Surviving entrepreneurship can at times feel like a 3-ring circus. Here to offer valuable insights on managing the ups, downs, and sideways turns of it all is guest expert, JP Jones, who will be sharing her survival strategies with us over the next 4 weeks. Thanks JP!
If you’re a business owner, most likely there have been days when you were ready to grab your big shoes, a colorful wig, a red nose and go running off to the funny farm. Deadlines, clients, commitments, time constraints . . . sound familiar?
Running a business often feels like an extended act in a Ringling Bros. Circus—the big question is which circus act are you?
If you’re like me, most of the time you feel like the juggler—a million balls in the air and running out of breath to catch them all and throw them again. Your clients (or customers), on the other hand, might remind you more of the circus clowns (don’t tell mine I said that!).
While I could tell you it gets easier, I think that strong entrepreneurs really simply learn to thrive in that environment. Throughout this series of articles over the next four weeks we are going to explore four dilemmas every entrepreneur has in their business circus—and how to over come them.
1. Tame the Lion: Manage Projects—Don’t Let Them Manage You!
There are many books written on the subject of Project Management, there are even people who have made a profession out of managing projects for others, but every entrepreneur quickly learns that they must pick up the skill of efficient project management if they wish to succeed in their industry.
As we’re juggling tasks in our every day life as business owners, it’s easy to fall into the trap of allowing your projects to manage you. Hint: It’s supposed to work the other way around.
So when you’re drowning in a flood of tasks that are vying for attention what can you do?
Start by determining which projects are actually time sensitive. Something you will quickly notice from those “clowns” around you (I mean customers!) is that everyone’s project is more important than someone else’s. Don’t believe me? Just ask them!
It is your duty to truly determine what projects, tasks and decisions are actually priorities. Remember that you see the big picture where everyone else only sees a small part. Don’t be afraid to re-prioritize your tasks and projects when new information is received or another more-important-task comes through your pipeline.
Some say, those that can do, those that can’t delegate. But it’s imperative to your success that you become the best delegator you know!
Make a point to delegate tasks that can be accomplished by someone else. Trust me, there will always be plenty of things that ONLY you can do! Don’t make the mistake of trying to do everything. Many entrepreneurs find themselves in the black hole of “I have to do it all”. Depending on the size of your company you may have trouble finding someone to delegate to. If that’s the case, begin looking for more help! From internship programs to volunteers or part-time positions find someone to help with the workload. There is no end to the creative ideas you can generate and incentives you can offer for new help when you put your mind to it!
And finally, dictate. For those of you that thought this would involve speaking into a recorder I hate to disappoint you. But, for the sake of ‘getting-it-done’ our dictate refers to communicating with your customers, clients, employees—or anyone waiting on a reply from you—about the status of their projects and their new priority on your list. In most cases, even if the task isn’t completed, this communication will put the other party at ease and as a result removes some of the pressure from you!
Watch for next week’s post where we will continue juggling our way to success with our second dilemma and solution— Flying High on the Trapeze: Control the Email Crisis.
JP Jones wears many hats. Among them are graphic designing, web designing, social media marketing, teaching, book publishing, blogging and writing. The author of “Market Yourself: A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media”, JP is the owner of Paige1Media & Paige1Publishing, a graphic design firm and publishing company that work with domestic and international clients on projects ranging from basic logo development to magazine and book design.
Her firms are contracted in joint venture with Collipsis Web Solutions, LLC. which handles Web Design and Development for clients around the world. Jones has also served as an adjunct instructor and guest lecturer for universities and conferences. Jones has had the honor of winning over 100 awards for her design and promotions work over the years. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 101 Female Bloggers to Watch for 2010 by Women’s Entertainment Magazine.
Jones has been designing professionally for over 9 years and immerses herself in the current trends and technologies emerging in the industry. Staying on top of technology is her job. Teaching it to others is her passion.