Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

Fast-track career changes in a slowing economy

It's easy to moan and groan about the economy - more so if you're a glass-half-empty person. Instead, use this time as a great opportunity. A time to build. A time to refocus. A silver lining to your cloud.

The sales and prosperity "sun" has been shining for so many years now. With business slower, it's a stunning opportunity to reassess and institute clever and effective business strategies.

Let me explain by personal example (though mine occurred five years ago). It was an afternoon like any other. The door burst open and the house came alive with laughter, chatter, 14 feet running up the long wooden hallway. I was at my desk, working on the computer.

Matthew, one of our triplets, had a new friend over. As they walked past, I overheard Matthew say to him in an offhand manner: "That's my mum. She's always on the computer."

That innocent comment was like a knife in my heart.

Like many in New Zealand, I'm self-employed. From a home office I try to do so much with little time and few resources.

My husband Steve is wonderful and supportive, as well as a very busy corporate executive. Like many working men and women, it made sense for us to employ home help. It let me focus on income-producing activity which earned more per hour than required for home help.

Going back to Matthew, he kick-started a re-examination of my business. By 9.10am the next morning I had placed an ad in the paper for a part-time office manager to handle all the administration, clerical and routine activities I was doing.

By 10am I finished reviewing and rating all the types of work I took on.

Naturally some activities are more time-consuming than others. Some are more profitable. Some you hate passionately - but still take on.

No more of that for me, I decided. Life is too short. I thought about what I really wanted to do - then and for the future. Next I analysed each element of work, rating it by how pleasurable and profitable it was.

From that day on I focused only on developing and accepting speaking/training/workshop engagements. I continued writing books (the passive income bit that many look for) and developed group programmes.

Yes, it's still phenomenally hard to get and keep good office managers wanting to work part-time in the suburbs (my next article, by the way), but there has been no doubting the success of this decision. Personally. Professionally. Financially.

How to apply this to your business (and personal life)? Take three easy steps:

What are your activities now?
Jot down on a piece of paper all that you do. Then score each by how passionate you are about it and how pleasurable it is. Next, rate the income production activities by how profitable they are.

Pleasurable/passionate has to be part of the equation, as life isn't about money alone. For example, a self-employed mother would find a better use of her time marketing for new business as opposed to cooking dinner. But if cooking gives her pleasure, it's an activity that stays.

Focus your marketing.
It's easy for small businesses or the self-employed to make changes swiftly. What about retailers, for example?

Rob Bruce, owner of Blenheim-based Furniture2go says: "The bottom end of the market has dropped out - but not the top. We're not selling so many $2000 lounge suites, but $4000 ones are moving. We look at sales, and tweak our focus."

Alliances for work you turn away.
You always want to be helpful, so try to build alliances with other companies in your industries that are happy to take on that work. You might even be clever and negotiate a little clip of the ticket.

Debbie Mayo-Smith (BSc Hons Econ) is an International Motivational Business Speaker and Managing Director of SuccessIS! ( and a leading specialist in easy practical ways to improve business profitability, personal productivity and Internet marketing. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. By the way, if you'd like to get lots of neat tricks like this, plus marketing and business development tips, why not enrol for our free newsletter?

This article is copyright to Debbie Mayo-Smith & SuccessIS. You may use it for your newsletter, website or as an article. It can be reproduced - but in its entirety and with inclusion of Debbie Mayo-Smith as the author and the weblink


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