Most entrepreneurs spend the first 12 – 24 months of owning their own business feeling like they are crawling with a big anchor attached to their foot – progress seems VERY slow. The frustrating thing is that you can “see” what big success looks like but between learning what needs to be done and doing everything on a boot-strap budget (aka it’s just you trying to get everything done) – progress appears to be limping along at a snail’s gate.

Until you learn to optimize.

Optimizing is the ability to make the business you’ve worked so hard to build work ten times better.

Now there are hundreds of ways to optimize an entrepreneur’s business to speed up results. But in my twelve years in business, there is a cost to speedy results: the quality of results is almost always sacrificed in the rush to complete something quickly. But there is a little known secret to unleashing this fast traction without poor quality, increasing overwhelm or burning the midnight oil for weeks and weeks.

You have to upgrade your strategies for optimal effort.

Most entrepreneurs keep trying to do more in shorter periods of time to speed up their results. That just makes you burned out over the long run.

The secret to speeding up results is simple: You have to upgrade your current strategy for optimum performance techniques.

That’s often where I come in. For instance, let’s take Peter Cutforth of Bizclicks Australia. Peter had a successful SEO business but he had to work so hard that he was constantly overwhelmed. Peter was still using his “grow” strategy – go see every single prospect in person, determine their needs then start the sales process. Many of the prospects he visited were either not ready or not really in need of his SEO services. Peter was investing five times the effort he needed and was generating less than 35% of the results he desired.

Peter and I spent a day “optimizing” his business and which generated several “optimization” systems. The first that he implemented was an upgraded prospecting system that eliminated 50% of his upfront effort and doubled his results within the first week. Why? Because I helped him design a strategy to eliminate the biggest drain in his business – wasted time.

How to Eliminate Wasted Time

We’ve all heard of the Pareto Principle right? Unfortunately most small business owners discover they spend way too much time upside down – 80% of their efforts are on activities and strategies that only generate 20% of their profits. But what if you could flip that and invest 20% of your time, money and resources in the right activities and strategies that result in 80% of your profits? That’s optimizing!

When I’m coaching a client through this process, one of the first things we do is uncover the Hidden Gold in their current business. That means we have to look at effort in your business with a fresh perspective. I’ll typically dig in and question several areas in your business but let’s start with four questions that can super-charge your results fast.

1. What activities do you repeat over and over again?

Our activities tend to become habitual but not all of them are optimal. Its easy to fall into the trap of doing things just because you always have – but find they take a lot of time but don’t generate any real substantial results. By evaluating the activities that you routinely engage in we’ll discover very quickly what’s working and what’s not. Sometimes shifting just one or two of your routines can generate a significant amount of new profits in the door.

My client June realized after completing this exercise that she was burning through 2 – 3 hours a day on email and administrative tasks that were a total drain of her energy and productivity. The light bulb moment was when she realized she could leverage her time more effectively and re-allocate those 2 – 3 hours a day into higher payoff opportunities – like a new program that could mean big dollars!

2. What parts of your sales process suck up the most time but generate the least results?

Most of my clients spend way too much time on prospects that generate the least amount of revenue into their business. Just the other day I worked with an industry leader who would invest up to 10 hours generating a $25,000 - $80,000 proposal. Sounds like a good return on investment right?

But then I discovered he only got 1 out of 15 of those proposals to enroll – which left him feeling very frustrated. So we developed a stronger prospect filter so he could increase his enrollments and minimize the wasted time on people who weren’t ever going to say yes to his program.

3. Where does a process break down or fail?

Jason was half way through launching his new program when he discovered a massive failure – the marketing campaign he had taken hours to set up was not being executed on by his team properly. Instead of his new leads flowing effortlessly through a series of educational materials – not one lead had received the second invitation to join his webinar. Jason of course was furious but he quickly realized that ultimately it was his fault – he had not properly trained his team and they had no idea they had missed this key step.

Breakdowns occur because the person in charge (that’s you) is moving so fast that you don’t take time to properly systemize or train your team. Ultimately we can almost always survive these kinds of breakdowns but they are quite costly – and definitely become derailers to optimal results. By assessing all the areas you or your team experience fail points you can prioritize and implement systems to eliminate breakdowns in the future.

Once you get a clear picture of what is wasting your time you’ll notice that you can focus on the higher payoff activities that speed up your traction. It’s a lot like clearing out a clogged pipe – remove the junk in the way and the flow is ten times faster!

Author's Bio: 

Melanie Benson Strick, known as America’s Leading Authority on Optimum Performance, has a gift for guiding fast-paced, creative entrepreneurs to thrive in their small business. Melanie is an optimizer – uncovering costly breakdowns and de-railers while super-charging profits– ultimately freeing the entrepreneur to experience exponential growth by doing more of what they love most. Get my free optimize your results gift at