Category Archives: personal development

Outsourcing, Know Your Limits

Are you an entrepreneur who has been trying to do it all yourself to save yourself a little money? In today’s tough economy most of us feel like we are in the same boat. There’s just not enough time or money to get everything done. If that is not a problem for you, perhaps it is that you just don’t know how to do something that is critical to your ongoing success.

Are you a hands on entrepreneur? Do you attempt to learn every new technique that comes out? Maybe your issue is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or even knowing where to start putting together a website at all. Whatever your dilemma, at some point you either have or will begin to feel like you needed some direction or help. Are you taking too much time away from your ‘first love’ and not gaining ground. If so, take a step back and evaluate where you have come from and where you want to go.

So, how do you know when it is time to consider outsourcing? Outsource when you:

  1. Are frustrated
  2. Want it done better
  3. Need it done faster
  4. Want to take your business to the next level

There are definitely people out there that can ease your burden who have a whole lot of expertise in numerous studies. Perhaps you hate doing the tedious chores necessary to make your business thrive. Or could it be marketing as a whole that you deplore? Your time is better spent doing your key task of your business. When you are forced to do things you don’t enjoy you won’t do them well. Alternatively, when you have to learn something else that isn’t your main focus, you loose valuable time growing your business.

Let’s look at these reasons through the eyes of, say, a candle representative.

You are trying to learn how to design a graphic or create a video to add to your website but you just can’t get it together? After all, you sell candles. You love doing those house parties. But you have no clue where to begin or how to use the graphics or video editing software. Halfway through the project you begin to realize you can’t get things to work as easily as the ad said you could. You begin to get frustrated to the point you are ready to quit altogether. You know that your business could benefit if you could just get it done. Hire a videographer or graphic designer. They can most likely do the task efficiently and beautifully in less than half the time it took you to decide to seek help.

Did you see all the reasons that our candle rep would consider it time to outsource?

There graphic design, videographers, coaches and experts in SEO, marketing, blogging, and speaking, and there are also virtual assistants (Vas) that are eager and willing to help you. If you don’t know where to begin, ask a friend or trusted colleague if they know somebody that they would or are using.

Learning to delegate is part of the process of growing your business. A word of advice, don’t micromanage. Delegate and let them do their job. They know what it takes to get it done and your input, past the original delegation and instruction, will frustrate you and them. Even worse, it could make the end result your quality instead of a professional’s work.

***

Ginger Marks is the founder of DocUmeant, a family of Publishing and Design companies. For more information, visit DocUmeant Designs and DocUmeant Publishing Mrs. Marks has recently released her third edition of Presentational Skills for the Next Generation; and her third annual eBook edition of her Weird & Wacky Holiday Marketing Guide is also available through her website. She also offers insight into marketing solutions through her ezine, Words of Wisdom, available through her websites.

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WWOOF Switzerland 2008 the saga continues… Part 7

Let’s see where did I leave off? Oh yes, we are in Krinau. Here it is almost two months later and we are still at the first organic farm, sorry folks — things have been nuts here, I’ll try to squeeze more time in for this story. Anyway, on with the tale.


Tues, July 22nd

Toggenburg Valley

Toggenburg Valley

Monday I went with Felix, our host, and Philip to pick up butter. We drove to the Toggenberg Valley and up to a mountaintop farm. The view was spectacular as we drove up the narrow winding road. We arrived at a secondary house which the family used near their lower barn when they came down from the Alps. It was small, but quite cozy, with all the modern appliances. We were invited to share a cup of coffee while the our hostess, a short squat woman with a warm and friendly demeanor, bounded down the stairs and returned with a huge tub of paper-wrapped butter.

I thought Felix was going to purchase a months worth, but in fact, he bought a whole years worth! Do you have any idea how much butter that is! Enough to give the cleanest arteries a fright. 😀

Today I helped transfer sheep. This was truly an experience. She put boards down on top of the fold-down rear seat and literally picked up the sheep one-by-one and put them in the car. Then she and drove up another mountain in another valley with three bleating, wobbly, sheep in the back of her car.

Lisbeth and family in tow on our first mountain treck

Lisbeth and family in tow on our first mountain treck

First we went to one farm and picked up another sheep and then we went on our way to the final destination for all but one. At the first farm I noticed that the sheep blindly followed the owner right to the car. Well, actually he walked them to the holding area where he picked out the one with the right number on her ear-tag and then Lisbeth picked her up and put her in the back of the car
with the other waiting sheep. My job was to make sure the others didn’t get out of the car while she put the sheep into the back. I was later told that this young sheep farmer was the area butcher.

We expected to pick up just one, but when we got there we were told that the lady who we were to transfer the sheep to had ordered two. So we repeated the process of transfer and confused about this unscheduled addition, off we went.

Down the mountain and then through a neighboring village we wound our way with sheep bleating and bouncing around on the wooden planks that were quickly turning black with feces which made the foothold even more precarious for their already wobbly legs to maintain.

When we finally arrived at the farm and unloaded the sheep that were to remain we were informed that the extra sheep was for us to take home. However, because Lisbeth is as strong-willed as she is well-built for farming life, we left with just the one we had come for. After unloading the sheep which were to be used for breeding we led them into the barn and then guided them into the holding area. The other sheep didn’t accept them and so they quickly leaped the barriers and we frantically chased after them and put them back only to repeat the process a second time.

Once securely placed, they were then moved to a scaling area where the sheep farmer woman pulled out a bathroom scale and after weighing herself, picked up the sheep, one-at-a-time and stepped on it. In this way she was able to get an accurate weight for the sheep. I never knew why that was done but I am sure it had something to do with an equal exchange.

Swiss Alpine sheep

Swiss Alpine sheep

All that done we headed down the mountain toward home with just the one addition to the family. This sheep was a young male that would be raised for meat. When we arrived back at the farm the two mothers who were left childless by the transfer were joined by this young unwanted stranger. Neither of the two mothers wanted to accept this interloper and so would butt him away at every opportunity. This meant that he might jump the fence and so we had to take turns standing guard for the first couple of hours. Felix and Lisbeth kept watch that night and by the next afternoon the adoption was complete.

Our evening was spent visiting the only friends of Felix and Lisbeth, a couple who had allowed their sheep to graze the hill behind their home up until the day of transfer. Roland was a retired math teacher. He played the cello and had just arrive back empty-handed from mushroom hunting in the Alps. It seems the only thing he brought back with him was a cold.

They were very gracious and we enjoyed our visit with them. When they informed us that they were not locals but he had been appointed headmaster of the school and church after only one year of residence we were curious and glad to receive this news.

We asked how so short of time before such a lofty position and the reply was that they merely informed the townsfolk that they wished to be involved and make Krinau their home.

This was just what we had hoped would happen for us. Now we just needed to find a place to settle down and dig our heals in.

Terrific news to end an eventful day.

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Repetition Blindness

The other day while searching for an unrelated file I ran across an article with this title that I had written long ago. It was all about editing and why you should have someone else do at least your final look see before calling any piece done. Seeing that, got me to thinking.

How blinded are we in other areas of our lives? As days evolve into weeks and weeks into months and … well you get the picture, what are we doing so habitually that keeps us from seeing how to break out of the cycle? What are we missing? Are we blinded by our habits or are we such creatures of them that we miss opportunities that could spur us on to new heights?

Read more of my thoughts on this subject in this months Words of Wisdom ezine. Not a subscriber? It’s easy to sign up and f*ree! Sign up here: http://www.DocUmeant.net look for the sign up box on the lower left side of my home page.

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Announcement: Make Thousands Of Dollars With Teleseminars Teleseminar Series

Did you know that you can make a lot of money in September by teaching a teleseminar? Biana Babinsky, the online business coach, expert and author will tell you exactly how to do that during the Make Thousands Of Dollars With Teleseminars Teleseminar Series.

The Make Thousands Of Dollars With Teleseminars Teleseminar Series starts this Wednesday, August 1st, and you can register for it at Make Thousands Of Dollars With Teleseminars Teleseminar Series.

Join Biana to learn how to teach profitable teleseminars to make money and promote your business and your expertise.

Here is what you will discover during the Teleseminar Series:

– How to put together a teleseminar in just a few weeks, so that you are ready to teach your first teleseminar in September

– How to find the most profitable teleseminar topics

– The most important thing to mention in your teleseminar sales letter – it will help you at least DOUBLE the number of your teleseminar participants

and much, much, much more!

Hurry, the Teleseminar Series starts this Wednesday, August 1st! Register now at Make Thousands Of Dollars With Teleseminars Teleseminar Series.

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Effective Communication

· Do your customers understand you?
· Are your vendors listening?
· How important is clear and accurate communications to you and your business growth?

This week a most interesting thing occurred. As I was surfing around my usual haunts I ran across a message on a board that brought up a very interesting and thought provoking subject. That topic was communication. As odd as it seems, and despite all of our knowledge, resources, and technology, we are remain unable to communicate effectively with each other.

Why is this such a problem for us? Why is it that communication continues to be our most difficult achievement? After all, are we not communicating in one form or another each and every day if not each and every moment? Not only do we interact with each other day in and day out but we have many methods of communicating. If you think about it I am sure you can come up with a lot more than the obvious two, verbal and written. What about body language; is that not a form of communication too? And that’s just for starters.

Read the full article in the upcoming Words of Wisdom Ezine, April issue. Available for the asking here: http://www.documeant.net#wow or find the link in the right side panel of this blog.

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