Category Archives: Women In Business

7 Tips to Consistently Grow Your Small Business

7 Tips to Consistently Grow Your Small Business

By | Empowered Women, Successful Women, Woman's Finance, Women In Business | No Comments

While we would all love a get rich quick scheme that actually worked, the truth is that for entrepreneurs, consistency is key.

Showing up, doing the work, and doing it well is the only way to grow sustainably and ensure that you can continue to be your own boss long term.

However, for many women entrepreneurs, it’s not that simple, is it? You have lots of other commitments, possibly including children and a spouse, you have financial obligations and contracts to fulfill each month, and you have meetings and requirements for your time that all pull away from your ability to focus on growth and strategy.

These are 7 ways to grow your business with persistence without sucking up all of your time, money, and energy.

  1. Schedule time for the big picture regularly. Pick a time on your calendar weekly where you can sit down, undisturbed by distractions, and think about where you’re going and what actions you need to take to get there.
  2. Know your finances. By getting a firm grip on your expenses, profit margins, and cash flow, you’ll know where you should focus your time, energy, and investments.
  3. Set macro goals and micro plans. Many entrepreneurs feel bogged down by marketing plans. They tend to be big and unwieldy and change-resistant. Instead, try making small action plans for today or this week that work toward the larger goals you set during your big picture planning time that we talked about in Tip 1.
  4. Enable your team to help you grow. If you have contractors or employees, think of them as assets to help you either multiply your growth or stunt your growth. The choice is yours. Communicate to team members that you want them to help you spot areas where you can improve or grow, and then give them incentives to help you reach your goals.
  5. Encourage repeat customers. It’s common knowledge that people who have bought from you in the past are much more likely to buy again from you in the future. And yet, many of my clients aren’t focused on nurturing those relationships because they are already thinking about getting the next customer or client. Have a protocol to offer them VIP packages or one-on-one services regularly because engaging them is key to your sustainable growth.
  6. Keep learning. Successful business owners take time regularly for filling in their knowledge gaps and continuing to get smarter about running their companies. Whether it’s taking an online course, working with a coach, or attending a conference, keep investing in yourself.
  7. Change directions consistently. While showing up and doing the work everyday is the most important thing, if you don’t have the right strategy, you might as well be hitting your head against the wall over and over again. During your regularly scheduled planning time, take a look at where you might need to change course. This does not mean reinventing your whole business model. Simply pinpoint what’s not enabling growth and fix it. Then fix it again if you need to until it works.

By implementing these simple tips, you’re going to feel a shift in both your stress level and the level of growth you have the ability to achieve.

For more on financial freedom, make sure you follow me on Facebook.

To your life without limits,

Elena

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5 Ways to Feel in Control During Tax Season

By | Empowered Women, Successful Women, Woman's Finance | No Comments

For many entrepreneurs, taxes are scary. You don’t want to be audited, it’s tough to get answers to your questions, you’re afraid of how much you’re going to owe, and the bottom line is… this stuff is not why you started your business in the first place.

However, if you want to keep your business and keep making money, it’s absolutely essential you get smart about taxes. By taking a few simple steps, you can feel knowledgeable and in control when tax time rolls around.

  1. Know the tax structure for your type of small business. Most small businesses fall into one of the following categories, each of which has its own tax forms and considerations. These link to the IRS forms for each:
  1. Make Bookkeeping a Priority Throughout the Year. Just by keeping regular track of income and expenses, you take half the stress and headache out of taxes. Use online bookkeeping software to make it easy on yourself like Freshbooks or QuickBooks. If you keep books on your computer, make sure you back up regularly.
  1. Be prepared with quarterly estimated tax payments. Sole proprietors, partnerships, S corporation shareholders, and self-employed individuals, are required to make estimated tax payments if you expect to owe $1,000 or more in taxes when you file your return. After estimating the amount you will owe for the year, and dividing that into four separate payments, you file electronically in April, June, September and January, in addition to your annual filing the following April.
  1. Get employees and contractors ready. First you’ll need to know whether you have employees or contractors. If you have any of either, you must have an Employer Identification Number, and your contractor must have completed and filed a Form W-9. Set those up at the start of a contract relationship when you have them sign your agreement, so that it’s in place before the end of the tax year. Then, you’ll need to file a Form 1099-MISC (in most cases) for contractors.

Read more about taxes when it comes to employees.

  1. Keep track of business expenses. By simply keeping records and receipts for the cost of goods sold, your capital expenses and your personal expenses for business purposes, you’ll be ready to zoom through everyone’s favorite part of filing taxes – your deductions! Try one of the handy apps out there for keeping receipts like Shoeboxed. Remember to keep those files for at least three years in case of an audit.

Taking these five steps, you’re taking nearly all the stress out of taxes. You’ll feel prepared and know what you’re getting yourself into before tax season arrives.

If you’re still stressed by accounting, record keeping, or taxes, you can always contact me. I’m here to help you achieve financial success!

To your life without limits,

Elena

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how to make decisions

How To Make Decisions | 7 Steps

By | Successful Women, Women In Business | 2 Comments

making decisions

It’s amazing how we can think we are making a decision to create a life of our dreams but in reality we are not moving any closer at all.

Is now the time that finally happens for you?

Many times we tell ourselves we will, “do ___ next week.”  Something like, “I will start my diet next week” or “I will start my business when I have more money.”

It feels like a decision but in reality it’s not a decision or commitment at all.

It’s a way of pushing our own dreams and goals aside.  A decision can’t be made for some time in the future.

A true decision and commitment can only be made for today.

A true decision requires a commitment and action steps that you make today from where you are right now, that you take today to move you closer to what you desire.

No matter where you are, what you’re doing, or what resources you have or feel you don’t have there are always actions that we all can make from right where we are, to begin to create the life we desire.

 A true decision starts today and shows up regularly on your calendar!

If it doesn’t have action steps that start today and show up regularly on your calendar it’s only something you are thinking about, dreaming about, but not something will truly occur in your life.

 Here are the steps to create any change you desire in your life,

  • Start with a true decision.
  • Ask yourself, “what action step can I take today?”
  • Write down any and all ideas that come to you – don’t stop until you have at least 20 ideas. Let any and all ideas pour out of you and onto the paper even if they don’t seem possible or logical. Just keep writing all your ideas down.
  • Choose which ideas resonate with you.
  • Prioritize them.
  • Set time aside each day and put them on your calendar.
  • Make a commitment to maintain the decision.

What decision are you not making that if you did make that decision you know it would radically change your life?

When is the right time for you?

 

To Your Life Without Limits,

Live a life without limits

Elena & Jean

 

P.S.   Feel free to share this post with your family and friends. In fact we love it when you do! 

 

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how to be productive

How to be Productive, NOT Busy

By | Women In Business | 5 Comments
637f8d55aaefbae9bec85d3a50b4f81aDoes this sound like you?
At the end of the day you’re often frustrated with your lack of progress on your always-growing to do list, but you’re busy and you feel like you’re getting stuff done, but in reality you’re just spinning your wheels – not really getting anywhere.
 
Let’s look at how easy it is to become stuck on the hamster wheel of busy-ness ::
 
Suzy works all day in an office as a Business Analyst but dreams of quitting and helping bloggers create incredible sites through branding and graphic design. So, she spends every spare night and weekend dedicating herself to her passion, her purpose; but she feels like she’s not getting anywhere… Night after night she sits down at her desk planning on writing a new branding eBook, or drafting a flyer to hang in local coffee shops; however, when it’s time to pack up and go to bed she realizes she didn’t start either! Instead, she was stuck in the never-ending loop of emails, web surfing, social media and planning.
 
Even though she’s “working” she’s not actually creating anything :: she’s reacting, not producing.
 
Does this sound like you? Don’t feel bad if it does! It used to be me and truthfully, the trap of busy-ness can still hit me today.
 
But being aware of the trap and knowing how to get around it can help you go from overwhelming busy-ness to kick-ass productivity.
 
1. Transition your mindset and your energy
 
In between events, projects, responsibilities, meetings, etc. it’s important to cleanse your energy and prepare your mind for the next project or task you are going to be working on.
Try this :: Close your eyes, take in a deep inhale, fill your lungs, hold for just a moment, then exhale forcefully through your mouth. Do this 5 – 10 times to help you clear your heart, mind and energy.
 
2. Declare your intention and goal
 
Know what you’re hoping to accomplish at this exact moment. Whatever you choose – working on a new project, answering emails, marketing – write this down on a sticky note and attach it to your monitor, somewhere you can see it.
This will help you use your time effectively because you will be focused on one
 
3. Clear away any and all distractions
 
Now that you know what you are focusing on it’s time to de-clutter and create space so that you can concentrate and give 100% of your energy, attention and passion into your goal.
This means :: closing out of your email, turning off your phone (or at least put it on silent), asking your roommate/children/partner to give you some time to work, and create.
 
4. Use a timer to keep yourself aware of your progress
 
Seems simple but using a timer is really helpful; especially for those that feel like the day just disappears!
Set your timer for 15 – 30 minutes (depending on how long you’ll be working) and every time it goes off use it as a quick check-in to make sure that you’re still on the right path. If not, gently re-focus your attention. Then re-set the timer for another 15 or 30 minutes, and keep using these check-ins throughout your day and night.
 
5. Take breaks. Seriously.
The only time you should keep working is if you’re in the FLOW :: if you’re so absorbed that you’ve literally become one with what you are creating – then you have my blessing to keep going!
But if you’re just working like normal, it’s actually better to take breaks to let your mind, your eyes, and your body rest. Take a short walk, brew a cup of tea, do some jumping jacks or flow through a couple sun salutations – anything to get yourself UP and away from your desk.
 
Do NOT check your email or go on any social media during this time. A break is a time to rest, reflect and re-energize :: none of which happens when you get sucked into Facebook or your inbox.
 
6. Give yourself a pat on the back
 
When it’s time to close down for the night think back to all you were able to accomplish and give yourself a little pat on the back. Seriously! And if you ended up folding laundry, walking the dog, making dinner, helping a friend in a crisis, or anything else that took you out of the productivity groove it’s still important to realize and appreciate all of your hard work.
You do a lot every single day and you should thank yourself every single night!

Erin

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Erin is known for her radiant energy, bright smile and willingness to get real.As a writer, life coach and Reiki Guide Erin is dedicated to supporting people in their journey to find clarity, direction and happiness. After moving past her own barriers to happiness she knew that she could help others though the same mindful yet bold approach she used to create a joyful, engaging life. Just recently she launched a video series: Creating Careers of Purpose that runs every Friday.

She believes in the importance of community, connection, compassion, and a good cup of coffee. 

Connect with her at Creative Soul in MotionErinMadore.com, through Twitter, and Facebook.

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Redefining Work Life Balance

By | Personal Growth, Women In Business | 5 Comments

38913984251524879_Jri11jid_cFor the last five years it’s been impossible to turn on the TV or radio without hearing about the state of the economy :: the fiscal cliff, Greece barely avoiding bankruptcy, the drop of the Euro, etc, etc, etc.

Yet there isn’t a lot of talk going on about fulfillment, engagement, purpose. If anything it’s the opposite (other than here on Live a Life Without Limits).

The main messages I hear right now are ::

“Buckle down, save, save, save.”
“Be happy with the job you have.”
“Think of your retirement.”

It’s as though most of society is saying that now is not the time for dreaming, believing, wanting more. And I get it, the economies of the world aren’t doing so well – not at all.

However, responding to these challenges with scarcity and fear only breeds more scarcity and fear. Isn’t it the time to be creative? Think outside of the box? Create some work life balance? Isn’t our conventional and traditional way of thinking what got us into this mess to begin with?

I say it’s time to declare a new way of thinking, a new way of working, of living. It’s time to put the focus back on individuals and communities; rather than relying on the government and big businesses to make everything better. I’m not letting anyone of the hook, I am merely calling for more personal involvement. A revolution of careers and work life balance.

Rather than working for the weekends, learn to love the weekdays.

“Everybody’s working for the weekends.” Isn’t that how the song goes? Seriously though, when did it become okay to merely survive 5 days out of the week just so we can enjoy the other 2 days?

Try taking back the week and finding joy regardless of what day it is. Make Mondays movie nights, Tuesdays date nights and Wednesdays spa nights. Rather than putting off all the fun for the weekend, have fun every day; hopefully then, Mondays won’t be as bad and you won’t count the hours til Friday afternoon.

Rather than putting off your dreams – make them part of your daily life.

You don’t have to quit your day job to live your dreams. Love to paint? Take an art class on the weekends. Always wanted to start a band? Start looking for a drummer today. Love to make jewelry? Spend a couple hours every week stringing beads.

Get creative with your time and focus on bringing your passions into your life.

Rather than planning for retirement – live right now.

It’s still important to save, but why be miserable now just to be happy in twenty years?

Embrace the present moment. Live each day to the fullest. I’m not saying throw away all your life savings at Vegas one weekend, but what about taking that trip to New York City you’ve always dreamt of, or the Grand Canyon, or just going out to that new restaurant you’ve heard about. Spend your money on what you value and you’ll find that you can save for the future and still enjoy today.

Rather than ignoring the part of you that wants more – honor it.  

Fulfillment, happiness, adventure, excitement, satisfaction. They’re not off limits even though it might feel like that.

Wanting more doesn’t make you selfish, ungrateful, unrealistic or a bad person. My favorite quote is by Helen Keller, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing.” Don’t feel bad for wanting more out of life; instead, do something about it.

Live the life you want to live!

We’ve been programmed to think that there is only one way to make money, one way to be successful, and one way to balance work and life. Whenever someone breaks free form this mold they’re warned about the high possibility of failing. But what I see is the risk of failure everywhere – you can fail by staying in the same job for years, by ignoring your talents and passions, by putting off happiness.

Where there used to be a division, I see a unity :: Work and happiness can go together. Abundance and creativity. Planning and living. Responsibility and adventure. Balancing work and life. Stability and excitement.

You don’t have to give up one for the other, even though that’s what mainstream society wants you to think. Instead, you have the ability to create a life that makes you happy and successful – I assure you, they can go hand in hand.

How can you bring more joy, purpose and fulfillment into your life? I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to create your dream life if you really try.

Leave us a comment below we would love to hear about your work life balance. 

By: Erin Madore

 


undefinedErin is known for her radiant energy, bright smile and willingness to get real.

As a writer, life coach and Reiki Guide Erin is dedicated to supporting people in their journey to find clarity, direction and happiness. After moving past her own barriers to happiness she knew that she could help others though the same mindful yet bold approach she used to create a joyful, engaging life. Just recently she launched a video series: Creating Careers of Purpose that runs every Friday.

She believes in the importance of community, connection, compassion, and a good cup of coffee. 

Connect with her at Creative Soul in MotionErinMadore.com, through Twitter, and Facebook.

 

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