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Systems Creation – Work Smarter, Not Harder

Artists MBA, Foundation ProgramDefinition of Systems:
A set of detailed methods, procedures, and routines established or formulated to carry out a specific activity, perform a duty, or solve a problem.
BusinessDictionary.com

Underlying your productivity (or lack of it) lies the effectiveness of your systems.  Many creative people struggle with business, not because they don’t know what to do, but because they haven’t created systems that operate in the ways they organically think.

Creating systems for your business will allow you to:

  • Streamline your methods and maximize your time
  • Create repeatable and sustainable results
  • Keep your promises to yourself and others
  • Reduce your stress!

In this class, you’ll learn:

  • How systems facilitate (not limit!) creativity and set you free
  • How to identify good candidates for systems creation
  • How to design and implement systems procedures

A system will take time to create – but once created will save you time every time.  And the biggest advantage is that once you’ve created a system for an activity – you will be able to delegate it and know that it’s being run the same way you would run it!

Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

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Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Foundation Program
to access this class today ($5 for first 10 days/$27 per month Tuition):

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Managing Conflicting Priorities

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramAt any given moment, on any given day, you could be doing a hundred different things, right? And at any given moment on any given day, you probably see half a dozen things that seem to be of equal urgency and priority. But you’re just one person. So how do you choose the right action?

Managing your priorities is probably the biggest challenge to maintain your time management system. And these conflicts are the most common challenge to your chosen structure and the slippery slope back into your old habits of just doing the thing that’s screaming loudest in front of you.

In this class you’ll discover:

  • How to make the smart decision
  • How to feel good about your choices
  • How to manage other people’s expectations and the guilty feelings that often accompany them

Time Management is always about choices – so learning how to choose wisely is a critical skill to effective time management.

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

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Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program
to access this class today ($49 per month Tuition):

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Ask The Organizer – An Interview with Joshua Zerkel, Certified Professional Organizer

artists-marketing-business-academy-interview-with-expertsDo you ever have trouble getting – or staying – organized?

If so, you’re not alone – organizing your space, managing your time, and keeping track of your information can get pretty overwhelming.

In this open forum Q&A call, members got answers to their most challenging organizing questions, problems and conundrums from Joshua Zerkel of Custom Living Solutions.

 

 Additional Resources for this Interview:

Additional ArtistsMBA Classes on this Topic:

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Joshua Zerkel

Joshua Zerkel, CPO® is the President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Association of Professional Organizers and the founder of Custom Living Solutions, a productivity and organizing consulting firm. Joshua specializes in helping entrepreneurs and small businesses find easy ways to get control of their information, technology, and clutter so they can reduce stress and make more money. Although he doesn’t consider himself freakishly organized, Josh does admit to spending his free time alphabetizing his comic books and fixing the tags on his MP3 collection.

For more of Josh’s practical (and sometimes pithy!) organizing tips, check out his website – http://www.customlivingsolutions.com/

3×5 Contact Management System

Back in the good old days, before such things as computerized contact management systems, salesmen created a physical contact management system.  I learned this system many years ago, while working in the Network Marketing world.  For those of you who prefer the tactile sensation of a physical contact management system, but are finding that just having an address book or a notebook or a pile of papers isn’t working for you, try this:

Supplies (links go to the Amazon.com site for purchase):

  • Index Cards (3×5 or 4×6)
  • 2 Index card file boxes (also 3×5 or 4×6)
  • 3 sets of dividers (size appropriate to the cards you choose):

Set one box up with the numbers in front and the months in back appropriate to the current date.
e.g. – Today is May 8th.  You would have May, 8, 9, 10….31, June, 1-7, July, Aug…..
As each day passes, you put that number tab divider into the next month.

The second box is set up with the A-Z tabs.

For each contact, you make up 2 cards.  One card just has name, address, phone number, and basic information and that card is filed in the second box alphabetically. (For easy access by name).

The second card is an ongoing tracking of every interaction you have with that person.  So let’s say you meet someone at a networking meeting on 5/1.  You make your first call with them today 5/8 to gauge interest in your services.  They are going on vacation next week for 2 weeks.  They are interested but could you call them back after 5/21.

You make a note of all the pertinent details on the card under 5/8 (where are they going on vacation, any personal details they mention, the fact that they are interested, etc.).  You also make a note on the card “5/21 f/u call to pursue booking a gig (or whatever).”   Then you file that card behind the #21 divider.  If a contact says, call me back after the summer, you file their card behind the September tab.  Always noting what the next action is on the card.  Assume that you have no short term memory.  Write everything down.  Any information they give you about themselves, their circumstances, what they’re looking for, everything gets written down.

Each day you check that day’s divider and take any actions scheduled for that day.  Every contact should have a future action scheduled unless they have unequivocally said, “No thank you.”  Then you can decide to either toss the card (if they were a jerk about it), or clip it to their alphabetically filed 2nd card.  You never know when they may call you in the future or send you a referral.

In this way, nothing ever falls through the cracks.  Even if you only work your business 3 days a week, you just check the actions for the days preceding.  Any calls you didn’t get to today, immediately re-file under a future date.

This system can be modified for 3 ring binders or accordion files.  Whatever works for you.  What’s nice about the index card is that it is incredibly portable.  What’s challenging is the lack of space for copious notes.  You can also get creative using colors.  For example, venue owners could be one color, agents/managers another color, fellow artists yet a third color.  Whatever makes you happy, helps keep you organized and supports you in taking action!

Debra Recommends Daylite – More than CRM for Mac

Debra Russell recommends, Marketing, time management, contact management, project management

So, first let me say – I am not a Mac user.  However, I have a lot of clients who are, and so I have been looking for a CRM solution for my Mac clients.  One of my clients brought me this product and he is thrilled with it.  So, I wanted to pass it on to you.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Product Description

Designed for the unique needs of Mac-based businesses of 1-50 people, Daylite3 is a new generation of productivity management software. Daylite 3’s time-saving features include shared calendars, seamless integration with Apple Mail, project and activity delegation, multiple pipeline views, a built-in report writer, sophisticated offline and sync capabilities, and a clean, easy-to-use interface. Daylite 3 is a milestone achievement for the Mac community, directly addressing the day-to-day productivity needs of Mac users. Daylite 3, with its many new features and upgraded Daylite Mail Integration (DMI) module, provides Mac users and Mac-based businesses with the tools they need for command-and-control business productivity.

What my client says is that, while there is a learning curve and it is significant.  This program solves so many time management and project management and contact management problems that it’s worth the learning curve.  From my viewpoint, I’ve seen him get much more productive and much calmer.  And isn’t that the point of productivity tools?

Buy Daylite Now

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Project Management – The Key to Getting Stuff Done!

Artists MBA, Professional ProgramToo much to do!  It all feels equally urgent!  Oi – where do I start?

Sound familiar?  We have so many demands on us – both externally – people wanting us to get stuff done for them – and internally – fulfilling our dreams and goals.

How do you manage it all and maintain your sanity?

 

In this class we discover:

  • The project management mistakes that lead to procrastination and paralysis
  • The two kinds of projects and how to manage both
  • The skill of prioritizing according to your values
  • How to eat an elephant (I mean, manage and complete a project) – you know – one bite at a time!

Additional Resources for this Class:

Prerequisite Class:

Listen to the Class:

Thank you for your interest. This content is visible to ArtistsMBA Professional, Mastery Program members only. Click here to login.

Enroll in the Artists Marketing & Business Academy Professional Program
to access this class today ($49 per month Tuition):

Read the Class Transcript

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Next Class:


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Debra Recommends Time Management From the Inside Out

Debra Russell recommends, time management, Systems

The Foolproof System for Taking Control of Your Schedule–and Your Life

by Julie Morgenstern

I use this book as my “text” when working with private clients on time management issues. I’ve also used this book and Julie’s methods extensively creating my own time management structures. It’s absolutely brilliant!

From Amazon.com:

Those who fear “time management” because they worry about living uncreative or overly scheduled lives will find themselves reassured by Morgenstern’s ability to customize her system. The most important thing readers must do, she emphasizes, is to create a time management system that fits one’s personal style–whether it be spontaneous and easily distracted or highly regimented and efficient. “Just as everyone’s living room looks different, reflecting the individual’s or family’s values and priorities, everyone’s time management system will look different, reflecting what’s important to him or her,” she explains. Fortunately, readers can easily customize her excellent advice while learning how to create a personal time map, streamline routine tasks, conquer procrastination and chronic lateness, and manage all the inevitable crises and distractions of daily life. Speaking of procrastination, what better time than now to try this book out–ridding yourself of all that draining clutter so you can get on with living the life you want? –Gail Hudson

Buy Time Management from the Inside Out now

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Debra Recommends Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

“You can have all the knowledge and skills in the world, but if your “blueprint” isn’t set for success, you’re financially doomed.”
–T. Harv Eker

Debra Russell recommends, finances, money management, coaching, law of attraction

I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to T. Harv Eker. He is a bestselling author and one of the world’s top trainers. His newest book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind™, is a publishing phenomenon, reaching #1 on the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller lists in its first week out!

In the book, Harv reveals 17 specific ways that RICH people think and act differently from POOR and MIDDLE-CLASS people.

The book is a brilliant yet quick read. I have been given access to a recording of a Teleseminar he hosted where he describes his foolproof methods for financial success. I’m sending you the link because the seminar really worked for me and I’d like to see you benefit too…

Simply put, Harv teaches people how to master the “inner game” of wealth in order to create outward success.

Harv seems to have a personal mission to help people realize their full potential by applying the principles he struggled to learn the hard way. These principles got him from debt to millionaire in only two and-a-half years, so I figure if he can do it, so can I. If you can grasp even a few of the principles of success he outlines, you, too, can achieve financial freedom.

One of the things I learned  was that the most powerful truths are simple and indestructible; you can use them to create a foundation upon which to build your own “rich life,” no matter how much or how little success you have experienced up until now. And a “rich life” is about more than just money…

You can transform your life from the inside out…

Buy This Book Now

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Debra Recommends Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Debra Russell recommends, finances, money management, coaching, law of attraction

What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money–That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!

by Robert Kiyosaki

I loved this book. It made me take a good hard look at my relationship with money, but even more so, how I thought about my business.

Amazon.com:

Rich Dad, Poor Dad chronicles the story of the authors two dads, his own father, who was the superintendent of education in Hawaii and who ended up dying penniless and his best friends father who dropped out of school at age 13 and went on to become one of the wealthiest men in Hawaii. Kiyosaki uses the story of these two men and their varying financial strategies to illustrate the need for a new financial paradigm in order to achieve financial success in the new millennium.

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Debra Recommends Organizing From the Inside Out

Debra Russell recommends, organization, systems

The Foolproof System For Organizing Your Home, Your Office and Your Life

by Julie Morgenstern

I loved this book! I became so much better at managing my space which has freed up time and energy for other things.

Amazon says:

It’s about time! Julie Morgenstern has written an organizing book that covers a new way of looking at the task of organizing effectively without labeling or blaming the person behind the lack of organization.  Rather, she says, people who don’t organize just never learned how to organize, through no fault of their own–after all, it’s not a skill that’s taught in school.

That said, she gets down to work helping you figure out an organizing system that will really work for you, not a system based on cookie-cutter filing concepts or special storage units. Morgenstern’s “from the inside out” system begins by laying out the possible reasons for a failure of organization: technical errors (like having a complex organizing system that breaks down), external realities (like not enough space for your belongings), and psychological obstacles (like fear of failure–or success).

Then, her Analyze and Strategize steps help create a plan of action based on your needs and goals, and the brief chapter called “Attack: Getting the Job Done” offers basic ideas for making space. The largest section of the book, “Applying What You’ve Learned,” addresses the specifics of organizing workspaces, home offices, living spaces, and storage areas. Each section has a “How Long Will It Take?” box that gives a realistic time estimate, and Morgenstern’s “Julie’s No-Brainer Toss List” for each area gives the permission and encouragement that most of us have been waiting for to get rid of things we’ll never use again.

The section at the end, “Tackling Time and Technology,” is worth its weight in DayTimers and PalmPilots. Whatever your organizing issues are, you’re not a hopeless case, and you don’t need special equipment–just a little understanding of the problem and a willingness to plan before diving in.

Buy Organizing from the Inside Out now