Are you wondering, “why am I not making money in my business?”

Have you ever been walking in a parking lot, looked down, and laying there on the ground is a pile of cash partially crumpled with a receipt that clearly fell out of someone’s pocket as they were getting into their car?  Your lucky day. Not so much for the other guy.

What if I told you, you might be the other guy?  That in your business, there’s ways that you’re littering bills all over the parking lot?  Here’s five holes in your pockets, and a few things you can do to zip those pockets closed.

Check out the Magnify Your Masterplan 5-Day-Challenge. Set yourself up for the MOST PROFITABLE year you’ve ever had.

You’re not Claiming what’s yours

Have you been in a client situation where you know all you needed to do was send an invoice, and you’d get paid?  Maybe it’s been a few days. Maybe it’s been a few weeks. How long do you wait before you just let it go because it’s embarrassing to finally be sending the invoice you said you’d send right away at the time you did the work?

If this is you, you’re losing money.  (Duh. Thanks, Captain Obvious…)

Well, congratulations!  We’ve identified the problem, and now we can do something about it.

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What’s most likely the real issue here is there’s a lack of process. The process can be as simple as sending your book-keeper a note asking them to send the invoice for you (make sure you tell them who they’re sending it to and for how much, hehe), or it could be more complicated - like having a form you fill out that automatically generates and sends the invoice for you.  What you need though, is to define a way that you’re not leaving that money on the table until it’s so late that you’d rather walk away from it than go back and ask for it.

Another way you might be missing payments is because you don’t have your payment plan clients on an automatic payment plan.  Do you ever have invoices that generate on their own, but they get lost in the shuffle, buried in an overflowing inbox, or even maybe sent to a spam folder?  Did you know there is a way you can set up your clients on a payment plan that AUTOMATICALLY BILLS THEIR CARD FOR YOU each month? Really, it’s true. There’s at least one service that will do this for you, called Moonclerk.  If you’re stuck to your Paypal, they’ve come on-board as well, and allow you to create recurring billing plans (but it’s not as pretty as Moonclerk, and I’m to diva-ish to use paypal for these).

Either way, choose one, and any time you agree to collect more than one payment from a client, make it happen automatically.  It’s such a pain to have to chase your payments. You don’t have time for that.

A third way you could be missing out on what’s yours - you’re being disorganized.  Don’t hate on me. I gotta call it like it is. Are you super clear on which client you’re spending how much of your day on?  Do you track your time? If you’re not, you could be missing out on what’s yours, because you’re simply giving away your time to some of your clients.  Even if you’re not billing by the hour, it’s worth it to be aware of who is taking your time. You may be undercharging some clients. If you need a resource for a free and easy time-tracking and reporting tool, check out slimtimer.com.  It’s bare-bones, but very easy to use. Like mouse-click-on-a-button easy to use. And, did I mention it’s free? Free and easy is a winning combination.

You’re Being Ineffective

Now that we know where you’re leaving the cash on the table when you walk away, let’s talk about how you’re spending your time.  Do you know what you’re good at? Notice, I didn’t ask what you CAN DO. This is different. What are you GOOD at - meaning you’re fast, and you enjoy it, and you LIKE to do it.  THIS, this short-list of things that you are good at and you LIKE to do, this is your zone of genius! This is where you should spend the most of your time every single day.

Let’s take a step back and I’ll give you an example so you can see what I mean.  Have you watched my BizMagicTV Channel? I’m going to let you in on a secret. I am NOT a genius at editing videos.  Haha, I bet you couldn’t guess that! Can I do it? Sure. Do they turn out OK? Sure. Does it take me FAR LONGER than it should for a mediocre result?  YES. Do I dread editing my videos? Yes. Have I hired this out? Yes, I have. And you can tell, because my more recent videos are much better than my older ones.  Ahem.

Now, let’s go back to your days.  What things could you hand off to someone else who is more effective than you at them?  Because it matters.

(I’m going to let you in a bit of a secret tip here too - if you’re hiring some of this stuff out, someone is relying on you to get something done, and you’ve also now built in some accountability for yourself to actually DO the stuff you say you will, and you can’t slough it off for weeks at a time.)

You’re Unfocused

Now that you’re not leaving money behind, and you’re doing what you’re good at, let’s talk about WHAT it is that you’re doing.

When’s the last time you looked at the goals you set for yourself?  Are you one of the people who avoids looking at them because you don’t want to see how far behind you are?  Maybe...you’re one of the people who doesn’t even set a goal, because you know your odds of actually meeting it are slim-to-none, and so it’s better not to even set yourself up for failure?

(No, I’m not going to tell you I am one of the above.  I may or may not be in denial…)

If you fit into one of these categories, let’s take a look at it.  Maybe you ARE ‘successful’ at what you do, and you’re making money and life’s pretty good.  But, could you actually be doing more? Having a BIGGER impact? Reaching a wider audience? Are you staying too comfortable?  Are you squirming in your seat yet? (I am…)

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What could happen if you set a goal, and then reached it?  And then you set a tiny bit more of a goal, and reached that one too?  What if your life and your business were completely transformed and you were so much more than you are now in the next 6 months?

It’s completely possible.  

And, I’m not just saying that.  Because I know exactly how true it is.  I’m terrible at setting longer-term goals.  But tell me something to do by the end of the week, and man, I am all over it!  Weird right? (It comes down to getting bored easily. Or maybe that’s a lame excuse for allowing myself to get distracted.  Is that a squirrel?)

Let’s imagine together that you and I, because we BOTH need this, set a goal for the next year.  (I know it’s not January 1, but stick with me.) What if we broke it down into smaller pieces, so that there was a weekly accomplishment that over time took us to the end goal?

What if we looked back a year from now and remembered this conversation, and high-fived each other, and said, “We did it!”

Are you in?

You have calendar issues

While we’re on the subject of small, weekly accomplishments… what’s your calendar like?  Do you find yourself missing appointments? Or maybe you’re not really missing them, but you’re often running late for things?  (Or instead of going to the gym, you work up a sweat in between appointments because you’re so rushed and stressed?)

How does that make you feel?  Do you enjoy the stress? The frantic panic when you realize you’re late?  The look of disappointment on your clients’ faces when you show up late again?  The judgement you feel people have for you, and that you have for yourself?

You can let it go.  

You can turn this around.

Really.  You have all the tools you need, you just need to make a tweak to how you’re using them.

You already have a calendar.  It’s on your phone. You might even carry a paper planner around, because it’s fun to put stickers into it (and can we talk about how many pens we really need?  I think at least 50 colors are mandatory, and ugh, NOT ballpoint…)

Stop scheduling things back to back.  Allow yourself 10 minutes between appointments, and then even schedule in the drive-time if you are going from place to place throughout the day.  You’ll be able to breathe in between clients, and allow your brain to shift gears without grinding them.

And one other thing you can use your calendar for - making more sales!  How’s that? By scheduling in your client and lead follow-ups. Decide how often you’re following up with people you work with, and schedule those into your calendar.  You’ll actually increase your revenue, just by being on time.

You’re Trying to Do It All Yourself

Owning your own business does not mean you should be working on your own.  If you’re out there all day, every day, working across all aspects of your business, rarely in your zone of genius, you’re missing out on income.

I know you want to argue about not having the cash flow to hire someone to help you.  The struggle is real, it is!

Want to know a truth?  I’m great at RUNNING a business.  I’m not as great at having a big vision for where to take it.  But that’s what makes me a perfect partner for the visionaries out there.  You get to cast your vision, dream the big dreams, and then let someone like me make it happen for you.  This is how you actually GROW a business.  You can make money on your own. But that’s just it.  It’s wholly dependent on YOUR personal capacity. It’s not sustainable, and it’s not scalable.

Combine your zone of genius with the genius of a few others, and with the right mix of skills, that’s where the magic happens.

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It’s actually cheaper to hire someone to do the things you’re not genius at, rather than try to pay yourself to do them.  You don’t want to half-ass your work. Even though that’s exactly what you’re doing. Fire yourself from the positions you hold in your business, and hire them out so they get filled with QUALITY people.  You’re the boss. Make the call.

You’re out there making it.  I know you are. But dream bigger.  Commit to BE bigger this year. You can do it.  Small tweaks, BIG results.

I’ve got your back.  

Check out the Magnify Your Masterplan 5-Day-Challenge. Set yourself up for the MOST PROFITABLE year you’ve ever had.