Write about a book you recently read that stayed with you after you closed the last page.
I spend many hours each month dedicated to personal and professional development through reading. Self-help books have been written for ages. If I can learn from someone else’s mistakes, challenges and experiences, before I even get there, then why not take advantage of all the words already written?
The key is to apply what you have learned to your life in order to reap the rewards for the time spent reading.
For Christmas my reading wish list was quite extensive. Lucky for me I have a generous father who noticed the Amazon cart filling up quickly and tossed a few my way. Of those in the pile was Romi Neustadt’s, Get Over Your Damn Self: The No-BS Blueprint to Building a Life-changing Business.
While Neustadt’s book targets direct sales and network marketing businesses, there are still tons of valuable lessons and notes to take away for any business owner or aspiring entrepreneur. I quickly dove in hoping to gather some insight as I work to grow my photography services business, Images by Ell, into a full time job – with less than full time hours.
Here are the key lessons I learned that I have begun to implement in my life with to goal of growing my business into a six-figure income.
Your time is money.
You’re going to have to learn how to say ‘no’ to anything that isn’t one of your priorities. Priorities do not go on the to-do list. Your priorities get a time slot in your calendar each week, a meeting with yourself, in order for you to meet your goals. These priorities need to be specific and annotated together in one place. Anything that can free up your time – things someone else can do for you – provides you more time to dedicate to building your business. Think of it as paying yourself first in order to empower your business to grow.
Know your why.
When building a business, the only thing you have full control over is YOU. You control your schedule, your level of activity and your dedication to building a successful business. If you want to be effective, you have to make building your business a priority. Your business goes everywhere you go. Think of the most successful entrepreneurs you dream to emulate. If they did what you are currently doing everyday, every week and every month, would they be as successful as they currently are?
I DON’T HAVE TIME = I HAVEN’T MADE THIS A PRIORITY
Social media is work too.
Social marketing is a key in today’s business. It is an ongoing process in order to build your business. If social media is part of your work, then how is scrolling through Instagram relaxing downtime? How can you use Facebook to recharge and fill your soul? It’s should not be a downtime activity. If your cellphone is the first thing you look at when you wake up each morning, try buying a stand alone alarm clock and removing social media from your morning routine. Set aside time in your day for updating your social media outlets and checking in with others – but meaningless scrolling should be minimized.
Connect the dots.
People are a huge piece of any business. How you engage in a community and how you network with your peers, professionals and subordinates, matters. When building a business it is key that you continue to fall in love with people. Connecting others should excite you. Think of reaching back to people as a game, always figuring out an excuse to loop back – especially if you discover you have something of value for them. Be a Go-Giver. Be helpful. Be a connector. But most importantly, be genuinely interested in others and never forget to sing their praises.
If you look like hell, no one is going to want to use what you have to offer, plain and simple. Not only do you want to feel confident, you also want to make every person you encounter feel confident in you and your ability to build and lead a business. Leadership is about influence. As a leader, you are an agent of change and you add value to those around you. You don’t have to be perfect – that is truly the lowest standard you can have for yourself, because quite frankly, it’s impossible to attain. But remember, followers are inspired to have confidence in good leaders, but great leaders inspire their followers to have confidence in themselves.