🎙️Show Notes for Episode 079 of the IC Podcast

Sep 15, 2022
 
 
As an independent consulting business owner, you don't have a lot of time in your day. You have so many conflicting priorities such as working on client delivery, protecting and maintaining your business/life balance, and making the amount of time that you have available to work on your business incredibly impactful.  

Having a routine can aid in you managing these priorities but what is the most successful routine you could put in place that's both efficient and also effective, in that it creates results in my business where you are creating predictable growing revenue, without needing to work more?
That is precisely what I share in this episode, the three components of the successful consulting business owners' routine. 

This is a compilation of the best practice that I've pulled together from looking at how my own routine has evolved over the last 12 years and also the routines of really successful IC business owners who have built practices that are over a million dollars in revenue.  

Listen in to learn more so that you can create lasting and sustainable success, and continue reaching the goals that you've set for yourself and for your business in a way that's more joyful. 

To help dive deeper into the routines, the practices, and the successful business owner concepts, here are two additional resources to support you with this work. 
  1. First, I've created a companion PDF, the Successful IC Business Owner Routine, that gives you a detailed list of all the different types of activities that are most effective for your business on a daily, weekly, quarterly, and yearly basis from which you can go choose and figure out what makes the most sense for you in your business. 
  2. Second, I am hosting a Quarterly Success Planning Workshop on September 30, 2022, where I will outline for you the exact process that I teach my clients so that you can hit the ground running in Q4 and finish the year strong. Let's go!
Key points in the podcast
  • [02:59] Today’s agenda
  • [03:30] Check out the Successful IC Business Owner Routine: https://www.melisaliberman.com/routine
  • [05:25] Register to join the Quarterly Success Planning Workshop:https://www.melisaliberman.com/quarterly-workshop 
  • [07:23] Why you need a successful routine that is both effective and efficient
  • [09:32] How having a routine help you treat your business in a more holistic, comprehensive way
  • [13:59] The 3 Components of the Successful IC Business Owner's Routine
  • [14:53] Make sure your routine has very well-defined, measurable run maintain tasks
  • [19:00] Always having at least one, no more than two, business focus projects
  • [22:27] Having a practice for business owner mindset
 
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE —
 
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FULL TRANSCRIPT
 

**note: This is an automated transcript, so please ignore spelling errors and grammar mistakes*


00:31

Welcome to today's episode, I can't wait to dive in, I had to create this episode for you because it's one of the most common questions that I get from independent consulting business owners. And you want to know, what is the most successful routine I could put in place that's both effective in that it creates results in my business where I'm creating predictable growing revenue, without needing to work more, for example. And it's also efficient. I know you don't have a lot of time in your day or working on client delivery, you want to protect and maintain some form of business life balance, and you want to make the amount of time that you have available to work on your business incredibly impactful. And this is one of the most common questions that I get. And I want to make sure that we spend a little bit of time here on the podcast talking about it. So with that, the topic for today is the three components of the successful consulting business owners' routine. I've pulled this together by looking at how my own routine has evolved over the last 12 years in consulting. And also, the routines that I see really successful in consulting business owners implement.


02:04

Those are my clients and the clients who have built practices that are over a million dollars in revenue. Although we, you know, to the clients who have built practices in the 250 300 $400,000 revenue range. This is a compilation of what is the best practice in terms of the routine that you want to build for yourself as a business owner so that you can create lasting and sustainable success and continue reaching the goals that you've set for yourself and your business in a way that's light and joyful and creates the kind of business environment that you want to create, now that you own a business and have full control over that. So that's our focus today, those three components of the successful consulting business owners routine. All right, I'm going to walk you through our agenda for today. Our agenda for today is, first and foremost, why do this, why bother? Hopefully, it's pretty clear what I just described. But I'll go into that in a little bit more detail. And then we'll talk about something that's very obvious, that I want you to hear anyway, I think it's so important for you to hear this because a lot of times we fall into a trap, so I'll just leave it at that, a little teaser for you. And then, we'll dive into those three components so that you can put those in place in your business. Before we get started, though, I want to give you two ways to dive deeper into the routines and practices and successful business owner concepts that we're going to be talking about today. The first is I've created a companion PDF that goes with this episode; you're going to want to go download it; it's called the successful I see business owners routine. It's essentially a packed PDF that gives you lists and menus of all the different types of activities that are most effective for your business on a daily basis, weekly basis on a monthly basis, quarterly, yearly, and situationally; it gives you everything, essentially a menu, a buffet from which you can go choose and figure out what makes the most sense for you in your business. Do not go implement all of them. We're not trying to overload you. But what we are doing is I'm giving you a very, very thorough, comprehensive list of all of those best practices so that you can be very selective about what makes sense for you and essentially build your business routine just from that PDF along with the process that I'll share with you today. So be sure to go To download that as part of the companion for this episode, and to put this episode's content into practice for your business, so you can find that at Melisaliberman.com/routine; we'll put that link in the show notes as well so that you can go grab it. And again, I always love showing sharing all of this with you on a weekly basis so that you go and put it into practice. And I want to make it as simple as possible for you to do so. So go download that Melisaliberman.com/routine. The second thing that I want to share with you that a way that you can dive deeper into this work; I'll share it with you here. First, I am hosting a quarterly success planning workshop. This is not a webinar; this is not me, you know, giving you a bunch of information and selling you something; this is truly a workshop where you will come and learn, go through the exact process that I go through and that I teach my clients to go through to plan out your quarter and make sure that you can hit the ground running in q4 and finish the year strong. So that will be on September 30; you can go to Melisaliberman.com/ quarterly-workshop; we'll put that link in the show notes as well. And get on the waiting list for that particular event. And I'll be sending get up, be sure to get on the waitlist so that you get all of the details. As soon as I have them finalized for that September 30 workshop. The last thing I'll say is if it's after September 30, 2022, when you're listening to this, go to that page anyway,


06:49

I may be hosting another quarterly workshop coming up. Or you may be able to get the replay or some other related content there. So be sure to do those two things, to take what we're going to talk about today and put it into practice for your business, again, so that you've got that routine that creates consistency for yourself, you've got a routine that you know, it creates predictability for yourself, you know that you have a routine. So you aren't feeling that self-doubt and insecurity about whether or not you're doing the right or the wrong thing as you're running a business, that you have that clarity and can move forward knowing that you've got a really solid routine in place that creates the results you're looking for. So that's what we've got on the agenda for today. So the first thing I want to touch on is why bother. Why create a business routine? Honestly, I may not even need to cover this. Because if you're listening to this podcast or have listened to prior episodes, you know how process-oriented I am. And why that, and we've talked so often in different ways about what a critical success factor is. What a critical success factor it is in your business to have these types of processes. But in the event you're thinking to yourself, you know what? I know I need a routine; I just don't have time to deal with this. Or I kind of loosely have a routine. And that's basically working. So I don't know that really spending any more time on building out a better routine is worth it. I want to challenge you to say, look, if you can create a routine that creates a baseline for yourself, where you know exactly when I put in this particular input. For example, when I do this amount of lead generation in my business, I know that it creates this amount of output when you can get to the place where you've designed a routine that, you know, when you put in that amount, some amount of input, it creates that amount of output. That's when you start creating predictability and setting yourself up to scale. That's why a routine is so important. So that you know what those data points are. And when the data points aren't working, or no are no longer working, you've got such a better leading indicator as a result of it. And you don't create a feast or famine situation for yourself. So number one, creating that business predictability as the part is one of the most important reasons to create a business owner routine. The other reason why this is so important and critical is that oftentimes we focus on things that are coming at us. reactively, right? That's, that's, you know, we know when we have a deadline, we're going to come we're going to hit that deadline. For example, if you have a proposal you need to write you're going to end up creating the proposal right because you have it deadline or a commitment to someone else. The reason why having a routine for yourself as a business owner is you want to create proactiveness for yourself; you want to get to the place where you are treating your business in a much more holistic, comprehensive way versus in a reactive way. So by that, I mean really looking at your business and not just kind of kicking the can down the road, as I say, but really looking at this in a much more holistic approach. And creating a routine that not only handles the day-to-day but also helps make sure that you're tackling things that are more strategic. So those are the reasons the core reasons why you're going to want to really look at your existing business routine and up-level it with these three components that I'm talking about today. So your current routine might be kind of ad hoc; we want to systematize it; your current routine might be more reactionary; we want to make it more comprehensive. And we want to get you to the place where your business is a well-oiled machine, where you know what the activities are that when you do this certain number of activities, it creates this amount of result for yourself. And it gives you that line of sight to protect your work-life balance; it gives you that line of sight to protect your capacity, it gives you that ability to manage the bigger picture. So that's why I am so insistent upon you really today, as part of this episode, looking at your business routines and figuring out with the what I'm these three components I'm going to share to you with you how to uplevel what you're doing so that you can create the income, you can create the impact, and you can create the level of flexibility, the reasons why you created your business in the first place.


12:03

Now, what one caveat here, my friends, I'm going what I'm going to share with you is probably very obvious, these components are not rocket science; there are three of them. The third one might be a surprise; you might not have thought of that before, and the way I'm going to describe it to you. But the other two are probably very obvious. Don't dismiss them. And also, don't judge yourself. So often I times just because they're simple and they're obvious doesn't mean that they're not important. So that's why I say about not dismissing them. The other thing I'm going to say is, a lot of times, we say to ourselves, I hear this all the time from my clients. Well, I already feel so stupid that I haven't done this. I know, this is these are the types of things that I would advise my own consulting clients to do, the types of processes I would recommend them putting in place, and you know, in some form or fashion, not exactly the way I'm going to describe it to you. But certainly, you know, this is the type of thing that you do as a consultant, helping your clients create repeatable processes and routines. And when you're beating yourself up and judging yourself for not doing this for your own business is just not productive. So I'm going to call you out in the sense of, let's do, let's implement in your business, what you would recommend your clients do from a best practice perspective. But at the same time, just know that almost every independent consultant kind of needs that push because it's really hard to see the forest through the trees, right? It's really hard to know what to do. But then when it comes to our own, you know, our own business, a lot of times it's so common to freeze and to just completely, so I call it all amnesia like we get amnesia about what's going to what works best. So I just wanted to give you that caveat here before we dive into the three components that some of this is going to be really obvious of it hopefully, the third one, especially you may, is not an obvious thing that most people include in their business routine. And I want to make sure that you have the insider knowledge to put it into practice in your business. But at the same time, don't judge yourself; you know this stuff. It's always different to apply it to yourself than to help other people apply it. And that's why coaching is so impactful. Because helping you to see what's happening in your own brain is what gets you past those roadblocks. All right. So with that, you now know why you are reminded and refreshed about why it is so important to have a successful, intentional business owner routine. And don't judge yourself when some of this feels obvious. And you just are thinking I should have already known this not a problem. Let's just make it happen to start now. Okay, so with that, let's dive into the I'll tell you what the three components are, and then we'll walk through each one of them individually. So the three components are a Successful high quality, independent consulting business owner routine. Number one is making sure your routine has very well-defined, measurable run, what I call run maintain tasks. Again, I'll go through each one of these in more detail; I'm just going to tell you what the three are. So number one, measurable run, maintain tasks. Number two, always having at least one, no more than two, what I call business focus projects. And number three, the third component of your routine is a practice for a business owner mindset. So those are the three components of a high-quality, successful independent consulting business owner routine, so we're going to break them each down. So the first is that run and maintain a set of activities. The Run, maintain set up activities are those repeatable activities that keep your business running, and they're measurable. So, for example, you know, you may know exactly what it looks like for a lead generation to keep your pipeline at a certain number. Like, let's say that you have a half-a-million-dollar independent consulting business. And so you and your close rate is roughly 50%. So this routine would mean that you know exactly what it takes to always keep your pipeline at about a million dollars in value.


16:51

It's breaking down your lead generation process, for example, into those bite-size repeatable activities that happen on a daily, weekly, a monthly basis that keep your pipeline full. Another example is breaking down into repeatable activities, what it is what is required to write proposals, for example, or to move your clients through a business process. And setting the side setting aside the time every day, every week, every month, whatever it looks like for you to make sure that you have those activities planned out and accounted for in your calendar. Another thing would example for run maintain would be invoicing your clients like your back end side of your business, paying taxes, and giving data to your bookkeeper. Another example of run maintain would be having a process of setting and planning for quarterly goals. I'll give you the process come to the workshop on September 30. Then, you'll have that process in place. So those are some examples of the run, maintain the type of processes, those repeatable activities that you can measure that keep your business running, and that are designed for you to make achieving your business goals inevitable. So you want to be sure that you know what your business goals are, and then essentially back into what these run maintain activities are. Now, I have given you a whole laundry list of the run, and maintain activities that you may want to consider for your business. You're probably doing some of them already. Some may be more haphazard. You want to get them into a more repeatable, you know, process; some you may have overlooked, just go download that PDF for yourself so that you can really check what you're doing now against what that laundry list is and figure out what you might be missing or what you might have overlooked. So you can go download that again Melisaliberman.com/routine, be sure to get that because that will help you to find any of those blind spots. So that, to cover off and finalize this first component of your business routine. The run maintains part. You just want to know exactly okay, what are all the activities across my entire business, every type of function in my business, and create that inventory for yourself. And then, just break them down into 15 or 20-minute tasks and then allocate them. Some might be weekly; some might be daily, and make yourself, you know, really a process map for yourself. So you know exactly what needs to happen at every point in your business to make achieving your goals inevitable. If you want to create and recreate what you've already done, then you will keep doing the Same exact processes and volume that you've been doing. If you want to grow, then you're going to just size up those activities and maybe add in a few more that get that you need is the hypothesis that's going to get you to the result that you want to get to hitting that, that goal that you've set for yourself. Okay, so that's the first component of your routine is all of that run, maintain the type of activity. The second type of activity, the second component of your routine, you're going to want that to be what I call your business focus project. I like to set these on a quarterly basis. So again, come to the workshop on September 30, shameless plug, come to the workshop, we'll figure out what your business profit focus project is, and help you to, to really constrained down to one of them to the max, and know why you're doing that in your business, and how you can incorporate that into your entire routine. So for today, I'll give you the high level about this component, which is you really understanding what is the one project I could take on in my own business, that will move the needle to make achieving the goals that I've set for this year, that's the next 12 months inevitable. For some of you, it might be a deep dive into how I increase the value of my pipeline and really choose that as your business focus project for the quarter. Or you might be in the boat of,


21:49

you know what? I want to start switching my pricing from hourly to value-based pricing. That's another example of a business-focused project. It's really looking at the levers in your business that are going to make the biggest impact for you over the next quarter. And make the biggest impact toward the 12-month goal that you've set. And constraining to that one focus project for the quarter to the max so that you can really move the needle in your business. If you're constantly trying to solve all the problems in your business. As you know, you're you end up really spreading yourself so thin and making very little impact. And so that's why including a business focus project in your routine is so incredibly important. What this actually means in terms of the routine is that you know what the business focus project is for the quarter, you've broken it down into the tasks and the milestones just like you do as a product, you know, you've done a lot of project manager and management in your day, I'm sure. And then, you will allocate it as part of your routine. For some people, it looks like Like for me, I love having business focus time first thing in the mornings, because it's the least interrupted time that I have. And it's where my brain works the best first thing in the morning, after, uh, after some coffee, and just having that protected time, it could be half an hour or an hour, two-hour block, whatever that looks like. But for you figure out what makes the most sense, is it, you know, a chunk of time, once a week, is it a little bit each day, whatever it looks like, allocate that as part of your routine, so that you are tackling the business focus project that's going to move the needle in your business make an impact for you, toward your goals, and so that you're not being so reactionary, which is really the common way of running a business just reacting to everything coming at you, and not getting ahead of things. So that's why that second component is so important. And then the third component, this is the one that I said you might be may not have thought of. This is the business owner mindset aspect of your routine. Some people think this is nice to have. It is not, I can assure you; I've been doing this for 12 years. For the first eight, I think seven or eight, I had no concept of what mindset work was, why it was beneficial how to even do it. And there's a stark difference between what I was able to accomplish in those seven years painfully. And what I've been able to accomplish the last five in my business, it's night and day, not only the amount of achievement that I've had but also the enjoyment and the balance and the lack of mental Head; I won't say lack that is not true. But the ability to manage the mental overhead is a stark contrast. And that's why this is so important. And this is the type of work that I do with my clients. Also, for my consulting business owner clients, we work on mindset; I teach them how to create the mindset into a routine that they're implementing on a daily basis in order to start to shift their identity. And for you to shift your identity from what you have been in the past, an employee, or a consultant, into the identity of a successful business owner. And the way a successful business owner thinks on purpose versus the way that you might be thinking on default, though patterns and the thought processes you've had, that have gotten you to where you are, which is, which is has unsure, been very successful for you up until this point. But if you want to grow and scale your business and be able to create more income for yourself, with more happiness, less stress, less overwhelm, less second-guessing, and less analysis and paralysis and perfectionism, this is why the routine is so important. Having a business owner mindset routine for yourself is one of the keys to success and why it's 1/3 of this independent consultant success routine


26:37

that I'm sharing with you today. So really look at this and say, How can I? What have I already done in the past that helps me to get my mindset into a productive place? And how can I do more of that on an intentional basis and create build it into my routine? Those are the questions you're going to want to answer for yourself. So some examples to give you one concept I love implementing, which I learned from one of my coaches, is a concept called Super thinking. It's literally sitting down and writing yourself a really good question. That is a really good question. Something like how can I create relationships with this type of person that would impact my business in a meaningful way in the amount of time that I have? How can I shift what I'm doing? How is what I'm doing so valuable? That it makes that value-based pricing make perfect sense? Versus WHY WON'T hourly, you know, asking yourself a question like, why am I stuck in hourly billing? Answering that question is not valuable, but answering the question of how can I train it? What might be the first three steps to transition into value-based pricing? That's a very valuable question. So getting yourself into the place where you're asking yourself really high-quality questions is an example of this business owner mindset routine. Another can be journaling and really understanding what's going on and why you might be stuck in a pattern that you don't even realize is holding you back. Why are you stuck in perfectionism? Why are you stuck in? Overanalyzing things? Where are you self-sabotaging yourself and really getting clear and honest with yourself so that you understand the root cause and you can move forward faster? Those are some examples of what a business owner mindset routine looks like and also why it's so important. And I've given you a lot of other examples in that download. So make sure you go download that so you can see exactly different techniques and tools that you can use in order to create this routine for yourself from a mindset perspective. So those are the three components of a successful independent consulting business owner routine. Number one, really getting clear and granular on those runs, maintain activities, and getting them scheduled. So they're just a repeatable part of your business and that you know exactly what you're doing. And you know exactly what I love to call it. The sausage maker, right? It's like when I put this amount in, this is what I get out and you really understand that and have created a baseline for yourself so that you can consistently reevaluate it and say, okay, maybe I need to put more ingredients into the sausage maker to get the amount of sausage out that I want. That's the run maintain a component of your business owner routine. The second component of your business owner routine. To recap is knowing what that business focus process is and having it broken down across the quarter so that you're making that more strategic impact on Your business and not treating it so reactionary. And then, the third and final component of your successful business owner routine is to create that impactful, actionable mindset, business owner mindset practice for yourself so that you're constantly reinforcing, upgrading, and extending the business owner mindset and identity that ends up making the achievement of your goals inevitable. All right, so those are the three components. One last reminder, to take this work further, there are two resources for you. The first is that a successful business owner's routine gives you that entire laundry list from which you can really pick and choose and very quickly create these routines for yourself and start putting them into practice. And then, the second resource for you is that quarterly success planning workshop; go get on the waitlist at Melisaliberman.com/quarterly-plan.


31:11

I'm so excited to have you there. It will be on September 30. Or again, if this is after the fact, then definitely go over to that page because I will. I will have all the details for you of how you can put that quarterly business process in place for yourself. So just to make sure I gave you the right links, I may have misstated something. The routine PDF is Melisaliberman.com/routine. And the workshop is at Melisaliberman.com/quarterly-workshop. All right, my friends. I look forward to seeing you again next week, and I can't wait to hear more about the routines you put in place. Take care.

 

 

 

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