Wednesday, May 27, 2009

When Family Visits During a Launch

Opus=Work * Vesta=Goddess of family * Ego=Self/Consciousness

There are many times when we do not have the option to say "No" to visitors. Usually this means family. My husband's Aunt is visiting and I love it when she comes. My girls just adore her and she always plays with them! She is a very interesting woman who has been working VERY hard the last 5 years on getting a center built in Afghanistan for children and widows. I'm amazed by her tenacity and determination in fund raising and in construction in a foreign country. I'm very proud to be related to her!

She's in New York to see us and timed it with a fundraiser that she is sponsoring.

The hard part about her visit and this is true with all visitors to my house - I want to make sure they have what they need, they are entertained and are having a good time. This can be stressful enough when we are not busy but add a launch and it becomes even more stressful.

There are many steps we can do to help the craziness and anxiety that can result --

  1. First, plan ahead and know that you will be limited on what you can accomplish when you have visitors.
  2. Pare down your to-do list and limit clients as much as possible.
  3. If you can reschedule, do it. Most people are understanding and flexible.
  4. Put in your gratitude journal that it is wonderful to have family and friends who care enough about you and your family to visit!
  5. Negotiate up front about expectations on their visit. If you have clients let your visitors know when you have to work with them. Make a calendar or list for them. They won't remember nor, do they have to remember. And your visitors are very understanding!
  6. Remind yourself as to why you are an entrepreneur - for the flexibility! It's amazing how inflexible we are when it comes right down to it - even though we SAY we want it...we most often have a hard time putting that flexibility into practice.
  7. If you start to stress out, journal your thoughts. It is an easy an quick thing to do. Stream-of-consciousness-writing. Just blurt it out. Once it's on paper you can get the feelings out and figure out what you want to do about it - choice 1: be upset about something you can't 100% control OR choice 2: Take a deep breath and enjoy the time you have with them.

The people in our lives are so very important. If you were on your death bed tomorrow, would you say, "I wish I spent more time working?" Be grateful for the time. It's sometimes hard to find the positive but not that hard! As an entrepreneur or sales professional you have to be an optimist or you will never make it!

As for my Aunt-in-law...I'm enjoying my visit with her and doing whatever I can to help her with her fundraiser. It's more fun and a nice break! My stuff can wait a few days!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Launching a Business and Learning Curves

Opus=Work * Vesta=Goddess of family * Ego=Self/Conciousness
It's interesting, when you launch a company, that there are many learning curves. There are small learning curves and large learning curves. One of the biggest for me, is technology. This blog is a learning curve! I know enough to get myself in trouble but not enough to do it all on my own. The trouble part is that I'm trying to do all the website work myself to save money. We are a small start up and a non-profit. Until we get going, there isn't a whole lot to go around. I end up spending a lot of time learning so that I can do it myself...for free. There are good parts and bad parts to learning curves.

Remember this: Time is Money!

1. Do you know enough to not waste time? I feel I can get myself into trouble but I try to ask for help as much as possible. This is not typical for me. I'm one of those that will sit with a puzzle for hours until I figure it out. I don't have time to do that now. I need to ask for help and I'm starting to do that.

2. Are there easier alternatives...for now? Sometimes we need to have patience. At this point, re prioritize and ask yourself, "What do I really need to make my client/customers happy?" or "What do I really need right now to be able to market myself."

3. Refer to a "to-do" list before you launch/open for business. Make sure you have your product and that you can deliver. Everything else will be done if you keep it in sight.

4. Don't let details be an excuse. I can sure get caught up in minor details, that I forget the big pictures. I can also be good at say that I can't do this or that because of this other thing. Get going on that product and when you start making some money - improve.

5. Launch small. If your learning curve is super great, don't promise what you can't deliver. Just be what you can be for now. The "big" can come later.

6. Prepare. Nothing says that you can't start pricing experts to help you when you have the money. The first thing Mary Ann and I will do when we start adding members is hire a web designer and maintainer!

The good part about learning curves is that I'm know very familar with web design, hosting, some html and other stuff - the great thing about that is I can talk to an expert without sounding like a complete idiot. We'll be able save time in the future because I understand more.

The other learning curve is accounting. I'm just doing my best and hoping that any mistakes are fixable! And I'm going to try real hard to not hand an accountant a box of receipts at tax time!

If you are launching and have any good tips. Share them with us! I hope you follow our blog - we're going to put tricks, tips and ideas up here on a regular basis. Plus, I'll share the BusiMom's Time Out on Monday's.

Cheers, Lorin

Founder, CEO, Entrpreneur & Professional Moms Association: http://www.epmassociation.org/
President: Opus Vesta Soulutions: Organizational Development for Small Businesses / Coaching for you, your family and your business: http://www.lorinkmask.com/

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Focus

Opus=Work * Vesta=Goddess of family * Ego=Self/Conciousness

I've had some trouble focusing lately. I have so much going on that my attention is too easily diverted. I wanted to write for the last few days but I couldn't figure out what I really wanted to write about. My mind was jumping from topic to topic to topic. Not a good read.

I sat down today, opened a word document and started to type words, not sentences, just words. This was the only way I could find a reoccurring theme to write about and it was funny what I came up with:

Focus

Or the lack there of -

Time is one of the biggest complaints I hear about a lot. Lack of time, time management issues, time goes too fast or too slow. No one is happy about the rate of things.

If we can not get focused then we loose time. It's something we can not get back once wasted.

Here are 5 tips for getting focused:

  1. Sit quietly for a couple of minutes and see where your mind takes you - go in that direction.
  2. Make a to-do list. Many times this will get me to prioritize.
  3. Read a book or magazine for half an hour. The FIRST thing you think of when you "return" is the first thing you do or give attention to.
  4. Call someone and tell them you are having trouble getting focused. Tell them to ask you questions. When they ask what kind of questions, say "any kind." This will get you thinking.
  5. Do what I did earlier - write words and see what the main theme is...that will help you go in a direction.

Wow! I was dreading this blog post today and it took me only 5 minutes to write it...now only half an hour to edit...lol

Have a great week, month, year, life! Come back! Oh, and I've posted my recent Entrepreneur and Professional Moms Association video for you. Don't forget to visit our website http://www.epmassociation.org/

Cheers, Lorin

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