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2017 Word of the Year

As 2017 approaches, it was time to sit down and choose my word of the year. In case you’re not familiar, I choose a word that I keep in the forefront of my mind as I go through the year, making decisions, living life. Last year’s word was “Intentional” because, well, I wanted to make very intentional choices and play a role in my life, rather than letting life just happen.

This year, I toyed with a few different words but the clear winner after much soul-searching is {drum roll, please}…

Ease 2017

 

When I say ease, I don’t mean easy. I am not so naive to think that everything can be easy. I don’t want it to be easy. I love the challenge of my business, and I love stretching myself, but it’s very easy to get sucked into doing everything for everyone, and not really creating processes, branding, marketing that come with ease — that feel really good. So, throughout the coming year, my focus for my business, and my life, will be ease — to lessen the times when I feel the need to make something work, to create more ease and flow in my client work, in my money, in my marketing, in my relationships, in my giving.

This is going to require a change in my mindset and a clear vision of what I want to achieve, but I know that as I go into my 10th year of business, I am definitely up for it. Bring on the ease!

 

Smooth Processes Make a Big Impact in Business

I was running some errands the other day and needed to stop for lunch. I decided it had to be Chick-Fil-A, but they were packed. And I mean packed. The parking lot was completely full and the drive through stretched around the building. But man, do I love Chick-Fil-A so I decided it was worth the wait in the drive through line. Boy was I in for a big surprise.

I pulled up and there were two employees taking orders from the cars in the drive through line. They were taking every other order so the line moved pretty quickly. There was an employee stopping cars in the drive through so customers who had gone inside could back out of their parking spaces. When I got to the window, there were two more employees there. One was running the cash register. The other was handing out orders.

No lie, this entire process took me no more than 5 minutes. Yes, 5 minutes, in a restaurant that was jam-packed with people. Can you guess why? Their process. They had it down. These employees knew exactly what they were supposed to do and how to do it. Right down to the gentleman who took my order. I never saw him move and he quoted me the price with tax, I assumed from memory.

Creating and sticking to your business processes can make or break you when you are swamped. Do you have a marketing plan? Do you have a standard process for welcoming new clients and getting all of their information in one shot? It might be a little bit of work up front, but there so many ways to save time just by creating standard operating procedures. Take a few hours each week and spend it getting your processes set up. I know I have some procedures that need to be tightened up. And if you work with a virtual assistant, it’s worth the extra time over the next few weeks for them to get everything sorted out and on paper for you.

As a side note, the best part of my Chick-Fil-A experience – they got my order right and every single person handled their piece of the puzzle with the best attitude and a big smile.