Latest EOFire Podcast EOFire’s May 2017 Income Report

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

May 2017 Income At-A-Glance

Gross Income for May: $196,304

Total Expenses for May: $81,185

Total Net Profit for May: $115,119

Difference b/t May & April: -$15,126

eofire income report button

Why We Publish An Income Report

This monthly income report is created for you, Fire Nation!

By documenting the struggles we encounter and the successes we celebrate as entrepreneurs every single month, we’re able to provide you with support – and a single resource – where we share what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible.

There’s a lot of hard work that goes into learning and growing as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important part of the equation is that you’re able to pass on what you learn to others through teaching, which is what we aim to do here at EOFire.

Let’s IGNITE!

CPA On Fire’s Monthly Tax Tip

What’s up Fire Nation, my name is Josh Bauerle. I’m a CPA and the Founder of CPA On Fire, where we specialize in working with entrepreneurs to minimize their tax liability while keeping them in line with the ever-changing tax laws.

I’ve been working with EOFire for years now, and John and Kate have included me in these monthly income reports with unlimited access to all their accounts so I can verify that what they report here is complete and accurate.

And because they believe in delivering an insane amount of value to you, my job doesn’t stop at the verification level; I’ll also be providing tax and accounting tips to you along the way!

Josh’s May Tax Tip: Charitable Donations

Charitable donations are an item I get a ton of questions on, and it’s top of mind for me right now, as this past weekend I was in Texas representing a client in an audit that mainly centered around a large amount of charitable donations claimed on their 2015 tax return.

Luckily, the client had done everything by the book, and we came out of the audit without a scratch.

So this month, I’m going to tell you how you can do the same.

First, let’s talk about what a charitable donation is…

To qualify as a tax deductible donation, the money and/or property must have been donated to an IRS-approved nonprofit organization. That would include most churches, schools and places like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

What it does not include is donations to friends in need, donations at fundraisers that go directly to individuals, and even most of the Go Fund Me campaigns for people in need. If it’s not an IRS-approved nonprofit, it’s off the table for a tax deduction.

Next, let’s talk about what records you need to keep to protect yourself.

In the event you are like my client and the IRS comes calling, they classify donations in two categories: cash and non-cash.

Here’s a run down on both.

Cash Donations

This is the easiest one to show proof of.

First, make sure you record exact dates, amounts and who they went to for each donation. If you can make the donation via check, even better.

Second, make sure the organization you donate to issues you a tax receipt. Do these things and you’re fire-proof against the IRS.

Non-Cash Donations

This is where things can get tricky; non-cash donations consist of any type of property donated to a nonprofit.

For most people, it will be clothing, furniture, toys and other household items given to places like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

If your total non-cash donations are under $500, there’s not much you need to do. Simply ask the organization to give you a receipt and you’re clear.

But if it’s more than $500, the level of proof you’ll need to provide is higher.

First, you’ll want to record exactly what you donated, the estimated date you purchased it, the estimated price you paid for it and the current value of it.

So if you donate a couch to Goodwill, you’ll record you bought it on April 3, 2012 for $2,000 and the current value is $600.

Second, you’ll want to be even more sure the organization gives you a receipt with the donation value on it. This will be huge.

Finally, if your non-cash donations are unusually high that year – say over $10,000 – I would even go so far as taking a picture of each item you donate. Example: for your couch, take a quick pic of it and store with your records.

And one more note here: if you have a non-cash item you donated worth more than $5,000 that you’ve owned for more than one year, the IRS requires you get a third party appraisal to determine the exact value. This typically comes into play for people who donate vehicles.

Charitable donations are an awesome way to lower your tax liability and help those less fortunate – a true win/win.

But it’s also an area that is frequently abused on tax returns, and the IRS watches carefully. Follow the rules above and you’ll be in the clear in the unlikely event they do decide to take a closer look.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss what would be best for YOUR business. I LOVE chatting with Fire Nation!

*Bonus* If you haven’t checked out Josh’s FREE course on business entities yet, you can get it here!

David’s May Legal Tip: Copyright & Trademark

What Can I Do When Someone Takes My Logo or Image?

This question came from EOFire listener Lori Eisenstadt: What can you do when someone takes your logo or image and uses it online?

First let’s separate logos and images.

Images

If you create an image, you own the copyright. This doesn’t apply to online memes where you just add some words – I’m talking about an image you created yourself or that an employee created for your company.

If you find that someone has taken your image and used it online, there are a few things you can do.

1. Of course, you can contact the person who’s using your content and nicely ask them to take it down.

They may or may not comply. If not, you can hire a lawyer and sue them, but that’s a bit of an extreme – and very costly – step.

2. Fortunately, there’s a simpler option: if the website, app, or service is located in the U.S. or does business in the U.S., they’re required to comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”).

The DMCA has what’s called a “safe harbor” provision for online service providers.

Websites that host user-created content – for example, every social media site – can’t be sued when infringing material appears on the site, as long as they comply with “takedown notices.”

These are notices provided by copyright holders that a piece of infringing content has appeared on the site.

If you go to any website or app that has user-generated content and search around a bit, you’ll find a section called “Copyright” or “DMCA” or “legal” – something like that.

They will have either a form you can fill out or an email address to which you can send the notice. In most cases, the content will be taken down quickly at that point.

Often the site will then initiate a process to ensure that the notice was valid.

Be sure to keep good records of images and other content that you create, so if you ever have to prove that you actually created it, you’ll be able to show that you’re the rightful owner.

Use caution, because some people abuse the DMCA takedown process – see this blog post for some examples.

Logos

The same info that applies to images also applies to logos (since a logo is a type of image), but logos are also trademarks.

A trademark is anything that identifies your company as the source of goods or services.

If someone is using your logo without permission – and they’re using it to market competing goods or services – they may be liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition. This is the type of situation where you’re definitely going to want to bring a trademark lawyer in to advise you.

Trademark law is complex, and there may be valid reasons for someone else to use your logo – for example, if they’re doing a “taste test” to see if consumers prefer your goods or theirs, or if they’re reporting factual information about your product or service.

If you’re not ready to hire a lawyer, and your trademark is being used online in a manner that you think is violating your rights, you may be able to take advantage of a takedown procedure similar to the one described above in the “Images” section.

Again, search the website or app for instructions on how to do so.

Wrapping It Up

It’s important to make sure that your valuable intellectual property is not being used against your wishes. Be sure to search for your brand name regularly on Google and your preferred social media networks. And, of course, always contact a legal professional if you run into a potentially serious issue.

Thanks, Lori, for submitting this question!

If you have a legal question that you’d like me to cover on a future EOFire Income Report, click here to email me and I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out when I join John and Kate to talk about your legal questions!

Want to stay on top of how intellectual property issues like trademarks and copyrights affect your business? Download my free Intellectual Property for Entrepreneurs Checklist!

What Went Down In May

The Mastery Journal 1-day

Following suit with The Freedom Journal Kickstarter campaign, The Mastery Journal Kickstarter campaign offered a pretty special pledge level: a full day with JLD in Puerto Rico.

The investment was not insignificant: $10,000, not including travel.

Because we know pricing is a tough thing to wrap your head around, we want to breakdown how we came up with this number, and why it’s worth every penny.

How’d we come up with 10k?

Charging what you’re worth is a known struggle for most entrepreneurs, especially when you’re first starting out.

Has John always charged $10k for his time?

Not even close. There was a definite progression up to this number, which developed in line with the following factors:

  • John’s desire to do one-on-one coaching;
  • Other revenue streams; and
  • Our bigger vision.

When you’re first starting out, you likely don’t have multiple income streams. While this should be your goal, you have to build up to it one step at a time.

So when coaching was the only income stream we had, and EOFire and JLD were still proving themselves as a great brand and a credible leader, the investment matched that.

As the brand and JLD became more widely known and trusted, so did our diversification. With other income streams coming into play like Fire Nation Elite and Podcasters’ Paradise, we were able to start weighing our time investments in different areas.

The scales started to tip, and one-on-one coaching was no longer the only way we were generating revenue.

Because of this, John was able to increase the investment for one-on-one time with him.

And when we talk about the bigger vision, this is for the business as a whole. If John were to spend all of his time doing one-on-one coaching, we never would have been able to do things like create Podcasters’ Paradise, or launch The Freedom and Mastery Journals.

If your goal is to grow a coaching business, then that’s one thing; however, if your goal is to create products and other types of services, then there has to be a point where you start doing less coaching and more implementation.

How do we know it’s worth it?

Investing $10k is a big deal, and with it comes pressure and expectations. But as we’ve grown EOFire and JLD has proven his expertise and knowledge time and time again, we have proof that the one-on-one investment is worth it.

Plus, John now has the confidence of nearly 1,700 conversations with today’s most inspiring entrepreneurs, and real relationships with master minds like David Siteman Garland, Pat Flynn, Amy Porterfield, Russell Brunson, and Tim Ferriss – just to name a few.

YOU believing that you’re worth every penny and that you will deliver on the expectations you’ve set is key to not only knowing that you’ve priced your product or service correctly, but also knowing that whoever makes that investment will also walk away knowing it was worth every penny.

Saul, welcome to Puerto Rico!

Now that we’ve given some background, let’s have a peek at John’s first 10k Day for 2017!

From JLD:

In 2016, I hosted two $10k days, and in 2017 I’ll be doing the same 🙂

The first person to rock the $10k day this year was Saul Marquez.

It started out with Saul and I jumping on a 30-minute strategy call the week before he came down to Puerto Rico so I could get a solid sense of where he was at with his business, where he wanted to go, and what he wanted most out of his ‘Day with JLD‘.

After our chat, I was FIRED up because I knew Saul was in the perfect place in his life and business to spend a day under The JLD Microscope.

Saul rolled into Puerto Rico Friday evening and I took him out on the town to meet a few friends and have a fun first night. We limited ourselves to one drink each, as we wanted to be 100% for Saturday’s 12-hour strategy session.

Early Saturday morning, we both awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed, prepared to IGNITE the day.

Without going into too much detail of what Saul and I accomplished, I’ll share that by the end of the first hour I had identified a MAJOR hole in Saul’s business model:

He had no FUNNEL.

In my words, a FUNNEL is the journey you take your Avatar on from the moment they are introduced to your brand to the moment you make a high-level offer.

There needs to be a LOT of value and know/like/trust at each level in your funnel, which in my opinion needs to be a minimum of six levels. I call this The JLD Method.

We built Saul’s ENTIRE funnel, and now Saul has EXACTLY what he needs to pour IGNITER fluid on the top of his funnel, and watch revenue drip (and eventually pour) out the bottom.

Saul (like my other 1 day peeps) has become a friend, and I know our paths will cross many times and that I will take pride in the success that awaits him.

And thanks to Saul, I now drink Matcha Tea!

Puerto Palooza

Saul’s 1-day in PR wasn’t the only deep-dive we did during the month of May…

Right before we launched The Mastery Journal on Kickstarter we had an idea: what if one of the pledge levels for the campaign included a 3-day mastermind here in Puerto Rico?

We’ve certainly gotten the request for an in-person mastermind or an event more than a few times from Fire Nation, so we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a go.

Not knowing what to expect, we added a $6,500 pledge level to our campaign, which included a 3-day mastermind here in Puerto Rico, a signed Mastery Journal, and a spot on EOFire.

Five weeks later we had five attendees locked in and the planning was in full swing.

Even though we’d never hosted an intimate mastermind like this before we knew our experience with participating in masterminds and leading what we like to call a “hot seat” would play a huge role.

With a lot of logistical planning around travel and accommodations and a few strategy sessions between the two of us, we came up with a solid plan for the weekend.

We decided to host the mastermind at our home here in Palmas Del Mar; we knew this would add a personal and intimate touch that we’d never be able to create at a hotel or event center.

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

The first two days (Friday and Saturday) were the business-focused days.

Throughout these two days we crushed all five hot seats, which ran two hours each; we made sure all questions were answered with a shorter, wrap up hot seat; and we even had time to spare for some roundtable discussions.

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

All-in-all, the business-focused days were a perfect 10!

Then, the third day was reserved as our “Palooza Day”: a day to kick back and enjoy Puerto Rico, which we took full advantage of aboard a 40 person catamaran!

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

Island hopping, snorkeling and relaxing were all on the agenda, and we finished the day back at our home in Palmas with a BBQ pool party.

Puerto Palooza Mastermind

Image credit: Travis Chappell

While we don’t have Puerto Palooza II planned just yet, there’s a good chance it’ll be coming up soon, so stay tuned!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

May 2017 Income Breakdown*

Product/Service Income: $131,158

TOTAL Journal sales: 963 Journals for a total of $37,750

The Freedom Journal: Accomplish your #1 goal in 100 days!

  • TheFreedomJournal.com: $5,646 (103 Hardcovers & 32 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $14,070 (402 Freedom Journals sold!)
  • Total: $19,716

The Mastery Journal: Master Productivity, Discipline and Focus in 100 days!

  • TheMasteryJournal.com: $5,889 (111 Hardcovers & 36 Digital Packs sold!)
  • Amazon: $12,145 (347 Mastery Journals sold!)
  • Total: $18,034

Podcasters’ Paradise: The #1 Podcasting community in the world!

  • Recurring: $20,327 (4 annual, 203 monthly)
  • New members: $5,325 (26 new members)
  • Total: $25,652

Podcast Sponsorship Income$62,500

Podcast Websites: $5,000 Your all-in-one podcast website peace of mind

Free Podcast Course: A free 15-day course on Podcasting

Free Webinar Course: A free 10-day course on Webinars

Free Goals Course: A free 8-day course on Setting & Accomplishing Goals

Funnel On Fire: A free 8-day course on Creating a Funnel that Converts!

Podcast LaunchAudiobook$164 | eBook: $92

Affiliate Income: $65,146

*Affiliate links below

Resources for Entrepreneurs: $56,039

Courses for Entrepreneurs: $7,359

Resources for Podcasters: $914

Other Resources: $834

  • Amazon Associates: $741
  • Other: $93

Total Gross Income in May: $196,304

Business Expenses: $78,613

  • Advertising: $7,727
  • Affiliate Commissions (Paradise): $1,970
  • Accounting: $350
  • Cost of goods sold: $6,607
  • Design & Branding: $1,980
  • Education: $144
  • Legal & Professional: $740
  • Meals & Entertainment: $1,517
  • Merchant / bank fees: $1,061
  • Amazon fees: $12,676
  • Shopify fees: $208
  • Stripe fees: $5
  • PayPal fees: $336
  • Office expenses: $1,284
  • Payroll Tax Expenses / Fees: $1,422
  • Promotional / events: $1,323
  • Property Tax: $807
  • Paradise Refunds: $2,000
  • Sponsorships: $13,750
  • Show notes: $215
  • Travel: $2,296
  • The Freedom & Mastery Journal: $15,079
  • Virtual Assistant Fees: $3,295
  • Website Fees: $1,821

Recurring, Subscription-based Expenses: $2,572

  • Adobe Creative Cloud: $100
  • Boomerang: $70 (team package)
  • Brandisty: $24
  • Authorize.net: $91
  • Cell Phone: $216
  • Internet: $300
  • eVoice: $9.95
  • Infusionsoft CRM: $396
  • Insurance: $551
  • Libsyn: $203
  • Manychat: $10
  • Chatroll: $49
  • PureChat: $20
  • ScheduleOnce: $9
  • Skype: $2.99
  • Shopify: $147
  • TaxJar: $19
  • Workflowy: $4.99
  • MeetEdgar: $49
  • Taxes & Licenses: $300

Total Expenses in May: $81,185

Payroll to John & Kate: $15,900

In our May 2014 Income Report and our June 2016 Income Report, Josh focuses on how to pay yourself as an entrepreneur. Check them out!

Wondering what we do with all of our net revenue? We share all in our April 2017 Income Report 🙂

Total Net Profit for May 2017: $115,119

Biggest Lesson Learned

Engaging with your audience

May was the start of Season 6 on my podcast Kate’s Take, and throughout this season I focused on a single topic: project management.

I learned a lot through creating the posts and episodes for this season, especially when it came to hearing straight from my listeners about the specific struggles they’re currently facing in their business.

Which got me thinking…

I wonder if others are leveraging tools like Google Forms and SpeakPipe to engage with their audience?

These are probably two of the simplest tools when it comes to collecting information, which is why I love them so much.  Plus, this engagement one-on-one with your audience is GOLD when it comes to understanding their biggest pain points and coming up with new ideas for what you can create for them that will be of value (i.e. what they’ll actually pay for!)

So I thought I’d go through a specific example of exactly how I’ve used these tools to gain feedback from my listeners.

Step 1: Set up the page

Once I have my goal in mind (in this case, to collect input for my next season on the podcast directly from my listeners) I’m going to set up the page I’ll be directing listeners to.

For this, I simply login to our site and add a new page.

Once I give the page a title and write a line or two about the purpose of the page, I’m ready to move on to step 2.

Step 2: Create the Google Form & SpeakPipe box

Because I’ll be asking my listeners to visit the page I created and either fill out a Google Form or leave me a SpeakPipe message, my next step is to create those two things.

The Google Form will simply ask which topic they’d like to hear about most (with an option for ‘other’ so they can write anything in that space), plus some other general info about how long they’ve been listening, how they found out about the podcast, etc.

You can check out my Google Form for Season 7 here.

Then, creating my SpeakPipe message box is just a matter of logging in to create the widget, and then pasting the code on the page like I’ve done here: EOFire.com/season7

Step 3: Create the call to action

Now that I have my page set up and my form and message box ready for input, I need to figure out what I’m going to say to actually get people to the page.

My call to action is typically in the intro and outro of at least 3 – 4 episodes: 1 of those episodes being the final episode of the previous season, and then 2-3 of them in the episodes I publish in between seasons.

Step 4: Encourage engagement

Don’t think that just asking for input one time is enough; you have to really encourage engagement, especially if your call to action is reaching people via a podcast.

If you think about it, podcast listeners are typically doing some other type of activity when they’re listening to your podcast, so the chances of them remembering something you only say 1 time is very unlikely.

There you have it. Now that you know how simple it is to request engagement and feedback from your audience, it’s time to put it to action!

Bonus step: if you want to take your engagement to a whole new level, also add a scheduler link on the page where people can sign up for a one-on-one chat with you via Skype or Zoom. Any time you can spend with your ideal audience one-on-one will equal massive results, because when you listen to the questions, struggles and pain points revealed, each one is a potential product, service or resource you can offer your audience.

Alright Fire Nation, that’s a wrap!EntrepreneurOnFire

Until next month, keep your FIRE burning!

~ Kate & John

Note: we report our income figures as accurately as possible, but in using reports from a combo of Infusionsoft & Xero to track our product and total income / expenses, they suggest the possibility of a 3 – 5% margin of error. 

Click here for all of EOFire’s Income Reports

This post was written by Kate Erickson, Content Creator and Implementer at EOFire. Follow Kate on Social:

Facebook FollowGoogle Plus FollowLinkedIn FollowTwitter Follow

The post EOFire’s May 2017 Income Report appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2sgf7vf

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E9: A finale on project management

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Project Management

Throughout Season 6 we’ve covered a lot of material on project management.

What is project management, how to get started, top tools you can leverage, what to do when something goes wrong with your project, and some specific examples of how to manage things like mindset, your side hustle, growing a team and overwhelm.

I want to wrap up with giving you full permission to step into the project manager role in your business. You don’t always have to be the project manager, but in order to make progress and grow your business in an efficient way, you have to be willing to roll your sleeves up and get to work.

So as we close out Season 6, let’s package everything up so you know exactly what to do next.

You role as project manager

Before we get into the individual steps required to start your project, let’s recap what your role is as project manager.

As project manager you’re responsible for:

  • Making sure the project has a clear vision / goal,
  • Identifying the deliverables and steps required to accomplish that goal,
  • Hiring help where necessary,
  • Setting and managing deadlines with potential team members, and
  • Overseeing all the moving pieces to ensure things are getting done on time.

Not a super easy role, right?

But it is a fun one once you realize that this responsibility equals progress and forward movement for you and for your business.

Starting your project

Now that we’re clear on your responsibilities, let’s start an actual project.

Evaluation Phase

You might remember this step from Season 6 Episode 3, where we talked about the importance of only taking on projects that are meaningful to you and your business.

Sometimes we jump into projects without really thinking about the time commitment or the outcome. So make sure before diving into a project that you know it fits in with:

  • Your overall business goals,
  • Your current available bandwidth, and
  • The priority you’re willing to give your idea.

Brainstorming Phase

Now, it’s time to brainstorm your project.

Take out a piece of paper or open up Workflowy or a Google Doc – it’s time to let it all out!

During your project brainstorming session you want to get as much down on paper as possible. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What is my desired outcome or goal?
  • What are some of the major deliverables?
  • What steps will I need help with?
  • What timeline will I gives myself and my team for this project?

Planning Phase

Next comes your planning phase, and this is when it’s time to start organizing everything and diving into way more detail.

Take everything you wrote out during your brainstorming phase and start organizing it:

  • What are each of the deliverables?
  • What are the individual steps required to make those deliverables happen?
  • Given my goal date, when will each of the deliverables have to be accomplished to stay on track?
  • Given the help I need, where / when / how will I find that help?

During your planning phase it will be incredibly helpful to use a tool like Asana to document everything. When you start logging everything into Asana, you can assign due dates, reminders, and even assign specific tasks and deliverables to other team members.

Managing Phase

Now that you have your plan in place – meaning your deliverables and due dates are clearly defined, and you’ve hired the help you need to accomplish your goal – it’s time to manage it all.

Make sure you’re checking in on things like due dates and recognizing when a dependency might be holding things up.

And be resourceful. If something goes wrong – you miss a deadline or you’re having trouble finding the right help – don’t get discouraged. Keep your focus ahead and try to find other areas in the project where you can make up for lost time.

Completion Phase

If each of the phases above go well, you’ll make it to your completion phase: congratulations!

This phase feels AMAZING, and I can’t wait to hear that you’ve successfully managed your first project from idea to finish.

But before you go celebrating and sprinting off to the next project, make sure you take time to reflect.

  • What are some lessons learned from this project?
  • How can you use those lessons to avoid future setbacks?
  • What are some things that worked really well you can duplicate in the future?

Hiring a project manager

You might be finished up this episode and all of Season 6 thinking, WOAH. I definitely need a project manager! I don’t blame you 🙂

If you do feel like hiring a project manager is the right move for you and your business, and you’re in a place where that’s actually doable, then go for it! Hiring a project manager will be what finally frees up the time you’re spending working IN your business instead of ON your business.

But make sure the project management position is right given the workload you’ll be delegating. You might find that a virtual assistant is better suited for the job.

I recently tuned in to one of Amy Porterfield’s episodes on this exact topic, and she explained it beautifully: typically, a virtual assistant follows direction and works on individual tasks in order to help with the day-to-day operations of your business, while a project manager executes all the planning and implementation in order to deliver an outcome.

She probably said it much better than me, but hopefully you get the point.

Before I officially say good-bye to Season 6, I want to share with you the #1 tool I use for managing my time most efficiently so that when I’m working on projects, I know I’m going to stay on schedule.

It’s The Mastery Journal, and I use The Mastery Journal every single day to help me stay focused and make real progress on the projects that matter most in my business.

If you feel like you could use a little help with mastering productivity, discipline and focus, then head over and check out The Mastery Journal today: it is definitely for you!

Until next season!

The post S6E9: A finale on project management appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2sHrVHU

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E8: Spotlight: How to avoid burnout: Managing overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Avoiding Burnout

First, a shout out to Cloris for her voice message that inspired today’s episode.

Meet Cloris, a performance coach and online trainer specialized in branding and lead generation. Cloris helps authors, coaches, speakers, trainers and consultants expand their reach and client base so they make a great living doing what they love.

How do I know so much about Cloris?

She’s on episode 1222 of EOFire, so make sure you check that out!

Cloris also sent me voice message between Season 5 and Season 6 on the topic of burnout. As she explains, she recently published this post on her site around the topic and it received a lot of attention.

And I agree with Cloris: burnout is likely the result of there just being too much information out there – information you for some reason feel like you have to consume and learn.

How on earth are you supposed to do it all?

You don’t have to do it all

Hopefully this comes as a relief to you: you’re not supposed to do it all.

In her post Cloris reviews five signs you’re burnt out, and she also shares a 3-step process for overcoming burnout. But my hope is that you’re not currently burnt out, rather you’re looking for ways to avoid this looming experience oh-so-many entrepreneurs have described to you.

That’s what I want to focus on today.

How to avoid burnout

It seems easy enough to say that in order to manage overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome, you should just stay focused on the task at hand, right?

But I know it’s not that easy.

There is a lot of noise in the online world, and sometimes keeping focus and not letting the best new platform or the coolest new social media tool derail you is tough.

But if you can get on board with the 5 recommendations below, I know you’ll have an easier time focusing on your current goals and understanding that your priority is in place for a reason: it’s the only thing you need to be concerned with.

1. Prioritize

I have a lot going on, you have a lot going on – everyone has a lot going on.

The trick is being able to prioritize so that you know – and everyone around you knows – what your priority at any given time is. Right now, it might be work, and at 3pm it might be playing with your kids.

Only you can set your priority, and only you can ensure that everyone around you is on board and understands. Take the added stress and pressure of being pulled in several different directions away and simply set your priority for times throughout the day.

2. Schedule

Now that you know exactly what your priority is for times throughout the day it’s time to set up a schedule – and stick to it.

I’m a huge fan of theming your days. This means you set aside entire days to work on specific projects or tasks, or that you might even set aside as a family day.

Whether your theme is writing, podcasting, webinars, community management, catching up, hanging out with family or any other number of things, knowing ahead of time that is where your focus will be can be incredibly helpful.

Since I started theming my days, my productivity has skyrocketed. I’m no longer jumping from task to task in a haphazard or frantic way. When I know I have an entire Monday to work on writing, I’m not distracted by any other tasks.

The same goes for family and personal time. If you know that every Thursday morning you wake up with your kids, cook them breakfast, and help them get ready for school, then you’re setting yourself up for success by making that a part of your schedule.

3. Health and wellness

Living healthy and well is about giving your body the energy it deserves through working out and eating right.

For me, that means working out first thing in the morning to help me start my day off right, and then feeding my body the types of foods I know make me feel good.

Because let’s be real: if you’re not feeling great on the inside, how do you expect to feel great on the outside?

4. Just say no

There comes a time when you have to start saying no.

Don’t feel bad about it; instead, let it empower you to actually create the day to day that YOU want to live. Isn’t that why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?

Every time you’re presented with an opportunity, a new tool, a better way of doing something… there are two questions you should be asking yourself:

  • What will I get rid of in order to accept the opportunity being presented?
  • Will this opportunity help me take one step closer to accomplishing my goals?

If you can’t find something to get rid of (remember: every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else), and whatever is being presented to you isn’t going to help you get one step closer to accomplishing your goals, then how could you say yes?!

Stop living according to others’ schedules, and start living according to your own. I can assure you that overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome will quickly become a thing of the past if you can just crush this one recommendation.

5. Don’t forget to turn off

When you’re working from home and loving what you do, it’s tough to turn off.

I recently realized that it’s up to me to take control of when I do what, and so every night at 5:30pm I know it’s time to turn off. For me, that transition or trigger is dinner time. I love to cook – it’s relaxing, it’s somewhat mindless, and I enjoy creating amazing meals.

Every night, I know that once I’ve started dinner, it’s time to check out of work and into just being home. So, what will your trigger to turn off be?

Avoiding burnout

Project management requires focus and you being on top of the many moving pieces and deliverables you’ve committed to. If you’re allowing distractions and shiny objects to derail you, then your project isn’t going to make it anywhere.

Remember, you don’t have to do it all – in fact, you shouldn’t even be trying. Follow the advice above from both myself and Cloris and keep your focus on the things you say are most important to you.

Next up in Season 6

Next up is our Season 6 finale on project management!

The post S6E8: Spotlight: How to avoid burnout: Managing overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2rennLf

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E7: Spotlight: How to manage growing a team in-office and virtually

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Managing a Team

First, a shout out to Gerjo for his voice message that inspired today’s episode.

Meet Gerjo, an entrepreneur who is currently focused on growing his team both in-office and virtually.

Only trouble is, he’s finding it challenging to make sure he incorporates his virtual assistants into the team. Sometimes he fears they don’t feel a part of it.

Gerjo also struggles with delegating – not so much in that he’s afraid to let go of tasks, but from a time-management perspective. You see, it takes time to write out instructions for how to do a task, especially when you consider everything else Gerjo has going on – like running his business.

As a result of Gerjo not being able to get the instructions together for his team members, they become frustrated because they’re waiting on him.

How to create a plan to help grow your team

I bet you can guess what Gerjo needs help with…

How do I deal with this in a better way?

Gerjo, I’m glad you asked, because as you noted in your voice message, growing a team is a HUGE project, but not one that’s impossible to create a plan for.

Gerjo, let’s going on a journey together…

Your team

Imagine each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – having a very detailed and specific schedule, so that when they start work all they have to do is go to their list and start taking action.

Removing the question “What’s next?” goes a long way when it comes to productivity and focus.

Each of your team members should have a daily, weekly and monthly task list.

Recommended resource: Google Spreadsheets

Now, imagine your team members – both in-house and virtually – having a single platform they can go to in order to look up instructions on how to do any task that isn’t familiar to them.

Recommended resource: Process.st

What happens when each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – has a schedule that doesn’t make them guess at what’s next on their to-do list, and also a place to go to look up instructions without ever having to interrupt your workflow?

Sounds like perfect harmony, doesn’t it?

How to create the plan

You know just as well as I do right now that Gerjo would love to have the scenario above. He can picture it so clearly, but his current struggle of not having the time to write out the instructions is holding him back.

But that’s not Gerjo’s only struggle; he also struggles with making his team feel, well, like a team, and he fears that his virtual assistants feel disconnected.

Gerjo, your first step is…

To schedule a weekly, recurring team meeting where every employee – both in-house and virtually – comes together online to prepare for the week ahead. This includes YOU.

Recommended resource: Zoom.us

During this meeting you’re reviewing the projects in progress for that week, and the role each individual team member is playing in those projects.

You’re offering up your time and giving your team your full focus for, say 30 minutes, to answer any questions, and to make sure you’re nurturing them. This is what will make them feel like a team.

Your second step is…

To create that daily, weekly and monthly schedule for each of your team members.

Don’t worry – this isn’t going to be all on you to create. Send each of your team members an email that says “Your #1 focus for today is to send me a list of everything you work on daily, weekly and monthly.”

This will not only help you recognize what each of your team members is working on, but also identify gaps. You might realize there is a significant task or project that no one is managing.

Your final steps is…

Once each individual team member has that daily, weekly and monthly schedule in place that details out how often they’ll perform their tasks, it’s time to document.

Together with your team start creating a list of the tasks and projects that are unclear. Whether they’re individual steps or entire chunks of a process, it’s time to get a list going of exactly what needs to be documented.

Now you have two parts:

  • Tasks and projects that are clear and that your team understands and is currently working on, and
  • Tasks and projects that are unclear and that your team needs you to help them with by creating instructions.

For the tasks and projects that are clear, but that don’t have a process or documentation on how to do them, have the team member responsible create the process.

For the tasks and projects that are not clear, reorder the list by priority, and start scheduling your Focus Sessions.

These Focus Sessions aren’t going to be you writing anything down. They will be you recording via voice and video how to accomplish each task or project.

Recommended resource: ScreenFlow

From those videos, your team will be responsible for actually documenting the process.

Growing a team and creating freedom

Gerjo, once you’re able to clearly define the roles of each of your team members – both in-house and virtually – the sky is the limit.

These are simple steps in a process, not a totally unmanageable beast that you’re never going to be able to tame.

Schedule your weekly meetings. Record your employees’ tasks. Document your systems.

It’s going to take time, but be patient – because what waits on the other side of this project – you providing your team with a schedule and specific direction – is growth, scalability, and freedom.

Next up in Season 6

Next up: another spotlight! This time our spotlight will be focused on how to manage overwhelm and the shiny object syndrome.

The post S6E7: Spotlight: How to manage growing a team in-office and virtually appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2rwXQhF

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E6: Spotlight: How to manage your side hustle so that it becomes your main hustle

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

side hustle

First, a shout out to Martin for his voice message that inspired today’s episode.

Meet Martin, a hard-working 9 – 5 employee who struggles to find the time and energy he wishes he had to work on his side hustle.

What’s his side hustle all about?

I’m glad you asked…

Martin hosts his own podcast and has a film-making company. He loves writing and scripting and is desperately looking for ways to find more time so he can make the transition from full-time job to full-time entrepreneur.

Martin’s greatest struggle

In addition to lacking the time and energy to make the switch, Martin also fears the financial changes ahead… Going from a regular pay schedule to not knowing if or when money will come in isn’t very comforting.

I’m willing to bet you can relate to Martin.

I know I can.

It wasn’t more than a few years ago that I was in the exact same position as Martin: working a 9-5, wishing I could quit and go full-time with my side hustle (Kate’s Copy), but knowing that I couldn’t support myself financially without a reliable income.

What I ended up doing is different from what I’ll recommend for Martin.

I spent six months paying off debt and saving up $5,000, and then I quit my job.

I want Martin to spend six months implementing a plan that will grow his side hustle into his main hustle.

Martin, let’s go on a journey together…

Your vision

First things first: step one is to sit down and write out your vision.

  • What does your life look like when your side hustle becomes your main hustle?
  • What does your day-to-day look like when you’re not going into your 9-5, but instead working on the things you love most?
  • What are you creating?
  • Why are you creating it? (What’s the purpose?)
  • Who are you creating it for?

Once you have a solid vision for what your life will look like once your goal of moving from side hustle to main hustle is accomplished, you can start to put a plan in place to help get you there.

It is only after you know exactly what you’re going to create, why you’re creating it (what’s its purpose?), and who you’re creating it for that you can start to implement.

Once you have your vision, it’s time to start managing your project.

Go time

Imagine you wake up tomorrow morning, and even though you aren’t excited about going into your 9-5 job, you still have a smile on your face knowing that during your commute you’ll be listening to inspiring stories from others who are on the same path as you.

Recommendation: The Side Hustle Show with Nick Loper

You get to work, get out of your car, and you’re walking into your office.

Your attitude is focused on crushing it until lunch, at which point you’ll get to take out your iPhone and jot down some of the ideas you had while driving into work that morning.

Recommendation: Workflowy

After a solid afternoon of work, you’re getting ready to head home.

During your commute back to the house you’re getting pretty fired up about the next couple of hours – today is your podcast recording day, and so once you get home and settled into your recording studio (aka your closet, kitchen table, or wherever you record your episodes), you’re going to be rockin’ the mic talking about topics you’re passionate about.

After a solid couple of hours recording, you’re definitely looking forward to a great dinner and then spending some time with your family or friends before winding down your night.

Some good old R&R on the couch (or patio, depending on the weather) will result in you cracking open your current favorite read, Essentialism, to soak up all kinds of inspiration from Greg McKeown around time management and how saying NO to things can be a game-changer for both your energy and your available time.

How is all of this possible?

Well, since Martin knows the power of productivity, his Focus Sessions will help guide him through the different phases of his day.

While most people waste time context switching and getting lost in distractions, Martin knows the power of Parkinson’s Law and using a timer to hold himself accountable. During his Focus Sessions, he is all in and dedicated to removing distractions so he can make progress on the tasks that really matter.

Recommendation: The Mastery Journal

The sky is the limit

Martin, how do you feel after this day?

You should feel amazing, because you’ve not only just earned an honest paycheck, but you also crushed your available side hustle hours, and through maximizing the time you spend going to and from work with inspirational and uplifting input you’ve also increased your energy and desire to get home and get to work on the things you love.

Best part is, this is just a single example of what one of your five weekdays might look like.

Imagine taking this plan and applying it to all five days – and then realizing, you still have two FULL days during the weekend to dedicate to your side hustle, to your family, or to yourself!

With the batching method and using The Mastery Journal for your Focus Sessions, one weekday evening might be dedicated to recording, another might be dedicated to writing and scripting, another to editing and scheduling… Matin, the sky is truly the limit.

Turn your side hustle into your main hustle by putting together a plan, and then managing that plan like a pro. One step at a time.

Next up in Season 6

Next up: another spotlight! This time our spotlight will be focused on a plan for managing and growing a team both in-office and virtually.

The post S6E6: Spotlight: How to manage your side hustle so that it becomes your main hustle appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2rTLld4

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E5: Spotlight: How to manage mindset and stay motivated w/ Meghan Alonso

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Staying motivated

In today’s episode I chat with Meghan Alonso, founder of Imua Services.

Between Season 5 and Season 6 Meghan sent me a voice message about some struggles she was facing given a recent move from California to Virginia.

We all know moving isn’t easy, but throw in the fact that a major project you’re working on hit a few snags, you’re feeling totally unmotivated, and you don’t have a community of like-minded people to surround yourself with for support.

I knew I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to chat with Meghan about how she overcame this funk in her business – and her life.

Managing mindset and how to stay motivated

Tune in to listen as Meghan and I chat about:

  • How to stay motivated – both personally and professionally
  • Why it’s so important to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs / like-minded people
  • Ways to manage mindset
  • Ideas for connecting with others when you work at home
  • And how a book she received from a friend 12 years ago turned everything around for her.

Mentioned during this episode

Simon Sinek’s TedX: Start with Why

A Purpose Driven Life

Meghan’s episode on EOFire (1567)

Meghan’s Idea Validation Quiz for medical device creators

Next up in Season 6

Next up in Season 6 we’ll be talking about how to create a project plan you can manage that will turn your side hustle into your main hustle.

The post S6E5: Spotlight: How to manage mindset and stay motivated w/ Meghan Alonso appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2rsCIIS

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E4: What to do when something goes wrong with your project

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

project management

Whether it’s a single task you’re responsible for, an entire chunk of the project you’ve delegated to someone else, or a bump in the road you didn’t see coming, something going wrong with your project can result in a serious setback.

You don’t want to experience a serious setback – and neither do I – but I will say it’d be pretty impressive to manage an entire project without running into any problems along the way.

Today, I’ll try my best to prepare you for what could go wrong and also how you can fix it without losing too much time.

Is wrong really wrong in project management?

But before I get into the specifics of what to do when something goes wrong with your project, let’s get one thing straight: something going wrong, experiencing a setback, or encountering a problem during your project isn’t always a terrible thing.

Sometimes we experience bumps in the road for a reason; maybe they’ve been placed there to help you realize that a pivot is necessary, or an adjustment is required.

So let’s not automatically assume that something going wrong means our project is a complete failure and we’ll never recover from it.

Now that we’re on the same page with that, let’s talk about some of the potential setbacks you’ll experience as a project manager and how you might handle each of them without losing too much time or completely sinking your project’s ship.

Potential setbacks for project managers (and the solution)

1. You can’t find help

Project management is, by definition, taking control of several moving pieces and making sure they’re all working together in order to create a finished product or reach a certain goal.

Not having the right help can certainly be a huge setback in accomplishing this.

If you’re in this situation, the best solution is to talk to others about it.

I don’t mean in a therapeutical type of way; I mean in a “I’m reaching out for help” type of way.

When I say talk to others about it, I mean reach out to those in:

  • Your existing network,
  • The same Facebook groups as you,
  • The same online courses as you,
  • A mastermind with you, or
  • Your extended network – who might be a friend of a friend.

Anyone you can talk to about the help you’re looking for is going to be a win, because the more you talk about it and put it out there, the more opportunities you’re creating for finding the help you need.

Ask for recommendations, referrals, introductions or resources others have used to find help for their projects. If you’re willing to be brave and put it out there, then you will find the help you’re looking for.

2. You didn’t know you needed help

Perhaps you’re 3 or 4 steps into your project, and you’re just now realizing that the scope, the individual steps, the deliverables, the requirements – some or all of them are requiring that you have a different skill set in order to accomplish them.

Well, at least you know how to find help now! (See 1 above)

Once you get to the step or part of your project where you realize you need help, the next step is not to agonize over it or beat yourself up for not having seen this coming. The next step is to logically write out exactly what it is you need help with, and then go out and find it.

3. You hired someone unreliable

Whether you knew you needed them or not, what happens when you hire someone and they aren’t carrying their weight?

If you find yourself in a situation where you’ve hired someone unreliable (or straight up someone who can’t get the job done), you have to be upfront and honest with that person. This isn’t a game of giving people five chances to prove themselves.

You are a project manager, and you’re on a schedule.

Take responsibility and hold yourself accountable to that schedule. If the person you hired isn’t able to perform the job, send them on their way and find someone who can.

4. You dropped the ball

You’re only human, and humans make mistakes!

As the project manager, of course the hope is that you won’t drop the ball. However, if you do (and I’ve certainly dropped the ball several times myself), your best course of action is to get back up and figure out how to fix it.

Take it on as a challenge: how can you turn this situation into a positive one as quickly and efficiently as possible?

I look at myself dropping the ball as an amazing opportunity to 1) learn from my mistake, and 2) figure out how to fix it without losing a ton of time or screwing other things in my project up.

So whether it’s a missed deadline, you forgetting to hold one of your team members accountable, or maybe you simple chose the wrong path to take for a certain part of your project, there is always time for you to make it right and get back on track.

5. Something broke

In an online business world, you simply have to be prepared for things to break. Technology is amazing, but it’s nowhere near perfect, and let me tell you: it breaks often.

So 1) expect that things will break, and 2) given that expectation be prepared to troubleshoot accordingly.

Sometimes it might a simple break in html code on your site, which is pretty easy to fix with website maintenance help; or it might be a bigger break, like with a piece of software you’re using, in which case a fix might not be so easy.

If it is a break with a piece of software, and you’re having to wait for their development team to fix it, try to find other steps on your project plan you can still work on that don’t require whatever is broken while you’re waiting. Chances are you can still make progress – just not in the particular order you had planned, and that’s okay.

If you’ve lost a ton of time as a result of having to wait for a fix, try and figure out where along your project plan you might be able to make that time up.

6. You’re frustrated… and spiraling

Project management is a challenge, which is why I love it so much. But like most things that are challenging, it brings with it frustrations. And with frustrations, at least 50% of the time, we experience some type of spiral effect – meaning, we just can’t get over it.

You’re going to get frustrated at some point during your project – accept that.

Now that you’ve accepted that, keep yourself in check. When you do get frustrated, recognize it and admit it to yourself: literally say, “I’m frustrated right now.”

Once you own it, you can now start taking steps that will help you get over it versus let it affect the rest of your day (or worse, your entire week).

You might not be able to control every single thing that happens within your project management framework, but you can control how you react to it. Don’t let frustration get the best of you – or your project.

Take a time out, breathe deep, and get back up so you can start crushing this project like I know you can!

7. You didn’t account for any mistakes

Now that we’re on the topic of things going wrong and potential setbacks, the last tip I want to share is this: while you’re creating your project plan, expect that there will be things that go wrong during the course of your project.

Whether they’re unexpected or you see them coming from a dozen miles away, mistake will happen. Account for those mistakes – maybe give yourself an extra day for a deadline even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

It’s going to be a lot easier to recover from a mistake or setback if you build in time for it versus struggling to make up time if you don’t.

Next up in Season 6

Next up I’ve got a special episode for you on how to manage mindset and stay motivated when working on big projects with our special guest, Meghan Alonso!

The post S6E4: What to do when something goes wrong with your project appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2qztPKy

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E3: Managing new and existing projects at the same time

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

How to manage projects

So now you know what project management is, why it’s important, how to get started and what some of the top tools for helping you manage your projects most efficiently are.

Next comes actually managing your projects!

In the first two episodes of Season 6 we laid the groundwork; now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.

Bringing on new projects

But before we dive straight into how to manage new and existing projects at the same time, I want to make sure you feel confident about how to determine whether or not an idea you have is something that should even turn into a project in the first place.

If we’re going to talk about new and existing projects, let’s first make sure you’re making smart choices when it comes to what makes it on to ‘project status’ in your business.

This is a really important step in the process, because until you can start saying no to some of the things in your business that are likely things you should NOT be spending your time on, it’s going to be difficult to effectively manage the things you SHOULD be spending time on.

Let’s say you’ve come up with a new idea – something you’ve been toying with trying out because you think it might help you:

  • Grow your email list;
  • Create a better user experience on your site;
  • Increase ROI with your Facebook ads…

…or any other number of things.

Before your idea turns into a project, I urge you to STOP and evaluate.

Step 1: STOP

Seriously, just stop.

You’re probably fired up about your idea, and maybe with good reason! The outcomes I’ve listed above are pretty sweet. BUT, to ensure you’re spending your time wisely, you need to evaluate whether or not turning your idea into an actual project is reasonable.

Step 2: Evaluate

So how do you know?

Turning your idea into an actual project has to pass these 3 checks:

  • Your overall business goals,
  • Your current available bandwidth, and
  • The priority you’re willing to give your idea.

The first check is simple: if you turn your idea into a project, will it help you get one step closer to accomplishing your overall business goals? If yes, then let’s put it the test with the second check: bandwidth.

For some reason we love to over-book ourselves.

Let’s say “YES!!” to everything, even though we know we don’t have the time to do it!

Sound familiar?

If yes, the next book you should read is Essentialism by Greg McKeown.

Be honest with yourself: do you have the bandwidth to take on another project right now?

And finally, you have to be able to determine the priority you’re willing to give this new idea. Based on the other projects you’re already managing and the other responsibilities you have in your business (and your personal life), is this idea something you’re willing to give priority to?

Managing your new projects with your existing projects

Let’s say your idea passed all the checks, and you’re ready to bring it on board as an actual project.

Awesome!

Now it’s time to make sure that you’re managing all of your projects – both new and existing – most efficiently so that your new projects don’t take over your existing ones, and so that your existing ones don’t totally shut out your new ones.

Enter: a white board and Asana.

I use my white board to keep myself in check with the projects I’m currently managing, because let’s be real: sometimes we like to stretch the truth with ourselves, or we might simply “forget” about the big honking project we’ve already committed to.

With a whiteboard in place you can easily track and manage the status of your different projects visually with three columns:

  • To do
  • Doing
  • Done

So maybe one of your ideas didn’t pass the checks this time – toss it up under the “To do” section!

If it passed the test, but you’re not quite ready to dive in just yet – another “To do”.

Maybe you’re diving in TODAY, in which case you definitely want to account for it under your “Doing” section.

And done? Score! Congrats 🙂 It’s always a pretty awesome feeling to be able to SEE the progress you’re making.

White board: Check.

Now that you can clearly see every project that’s going on (or about to go on) in your business, it’s time to bust out those project management skills and get those bad boys broken down into individual steps and deliverable with the help of Asana.

Here is the project plan I put together in Asana for The Mastery Journal launch:

The Mastery Journal launch

I first made a list of the overall categories for deliverables I knew we needed to hit, like having The Mastery Journal printed, getting the page published in Kickstarter, creating the digital files, having images that we could share, and so on.

Then, within each of those categories for deliverables are the specific steps necessary to hit that deliverable.

For example, in order to have our Kickstarter page published, we needed a video (that smiling face belongs to Brandon T. Adams), pledge levels (put together by our very own JLD), creating the overall page layout (that’s our design pro Brandy Shea), etc.

By moving my project into Asana I’ve given myself a dashboard where I can sort and organize specific tasks and due dates, attach files and reference materials, and assign individual things to team members involved.

If you’re in charge of managing a project – whether it’s on your own or with a team – some type of project management tool is absolutely necessary for ensuring your project is managed properly.

Why I recommend Asana so much is that it not only offers you the tools to be able to put a project plan together, it also helps remind you of important due dates and holds you accountable for doing what you said you were going to do (same goes for your team members).

Plus, with access to your own profile dashboard, you can see what it is you have coming due at a single glance (my favorite sort is by ‘due date’ so you know what tasks have priority over others):

project management in Asana

If you’re not currently tracking your projects using something like Asana, it’s going to take some time to populate the information, but let me assure you once you’ve done this, your ability to manage your projects will have skyrocketed.

Don’t be overwhelmed or discouraged by this move, either. Just take it one project at a time, one step at a time.

Once you have your project plans populated, you’ll be managing new and existing projects at the same time without missing a beat!

Next up in Season 6

Next up we’ll be talking about what to do when something goes wrong with your project.

The post S6E3: Managing new and existing projects at the same time appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2rgSdjv

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E2: How to get started and top tools you can use for managing projects

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Project Management

Getting started with project management can be overwhelming because you likely have loads of projects you want to start working on, but you’re not exactly sure where to start.

If this sounds like you, then you’re in the right place, because we’re about to break down exactly how to get started along with top tools you can use to help you manage your projects most efficiently.

So many projects, so little time

The first step to getting started with project management is taking inventory.

It’s likely that the reason you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t where to start when it comes to project management is that you’re trying to manage too many different projects at the same time.

To overcome this, you need to prioritize.

When you’re first learning about project management, it’s not about being able to manage five different projects simultaneously. It’s about being able to manage ONE project as efficiently as possible.

Once you know how to do it with one project, you can start to introduce other projects into the mix.

So start by writing out all the projects you’re currently working on, in addition to any projects you know are coming up in the near future that you want to get started on.

As you’re looking at all of the projects you’ve just listed, you can probably pick out a handful of them that are really important, and maybe even time-sensitive.

Hopefully this will be an easy step, and there’s one project in particular that just screams PICK ME! If so, great! That’s your ONE project you’ll focus on for now.

But if there are a few projects that all seem to be really important, then it’s going to take some digging to decide which one you’ll tackle first.

Some questions to ask yourself if you’re having trouble deciding which one project to focus on are:

  • Will this project directly help me grow my business?
  • Will this project directly help me generate revenue?
  • Can this project sit for 1-2 months without having a negative impact on my overall progress?

Be honest with yourself: not every one of your projects HAS to be done right now. Pick ONE, and you’ve just taken a huge step towards being able to FOCUS and get started.

Top tools for project management

Now that you have our ONE project you’re going to focus on, it’s time to start creating your plan of action, which includes specific deliverables and due dates that will lead you to accomplishing your project goal.

This is literally just sitting down and writing out the steps you know you need to take in order to make progress.

Don’t worry if there are steps along the way you don’t know yet. They will reveal themselves once you get started.

Now, let’s talk about some of the top tools you can use to make managing your project easier and much more efficient.

1. Workflowy

I use Workflowy for everyday note-taking, to-do’s, and creating checklists. But in terms of project management, I love using Workflowy to draft out the steps I need to take and create outlines that will help me understand what needs to happen first.

What I love about Workflowy is it’s so simple.

It allows me to free-flow my thoughts about how a project might be laid out, and then once I’ve drafted it I can then move the deliverables, specific steps, or the entire project into a more advance tool or resource like Asana.

Workflowy is also completely free and will synch up on your mobile device, so no matter where you are you can access your notes and outlines.

Click here for a user case to see just how powerful Workflowy truly is!

2. Google Drive

Google Drive helps me share just about anything with my team, which can be really helpful when it comes to project management. Because it offers living, breathing documents, you know you’re working with the most recent changes and can rest assured that everyone is on the same page.

3. Asana

Let’s get down to business – any project or task that’s going on at EOFire is in Asana.

This means I don’t have to guess at what my next most important step is, and it also means I’m not going to get off track when it comes to focus and productivity.

I use Asana to lay out projects (meaning, to establish the individual steps that need to happen in order for a project to go from start to finish), and I also use Asana to assign myself and our individual team members tasks.

4. Dropbox

Dropbox has come in handy for helping our team manage projects more than a few times. One specific example of how we’ve used Dropbox for project management is with The Freedom Journal launch.

Throughout The Freedom Journal launch we had a lot of moving pieces, a lot of different documents, images, and files, and a lot of different team members working simultaneously.

Being able to have a single folder where everything having to do with the project lived – and that was shared with everyone – made it super simple for our team to access the files they needed – when they needed them – no matter where they were.

5. Google Calendar

Google Calendar helps me in so many ways, but as it relates to project management, I use it to stay on schedule for hitting project due dates.

Now you exactly how to get started with ONE project, plus you have the tools to make project management easier and much more efficient! It’s time to actually start!

Next up in Season 6

Next up we’ll be covering how to manage new and existing projects at the same time.

The post S6E2: How to get started and top tools you can use for managing projects appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2r2RKRI

Latest EOFire Podcast S6E1: What exactly is project management and why is it important?

Here’s the latest Entrepreneur On Fire Podcast for your enjoyment!

Project Management

Project management is the act of creating and sticking to a plan of action, which includes specific deliverables and due dates that will lead you to accomplishing a goal. Project management sometimes involves managing a group of people who are all playing a role in helping you accomplish said goal.

As discussed in our Season 6 intro, while you may not realize it, you’re already practicing project management in your everyday life:

  • Have kids? You’re essentially a project management pro!
  • In charge of the shopping, cooking & cleaning? You know what’s up…
  • A responsible adult? Then project management is like your second job.

If you just stop to think about all the ‘projects’ that make up your everyday life, the act of managing those projects isn’t so overwhelming or scary anymore.

Things like planning out dinner, making sure you renew your driver’s license, filing your taxes, paying your bills, showing up to appointments you’ve made on time – these are all like mini projects you manage for yourself. You have a specific goal in mind, and you back into the actions necessary in order to accomplish that goal in a set amount of time.

Project Management for business

But for whatever reason, when you think about project management as it relates to your business, you suddenly freak out.

You think: “I’m not organized enough”, or “I don’t know how to do this kind of project”, or “Attention to detail just isn’t my thing”.

Guess what?

That’s okay.

Project management isn’t about being an organizational freak, or knowing how to do everything, or even about being super detail-oriented.

It’s about clearly defining your project goal, backing into the specific steps necessary to accomplish that goal, giving yourself deadlines, and then sticking to your plan.

Project management isn’t always that easy

As we get deeper into Season 6, we’re going to be talking about several different scenarios related to project management, because of course, it’s not always that easy.

Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by the entire process of having to plan, prepare and make sure certain things are in place in order for other people to do their part.

I hear you! A big part of project management is being able to manage yourself, along with the several other people who may be involved, and that can get crazy.

Or perhaps you’re finding you just don’t have the time or energy to work on the projects you’ve laid out because of all the other things going on in your life. Full-time job? Family responsibilities? Personal stuff that just keeps on popping up?

I feel that frustration, too, but I have some super simple things I do when this type of frustration creeps in that help me instantly breakthrough it all (hint: it has to do with admitting to yourself that you’re making excuses).

How about this one: you’re on the verge of burnout because “you have to” check out this brand new platform / tool / resource / software. “It’ll definitely help you grow your business”, they say.

Project management is also about being able to focus on the task at hand – dismissing distractions before they ever even become distractions so you can make progress towards your goal every single day.

An example of project management

Let’s look at an example of project management to make sure we’re on the same page as we kick off Season 6.

Several months ago we decided to move the Podcasters’ Paradise membership site from its current home (platform) to a new home.

As the manager of this project, I knew I had my work cut out for me – and also that there was no way I could go it alone.

It started with a goal

To move the Podcasters’ Paradise membership site to a new platform.

I do want to be sure and make a distinction here for how setting and accomplishing a goal is very different from managing a project that results in the accomplishment of your goal.

Beneath this “surface goal” of moving the membership site to a new platform, there was also a SMART goal. That SMART goal is what prompted this project.

This goal required a plan of action with specific deliverables and due dates

For this I used Asana to help me outline the individual steps necessary to complete these deliverables, along with due dates for each of them.

And I knew I’d need help with completing these deliverables

When it came to involving team members, I wrote out the specific deliverables required of each team member for this project and made sure to keep them up to date along the way.

If you’re not sure whether you need team members, or maybe it’s not clear who those team members should actually be, try taking a look at all of your deliverables and then picking out the ones you know you’ll need help with and you can go from there.

This project is still underway, and managing it hasn’t been easy.

Keeping track of all the moving pieces, making sure my team members are keeping up with their tasks along the way, and figuring out ways around some of the roadblocks and unexpected twists and turns that have come up has extended our timeline and interrupted work on other projects.

But being a good project manager also means you’re flexible, and that no matter what comes up along the way, you’ll find a way to continue moving one step closer to accomplishing your goal.

So here’s what I hope you’ll walk away with today now that you know exactly what project management is: I really want to stress how important project management is to your business.

Project Management is important because…

Project management is what will help you start:

  • Being in control of your time;
  • Making progress towards your goals;
  • Feeling excited about what you’re working on; and
  • Getting quality work done that matters.

…and project management is also what will help you stop:

  • Wasting time on tasks that aren’t moving the needle;
  • Feeling depressed about where you’re at (or not at) in your business; and
  • Second-guessing whether you’re working on the right things.

Next up in Season 6

Next up we’ll be covering how to get started and top tools you can use for managing projects!

The post S6E1: What exactly is project management and why is it important? appeared first on EOFire Business Podcasts.

       

 

 

from EntrepreneurOnFire.com | Inspiring interviews w/ today’s most successful Entrepreneurs http://ift.tt/2pXbNBK