Your Critical 4 Hours

I started my first service-business by taking out a loan. I borrowed $39 from my mom to have t-shirts and hats made with my logo screen printed on them. I had just created J-Bon’s Helping Hands, a domestic and professional cleaning service and had partnered with my sister. We were working for $8 an hour for people and we’d split the money in half after each job. I remember that was the hardest money I ever worked for in my life and made a promise to myself that I would never again take out a loan to start a business. 

Fast Forward 10 years and I found myself borrowing money against an old truck I owned. I needed some seed money for inventory for my Mary Kay business and with $1,000 from the bank I had enough product to get rolling with customers. That loan was paid off in a few months and I was given a life-time of training from the systems Mary Kay Ash used to train her consultants. I will be forever grateful for the training programs, the upline I had and the work I put into helping women look and feel better about themselves through self-employment. I was able to pay off the loan and made so much money that my husband and I took a 30-day trip around the US in our RV after 18 months.

It was through these businesses and 12 others that I learned how important systems are to your sustainability in business. Business owners are highly creative problem solvers and artists, although they may not see themselves that way. Many solopreneurs flat out told me they weren’t artists, but when I saw the problems they were solving I had to disagree. They were amazingly talented, gifted people and it was because of their mental gifts and physical adaptability that they needed to work at a side-hack. Why? Because working a full-time job keeps food on the table but is not enough to keep their minds engaged.

As a solopreneur, we wear many different hats as we run our business. It is important that you pay special attention to your calendar when you’re setting up your week. Remember that old adage, “Know the difference between ‘Working IN’ your business and ‘Working ON’ your business?” As a young business owner, I heard that statement a lot from the top salespeople of the day, Brian Tracy, Earl Nightingale, and Lloyd Conant. As I tried to decipher what this meant, it would take me 7 years to understand the difference and it would revolutionize the way I thought about my business and the way I would run it.

These Critical 4 Hours that I am sharing with you are the core of “Working ON” your business. This time that you spend each week on your business is what keeps you profitable and keeps a steady stream of new prospects, clients and customers walking through your doors or messaging you on your phone. It is the organic way to build a business and it allows you to continue to live a high quality of life without your business consuming your every waking hour. Isn’t that why we got into business in the first place? Because we wanted a different life than the one that was presented to us? Right. So let’s get onto the 4 Critical Hours a Week that are required to keep your business in a slow, but steady growth phase.

 Prospecting (Hour #1)

Every week you need to spend at the minimum, one hour on the phone talking to people you know. This is not friends & family, these are business people who need to know what you are doing. Call folks up that you know and ask them how they are doing, what’s new in their lives and start building relationships with them. This means taking the time to listen to what’s new in their world and finding out where your business, product or service can do them the most good. You’re taking the time to hear them out on what they are distressed about so that you can recommend either your own company’s services or someone else that can assist them. These prospecting calls are all about listening and using this sentence a lot, “Tell me more.” 

The more you know about what your prospects needs are the better suited you are to recommend and time a perfect, custom-made solution for them. 

Follow-Up (Hour #2)

During your second hour a week, this is where you are following up with the prospects that you called two weeks earlier and they may have asked you to call back later or they weren’t ready to speak with you about your particular offering. By taking an hour a week to follow up with people from previous phone calls and emails, you’re connecting with them much more frequently than previous business professionals.

Connecting (Hour #3)

This hour a week is where you write notecards to all the prospects you’ve spoken to on the phone. It is here that you thank them for whatever assistance they have given to you or your mention how you were thinking of them on this particular day and you wanted to drop them a quick note so they have something other than bills in their mail box. Direct Mail is an amazing way to stand out in your particular field especially if you include an article or picture of something that reminds you of the most recent conversation you had with your prospect.

Training Yourself (Hour #4)

This is probably one of the most neglected aspects of time that solopreneurs need to spend on their business. That is on self-development and training. Be sure that you are continuing to stay up-to-date in your field as well as reading the latest articles and trends on your area of expertise. This is what makes you particularly valuable to your clients and customers.

By taking the time to work “on” your business these four critical hours a week you will notice your income increasing as you move through your contacts in your address book, LinkedIn profile and Facebook friends. It is important that you continually reach around to people to let them know that, yes, you are still in business. 

Yes, you are interested in what they are doing in life and 

Yes, you are still here to be of service to them and their communities in some way. 

To learn how to download your Facebook Friends into a .csv file for your prospecting –>> Click Here