The Productive Entrepreneur’s Day

The Productive Entrepreneur’s Day

July 24th, 2013 // 1:03 pm @

The Productive Entrepreneur’s Day
I often explain the entrepreneurs problem for lack of consistent growth and/or day-to-day progress as the “working like an employee” trap.  For the most part we have been engrained to work like hamsters on a wheel repeating routines and following plans and guidelines set by others.  As entrepreneurs we often fall into the concept of being employees to ourselves and (unless you are in some hour or transaction tied revenue generating position such as a doctor or lawyer where you are the money-producer), you get the whole concept for being “self-employed” wrong… which is my least favorite term because what you actually wanted was not to become an employee of yourself. 

This problem is best stated by my friend and mentor Dan Kennedy when he says I have good news and bad news…”you are your own boss, but you’ve got a real shitty, dysfunctional boss” and that does about sum it up.  So being your own employee never works out because you don’t have good leadership, someone telling you what to do, you’re trying to do both. 

Therefore you end up treating each day or certainly each week and month like groundhog day waking up waiting to be told what to do and repeating the same routines and habits you did yesterday, last week, last month, last year that didn’t get you any results or at least not sufficiently successful enough ones to repeat them. 

All that said since most everyone wants a daily plan and expectations to follow I thought today I would give you, if I were you, what my daily plan would be in order to make money, get results, and have something more to show for your life’s investment of one day that happens to be gone forever. 

Your Ideal Entrepreneurial Day 

For starters you do have to eat, and eating first is smart whether you want to or not.  Seems the healthiest choice is always a glass of water and then something else… and you ought to do some form of physical exertion either now or this evening. 

Personally, sometimes I like to run first thing in the morning it gets the juices flowing and your body pumping, however, when I have my most productive days and success is when I start my day by immediately writing.

In your case, you should be writing on one of four things and usually two of the four any given day. 

One – writing to get new customers: working on some sales campaign, some marketing piece, some strategy to generate leads for any given project that might be in the works…you should be working to deadlines and always attempting to have visible progress daily and weekly implementation for results and execution. 

Two – writing to keep customers: build your personality, create your brand, develop content, this is often for your newsletter, like today for me writing this email newsletter message, it could be items that you need to generate more information for your website.  You should keep a monthly schedule and an ongoing list of what needs to be written. 

Three – and you don’t want to get caught up in this one but you have to deal with daily/weekly/monthly communications of things that need to be taken care of, any kinds of correspondence.  Now my preference is to combine all of these for absolutely no more than once a week, but it has to be done. 

Four – and most importantly you have to spend time strategizing to create new opportunities and/or depending on your business writing to close deals and acquire assets, customers, relationships, etc.  This type of writing should, if you have enough stuff going on, need to occur just about every single day and you want to get in the habit of “stirring the pot” or fueling the fire or priming the pump as Zig Ziglar always said.  Do something. 

Back to our day, I would spend no less than an hour and usually two-three hours writing in the mornings first thing because you are alert your body is fresh.  Then I would immediately go for a run or hit the weights, do some form of physical activity.  This now makes your body think you just woke up, and I’m here to tell you it will buy you an extra 1-3 hours of productivity for the day and keep you from getting fatigued early in the evening or night time. 

You of course have to eat again and should be eating at least every 3 hours, stuff that gives you energy not drags you down.  My secret for mental acuity is water and tea first thing, then maybe some juice, then coffee throughout the day and some smoothie in the afternoon.  Always water and then whatever you feel like in the evening, more tea or coffee, I usually repeat my morning routine again between 6 and 9pm and am able to expand my day to easily 18hours of energy, not dedicated to work, but to life. 

Now, what happens next.  Well, writing is the grueling part, now is the fun part.  You should be time blocking the next two parts of your day to do one of two things. 

In-the-trenches Business Development.  Depending if you are local or national, predominantly online or brick and mortar.  You should invest time in making sales, creating sales opportunities.  This is a recurring daily task where you are talking to customers, looking for Joint Venture partners, establishing new marketing avenues, creating, creating, creating, new business.  This is the Business Development part of your day, working on projects and people and possibilities. 

The other part is taking care of customers, delivering your services, following-up, in my case I have client calls usually on Mondays andTuesday that fill this time block of my day.  Other days I am actually doing work for clients, writing for their businesses, doing the “in-the-trenches” part for other people.  This is my “work-horse” stage of my day when I am my own employee… 

Now, there’s the big crazy smack you in the face reality, most people fill their entire days with the one I just mentioned, doing absolutely nothing else.  They waste away their day playing with emails, “delivery” of their products and services when usually they haven’t done anything to create more demand or supply for their products or services to begin with. 

Entrepreneurs live like an employee during this stage but not doing the actual “build a business” or even “run a business” parts for that matter.  That is why they stay stuck. 

I would invest no less than 2 hours on each of these things.  So if you factor actual working hours in so far you are looking at between 5 and 7 or 8 depending on how much time is invested in each of the main three items. 
At this point you are going to spend a little time cleaning up your day, delegating tasks to other people, organizing the messes, and there should be messes, from each of the three parts of your day to organize for tomorrow to organize for execution to occur you’ll have to refine the output and results from each of your time blocks. 

At this point you are hopefully dedicating a good chunk of time to your family, kids, hobbies, whatever you do to invest your life in at this moment.  If you have young kids or school age kids, my schedule puts you right before they’ll be arriving home and you can dedicate the next 4-6 hours or more to just playing in life.  Daily.  Activities abound.  You’ve been productive and the best part is you can adjust your day by how early you get up as to where this part of your day falls on the clock and how many hours you want. 

Lastly, I try to fit in three more sections of my day and at least one of them each day, and that may only be necessary and some times each is 15 minutes or one 5 minutes and the other another hour or two. 

These sections are… 

Tying up loose ends, administrative tasks, things that you have to finish before tomorrow, or things sitting on your desk or your mind that need to be cleared to free up and remove stress or thought before the day ends.  These can be quick decisions, or if you are handling your own bills or travel could be these kind of things. 

Project completion, this is obvious, sometimes there are final touches that need to be made that time didn’t allow for earlier or that you need to send of or do something with, either fighting deadlines or just waving the magic wand over emails to customers who bought or anything that sort of has you tidying up your stack of money for the day. 

The last part and this is the one I think is most important it is your time of the day that you are making sure something has been done to create opportunity, to instigate the flow of money to you for the future and possibly tomorrow, usually a little beyond that.  You need to check yourself and make sure you “made the call”, “sent the email”, connected with that person, or finished that letter, or sent off that proposal, etc.  Whatever it is, these are the most important items that can’t afford to get lost in the shuffle. 

As your day ends make sure you have some time to relax, no less than 30-90 minutes, watch a TV show, read, take a walk, enjoy a bath, go to dinner, do something that is calm…always…completely stop before your day ends and before you go to bed…you should be at peace when you turn off the light and close your eyes. 

And just before you get up front your desk or before reach over to the lamp or check your alarm, whatever works better for you, you should write down your list of top 3 to 5 things that you know will happen tomorrow to make you more money, create momentum, add to your progress…these things sit in your subconscious and have your waking up ready to write, ready to act, ready to make the most of the next day. 

And that is how you structure your day for profits.  I have given you time blocks that can be adjusted such as having days for meetings and days for writing and other things.  But I can promise you this the more days each week you follow this plan the more you’ll be building a business and creating wealth…not just having a monotonous career as an employee of yourself. 

This is a balanced day you set the schedule that puts you at peak productivity for 6-10 hours a day without compromising or taking away from your ideal lifestyle.  Wake up early, do things to have energy, make the most of your days and sleep on the weekends and when you are dead… 

Hope this has helped you in some way at least to prioritize and give you guidance on money-making types of work to grow your business and yourself. 

A long article but fitting for a long productive worthwhile day for yourself, each one of them you choose to make the most of.  And go and enjoy and profit.
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