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A New Take on the To-Do List

Here is how I work: I will make a to-do list at the end of the day for what I want to accomplish the following day. A lot of people talk about making to-do lists, and I know there are a lot of mobile apps out there that can help you make a to-do list. I use a pen and paper.  I do feel that as scattered as my brain is, and as many things as I have going on, I have to, HAVE TO, keep a to-do list.  At the end of the day I will re-organize that to-do list to ensure that I am effective and efficient. It also helps me sleep at night. A New Take on Time Management : The New To-Do List Wikipedia’s definition of time-management discusses the origin and organization of your typical, as-you-know-it, to-do list.  “Task lists are often tiered. The simplest tiered system includes a general to-do list (or task-holding file) to record all the tasks the person needs to accomplish, and a daily to-do list which is created each day by transferring tasks from the general to-do list.” That said, I came across an article that talked about a new way to do, To-Do lists.  This author, Josh Linkner, The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation states that we should make our To-Do lists and break it up into three different categories:  More, Less and Stop. What Do You Need More Of? Under the More, “what do you need more of in your life”.  Where are your efforts that deliver the highest value.  These should be the items that you know you should be spending more time on because you are delivering the highest value (ie. Money, or simply you should focus more of your time and energy on this item because you value it).  For example, more strategy meetings, more coaching clients or more reading to your kids, more feeding your brain! What Should You Focus Less On? The second category, Less.  What do you need to spend less time doing?  Less time surfing Social Media, less time gossiping, and less time texting your friends.  Fortunately, I have no time for any of these but I do see a lot of people pissing away a lot of time.  I probably need to do less of the smaller tasks on my personal side and more of picking up the phone and calling prospects. Minimize Actions That Are Not Productive Third, what do you need to stop doing?  I thought this was really interesting, none of us really have a stop-to-doing list, as everything on our to-do lists is an actionable item, so on the stop is “what is unproductive”.  What are you doing that is unproductive?  You know what this is, it’s your excuse! What You Need To Do More Of: Maximize Your Time At the end of the day when you think “I should have called 12 more clients, stopped by 3 more offices…..”, “I should have scheduled more meetings”, “I should have read to my kids”… okay, great, what did you do that took up all your time that you should have not done?  Then write that down. For the first thirty days – I welcome you to the Hugo and Marie 30-Day Challenge – make three lists.  In order to produce the highest value, what do you want and need to do more of?  What do you need to do less of (which you know better than anyone else)?  What do you need to stop doing? Send us your list and your story and I will give you a free 2 hours of consulting!!! I would guess that the workflow would be that the “what do I need to do less of” would move to “what do I need to stop doing” and thus free you up more time for your more to-do list. Call it a hunch lol.

What Problem do You want to Solve?

When you are looking at starting a business, everything starts with a problem that needs to be solved, or a solution that has helped somebody do something. The Problem of The Massive Text To explore this, let us look at my life. To elaborate, in 2007, I had a family member that was running nightclubs.  It was their job to create the VIP list, fill it up, and get the “who’s who” in Minneapolis to come out and get them in the doors each night. Their idea was to send text messages to these people to get them to come out,  and they said it worked really, really well.  That said, they couldn’t figure out how to send a mass text message to everybody at one time. The first attempt was to try sending text messages by purchasing many mobile phones to connect to a special modem (remember the old modems that people used to use when “dial-up” was used for internet access? The idea/problem: They needed more people to come out to the nightclubs so they could have more sales. The attempted solution:  Sending text messages which got a reply and got people there. How to Start A Business That is how you start a business. Just try to apply the simple ideas. You need to get up and start thinking, “There’s got to be a better way,” “there’s got to be an easier way,” or “there’s got to be a more efficient way” if you don’t ask that question every single day. Back to the story, in the summer of 2007, when he said, “we’ve got to start sending text messages to increase business”, I asked him if he would like help getting that up and running and if I could take a crack at it.  He said sure.  After a year, our company uses opt to send messages to people. We still own that business now (part of it). Take whatever problem you see or that you may have that you want to fix and send that over to us.  Send us an email. We can help you dive into your idea. We will give you suggestions and help design a workflow on getting your project online. Win $1000 Now I will give $1,000 to anyone that submits a good idea we want to partner on.  Half the money has to be invested in the company.  The other half is just a reward to the person.)  So take a look around!  What problem can you solve? Check out the related post, “Do you have what it takes to start a business?”

Do You have what it Takes to Start a Business?

I have helped a number of people start a number of business. With a lot of them I become a partner in the project/business; Some are part cash and part equity and others are paid consulting work for me. My love and passion is taking an idea that a client has and helping them start that business.  So, what do I actually mean by, “do you have what it takes to start a business?”  I’ll give you a couple examples of how a few ventures have gone. Example Number One Two women approached me that were very, very good physical therapists and speech therapists.  They loved what they were doing, but they thought that the activities that the students had were very “blah”.  Whether this was in a rehab facility, at home for the parents to use, or at school for the teachers to use.  They thought, “what if we could create the activities, give them how-to-guides and package new items every month. This could really help the kids, the parents and be a game changer.”  The idea was to create a monthly subscription service with three categories, for teachers, parents and rehab staff and create a new box every month. Take It To The Next Level: Creating A Business I know nothing about the therapy world but I do know how to start a business.  I helped them take it from an idea to “startup stage”. We create a name, create a logo, create a brand, create a marketing plan, create a business plan (I hate that phrase of business plan, it was more of a road map). The business plan wasn’t the 30-100 page, it was a road map that included a break even on the monthly costs, how much each box could cost and at what point the business would be profitable.  The business plans I find valuable include what we want to do, the goals we want to hit, the reason why we are in business, our revenue model and the steps we need to take for each item  this will allow a road map for our MVP – Minimal Viable Product. From Zero To Sixty In 6 Months: Build Your Base The first step was to get the business established, the EIN set-up .  We set up the website and the eCommerce platform from WordPress and we used Hostgator and  for credit card payment processing Stripe. With this entity, we had turned it into a monthly subscription model where we would drop-ship “kits”. The kits included new exercises that the therapist could do to help their clients. It did not matter whether this was in a school setting or in facilities or to parents at home). We would drop-ship them a new kit every month, with fresh ideas!!  I even helped them get into a trade show; we got a backdrop, we had T-Shirts made, business cards and demo boxes (before we sold anything). We created a form for clients to register online while at the show and if they did not buy at the show we got them to give us there email for a chance to win a 12 month free subscription. It was a great way to build a base of followers. We rocked it out, we got 10 sign ups at the show which reinforced that they had a great idea.  We went from zero to sixty in six months to get this idea up and running and off the ground. Gaining Momentum: Stay On Board About 3-4 months into it, we had 20+ clients, we were building monthly boxes, working with vendors to get free products and started to help clients in Canada.  We had everything moving forward, and then – one of the partners said that they didn’t have enough “family time”. They said that they were spending all of their evenings on the business – shopping for the products and putting together the boxes.  I replied, “Yes, yes you are and you’ll also probably also be spending all day Saturday.”  This is how it goes when you start a business and you should be ready for that for 2-3 years of massive action and staying busy!!  After three-year if you’re not making money, it’s probably a good time to throw in the towel. Be Willing Sacrifice She wasn’t willing to make the sacrifices that is needed when starting a business. Some people just do not quite understand what it will take – they like the idea of starting a business, they like the idea of getting enough income to quit their job, they like the idea of creating something and watching it grow but when it comes down to it, they just don’t have the kahunas to make it happen or the timing is not right. In this case it was the timing, she has the motivation and kahunas to do it, it was just bad timing.  I am sure this person will try it again when their spouse is more behind them. Before you start a business and before you decide to quit your job – you should really take a “gut check” to be sure this is something you absolutely want to do.  That this is something that you have time to do and something that you want to make time to do. I Am Here To Help If it is a direction that you want to move forward in, you can always email us with your idea .  I’m here to help you get something off the ground. We’re happy to help!  Everyone is looking for motivation. I highly recommend the “Every Day is Saturday” podcast. This will help you get motivated to see if it would be the right fit for you. What ended up happening in this business is that the one women, the third partner, decided she had to go back to focusing on her family.  The other women has now taken it, adjusted a little bit, changed the company name and is now loving

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