We ask the tough questions
You’ve got a free half hour during your work day. What do you do?
As a productivity expert, this is a tricky one to answer. Depending on my level of energy, I’ll either go for a walk to clear my head and relax or open up my to-do list and see if I can get a headstart on an upcoming project. Just 30 minutes of really focused energy can go a long way!
When did you know you wanted to start your own business?
Probably when I first learnt how to write and the first thing I wanted to do was come up with a ‘Family Times’ newsletter collating all of my family’s happenings on paper (my cousin’s broken leg, grandpa’s wheezing updates, you name it). I actually mailed it to my family members (for a price of course). The beginnings of my love for email marketing were born around that time!
What website do you find most inspiring?
I’m American, so I have to go with MarieForleo.com. She offers free tips and advice every week as part of her show MarieTV and it’s darn entertaining and inspiring for anyone who wants to do more of what they love but aren’t sure how to get there. She just believes in the good of people and the necessity for entrepreneurship, without being overly ‘rainbows and butterflies’. She keeps it real and anyone can relate to her pragmatic approach.
What’s the cheapest, most effective bit of marketing you’ve ever done?
Honestly, having lived in the US, Thailand, Singapore and now Sydney, I would say the same thing works across all cultures and walks of life. If you meet someone, SMILE, give a 15-second explanation about what you do and then show interest in them and what they do. People usually say to me, “Yeah, I know I should be more organised, but…” and I’ll do a two-minute coaching session with them on the spot to get them to do one action right away to make a small change. I think people just want to feel like someone understands their problems, can help them find a solution and shows genuine interest in their success. It’s not harder than that!
What’s the best thing about being a soloist? And the worst thing?
The best thing is being able to work when I have the most energy and rest and relax when my body naturally tells me to do so.
The worst thing, I’m not going to lie, is the lack of security you feel at the start. You’ve got to keep reminding yourself that if you’ve done work for someone else and gotten paid you can do it even better for yourself.
What would be your advice to aspiring soloists?
Even though you’re flying solo, you’ll need partnerships. You can’t really go it alone. Get in a mastermind group with people who can move you forward.
PS: get a solid sales process and whatever you can automate in your sales cycle, do so!
What do you love most about running your own business?
I love the fact that I can work from anywhere in the world. I just moved to Sydney from Singapore and thought, honestly, that the transition with setting up my business would be a lot harder. It was a bit like, “Awww, so really all I need is my laptop and myself to run the business?” I thought it was going to be more complicated than it was. It’s a good thing because it’s stopped me from coming up with excuses and I’ve just had to get on with it straight away.
If you could pick anyone to be your personal assistant, who would it be and why?
Definitely my local barista at Belaroma! He makes amazing soy lattes.
What’s your number one tip for overcoming procrastination?
I literally say to myself, “What impact will putting this off have on me?” and write down at least one thing on scrap paper. It sounds silly, but writing down the consequences that not doing something is going to have on me is super powerful (I’m a really visual person). Reading that I’ll be losing income or jeopardising a relationship with a valued client helps me to buck up and suck it up – usually it doesn’t take long to just get something done.
Oh yeah, and tip number two – when you’re starting a project, list all the steps you can think of first and potential obstacles. This process can help you to realise that (a) it will be easier to lump it all in one sitting or (b) you may need to extend your deadline to realistically deliver something.
Do you have a designated ‘work’ wardrobe?
Black cardigan and black pants, paired with a coloured top is standard. That seems to be the Sydney staple outfit!
And now comes the plug!
What do you do? Who for? And how does it benefit them?
I help business owners free up more time to do more of what they love. I use a combination of ready-to-go solutions and consulting to make change happen fast.
And where can we find out more?
- Flying Solo Directory: www.HappilyOrganised.FlyingSolo.com.au
- My website: www.HappilyOrganised.com
- Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HappilyO
- Facebook: www.Facebook.com/HappilyOrganised
- Pinterest: www.Pinterest.com/HappilyO
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