these two questions will help you figure out the best way to grow your business

When it’s time to make an important decision in your business, it can feel like there are a million paths you could take.

The pressure to pick the right one is only magnified when that decision relates to growth.

That’s why I rely on two questions to help me weigh my options, and pick the right path forward for me. 

These are the same questions I ask my clients when they’re facing a growth-related decision in their business.

my biggest (and unexpected) challenge this month

Earlier this month, I experienced some unexpected scheduling challenges. My childcare fell through. Snow and ice forced multiple school delays. Then two surprising snow days cut my work hours in half. 

I honestly thought about calling those weeks a wash. But I also knew I had projects on my plate, clients to serve and commitments to keep. Plus, I did not want to sacrifice growth in my business because of a few unexpected time constraints.

So I asked myself, how can I get creative and make this work?

I realized that my only option was to get more comfortable asking for help. 

these small shifts will dramatically improve your schedule

If there’s one thing that threatens to drain your energy and makes it hard to find time to work on your own business, it’s all those appointments you have in your calendar.

Like most service-based business owners and online entrepreneurs, you’ve got sales calls and appointments and networking meetings and virtual coffee chats to juggle. And that’s not even accounting for the calls and appointments you have with your clients, students or community members.

It’s a lot to manage, and can send you straight into overwhelm.

But because those calls and appointments are necessary to keep growing and thriving in your business, the solution isn’t to get rid of them. (Plus, you enjoy them in moderation.)

The solution is to make small tweaks that will help you rework your appointment calendar so you can be more efficient with your time and create more space in your schedule.

want to reach your goals this month? Read this.

When it comes to setting goals, most service-based business owners and online entrepreneurs are clear about the outcomes they want to achieve.

Their goals often sound like this:

I will hit 10K in revenue this month.
I will double my email list this quarter.
I will have a full client load by the end of the month.
I will make 5K in passive income from my new course.
I will be a guest on 5 podcasts this spring.

These types of goals are called outcome goals, and they’re important because they define what you want to achieve.

But they have a flaw, which is to say that they aren’t completely in your control. Nor are they very actionable.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution that will make your goals more actionable AND easier to reach. You just need to start pairing your outcome goals with process goals.

how simplifying set Lyndsay up to scale to 200K this year

Business owners like you often tell me that you want to streamline your business so you can…

ditch the hustle and work less
stop wearing all the hats so you can get back to the work you really love doing
make more time to tackle long-neglected projects and create new revenue streams
create more space in your schedule to fit in that afternoon yoga class 
unplug long enough to enjoy a real vacation 

And, of course, it’s also about growth. Because you recognize that you can’t reach the next level in your business - and do it in a way that provides you with plenty of freedom and flexibility in your life - if you don’t streamline things first.

your systems don't have to be complicated

You might be among the many business owners who assume that the best systems are the most complicated ones.

You might also be thinking that you need costly tech tools to set systems up, which is why you think you need to grow more before you can afford to get systems in place.

I disagree. Strongly. 

Because while plenty of elaborate, expensive systems exist, the ones that I use to create the most organization, ease and growth in my business are simple.

why I let go of a big goal this month

At the start of a new year, it’s hard to be immune to the draw of goal setting, which is why you may have laid out some pretty ambitious plans for your business last month.

I know I certainly did.

In my case, I set a goal to start hosting a free monthly mastermind. The idea was that I’d coach four business owners on a topic related to simplifying their business, and give them tons of support in a single group session. It sounded fun, and I knew it would be the kind of high-touch experience I love creating for my community. So my team and I mapped it all out for a February launch.

But as the launch date got closer, I realized I didn’t have the bandwidth to host a monthly mastermind AND keep doing the things I was already doing to run and grow my business. Adding one more project to my plate was just going to push me into the territory of overwhelm, which never serves my business or life.

the real reason I simplified my business (it’s not what you’d expect)

If there’s one thing I deeply, deeply believe, it’s that simplicity leads to growth.

But I didn’t always believe it. In fact, my original reasons for simplifying and streamlining my business had very little to do with reaching the next level and EVERYTHING to do with my life. 

You see, I have two growing girls, and I wanted the freedom to coach their soccer teams and take them out for frozen yogurt after school. I value my relationships and my community, so I wanted to create flexibility in my schedule to volunteer at preschool on a Tuesday morning and join my husband for a coffee date in the middle of the workday. I’m also a health nut who has a hard time getting through the day without a sweaty run or strength training session, so I knew my schedule needed to include space for working out.

Put another way, I’m here to live a rich, fulfilling, expansive life – and I have always known that my business needs to support that intention.

what growth without overwhelm really looks like

You’ve heard me throw around the phase "growth without overwhelm" before. In fact, you’ve probably heard me say it many times over.

But you may have wondered what does that even mean

Because while growth without overwhelm sounds nice in theory, you might not be clear what it looks like in practice. 

So let’s unpack it and get you a clear picture of what it could look like in your business. 

Growth without overwhelm means…

this simple tool has brought in thousands of dollars in business

When it really comes down to it, running a business is a relationship game. It’s about the relationships you have with fellow business owners. It’s about the relationships you have with collaborators and referral partners. And it’s certainly about the relationships you have with warm leads and prospects in your business because they’re the ones that lead to growth.

The problem is that managing all those relationships – and all the details you need to remember about each one – can feel like a full-time job. So most of us end up neglecting those relationships and letting opportunities and potential clients slip through the cracks.

The solution? You guessed it: a simple system to keep you organized, and keep your business top of mind with the people who can influence your success.

Enter my outreach spreadsheet.

Want to be more productive this year?

As you go head-to-head with your new, 2019 business goals, you may find yourself wondering how you’re going to get everything done in the time you have available.

After all, if there’s one thing every business owner says they need more of, it’s time. 

So you’re probably thinking about your productivity, and how you can be more efficient and effective with your time as you work to grow your business and achieve your goals this year. 

I admit that I think a lot about productivity too. In fact, I’d say I’m a bit obsessed with productivity and efficiency in business – and, yes, I get that my interest in these topics makes me a bit of a geek. 

But I have a good reason for focusing on productivity. I’m interested in it because I know that your productivity has a big bearing on how much success you’ll experience this year. 

this is what I want for you in 2019

Right now, I hope that you’re getting ready to enjoy your holidays. That you’re planning on spending some time unplugged. That you’ve entered a season of slowing down so you can recoup and relax and unwind.

I’ll be doing much of the same this season – in fact, this is the last post I’m writing in 2018 as I’m taking the rest of the year off to enjoy winter break with my family.

But before I officially sign off for the year, there’s something I want you to know – actually there are a few things.

I want you to know…

my secret to simplifying ANYTHING in your business

As a business owner, you likely deal with dozens of things that feel overwhelming and time-consuming each day.

Simplifying all those things can feel complicated.

But it doesn’t have to be because you can simplify anything in your business, whether you’re trying to uncomplicate your marketing efforts, refine your service packages, streamline your customer experience or simplify your schedule so you can make better use of your time. 

It’s just that it’s hard to see how you can simplify things when you’re knee-deep in the trenches, running your business day-to-day.

Fortunately, I’ve created a process that will help you simplify pretty much anything. I use it with my clients, and you can use it too by following these three steps: 

ask yourself these questions before you hire a business coach

If I had to guess, about now, you’re probably making plans for what you want your business to look like next year. And as you do that, you may also be thinking about investing in a coach to help you reach your goals. 

If you are, I bet you’re doing your research and weighing your options. You’re asking for referrals. You’re considering the coaches you currently know of and checking out their web sites to see what they offer these days. 

In this stage of seeking support, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. After all, you have a lot of options to choose from and it’s not always clear which coach is the best fit for you. Alternatively, you may feel like too many coaches are a good fit, which leaves you with the challenge of trying to pick the perfect one. 

want to make your marketing feel good and easy? here’s how

Marketing your business can feel plain overwhelming. 

You’ve got to juggle your social media posts, your content, your outreach and your publicity efforts AND keep up with all the new trends and tactics. (You know, the ones the experts say you have to do if you want to be successful). 

It’s enough to drive anyone mad - especially when marketing your business doesn’t feel good or doable given everything else you have on your plate. 

Though it might seem impossible now, I want you to know that you can market your business in a way that’s completely manageable and that feels good. All you need is the right strategy for you and the right plan to keep you organized. 

this is how I only work 25 hours a week

I used to spend a lot of time working. I was the kind of small business owner who worked a normal 9 to 5 schedule, then padded those hours with extra work on the evenings and weekends. 

Part of the reason I put in so many hours was that I enjoyed my work. But if I’m being really honest, the other reason I worked so much is that I refused to bring on any kind of support in my business.

I was committed to doing it all myself and did not see a future where I delegated tasks in my business to someone else.

I simply didn’t think delegating was for me. I didn’t want to let go of control in my business. I didn’t want to bring on support and have it take away from my bottom line. I didn’t want to spend time finding people to outsource things to or figure out what I should pass off to them. 

don’t have enough hours to get stuff done? Read this.

A few weeks ago, I had a DAY. A day where time felt really hard to come by. A day where I was facing unexpected interruptions and limitations. A day where I was juggling a lot of demands. 

With all that going on, I didn’t have many hours to work. It would have been easy for me to give in to overwhelm and decide that productivity could wait for another day. 

But I knew that wouldn’t benefit my business one bit. So I did what I always do to make the most of my time on days when it’s in short supply. I got focused and maximized the time I did have so I could still move my business forward in spite of my constraints. 

you don’t need a business plan (but you do need this)

Last week, I was running through the forest and listening to a podcast interview when the host asked her guest, what is one thing you think every business owner needs?

Her response? A business plan.

That’s interesting, I thought. Because while I highly encourage my clients to plan for the present and future in their business, I never make them write a formal business plan. 

Formal business plans can require page upon page documenting every little detail of a business. They’re the kind of thing you present at an investors meeting to drum up funding. They’re what you bring to a bank to get a loan or what you present to a potential business partner before they come on board.

They’re useful and have their place. But if you’re a solopreneur or small business owner who wants to run a simple, sustainable business, I don’t actually think you need one. 

two unexpected benefits of streamlining your business

There are a lot of reasons to streamline your business but the biggest reason often comes down to money. 

Simply put, many of my clients hire me to help them streamline their business because they know they’re leaving money on the table. They know that opportunities to grow are passing them by. They know they could reach the next, more profitable level in their business but can’t figure out how to get there because they’re hustling too hard and in a state of pure chaos behind the scenes. 

So yes, money is a motivating factor.

But it’s not the only reason my clients want to streamline their business. It’s just the most obvious one. In fact, there are two other big arguments for simplifying your business that you may not have thought of yet – and that’s what I want to share with you today in this short video.