Pamela's mission is to empower ambitious, action-oriented Generation X entrepreneurs how to build or scale a successful & sustainable business. First, she pinpoints the vision, purpose, and core values. Then she looks at roadblocks like analysis paralysis, confusion, overwhelm, self-doubt, and anxiety to establish the next steps, targets actionable steps and proposes a clearly defined path..
An accountability partner is a great way to motivate yourself and makes it more likely that you will achieve your goals. But an accountability partner is not a magic bullet. It won’t solve all your problems or make accomplishing your goal painless.
If you understand that, then you should know that having an accountability partner can make the journey toward your goals enjoyable and fun.
I started my accountability coaching programs to provide the support and accountability that you need as a business owner. You deserve to reach the goals you've set and it is that much easier (and more fun) when you partner with me!
Just click on any of the options above to check out the details of how each program works or hop over to ways to work with me for more details. Questions? Great! Book a Discovery Call with me or read on for some signs that you're ready for an accountability partner:
You’re Willing to Motivate Yourself
If you don’t know how to motivate yourself already, then it won’t matter how many partners you have – you’ll still struggle. The best way to learn how to motivate yourself is to study projects and tasks you’ve completed previously. For example, when you created your first product, was it the pressure of a deadline that you kept you going? The daily rewards you created for yourself after you finished each task? Study what you’ve done previously. This will give you plenty of ideas on what motivates you.
You’re Willing to Take Responsibility
You’re not ready for an accountability partner until you can take responsibility for both your successes and your failures. It’s easy to dismiss your failures as being someone else’s fault or saying that “life just got in the way”. But this kind of approach means that you lack the discipline necessary to achieve your goals.
Remember it’s not an accountability partner’s job to change your life. It’s their responsibility to keep you on task and hold you accountable.
You’re Willing to Be Transparent
Are you willing to share your bad habits, your deepest dreams and your biggest fears with someone else? Your accountability partner can’t help you unless you’re willing to be transparent.
You can’t hide out from your partner if you fail to meet a big goal or if you encounter roadblocks. You have to be open and honest with your partner if you really want your partnership to succeed.
You’re Willing to Accept Feedback
Accepting feedback about your projects and goals from someone else is never easy. It can leave you feeling uncomfortable and challenged. But that’s a good thing! If you’re too afraid to share what you’re working on or won’t talk about your goals, then don’t look for an accountability partner.
An important element of having an accountability partnership is being humble enough to accept feedback. Even if you don’t always agree with what your partner says.
An accountability partnership can be a beneficial relationship for both you and the other person. But it’s important to remember that you’re making a big commitment when you agree to take on a partnership. That’s why you need to be willing and ready to help each other succeed.
Discover how having an accountability partner can transform your life and your business when you I've created for you!
There are many different ways that people waste time. Some are quite evident, while others are hidden or not given much thought. Sometimes we do things just because well-meaning people suggest we do. We fill our plates because we think that's what is expected of us. Often, we spend time spinning our wheels on activities that take our focus away from the actual work because we believe that it's what's needed. Adding in unnecessary time sucking activities can be detrimental to us achieving our ultimate goals.
Let's take a look at 5 time wasters and how to avoid them.
Learn how to let go
We waste a lot of time trying to accomplish certain tasks and get upset that things are not working. This can be lost hours that could be put somewhere else. It is great to try a certain project, however, there comes a certain point where you have to step back and look at the money and time you've invested and where it has gotten you, especially if it is an on-going project.
Is it worth it?Does this project really look like it will ever get off the ground? Does this project fall into the parameters of your master plan?Is it helping you reach your overall goals?
If the answer is no, drop it and cut your losses. While it may be hard, if it does not fit into your master plan, it's best to move on and take back your time for what does fit into the overall goal.
We all want to be successful and happy. It is in our nature to be this way. We set goals and work hard to achieve them. Sometimes we just get carried away and set impossible goals for ourselves. It’s like being a high jumper and wanting to clear a bar that is set at pole vault height. Step back and re-adjust those goals to make them achievable. We gain hours back when we have goals that are difficult but definitely reachable, rather than struggling in the muck of the unnecessary.
Take time for review and adjustment
By taking time each day to check-in with yourself and see what progress you've made, you will stay on top of your goals. I set aside 10 minutes each day to review what I've done, make notes about what still needs to be done, and prepare for the next day. By setting aside some time to review our work and our progress, we can avoid the pitfalls of weeks and months going by without review.
Keep a neat work area
Are you pile happy? Many people waste time by endless piling papers, large envelopes and files on top of each other. By not putting stuff away as soon as you are done with it, you waste time sifting through piles looking for a certain letter. The same technique can be applied to your electronic files. I set time aside at the end of each week to clean off my desktop icons, scan and file away paperwork, and organize content and other documents that have accumulated during the week. Whether you use an electronic filing system or an actual file cabinet, taking some time each week to keep up with staying organized will ultimately help you gain time because you won't be searching for what you need.
Limit your time on social media
Another huge time waster is updating social media with vanity posts and such. While everyone knows you are wonderful to look at, they really don’t need to see five selfies a day. How often are you posting what you ate, where you shopped, or some cute pic that has nothing to do with business? This is really valuable time during a work week that you can get back. Only do social media posting during the workday that has significant weight to it. For example, if posting a photo to Instagram about a new product release might bring you a ton of sales…take a moment and do it.
Scheduling your social media shares ahead of time, using a social media scheduler or the platform itself, saves valuable time because you won't be tempted to stop and schedule each day. It also helps you be much more consistent with scheduling, which is so important to the overall goals with social media.
By intentionally paying attention to these 5 time wasters, you can put a new routine into action that will ultimately help you gain precious time in your workday.
Here are some great tools that will help guide you further with efficiently managing your time:
Procrastinating is something that we all do at some point around certain areas in our lives.
The key is to recognize that we are doing it, determine why, and move on.
6 Top reasons why we procrastinate
Fear of failure - the anticipation of the pain and disappointment failure can cause
Fear of loss - often times, moving ahead with something means leaving something else off our list in life
Fear that others won't approve of us - as human beings, we want others to like us and, when they don't, this can be scary for us
Lack of self-confidence - at some point in our lives, we all have a lack of self-confidence about something
Not wanting to take personal responsibility - it's easier to push our stuff off on someone else so we don't have to own our issues, problems, or struggles
Identifying with someone else - it's easy to fall into this category of taking on the identity of someone else, such as a mentor, that we put up on a pedestal. In this area of identifying with someone else, we unconsciously take on the identity of that person and what we learned (most likely growing up) and repeat those same things in our adult life
Breaking the pattern of procrastination
It's like being in your safe zone. You might be thinking if you begin to break out of the box you've created, what will happen? I challenge you to think of it as a new beginning, a fresh start, and gaining new perspective on all that is waiting for you on the other side of procrastination.
We need to make the gain positive for us. We know that with change, comes discomfort. The first step is realizing why you are holding yourself back. Most likely, you've identified with at least one of the areas that I discussed.
Second step is realizing that it is way better to be in sync with yourself -- doing what you want to do, not what others tell you that you should be doing or doing things just because you think it's what you should be doing. Put trust in your methods and yourself and that becomes easier with each step you take.
The first step is always the most challenging.
Make and take the action to change.
Move forward with action
Take out a piece of paper and follow along with the following 5 steps that will help you to move forward with action
Look at where you are right now and make a list of the things that you feel are holding you back.Determine if it's an asset or a liability if you continue to hold back. What's preventing you right now from taking action.What do you think could be the worst thing that could happen if you take action.How are you going to feel after you take action?What 3 reasons do you have to take action?
Here are some excellent books that I recommend to my clients that help with the subject of procrastination.
What's stopping you from taking action? Is it fear? Perhaps you're waiting for the right break instead of making your opportunities in life? Are you waiting for "just the right time"?Or maybe you believe you're not smart or talented enough? These negative beliefs are holding you back.
There's a reason why so many really smart people fail. They tend to overthink everything and are often afraid to take risks. If that sounds like you, here are 3 powerful reasons to become an action-taker:
Get Rid of Doubts
If you don't take action, you'll keep wondering "What if?"...
You will struggle with self-doubt and question your decisions. Taking action builds experience and boosts your confidence. It also allows you to discover new resources and information that will contribute to your success.
Your Time Is Limited
Steve Jobs once said that remembering you're going to die is the best way to stop thinking you have something to lose. Your time on this earth is limited. You never know what’s going to happen a month or a year from now on.
You might never get a second chance to rent that perfect office space in your area, go to that meeting you've been postponing for weeks, or apply for your dream job. Take action today! Don't settle for anything less than you deserve!
One Thing Leads to Another
That reminds me of a really good song....
Okay, enough of the 1980's....sometimes I digress a bit (fun, but off topic...just a little)!
Taking that first action step towards your goals is often the hardest yet the most important step to success. No matter your plans, you must take action to bring them to life.
Ridding yourself of doubt, not settling for less than you deserve, and taking that first step towards your goals are all great reasons to become an action-taker. All 3 of them go hand-in-hand and are totally in the realm of possibility to position you and your business in the success category.
Out of the three reasons I listed to become an action taker, which one resonates the most with you? Let me know what the biggest struggle you have with becoming an action-taker is in the comments.
If you feel like one of these 3 areas is holding you back from the success that you've been dreaming of, let's get together and plan out your action steps. Book a Discovery Call with me.
Have you ever accomplished something that took a lot of effort and made you feel proud, but you still felt less than confident about yourself in general?
In psychology, this feeling that we don’t really deserve what we’ve earned is described as the Impostor Syndrome.
No matter how much you accomplish or acquire, it won’t satisfy you unless you have self-confidence on the inside.
True self-confidence has nothing to do with what you’ve accomplished and everything to do with your belief that you have the ability to accomplish anything you want to do.
Your confidence is based on who you are, not what you did. No one or no adverse outcome can take that away from you. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
Impostor Syndrome - what is it and how can it be overcome?
Have you heard of the term a fake? That's what Impostor Syndrome refers to. It's the feeling that no matter what you do, you are inadequate or incompetent despite that you are knowledgeable, skilled, and successful.
Impostor Syndrome, also known as Impostor Phenomenon, knows no particular boundaries -- it happens to men and women, in different cultures, with different upbringings.
These feelings stem from your background, your personality, and your life's circumstances. It's a combination of these that often bring on a lack of confidence.
The way to overcome that is to begin with accepting who you are and embracing your uniqueness. We all have something very special to offer and, once you internalize this, it is just the beginning of a new way of kicking that impostor syndrome to the curb.
4 Different Profiles of Impostor Syndrome
Dr. Valerie Young explains in her website article that there are 5 identified types of Impostor Syndrome and I've combined 2 similar ones to create 4 different types.
1. The Perfectionist - Sets high goals and when they fail to reach even one of them, the world comes crashing down. They think of themselves as complete failures just because of that one failure. It's the 100% or nothing syndrome.
2. The Superman/Superwoman - They think they are impostors among their own colleagues -- always comparing themselves to them and, when they don't feel they are equal, they consider themselves to be phonies. These people just work harder & harder, not smarter and still feel they aren't good enough. This is the category I also include the expert in because experts feel they will never know enough and that someone will find that out and think less of them because of it.
3. The Genius - Those that identify with this category are people that believe they should get everything right during the first attempt and with the speed of a gazelle. When they don't, they feel ashamed.
4. The Soloist - These are people that feel that they should be able to handle everything on their own to prove their worth. If they can't, they feel like failures.
No matter what category you find yourself in, you are definitely not alone. According to a 2011 article in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, 70% of people will experience at least one episode of impostor syndrome in their lives.
So what do we do with this information?
The fear, the self-doubt, the stress, and the overall lack of confidence that this Syndrome presents are not anything to be ignored. It can be overcome and it starts with accepting and embracing yourself for who you are.
The fastest route to increasing your self confidence is to take off your mask, come to terms with who you are and what you have to offer, and know that, even when you try your hardest, there are limits in life. Not everyone can be everything 100% of the time and it's perfectly okay.
So I write this post and I really want to share a bit of my story as it relates to Impostor Syndrome because this subject is one that has much familiarity to me.
I first felt this syndrome when I landed a job in the health care field as an Administrator. I was nervous and very sure that someone was going to discover that I didn't have a clue about managing over 100 employees. Sure, I'd read about it, studied it in school, and agreed that I could do it but could I really do it? I not only did do it, but I did it well.
Impostor Syndrome disappeared and didn't rear its ugly head again until I ran for public office. Again, I was sure that I would be found out that I didn't have the experience or the knowledge that was needed for the position. I did, but that's how it felt. It not only scared me, but it froze me in my tracks more than once. All worked out fine but, those are haunting memories I had when I decided to become an entrepreneur.
I knew I had the knowledge and the experience in the business world -- heck, I have over 3 decades of it! But, when I decided to come into the online space, that ugly old Impostor Syndrome decided to reappear with a vengeance. People put their trust in me and would I be able to deliver? It was a scary thing (some days it still can be) but I dealt with it by working with a fantastic Life/Self-Care Coach, Kathryn Ford Richter, who worked to uncover some hidden feelings and situations that led me to take immediate action. I also surround myself with some wonderful mentors and accountability partners that help me work through those moments when they do start to reappear.
I share my story with you so that you understand it happens to all of us -- no matter age, gender, experience, personality. The best way to handle this syndrome is to look it in the face and refuse to let it control your life or your situation. Again, knowing that you have a choice and that you can change it, is half the battle.
Are there certain things you are tolerating in your business? If so, have you identified what they are?
Here's a totally free (no opt-in required) 2-page worksheet that will help you identify those things you're currently tolerating. Complete it and pledge to implement ONE change starting today. (Just click on the image to download your worksheet.)
What are tolerations?
Tolerations are those things that you just tolerate, even though they irritate you, bog you down, or get in your way. Tolerations can be anything including crossed boundaries, pesky tasks, a project you just can't seem to get to, frustrations, procrastination, etc.
I know for awhile I had quite the list of tolerations:
Clients contacting me outside of business hoursLast-minute requests Unrealistic deadlinesCreating goals but not working on reaching them
And those are the top ones!
How I implemented change
After feeling totally stressed out and fighting with myself to remain positive and struggle to keep up with #allthethings, I decided that it was up to me to set the boundaries.
I created specific business hours, implementing one evening a week for later "office hours" and two Saturday mornings each month.
I let all my present clients know that last-minute requests would not be granted. Period. I would get to their request as soon as I could get it scheduled.
I stopped setting unrealistic time frames around my task list. I looked at my schedule as a whole and implemented 80% revenue-generating activities first and foremost. It took me a few adjustments to get that to a place that felt right for me.
Again, I stopped setting unrealistic time expectations around my goals. I identified my top 5 goals and implemented monthly and weekly steps around those goals. The results have been nothing short of amazing!
The Aftermath of Implementation
I have to admit, it feels liberating to have identified those tolerations and implementing the changes to improve them has been fantastic.
If you're having difficulty pinpointing your tolerations or determining how to implement changes to improve them, book a Discovery Call with me. Whether you need an accountability partner, guidance with choosing how to implement, or support around #allthethings on your toleration list, let's break through those brick walls and get you to where you want to be!
I care about your journey so be sure to let me know what one toleration you chose and what you did to implement it. Post it in the comments below or send me an email.
In late Spring of 2017, my good friend and webinar partner Dee of Virtual Dee LLC offered a free webinar series on business fundamentals including finding your niche, target markets, and how to identify, build, and use your personal brand.
These lunchtime learning webinar series were fun and enlightening for many reasons. The biggest reason was because I was undergoing a brand change and refocusing my own business.
In 2014, I formed Balanced Numbers LLC, a bookkeeping and business management firm that helped entrepreneurs with not only bookkeeping but how to create systems, procedures, and streamline their business processes.
I ran that successful business from October 2014 through September 2018, even as I was transforming into my new business Pamela Lewerenz - the Brick Wall Coach, a business consulting firm.
Core Values and Beliefs
At the heart of creating a mission and a vision should always be your core values and beliefs. Your background, who you are & what you offer, is what needs to be showcased. This all comes about with focus and goal setting. Something I highly recommend to everyone that works with me is to understand who you are and what makes you happy.
These statements may seem a bit unconventional to entrepreneurs who are just ready to begin their new business venture; however, without good understanding of the following, a new business often flounders aimlessly waiting to take flight:
what makes you happywhat things you are passionate aboutknowing your skills & talents as well as your beliefswhat the benefits of your product or service will bewho will buy your product or servicehow will you promote & distribute your product or servicewho are your competitors
And none of that can happen unless you take the time to brainstorm ideas and find your passion. I've always loved soul searching exercises and the changing of any negative thoughts into positive ones. This is such an important part of the process. Journal everything and write down every single possibility you get during your quiet contemplation time.
Lastly, set your S.M.A.R.T. goals down in writing and search for an accountability partner. An accountability partner will help you reach those goals by keeping you focused & moving ahead on all the small steps.
My Re-Brand Process
When I decided to re-brand, it was for a two-fold reason:
I was absolutely not loving my work and feeling that fire in my belly anymore.I found that most business owners I was working with at the time as well as those in my groups of reach, had issues that involved not having a focused plan of action for their success.
Because my education and work experience are rooted in business management and administration with a minor in accounting, I chose to expand my services to include my areas of expertise. For me, this was using my keen sense of mindset and goal setting as well as my productivity & time management guru-like skills.
Re-branding proved to be quite challenging, as I wanted an entirely new name and persona but I took it one step at a time and, when I felt overwhelmed, I knew that taking a break was what was really at the heart of what I needed. Along with the support of my husband, family, and colleagues, I built my Balanced Numbers business into Balanced Business Consulting Services and added in a “sister” business of the Brick Wall Coach.
It took time and dedication to keep focused on the big goals and, at times, the struggle of working on 2 businesses was really overwhelm. I got through it by using my positive mindset, surrounding myself with like-minded people, and keeping my focus on taking one step at a time.
I worked with both a life coach and a business coach to help me through all the feelings and steps because taking action was what I knew I needed to do to keep that momentum going.
I truly believe that being laser-focused on business growth should not come at the cost of losing sight of all other parts of your life.
My Secret Sauce for Creating a Successful Business
My best advice for anyone that is attempting a re-brand or someone who is currently focusing on building their business: Be gentle on yourself. Understand that each hurdle you jump, each wall you break through, is one step closer to your ultimate goals. Find someone who will help you plot out your course for action and hold you accountable to reach them. And, lastly, celebrate every step of the journey because each action is moving you closer to your ultimate goals.
Grab my free workbook, Business Planning for Your Success. It's full of key insights and suggestions that you can implement to begin action planning steps in your business.
There are definitely advantages to reviewing any prior month before moving on with the next month. It helps create a clear picture of what did work and what didn't work before making plans to move on to the next phase.
Here are just a few of the questions to ask while reviewing your prior month, quarter, or year:
What goals did you meet?What goals have you not met?Why didn't you meet them? (List out all business & personal obstacles that you faced.)What was your total gross revenue?What were your total expenses?
Once you have time to review the data, then it's time to make plans to move on. Things to keep on your list are things that worked great. If something didn't work, you should determine whether you can tweak it a bit or if you want to scrap it and move on.
Remember, keep your main focus on revenue generating activities. This should be 80% of your time, split between fulfilling your present client work and prospecting & promoting your business.
The remaining 20% of your time should be spent on administrative duties including special projects such as creating new content, email, or reviewing reports.
Do you struggle with ----
Creating a strategic focus that is right for you & your business?
Something totally unexpected and truly amazing happened to me last week! Feedspot reached out to me and has recognized me as not only one of the top 15 Gen X bloggers worldwide but has also put me on the list as one of the top 100 Business Coach blogs on the web.
In case you aren't familiar with Feedspot, they're a company founded by Anuj Agarwal and they offer several services to consumers as well as to marketers & businesses. Their services include:
Content reader - providing a content reader to keep up with all your information sources in one place
Email digest - helps you keep up with new updates from you favorite sites in one email digest each morning
Data curation - curate and rank web blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts and news sites into thousands of niche industries
Blogger outreach - help brands with targeted list for their outreach marketing campaign
Blog promotion - get more traffic, leads, and sales for businesses by promoting them on their platform
To say that it was an honor doesn't seem to do it justice. For those of you who have been following me for awhile, you'll know that one of my top goals for 2019 was more visibility.
The visibility is happening! This honor has really humbled me and made me realize that I am making a big difference in this world --- one person, one step, one topic at a time.
So a huge thank you to the Feedspot team that chose my blog to be recognized as one of the top 15 Gen X blogs. It means so much to me and I am one very proud woman business owner!
The beginning of 2019 has pretty much a whirlwind for me! I've had so many projects going at once --
Masterclasses and workshopsThe solopreneur business building programInterviewsContent to be writtenSocial media to scheduleVideos to createArticles and blogsClients to talk with
The list seemed endless and I just kept refueling with coffee, stopping only to eat & collapse into bed each night! By March 1, I felt as if I had run a marathon and I knew what I needed to do....TAKE A BREAK! So I used a few days to implement a plan of action that included 3 valuable tips I'm sharing with you today that have had an incredible impact for me:
1. Review my big picture goals for this year - what did I really want to accomplish this year? Was it wading through email or getting lost in the social media world? Uh, nooooo. I want to ---
Make a global impact on the life of solopreneurs, professionals, and SOHOs by teaching them how to build sustainable & successful businessesCreate brand visibilityIncrease my followers by 1,000 Produce and sell outstanding, professional, and affordable courses to my ideal clients
2. Determine what steps I needed to take that were essential in focusing on those goals - This is HUGE! It's easy to set a bunch of goals and then get frustrated when you don't reach them. To take the time to truly write out a plan of action and all those tiny steps is big-time...it really is key to helping you focus on what needs to be done & when you should be doing it.
3. Figure out what I needed to let go of in order to take those steps - For me, this included revamping my daily schedule. I had to reign in coffee chat opportunities (these are great but in moderation), add-in some overlooked time blocks (like reaching out to influencers for opportunities), and setting a timer when I am on Facebook, LinkedIn, Insta....you get the picture. I also had to set new boundaries around working hours so I didn't find myself working into the night, which I wanted reserved for personal time (aka relaxing, reading, watching tv, and spending time with the hubby). I now have new work hours in place and only one evening is reserved for work-related things (instead of 4)!
Once I put these 3 things into motion, I had such clarity it was amazing! The time I also saved by putting this new plan into action is unbelievable. I am careful to not let the "old routine" fall into place and my safeguards are my phone alarm and gentle reminders from my husband and my business coach.
I'm sharing these tips with you, along with my aha moments, because sometimes we get so swept up in the day-to-day routine, we can quickly lose focus of the bigger picture, how we intend on getting there, and what we need to rid ourselves of in order to reach our dreams.
I'm soooo good at helping others to do this that I sometimes get swept up in my own mess and then, when I reflect on how I'm actually doing these things in my own life.....well, you know how that can go. We all have times when we stray from course. It's really all about discovering it and then doing something about it. Having the support and guidance around things that you sometimes think would be simple to implement is invaluable.
If you find yourself being swept out to sea in your business, maybe it's time to set up a Discovery Call with me. We can talk about what's going on, where you'd like to make changes, and together we can formulate a plan of action that works for you and your business life!