Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET. This is excerpted from my recent interview with Che Brown who is the Happy Entrepreneur. He helps people to reduce their time, take back their lives and leave a legacy. For more info: www.SalesCourage.com
SmallBizLady: As one of the biggest producers of black entrepreneurs, what’s one of the biggest challenges that your clients face?
Che Brown: Figure out where the time is going now! Try tracking your time for a week. You can use an app, a spreadsheet, or a notebook. Without knowing where the time goes, it’s hard to know if you’re changing the right things. Maybe something you think is a problem isn’t. Or vice versa.
SmallBizLady: You think lots of people have blind spots with time — even you! What are some of those?
Che Brown: Like many entrepreneurs, our clients are dedicated to making both a difference and a dollar. They have big business goals, and they’re dedicated to reaching those goals. This isn’t a problem on its own. However, we’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs sacrifice their health, relationships, and well-being to realize those goals. This seems like a worthy sacrifice to many entrepreneurs, but there are often unintended consequences. The first is that they end up making what should be a short term sacrifice turn into a way of living. They end up feeling unhappy and under pressure, and it’s difficult to turn it around without some major changes.
SmallBizLady: What kind of unintended consequences do these entrepreneurs face? How does this affect their business and life?
Che Brown: The big consequence is that an entrepreneur can fall into the trap of living out of the need of immediacy, and not out of abundance. What we mean by that is, they’re constantly putting out fires. Because the entrepreneur has ignored some vital areas of life and business, they’re now spending their time focusing on what needs to get done “now” just for the survival of their business, health, relationships, etc. This isn’t a good place to operate from. And this is what ultimately leads to unhappiness. That’s why we’ve created The Happy Entrepreneur.
SmallBizLady: What’s the idea behind the Happy Entrepreneur?
Che Brown: The Happy Entrepreneur is a movement that’s based on one big idea: the results that show up in our lives are just as important as those that show up in our business. Too many entrepreneurs get stuck focusing only on their business and ignoring their personal lives. Not only does this lead to unhappiness, but it also means that the success we see in our business will ultimately be limited.
SmallBizLady: How does someone determine whether they’re ignoring their personal lives, or if they’re just doing what’s necessary and making sacrifices along the way?
Che Brown: 1st start out by doing an assessment of your time. In 1st column, list all of your priorities, including your family; 2nd column share how long it will take, 3rd when you will do it. If you find that your priorities are written, but not included with a deliverable, then they are simply wishes. Now you can recalibrate your priorities that include the things that mean the most to you and eliminate unnecessary tasks.
SmallBizLady: How would someone use The Happiness Scale?
Che Brown: Each week, you’ll commit to doing an equally positive action in both business and life. For example, you may decide that working out is a priority in your personal life. In your business, maybe speaking with 5 prospective clients is a priority. If you decide those should be paired (because they’re equally important), you’ll commit to doing them both as a pair and assign a point value to them. If you complete the pair, you get those points. If you don’t do either task, you don’t get any points. If you do one but not the other, you get negative points. The goal is to exceed 100 points each week, for as many weeks as possible.
SmallBizLady: How does a small business owner find the time to get through their entire to-do list and still spend so much time on their personal lives?
Che Brown: That’s where a lot of entrepreneur’s struggle. They lack time and energy to get it all done. And usually, our personal lives are the first to suffer. The Happy Entrepreneur focuses on 6 core principles designed to rescue our time back, to include: systems, automation, and collaboration among other tools to make this happen.
SmallBizLady: What are the 6 core principles and how do those principles help us rescue our time back?
Che Brown: The six core principles are systems, automation, collaboration, people, processes, and performance. When used together, these principles help us get more done in less time
SmallBizLady: What’s the biggest challenge with utilizing these 6 core principles?
Che Brown: Any time we implement a new system; we’ll experience challenges at first. The biggest challenge here is understanding that “The answer to who doesn’t always have to be you.” That is, just because something needs to get done in your business or life, doesn’t mean you have to personally take the time to do it. For example, automation can handle a lot of your sales and marketing. Collaborations can help your business grow. People on your team can handle daily tasks. Once you accept that you don’t have to personally handle every detail, you’ll start to rescue your time and have a lot more choices for what you do with that time. We prefer to use it to get our lives back and work on leaving our legacy.
SmallBizLady: Can you talk more about leaving a legacy?
Che Brown: Legacy can really refer to anything you want to leave behind. Maybe you’re building a community. Maybe you want to leave your family wealth. Maybe you want to write a book, or impact a group of people. Whatever it is, you’ll never have time if you’re constantly living out of the need of immediacy. Your legacy will never feel urgent until it’s too late.
SmallBizLady: You mentioned that People is a core principle. What can someone do if they can’t afford to build a team?
Che Brown: Building a team is just one way to use the power of people. First, it’s important to acknowledge that help come in all shapes and sizes. In your personal life, you might get creative and find friends or family to help in exchange of something that isn’t money (an exchange of favors, possibly). In business, you don’t have to hire a full time employee to get help. Look at working with a professional for one time projects, or hiring an assistant that works a couple hours a week for recurring admin tasks. This principle is also tied to collaboration – meaning, you can collaborate with piers to work out a win-win.
SmallBizLady: If anyone out there is struggling to find happiness in their business and life, what’s your advice?
Che Brown: When you can master the art of making a dollar and a difference at the same time, you’ll find happiness. It’s the reason many entrepreneurs went into business in the first place.
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