The challenge with time for an entrepreneur is not the fact that there are a set number of hours in a day, but priorities. Most entrepreneurs mistakenly focus on three main priorities:

The focus on easy

· They focus on immediate

· They focus on what other people want

I find that the majority of entrepreneurs I encounter who complain about the lack of time and overwhelm spend their day taking care of email, answering questions, paying bills and problem solving immediately when someone asks them for help. They exhaust themselves with running errands, ordering supplies, updating their website or blog, social networking, answering the phone or texting.

Are You Spending or Investing?

Entrepreneurs do all of these different activities that keep them really busy. They think they are doing the right thing when they are actually spending their time rather than investing their time.

The activities I just listed are, for the most part, things that do need to get done, but if you give them priority and allow them to run your day, then you are always going to be reacting as opposed to being in control.

Most of those activities are not income producing. When an entrepreneur focuses her or his time on non-income-producing actions, it creates a lot of stress. That is because the time is being spent instead of being invested. The way the time is being spent is not paying off financially.

Entrepreneurs are a different breed of people

We tend to have a sense of urgency. Whatever is right in front of us feels like the most important and most immediate thing to pay attention to.

Entrepreneurs also tend to be very caring and giving. We want to help people. That is why we do what we do for a living. If someone asks for something, we tend to make that request a priority. We are always happy to help somebody else out immediately, even at great cost to ourselves.

The problem is if that is how you spend your time, projects that could have the most impact on your business are shoved to the back burner. No wonder you feel stressed and like you never have enough time.

If this is true for you, then this article is going to help make a big shift in how you look at what you are supposed to be doing on a day-to-day basis. The solution may actually surprise you.

The Solution

Most entrepreneurs think that to make it all work, they have to work longer. They say, “I just need to get up earlier and get more done in my day. I need to try to cram more things into my day and work more hours.”

I am here to tell you that is not the solution. It will not help you create more income in your business or reduce your stress. If anything, it is going to reduce your income and increase your stress.

I am going to share with you the three most important things to focus on. Then I am going to give you some tips to get you started creating time to grow your business. For additional help implementing these tips, I highly recommend getting coaching, mentoring and accountability from a certified coach.

Let’s start with the three most important things that every entrepreneur must focus on to be happy and successful in their business.

· Focus on what connects you to potential clients

· Focus on what connects you to current clients

· Focus on what moves your business forward toward your annual goals

Most entrepreneurs mistakenly focus on the business they have instead of the business they want.

When you focus on the business you already have, you are just perpetuating what you already have. You are not really reaching out and creating anything new or exciting.

It is more that you are maintaining the status quo and looking at what is and how to keep it going versus asking yourself, “What is going to move me forward, grow my business, and what opportunities are sitting there waiting for my attention?”

When you focus your energy, intention and attention on the business that you want to have, all your creativity, actions and mindset are directed toward creating what you really want.

Focus on the Right Things

Answering email, paying bills, running errands, texting and those types of activities are not connecting you to prospective or current clients or helping you move your business forward toward your year-end goals. Those kinds of things are ways of spending your time.

You want to invest your time. For every minute that you invest in your business, you want to have a return on that investment. You want it to pay off with greater financial and spiritual fulfillment in your business.

Invest your time in activities such as speaking, creating joint venture relationships and following up with prospective clients. There is so much new business you can have by following up with prospective clients that it would blow your mind.

You should be writing thank-you notes, creating a new program or package, talking with past clients to reconnect with them, write a book, or a new free report or audio to give away on your website. Invest time on organizing your website updates, but do not spend time doing it yourself.

You can hear how each of those activities is focused on one of the three priorities.

Part of you might be saying, “Who is going to do those other things? How do I make this work? I’m on a budget. My business is brand-new. I haven’t been in business very long, and I need to get my next client in. How do I make this work?”

A Blow Your Mind-Set Shift

This is an opportunity for one of the most important mindset shifts that you can ever experience.

I am here to tell you with the voice of experience that you cannot have it both ways. You cannot grow your business into six figures, high six figures or seven figures, if that is your goal, and answer all your own email. You cannot grow your business to that kind of level and run your own errands. There are not enough hours in the day, and each of us does not have that much energy.

No matter what size your business is right now, you want to think like a million-dollar business owner. Even if your business is just getting started, you have been in business for a short period of time or you only have a few clients, thinking this way now is going to help you accelerate your success.

In other words, even if you are running your business from your kitchen table or have only been in business for a few years, by focusing your time and attention on the right priorities, you are thinking and acting like a million-dollar business owner.

You must start thinking like and acting from the business you want to have. Ask yourself, “What would the owner of a Hundred Thousand, or Million Dollar Business do about this?” Then take action with that mindset!

What to do, what to do, what to do?

The last tip I want to share with you on how to make time to grow your business is this; once you know which things to invest your time in, you need to know what to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Plus, you need to know what to do quarterly, every six months and annually in order to stay on track.

Most entrepreneurs make the mistake of doing the same thing pretty much day in and day out. They answer email and check their BlackBerry. They go to a few networking meetings and attend some tele-seminars. They do the same thing day in and day out, week in and week out.

They do not actually plan and have a system for saying, “What am I supposed to do on a daily basis? Within my day, what am I supposed to do first thing in the day? What do I save for the last thing in the day? What do I do on a weekly basis that’s going to help me move my business and vision forward? What am I going to do on a monthly basis to make sure that I’m on track?”

Pay attention to this

Without a clear list or chart of what you are supposed to do on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis, what will happen is that all those old tasks that you have already gotten in the groove of doing are going to tug at you. They are going to continually beg for your attention. Those tasks are familiar and comfortable.

Remember; most entrepreneurs mistakenly prioritize what is easy and immediate and what other people want.

When you focus on what is easy and immediate and what other people want, it only creates stress, overwork and burnout. You must organize your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual activities around the three priorities that you now know successful entrepreneurs focus their time on.

· Focus on what connects you to potential clients

· Focus on what connects you to current clients

· Focus on what moves your business forward toward your annual goals

First Things First

Here is a tip on how to start your day. The very first thing that you want to do on a daily basis before checking email, voicemail or the BlackBerry, is to set your marketing tasks. I recommend doing, as a minimum, one marketing task every single morning.

Do not try to cheat on this. Do not think, “Marketing is checking to see if I have any emails from my current clients that I need to answer.” That is not marketing.

By “marketing,” I’m talking about outreach. It is picking up the phone and calling someone to get a speaking engagement or explore having a new joint venture partner. It is writing an article and sending it out to a newspaper or journal that may publish it for you.

Those are the kinds of outreach activities that are highly proactive. You want to do those kinds of things every day, first thing in the day.

Reactive vs. Proactive

You want to avoid being in reactive mode. When you stop to check email or voicemail you are being reactive. That is reacting to what is coming in to you.

You want to be in proactive mode and send things out. You want to be the one making the phone call or sending the email saying, “I’d like to reach out and connect with you.” Those are the things you want to do because then you are taking care of the three main priorities that are going to move your business forward.

When you focus your time and energy this way, you are going to feel calmer, more relaxed and focused because you will be taking care of the most important tasks first thing in the day and they will be the things that actually grow your business and move you forward.

Ask for Help

Do yourself and your business a favor and ask for help! If you aren’t clear on how to accomplish this type of marketing calendar then I highly recommend you find a certified business coach to help you with the tools and design needed to specifically move your business forward and keep you accountable and on track.

Find a business coach and get the mentoring and the accountability you need to plan the primary activities of a million-dollar business owner: connecting you with prospective clients, connecting you with current clients, and doing the things that move your business forward toward your annual goals and vision.

Author's Bio: 

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