Courtney Elmer, host of The Systems Made Simple™ Podcast, talks about two things successful entrepreneurs do daily to work smarter not harder and achieve true entrepreneurial success.
I’m also going to show you how to grow a business by mastering these two habits of entrepreneurial success, so they become second nature and so you can experience the freedom you started your business for in the first place.
BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL LEARN:
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You’re Listening to the Systems Made Simple™ podcast, Episode #42! Today we’re talking about the two things you MUST learn to do well if you want to figure out how to grow a business quickly, work smarter not harder, and achieve entrepreneurial success. These are the two things most entrepreneurs — at least the ones who are struggling — aren’t doing! I’ll show you how to work smarter not harder by understanding what these two habits are, and learning how to master them right here in today’s episode. So, stay tuned!
I’m here with a confession. It’s embarrassing to admit this, but the two habits the world’s most successful entrepreneurs practice every single day are two things that I neglected to do in my own business for a long time. The more I neglected them, the more I continued struggling in my business. I was working as hard as I could to achieve entrepreneurial success but felt like I was getting nowhere. I couldn't figure out how to work smarter not harder, because the PROBLEM was that I didn’t realize I was neglecting anything! I wasn’t doing it intentionally, and herein lies the catch 22: a lot of entrepreneurs are making the mistake of not doing these two simple things. They’re neglecting these two things... but neglecting them unknowingly, which prevents them from achieving entrepreneurial success no matter how hard they work. Someone might decide they want to learn how to grow a business, then launch their business and grow it to a point, and then feel stuck and frustrated that they can’t seem to get any further than where they are now despite working as hard as they possibly can. So they try to manage their time better and figure out work smarter not harder, then wonder why everyone else seems to have figured out how to grow a business successfully and wonder if they’re not cut out for entrepreneurship. That breaks my heart. If they only knew what these two things were and focused on mastering them, they would experience entrepreneurial success far beyond their wildest dreams.
Before I tell you what these two things are, I'm going to challenge you: if you’re not experiencing the kind of entrepreneurial success you want yet, then your job is to lean in and question whether you might be missing one or both of these key components. When it comes to knowing how to grow a business and working smarter not harder, it boils down to: number one, managing your emotions, and number two, measuring your results.
These are two things that I see a lot of entrepreneurs NOT doing when it comes to figuring out how to grow a business. Big mistake! Don’t get me wrong, they’re staying busy in their business. But that busy-ness is allowing them to avoid addressing the deeper problems in their business. They can't figure out how to grow a business or work smarter not harder, because what they don’t realize is that the degree to which you manage your emotions, and the degree to which you measure your results, is the degree to which you’ll experience entrepreneurial success. They are directly correlated.
Some entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to outsource these two things. But throwing money at the problems in your business is not the same as addressing the problems in your business. This is the stuff you cannot outsource.
This is the inner work — the REAL WORK — that you have to do. This is the work that matters because it’s the work that will help you achieve entrepreneurial success; to get to the point where others are asking you how to grow a business.
When you're trying to grow your business based on your emotional state, your business is going to fluctuate as much as your emotions fluctuate. When you stop and think about how much your emotions can fluctuate in a single day, that creates a pretty scary forecast for your entrepreneurial success, doesn’t it? If you’re overworking yourself right now and you feel stuck and struggling to grow, it’s no wonder! The constant up/down/up/down roller coaster is exhausting, and it burns a lot of energy without getting you anywhere. No wonder figuring out how to work smarter not harder feels like a challenge. Imagine, if you're trying to figure out how to grow a business based on the emotions you're feeling in the moment, where will you be twelve months from now? Will you be closer to those results you want? Or will you still be stuck, worrying, frustrated, feeling like you're not seeing that progress, and not realizing that your emotional state in the present is what determines what you experience in the future?
Whatever you experience in the future, you are creating right now. Let that one sink in for a moment. That's a big key to entrepreneurial success. The secret to figuring out how to grow a business quickly while working smarter not harder is to first become a master at managing your emotions; and second, to measure your results.
Just like you would balance your checkbook, or check your bank statement online. You know what's coming in. You know what's going out. If you didn't know that if you didn't have those numbers, it might be really tough to manage your budget every month, wouldn’t it? It'd be tough to know, “Hey, should we buy this thing? Can we go on that trip?” It provides information — data — that helps you make informed, smart decisions. You cannot begin to work smarter not harder or reach the level of entrepreneurial success you want to reach without taking time to figure out where you are, get clear on where you want to go and track your progress to get there.
When you have that data, you know exactly how to grow a business because you see what needs improving and can make better decisions that are based on logic, not emotion. That's key. You have to know your numbers, because how do you expect to know what’s working if you don't?
Successful entrepreneurs have achieved the level of entrepreneurial success they've achieved because they manage their emotions and measure their results. Not because they've figured out some trade secrets for how to grow a business and work smarter not harder.
If you're running your business based on emotion, the real problem is not that you don't have enough experience or capabilities. The real problem is that you're not doing a good job of managing your emotions or measuring your results. The more you master these skills, the more entrepreneurial success you'll experience in your business.
Whatever you experience a week from now, a month from now, six months from now, a year from now, in your business… you're creating right now. So if you continue acting the way that you're acting right now, how much further along do you think you'll get and how much faster will you get there? What makes you think twelve months from now, you'll have anything different? Most people are teaching you tactics; little aspects that are part of knowing how to grow a business, but not the whole picture. My job is to teach you how to think like successful entrepreneurs think so you can understand what it means to work smarter not harder. Experiencing entrepreneurial success is not about time management, or productivity, or new strategies for how to grow a business. It's about mastering these two habits.
One way I practice working smarter not harder like this in my own business is to schedule time on my calendar once every week to sit down and look at my numbers. You need to know the key metrics that matter in your business, and to track them every week to see if they’re going up or down or staying the same. This is how to grow a business: by measuring what's working and what's not, so you can tweak and make improvements. That’s the measuring part of this equation. The emotional management part of this equation is when you sit down and look at these numbers, is that you resist the temptation to make them MEAN anything about how capable you are, or how successful you are. It’s just data.
Here’s what I want you to do next: You’re going to assess on a scale of 1 - 10 your level of entrepreneurial success right now based on how well you’re currently managing your emotions and measuring your results. A "10" would be: you know your high payoff activities and spend 90% or more of your time on those activities each week; you review the numbers in your business weekly; you make business decisions based on logic, not emotion; and you embrace what it means to work smarter not harder. A "1" would be these concepts are brand new to you and you’ve never heard this talked about before. Rate yourself right now.
Notice if you feel tempted to judge yourself for anything less than a 10. It’s easy to say “Oh gee I only feel like I’m a 5, or a 6, therefore I’m bad at this; I don't know how to grow a business; I'll never figure out how to work smarter not harder, I'll never have the kind of entrepreneurial success I want." Again, it’s just data. They are not a reflection of you. The more you can recognize that, the freer you are to use the data to your advantage and see it as an arrow pointing you in the right direction.
If you’re not sure what those high-payoff activities are in your business and you want my help to learn how to grow a business while working smarter not harder, then head to courtneyelmer.com/waitlist so you can register for my upcoming Virtual Masterclass where I teach you my 5-part, proven methodology, the Visionary Leader Formula™ that helps you learn how to grow a business while working smarter not harder, so you learn how to master these skills and experience the entrepreneurial success you deserve. When you enter your info there, you’ll get the information on our next class and how to register.
Coming up next week we’ve got a special guest who will be here with me to share her tips on how to grow a business and work smarter not harder, so you can create a thriving, profitable business without losing sight of what matters most. It’s a powerful episode, so make sure you join me right back here next week! In the meantime, share the show on your Instagram stories and tell your entrepreneur friends to listen in so they can learn how to work smarter not harder and experience entrepreneurial success with more great tips on how to grow a business and become the true Visionary Leader your business needs to succeed. Until then, go live YOUR EffortLESS Life®. I’ll see you back here next time on the Systems Made Simple™ podcast.