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


Is there anything about your business; your life, your family or your job that you’d like to transform? You can do it! It needn’t seem too daunting. Let me give you the three step plan I used to pull myself out of the doldrums and change my fate.


Six years ago I wasn’t the happiest of campers (not literally, just a turn of phrase.)
I had gone from being a Director of Marketing for a Merchant Bank, to a mum. At home. Surrounded by six young children. You might of heard the story. First I had Alex. Then the twins. Then the triplets. Glutton for punishment I know. Can you imagine how your life would be dragging around a birthday party sized group of kids with you everywhere you go?


Fast forward to Sydney this winter. You could have knocked my pantyhose off when Verna Wing, the lovely Conferences and Promotions manager for AMP Australia said to me (in her briefing for their 2007 Conference) “Debbie, you are inspirational! You’ve had six kids, you run your own successful business, you travel the world, you’ve written four books. I think our people would want to know how to be able to accomplish more, how to have better balance in their lives.”


Verna’s words gave me inspiration to both create a new goal setting and focus keynote & workshop and write this article. No, I won’t bore you with my personal journey. Really who cares how I went from that unemployed unhappy mum to International acclaim (not to mention a lovely six figure income). Rather here’s the easy to follow process (that I used) in which you can achieve what you desire. More success - personal and business. More pleasure. More free time.



You can do anything. But you can’t do everything (that’s where step 2 comes in.)
What do you honestly want? This is the key,. You must really want it. Not “oh, wouldn’t it be nice to….”

So what’s your goal? Is it better health? More free time? Earn much more? Drop 10 kilos? Spend more time with your family? Change jobs? Sell your business for megabucks?

Any goal can be achieved! It’s a question of being methodical. You go about it like this.

You must be specific. State your goal as time bound and measurable. It’s not I want to lose weight or earn more. It’s I want to lose 10 kilos in six months. I want to earn $10,000 more or 10% more in 2007. I want to be a senior manager by the age of 37. My goal was “I want to be a famous international business speaker within two years”.

Understand what you need to do to accomplish your goal. What is the route to get from A to Z? Systematically write down what you need to do to achieve the goal. To change careers or jobs, you might need more training.

To lose weight, you might need to educate yourself on calorie content of food in addition to altering your eating and exercise patterns. To earn more – it could be by attracting a different type of client or even getting more business out of existing ones.

Once you’ve charted the course to take to get from where you are now to achieving your goal, then you just chop it up into small (bite-sized) specific, actionable pieces. And do it - each within a timeframe.

In other words your goal is the jigsaw puzzle completed. You’re starting out with all the individual pieces you’ve taken out of the box. With each new piece you put in place – you get closer to achieving the end.

$50,000 INCREASE
Here’s an example. You want to increase business income by $50,000 in 2007. If your average client brings in $3,000; you’ll need to either get 17 additional clients (to your normal new number of clients) next year; increase your income from $3,000 to $5,000 from 25 of your existing clients or a combination of both.

17 new clients is about one extra every 2.5 weeks. So your action plan might be:
a. Personally call top clients during the year to see if there’s more business waiting for you. If 100 clients – your bite sized piece is 2 a week. Ask for referrals!

b. Focus your business development on those mirroring your top clients. Seek new business – call, get referrals, network- getting x number of appointments per week (again figure in your success ratio of appointments turning into clients.)

c. It could be developing your profile. Divide this into activities like article writing, seminar presentations/conducting; networking. Again specific actionable pieces: one article every two weeks (get a ghost writer to do it for you); Quarterly client seminar where they’re asked to bring their clients….)

Don’t forget to celebrate your successes along the way and give yourself a pat on the back.


Getting goals are useless if you have to squeeze it into your already chockablock schedule. You cannot escape the fact there’s a finite amount of hours in your day. Or that you really don’t know the balance of your bank account of time (left). You must be clever and spend them wisely, focusing your time doing the right activities for you, instead of pulling your hair out trying to do everything. Be everything. To everyone.

List your roles in your life on a piece of paper (landscape, columns across the page.)


Business Home Partner Parent Community

Next, under the column headings, open your mind and brainstorm. List all the activities that you currently do each week in each role. List them all, no matter how small. Your paper/each column should be overflowing with the things you do. For example below are a few things as a parent you would do daily (mothers or fathers):
** Homework help
** Make school lunches
** Clean their room
** Drive to lessons, sports, practice
** Drive to school
** Drive and watch weekend sports
** Send time together individually and with all
** Mend clothes


This important self examination is where your time and balance breakthrough begins.

If your role is to produce income, be the strategic thinker, is it the right use of your time to do administrative work? Bumble around with the computer? Help staff solve their every single problem?

For women, it’s a double clash isn’t it? You’re expected to maintain the home and children. However is the best use of your time cleaning, driving the children to lessons, clashing with them on homework?

Alternatively what if you remove the guilt and took those (let’s say) 10 hours a week and used the time to generate more income (and paid someone else to clean and drive?) If you can generate more income that you spend on the help it’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

But I love cleaning you might say. Or I love bumbling on the computer. Ahh, well this is where you can use my 3 P’s grading “PASSIONATE, PLEASURABLE, PROFITABLE” system to help you spend your time wisely.


Go through your list of activities one by one and grade each one
X Time wasters – find ways of eliminating them from your life.
Check pleasurable activities – you keep them on.
Zero For the most profitable.

This helps you to rank pleasurable activities so you can focus your time and energy on the right ones for you. Profitable doesn’t have to equate to income.

Last week, sitting in the Radion network Viva studio with Simon Dallow, we were chatting as you do while waiting for the song to finish so we could do my Monday Motivational Mayo segment. I said “Simon, how was your weekend:” Simon responded “Oh I did a lot of gardening and pulled some trees out of the front and back yard.” “But Simon” I said “why are you doing this? Isn’t this something you’d outsource to a gardener, or tree removal company. “Well Debbie” he replied, I get a lot of satisfaction out of doing it.

This sheet now becomes your list of what time wasters you need to remove/delegate; and what you should focus on.


This ranking is exceedingly important for your business income producing activities. I always say that it takes the same amount of energy to market and develop a $500 client as a $5,000 client. So why would you waste your time going for the wrong category of clients? If one of the ways you get clients is cold calling and you hate it – well stop it and instead focus on the more pleasurable and profitable mode which might be calling for a chat and asking “do you know anyone that would be interested in….”

So what about the homework with the kids and the driving? What about data entry and admin? What about cleaning and cooking? To coin a business term – Outsource. For example the best money I spent this winter was hiring a local college student at $90 a week ($10 hour, 3 hours a day, 3 days a week) to drive the twins and triplets after school to their 6 different soccer practices on those three days and do their homework with them.

What did I do with those 9 hours? Carried on working and yes, earning enough to more than compensate the $90. Need I mention the sheer pleasure of not fighting over homework or running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, or doing extra math tutoring? You can do the same.


Where focus starts saving you time, software knowledge brings you massive productivity gains. It’s like magically pulling hours out of a hat.

Most of us are placed in front of computers and given the go to it. You might have had an upgrade to a newer version without the concurrent training on improvements.

One of the largest (and most secret and most costly) time wasters in the office is the lack of knowledge about the features/functions/shortcuts that your everyday software offers you. Instead of the endless dragging and dropping of emails in your inbox it could be automated with rules. Instead of typing out individual emails or letters, doing a personalised email or mail merge. Instead of having to split out names into separate columns one by one by one, knowing the function text to columns in excel can do 2 to 20,000 with a click of a button.

An lovely insurance broker came up to me after a presentation in Brisbane and said if he had known that text to columns computer trick it would have saved a week of his life!!!!!

I call this automation for lack of a better description. By taking the time to learn my MS Office software (no matter how busy I was), and hiring literate people and training them with the shortcuts, I (and never more than one part time administrator) have been able to run a lean office doing the equivalent work of 6 or 7 staff members in one quarter of the time they would take.

Additionally automation gives you increased business development, customer service and sales prowess. Truly.

Now think how that would personally affect your bottom line and free up your time!

** Add a new activity into your routine – spend a touch of time /allow staff time to have a schmooze and scroll through menus and the help function to learn new tricks.
** Buy a book (or get from the library) on a particular piece of software (Excel, Outlook) and take the time to learn it. I’ve written four tip books, why not have a look www.successis.co.nz/books.htm.
** Implement a “share a computer tip” at regular office meetings.
** Bring me in (Cheeky, I couldn’t resist!!!!!!!!)


You can make any personal, business change you want. Be specific. Plot the course to achieve it from A to Z. Then take the small measurable time bound A-Z pieces and just do them one by one.

Make sure that you are doing the right activies for each of the roles you have in life. List and rate them all on how profitable / pleasurable they are for you. Find a way to eliminate the time wasters, not appropriate activity.

Put your computer and software to work for you. Learn your software to save time and money – both you and staff. If you do any work from home - get wireless and a laptop. You won’t have to be chained to the computer with your back to the family. You can sit on the sofa at night with them (and working).

Want a quote for in-house training or a conference?

Rosemary Hazelwood from the NZ Society of Association Executives
"Our delegates always love Debbie. She has such infectious high energy and enthusiasm and best of all – her advice is practical and easy to implement immediately.”

Mike Pero, Managing Director of Mike Pero Mortgages
"You are a natural educator – lovely to watch and listen to. Easy to absorb the info offered. You produced mountains of great ideas – I’m charged with new ways of communicating with our customers.”

Outstanding results and extreme satisfaction from over 400 clients around the world have made Debbie one of the most in demand business speakers in Australasia. Sign up for Debbie’s Free Business Quick Tips and contact her on www.debbiespeaks.co.nz

You may reprint this article - but please include this:
Article by Motivational Business Speaker Debbie Mayo-Smith http://www.debbiespeaks.co.nz

Debbie Mayo-Smith called the Queen of Productivity is an International Motivational Business Speaker and best selling author! (http://www.successis.co.nz) Let Debbie help you with easy practical ways to improve your business profitability, personal productivity and work life balance. Debbie lives in NZ and travels the world speaking, writing and training. 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 www.successis.co.nz


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