The Four Main Things You Need to Have a Successful Business

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Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.09.26 PMYou know by now there is no magic wand, no secret sauce, and no magic beans for having a successful business. There are, however, four main things you can put in place, and if you do, you can have a successful business.

Business owners who do these things consistently are successful over time. Those who do not, usually are not. I’ve seen it happen with my own business and with the businesses of the people I’ve coached. It’s all about putting one foot in front of the other, and coming back to these same things over and over again.

Here are the four main areas I’ve identified that will help you see through the overwhelm and keep moving towards success and profitability in your business, too.

1. The Right Mindset

Your mindset is critical to success in business. This isn’t anything new, you’ve heard it before—but it’s good to be reminded of it, isn’t it? You have to be committed, and you have to be positive, and you need to have the confidence to know you can do it.

If you need work in this area, there are practical ways to build these muscles. It doesn’t always come naturally and there’s no reason to be embarrassed if your mindset isn’t always up to snuff.

One thing you can do right now is to make a real commitment to yourself and your business, so you won’t let yourself down again. This isn’t a game, it isn’t practice—this is your life, and this is your business. A commitment to stay the course, to work on your business, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter what happens, is very powerful. (I walk you through how to make a commitment like this in my complimentary webinar, “Eat that Elephant: How to Gain Control Over Your Business in Small, Bite-Sized Chunks.”)

2. The Right Perspective

Your perspective is also key. You can look at something you just can’t get the hang of and think of it as a real problem—as a stumbling block—and beat yourself up about it, or you can look at it as something you can work around. I’ve never been big on working on weaknesses. I would rather Read More

The 80/20 Rule

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80 / 20 Rule - Marketing ConceptAre you focusing on what really matters?

A few days ago I was having a conversation with a colleague about being able to get it all done. He was beating himself up (naturally) about what he wasn’t accomplishing, when he had just put out an incredible amount of forward-thinking, creative effort that expanded the capabilities of his business to a huge degree.

“Remember the 80/20 Rule,” I told him. “If you’re focusing on what matters, the things that fall through the cracks won’t be that big of a deal. Just make sure you know what matters in your business, and don’t worry too much about the rest.”

What you do doesn’t always = what you get

This started a long discussion of the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 Rule, which states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfred Pareto noticed that 80% of the wealth in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. He took it further by noticing that in his gardenRead More

How to Reduce Entrepreneurial Overwhelm

Marcia Hoeck productivity 0 Comments

Businessman in need of helpThis post accompanies my interview with Sterling Valentine of Debossified. Listen to the audio where Sterling interviews me about reducing entrepreneurial overwhelm here.

Let’s face it—it’s an ADD world, even for those without ADD. People, things, and situations move fast. We have so many responsibilities, so much depends on us. There are so many options, so many ways of doing things. Everything is important. Everything needs to be done right now. It all needs to be done well. It all takes focus and concentration. And there is never enough time.

Everyone is overwhelmed to some degree or another. And if you’re a business owner with ADHD, the degree of overwhelm is likely to be higher than it is for most people.

So why is it so important to get out of overwhelm, anyway? Besides the fact that the feeling of being overwhelmed is awful for you personally, being in a constant state of overwhelm is also very bad for your business. Most of us are not very good at making money when Read More

Why to Take Imperfect Action

Marcia Hoeck your mindset 0 Comments

PlaneYou’ve probably heard about how you should be taking ‘imperfect action,’ but you’re a perfectionist, and you just can’t do that. You take pride in your work, your name is on the door, and you want things to be perfect for your clients. Imperfect doesn’t sound good to you.

But can you afford to spend the time on everything until it is perfect? Making things perfect is expensive, and the costs are likely more than your clients want to pay.

This is a big problem with trying to be perfect. It paralyzes us and keeps us from moving forward in our businesses.Read More

How to Get Out of Brain Fog and Back to Work Faster

Marcia Hoeck coping 0 Comments

Woman with laptop having stress.Every so often a client will ask me, “What do you do when you just can’t get your brain to work?” This last week I’ve been plenty challenged by brain fog—that mired in mud feeling when my brain won’t click, a heavy curtain separates me from my intelligence, and staring at whatever is in front of me seems like the logical thing to do—and I’ve had to dig into my own strategies, as well as try some new ones I’ve found.

A bad case of brain fog can be paralyzing when you run a business, but there are strategies to bust through the fog so you can get back to work.Read More

Why Should Anyone Work with You? How to Document Your Unique Brilliance

Marcia Hoeck marketing 0 Comments

puzzled clueless woman shrugs shoulders on grey backgroundWhat makes your company different? What is your unique brilliance? There are lots of great companies to work with and many places for people to spend their money—why should your customers work with you rather than the other guy?

And you’d better not say “great customer service” because everyone says that. There’s another reason why people choose to work with you—what is it? Why you?

There are many others who do what you do

Chances are, there are many companies or individuals out there doing what you do, selling what you sell. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It shows there’s a market for what you do. But why should anyone choose to work with you and not one of the other guys?Read More

5 Steps to Prioritize Your Work Day

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Various blank post it notes with tacks on bulletin boardYep, it’s difficult to prioritize your work day when it feels like everything on your plate is screaming at you and you’re drowning in things that absolutely have to get done. It takes focus, attention, and discipline. You may not get it right every time—but if you follow these 5 steps, you’ll keep getting closer to working on what’s most important for now.

1. Clear the decks

If you’re serious about wanting to get the important things done, you’ll need to take a few minutes to plan first. You may be overwhelmed, but trying to dive in without organizing a bit will just make it worse. So splash some cold water on your face, do some jumping jacks, Read More

What Gets My Goat About ADHD

Marcia Hoeck coping 0 Comments

Funny goat's portraitWhen I tell people I work with business owners with ADHD, some of them totally get it. Most of the time, in fact, I get a really great reaction—because someone in their family has ADHD, or they have ADHD, or they know brilliant inventors and creative entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Richard Branson have ADHD, and they can’t believe I do what I do. They get really interested and want to know more.

But sometimes—and I know similar things happen to you, I’m talking to the choir, right?—they say ridiculous things. Like, “can they even run businesses?” Huh? What planet are you from? 

I’m still new enough to have righteous indignation

My colleague and friend, ADHD coach Jacqueline Sinfield, tells of people hiding her business card so no one will know they talked to her, and of people asking if her clients “are in halfway houses.” You gotta be kidding me. Read More

How to Get Your Business Unstuck for 2015

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Overworked businessman holding two telephones

Ah, the holiday lull. That time in your business when it seems like either your clients are crazy, brain dead, or both. You can’t get them to focus much because they’re busy wrapping up their year end, and they may be dumping a lot on you—or ignoring you altogether.

If they’re dumping work on you, that’s good for business, sure, but that doesn’t mean the clients themselves are very helpful. They don’t have time for planning or strategy because their business is crazy this time of year, and so are their lives. Everyone has end-of-year challenges and holiday stress.Read More

How Time Tracking Can Make You More Profitable

Marcia Hoeck productivity 0 Comments

stopwatch closeup


If you’re wondering why you’re not making as much money as you’d like, it could be the way you’re tracking your time. Or, like so many creative business owners, it could be that you’re not tracking your time.

If I asked you how you spend your work time, could you tell me? Maybe you don’t think it’s really that important, as long as you meet your deadlines. But it is, if you want to make more money.Read More