Trading hours for dollars in your professional service business will never bring you wealth or freedom.
How can you make more money and have more time off?
My seven step success plan to enjoy your business more, work less, and boost your bottom line gives you a clear path to follow to get you on the road to financial independence.
If you want to start making a lot more money and enjoying more time off, it takes more than a good idea, luck, or hard work. Practice the following seven steps every day, and you’ll be well on your way to perpetual prosperity and true enjoyment in your business.
Step 1: Develop a Big, Compelling Vision
Create your big vision of what you see is possible for your clients and for the world. Dream big about how you can make a difference with your talents. Be willing to play a bigger game. Write down your vision down and imagine yourself living it. Feel the feelings, emotions, and connections as if it were already happening. Then, share your vision passionately with others.
Step 2: Create a Plan
Develop a simple plan to guide all your actions and a strategy to achieve your vision. I encourage all my clients to create a simplified marketing plan that covers all the basics – the who, what, where, when, why and how. Be very specific about your objectives, the targets you want to reach, and timelines. Reward yourself when you achieve any milestones.
Step 3: Shift from the Role of Service Deliverer to Business Owner
Once your professional practice is established and you have all the clients you can handle, you can increase your income while working fewer hours by increasing your rates. Then, begin to change your emphasis from being a practitioner to a business owner. Determine how you can leverage your time and talents by developing processes, by systematizing, automating, and slowly replacing yourself by delegating. The ultimate test that indicates you are a true business owner is that you can step away from your business and have it operate without you.
Step 4: Identify Your Top Priorities
Know what your most important action items are to achieve your objectives. Have an intention each day for what you want to accomplish. Start each day with your number one priority. Get ruthless with your time and focus only on those activities that you have identified as important. Drop or delegate all the rest. Stay focused on your plan and avoid distractions at all costs.
Step 5: Pay Very Close Attention to How You Spend Your Time
Notice the tasks you are doing throughout your workday with the intention of keeping your focus on income producing activities. Put a dollar figure on your time. For example, if your hourly rate is $150, ask yourself as you notice yourself doing any menial tasks or spending too much time checking email, “Is this activity I’m doing right now worth $150 an hour?” Find ways to delegate the lower value tasks and activities that aren’t your strength so that you can focus entirely on what you do best. Learn to be ruthless with your time, energy, and focus.
Step 6: Identify Everything That Is Holding You Back, and Get It Handled
Make a list of all the things you’re doing that you shouldn’t be doing. I call this my ‘not-to do list’. Make a second list of all the things you know you should be doing that you’re not currently doing. This would typically be things such as active marketing activities, getting out and connecting with people, giving talks or speaking engagements, hiring support staff, planning for growth, and creating products that complement your services.
Now list all the reasons why you’re not currently as successful as you might be, and get those items handled. List any beliefs that might be getting in your way. Examples could be, “I don’t know enough to be successful”, “Financial success means hard work and no time for me”, or “No one would ever pay me top dollar for what I’m offering”. Make your own list. Question those assumptions and replace them with the truth about who you really are right now, the strengths you have to offer, and how people would really value you.
Step 7: Enroll Support
It’s impossible to achieve a big vision alone. Your earnings will be limited if you try to do it all yourself. There is lots of free and low cost support available to you, so there is no excuse for not getting help. Find a mentor or a business support group. Create your own virtual board of directors. Start or join mastermind success team. Delegate administrative tasks to a bookkeeper, personal assistant, or virtual assistant. Hire a business coach.
You can make a real difference and have meaning and financial freedom in your professional practice. Success is not a matter of working harder, but rather working smarter. Follow this seven step success plan to easily double your income and double your time off.