Month: June 2016

How We Help Career Pros Get Past Business Woes

When I started my own independent career practice back in 2008 I hadn’t yet forged a strong network to support me.

Looking back, I am amazed at what I was able to overcome and figure out on my own, but my journey of self-employment in the careers industry could have been much easier if I had reached out and asked for help.

Entering a new venture all alone was isolating and even overwhelming at times.  Every time I hit a roadblock (tough clients… business process woes… service uncertainties) I didn’t have anyone to bounce ideas off of or call upon for guidance.

I was simply unaware of the resources available; I didn’t know which people to trust, and I had a lack of confidence about reaching out.

Thankfully I got braver, smarter, more connected; and in return – my business started to thrive!

Over the years I’ve reached out to many career professionals asking for assistance or guidance. As my personal practice started to bloom and I identified solid solutions that helped grow my business – others started reaching out to me in return.  A lot.

Skye Berry-Burke has traveled a similar path.  She also started a practice, called upon others, and shared her expertise in return.  But the requests from our fellow colleagues have kept coming and the recognition for more ‘on-demand’ coaching and guidance was made clear to us both.

So together we formed CareerPreneur Partners.

Our service model is simple. When a wall pops up (a business challenge, an uncertainty, or an unexpected turn of events) you need someone to call on fast.  Yes, you can join a webinar, read a book, or ask people via email for help.   But often times you need more!

Fast, thoughtful, and customized help is what people want most…so this is what we offer.

Independent career pros have approached us with a variety of questions but some of the most common include:

  1. How do I get started in the careers industry? What do I need to launch my own successful business?
  2. How do I build up my credibility and attract and retain the right fit clientele?
  3. What methods can I use to better market my services and business?
  4. How can I better manage tough clients?
  5. Where do I go for ongoing resources and support for my craft and my business?
  6. Is there any advice you would give a new career pro just getting started?
  7. I can’t seem to get any traction…what am I doing wrong?
  8. How can I improve my skills (in resume writing, interview coaching, etc.)?

 

Can you relate?

One day a few weeks ago a career coach down in the US reached out to ask me for advice regarding a tricky client that she was compiling a resume for.  She felt that something was missing, but she didn’t know how to move forward.

We arranged a quick call, she laid out the challenge, and together we analyzed potential solutions.   In just 30 minutes she was armed with a variety of options that she didn’t have before.  She implemented and things were a success!  The weight of her worries was lifted from her shoulders in just one 30-minute call!

Regardless if you are new to the industry and seeking start-up advice or well-established facing tough business hurdles we all need a helping hand from time to time.

When those bad days and unexpected events crop up, think of how awesome it would be to simply pick up the phone and work through things with someone who wants to help.

Now you can!

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”- Helen Keller

 

 

Adrienne Tom is a careerpreneur, entrepreneur, mompreneur, and dedicated career pro. Learn more about her small business at CareerImpressions.ca  or reach out to her for careerpro support at: info@careerpreneur.ca

 

Increase Productivity With a Power Hour

Managing a business can be challenging as an entrepreneur. Even more challenging if you work from home. Careerpreneurs often ask me how I am able to deliver quality products on time, while still managing a busy family life with two young children under the age of 5 at home. The answer is simpler than you might think, and I have heard it dubbed the ‘Power Hour’.

This one hour per day is my secret to success. It provides me the chance to put all of my to-do’s into perspective, chart out my next day’s events and deadlines, and ensure that my month is still within my control.

Many people suggest that you implement this power hour in the morning, before you check any e-mail or start any real work. Others claim that taking this hour at the end of the working day is best.

I am here to say that it doesn’t matter when you schedule your personal power hour, as long as you make use of it at some point in your day.

Personally, I schedule my power hour from 7pm to 8pm every evening (I will admit this sometimes becomes 7:30pm to 8:30pm if my children do not want to cooperate!). The key here is that no matter what time I start, it is always in the evening, once my children are asleep and before I begin my TV vegging to end the day.

This late power hour works for me. I don’t have children in the background distracting me, my husband is running on the treadmill (his form of a power hour) and most of my clients have also ended their day.

The key for YOUR success is to determine what hour in the day you are ready to devote to organizational business management. What works best for you and your situation? What hour is the least distracting from outside forces?

 

What Do You Do in a Power Hour?

The answer to this question depends on what you want to accomplish. It is simply one-hour each day without any distraction from phones, voicemail, email, social media or family and friends – but that is devoted to your business and productivity management.

Maybe you have to write a post for your blog? Or you are working on a large project with a tight deadline? Perhaps it could be used  to start focusing on that book you have been meaning to write.

For me, it is one hour that I devote to concentrating on my business marketing and time management for family and work. My power hour happens in stages throughout the week.

Sunday and Monday evenings are devoted to organizing my following days deadlines, the week of deadlines, and the month of deadlines. This ensures that I do not over-book my calendar and that I maintain a manageable schedule with other family commitments. (And yes, I review my month ahead every single Sunday and Monday to verify that I haven’t forgotten an important deadline along the way.)

Tuesday and Wednesday evenings I am usually writing a blog post or gathering information for future blog posts. Thursday evening is reserved for social media planning. I read articles, share articles and try to gather engaging content to share with my followers.

I am a mom, so I take Friday and Saturday off to simply enjoy my family!

No matter what day of the week, I always set aside 5 to 10 minutes within this hour to write out the following days to-do list. I write down who I have to email, what projects are an absolute must to complete, what medical or school appointments there are; my plan for lunch and dinner, etc.

This daily to-do list is my Golden Rule of time management.

I have to admit that as summer comes, my power hour does tend to slip away from me (hey – I am only human and happen to love the warm weather as much as you do). But even when I forgo the power hour, I always take that 5 to 10 minutes to create my To-Do list.

 

All in Baby Steps…

You may not have a full hour to devote to yourself and your business just yet. But I highly recommend if you want to ensure no deadlines are missed, no appointments are forgotten, and dinner is on the table every night, a to-do list should become your Golden Rule of time management.

Take baby steps. Find 5 to 10 minutes every morning or evening to write out your to-do list. Slowly add 5 to 10 minutes more each month. In no time at all, you will find peace in knowing that your power hour has your business and life under control.

If you are like me, you might even find that you are counting down the minutes until your next power hour. It is rewarding to know that you are on (or ahead of) schedule and that you can tackle the next day of deadlines with ease and confidence.

Take charge of your life and your business with a Power Hour and the Golden Rule of time management: to-do lists.

 

Skye Berry-Burke is a careerpreneur, entrepreneur, mompreneur, and dedicated career pro. Learn more about her small business at SkyeIstheLimit.ca.

If you are seeking support with managing your time, business growth and productivity, or personal overwhelm, CareerPreneur Partners can help. Contact us at info@careerpreneur.ca

 

Photo Credit: Mathieu Nicolet (unsplash.com

Business Success: Slow Burn

The definition of success can vary person to person or business to business.

Eight years ago I decided to make the leap into entrepreneurship – with only minimal business management training.  But I was armed with an idea that I thought would work for me and my expertise, so I forged ahead.

Yet I was also a new mom so the time I could dedicate towards growing my business was limited.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to achieve the level of success I had envisioned for my new company.

In addition, I had only ever worked for others, and these organizations and bosses had established my working guidelines, helped define my goals, and rewarded me for ‘success’.

Now I was on my own to generate something successful.

I won’t deny it…the pressure was immense at the start and my fear of failure was great.  But only because I let it.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that because I was in charge (yahoo!) I could establish my own definition of success, along with a reasonable and achievable timeline for accomplishing it.

There was no need to rush things.  I wasn’t going to be an overnight success. I would simply work hard; stay dedicated, and let things progress in what I’ve come to term as the slow burn.

I’m proud to say that once I identified the option of a slow burn, I never deviated from it.

To me, slow burn means progressing your business at a pace that works for you. Not racing towards a so-called-state-of-success because someone told you to, or because you felt pressured to.  My guess is rushing won’t help.  It may even backfire.

So don’t rush.  Break down business goals into smaller, easier-to-achieve tasks.  Take small, focused steps towards completing plans.  Some plans may take days and some might take years, and that is ok.  What is right is what works for you. You define your success and you can shape and mould it as you grow.

And guess what.  By fostering small sparks and little flickers, a bigger flame will grow and burn. From a tiny spark can come a mighty flame:

Mighty Flame

 

I share this insight with EVERY SINGLE new business person that I talk to.  Especially when I see anxiety starting to creep in.

Breathe….step back…..it’s ok, you’ve got this… slooooow burn.

Just don’t let your spark go out.

——–

Adrienne Tom is a careerpreneur, entrepreneur, mompreneur, and dedicated career pro. Learn more about her small business at CareerImpressions.ca .

If you are seeking support with managing your time, business growth and productivity, or personal overwhelm, CareerPreneur Partners can help. Contact us at info@careerpreneur.ca