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None of us wants to experience burnout. But the ugly truth is that most people who do, didn’t have it on their wish list. They didn’t strive to achieve it.

Sadly, burnout is a by-product of our actions or environment. It is a state of chronic stress that you experience at your work, life or because of your personality. To find out whether you are in the midst of burnout, check this article for a list of signs of burnout.

Today I want to take you through the causes of burnout to help you prevent it from occurring in your life or in your workplace. Let’s look at the 3 main causes of burnout.

1. Work-related causes

Work-related causes of burnout relate to your workplace. Most of the time, these are the external triggers that you have little say about like working in a very demanding workplace, under high pressure or unchallenging environment. Having a bad boss or toxic culture One of the top causes is being forced to work against your conative strengths, for example organized person working in chaotic environment or innovative individual working in an environment where everyone else is playing it safe.

2. Lifestyle causes

Lifestyle causes are related to how you manage your time and priorities. Way too many people exhaust their energy, working too much, taking no breaks, or getting too little sleep. Overcommitting to things you have no time or energy for or having no boundaries is a surefire way to burnout.

3. Personality causes

Personality causes are internal. Traits like perfectionism or high achiever can help you climb the ladder higher or faster, but are not really sustainable in a long run. Seeing all the mistakes leads to dissatisfaction, constant rework and negativism. It’s important to set up guards and protections to keep you sane and on target.

To learn more about burnout and discover strategies to prevent it, check Get Your Life Back telesummit where myself and other experts discuss topics related to burnout and peak productivity.

The post Top 3 Causes of Burnout And How To Prevent It appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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One of my clients recently asked me about the key to a successful change management. This seemingly simple question made me think and I decided to share my response in the article to help more than just one person.

After having a privilege to be part of some incredible change initiatives around the globe I fully understand the complexity of change. I’ve personally used many approaches myself to make change work, but there is one underlying component that was present during every successful initiative.

If you follow my blog, the answer won’t surprise you. I believe that leadership is that magic pill.

The Key to Successful Change Management: Leadership

Strong leadership makes change work. What I want to look at today is in what specific ways leadership can turn projects into success. Buckle up your seat belt, we’re starting.

1. Power of relationships

My mentor and friend John C. Maxwell once taught me that if you climb to a top of the mountain and nobody’s following you, you are a climber, not a leader. As a leader you must build relationships with people around you. And you need to build them BEFORE change happens. When you get their buy-in as a leader, they will be more willing to join you on a journey of transformation. Without the buy-in they might oppose you and even work against you. How can you show people that you care?

2. Power of listening

My best initiatives were ideas others shared with me. As a leader you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. You just need to be willing to listen to others who know what they are doing. Trust your people, listen to them and create a trusting environment where people aren’t afraid to speak up, create and improve. I can almost guarantee that the solutions already exist in your company or organization, you just need to start paying attention to people who see them. How can you show people that you pay attention?

3. Power of insight

Change isn’t straightforward. It’s messy and seasoned with unexpected challenges. In words of Rosabeth Moss Canter, “The middle of every successful project looks like a disaster.” Successful implementation requires creativity, continual evaluation, improvements, redirection and perseverance. Instead of quitting at the first obstacle, it is important to learn from mistakes and improve as needed. What can you learn from what happened?

4. Power of example

As a leader, you are being watched. Your enthusiasm, decisions and actions are under microscope. Many times people can’t hear what you are saying because they see what you are doing. To make change work you need to set a good example for those around you. Be positive, inspire action and set good standards for your team. It all starts with you, not others. What one thing can you change or improve to set a better example for your team?

5. Power of credit

As a leader it’s important that you give credit where credit is due. Sadly, I met many leaders (or I should call them managers instead) who thought that taking credit for their team’s work will position them as successful. Quite contrary. It ruins your reputation, damages relationships and lowers your ability to influence. Giving credit to your team members builds environment of trust, openness and creativity. Whom do you need to thank or reward for their contribution?

Change can be hard. But success of your next initiative is directly linked to your capabilities as a leader. What one thing can you do today that will help you become a better leader and manage change successfully? Do it now!

Comments on our blog are closed, but if you send the your comment on social media, I will respond fairly quickly. Do you agree that leadership is a key to successful change management? I can’t wait to hear your take on it!

The post The #1 Key To Making Change Work appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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Trends come and go, but blogging continues to provide value to businesses and organizations around the globe even in 2018. Many think that regular updates are for mainstream media, but blogging is so easy to set up and manage that even a one-man-show businesses or organizations on shoe-string-budget can do it well if they choose to. With many organizations still asking about blogging ROI, I decided to summarize the benefits of having a blog. If you are not sure whether blogging is the right strategy for you, keep on reading as I will share with you top 5 reasons why business needs blog.

1. Position your business as a thought leader

One of the biggest obstacles of blogging is the amount of time it takes to write new content and market it. Taking time to share your insights and expertise not only positions you as someone who understands the topic, but also someone who cares about supporting others. You go that extra mile to empower people who follow you, which positions you as a leader and someone worth following. No matter what industry you are in or what topic you focus on, blogging can give you extra added credibility.

2. Drive traffic to your website

Having regularly updated blog means that you have fresh content to share with your audience either on social media or via email. It brings people back to your site as they seek new information, insights, or reviews. With the vast amount of information out there, you must ensure that your content is relevant, applicable, and high quality. The key is to understand that you can have the best offers on your website, but if your audience doesn’t come over, how will they find out about them and buy?

  3. Improve SEO ranking

I am not an SEO expert, but I’ve noticed that once I started to blog regularly, my SEO went through a roof. Search engines like Google like fresh content and reward you for work well done. Yes, you will still need to learn and use the SEO strategies to make it work, but increased numbers of visitors will definitely help position you higher in online searches.

4. Educate & empower your audience

This is my favourite benefit. As someone who blogs regularly, I have an honour and privilege to inspire, educate and empower people around the globe to help them become better leaders, improve their business acumen and success rate of their initiatives. No matter where in the world you are, what’s your background, status or situation, as soon as you have Internet connection and understand English, you can enjoy the insights, strategies and tips I share on my website. You can do that too – for your audience. People are looking for trusted resources, proven strategies, and people who care enough to help them improve. Will you step into that gap and fill the void? Pick a topic you know about, decide how often you can bring a fresh piece of content and start writing.

5. Build your email list

Once you put in work to create content, drive visitors and engagement, don’t forget to build your list too. Social media platforms change, restricting your followers’ access to your updates. But your email subscribers get all your content for as long as they remain subscribers. Email is still the most powerful way to stay in touch with your audience. And having a great blog is a good way to stay in touch.

Before you jump into blogging, please note that blogging takes time. You need time to write and edit your content, do the SEO and marketing. And you also need time to respond to comments and questions.

But when you decide that this is a strategy you want to use in your business or organization, check our NEW! The Ultimate Blog Strategy Guide, designed to help you set up and promote your blog. We’ll even show you how to make money at the back-end. Click below to claim your copy!

To your success,

PS: Our blog comments are closed, but share your thoughts on social media. I respond to all comments there.

The post Top 5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Blog appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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Networking is hard. But if you are an introvert, it is way harder. When everything inside of you screams “I don’t want to!”, how do you get out there, create necessary connections to expand your network?

As an introvert who moved to a new country with no previous connections to start with, I’ve learned a lot about the necessity of networking. And I adopted strategies that work great for my personality as introvert. Here are my 7 favourite networking strategies for introverts.

1. Find your own style

For years I’ve been trying to follow other people’s rules and guidelines, just to end up overwhelmed and exhausted. But when I gave myself permission to be myself and network my way, it became much easier to reach out to new people and stay connected. Even as you scroll through the tips and ideas below, keep in mind that what works for me, doesn’t necessarily have to work for you. Pick and choose what is a good fit and implement it into your own approach. Feel free to leave the rest.

2. Prepare

Doing the research before your meeting, setting the expectations and preparing your questions in advance will help you manage the expectations, connect with the right people and guide conversations like a pro. You will know exactly what to ask, why and when to end the meeting, which is absolutely key to feeling confident at the event or meeting. To take it up a notch, you can even make a list of opening lines to use at networking events or conferences.

3.  Smile

It not only helps you look more confident, but it also makes you more approachable at the events. Putting a smile on your face will be your best accessory at any event. Give it your best effort and people won’t even know that you are an introvert. They will WANT to connect with you because you seem to be a positive person.

4. Find a buddy

Everything is easier once you have a buddy in the room. You can support each other, push one another to make yet another connection, even complement each other as you speak to other people.

5. Less is more

If you are an introvert, walking away with 2-3 meaningful connection from each event will take you further than trying to push it and have 55 business cards in hand after the event. You will feel more connected and the follow up will be much easier. Focus on quantity – the right connections, the right information, the follow up techniques, and so on. Numbers can be misleading. Quality is over quantity.

6. Ask for introductions

Some of the best connections I made are people who were introduced to me through existing contacts. Introductions make networking much easier and warmer. Here are couple questions to help you move in the right direction:

  • Who do you already know? Identify your introducers, key connections who can help you kick start your networking efforts.
  • Who do they know that has the challenge you solve? People usually know at least one person who has similar challenges. Just get clear on what problem you help resolve or what benefit you offer. The more specific you are, the easier it will be to find the right person to connect with.
  • Who is your best client? What type of people do you want to connect with? Who should your friends be introducing to you?
7. Reach out before the event

This is probably my best strategy. It works every time. Usually people show up at the events, meet people and follow up after. To set myself apart and make attending events easier, I decided to flip this strategy around. I now reach out to people I want to meet before the event sending them a quick email or message on social media to let them know that I’m coming and I’m hoping to connect with them for at least couple minutes. This strategy removes the hassle from trying to find the person, because now it’s both of us looking for each other. It positions me differently as there are already people in the room who know about me and it just turns networking into a breeze. Plus, way less people reach out to decision makers prior to the event, which means that my emails are not getting lost in the huge amount of emails these people get after the events they attend.

You don’t have to be an extrovert to have a strong network. Take your time, put in an effort, be intentional about what you do and how you do it. Be yourself, but challenge yourself to take your existing connections to the whole new level and meet new people who can either introduce you to others or help you grow your business.

I support leaders like you in the Impact Academy. Join us to improve your leadership skills and create better results with less resources.

The post The Power of Network: Top 7 Networking Strategies for Introverts appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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Teams have been facing massive disruptions for some time now. With previous focus on team synergy and recent discussions about team diversity, where does it leave leaders? What should you be focusing on and how should you structure your team to improve its effectiveness? Because at the end of the day, it’s the effectiveness that will make the difference. If your team can’t produce the results, it won’t move your business or organization forward. You might as well just close the door today and save yourself a hassle.

Let’s look at both approaches today.

Team Diversity

I want to start with diversity, because it seems to be the talk in every company. According to multiple sources, team diversity is the significant uniqueness of each individual on a team. Team diversity can be…

  • demographic – gender, age, ethnicity
  • functional – different functional backgrounds, skills and abilities
  • personality – personality traits like extraversion vs. introversion, beliefs, preferences, opinions, motivation

This is where most people who focus on diversity stop, but I’d like to add one more aspect of diversity.

  • conative – actionable approaches, problem solving, creative approaches

Having diversity on a team can be challenging especially when it comes to facing stereotypes, prejudices, establishing communication rules, etiquette and managing conflicting working styles. Managing diverse team requires strong leadership and creativity.

This being said, diversity has also great benefits. A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean, and those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean. Contrary, companies in the bottom quartile both for gender and for ethnicity and race are statistically less likely to achieve above-average financial returns than the average companies in the data set.

I strongly believe that world is more beautiful when full of colors. It might be easier to manage a team when everyone looks the same and thinks the same, but incredible things happen when the same old is disrupted by different thinking or experiences. It’s time for leaders to embrace diversity and start enjoying the beauty of disruption and improvements it creates.

But before you jump into building diverse teams, there’s one more aspect to keep in mind…

Team Synergy

Diversity will never work without team synergy. Synergy is defined as working together, but it is actually way more than that. Team synergy is a term that describes uniqueness off the team. Each team is comprised of individuals with unique strengths, talents, experiences and work styles. How they work together will depend on each individual’s contribution to the team effort.

Team synergy needs the following key components in order to work.

  • Common values – common values like integrity, honesty and humility build trust environment which is a foundation of healthy teams
  • Common purpose – truly synergistic teams have common purpose, shared vision and they understand and leverage the power of teamwork
  • Complementary talent –  having complementary talent is a necessity for great teamwork. It enables creativity, innovation and productivity.

Without the above teams end up with conflict and miscommunication, pulling in different directions, putting off fires and spinning the wheels without meeting their objectives on time and on promise.

It’s essential that as a leader you look beyond the skin color, age, gender, background, beliefs, or work style and leverage the power of team diversity in combination with synergy. But it’s also important to keep in mind that diversity has its limits. Teams that need to work together must have synergy to be effective in their efforts.

Building diverse teams that have strong synergy will require you to improve your leadership, communication and team management skills, but at the end of the day, it is always easier to impact the outcome when you are in charge of the input. And personal development definitely falls into this category. You can start here with our complimentary Leadership Breakthrough training.

To learn more about diversity and how to manage it as a leader, join us in Impact Academy where we discuss this topic in depth.

The post Team Diversity or Team Synergy? appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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Is your January as crazy as mine? Days seem to be flying with the speed of the light. Can you believe that January will be over next week?

Statistics say that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. Whether you set resolutions or goals, chances are you will quit pursuing them somewhere between January 2nd and January 31st.

Here are couple questions to help you refocus your efforts and help you move in the right direction…

  • How will you ensure that 2018 is actually better than 2017? What do you need to put in place in order to stick to your goals and improve your results?
  • What is holding you back from making the necessary changes and taking the steps you should be taking? What’s standing in your way?
  • What ONE thing you can still do or accomplish this month? Look for something that doesn’t feel overwhelming, but would make a significant difference and be a step in the right direction.

Have a powerful week!

The post Refocus: How To Stay on the Right Track in a Long Haul appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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I can’t believe I am writing on this topic. It should make complete sense for any business owner to use the power of social media for promotional and sales purposes. Yet, as you are going to find out, it is not happening in real life.

So let’s look at what is happening in small business world.

While statistics prove growing numbers of users across all social networks, many small businesses remain careful with their involvement, leaving great opportunities at a table for large brands to leverage.

Social media usage
  • Over 50% of Canadians are registered to at least one social media platform. (By the way, Canadians spend over 44 hours every month on social media, which is more than any other European or North American country)
  • This number is even higher in the USA, where over 81% of users are reported to have at least one social media account.
  • Europe is at 54% of registered social media users.
  • Statistics in Asia vary depending on location, but South East Asia leads the game with 47% using social media. (Source: We are social)
  • In fact, no matter what continent your business is at, chance are that there are people using social media to access information, learn, and connect with the world. (Source: We are social)

With the continuing growth of social media use by consumers, it’s surprising to watch many small businesses to be so hesitant to leveraging its power to grow business profits.

Business usage of social media

Fascinating results came from Statista in October 2017 where we learned that while 54% small business owners consider social media important for acquiring new customers and 49% see the opportunity to increase their revenues, only 38% see potential for event promotions and 18% view online automation like ordering, sales or booking systems as important piece of their business strategy. And don’t get me started with 25% utilizing online recruiting… seriously? (Source: Statista)

Ok, so here’s the question: Can your small business really benefit from social media or will it just be time wasted?

Benefits of using social media

Chances are that you have a social media account for your personal use, but now you wonder whether you need one for your business. Here are just couple reasons you should…

1. Location, location, location

Social media places you right where your customers are. There’s no way around this. Your potential and existing clients are online – talking, searching, asking, recommending… The question is: Do you want to be part of the conversation? Are you ready to put your store right where your potential clients are? Only a fool would say no to such opportunity. Any business owner with sound mind must understand that being in the middle of your ideal clients is absolutely critical… unless you are willing to give your profits away to competitors.

2. The price is right

You pay money to be on networking events, have a booth at that tradeshow or to place advertising in that magazine that has might not even get noticed. Yet, social media is free and you keep ignoring it. Don’t be fooled by the low price. Enjoy it while it lasts!

3. Learn from your target market

There are countless questions being asked on social media each day. People are looking for answers, recommendations, tips and solutions. You can learn a lot while listening to their complaints or requests for improvement or new ideas. Will you take time to listen and then sell them exactly what they asked for? It makes sense to me!

4. Expand your reach

Your store or business doesn’t have to be limited by local customers who live in the area. You can become a go-to place for those who visit your city. If the client pays your travel expenses, wouldn’t you travel across the country? Some time ago I worked with a client who wanted to expand her business beyond the borders of the city where she lived. Of course, social media was a step in the right direction. Within 6 months she was traveling across the US, speaking at conferences, supporting clients using video and her profits grew exponentially. She still continued to support her local clients, but now she had a much bigger audience to reach and support.

5. Stay top of mind with your customers

People are bombarded with marketing messages, ads and emails every day. Your business can either take a hit, pack up and go home or take a stand and choose to remain in front of your customers. Someone smart once told me that it’s our responsibility as business owners to let people know that we are still in business. Don’t count on your customers’ memory!

6. Test new ideas

Instead of going through the long path of developing a new product or service that at the end doesn’t sell, you can throw the idea out and get feedback from your audience. When they love it, you should definitely go ahead. But if the response isn’t exciting, you’ll save huge amount of resources and will be able to move to the next idea much faster.

7. The power of automation

You might not believe in automation, but it works. A great example is Amazon. Look at how much their profits are climbing while they leverage the power of online sales, upsells and fast delivery. We live in the world where speed is everything. Automating your marketing, sales, scheduling and support channels will not only speed up your business, but it will also improve customer satisfaction and grow your profits.

8. Customer engagement and open communication

Communication on social media is faster and people love talking to businesses they buy from. Simple “thank you” for mentioning a great experience at your store can create even more goodwill. Encouraging comments and posts during your event or conference can be a fantastic way to grow awareness about your event. Creating a promotion through sharing images using your products can significantly boost your marketing and sales.

9. Recruiting

Young people love to work with engaged companies. To attract best employees, create an attractive social media presence and promote your job openings online.

10. Become a thought leader

So many businesses are doing it well. What is the cause that you support? What is your business mission? What is the story about your business? Social media allows you to impact more than just your bottom line. It enables you to share your ideas, principles, values and build a great community of like-minded people. You can show support to local charities or show off how you invest in the next generation. The possibilities are endless…

You don’t have to struggle with social media. I’ll be happy to review your existing social media imprint and offer suggestions and ideas how to improve your engagement, marketing, profits or customer service. Click here to let me know your biggest challenge and we’ll take it from there.

Which of the above benefits excites you the most? What area do you need to improve? Let me know in the comments below or on social media.

The post 10 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Social Media appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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Leadership would be easy if we didn’t have to lead people… just ask any leader!

Yes, even after 20+ years of leading people, projects, meetings and new initiatives I still think that leading people is tougher than anything else.

It’s actually so bad that even educators say that…

Most of the problems that we face — within ourselves, in our relationships with other people, and in society — are caused by people. ~ Mark Leary

People challenges inside the organizations can be challenging, overwhelming and devastating. And when HBR came up with their survey results back in 2016, we learned that they can also get pretty expensive.

People challenges aren’t pleasant, yet they are a real part of leader’s life. Even best leaders are confronted, challenged, doubted and questioned. Loved by some, hated by others. Followed by some, despised by others.

Leadership isn’t an easy journey. It teaches you, stretches you, pushes you, but it also fulfills you.

There are things you need to lose and things you need to find during people challenges. Let’s look at how to lead through people challenges with confidence.

What to lose

In order to create new results, you first need to remove what isn’t working. There are many thing that can slow down your progress or completely halt organizational growth through challenging times. Most of them have to deal with the leader himself/herself.

  1. Ego – People challenges can teach you a lot about yourself and others – if you pay attention through the process.
  2. Defensiveness – Leaders don’t look for “I win you lose” outcomes. They work diligently to find solutions where everyone wins. It requires putting down your defenses and give people opportunity to speak up and be heard.
  3. Insecurity – Chances are it’s not about you. And if it is, feeling insecure is not going to help you resolve it. You must be secure enough to listen, speak up and resolve the situations. Choose to step into your leadership and exercise logic through tough situations.
  4. Resistance to change – I love this joke: “How many people does it take to change a lightbulb?” Answer: “Four. One to chang ethe bulb and three to talk aobu thow good the old lightbulb was.” Resistance to change will suck a lot of your time and energy without helping you to move forward.
What to find

Once you have space for new in your life, here are couple things that will help you walk through the struggles and start turning the situations around.

  1. Respect – For yourself and others. You can’t effectively communicate with those you don’t respect. Choose to honor people in front of you. No matter the situation. You have to love them before you can lead them. When people feel respected, they will follow your lead through tough situations.
  2. Commitment – You must commit to the successful outcome. It might require extra effort, time and energy to walk people through the challenging situations, but it’s absolutely necessary that you start facing people and situations one after another.
  3. Personal improvement – Over the years I’ve learned that it’s impossible to change other people (and trust me, I tried hard, haha). The only person you can change is yourself. And many times as you do so, you set an inspiring example for others to follow.
  4. Attitude – It is not what happens that determines your success in life. It is what you do with what happens that will make or break you. My friend and top leadership expert John C. Maxwell said it well: “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

Life of a leader is an adventure. You learn, improve, yet you never arrive. I am happy to see you moving forward. Keep it up!

I believe in you!

PS: I work with leaders in my Impact Academy. Join us to become a better leader.

The post How To Lead Through People Challenges appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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Running a business is a challenging, yet exciting journey. There are ups and downs, outside forces and inside challenges. How can you as a business owner move from a state of overwhelm and frustration quickly, overcome challenges and build on successes to maximize the momentum? How can you stop spinning the wheels and focus your energy on creating winning outcomes instead? How can you turn from failure to success faster?

The answer is more simple than you think – it boils down to planning. When you know where you are heading, what your priorities are and if you learn from past failures, chances are that your business will grow bigger and faster.

Let’s look at the key components of making this your most successful year ever – without a fail! I broke the process down into easy-to-follow steps even a child can follow.

1. Define your success

Each of us views success differently. Knowing what makes you happy and defining your expectations is the first step to achieving them. Write down your goals and end result that would make you happy. What does success look like for you? Are you looking to double your business profits, tripple the number of customers, streamline your business processes, improve employee satisfaction or have the right people in the right seats in your organization? Once you know what you want to do, it will be much easier to create a strategy to make it a reality.

2. Draft your strategy

Your strategy is a roadmap showing you the way to your goal. There are many ways how you can increase profits or grow your business. Which one do you want to pursue? Identify key personnel and resources you will need to achieve your desired results. Strategy will keep you focused on what matters and will protect you from bright shiny objects and distractions. Who is supposed to do what by when?

3. Schedule action items

To get stuff done, you must identify your priorities and allocate necessary time to each activity. Setting up marketing campaigns, creating training videos, supporting your clients and other necessary items don’t just happen. You need time, energy and resources to tackle them. I put all my tasks in the calendar. I follow the rock/gravel/sand/water principle, starting with top priorities, adding smaller and smaller items as time permits. When scheduling your priorities, always make sure you start with the most important tasks. Spend your best time and energy on top priorities, delegate tasks that are not in your strength zone to others who can do them better and faster.

4. Take action

Without action, strategy remains a wishlist and eventually turns into regrets. You need to take action necessary to see the desired results. Either you or your team must take action in order for results to appear. Stop the excuses, put in the work necessary and you will win.

5. Evaluate

The biggest problem business owners face in their endeavors is that they don’t take time to evaluate. Moving from one project to another without pausing, looking back and reviewing lessons learned means that you will always continue doing the same mistakes. Evaluation helps us continue what worked, improve what didn’t and stop doing what sucks energy, resources and threatens our business existence. You MUST evaluate to improve!

6. Don’t quit – improve!

I almost finished this article with 5 steps, but as I reviewed them, I realized how easy it is to do the evaluation and decide to shift gears and start something new. But what if instead of starting from the beginning every time you fail, you look at what DID work and build up on it? What if instead of starting from scratch, you take another step and move your efforts to the next level? What if instead of giving up you decide to press through and persevere? You see, when you do something for the first time, you are not good. But if you learn from the first trial and do it again, and again, and again, chances are that after doing it 100-times you become really good at it. Yes, your first blog post was weak, but article #100 was great. Yes, your first webinar was bad, but webinar #100 was super easy. My challenge for you this year is to choose your strategy and stick with it until you become good at it. Until it gets ingraved in your DNA. This is the only way how your business will grow and stand out. If you do less, but with greater excellence.

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The post How To Make This Your Most Successful Year Ever appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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I’m on my fourth iPhone now and truth be told, it has become one of my favourite productivity tools. It comes with me everywhere I go and thanks to some cool productivity apps, it not only saves me time, but also keeps me on track on a daily basis.

If you live a busy lifestyle like me, you will love this list of iPhone productivity apps.

STAYING ORGANIZED 1. Clock

This is an original Apple app. Mine is full of reminders. Some are on daily repeat (like my Alarm clock), some are set up for weekdays (10 minute warning for my girls to be out of the door for school), and other for weekends (time to head out the door for church).

My alarms are set up to start and finish my focus time, to remind me to wrap up my projects, even major appointments.

My clock helps me be on time all the time.

Here’s my favourite tip: I set up different song as a morning wake up call, for focus time and for break time. Just by hearing a specific song I immediately know what to do. Talk about training your brain…

2. Calendar

After years of using Apple’s native app I finally decided to move to Google Calendar. It syncs flawlessly across all my devices and I am in love with the new bold colors. My reminders are set up to remind me about client appointments, trainings, interviews, and other scheduled events. Click here to learn more.

3. Evernote

I use Evernote to stay on track with my to-do lists, resources, tools, guides, notes, client information, schedules, research notes and much, much more. I have a Premium account on Evernote, which gives me additional features and what feels like a never-ending storage. I love how Evernote connects to all my devices, allowing me to access and capture information and resources on the go and share them with my teams. If you have never checked out Evernote, check it out here!

4. Evernote Scannable

If you are anything like me, chances are that you have countless of paper notes around your office. Scannable allows me to capture these notes and store them in Evernote where I can easily organize them and find them in future. You can scan anything from business cards, through notes to bills or conference notes. Connecting your Evernote account to LinkedIn will immediately connect you to your new connections and add them to your phone’s contact list (you can easily turn this feature off when needed). Click here to check it out.

5. Nozbe

I know that there are many task management apps out there and I’ve tried a lot of them. Yet, since finding Nozbe I never looked elsewhere. Nozbe beautifully syncs with Evernote, Gmail and Dropbox, allowing me to connect resources and deadlines to the tasks, plus it allows my team & I to share our comments, questions and updates directly in the task. Interface is super sleek, with some simple features like category management, tagging, repeat tasks and colors (you can assign different color to each category). With iPhone app you will sure stay on track every day. Click here to check this app.

6. Gmail

Google’s Gmail app is my favorite. It has a great interface, added features like customized signatures or multiple connected emails… it makes email management super easy. It’s a really great tool for on-the-go email management. Click here to learn more.

7. Dropbox

Imagine virtual storage for your files. And now add the option to share specific files with specific people. This is exactly what Dropbox does. I share files with my private clients, my teams, plus I use it as a virtual storage system, keeping some of the files public (like my official speaking images), some shared with specific people or groups only (like family pics or current work files) and some private. Dropbox makes it super easy to access the right checklist just when I need it or find the right picture for my next Instagram post. Learn more here.

8. iThoughts

This is one of my newest discoveries. iThoughts is a powerful mind mapping tool I fell in love with just couple weeks ago. I now use it for things like creating org charts for our clients, mapping out our new products or events, creating vision boards, plans, strategies, preparing notes for training and presentations, and many more. Check it out here.

SELF-DEVELOPMENT 9. Kindle

Even though I prefer to read on an iPad, having quick access to resources at your fingertips, is helpful. Whether I’m looking for a quote, statistic or quick inspiration, my eBooks are always just a click of the button away. Stop wasting time when waiting for a meeting or client. Catch up on reading instead! Click here to get Kindle for Apple device.

10. Feedly

Another app I prefer to access on an iPad, but when there’s time and I don’t have it with me, my iPhone enables me to check content from my favourite websites. Click here to get Feedly for Apple device.

11. Podcasts

If you like to learn on the go, you will love the Podcasts app. It’s great while driving, keeps you positive and moves you forward in spite of being stuck in traffic. I always have ear buds packed just in case I need a quick pick-me-up. This being said, some of my favorite podcasts are EntreLeadership by Dave Ramsey, Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield and Focus on Parenting by Focus on the Family.

COMMUNICATION 12. Fuze Meetings

Running an international business requires one to be creative when it comes to staying in touch. Fuze is my absolute favorite app when it comes to instant or even scheduled calls. It makes it super easy to connect face-to-face with my team no matter where in the world we are. Click here to learn more.

13. Hootsuite

This social media management app allows me to not only update my social media accounts, but also to respond to my followers. It makes super easy to access Twitter lists and check for RTs and mentions. It’s much easier to manage than Twitter so I use it more often than Twitter original app. Get it here.

14. WordSwag

Images became a big part of our society. WordSwag is a great app to help you add text to your images and make them look professional in no time. If my kids can do it, so can you. Click here to discover even more cool image apps for your phone.

15. Google Maps

My favorite app for when I’m out and about. It keeps me posted about road delays, keeps me on the right road when there are roadblocks or when I’m travelling to a new location. And if you like me enjoy using public transportation to travel in big cities, you can find the best connections based on either departure or arrival time. Wonderful for planning your next trip or speaking gig. Get it here.

BUSINESS 16. Docusign

Great app for those of you who need to sign agreements on the go. Over the years I used it for both, personal and business contracts while traveling the globe. It allowed me to sell the house while on vacation in Dominican Republic, sign documents as a Board member of my nonprofit organization JONA, which is in Slovakia (while I’m in Canada), sign client agreements from my trip to Europe, even hire new team members without meeting in person. To learn more, click here.

17. Pipedrive

Every business needs this app. It stores all your contact information including notes, while allowing you to move people through the customized pipeline that fits your business. You can see upcoming and missed activities to stay on track and close more deals. Click here to access 30 day free trial.

18. Point of Sale

Whether you sell stuff at local events or you plan to do so in the future, the Square app allows you to process payments on the spot pretty effortlessly. You can send invoices or set up products/services and charge your new clients with a swipe of a card (or typing in the card information).  Click here to learn more and claim a special introductory pricing.

19. Invoice

Wave’s Invoice app is perfect if you don’t want to charge your clients on the spot, but you need to create and send invoices quickly while on the go. Click here to learn more.

20. Analytics

If you read so far, chances are that you are in business and have a website. Google’s Analytics app is just what you need to stay on top of your game to see what your customers are doing, what’s working and what should be improved. Click here to access this app.

What other apps make your daily life easier? Let me know in comments below.

Are you looking for more tips to improve your productivity and efficiency? Join me in the Impact Academy to learn how to use the above apps to boost your business efficiency (and of course, much more!).

The post Top 20 iPhone Productivity Apps 2018 appeared first on Silvia Pencak.

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