Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wed on Twitter from 8-9pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Elizabeth Barbour @CoachElizabethB on Twitter. Elizabeth’s company is The Inspired Entrepreneur. She is a small business coaching expert who serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurs to take inspired action and create extraordinary results in business and in life. A professional coach for nine years, Elizabeth has worked with thousands of people to shift from tired to inspired in business and in life! Her four core values are community, celebration, spirituality and self-care. Visit www.ElizabethBarbour.com for details!
SmallBizLady: Why do entrepreneurs get so tired?
CoachElizabethB : We’re excited! We have big ideas! We multi-task all the time so we juggle a lot of balls in the air and often drop some. Often, we are solopreneurs so we are wearing many hats which gets overwhelming. In this economy, some people are struggling so there is a bit of fear that motivates us to do more than we normally would. That’s exhausting.
SmallBizLady: What are the warning signs that you are tired?
CoachElizabethB: LOL! So many. Some more obvious than others. Losing things. Forgetting Appointments. Always being late. Cloudy Thinking. Can’t fall asleep at night. We get overtired and then over stimulated and keep a to-do list by our beds! We stop taking care of ourselves – no exercise, poor food choices, no down time. Just go-go-go 24-7. Stress. Getting cranky or snippy. We call it “having the growlies” in our house! Watch out if someone has the growlies! J
SmallBizLady: So how can we get inspired? I understand you have 5 Tips to Shift from Tired to Inspired. What’s the first tip?
CoachElizabethB: Tip #1 to Get Inspired: Practice Self Care. Like the financial gurus suggest – don’t spend all your money and then save what’s left over – start by paying yourself first! Decrease tolerations and things that drain your energy. Let go of habits and behaviors that don’t serve you or your biz. Do more of what you love to do. Go for a hike. Read. Swim. Nap. Dance. A 30 min break can really shift your energy in a positive way. Establish your connection to God, self and others. When you are plugged in spiritually, you live an inspired life. Louise Hay suggests using this sentence “I love myself therefore…” if you said that several times a day, you’d always make good choices.
SmallBizLady: What’s the 2nd tip to shift from Tired to Inspired?
CoachElizabethB: Tip #2 to Get Inspired: Learn, Study, Grow! Read books. Take classes. Get a mentor. Go to workshops & conferences. Attend all the FREE events you can find. My top 3 Biz books: The E-Myth, Attracting Perfect Customers, One Page Business Plan. My top 3 Personal books: Sabbath – Wayne Muller, You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay, Ask and It Is Given – Abraham-Hicks
SmallBizLady: What’s the 3rd tip to shift from Tired to Inspired?
CoachElizabethB: Tip #3 to Get Inspired: Build Intentional Community. Assess your current community – who feeds you? Who drains you? Who do you want to spend more time with? Who are you spending your time with? Successful people surround themselves with successful people. They mastermind. They go to workshops and personal development seminars. They hire the right people to work for them. Think about it – Tiger Woods – what does he do? He plays GOLF – that’s it! He does what he does best. And he surrounds himself with a community that supports him at being his best.
SmallBizLady: What’s the 4th tip to shift from Tired to Inspired?
CoachElizabethB: Tip #4 to Get Inspired: Create Systems for Success. Look at every aspect of your life. Not just your biz! Assess Your Business: Is your desk organized? Are your computer files easy to navigate? What’s your communication like with your clients? Assess Your Home: is bill paying easy? Do you have a central scheduling place for meetings, vacations, etc. do you have a place to hang your KEYS when you walk in the door? Systems make life easier because there’s a plan that you don’t have to think about.
SmallBizLady: What’s the 5th tip to shift from Tired to Inspired?
CoachElizabethB: Tip #5 to Get Inspired: Work ON your business, not just in it. This is what Michael Gerber teaches in the E-Myth. If you have not read it, you must! Working on your business means to embrace being an Entrepreneur with a Capital E! When you work IN the business, you’re serving clients and doing daily tasks. When you work ON the business, you’re Visioning, Goal Setting, Big Picture Thinking, Networking. That’s where the inspiration comes in!
SmallBizLady: These are great tips but what if I still need help?
CoachElizabethB: Get help and perspective: hire a coach, work with a mastermind group, talk to your dog, meditate or pray. It’s important to identify the areas you need help and then find the appropriate resource (person, book, website, etc) Also be sure to schedule doses of inspiration. Sounds silly. But if it’s not in your schedule, it’s not in your life.
SmallBizLady: What’s your advice for brand new entrepreneurs?
CoachElizabethB: Network, network, network! Build your community so that you feel supported and you have access to resources. Join groups in your community to get the word out and to not feel isolated. Get a mentor or hire a coach. Someone to guide you on your journey and help you stay focused. Remember what Calvin & Hobbes said? “It’s only work unless someone makes you do it!” If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve chosen this. So have fun with it. Don’t create another J-O-B for yourself!
SmallBizLady: Who and what inspires you?
CoachElizabethB: My Favorite Spiritual Teachers: Sonia Choquette, Wayne Dyer, Caroline Myss, Jerry & Esther Hicks. My Favorite Business Gurus: Michel Gerber, Stephen Covery, Harv Eker, Walt Disney! J I get inspired by being in community, spending time in nature and having intellectual and spiritual conversations. Life is so much fun and I love to explore and learn constantly! Being a coach is the perfect fit for me.
If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9pm ET follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.
For more tips on starting or growing your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog at www.succeedasyourownboss.com