Organize and Prioritize

“First comes the thought; then organization of that thought into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in
your imagination”

~Napolean Hill

As entrepreneurs we are full of ideas! Our thoughts are often free-flowing and mind-blowing!!! Most of us also struggle with getting these ideas firmed out and completed.  If you  are like me, you have several brilliant ideas in various forms of completion.  You also then suffer with the disappointment of  not completing your idea or seeing someone else act on a similar idea first.

What I have found to be useful is keeping a “Project List” or “Pending List” in Excel. (Yes, Marian’s dreaded “Pending List” for those that have ever worked on a project with me!) I have found this list to be a great time and energy saver.

I create a list in an Excel spreadsheet.  I simply list the project and then keep track of the various tasks that need to be done. I make notes of dates, delegations and progress on each task or step if I have broken it down. This keeps notes and progress neatly in one place and easy for reference.  I then add my specific tasks to my daily “To Do” list and then move on. (I can also share the sheet with my team members so they can track progress or note their parts in a project.)

For example, if you want to create a newsletter for your team, you could quickly use the spreadsheet to organize your thoughts and the tasks involved in this.  By outlining what needs to be done, you can break it up into smaller, daily tasks and have a completed newsletter ready to send within your deadline. By letting the idea fly around in your head, chances are your newsletter will never get sent.

Using the Excel sheet also allows me to prioritize tasks and ideas using the A, B, C, D method of Steven Covey – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Take the time to organize and prioritize your thoughts and work. Your success depends on it!

What successful people do….

Great article on Fast Company — What Successful People Do With the First Hour of Their Work Day.There are great tips and book recommendations on how successful people start their day off most productively and the article is well worth reading.  However, as many of us are “work from home” and in direct sales, we often don’t have a typical work day and it is even more important to our success how we start each day – or work session – as I have come to call it.

Follow up and follow through to success.

Personally, after working from home for more than 15 years, I find I have many “starts” to my work day.  Those that do work from home and in direct sales are often working around other schedules — a full-time JOB, family, and other commitments. We start and stop our “day” sometimes two or three times a day!

I am often asked how I organize my work and time to be as productive as I am. This week, I will share some of the tips and techniques I have learned and even mastered over the years.

The first tip is one I posted as a comment on the Fast Company article.  I start each day with my “Follow Throughs.” I didn’t realize how important this was or even that I did it, until this summer during several coaching sessions I was conducting.  I discovered that many of the gals I was coaching were doing “follow up”…but failed to “follow through.”  They would call the customer as a follow up, but then took days to get the promised information to the customer if it even made it to them at all!

It is critical to get information over to your customer or prospective customer/client/hostess/prospect in a very timely manner! The follow up does little good if you fail to follow through with the items!

Each morning I check my “Pending List” (more on this later this week) for any items that need the follow though.  Ideally, I would complete “follow through” as soon as I completed a “follow up” call or action, but that is not always possible or realistic.  If it can’t be done, I make sure I do it the next morning (or work session).

For example, if I talked to a prospective hostess and told her I would mail out a packet, I would be sure this ready to go the next work session. If I was creating a Facebook Event for her, again, I would be sure this was completed the next work session or put on my “Follow Through” list for the day it is to be done.  Then, on that day, it is one of the first things completed.

By making your “Follow Through” a priority at the start of each work session, you are making the most of your follow up, building a strong business reputation and developing more success!


Vision Board Media

This week has already been a great week for positive online coverage of vision boards and their importance in goal setting and planning your future.  To make this coverage even better was the mention of The Vision Board book in one post and the second post being in Huffington Post, a mainstream online source.

Associate Editor Margarita Tartakovsky,, covered the aspect of visioning which many articles about vision boards neglect.  She also outlined the 5-Step formula author Joyce Schwarz presents in The Vision Board book.

For those who have attended my workshops or trainings, you may recognize the “mini board” exercise.  Visioning — getting in touch with your inner feeling or “heart’s desire” — is an important step in creating a successful vision board.  Paging through magazines quickly and pulling out the pages of images or headlines is a great way to get in touch with your deeper motivations in life.

Katy Hanley, Huffington Post

The second mention this week was by Kate Hanley, on the Huffington Post.  It was an excellent overview of why vision boards are important in seeing life goals versus just listing them with paper and pen.  I especially loved how she included having the physical presence of the board was important — don’t keep it online!

Hanley states “Putting together a vision board can crystallize the goals you’re already aware of and tease out the ones that are still in a formative state.”  I think she has summed up the visioning process of vision board making!

As a Certified Vision Board Coach, I am encouraged by the positive press and media coverage has been receiving over the past few years. Vision boards can be an important tool in achieving success in both life and business.

For those interested in learning more about visioning, vision boards and my training sessions please fill out the contact form.

Fall Forward — Getting ready for the harvest

As most of us are enjoying sunny days, it is not too early to be making our fall plans. One of the philosophies I coach on is that growing our business is like planting a garden….the seeds we plant now will be ready for harvest in 6 weeks. So, the actions we do now in August, will be the actions we are reaping from in September and October.

There are many actions we can do now that will build our businesses into the fall and even holiday season. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Connect with all the “summer friends” you meet and be sure to have their contact information and add them to your emailing list. You can also add them to your “friends” on Facebook and be sure they LIKE your business page.
  2. Think back to school — friends with children may be looking for extra income for the back to school supplies or a part-time job for when the children are in school so be prepared to talk about the opportunity.
  3. Back to school is also a time for fundraisers. NOW is the time to start making the connections to see who is in charge of various programs and be able to provide how your opportunity may be a perfect fit. (If you are too late this year, be sure to get connect information for a spring fundraiser or even next’s years event.)
  4. Yes…some people are already thinking Christmas and holiday shopping.  Again, your business opportunity may be what a friend or customer needs to enjoy a credit card free holiday.
  5. New fall catalogs are wonderful reservicing tools. Connect with all of your customers and be sure they know about your new products. Start booking September and October parties now.
  6. Fall and holiday events will start their search for vendors. Check out local events and see which ones are a fit for your product and opportunity.  Not every event is a fit. Choose the ones that will benefit you, your team and your business. (Watch for events posted on Facebook and even on Craigslist. Local Chambers of Commerce and Networking groups are a great source for event information as well.)
  7. Stay focused and do small, consistent actions every day!

Remember, it is easier to keep a rolling stone rolling than to start the motion over every day.  Choose just one or two actions to focus on at a time and complete that action before moving on to a new one.  With planning your fall, the follow through is just as important as the getting started!  Happy harvest!