Tapping into freelance talent as a small business owner can save you and your small business money.
Not sure how? Or even if hiring a freelancer is the way to go for your small business?
Welcome back to GinAdmin. I am Gina Koran and I will be your host today. As always, I am grateful that you have a taken a few minutes of your valuable time to read my coffee-induced “wisdom”, as it were.
So today we are going to look at how tapping into the freelance talent out there can help save your small business money this year.
Go grab your favorite drink and let’s dive in…
Did you know…
70% of employers plan to use freelancers this year!
This is according to the 2022 Freelancing Trend in the USA survey conducted early this year.
Companies in many sectors are facing fast-moving challenges in this digital world, and they have to scale quickly in a way they may have not done before. That’s where hiring freelance talent comes in.
This number is amazing, and a great opportunity for small businesses.
Think about this…WHY are so many companies using freelancers?
Because there are so many freelancers out there!
About 70 million people in the U.S. freelance. With such a staggering statistic, it’s important for business leaders to start thinking about how to harness the immense talent available to them in the gig economy.
If you are like me, as a small business owner/entrepreneur, your daily routine is key to your productivity. Today, I am sharing 7 ways to help boost your productivity with daily routines.
Welcome back to GinAdmin. I’m your host, Gina Koran and as always, I’m pleased you chose to spend a few minutes of your busy day with me as I share my coffee-induced thoughts with you. So grab your cup…
Many of the things we do each day to reach our goals can be achieved by creating small routines or daily habits that you perform without even thinking about it each day.
By making your actions routine and, more importantly, a habit, you will find you get more done and not feel like you are always working.
Starting off the day hydrated will boost your energy and make it more likely that you get your tasks completed.
Even yours truly, a self-proclaimed coffee addict, I start my day with at least one glass of water. And while I might joke that I drink that glass of water to clean my palate before I start my coffee IV, it is truly to get myself hydrated after a full-night’s sleep.
I also will drink water with my lunch and my evening meal to keep myself hydrated, understanding that staying hydrated keeps me focused and more productive throughout the day.
The great thing about water is that you can spruce it up. Add a slice of lemon. Toss in some fresh mint. Maybe cucumber slices. So many possibilities!
Review Your Schedule
I’ve talked about this before, but each night before bed I write down the most important tasks I need to work on the next morning.
Then first thing (after my glass of water, of course) each morning before I start my day, I glance over my list to get an overview of what I need to do during the day.
Then, I can prioritize each item based on my very colorfully-coded calendar.
If you are looking for some inspiration on time blocking, check out Cindy Bidar’s latest podcast : “How to Use Time Blocking to Get Stuff Done”. Cindy is a master at this!
Create a Morning Routine
Set up a morning routine for your self-care. This is totally personalized to each person, based on your needs.
You can start with a shower, make your bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, etc.
You may also want to add meditation, do some yoga, or maybe even journaling into your morning routine.
Those are some of my own routine: drink my glass of water, do my morning stretches for my back, brush my teeth, shower and dress for the day, make the bed.
And finally make my first cup of magic bean water a.k.a. coffee. As my friends at Chicago French Press say: Coffee beans magically turn into a life-changing potion everyday!
Then I head into my office to start my day, starting with that task list!
Monitor Your Nutrition
Another way to become more productive is to eat properly. As I have said before, I am not a doctor. But I do understand the importance of proper nutrition.
I would love to eat like that 14-year-old girl with her sugar-based cereal again. That sugar high, though will lead to a sugar crash a couple hours later for me, the NOT-14-year-old-girl.
I also know that too much pasta and/or bread make me lethargic.
Talk about unproductive.
You know what foods work best for you – do that.
For me, fruits give me a natural boost. With summer coming (YAY), that will mean early Wednesday morning starts as I head out to the farmer’s market where I grab loads of fruits and veggies to give me that natural boost.
Another trick I found is prepping food in advance to make it easy to stick to whatever plan you come up with.
It also makes for a less stressful meal-planning time each day if you have a super busy day and find yourself short on meal-prep time!
Develop a Positive Mindset
Find ways to look at the positive aspects of your life. When you have a positive mindset or outlook, it tends to strengthen your motivation.
And I get that with everything going on in the world and around you today, that it is sometimes easier said than done to keep a positive mindset.
One of the biggest ways I have found to stay positive is to distance myself from the news.
I have greatly reduced my time on social media. We don’t even watch the evening news, something both my husband and I grew up with with our parents. If you are reading this and you know my Dad, mum’s the word! (Wink)
Now that is not to say that we do not know what is going on in the world. We simply reduce our exposure to it all.
I have to admit, since we stopped watching and reading and listening to the news as much, both our mindsets have become much more positive!
Celebrate Your Victories
When you are successful and accomplish something, find a way to celebrate, no matter how small the victory.
One of my rewards for completing a task is (no surprise) …a fresh cup of coffee. When I am working from my colorful calendar and its time blocks, once I complete a task, I’ll refresh my cup.
This also gives me a chance to get up and stretch my back after sitting through that task so that it doesn’t put a damper on my positive energy.
Find something that motivates you. Something that will give you that motivation to complete a task. Then celebrate your win!
Segment Your Workday
Don’t work all the time. This is especially important if you work for yourself. The work never seems to end.
Set specific hours for your workday. Stick to these hours at least 80 percent of the time.
Keep in mind that being flexible is important. Sometimes working hard is going to be required, but it’s not required every single day.
I am getting better at this. And while I might have a client text me in the evening, if it’s not an emergency, it goes on my task list for the next morning (see how I tied that in from earlier?).
Well, there you have it, Gina’s coffee-induced thoughts on boosting your productivity through daily routines!
If you have some other ideas on boosting productivity or daily routines, drop them in the comments below. I would love to hear yours!
For my fellow small business owners, if you are interested in ways that working with a Freelance Administrator can help put more time in your day and boost your productivity, drop me a message over at www.GinAdmin.com/#contact.
Until next time my friends, stay safe, positive and productive!
Changing your mindset can help you grow both personally and professionally in achieving your goals.
But do you know what is the number one factor that determines whether or not someone succeeds at achieving a goal?
Is it genetics? Luck? What about skills or natural talent? Hard work has to be in there somewhere, right?
All of these factors are important, some more so than others, but none hold the number one spot.
So, what is number one?
If you guessed mindset, you are right. Mindset is a better predictor of future success than every other factor you can consider, including working hard and natural talent.
Welcome back to GinAdmin. My name is Gina Koran and I, along with my trusty sidekicks (a.k.a. my cup of joe and my pup) will be your host into this journey of changing your mindset to help you grow both personally and professionally, and achieving your goals.
What is a Growth Mindset?
A growth mindset is where you believe in change and improvement.
You believe that your skills and talents can be improved through hard work, practice, and dedication.
You embrace challenges.
People with a growth mindset set challenges as learning and growth opportunities rather than obstacles standing in their way.
They don’t get easily frustrated by failures and roadblocks; they believe these things are to be expected and are a sign that they need to adjust and try again.
I never see failure as failure, but only as a learning experience.
The success of other people is inspiring to people with a growth mindset. They try to figure out how the other person succeeded and how to imitate them. This increases their own odds of success
You’ve heard the old adage “A leopard cannot change its spots”. Well, yes. But you are not a leopard, you are a human being. And we, as humans CAN change our spots!
Mindset is Changeable
Don’t buy into the myth that mindset is static. Not only CAN it change, but it DOES change throughout your life, whether or not you purposely try to change it.
So if your mindset is changing anyway, why not guide these changes and help them along so that you can grow into the best possible version of yourself?
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “HOW can I make these changes?”.
Well guess what…I have some tips. These tips are actually some habits you can create to help you change your mindset into one of growth!
Changing your mindset takes time and work. There’s no magic that will let you do it overnight.
And, of course, you don’t want to do ALL of these!
Pick the ones you think you can do easily and start there. You can always come back later and start on a new one!
So here we go…
Create a morning ritual to get your day off to a good start.
What makes you feel best in the mornings?
What can you do to set yourself up for success every day?
Maybe it is journaling over a cup of coffee or going for a morning run.
Maybe it is taking a few minutes to meditate or stretch before you get in the shower.
It might even be something as simple as making your bed before you leave for work.
Figure out a ritual that works for you and prioritize doing it every day.
If you have been with me for a while, you know that running…yeah, probably not going to happen.
But as the weather gets warmer, I will start going walkabout with the pupper. (AND my cup of coffee!). This gets my blood flowing and sets me up for a good day of good old-fashioned work!
Reflect on your day.
Every night before you go to bed, take a moment to reflect on your day.
What went right?
What didn’t and how can you make it go right tomorrow?
Did you get done what you wanted to do? Why or why not?
What can you do to make sure tomorrow goes well?
I mentioned in a previous article that my best tool is my very colorful calendar.
Every morning before I start my day, I look over my calendar and have a snapshot of what I need to accomplish.
This also helps clear my brain most nights so that I can rest knowing that tomorrow is already laid out for me.
Okay, sure you can pass on that busy work to your Freelancer. But typically, Freelancers have such a wide knowledge base that you will find that, again you can also pass on other, bigger tasks to your Freelance Admin to put some time back into your schedule!
I’m sensing a trend here! (wink)
Freelancers aren’t skilled, otherwise they’d be working a “job” for a big company
Most Freelance Admins come from some type of “corporate” background.
Having been a corporate admin for (way too) many years, I can tell you that having a “job” for a big company is not so much something I want to go back to. I find much more satisfaction in working independently with companies I choose to work with, especially small business owners.
Why small business owners? Thanks for asking! I love working with small business owners because they are still intimately involved in the daily running of their business. They are still in the trenches, so to speak. They are still passionate about their business.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to sound as if I am speaking poorly of large corporations. It’s just that having been in that world, I simply and personally enjoy and prefer working with small business owners.
On the skill side, Freelancing is so popular right now and there are so many places for Freelancers to gain knowledge that this is a big pile of myth nonsense. Plus, there are so many online communities for Freelancers, that the knowledge-base we have to draw on is truly impressive.
Freelancers lack true work ethic
The majority of the Freelancers I personally know work more hours every week than your average employee.
This comes not only from the fact that we take great pride in our work, but very likely – you are not our ONLY client, so we have to schedule our time to make sure we finish the work we’re given.
Plus, we know that if we don’t do the work we’re contracted to do, we can lose that contract. And that’s just bad business.
And because we ourselves are business owners, we tend to put forth the effort it takes to keep the trust of those who have hired us!
Freelancers aren’t employees, so they have no commitment/loyalty to the company
Again, those Freelancers I know take great pride in working with the business owners who put their trust in them to get the job done.
So I simply call hogwash on that myth.
Companies that encourage the use of freelancers will benefit from the increased access to skilled talent and more workforce flexibility, while those that ignore freelancers will inevitably fall behind.
As a small business owner, I can’t afford to hire a freelancer
This is probably one of the things I hear most from small business owners that I talk to. And yes, when you are first starting out on your business-ownership journey, hiring ANYONE can feel like a huge expense.
There are three major points I share with the small business owners that I approach about working with me.
First, you cannot do all of the things all of the time over a long period of time. You will burn yourself out and start to resent the very business you started. I have watched this happen to many small business owners.
And as a Freelancer, it is painful for me to see this happen when I KNOW I can help them. It is especially painful when they have previously said “No, thanks” when I offered my services.
The second point I make is that by hiring someone to do the background work, it frees them up to focus on building their business. Which is the goal, right? You want to BUILD.
Which feeds into my third point, and that is that once you have built your business with a solid foundation, eventually you’re going to need to hire SOMEONE. That someone is going to require benefits, supplies, office space, breaks, vacation time. All the things that go along with hiring employees.
Plus, that employee will not have first-hand knowledge of the background of your business.
When you hire a Freelance Admin, you are strictly paying for the work they are doing for you, so no benefits, etc. And by working with them when you are starting out, they have first-hand, working knowledge of how you want things done! There is no learning-curve by having to hire an admin later and take the time to walk them through every step.
So when a small business owner tells me they cannot afford to hire a Freelance Admin, my question is: Can you really afford NOT to work with me?
And there you have it. One woman’s opinion on the 6 biggest myths of working with a Freelance Admin.
As always, thanks for stopping by! And I would love to hear from you – the good, the bad, the ugly – so feel free to leave me a comment below. Or pop on over to www.ginadmin.com/contact and schedule a time for a chat!
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of How-to Coaches out there. Coaches that will teach you how to do everything from how to set up your office for better efficiency to, you guessed it…how to be more productive. So today, I’m going to share with you some ideas that have worked for me.
Welcome to, or back to, the GinAdmin Blog. My name is Gina Koran and I’ll be your host on this journey into How to be More Productive. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and see what insight my coffee-fueled brain can share with you!
Okay, so how CAN you be more productive this week?
You can spend a lot of time doing things that add little to no value to your life or your business and are just plain busy work.
OR you can plan your week to be more productive and useful than you ever thought possible.
Sounds great, but exactly how do you do that?
Here’s what I do. My coach, Tawnya Sutherland at www.VANetworking.com coaches her VA Insiders to set aside a 3-hour block of time EVERY week to work on our OWN businesses.
So “My Business Time” is Saturday morning from 9am to noon. During those three hours, I look first at my goals, then the things I need to do next to achieve them.
Those tasks get added to my calendar based on my goals and objectives for the week. I even go so far as to list each action that needs to be taken for the final result I’m looking for so that I don’t get caught up in a bottleneck or roadblock.
Or worse, get sucked down a rabbit hole and spend hours looking up recipes for snickerdoodles. Anyone else guilty of this? No? Just me?
Are there tasks on your list that someone else can do for you and free up some of your time?
Are you spending a lot of time doing tasks that aren’t directly related to money-making tasks for your business? You know what I’m talking about – posting to social media, responding to comments on your posts, writing blog posts…all those tasks take up valuable time!
One of the items on my list (this one is more personal, but it’s time-consuming and eats into my own business time) is menu planning. Those of you who plan and cook meals for your family will understand the pain of figuring out every single day what to feed your household. Can I get an “Amen”?
This task is outsourced in my house. Sort of. Basically, if I ask “what’s for dinner tonight” and there’s no response, you’re getting either leftovers or breakfast. Simple, fast, but still nutritious.
So, think about turning those tasks over to someone who can do them for you to save time, time that you can spend on tasks that get you closer to those goals! Someone like, say a Freelance Admin (wink).
When you want to get more done in a day, the best thing you have going for you is a good plan based on smart goals. I find that I can do better by following these three tips.
Tip #1: Set Daily Goals and Objectives
Work with a long-term plan to create your medium-term and short-term plans and actions. If you plan right, you’ll be able to set daily goals and objectives that allow you to finish any project or task on time. Start with the result you want, a time you want the result, and then work your way backward in your calendar to today, planning small actions that will lead to the result you want.
I learned this idea ages ago, possibly even before my military days. You’ve heard the old saying “Start with the end in mind”. What’s the goal? Now work your way backwards to today and you’ll have the steps you need to take to reach it!
Tip #2: Remove Distractions
It’s also important to achieving your goals to avoid and remove distractions that take you away from the schedule you set for yourself.
My own calendar looks like a kindergartener got ahold of a crayon. Each day has tasks, reminders and appointments listed in different colors based on what that task pertains to.
By listing my daily steps in my calendar and taking away anything that will interrupt me during the day, I can be sure to achieve each task and get me one step closer to my goal.
Tip #3: Stick to Deadlines and Timelines
Setting a realistic timeline and deadline requires you to know how long it takes you to do things and what is happening with the rest of your schedule. If you schedule everything you need to do, including personal tasks, it’s going to be much easier to set and stick to realistic timelines and deadlines.
This is probably THE hardest part. At least for me. There are so many shiny objects to distract us and so many other tasks that have to be done each day, that it’s easy to go off course.
One of the ways I combat this is, again with the calendar…I block time throughout the day to work on my tasks. If it’s a big goal, then I break it down to working maybe 90 minutes every day. I try not to go beyond that because being human, my attention span only allows me about that amount of time before I look for those shiny objects to distract me!
Speaking of time blocking, that’s a big part of this next area:
What IS time management and how does it relate to being more productive?
When we talk about time management, we’re not really talking about managing time as much as we’re talking about managing the schedule you set for yourself, ensuring you have enough time and energy to do what needs to be done in that timeframe.
This requires that you understand how long it takes you to accomplish the task, knowing how to do the task right, which technology or equipment you need and that you have the right resources to get it done. All of this requires planning.
Here again, I defer to my colorful calendar. I know every morning when I sit down at my computer EXACTLY what has to be done today to move me another step forward toward my goals.
How often does someone call or stop you if you’re out and about and ask you for a favor? My husband is famous for poking his head in my office with a “Hey, can you do me a quick favor?”. Sometimes I shoo him out, especially if I’m in the middle of a project or task. But, since I live with him, mostly I say sure.
I’ll ask you here: “Hey, can you do me a quick favor?”. When someone comes to you with new things to add to your schedule, don’t just say yes automatically.
First, tell them you’ll check your calendar.
Then check your schedule but also check your mind to find out if you really want to do it or not.
Only say yes if you CAN actually fit it in, even if you think you want to do it.
The great thing about being a business owner and being your own boss is it lets you say YES to more of the things you’d like to do and turn over the rest to someone who likes to do the things you don’t!
MULTI-TASKING: Is it keeping you from being more productive?
If you’ve ever read job advertisements, you probably see them asking for “natural multitaskers” or “good multitaskers” as if this is a good thing to be. The problem is that scientifically, you cannot truly multitask. No one can. As a human, you can only truly focus on one thing at a time.
A person who multitasks might get by and do a good enough job, but if they really focused, they’d do better. Studies show that multitasking reduces productivity, increases stress, and it’s not realistically possible.
I found this quote, which made me laugh because it’s so completely me that I might just put it up on my office wall:
“Multitasking is the ability to screw everything up simultaneously.” ~Jeremy Clarkson
I’ve gone away from trying to multitask myself. I found that those studies were dead-on for me: I was stressed out because I never felt like I was accomplishing anything and was driving my productivity down. Once I started focusing on one task at a time, I was a much happier me!
Now, while multitasking may be a productivity myth, you can still have more than one project going at a time. Consider working with a Freelance Admin. Our job is to work with you to take some of those tasks off your hands so you can focus on the bigger picture of your business.
Okay, so here is my disclaimer:
You have to do what works best for YOU. These are the things that work best for me in my own business and in my own life. If they work for you, then my goal has been achieved, which is why I share my coffee-induced “wisdom” with you!
Bottom line: We all have enough time to get things done, if we know and implement the ways that work best for us to achieve our goals. A great option if you find yourself not having enough time in your day to complete the tasks you need to in order to achieve your goals, is to work with a Freelance Admin. We’re good at taking those tasks, freeing up your time so that you can do what you love!
I’d love to hear from you – what tasks could you outsource that would benefit you and your business and help you achieve your goals? Leave me a comment!
And if you’d like to know what GinAdmin can do to make your life easier, hit me up and let’s chat! Head on over to my contact page and send me a message! http://www.ginadmin.com/#contact