So about a month ago, I sent out an SOS regarding my email headache. I was literally losing sleep over my emails and knew I needed to do something about it.
Which got me thinking....
Lori Grenier once said, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours per week.” While this quote is true, my own experience has taught me it is truly an unhealthy way to live.
Early in my career, I made myself incredibly accessible to clients. I responded within minutes to messages and checked email constantly throughout the day. I regularly under promised and over delivered, thinking that would create loyalty and a lasting client base. But, I was wrong.
What has created loyalty and a lasting client base are excellent services that were truly valued by those investing in them. Over the last year, I’ve found that for me to truly fulfill my life’s purpose, I needed to scale back and focus on essentials.
Since then, I’ve made some changes and set up a few systems that have helped me simplify and focus so I can invest in the activities that will move my business forward and help me fully live out my purpose.
I made a major mindset shift.
John Maxwell said, “You cannot overestimate the unimportance of practically everything.” This truth has helped me take the weight off a bit. There really are very few things that absolutely need to be done each day. Removing the pressure that comes with trying to do a million things every day has allowed me to focus on getting the most important things done and has already made a difference for my business’s bottom line.
Only do for 1 what you’re willing to do for 300.
If you are just starting out, be sure to manage your accessibility to clients. The precedent you set with one, will be what you have to carry out with 300 or 1000 clients. If you answer every email within minutes, clients will learn to expect that kind of response time. That doesn’t sound too bad when you’ve got 5 clients, but will be impossible when you have 50 or 100 clients.
So be careful with how accessible you make yourself, always asking, “is this something I can maintain when my client load doubles, triples or quadruples?” If not, you need to make some changes!
Create an email autoresponder.
Last month I was literally up at night because my email situation was causing me such a huge amount of stress. So, I recently set up an autoresponder that has made a significant difference. If you don’t have one of these, I highly recommend using one.
In my autoresponder, I have links to my FAQ pages, program option pages, and consult appointment page. This answers most questions people email about and lets them know how long they can expect to wait to hear back from me. This also helps me relax a little, knowing I don’t have nearly as many emails to answer!
Be clear about the way you’d like your clients to communicate and what they can expect.
For my FASTer Way to Fat Loss program, I’m extremely clear about how I want my clients to communicate with me. I let them know in the comprehensive guide and the Q+A session that I will not respond to emails or FB messages, but will be checking in daily on the group Facebook pages. I want clients to ask their questions there because I know this cuts back on duplicate questions and answers.
Take a social media break.
Lately I’ve been getting such a high number of private messages on both Instagram and Facebook, that it’s become incredibly overwhelming. Most of the messages are from people partnered with a network marketing company, who either don’t know me, or don’t know me well enough to connect on a genuine level.
The problem with these requests is they take a significant amount of my time to sort through. While there are some legitimate messages in my inboxes, they are hard to find amid all the clutter. So, I decided to just say no to all things social media, during Lent! I will check in on my client Facebook pages each day, and schedule my Instagram posts. However, I will not be checking ANY messages through Facebook or Instagram because my time is incredibly important and needs to be spent on things that will move my business and life purpose forward!
If you get find yourself lost in a sea of requests that have nothing to do with your business, or real life...just take a break! If you are spending hours scrolling on IG or Facebook, just cut it off for a while. You may be surprised by how much less stressed you feel!
I truly believe it’s time we simplified and focused our hustle on things that will truly move our businesses forward and help us live our purpose. There is no reason to work 80 hours a week if you are intentional, set some boundaries, and streamline your processes.
Take your text notifications off your home screen, turn off email notifications, remove apps from your phone that distract you and delegate in every place you’re able to. Work smarter, so when your work harder, that work makes a difference for your bottom line!