The most common question I get asked is hands down, "how do you do it?" And I will be the first to admit- having 5 kids under the age of 6 and running a business and attempting to maintain a healthy marriage, friendships, volunteer in my community, etc. is hard work. I don't have a secret formula answer to this question, but what I often share is that I make time for what is important, and I am disciplined about what doesn't get my time. Jamie at the Poptart Diaries wrote an awesome post on this topic and Iw as thrilled to be included.
Here's the thing- I think we are capable of more than we think we are- and while we shouldn't compare our thresholds with other people, I do think it's healthy to examine ourselves so we can perform at our best to deliver the best for our families, our work and our communities.
If you are trying to figure out what should really get your time, here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself to discern how you can have the greatest impact and ensure your time is best spent.
1. WHAT AM I REALLY GOOD AT?
I have written lots about Strengths Finder because it was really a pivotal tool for me in figuring out what I was best at so I could have more joy, work less hard and complete things in less time. Once you take it, as my friend Lisa Ferguson of Strengths Mentor suggests, reverse engineer things from your strengths. For example, analyzing my strengths led me to realize I can provide a lot of value through consulting as I use 4 out of 5 of my strengths in a 2-hour consult! So I reverse engineered so to speak and dedicate more time to this part of my business to ensure I can help more people in this manner. I also examined what I am terrible at- and I basically outsource as much of those things as possible.
2. WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY I AM GOOD AT?
Ask around. As part of a business coaching program, I asked 20 people via email the first 3 words that popped into their heads when they thought of me. The answers were really fun to examine- and surprisingly (or not surprisingly?) there were a few obvious patterns that emerged. If you're not sure what you're really good at, or what strengths you naturally possess that you can't see yourself- ask around.
3. WHAT DO I STAND FOR?
This is a great question to ask in general and was one that really challenged me in a recent course I just completed called B-School, by the fantastic Marie Forleo. What do you stand for? What would you fight for if given the chance? What do you wish everyone knew more about or could experience? The simple question of what do you fight for is a provocative one- and can be significant in examining how you spend your time.
4. WHO DO I WANT TO HELP?
This goes beyond who your target market is- it really is a deeper question than demographics. Who can you, with your unique gifts and talents, genuinely help? Who can your personal stories uplift and connect with? What can your experience, your failures and your triumphs teach someone else? While we all want to run profitable businesses, helping people is truly at the core of successful ones. Someone I think does this well is Michael Hyatt. It's pretty apparent in his podcasts how much he cares about his tribe. Find your tribe. Love them hard.
5. WHAT WOULD I DO IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT?
If you could do absolutely anything without any concern for making money, what would that be? Would it contain elements of what you are doing now? Why or why not?
Finally, i stumbled upon this image on purpose and it is too good not to share (vie IttyBittyBookCo).
So good, right? Love to know if these questions strike a chord with you, or if you have any questions you would add!