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Be Productive, Not Busy: Tools for a Balanced Business Strategy

By Jake Martin

3 min read

I’ll let you in on a little secret. As I’m working away writing this article, I’m sitting beside a tropical swimming pool, sipping on a fresh coconut and enjoying a sunny day. Occasionally I’ll stand-up, stretch and dip my toe into the pool. On my next break I’ll take a swim. But that’s actually not my big secret. The secret is this is actually me at my most productive, achieving freedom in business and adventure in life.

How can I claim to be productive, you ask, when I’m sitting next to the pool? I’ve developed a small business strategy that allows me to be productive while still living my life. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’ve also released my latest podcast interview, I’ve personally welcomed all of my new blog subscribers with clever, well-written emails, my virtual team members have all been updated on their tasks for the week, and have updated me on their achievements from last week, and I’ve approved the release of my latest batch of video tutorials.

Have a Successful Business & Life

We now have the most amazing tools available to help us make more efficient use of our time and streamline our work, yet so many entrepreneurs and independent small business people are busy being busy, instead of focusing on their priorities and productivity.

There is absolutely no reason for you to be working crazy hours as a slave to your email, smartphone and clients. Employ a smarter business strategy. Build an amazing toolkit using the systems available to you. Free up more time and money, and save your sanity.

It all comes down to how you view and use the tools in your kit every day that makes the difference. Personally, there is no way I could run my business and have achieved this amazing lifestyle without using this small business strategy.

For example, today’s work was achieved with these tools:

  • I’m writing this article using Google Docs, which I’ll share with my online editor and save on Dropbox. No more lost and replicated documents in Word.
  • That podcast interview I approved for release to my own site was scheduled in advance using WordPress and uploaded to Libsyn by my virtual assistant.
  • My chosen email client manager, InfusionSoft, auto-responded to all of my new subscribers to my Highflyer list with personally addressed emails in my own words.
  • Anyone who bought one of my digital products or offerings also automatically received the goods and will receive a series of emails (set up over a year ago) to help use the product most effectively.
  • My virtual team (who I originally hired using oDesk) and I have caught up on all our current tasks, including the release of my latest video, using the project management app Asana.

You, too, can automate your own tasks, leveraging the time you spend on each one, so your business works harder for you while achieving maximum results and profits.

But, don’t get caught up with all the options and waste hundreds of dollars and a great deal of time trying one new system after the next, only to never use them again. Instead, take advantage of free trials.

Invest the time to try out a couple options. It will be well worth it down the road when you have the ultimate small business freedom.

What Should be in Your Small Business Toolkit?

When selecting the right tools for your small business toolkit:

  • Create a checklist of tools you’re currently using.
  • Evaluate whether these tools are saving you time and money.
  • Do you know your tools inside and out? Learn how to efficiently use the tools at your disposal before taking on new ones or finding replacements.
  • Abandon any tools that are not producing desired results.
  • Evaluate (trial) what tools would be good additions and which would fit in best with your systems and budget.

Ultimately, your toolkit must allow you to work smarter and faster, and free up time to live your best life.

If you’re crazy busy spending endless hours working on your small business, probably to the detriment of your health and happiness, does all that busyness actually equate to lucrative returns that contribute to your profit margin? If not, it’s time to look at becoming more productive using the right tools.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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