• Continual Improvement

    I like to choose one or two words as a theme for the year. The words for this year are continual improvement. That’s for me, for Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd and for you. My pledge to you is to keep giving you information and opportunities to continually improve your business and therefore your life.

    I’ve identified 10 things that will help me with that. In no particular order…

    Education

    My company can only grow as big as I can. In business I am constantly running into new situations. I need as much education as I can get. Anyone in a job with any amount of responsibility gets training; so should I.

    Most people take in and process information based on information they already have (I can only understand multiplying after I get adding). That’s why it is important to start and keep at it. I aim to glean 1-2 good nuggets and one good contact for every day of training.

    Network

    A network is the people I have around me. They support me or not, add to my knowledge or not, introduce me to new things or not, open my mind to new ways of seeing or not and connect with me or not.

    I surround myself with the people who make me feel the best about myself.

    Become an Expert

    Everyone is an expert at something and usually about a few things. All it takes is to know more than 95% of the population of the world about something. I’m going to embrace my expertise. Spend time practicing it, reading and researching about it, talking about it and if I really want to lock in my learning, I’ll teach it.

    Then blog or vlog (video blog) about it. Share it.

    Advice

    There are a few people who I turn to for advice on a regular basis. My husband is the first person I talk to.

    I enjoy working with people who are experts at what they do and I find it’s a treat that is humbling and empowering at the same time. I go to people I know who know more than I do or are great at seeing the core of an issue. People are usually very good about sharing if I ask. If it’s their business, then it’s not polite to ask for free advice. Having said that, most professional experts have packaged advice they are happy to share.

    Cross Industry

    Some of the greatest ideas and inventions are merely combining 2 formerly separate components together. I have the distinct advantage of working with business owners in many different industries. I note how specific issues, problems or challenges are handled and see if the same strategies can be applied within other industries.

    Health

    Maintaining my health is essential to having the focus and stamina to work on improvement. I’ve seen health issues push people into survival mode and they lose interest in anything else (as they should).

    A healthy body helps to create a clear, healthy mind.

    Have Fun be Happy

    Can I be creative if I’m not having fun? Fun is a very good reason for doing anything. New studies show that happy people are more successful. The success follows the happiness, not the other way around which was the original thesis.

    We all need to have some short term happiness while working towards long term happiness.

    My hobbies are pottery and adventure. Deborah Nicholson and I get together at least once a month to do something we wouldn’t normally do. We’ve walked the beach by torchlight, gone snowshoeing and we plan to go whale watching and kayaking (anyone interested in joining us?).

    These hobbies are useful ways to bring fun into my life, especially for those times when I’m forgoing immediate fun for long term fun. They also introduce new ways of looking that can spark creativity; new people and renewed energy.

    So go have fun.

    Thank You’s

    I’m creating the habit of sending Thank You notes every week.

    The habit of sending a couple a week will, also put me into an appreciative frame of mind. When I focus on how others help me, I am open to how I can help others and when I help others become successful, I become successful.

    Efficient and Effective

    I know a few people who get an incredible amount of stuff done in the same amount of time we mortals spend just trying to get the basics done. They do it by being very clear about what their goals are and what activities will get them to those goals the fastest. They develop systems that make repeated tasks easier and they concentrate on completing each task in front of them.

    For more information about how I plan to do that see the box below.

    Set SMART goals – and write them down

    I told you last week about the Harvard study where after 10 years the 3% of graduates who had clear written goals were earning 10x as much as the other 97% put together.

    This is important.

    I have written my goals for this year and they include clear measurements that will let me know when I have reached them.

    HOW?

    Now, I know what you are saying, “Who has time for anything other than keeping heads above water?”

    That’s the first place I can help. You’ll find some great time use tools and websites on my blog. Or read the book “The 4 Hour Work Week” by Timothy Ferris.

    All this is possible by continually improving what you are doing and how you are doing it. If I can help you in any way, let me know – after all, that’s what I’m doing this year!

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    And if you are really serious about this and want to find 16 hours every week that you could use have I got the course for you. The 4 hour work week group will meet for 4 Friday mornings over 4 months to try and clear at least 4 hours per week every month. This is doable with some planning and attention. Working on it in a group increases our support, ideas and accountability.

    I have the plan, and together we can make it happen.

    Invest the time to learn how to do more in less time.

    February 8th, 8am-noon Definition – What does it mean and how do you do it?
    March 7th, 8am-noon Elimination – Eliminate time, energy and money wasters.
    April 4th, 8am-noon Automation – Designing and implementing systems to get work done.

    May 2nd, 8am-noon Liberation – Now what? Getting out and away.

    Each meeting will be 4 hours as we plot a course for the coming month and assemble the tools we’ll need. You will have support and resources at all times as you require them.

    $497 for the 4 months with unlimited support.

    Limited to 6 people

    Frances Schagen of Crystal Clear Bookkeeping Ltd has worked with 100’s of business owners over the years to help them make their lives easier.
    This has given her a unique porthole into what works best. Using this intelligence she is growing a thriving business- part time (shh, don’t tell anyone).

    She is using the ideas from this book to compress her work into even less time while continuing to grow her business. Come along for the ride and see how low you can go – while still increasing your profits.

    Call 678-1607 or email 4in4@cleartoyou.com today, first class starts soon.

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