One of the most common concerns that business owners have when it comes to getting their podcast started is: ‘Will I have enough time?”
The thought of fitting ONE more thing in to their already hectic schedules can seem impossible.
So this week I wanted to share an article that is still as relevant today as it was when I wrote it a few years ago, to ensure as business owners we’re constantly focusing on the RIGHT activities in our business.
The activities that’ll help us build our visibility and reach and generate more opportunities and ultimately customers.
Because often we’re not.
And, podcasting is one of those tasks, that when produced strategically and with purpose, it can deliver HUGE benefits and opportunities for you.
So, if you’ve been struggling to find time to get your podcast launched, hopefully today’s article will help you free up time so you can focus on getting your Thought Leader Podcast produced and out into the world.
Do you struggle to “find” the time to get everything done in your business? The to-do list of a business owner can certainly seem never-ending as there is always something to do.
Creating and launching your programs; marketing; writing articles and blog posts; working with clients; business development; social networking; administration; filing; speaking to prospects; presenting; attending networking events; sending out invoices; paying bills; updating the website; and on it goes. Can you relate?
A quote I read once that completely shifted my thinking about time was by Charles Buzton, where he said:
“You will never ‘find’ time, you must make it.”
It was after reading that quote I took a step back from my business and re-evaluated my entire approach to how I was managing my time.
Not only did I look at HOW I was managing my time but also WHAT activities I was spending my time on. Because, I can become easily distracted, especially with bright shiny new objects, or social media, so I knew this was super important for me.
The results were surprising. When looking at the tasks that were keeping me busy – I realised these activities were not business development or income-generating activities (such as marketing and product/program development) but were administrative duties that I should have been outsourcing.
I knew something had to be done to prevent me drowning in administrative and other activities that were keeping me stuck working ‘in’ my business.
Here’s an exercise I used to help me get clear and focused and that allowed me to make time to start working ‘on’ my business.
I encourage you to complete this exercise as well, as not only will it help you make time – it will help you make time for the IMPORTANT tasks that will help you reach your business and income goals, much faster.
Step 1: Draw a table with three columns.
Step 2: List ALL of the activities that you currently do in your business in the middle column.
Step 3: Select 3 to 5 items (no more) from that the list that:
(a) Gets you closer to your prospects (and money), and
(b) Demands your direct involvement. .
Move these tasks to the column to the left. Label this column “My Unique Talents”.
For instance, marketing is a function that is very important and something that I know requires my direct involvement. This includes writing articles and blog posts and networking online through my social network platforms.
These activities are what will get me closer to my prospects and therefore demands my direct input. And, as these activities exude my ‘brand voice’ and involve direct communication and interaction with prospects and clients, I would not consider outsourcing these activities.
Step 4: Review all of the things that are still in the middle column and move them over to the right hand column. Label this column: “My Support Team”.
Here’s a portion of what my list looks like:
As you can see for me, the only things I want to be doing in my business involve:
- Interviewing guests
- Content creation (requiring my expertise and my Brand Voice)
- Client work | Training | Workshops
- Relationship Building
Making time to work on business building activities is vital. Therefore all administrative and other tasks that do not require your direct involvement or expertise should eventually be outsourced to your support team.
If you are not yet in a position to afford a support team, I recommend allocating 10-15% of your income to put towards hiring staff. That’s what I did when I first started my business. Then when I was ready to hand this over to a team member, I created a step-by-step instruction sheet which explained the exact process they were to complete.
Here are two of my other time saving ‘productivity’ tactics to ensure I remain focused and productive:
Batching & Blocking
I learned these from several of my mentors.
Batching similar tasks together and blocking out time in my schedule to ensure they get done.
Studies have shown that batching and working on similar tasks will enhance your productivity, in comparison to constantly switching between tasks. Each time you need to change your focus, you become less productive.
Here’s a snapshot of what batching and blocking looks like for me, with some of the ongoing tasks I know I need to focus on:
- Monday is my creativity day where I’ll spend time creating content. Whether it be articles, social media posts, creating my next course – this gets scheduled on Monday when I’m rested from the weekend. Monday’s are therefore constantly blocked out in my calendar for creating content.
- The last week of each month is where I schedule all of my own podcast interviews and podcast interviews for my Alliance partners. Therefore the last week in the month is blocked out in my calendar for podcast interviews.
- Following up and building relationships with prospective customers and referral/alliance partners is imperative, so Friday mornings and Wednesday’s are blocked out specifically for meetings. Friday, are my 15-minute ‘Get to Know You’ Chat and if I believe I can support this person, I’ll schedule them in to a longer call on Wednesday’s.
- My Mastermind Training and Coaching calls, as well as my Podcasting With Purpose Alumni Calls are scheduled for Fridays, with the entire year blocked out.
These are just some of the ways I batch and block out my time to ensure I’m creating an environment in which I can be the most productive.
Document and Streamline Systems & Processes
After recognising I needed support, I began to document each of the tasks I was doing in a step-by-step training/systems document, which I handed off to my team.
It was one of the BEST things I could have done and it is something I still do today. [In fact, I’m now in the process of creating a central Training Hub and Company Hub, using Google Sites, where all of our systems, processes and staff training materials will be stored and made available to my team].
If a task is repeated in my business, I document the steps, set up a Process Document and hand it off to one of my team members.
Here’s a snapshot of one of the Process Documents I’ve created for one of my podcasting administrative team members:
The rest of the document outlines HOW to complete each of the steps in the Process.
Creating and maintaining these Process Documents is a continual process, however well worth it, as it means I can continue to work on the things that matter most in my business.
Let me know what you think? What tasks will you commit to delegating to your team, to free up time so you can focus on what matters the most in your business AND begin to work on getting your Thought Leader Podcast launched?