How to Grow a Business When You’re Short On Time

November 11, 2019

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Ever feel like nonstop work is the only way to get ahead?

Don’t believe the hype — hustling 24/7/365 is not the answer. Not only is it counterproductive in the long run, but it’s also toxic for your health, your happiness, and your business. 

Instead, focus on working smarter not harder. 

This is especially true if you’re an entrepreneur with limited time to work on your business. Learning smart, productive work habits can make you exponentially more effective. Plus, it can prevent the all too common entrepreneur burnout and help you create the work-life balance you need to stay in the game long-term.

This is such an important topic that, in addition to today’s episode, I also listed seven simple ways to start working smarter not harder — now.

But before that, tune in to this MarieTV Live Call-In Show to hear from three entrepreneurs who are ready to achieve their goals without increasing their workload. 

You’ll hear from:

  • Ewa, a cancer survivor who wants to reboot her business without sacrificing her health — and the productivity habits that can help anyone who’s short on time. 
  • Alex, a multipassionate creative entrepreneur, who wants to stay focused during dry spells
  • Geraldine, an artist and university teacher, who feels pulled in too many directions and needs help figuring out how to simplify her business.

All three of these women are incredible, hard-working souls who just need some simple productivity hacks and business strategies to get the most out of their time.

And if you’re really short on time, here are the episode highlights and their timestamps:
4:45 — How to practice self-care, even when it seems impossible. 
7:25 — Which metrics are actually worth tracking (and which are just wasting your time).
13:30 — My favorite go-to strategy for whenever business gets slow.
15:30 — Why there’s no shame in having a day job or side hustle — and how to know if you need one.
24:00 — How to simplify your business when you feel pulled in too many directions.

After you watch, be sure to read more tips below, and then join me in the comments!

7 Ways to Work Smarter Not Harder

1. Plan Your Day The Night Before

This five-minute habit is KEY to massive productivity. At the end of the day, take a few minutes to list the most important things you need to do tomorrow. Just look at your calendar and outline what you’ll accomplish when.

Seems simple, but it will save you a ton of time in the morning. You’ll already know what you need to do first, and you won’t waste those precious hours where your mind is most fresh checking your email, scanning social media, or deciding what you need to do that day. 

2. Eliminate Distractions

Studies show that most people don’t work a full-on eight hour day. In fact, if you break it down, many of us are only productive for two hours a day. Two! That makes the other six hours filled with distractions like social media, email, and cat videos. 

To quit your bad work habits, here are four ways to eliminate distractions right now:
1. Put your phone on airplane mode.
2. Sign out of Slack (or whatever messaging service you use). 
3. Close browser tabs you don’t absolutely need.
4. Complete one task at a time and stop trying to multitask. Yes, really.

3. Practice Daily Self-Care 

Preventing burnout is a must if you want to work smarter — and that starts by prioritizing your self-care. It doesn’t have to be complicated or take a lot of time. For example, I start my day with meditation, movement of some kind, and a green drink.

Figure out what you need to feel healthy and energized, then make those a non-negotiable part of your day. Not only will this minimize decision fatigue, but it will prime your brain to focus on accomplishing your biggest tasks first.

4. Choose the Right Metrics 

Don’t let vanity metrics like Instagram followers or YouTube views distract you from what’s actually moving your business ahead. Prioritize the numbers that translate to business growth — a.k.a. money! 

For instance, you can focus on the number of clients you booked this week, the size of your profit margins, or how much revenue you’re bringing in. Whenever it feels like you’re spinning your wheels, it’s time to relook at your metrics. Once you set the right goals, it’s much easier to create a plan of action.

5. Play the Long Game

Try not to panic during a business dry spell. Keeping a long-term view will help you stay grounded during the natural peaks and valleys, allowing you to make wiser, more intelligent decisions.

For instance, you’ll often hear me recommend side hustles or bridge jobs until you’re absolutely positive that your business can support you financially. This comes from my own personal experience, where getting my personal finances in order — including paying off piles of debt — allowed me to explore different passions and opportunities without risking everything.

One of the best ways to work smarter not harder is to keep the long view. You’ll be able to weather the natural seasons of life without getting swept up into those high highs and low lows. 

6. Ignore the Competition

Comparing yourself to others or trying to beat your competition is a self-sabotaging mindset. Why? Because it keeps you focused on yourself rather than on serving your customers. 

Let your big heart and commitment to serve be your biggest competitive advantage. 

There’s always going to be people looking for your unique selling point and there's more than enough to go around. Rather than getting caught up in comparison, focus on positioning yourself so you attract the right type of customers. 

This is incredibly important when you’re trying to figure out how to price your products or services. It's a race to the bottom when you compete on price. Instead, over-deliver on value and customer experience. Not only will you be able to charge enough to have healthy profit margins, but people will line up to pay those prices because of what you offer.

Never forget — at the end of the day what matters most is who you’re serving and whether you’re serving them well. Competition is irrelevant.

7. Simplify to Amplify

Finally, here’s a mantra I live my life by— simplify to amplify! It’s a philosophy of doing less to achieve more. Instead of trying to do all the things, choose a few and do them really, really well. 

This strategy will serve you for life, especially when it comes time to decide what services to offer. Whenever you feel overcommitted or scattered, take a look at your revenue streams and figure out what’s draining you — either emotionally or financially — and eliminate it.

Simplifying is almost always the answer if you want to decrease stress and fatigue while increasing results. 

We covered a lot in this episode, so I’m curious. What’s the biggest insight you’re taking away? You can have more than one. Leave a comment below and let me know.

Share as much detail as you can. Hundreds of thousands of souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone needs to see things from a fresh perspective.

Important: please share your thoughts and ideas directly in the comments. Links to other posts, videos, etc. may be removed.

Remember, you are your most important asset. Do what you need to do to protect your health and business from burnout. Because the world really does need that special gift that only you have.

With SO much love ❤️,


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