It’s time to take back your time!

We send messages with every word we say and action we take.  The way you say hello, shake someone’s hand and even wave goodbye lets others form opinions about you.  The same goes for how you treat time. Whether you arrive early, on time or late says a lot about who you are and how you approach life.

So in the last blog post, we talked about Step 1: Assessing Your “Logistical Container as a way to have more control over your time.  Sometimes an easy tweak to your schedule is all you need. However, sometimes you need to poke a bit deeper.  If you have the structure set up, but you are still feeling rushed, listen to your Inner Leader.

You Inner Leader is that voice within who knows you all too well. She knows your strengths, standards, and your vision. She’s listening, absorbing and taking notes on the real you every step of the way. And when we are not tapped into her we can easily end up over thinking about what could have been and what should be.  And what you think becomes your reality.

When we are aware of our inner leader, and we listen to her, our thoughts are more aligned with our goals and our vision. We set boundaries that keep us on track. And we are more intentional with the way we interact with others. We stay out of the overwhelm and the drama that causes us to be late and feel rushed.

So how to do you tap into your Inner Leader so you send the right messages with more ease?

Connect to vision. 

 Your vision is your compass to step up as a leader and influence, as well as to be led and influenced, without veering off track. It is your destination for success.

And when you have a clear understanding of the success you desire in your life – both personally and professionally – you will more easily understand what it will take to get there. Not having control of your time is not an option when unapologetically moving toward your vision.

You may not have control over others’ opinions, but you do have the power to spend your time productively by living life aligned with your vision.  When you are in alignment, the messages you send will be too. Your inner leader will guide you if you let her.

To Your Success,

Christy Venza

Be a leader at work! 3 steps for creating the time to step up.

Are you ready to position yourself for leadership in your organization and industry? What about taking your leadership to the next level to be part of something bigger and have more impact?

If yes, then go for it!  We want to see you thrive and reach your highest potential in your career. We want to see you lead. The world needs intelligent and brilliant women, like you, to have a voice at the leadership table and create positive change within and outside your organizations.

But I get it. You catch a glimpse of your success, but at times it seems impossible to get there. You have children to care for, you are barely keeping up with your current responsibilities, and you don’t want to sacrifice more of your time only to be more overwhelmed and stressed out. I get it, believe me!

So this post is for those of you who are 100 percent committed to your success as a leader, and on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the most committed, you are a 10 to playing it bigger in your career and life and making a substantial difference in your organization and beyond.

If this is you, take radical responsibility for defining what success looks like to you, and then finding the time to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Here are three steps to help you create the time for your leadership (and life) success:

Eliminate the Non-Essentials

Think like a leader and lean into lean practices. Become unapologetic about letting go of the things that are not aligned with your strengths, interests, and vision. There is no time for people pleasing and making assumptions about your leadership journey. Evaluate what you have going on in your day and ask yourself whether it’s needed.

What processes, beliefs, and things in your career and your life are no longer serving you?

Eliminate!

Delegate the Non-Serving

For those chores and projects that are no longer serving you and cannot be eliminated, delegate. Successful leaders do less better. They “make work work for them”, a saying I love from Martha Higgins, a mentor and former boss of mine. You do not have to sacrifice time with your family, time to yourself, or time in general to be a leader.  Step into your executive mindset and delegate so you can spend your time in alignment with your strengths, interests, and desires.

Here are a few ideas to get you moving:

  • Do you have members of your team and staff who would thrive working on a project that you dread?  Think about what projects would turn out better if you were able to pass the torch.  When you transfer responsibilities from a place of value and win-wins, you will get positive results and more time.
  • Is it time to add a staff member who can take on a piece of the workload?
  • How about a personal assistant who can help you at home?
  • How much time do you spend cleaning your house each day? One, two, maybe even three hours by the time you head to bed?  Hire a cleaner to clean and organize your home. If this seems overwhelming then start with one or two cleanings a month, and use your time to be present with your children, to take care of yourself, and to focus on advancing your career.
  • Are you trying to make dinner, pack lunches, and “be” with your children, (while trying not to think about work) in the evening?  Order a prepared meal service a few nights a week to free up your time.
  • Is it time to have a conversation with your partner or spouse to set your boundaries for your workload at home?

How can you delegate more to make work and life work for you?

Automate the Possibilities

Now, take a look at what you have remaining and consider what you can automate. Consistency is key to success.  Automating comes down to time batching and time blocking.  What tasks can you group together to get them done more efficiently and with more ease?  How can you block your time this week so that you can make your schedule as consistent as possible? When you are scattered and sporadic in your working habits you use all your energy on the little things. When you automate you will have the energy and the creativity to step up and in when it matters.

What tasks can you automate so you can keep your energy high and focused?

Tap into your executive mindset and begin to think like a leader by eliminating, delegating and automating, and “making work work for you.” This is your opportunity to not only master your time but to create the space for your new normal as a leader.

To your success,
Christy Venza

7 Steps to Connect with Your Priorities

If you find yourself thinking about all the important things you have to do, with no time to do it, then it may be time to connect to your priorities by eliminating the distractions.

Clearing Space

As a minimalist at heart, I love clearing the space of the old, the worn, and the unused, to create room for what matters most at this time in my life. I also love returning “stuff” that is no longer mine and may have never belonged to me in the first place. This exercise can feel freeing, inspiring and energizing.

Clearing Tasks

However, I’m not talking about eliminating and returning physical items, I’m talking about clearing the tasks that are distracting you from connecting to your priorities, reaching your goals, seeing the bigger picture, and showing up as the woman and the leader you desire to be. I’m talking about creating a strong, clutter-free foundation on which you can stand firmly in your truth and your beliefs and speak with confidence as you flow forward into your vision. This foundation is clear of any expired tasks, ideas, and projects that no longer serve you or belong to you.

Energy Flow

Connecting to your priorities involves identifying where your energy is going now. Often times, even if we are aware of our priorities, we let the background noise take control of our energy.  By putting all of our tasks and thoughts on paper, we release our mind from being our secretary, we can look at our to-dos from another angle and we can detach from the stories we have created around them. This awareness is your first step to connecting to your priorities.

Here are seven steps you can follow to start connecting to your priorities and letting go of the distractions that are holding you back.

  1. Write down every task that is on your mind, both personally and professionally. When you are done writing take another minute to think other tasks that may have been buried for years. And then one more minute. What’s zapping your energy and you’re not even aware? I wonder just how long this list will get! Do not let this overwhelm you, write, write, write!
  2. Take a look at your list. What do you need to complete this week to reach your goals? Put these items in a column titled “A-The time is now”.
  3. What needs to be completed next week to reach your goals?  These go in column “B-Just around the corner”.
  4. What can you eliminate from your schedule? These answers will go in column “C-The Creative Space”.  Now, look at column A, B and all the remaining tasks in your list and ask yourself, what can I eliminate so I can spend my time on what interests me? Be creative in thinking how you can let go of a task. Can it be delegated to someone who has the time and interest? Can the process we automated? What conversations will need to be had? What boundaries will need to be set? And what tasks are simply no longer required? This column is called “The Creative Space” because the more misaligned tasks you can eliminate, the more creativity you can invite into your life!
  5. The remaining items go in the “D-The party lot.” These tasks will be hanging out in the party lot for two weeks until you revisit. No need to worry about them, they are in good hands and having fun! Focus your energy towards eliminating and prioritizing.
  6. Schedule everything. You can always change the timing if needed.  But your first step here is blocking out time on your calendar over the next two weeks.  Ensure that the items in steps 1 and 2 above are completed, as well as step 3 at first. The process of eliminating will require some prep at first. Schedule in your actions items to make this happen. Again, schedule everything.
  7. Set a bi-weekly tickler in your calendar.  For 30-minutes every two weeks (I recommend doing this at the end of each week so you are prepared for the week ahead) and run through the steps above. Be consistent.  This exercise will become more streamlined and effective.

Awareness is Key

Start here with this awareness. It truly is KEY to moving forward with a clear approach so that you can focus on building a platform for risk-taking, decision-making and communication and your overall evolution as an influential leader.

When you are clear on what energy drains can be eliminated from your mind, you create space for the priorities that will move you toward your goals. And this clarity is what leads to more confidence and connection in our conversations and messaging.

To your success,

Christy

A Businesswoman and Her Plan

Success is the result of a businesswoman, her drive…and her plan.

Even if you have a tremendous drive to succeed as an entrepreneur, if you don’t have a plan, in writing, your drive may take you, and your business, down a less desired path, or even worse, someone else’s path.

Your plan is a blueprint for YOUR destination. It is a solid framework for action as well as a place to anchor in and ground your decisions. And when you feel grounded in your decisions, you build confidence, which leads to trusting your ability to step up as the leader of your business and life.

Creating a plan is about taking the inspired action to get you the results you want, AS WELL AS acknowledging and embracing that not all parts of our business can be planned and sometimes the answer is in the unplanned.

Providing a framework to our business through a plan gives us the space for flexibility to weather the inevitable energy drains and the unexpected and course-correct when needed. 

What steps can you take to start building your plan?

Keep it simple and aligned with your business. There are over 100 ways to create a plan and there is no right way. Your plan will work for you. I suggest you start by writing down your responses to key foundational questions:

Why do you do what you do? What is your “Why” as the leader of your business and what is the “Why” of your business? Get very clear on the reason your business exists.
What is your long-term vision? Where do you want your vision to go? Be specific. In 5 years, how do you see your business operating and what impact is your business having?
What underlying values will be important to you and your team as you grow? (Trust, open communication, engagement, growth, organization, flexibility, etc… – what is important to you?)
Who else in the market is doing work just like you? Research their sites, their messages and determine how you are unique. What value are you giving your clients that others are not?
Who are you serving? Determine who you desire to work with. Who will receive the most value based on your experience, style, strategies, and services?  Get very clear on who your ideal client.   
What are your top three goals for the next 6 months? Get very specific around what these goals look like, what will you need to overcome to accomplish them, what resources will you need to make them happen?

Simply becoming more aware and intimate with your responses to these questions and putting them to paper will help you grow your confidence, give you a voice and prepare you for making the right decisions for you.

Your plan is a reflection of YOU and the creative leader within you. Let that shine through as you anchor in and confidently make the decisions that move your forward to your destination.

With a plan, you will be clear on your destination.

To your success,

Christy

READY TO BUILD YOUR TEAM?

Ready to build your team? Consider these 10 things.

When starting a business we often think we can do it all on our own. We believe we can create the results, find the success and make the impact we desire as a soloprenuer. So when the time does come for more delegation, expansion, and growth, hiring a team can feel like a nerve-racking task.  We feel like we don’t have the time. We think we won’t find the right people. We believe we are not capable of managing a bigger team.  And we begin to feel limited by this task of bringing the right people into our journey.

And in this time of growth and impact, whether you are just starting to build a team or looking to expand your existing team, staying “small and manageable” seems comfortable. BUT, we know that this is not your true desire AND you no longer let fear run the show. You are ready to bring the support, engagement, and ideas into your business that will bring you the success you desire. You are ready to grow your company.

So here is a look at 10 things to consider to effectively start building your organization:

Don’t Settle for Mediocre Talent.

It is never fun or cost effective to part ways with an employee. Check references and ask for samples of their work. Make sure they will fit into the culture and vibe of your business and with the rest of the team. This will require you to know what top talent means for you and the energy you want to bring into your team.

Start with a Trial Period.

Hire the potential talent for a small project to start. You will be able to get a sense of their working style and whether it aligns with the rest of the players. This will also allow you to measure if they are on point with deliverables.

Be Clear.

Send your new team members your vision, mission and business values and non-negotiable so they are aware of what to expect.  Having a simple plan to provide new team members ensures that everyone is on the same page and they can become familiar with the direction of the business.

Define Roles and Responsibilities.

Employees and even independent contractors need clear job descriptions that give them clarity around their role. This structure allows your team members to collaborate and generate content and ideas with more direction and intention. Team members will know just what they need to do to help you and your team move forward. When roles are clear, you will have a strong team.

Set the Tone for Open Communication.

In my opinion, nothing is more important for a long and successful relationship than open communication. As a leader, you set the tone for honest feedback, idea generation, personal responsibility, flexibility and trust. Set the tone with new employees by leading by example. Embrace open communication.

Check-In.

Schedule time in your schedule each day or every other day for check-ins, even if it’s for 15 minutes.  Be present with them and available or them. And understand the difference between check-ins and micromanaging. If you do have an above par talent, micromanaging can lead to frustration on both ends.  Trust that you are bringing capable and outstanding talent into your business and let them be the leader of their position.

Set Clear Boundaries.

Be up front about your expectations and the demands of your business, as well as the expectations of the potential team member. For example, make clear what you expect for turnarounds based on your business and whether this aligned with how he or she operates.

Be Flexible.

Effectively leading people will require flexibility on your part. Know when it is time for focus and results and when it is time for flow and celebration and respect that team members may not always be in the same mental mindset. Trust that your team members will make the right decisions. They are on your team. Also, respect their obligations outside of work and celebrate their big moments – birthdays, accomplishments and successes. Make them a part of your community by making them feel welcome, celebrated and honored.

Be a Leader.

Hold yourself to the same expectations you hold for your team. Respect your deadlines you have for your team members, stay aligned with your non-negotiables and values and keep your actions aligned with your mission and vision. The energy you put forth will be the energy you receive.

See the Value.

If you have a good, trusting relationship with a team member, value them. Often times as entrepreneurs and leaders we can be overly cautious about cost. After all, finances can be overwhelming, especially in the startup phase.  However, we can be on heightened awareness which can lead to micromanagement and frustration, and we can end up devaluing our team members.  Get clear on the scope of work, outline expectations and then let your team members work. Trust they are making the right decisions. Value your business by playing top dollar for more experienced team members and value them by letting them step up as the leader of their job.

Building a team is a great place to be in your business. Bringing on people who specialize in different aspects of the business – a media assistant, community manager, marketing specialist etc…will allow you to focus on what inspires and drives you. And when you are able to overcome the limitations you are feeling about growing your team, you can approach this process with the same energy and intentions you wish to see in your future team members. Grow your team with intention so you can grow your business to the place you desire.

To your success,

Christy

 

 

Take Back Control of your Calendar

Your time is precious. We all have 24 hours in a day and only get one opportunity to do the most with that time. So are you the master of your schedule, or are you a servant to your to-do list? Do you ever wish you could take back control of your calendar?

When you surrender control of your calendar and time, you are allowing others, and the non-essentials items, to determine your destiny. And often times this destiny is not aligned with our purpose and where we can be of most value.

Something to consider is how many times in a week you find yourself spending time on things that are not aligned with your vision. It is so easy to get wrapped up in a project or task that is “out of scope” and it doesn’t become a problem until we do not have the time to focus our time on what matters most.

So how often are you working on non-essential tasks? It is an important question to consider, because when you and your energy, goals, and desires aren’t aligned with your schedule, you will begin to feel the crash and burn, where you are not delivering, staying smaller, and not stepping up the leader of your business.  You lose momentum. To help you avoid that crash, or even better, to support you in stepping up as a leader consistently in your business, here are five steps that you can implement right now to take back control of your time.

Track Your Time for One Week

Tracking your time is crucial to determine where and when you are spending your time most effectively. Often times when we record our actions we find that we actually have more room than we think to work on the essential items. The goal here is, to be honest with yourself and to have a realistic snapshot of how your time is currently being spent. Get super clear on what is happening in your life daily. Do this for a week to get a good sample of your varied days. Although this may feel tedious, I suggest 15-minute intervals, because sometimes 15 minutes is all it takes to get the majority of high priority items done.

Evaluate the Results

Now that you have a good idea of how your time is being spent – evaluate. When are you most efficient? What decisions are you making and not making? How much time are you spending on the essentials items that are aligned with your vision and other items that are not aligned?

Make Intentional Decisions

With this clarity, now it is time to make decisions that will position you as the master of your calendar

1.) What you can automate? What can you schedule into your day and week on a recurring basis so that the task becomes automatic? What can you time batch and time block?
2.) What can you delegate? What do you not enjoy doing? Can you pass along tasks and projects to an assistant so that you can free yourself up for income-generating and aligned tasks?
3.) What can you eliminate? Are there tasks that no longer serve you? Can you let go of some projects? Where can you create space for alignment?

Create Your Ideal Schedule

By going through this exercise, you have created time to focus on what matters to you. So now it is your time to build a calendar that fits into your plan. Use this time to think differently. How can you shift your daily habits and actions so that you can be the master of your calendar and the leader of your business? You are in the driver’s seat and can determine how to best use your time.

Take it for a Test Run

Once you feel empowered by your calendar, take it for a test run. See what works and what needs to be adjusted. Know that this is always a work in progress, but YOUR calendar gives you the structure for more flexibility, growth, and success in your business, and in your life. Your schedule will be an adjustment and ever-evolving to your growth.

Becoming the master of your schedule. It is not about having a perfectly filled calendar and checking off the to-do list. It is about reclaiming your time and taking inspired action on those things aligned with your goals and your vision. And it is about making decisions that will propel you forward as the leader of your business.

To your success,

Christy