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Day 20. Taking action.

These action takers don't let excuses get in their way.

These action takers don’t let excuses get in their way.

If you have kept up so far you should have a plan by now but a plan is of no use unless you take action so that’s our focus for today.

Take action now!

One of the major differences between achievers and everyone else is that achievers take action. They don’t wait for everything to be perfect. They don’t wait until everything is in place. They don’t wait until they have done just a bit more training. They dive in! The learn as they go. They bring in help for the things that they can’t do themselves. Are you an action taker?

By now you should have an idea, a budget, a project management plan and a promotional plan so you are ready to take action. If you have implemented some of the tips from Days 8 and 9 you will be using some tools to help your productivity and you should be ready to take action.

ACTION: If you haven’t done it already plan what you are going to achieve in each of your Power Hours for the next week. Make your targets visible. Pin them on the fridge, make simpleology.com your home page, stick a post it on your computer!

Commit.

I don’t know about you but I break more promises to myself than anyone else. That’s why we need to make a commitment. I’ve published all these challenges because I made a commitment to you to post one a day for 21 days, I’ll let you into a secret, they weren’t all ready on day one, the plan was but there have been times when I’ve only been one step ahead of you! Going public with a promise will keep you on track. Selling tickets to an event or places on a course will make it happen.   So what are you going to go public with? Where are you going to go public? How about here in the comments section? What about making the commitment on our Facebook page or on Twitter?

Why not find yourself an accountability partner? Someone who will hold you to your commitments. Someone who will be tough enough with you when you wobble. You could use a friend or fellow business owner or you could get yourself a mentor. Whoever you choose be very clear about what you want to be held accountable for. Agree your objectives and your measures. What will happen if you don’t make your commitment?

Don’t give up now! Make a public commitment to what you are going to achieve and then take the first step. Good luck.

Next steps, should you choose to take them…

  1. Share any insights or recommendations in the comments section here.
  2. Join the conversation on Facebook to gain support from the 21 Day Challenge community (we’ll be looking at some of the benefits of social media later in the challenge but for now being active on this page and on Facebook can help boost the way people can find you on the Internet.)
  3. Tweet this ‘I’m taking action to make money on #21DMMC
  4. Join us tomorrow to when for the final day of the challenge.
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Day 11. Getting help.

If you have completed yesterday’s challenge you will now have your project plan so today we’re going to consider where you might need to get help and how to get it.

We all have different strengths and weaknesses, the things we do really well and the things that are best left to others. How much time do you spend doing tasks that someone else could do better and more quickly? Ask yourself, is doing this task the best use of my time? If you can sell your time at £50 per hour why are you doing a task you could delegate to someone who charges £25 per hour?

Do you ever find yourself saying, ‘By the time I’ve explained what I want to someone else I could have done it myself’? Do you think Richard Branson does everything himself? No, of course not, he knows his strengths and his weaknesses and has built a team to work alongside those. He appreciates the value of delegation and knows how to do it. I know that, for many small business owners, the costs of employing other people to do things for you may seem prohibitive but we’re going to look at ways of making it affordable in today’s challenge.

Know your strengths and weaknesses

My profile proves how right brain dominant I am. Focus is something I have to work hard to achieve!

My profile proves how right brain dominant I am. Focus is something I have to work hard to achieve!

 

Do you show a preference for left brained or right brained traits? If you’re left brained you are more task focused, you may be analytical, results driven and detail conscious. If you are right brained you will be more concerned with people, building relationships and may be more creative.

Of course we’re all a bit of both although one side is likely to be more dominant than the other. If your dominant side is right brained then you may need help getting things done and if you are left brain dominant you may need some help to generate ideas.

When we’re looking for help it is tempting to go for people like ourselves but this is often a mistake, two right brained people will probably have a lot of fun but struggle to get things done whereas two left brained people will have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed but may not be able to find creative solutions to problems. Which are you?

ACTION: Use the SWOT analysis tool from Day 7 to analyse your own strengths and weaknesses; be honest!

If you would like a more objective view of your strengths and weaknesses I am offering 20% off Prism Brain Mapping profiling for the duration of this challenge. You complete a questionnaire and then receive a report detailing your strengths and weaknesses which I will go through with you by telephone or, if you are close enough, in person. Click here for more information.

Work to your strengths and delegate the rest

 

Take a look at the project management plan you completed yesterday. Which of the tasks on the list are ones that you are good at and should be done by you? Which will take you a long time and cause you anxiety? What skills, qualities or experience will someone need in order to those tasks well and speedily? Develop those into a job description or project brief which you can then use to recruit the help you need. You can then get on with making money at what you do best.

Finding help

Do you have other members of your team whose skills are better suited to those tasks? Do they have capacity in their working day to take on these new tasks or is there something you can do to rejig workloads?

If you don’t have anyone on your team is there someone in your network with the right skills and experience whom you could pay as a freelancer? If paying for help is not an option is there something you could trade in return for the help you need? For example a beauty therapist might be able to trade a treatment in return for some copywriting; a virtual assistant might be able to offer some admin support in return for a wardrobe makeover.

How about turning your problem into an opportunity for someone else? For example many graduates are looking for work experience to help them get a better job. Could you offer an internship or  work experience to help them and help yourself (whilst graduates are sometimes willing to work in the right job for no money they do have to live so try to pay them a minimum wage or at least their expenses). N.B. Employment law varies from country to country so make sure you know what you are allowed to do in your country.

Could you offer an Apprenticeship to a young person looking for training and qualifications to improve their career prospects? In the UK there is some government help to support employers taking on an apprentice (the Mayor for London is topping up that help for a limited number of London employers to encourage them to take apprentices.) Apprentices have to be paid and receive training but this is still less expensive than taking on a more experienced person and allows you to do something to help young people and your business.

Do you need the sort of help that can be done from anywhere? If so why not post your job on the internet and invite bids from people who would like the work? Websites such as http://www.peopleperhour.com/ can connect you with people who are willing to work at very affordable rates. Other options are http://www.guru.com/ and https://www.elance.com which allow you to post your job opportunities which freelancers can then pitch for. To find more just Google ‘posting freelance opportunities’.

ACTION: Decide which tasks to delegate and give yourself time to recruit the appropriate help in line with your project plan.

Next steps, should you choose to take them…

  1. Share any insights or recommendations in the comments section here.
  2. Join the conversation on Facebook to gain support from the 21 Day Challenge community (we’ll be looking at some of the benefits of social media later in the challenge but for now being active on this page and on Facebook can help boost the way people can find you on the Internet.)
  3. Tweet this ‘I’m working on Day 11 of @Glenda_S 21 Day Make money Challenge #21DMMC
  4. Join us tomorrow to when we’ll be putting together our budgets.

Day 10. Making your project plan.

Hopefully you now have your Power Hour scheduled into your diary and are using it to work on your money making idea. Today we’re going to turn that idea into an achievable project plan using the list that you created on day 8.

Create your project plan

A project management plan

A project management plan

If you organise a lot of projects you may well have access to project management software and the expertise to use it. In which case you can probably skip today’s article and get on with developing your project plan. However, for the rest of you here’s a tool to help you with your project planning. It’s a very straightforward six month plan built on an Excel spreadsheet. So let’s get down to some planning:

  • Start by listing everything from your day 8 list in the left hand column. You’ll need to cut and paste the list into the second and third sections if your plan is going to need more than two months to come to fruition. If there aren’t enough rows for all the items on your list insert some extra rows.
  • Now colour the cell (box) for the day you have set as your deadline. You should be able to shade a cell within Excel quite easily.
  • Now using your list from day 8, decide how long each item on the list is going to take to complete.
  • The next thing to do is to plot your critical path. Which tasks are date dependent or must be done before you can do other work? In my example which is about selling a new course I can’t do much until I have booked a venue and I can’t start developing the course until I have researched needs. I have to sort our a payment method before I can set up a booking link and I need to do those before I start marketing. I also can’t print my flier or upload the webpage until I’ve written them! Which items on your list are time critical? Shade in the cells for those first. When do they need to be done by? How long will they take? (You may need to shade cells for several days if you have a big task to do.)
  • When colouring your cells you might find it helpful to colour similar tasks in similar colours e.g. all admin tasks in one colour, all marketing in another, all tasks you can delegate in a further colour etc.
  • Now allocate time to the remaining items on your list by colouring in those cells too. Make sure that you have allocated sufficient time and that they fit with your critical path. It’s quite possible that you’ll have a number of different activities scheduled over the same period but be realistic about what you can achieve unless you can delegate some of the tasks.
  • Save your plan! The template is in Dropbox so you’ll want to rename it and save it to your computer.
  • Now check that your plan is realistic. If it’s not is your deadline achievable with a bit of re-planning or do you need to change your deadline?
  • It’s always a good idea to add in a bit of contingency time for things that don’t go according to plan, demanding customers, printing arriving late, family illnesses etc.
  • You might want to print off your plan, stick it on the wall and tick off the items as you complete them. Alternatively, if you are using a tool like Simpleology (see Day 8) you may want to add your tasks and their deadlines to your to do list. Another option would be to change the colour of the cells in your Excel spreadsheet as you complete the tasks and use that as your control document.

ACTION: Complete your project plan as above.

Next steps, should you choose to take them…

  1. Share any insights or recommendations in the comments section here.
  2. Join the conversation on Facebook to gain support from the 21 Day Challenge community (we’ll be looking at some of the benefits of social media later in the challenge but for now being active on this page and on Facebook can help boost the way people can find you on the Internet.)
  3. Tweet this ‘I’ve just completed my project management plan on the 21 Day Make Money Challenge #21DMMC
  4. Join us tomorrow when we’ll be working out where we might need help and how to get it.

Join the Challenge!

The Training Pack is 21 years old in September 2013 and we’re celebrating! The 21 Day make money challenge is our gift to you. It’s free to join and suitable for anyone who would like to make some more money.

Perhaps you are a business owner wanting to increase your turnover. Maybe you want to make some money for a good cause. Perhaps you just want to make some money to supplement the family income.Maybe you are thinking of starting a business. Whatever your reason the challenge is for you.

You set your target. You set your deadline. We’ll publish one activity a day for 21 days to help you develop your plan to reach your goal. We first ran this challenge starting on September 21st and will be running it again starting October 21st and November 21st. You can join at any time.

This is what we’ll be covering:

  • Day 1:  Set you goal
  • Day 2:  Create the vision
  • Day 3:  Who will buy?
  • Day 4:  Money raising ideas
  • Day 5:  What’s your competition?
  • Day 6:  Will your idea make you a profit?
  • Day 7:  Decision time.
  • Day 8:  Breaking down the actions
  • Day 9:  Using your Power Hour to get things done
  • Day 10: Developing a project management plan
  • Day 11: Establishing priorities
  • Day 12: Budgeting
  • Day 13: Financing your plan
  • Day 14: Managing cashflow
  • Day 15: Developing your marketing plan
  • Day 16: Promoting via a blog
  • Day 17: Using social media
  • Day 18: Off line marketing
  • Day 19: Using public relations
  • Day 20: Get ready; Get set; Go
  • Day 21: Sharing Success

Our Facebook group allows you to connect with other challengers. You’ll be able to share ideas, celebrate achievements and just get more support. You can join it here.

We might just find some prizes for those who make the most progress so why not join in? Click follow this blog to receive each post as it’s published or fill in the form. There’ll also be a link in the Facebook page.

Let’s see how much money you can make! Join today.