In this blog I would like to focus on, in particular, the mental health of male small business owners.

Even at this time of near gender equality, where gender gaps are shrinking, more than 70% of new business start-ups are still led by men.

However, traditionally, men have been pressured by society to be sole provider for their families, and be the ‘breadwinner,’ and although many families now have two incomes, the pressures on men to ‘provide’ have never been greater.

With societal attitudes stating there are opportunities for all, education, peer pressure and family pressure leads many to believe that success is only limited by one’s desire to achieve it. Especially during the lockdown period where there has been a lot of extra pressure to use the time to learn new skills, get fit and achieve great things.

 

Running A Business

The pressures are many for any small business owners, regardless of gender and many make significant personal sacrifices to run their business. However, the sacrifices are different between men and women.

  • Women are more likely to sacrifice time for themselves and their social lives.
  • Men are more likely to sacrifice time with their spouse and time with their children.

There are also differences in the perceptions of key character traits required to be a good business owner.

  • Multi-tasking – 58% of women considered this a strength, versus only 40% of men.
  • Creativity – Men were 10% less likely to see this as a strength.
  • Empathy – Men were 5% less likely to value this.
  • Confidence – 30% of men listed this as their strongest attribute, as opposed to only 24% of women.
  • Hero Mentality – Men tended to work longer hours and work through lunch breaks.

So, how does this relate to male mental health? Statistics show:

  • Suicide – Male suicide rates account for three quarters of all suicides.
  • Depression – An increase in depression in men; 12% having suffered from one of the common mental health disorders.
  • Dependency – Men are three times more likely to become alcohol dependant than women.
  • Health concerns – More men suffer from high blood pressure, leading to strokes and heart attacks than women.

There is no getting away from the fact that despite the opportunities which now exist for all, different reactions to stresses and society’s expectation of gender is adversely effecting men.

 

Stress Triggers For Small Business Owners

According to a survey by Xero the top five things that cause small business owners stress are:

  1. Managing staff (42 per cent)
  2. Admin (35 per cent)
  3. Feeling responsible for the success of the company (31 per cent)
  4. Keeping up with compliance (26 per cent)
  5. Paying for office overheads and expenses (24 per cent)

This can be made worse for male business owners in ‘macho’ or competitive environments where to show any emotion is viewed as a weakness, and there is more pressure to succeed. Research at Cigna has shown that 66% of men suffer from work-related stress, with 13% of them believing it to be unmanageable. Only 12% had spoken to someone about managing their stress.

How Can Male Business Owners Destress?

Most small business owners are wearing 100 hats at once, but men also face the stereotypes where they should be providers, where losing isn’t an option, where they have to be strong and not show emotions, and they mustn’t ask for help.

Low productivity, mistakes, missed deadlines, burnout and zero work/life balance are some of the consequences of an over-stressed business owner. This can add extra stress to many male business owners as they do not find it easy to talk about their emotions, and admitting they need help feels like an admission of failure. It’s not.

Here are six things male business owners can do to ease the pressure at work.

  • Talk – whether with a professional, a partner or a work colleague speak about the stresses, run ideas past them, and ask for help and advice.
  • Delegate or outsource – no one has to do everything themselves. Hire virtual assistants, freelancers or consultants to help with roles that are causing pressure.
  • Breaks – Breaks during the working day are a legal requirement for a reason. By ensuring there is at least 30 minutes downtime to eat, have a cup of coffee, or go for a walk will help to clear the mind.
  • Nutrition – By eating a healthy diet and remaining hydrated will keep the mind focused. Avoid grabbing fast food for convenience.
  • Exercise – This is not just for fitness but also for destressing. Take up running, cycling or five-a-side football. Something fun and sociable can help to maintain the work-life balance.
  • Downtime – In the evenings and weekends have a tech-free zone where there are no emails or work-related distractions. Use the time to reconnect with friends and family.

 

It is clear that everyone suffers from work-related stress, but it should also be acknowledged that men and women handle that stress in a very different way and culturally are under very different peer pressure. The key is to be open and to speak about how you are feeling.

 

As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved.

 

 

4 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

4 Simple Ways to Beat Procrastination

If you’re not careful, procrastination can sap all your energy!

Putting off important tasks can cause you to lose sleep, impact your health, and cause personal and business relationships to suffer.

Luckily, there are ways to limit your tendency to procrastinate so you can get things done.

 

 1. Make A To-Do List

One of the easiest ways to get stuff done is to just do it. This means creating a daily to-do list.

After creating this list, outsource as many of these tasks as possible to a virtual business manager or virtual assistant. Not only will this save you valuable time, outsourcing also ensures these tasks will get done. Take a look at the remaining items on your list. Complete the easiest ones first – this will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to move on to the next task.

 

 2. Start Working First Thing In The Morning

For most people, the morning is the best time to focus on items in a to-do list.

Use this time before your office becomes too busy or distracting. To keep your momentum going, close your office door to deter people from walking in. If possible, avoid checking email until the afternoon or let your VA check your email for you. People who procrastinate often focus on less important tasks to avoid having to complete the important ones. By delegating less important tasks you will have no choice but to focus on the important tasks at hand.

 

 3. Take Frequent Breaks

Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for your health.

Take a walk or meet a friend for lunch to take your mind off of what you need to accomplish. Taking a break also allows your brain to become less cluttered. During the day, take several five-minute breaks to stand, stretch and move away from your computer.

If you forget to take breaks, have your Virtual Business Manager add these break times to your calendar. Highlight break times so you see them easily.

 

 4. Determine Why You Procrastinate

If possible, determine the reasons why you feel compelled to put off completing important tasks.

If you feel overloaded with work, have difficulty making decisions, or you enjoy the challenge of meeting tight deadlines a little too much, you should make some changes to avoid those destructive behaviours before they negatively affect your career.

 

Delegating tasks to your Virtual Business Manager is also a great way to lighten your workload, consistently. Making decisions quickly without mulling over them for long periods of time helps you feel more in control of your career, which can help prevent future procrastination.

Creating unhealthy challenges for yourself like racing around last-minute to meet a deadline is a sign that you’re bored with the task. Consider outsourcing it so you can focus on tasks that have more meaning for you.

 Over time, you’ll notice the benefits and rewards of meeting deadlines and business goals. With the help of a great VA, you will finally have that extra time to work on passion projects, to explore new hobbies or new business opportunities that may have escaped your attention if you were still stuck in that dreaded procrastination cycle.

FREE Resources | Bravapro | Virtual Business Manager

Find Out Which Tasks

You Could Tick

Off Your ‘To-do’ List

TODAY

Beyond Survival: Why Small Business Owners Need To Be Resilient

Beyond Survival: Why Small Business Owners Need To Be Resilient

Are you wondering how to spring back and stay strong in the face of challenges? If so, then this article is for you!  In 2018 business statistics for company’ births and deaths’ were reported at 12.9% and 11.4% respectively. It is only a matter of time before the number of business deaths equals the number of business births across the United Kingdom annually. If you are a business owner looking for ways to make it above and beyond these statistics, you need to be able to bounce back from difficult situations, like the current economic climate. It helps if you have a resilient business model, and here’s why:

 

Why You Need To Be Resilient

To Build Sufficient Business Strength And Flexibility:

A profitable business is characterised by its adaptability and ability to embrace change. Its ability to withstand difficulties. Change is inevitable; therefore, small business owners must be flexible.

Flexibility can be achieved by staying goal-centred, focusing on the business objectives, and not letting obstacles get in the way of the vision you have for your business.

To Identifying Opportunities:

Being resilient enables the business owner to learn from failures and mistakes, instead of wallowing in them. A positive outlook on setbacks may provide a chance to identify new ideas and polish up the strategies for operations.

Finding answers and solutions to the hurdles the business is facing might grant you an opportunity to:-

  • gain a competitive advantage,
  • optimise the productivity of your company or
  • devise a complete breakthrough in the industry.

For Better Business Performance And Growth:

Iron sharpens iron.

It is through overcoming the challenges and tough economic times that a business can increase their performance and grow. Having the psychological strength to look past the failures, and focus on the opportunities, builds the confidence of the company to handle future challenges.

 

Here’s What You Can Do To Help Yourself

As a business owner, it is easy to feel frustrated during pitfalls, to be overwhelmed by business operations. The first resolution might be to take the easy way out and quit. However, it is essential to learn to ask for support when you need it.

Due to financial constraints, it might not be possible to hire extra staff members. Therefore, the flexible option of a virtual business manager or virtual assistant may be more viable. Especially for specific occasions when you need an extra hand for operational tasks such as;

  • project management
  • marketing coordination,
  • managing social media accounts and web postings,
  • supplier management – organising deliveries and orders,
  • responding to customer feedback, inquiries and phone calls, and other duties.

In conclusion,  the flexibility outsourcing give you, will enable you to focus only on the crucial aspects of your business – things like managing production, increasing profits, and ensuring quality services.  Moreover, it gives you that added resilience, that flexibility to respond to change quickly and weather the storms that evitably any business will face.

 

To find out how I  can help your business weather the current economic storm by booking a  discovery call.