Whether you are a business owner or not, work life balance is one of the hardest things to achieve and maintain. As we have become more and more technologically advanced, it has become much more difficult to make that separation from work and personal lives.
What is true is that having more channels of communication is a great thing, and it makes certain things much easier to get done. However, it tends to set up this perception that if we have a phone in our hands, we are “on”.
Especially since the shift towards working from home, this distinction has become even more blurred.
It is incredibly convenient to have the luxury of taking your laptop and working from different places, and check notifications when it is convenient for us, but it is a fine line between doing those things for our convenience and having that become the standard.
Oh, look it’s 4:59pm, and I just got another email! I might as well answer it...then it’s 5:30pm and you’re still writing your reply. Have you ever had this experience?
It’s amazing that you want to go the extra mile, however, when we start going the extra mile every single time...we begin to set that extra mile as our normal routine, which means we are pressured to always achieve more and more.
To be clear, being highly motivated and ambitious is a bad thing - not at all! It’s just when it becomes the only option that it starts to become problematic.
You know, when it becomes nearly impossible to turn it off and put work down. Plus, to do that all the time is just not sustainable long-term not to mention that it takes a tremendous toll on our health and well-being.
There is always more to be done. Sometimes, bosses can get caught up in this idea that you have to work at 200% 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and then, when you are successful, you can take it down a notch.
Don’t buy into this mentality.
If you are working yourself to death day in and day out, you will eventually get so burned out that you may just quit your job altogether, and find a less demanding position. However, if you prioritize your work-life balance, you will be happier, and even more productive because you won’t be so stressed out all the time!
I mean it folks, take some time to reflect on this. Your physical and mental health is so important, especially during stressful times. It can be easy to go into “go, go, go” mode, but it really is better for you in the long run to find a healthy balance.
Here's To Your Success,
Have you ever finished a big project and had every single person on your team just feel burned out and unmotivated to tackle the next task?
I know I’ve been there.
My team and I just finished up a two week virtual summit jam-packed full of industry leaders and top business experts teaching you how to grow and scale your virtual and remote teams. It was a lot of work and turned out absolutely fantastic! P.S. if you missed it, you can still watch the entire summit HERE!
While it’s important to keep things moving in your business, sometimes it can feel like starting the next task would be like running uphill with a backpack full of rocks.
So how do you motivate your team when you’re feeling a little bit of collective burnout?
Sometimes as business owners, we get a little bit of tunnel vision, and we go a mile a minute, forgetting that not everyone is on the same page. It’s important to recognize that what motivates you may not seem motivating to everyone else.
What I have found to be the most effective way to approach this is to motivate each team member according to their unique MBTI preferences.
The secret to success is that it all starts with people. An effective approach to motivation is not a “one size fits all”.
If you'd like to learn more about motivating each personality type based on their individual preferences, check out my video: Motivation & Personality Type: How to Keep Moving For Life!
If you have a team full of INFPs, you will have to motivate them differently than a team full of ESTJs.
For example, INFPs are highly imaginative, and live in such a rich inner world. However, sometimes they live so much in their inner worlds that it can be difficult to transfer that energy into external motivation. Sometimes they get stuck bringing their inside ideas outside.
So, some of the best ways to motivate an INFP would be to give them the opportunity to emulate someone that they enjoy being around and respect. Also, giving them plenty of time alone to regroup as well as a lot of flexibility in their schedules that allows them room for change are highly motivating to an INFP.
ESTJs, on the other hand, are constantly trying to get things done, and genuinely enjoy accomplishing tasks. However, if an ESTJ is not feeling motivated, it may be because they feel their efforts are not getting any real results or the task at hand is chaotic or inefficiently presented.
So, the best way to motivate an ESTJ team member would be to be clear about what is expected of them. Help them get started, but don’t overwhelm them with too much information at one time.
Also, because they have an Extroverted preference, they need stimulation and interaction with people to be productive. Create an environment that allows for this and you’ll get an ESTJ to thrive!
Collective burnout is something that affects every organization.
As a business owner and leader, it is especially effective when you notice that members on your team are feeling burnt out, causing the entire team to just feel generally unproductive.
Have conversations, find out what’s going on and then get everyone back on track by using motivational techniques that best fit their personality preferences.
Raising your bottom line all starts with people.
Here's To Your Success,
Since many of us have been working remotely for at least 6 months due to COVID-19, working remotely isn’t necessarily a “new” thing anymore.
However, the hottest topic recently has been, how will the workforce look post COVID-19? Will employers allow more or all of their employees to work from home? Will they go straight back into the office?
Interestingly, I have been working with my teams remotely for over 2 years, and it’s been going great. Ever since the beginning.
Sure, it can sometimes be difficult to coordinate with different time zones, but if working remotely works efficiently for your team, you are able to communicate well, and people are generally happier, why wouldn’t you do it?
For the newest generation, they are PROS at this whole remote working and learning thing.
They had to pivot in a split second to have school, work, or even both completely remote. But for those of us who were so accustomed to the traditional office life, it’s a bit more of a transition.
Whether you are an employee or a business owner, you will need to adapt to the new remote workforce at some point or another. In fact, it has become clear that some companies will prioritize and adapt to the remote workforce, having no plans to return to the “traditional” office. Twitter, Facebook, and Google have announced extended work from home policies.
So, how do you plan accordingly?
If you are a business owner, you now have access to talent across the globe. Maybe you live in a small town and weren’t able to find a good fit (in office) to manage your social media accounts the way you would like them to be managed.
Check this out: with this new shift in the traditional work paradigm, you now have an entire new pool of applicants that you could draw from if you are open to remote work!
Yes, the transition to remote working becoming the norm will continue to take a little bit of adjusting.
As a business owner, you may want to play around with a couple of project management tools and establish a good channel of communication with your team. While certain productivity tools work great for some, each one works differently for everyone, it’s just whatever works best for you!
Another important consideration when establishing a permanently remote workforce, is to establish boundaries early on with your teams.
As a business owner, having plans and policies in place around things such as what times do you expect your employees to be online? Do you have hard time requirements for being online, or do you just expect them to get their work done, no matter when they choose to work on it?
And going along with that, what are expectations for messages after hours? These are all really important expectations to set with remote work, because remotely working can often blur the lines between work and personal life.
And what goes the distance in anything is including everyone in these conversations. The way to retain talent is to be flexible and accommodating when possible.
Whether you are a recent graduate who is extremely familiar with remote working or a brick and mortar business owner trying to pivot online, we will all need to continue to adapt to the world of remote working, to some degree.
Either way, it will definitely be interesting to see how the working world transforms over the next few years!
Here's To Your Success,
So...if you are considering bringing on internal team members to your business or if you are outsourcing, I want to be the first to say “congratulations”!
It’s so exciting when your business is successful enough that you need extra help. But, with that comes a little bit of a challenge. For many of us, our business is our baby.
There is that saying, “Entrepreneurs will work 100 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours for someone else.” When you’re SO passionate about your business, it can be extremely difficult to let go or hand off parts of it to others, even if it’s just a small task, like writing email newsletters.
In order to be a truly successful business owner, you need to learn how to trust others with your business, even if it seems difficult at first. I mean, I completely understand.
My business is my passion, and when you’re so involved in something from the beginning it almost seems like no one else in the world could do things the way you do them. But you are just one person - you cannot handle it all.
That is why finding the “rite” people to add to your team is so important!
When we talk about the “rite” type in the workplace, we are typically discussing how MBTI types have different preferences in the workplace and how these preferences play out. Another incredibly important consideration when growing your own business and looking to bring in additional help, is making sure that you find the “rite” person not just for the job, but also for your workplace culture and the interactions that take place.
Do you get along with the person? Is it a natural connection? Do they seem excited about your business? Does it seem like they will thrive in the environment and style you’ve created for your business?
While you should absolutely be assessing them on their skills and abilities, an interpersonal fit is just as important. While it’s not necessary to seek out a specific type, think about how closely you will be working with this person and whether or not you like being around them. It can be difficult to work with or trust another person if your work styles clash and naturally create a conflict.
These are some questions you can ask when considering to add someone to your team:
Now, I am by no means a hiring expert. But it is very important to ask these sorts of questions when considering adding someone to your team because if you prefer one way of doing things and they prefer the opposite, it is naturally going to cause conflict and reduce productivity on the job.
Handing off parts of your business to a stranger can be a big step. Taking a holistic and comprehensive approach to hiring will give you the tools to find someone that you can build trust with and that will help you succeed in your business ventures.
Here's To Your Success,
Whether you have been working with your team remotely for 6 months or 6 years, time management when working online can be such a difficult thing to master.
For me, time management doesn’t just mean prioritizing all my tasks, it also means getting what I need to get done while also setting boundaries.
I’m sure you’ve seen the news articles that say, “On average working from home means 3 more hours on the job” (Source: Bloomberg) While I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that, it can definitely feel like you are perceived to be available for many more hours.
Alright let’s back up a little bit. First let’s discuss managing your tasks when you work online.
If you’re a business owner, you probably have a mile long to-do list. So how do you get through it all?
I recommend project management tools, such as Slack, Trello, or Asana. Each tool has its own pros and cons, but they all allow you to put your tasks into categories and make lists of what needs to get done. These tools can also help you delegate tasks to your team.
I’m a firm believer that the best way to manage your time is to have an organized plan of what you want to get done each day, and who you want to get it done.
As a leader, it can be tough to manage doing your own work and approving/reviewing your team members' work, but it will be easier for everyone if expectations are set from the start. The more specific the instructions you give, the less time you need to provide your team member to answer follow up questions or clarifications.
Obviously, it’s a little unrealistic to expect your team members to understand all of their tasks with zero questions, ever. But if you go out of your way when you are delegating tasks to them to make sure they are clear on what they need to do, it will save you time in the future.
Another important aspect of time management is setting boundaries. When you’re working from home, people tend to naturally think of you as more available and accessible, especially considering all of the forms of communication that exist today.
In the online business community, there is often a “hustle, hustle, hustle” mentality. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being ambitious and driven, but it can be harmful to equate success with working all day every day.
When you are a business owner, you often set your own hours. You can work 30 hours a week, or you can work 70. If you manage your business online, while you may feel obligated to be as available as possible, it’s very important to set boundaries for your availability online.
This will save your sanity. I promise.
It may not feel like a big deal to answer a quick text or email after hours, but feeling that constant obligation to work can take a big toll over time. Work with your team early on to establish boundaries, and make sure everyone identifies any time they will be on “do not disturb” to avoid any miscommunication in the future.
Working remotely can be amazing, and by honing in on those time management skills and establishing online availability boundaries, you will set you and your team up for success.
Here's To Your Success,
In times like these, it’s completely normal and expected for team members to fear uncertainty, which may affect their motivation and personal development at work.
Now, more than ever, motivation and engagement in your team is absolutely crucial. Each MBTI type responds differently to various forms of motivation from their team leader. For example, an Intuitive-Feeler may feel the most motivated when they receive genuine feedback and appreciation.
Oftentimes, for these types, having authentic meaning behind tasks is very important.
On the other hand, you could have a team member that is a Intuitive-Thinker that finds that constant stream of communication (although it is positive and encouraging) a little bit distracting from their work, and they are motivated best by the outcome. These types need to see how their actions directly affect an organization, and their ability to see that change is what drives them.
Again, the great thing about MBTI type is that there is NO right or wrong answer. No single personality type is better or worse than another, each individual just has their own preferences, which affects how they function in the world. But as leaders, we can use knowledge of MBTI to pinpoint how we can help each individual on our team.
Motivating your team members also helps progress their personal development, both in and outside of work. No matter what someone’s personality type is, if they are feeling burnt out and unappreciated at work, it’s just a matter of time before they find an opportunity that fits their needs better.
Once you have figured out your “sweet spot” and know how to motivate your team, your team and organization will only grow and prosper. It’s amazing how having the right people on your team and knowing how to collaborate can really set a business up to be massively successful.
Here's To Your Success,
By now, we’ve all (hopefully!) made a fairly successful transition to remote work. Now it’s time to fine tune all the small details.
One of the most important aspects of being a successful leader, remotely or not, is communication. Ironically, as an INFJ myself, I tend to lean towards more communication rather than less. However, more is not always better!
Effective communication is the ability to convey your message in a direct, concise way. This is especially important in an online world, where communication exists in various mediums. With all the various modes of communication, things like texts, emails, Slack messages, DMs, etc. can easily get lost in the shuffle if we’re not organized and concise.
Sometimes, we tend to think over-communication = effective communication.
But that is not the case! For example, as a leader or business owner, it’s much more effective to give your team instructions for their next project, in one place, say over a company meeting, rather than giving those instructions in multiple parts, over various channels of communication.
It may sound simple, but as leaders and business owners, sometimes we forget that not everyone else’s brain works like ours. No matter what your MBTI type is, if you own a business, there’s a good chance that you are both extremely busy and handling many projects simultaneously.
Sometimes it can be difficult to remember that not all employees respond well to less formal leadership. This is where MBTI type comes in handy!
Now, if you’ve got a team member that thrives off of a “go with the flow” work environment such as an intuitive perceiving person, by all means, cater to that! The great thing about MBTI is that there is no right or wrong way of doing things, it only helps us cater to each individual to amplify their success.
But on the other hand, let’s say you’ve got a team member that is detail oriented, and loves to plan their projects and tasks out weeks in advance, quite likely someone with a sensing-judging preference. You won’t be able to truly maximize your success in your business if you don’t take a different approach to leading that team member, such as creating a workflow or other organized system.
And it probably won’t be very fun for either of you if one person is always bringing up new projects and never finishing them, and the other is focused on finishing one before starting another.
The bottom line is - effective communication is an extremely important part of great leadership. Truly effective communication means understanding who you are communicating to, and how to get your message to them in a meaningful way. Because communication is the core of doing business, once you have an understanding of the different communication styles within your organization, everything else will fall into place.
Here's To Your Success,
As a business owner or entrepreneur, in some way, you want to leave a legacy. You want to change the world in some way and help people.
The bottom line of all businesses is absolutely to make money. And yet my guess is that many of you are like me in that you hope to do some great work in the world.
But how does one leave a legacy?
That sounds like a tall order for a small business owner or entrepreneur when your focus right now might just be getting started on the right foot, or even just getting by during a pandemic.
But even in these trying times, the secret to leaving a legacy starts with leadership.
In the midst of a crisis, definite traits set leaders apart from the rest of the pack.
The difference between a great leader and average leader is who the person is, what are this person’s values? What are their *soft* skills?
These questions are sometimes overlooked when talking about business leadership.
With this new normal of virtual life, work, collaboration, teams, business, etc., traditional leadership might just be thrown out the window.
One thing is more true now more than ever before. Those leaders who are great leaders and set themselves apart are those people who can effectively influence and effectively empower others during times of crisis.
Leadership in our new normal means proactively responding daily to the new challenges people on your team or employees are facing. It’s not waiting for issues to pop up. It is proactively understanding how our world is changing and all the various ways it impacts your people, families, and communities.
Being a great leader means doing whatever it takes to protect your employees and protecting their businesses, all while being empathic in that process. So empathy is absolutely essential these days in being able to help and meet other people’s needs.
In order to be able to see your team and your people as unique and understand their unique experiences, you first have to understand that all within yourself.
There is absolutely no way you can be genuine and authentic, connecting with your team or employees if you don’t know how to do that for yourself.
Being able to be there for others, supporting others, and leading others requires introspection. It requires commitment to growing. It requires a commitment to your own mental health and your emotional world.
What sets great leaders apart is their inclusion of empathy and compassion in all their efforts.
This is 100% what my high performance-based program is all about. Helping you develop the type of person you are, because it all starts with you.
Great leaders are willing to invest in themselves.
If you want to leave a business legacy out of this crisis, it stems from leadership, which all starts with you.
Let’s talk today about how you can show empathy and compassion as an entrepreneur or small business owner in times of crisis.
Here's To Your Success,
Delegation is a difficult subject for business owners and can often be much harder than it sounds.
What makes delegating so hard for leaders?
Sometimes, it might have to do with your particular personality type. Certain types are intrinsically better at delegating than others.
This does not mean certain types can’t delegate. Certain traits are just going to be more naturally apt to it.
Thinkers biggest criteria for success is if the work got done. It does not matter how many bodies they leave along the way.
On the other hand, Feelers are very aware of other people’s feelings, but try to get everybody’s needs met while getting work done.
Feelers might get more hung up on delegating because they are trying to balance the needs of their teams along with the tasks that need to be done. Thinkers are more focused on the bottom line.
When we look at it from a type perspective, some types are more naturally inclined to delegate.
If you have taken anything away from learning about personality types, it should be that you cannot pigeonhole each type. Feelers can delegate and Thinkers have the ability to take others into account while working.
We all want to be the best managers we can be, and with that comes the ability to delegate to your team or employees.
If you find delegation difficult, let’s schedule a time to talk about how you can grow this part of you while deepening your understanding of yourself and how you tick.
It might not be as hard as you think.
Here's To Your Success,
As business owners or entrepreneurs, our work can feel like an extension of ourselves.
We work hard everyday to help make our vision and business come to life in exactly the way we want it to.
As your business grows and expands, hiring employees and team members is essential.
But what if it is hard for you to trust others to get your vision across?
Trust issues stem from conflict in your personal life. Struggling to trust comes from issues you are hung up on subconsciously.
If you thrive off of control in the outside world, it is usually because you are trying to protect an emotional feeling that could overwhelm you.
The greater the control someone needs in the outside world, the greater the chaos is inside.
If you are someone who finds trusting others to get the job done hard, it is far more about the chaos you feel inside which stems from your emotions or past experiences.
Let’s schedule a time to talk about how you can begin the process of trusting others with your business.
Here's To Your Success,
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.