Podcast Episode 16: Is it possible to find more time each day? Part 1

As business owners, we wear a lot of hats—CEO, Director of Marketing, Scheduler, Head Janitor, Costco Supply Shopper—the list goes on.  But seriously, can someone please let me retire from IT Specialist?!

Do you find yourself exhausted at the end of each day … but haven’t made a dent in your to-do list? Does it seem like you’re working just to pay American Express?  Are you on the verge of massive burnout?  #beenthere

Oftentimes, as busy business owners, we are so focused on the day-to-day and getting our massive to-do lists complete that we fail to recognize if all this work we’re doing is really moving our businesses forward.

What do I mean by that? Well … if you’re doing lots of things, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business is benefiting.  In fact, you might be doing your business more harm than good by doing everything yourself and not delegating work to others.

Yep.  It’s time to take a cold, hard look at how you can find time freedom.  I’ve created a new course called 5 Days to Time Freedom. In as little as 5 days and you’ll determine where your time is being spent and whether it’s time to outsource or hire an employee to help you take your business to the next level.

Check out the course, 5 Days to Time Freedom

 

Podcast Episode 11: How to Manage Millennials When You’re Old AF

Millennials, or the generation born between 1981 and 1996, will make up about 75% of the workforce in 2025.  That’s just 7 years away.  And we’ve all heard some pretty negative criticism about this group—they’re unfocused; entitled; demanding; and addicted to technology.

Are these stereotypes?  Maybe. Maybe not.

It doesn’t really matter because these are the people who will be moving businesses forward.

The single thing that separates Millennials from previous generations is technology.  So, while my generation was outside playing with sticks, millennials had these crazy things called smart phones that gave them unfettered access to the Internet.

When you’re old AF, how are you supposed to lead this group of so-called millennial workplace misfits? How can you manage millennials to successfully run your business and ultimately find their own success?

And the most important question on everyone’s mind … Why can’t millennials empty the vacuum cleaner?!  We talk about it all on the latest podcast.

Click here to listen to the She’s On Her Toes Podcast.  

Have you checked out my course, How to Hire A Rock Star Team, yet?

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Leave fear, frustration, and your past hiring mistakes behind to transform your business.    How to Hire a Rock Star Team, is for anyone serious about building a solid team of amazing employees to run your fitness business for you.  It’s the same process I’ve used to build my team of 20 … that’s them in the picture!

When Things Seem Out of Your Control in Business

“It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”  -Chinese Proverb

One of the most difficult things about being a business owner is accepting the fact that a lot of things impacting your business are completely out of your control.  Things like the weather, the economy, a catastrophic event, or overall trends in your industry can all have a huge impact on your business and there’s not a damn thing you can do about any of them.

I myself, experienced a period about a year ago when everything in my business seemed out of control (read about it here).  I’m not going to lie, it was an extremely scary time and at one point, I thought I would lose everything—as we all know, the exact opposite happened.  But as a business owner, how do you cope with that uncertainty?  When things seem out of your control in business, how can you remain calm to make sound decisions when all you’re thinking is, “I’m scared.”

I was in my studios working this weekend, and stopped to re-read an article that appeared in the local newspaper about 5 years ago featuring Pure Barre Winston-Salem.  I framed it; walk by it every day, but I haven’t read it since I hung it on the wall.  The article discussed the “new” trend of the importance of working out and how local residents were now placing value on health and fitness.  Now, in most places the subject of this article might not even be news-worthy.  But since Winston-Salem serves as the corporate headquarters for both RJ Reynolds (think Reynolds Tobacco) and Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a focus on fitness in the community seemed important to discuss.

The article listed several big box gyms and a few smaller boutique fitness studios in the area for readers to check out and start their new fitness journey.  Of the 10 listed, only 3 are still open … my business, the YMCA, and a Crossfit gym (owned by good friends of mine).  Wow.  The Y’s not going anywhere, so what special secret had my friends and I found to stay in business?  I can’t speak for my friends, but I guess I do have “secret” for coping with and managing things that are out of my control … I don’t worry about them.

Instead, I think about all the things that are within my control.  I focus my efforts working ONLY on those things that I can control.

Oh man, are you confused after reading that?  It really is that simple.

I can’t control the weather.  I can’t control the economy or the aftermath of the 2016 Election.  I can’t control if one of my employees sleeps in and doesn’t show up to teach.  I can’t control if someone sees how great my studios are and decides to open a competing business.  And I definitely can’t control if my clients would rather eat Krispy Kreme doughnuts instead of drinking green juice and eating vegan, non-dairy desserts.

But I CAN control how I REACT to all of these things.

I try not to get sidelined by problems.  Instead, I try to jump straight to thinking about their solutions.

Turning problems on their head and re-focusing your energy towards finding solutions takes some practice.  For most people—including me before I adopted this way of thinking—this also requires a total mental shift.  Why?  Because it’s easy to be negative and complain about all the things that go wrong in your business.  It’s a lot more difficult to take the time to find a solution, create a plan, and stay disciplined while executing that plan.

Does this mean I’m never frustrated with how things are going in my business?  Of course not.  In fact, I get frustrated and mad about my business all the time.  I have a rule.  I can only stay angry about something for one day.  After that, I have to move on and solve the problem or just let it go.  And if the first solution I come up with doesn’t work, then I try something else.  This is why I love working for myself—when you are constantly challenged to solve problems and find solutions, it’s pretty rewarding to add up all of your accomplishments.  The studios probably average about 1-2 problems each day we’re open, and after five years, that’s about 3,650 solutions found.  That’s a lot of accomplishments.  No wonder I feel like it’s time for a vacation!

If you find yourself stuck in the vicious circle of negative thinking because things just feel out of control in your business, take a step back and start to think about what you can control—your reaction to what’s going on around you.  Focus on improving yourself as a manager.  Focus on only working on what you can control and see what happens … You might just create some light in all that darkness.

Until then, stay on your toes!

Did you see my book’s on Amazon?  Check it out here:

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How I’m Exiting My Business

I guess I got your attention with my last post titled “Why I’m Exiting My Business.”  To be clear, I am not selling my business or giving up on it—nothing could be further from the truth.  I have reached a point in my business lifecycle where it’s time for me to assume a new role—the role of supporting my Team.  It’s time for me to have some business freedom!  I have hired a great Team including a Manager who is extremely competent and have another stellar employee assuming more responsibility as an Assistant Manager.  My teachers are doing really well taking care of clients and helping them understand the Pure Barre technique and improve each class.  And my front desk associates are proficient at our sales process and working with the teachers and managers.  Basically, they’ve got this!  So where does that leave me?

This blog is all about explaining how to hire a great team, motivate them, and lead them to success.  (Spoiler alert: my book is also about these same things!  Coming out in late July or early August!  And, if that’s not enough, I’ve started working on a course that will teach you how to hire that Rock Star Team.)  But in the beginning stages of your business, it’s just you.  You have to do everything from teaching classes, taking care of your clients, selling, cleaning, restocking supplies, and a host of other unexciting and oftentimes dirty jobs—after 5 years, I have lots of bathroom “surprise” stories.  Two drink minimum, please.

For those of you having difficulty visualizing what I’m talking about (maybe because you’re trying not to visualize the dirty jobs), this is what your business lifecycle looks like at the beginning.  You support your clients.

Business-Cycle-I.jpg

 

But 5 years in, this is where I am.  I’m supporting my Team and they are supporting our clients.

Business Cycle II

 

Do you see the difference?  In the second image, you give all the responsibility to your Team and you focus on doing whatever it is that they need to be better at their jobs.  Ok … maybe we’re not 100% there yet.  But we will be, very soon.

It’s important to note that if you aren’t hiring the right people or people that don’t fit within your business’s unique culture, you’ll likely never get to the point of supporting your Team.  You’ll stay stuck supporting your clients and doing everything yourself.  No rest for you.  No vacation for you.  No other opportunities for you.  Since your business should serve as your vehicle to a better, more balanced life, that’s pretty lame.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Over the next year, I’m going to spend my time working with my Manager and Assistant Manager so that they are running the business without me and I’m solely focused on thinking up more ways to increase our revenue.  Since I won’t be overseeing the studios’ day-to-day operations, I’ll have plenty of time to devote to my new role and I am anticipating working remotely at times.  In fact, my goal is to be able to take a whole month away and be confident that everything is happening without me.  Dare to dream!  So how am I going to get to this point?

The first step in business freedom is to teach my managers how to track our key metrics, the most important being retention.  In the fitness business, client retention is the main driver of your future sales.  What?  Did you think attracting new clients is?

Sure, bringing new clients into your studio is extremely important, but since most are initially purchasing your introductory offer which is significantly discounted (we offer an Intro Month, which is four weeks at $99), you’re really not increasing or driving sales until they make that leap to their next package.  If you have 20 new clients walk through your doors and start taking class, but at the end of their Intro Month only 1 sticks around and purchases another package, that’s not good, and an indicator that something you’re doing isn’t working to keep these people around.  It’s also a lot of work for you and your team for lackluster results.  Forming a solid retention plan is the best way to drive and predict your future sales.  As I’m teaching them about retention and how to track it, we’ll also be recording all of our work in a manager manual—that way, if any of them go on vacation someone else will know exactly what to do in their absence.  Business freedom here I come!

Going forward, I’ll be discussing this transition in more detail and how it will allow me to gain business freedom as well as start working on something else that should be on every small business owner’s mind, diversification of income.  But more on that as this new journey unfolds.  Maybe the next book?!

I know you’ve been waiting for it … a super-serious discussion on hair ties will be posted tomorrow.  Which ones are the best?  But seriously, where do they go when they get lost?

Until then, stay on your toes!