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Episode 16: 10 Tools I Use & Recommend to Entrepreneurs
Today I am sharing ten tools I use routinely and recommend to entrepreneurs. I’ll also be sharing a checklist pdf that you can download after listening to the episode so you’ll have an easy list to refer back to.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 16.
Before I start this episode, which I’m super excited about, I want to thank you for being here. We’re two months into this podcast, and I am really enjoying being here with you and hearing from you. This episode is a bit longer than the regular episodes, but I think it’s worth it.
The larger goal for this podcast is to help you work smarter so you can work less and enjoy life more whatever that looks like for you. Because of that goal, I’d like to share some tools I use to make things more efficient for me. Some of these are affiliate links, so I will get a small commission if you join using my link. You won’t be charged anything extra.
You can find the checklist of tools at drashleyhampton.com/resources
This list of 10 tools are 10 of the tools I use – some of them I use daily. These are suggestions for you to check out, and hopefully some of them will help you too. You should choose tools based on your goals. If your business does not need a project management system, don’t use it. Be selective about the tools you use. All tools will require some time for you to learn, and I encourage you to check out YouTube for videos to help you.
The first tool that I absolutely love and use every day is Asana, which is a project management tool. I use the free version because I don’t have a team. In Asana, you can create systems lists for tasks that you do repeatedly. It is helpful to create systems list, or a systems flow as some call it, because this allows your brain to work without putting forth a maximum amount of energy. The systems flow becomes routine, almost automatic. Additionally for me, I use the task list calendar on my phone as a digital calendar. Along with steps I need to complete for larger tasks, I add any appointments I have each day. I can add details in the comments, like addresses for traveling appointments or websites to follow up on. This is also a visual way for me to move things around and line up steps for a larger task to make sure I do things in order.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/asana
The second tool I love and also use everyday is Voxer, which is a walkie-talkie app. I also use the free version of this. When you use the voice message system in Facebook and Instagram, you are limited to one minute per voice message. On Voxer, you don’t have a limit. It’s very easy to use, and to me, it’s a bit more personal than text because you actually hear voices. This is the tool I use to communicate daily with my accountability partner.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/voxer
Tool number three is Canva. If you don’t know Canva yet, I am so excited for you. Canva is an easy drag and drop graphic design program that has a free and a paid option. I use the paid option for this program, which allows me to incorporate my brand colors and fonts into the program to use on my graphics. Canva has backgrounds, templates, pictures, and a variety of shapes and borders you can use for free. All of my podcast graphics are done in Canva. I also use Canva for creating social media banners, and the paid version has something called magic resizing. Magic resizing takes a graphic you’ve created and will resize it to whatever size you want based on the social media you are choosing. The specs are already loaded into Canva for the best sizes for all social media.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/canva
Talking about social media, I use an app called When to Post to determine the peak times on Instagram based on several factors. It usually gives me three times throughout the day to post. I pick at least one and post. Since I’ve been using When to Post, I’ve seen an increase in engagement and an increase in how many followers I’ve added. Best part: When to Post is a free app.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/whentopost
Two more free apps that I use exclusively on my phone are the Notes app and the Do Not Disturb app. Both of these are on the iPhone. I’ve never owned an Android phone. However, a google search said the Android version of the Notes app is called Google Keep, and the Do Not Disturb app is called Auto Do Not Disturb on the Android. I use the Notes app to take any notes I need to. Often I don’t have a notebook handy when I have a good idea for a podcast episode or hear a quote I want to remember. I use the Notes app. I also write fiction and nonfiction, and I currently have about 35,000 words of a fiction novel in a Note. The greatest part is I can email a note to me with a couple of clicks. For the Do Not Disturb app, I turn off all notifications for everything, including phone calls from 9:00pm to 6:00am. This protects my quiet time, which is important.
Search your phone or your app store to find these.
The last four tools are software I use to make the technical part of my business easier. I used to say I wasn’t very technical, but after almost finishing the rebuild of my website, I guess I can’t say that anymore. I’ll be honest. It really feels good to know how to do technical things in my business. Specifically for that reason, I chose these tools because I could handle using them.
The first of four is GSuite related to Google. This is important to me so I can have domain specific email. For example, if you need to contact me regarding something about this podcast, you can email me at email@example.com. The last part drashleyhampton.com is the domain instead of it being @gmail.com. I also use Google Drive for file storage instead of Dropbox. Google Drive is easy and intuitive to me and allows me to share certain documents with others when needed. GSuite has a host of other functions, but these are the two I use the most.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/gsuite
For web hosting of my website, I use Site Ground. Some of you have heard the episode where I talked about changing my web host. I didn’t have great customer service where I was previously. So far, Site Ground has been helpful. I managed to completely rebuild my entire site from scratch, and several times I used Site Ground’s help to answer my questions.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/siteground
For a payment gateway, I use Thrive Cart. It’s simple with no frills, which I appreciate. When I purchased Thrive Cart, I paid a one-time fee, which means all the payments I take in are not split in any way. I don’t pay Thrive Cart a percentage or anything like that.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/thrivecart
And last but not least, I use Click Funnels. Click Funnels is a robust software, and I know I don’t use all of the things Click Funnels can do. Right now, I’m using it for funnels and my email service provider. In the future, Click Funnels will host my virtual summit, courses, my membership program, my affiliate program, and my autowebinars. I chose Click Funnels for many reasons. The most important reason for me was to be able to use one software to do multiple things. I felt like learning one program would be easier for me than trying to learn two or more programs and the connecting software to put them all together.
Check it out at drashleyhampton.com/clickfunnels
Bottom line – Tools are needed to make work more efficient and easier. Automation is a key way to save time and allow us to increase revenue without working more. I recommend all of these tools as these are ones I use. Remember you need to choose software that align with your business goals. It is also important to schedule in some time for you to learn the program.
Episode 15: Using Journaling as an Entrepreneur to Save Time
Today we are talking about using journaling as an entrepreneur to save time. Yes, I’m actually asking you to do add something to your to do list. Don’t worry, you’ll understand it in a few minutes. Stick with me.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 15.
Today’s listener shout out is for NM301 who left this review on iTunes: “Great podcast! Love the format. Especially love your episode on failure and success. I once failed at something 119 times before becoming successful at it. That experience has led to much more success in other areas of life as well. Great advice!”
Thank you, NM301. I totally agree. Mastering success and failure and how you want to move forward from each is extremely important both personally and professionally.
And thank you for sticking with me. I hope your head isn’t spinning about me asking you to add something to your to do list in an effort to actually save you time. I promise it really is valuable.
The University of Rochester Medical Center has an online article that talks about journaling for mental health and all of the benefits of journaling. While there are extensive journaling benefits for mental health and I often recommend it as a coping skill for my patients, journaling has great benefits for entrepreneurs. Today I’m going to cover three specific ones:
- Journaling provides a safe space to work out ideas.
- Journaling provides a way for you to document your flow of ideas.
- Journaling allows you to remove thoughts from your head that are taking up space and not providing any movement for you.
First, journaling provides a safe space to work out ideas. Sometimes us entrepreneurs can’t keep the ideas from flowing out of us like a river after a flash flood. The ideas are coming fast and furious, and if we don’t get them out, we’re going to lose them. I imagine many of you are nodding your head right now. Writing down ideas in a journal allows you to save the ideas for a time when you have the space and bandwidth to evaluate if you want to pursue them. A journal also isn’t going to steal your entrepreneurial idea, and I hear many entrepreneurs don’t talk about ideas because they’re scared the person they confide in will steal their idea.
Second, journaling gives you a way to document idea flow. This is specifically great for systems work. When I am working out a new system, I write everything down and move tasks around until the tasks make sense. Then it is time to implement the system. Sure, you can do all of this on a computer document, and sometimes that’s helpful. For me, I need to write it out on real paper – and sometimes sticky notes – and be able to move things around first before I can move to the computer.
The last one is what prompted me to talk about journaling in this episode. A lot of things have been chaotic around here lately in a good way. However, it’s gotten me outside my regular routine, which generally sends my brain into a spin. As a result, everything gets off track, and I often find myself struggling in all areas to get back to my version of a regular day. Today I sat down and wrote out all the things that I’d been thinking about the past week that I needed out of my head. My brain was trying to process some things from my past, which caused me to literally sit and stare into space while I was working stuff out. The processing puts everything else on pause for me, and it completely interferes with my productivity.
After journaling this morning, I was able to process what I was thinking about and move forward. As a result, I was much more productive and able to finish several tasks that had been lagging all week.
As you see, journaling can be helpful as an entrepreneur. You don’t have to add journaling to your schedule everyday, although some do. I use it as a tool when I notice I’m struggling. Remember these suggestions are for you to use and determine the best fit for you and your business.
Please screenshot this episode, share it on Instagram, and tag me @drashleyhampton. I’d love to hear if you use journaling in your life!
Bottom line – Adding a task to your to do list isn’t always more work. Sometimes the task, like journaling, can help you open up more space in your thinking, which in turn can help you be more productive.
Tune in next time when I’ll be talking about some tools I use to be more efficient in my business.
Links Mentioned in the Episode:
Episode 14: Saying No is So Important for Entrepreneurs
In another installment of “Things we waste our valuable time on,” I am going to talk about the two letter word that most of you are scared to say. Can you guess what it is? Stay tuned to find out.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 14.
What is the two letter word I teased at the beginning of this episode?
I want you to all say it with me – or say it in your head if you’re on public transportation and can’t say it aloud – the two letter word is NO. N. O.
Please don’t be scared. It is a harmless two letter word.
In episode 13 I gave you permission to remove things from your to do list that were perpetually hanging around with no end in sight. Now I am giving you permission to say the word NO. And I want you to say it like a toddler says it – all the time.
A couple of days before I recorded this podcast, I had a call scheduled with someone that I was going to spend my time to help for free. I offered to help after seeing a post on social media, as I try to spend a certain amount of time each month helping others for free to basically pay forward what mentorship and assistance has been provided free to me. So I thought this would be a great time to do that. I was scheduled for a call that would be up to an hour in length. I’ve built my entire day around being near the computer for that one call. I am dressed in real clothes, and I styled my hair and put on makeup. For those of you that don’t know me yet, that’s serious business. When I work at home, I let my hair air dry, wear the comfiest clothes possible, and there is zero makeup.
So I’m waiting around for this call to happen. I can’t run any errands because I need to be at home. I can’t start any longer projects because I need to have this call. I can’t get ready for lunch because I have this call scheduled. And then…yep, you guessed it… I was stood up. No call. No message. No apology. Nothing.
I rearranged my entire schedule to help someone for free, and they didn’t even bother to show or apologize when they didn’t show.
Was I frustrated I arranged my entire schedule to accommodate this one call? Absolutely. Did I pop off a message to the person? Nope. It’s not necessary. If the person contacts me, I’ll simply say no thank you to rescheduling. I wasn’t spending that hour to help me. I was spending that hour to help them.
And that is the lesson for today. I rearranged my entire morning schedule and wasted an hour booked in my calendar to help someone else at the detriment to my own business and to do list. That time I spent did not move me closer to my goals, did not move me closer to marking things off my to do list, and did not get me closer to the impact I want to make in this world.
And that is what you use as your compass to decide if you want to do something as an entrepreneur.
Let me say those things again:
Is the activity you’re considering moving you closer to your goals?
Is the activity you’re considering helping you mark things off your to do list?
Is the activity you’re considering helping you make the impact you want to make?
If any of these answers is a no, then it’s a no for you. If you ask yourself these three questions and the answers are all yes, then that activity becomes a HELL YES for you.
We are all busy. We all want to help others and make a large impact. We all want to do great things and make the revenue we need to fund our dreams, personally and professionally.
Nowhere in there did I say we allow others to dictate how that works for us. The word no can be your best friend.
Let’s go back to my example so I can take you through what I would do if that person contacted me and asked to reschedule. I might say something like, “I appreciate you reaching out. I cannot reschedule with you, and I wish you the best.” All of those statements are true. I would appreciate that person reaching out, and I do wish them the best. I cannot reschedule with them because it goes against what I want to do for my business. You could also use will not instead of cannot. What you don’t want to say is I can’t reschedule right now because that implies that you would be opening to rescheduling in the future, and I am not opening to rescheduling again period.
Bottom line – Saying no can be your most powerful tool as an entrepreneur in moving your business forward toward your large goals. Let me recap the three questions for you to ask yourself in the face of a decision –
Is the activity you’re considering moving you closer to your goals?
Is the activity you’re considering helping you mark things off your to do list?
Is the activity you’re considering helping you make the impact you want to make?
If any of these answers is a no, then it’s a no for you. If you ask yourself these three questions and the answers are all yes, then that activity becomes a HELL YES for you.
Episode 13: Time to Trim Your To Do List
In another installment of “Things we waste our valuable time on,” it is time to trim your TO DO list. Stay tuned to hear what I recommend you remove from your list right now.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 13.
Today’s listener shout out is for Lindsey Russo. She left this review on iTunes: “This show is life changing. Thank you so much Dr. Ashley for providing tips and strategies on how to cut hours and be present with our families!”
Thank you, Lindsey, for your kind words. This is exactly why this podcast exists, and I am happy to hear it is working! If you’d like to be chosen as a listener shout out, head over to iTunes and leave your review for this podcast. A random listener review will be highlighted every week.
In the teaser, I said you needed to trim your to do list, which if it’s anything like mine used to be, it was a mile long. There were tons of items on my to do list. Everything from tasks that I needed to accomplish that specific day due to a deadline to a goal I wanted to complete in the future at some point.
Delete those goals you want to complete in the future at some point.
Because you’re never going to mark them off your list. They’ll sit on your list staring at you, giving you the impression that you’re always going to be stuck in to do list hell. And they’re never going to be crossed off. So I’m giving you permission to cross them off today.
My website was one of these goals. It simply said website on my to do list. That’s not a to do list item! A to do list item would have been “add Cosmopolitan to my media feature list” after I was quoted in an article in this month’s issue of Cosmopolitan. Nope, I wasn’t that specific. I just listed website.
And for months, that one word stayed on my to do list and haunted me because I never crossed it off. I did however spend a lot of time and energy thinking about what I needed to do. That time and energy was wasted.
Now I only write a task on my to do list. One task per line. No vague tasks or large projects because the reality is large projects aren’t accomplished by simply placing them on a to do list. They must be broken into smaller steps that are accomplished in a specific sequence.
Please look at your to do list today. Cross off the vague tasks and the large projects that are simply goals with no tasks listed. Start fresh with listing a step towards completing that large project. Give yourself one step to complete every day, and you’ll begin to not only see forward momentum, you’ll also be able to celebrate marking those tasks off of your to do list.
Two side notes to celebrate – I was quoted in Cosmopolitan magazine, and that issue is on newsstands right now. Check out the top right hand sidebar on page 103, or head over to my Instagram @drashleyhampton to see the post.
And the other – My website is about 80% complete. There are still things I need to add, but the podcast part is back up and running. You’ll find show notes to each episode on the website now! I am excited about how it has turned out so far. The old me would cringe at telling you about something that is not yet complete. However, the reality is that my website will always be a living thing for me, so there will always be new pieces to add. Right now, it’s so much better than it has been, and I’m going to celebrate progress, not perfection as so many of my mentors say.
Bottom line – Remove large goals from your To Do list. They aren’t tasks and agonizing over not being able to cross them off will cause you to waste time and mental energy. Instead, add one task per day to move towards achieving that goal. Not only will you be excited to mark off that task when it’s complete, you’ll be making progress instead of wasting time looking at that large goal and wondering about how to make it happen.
Episode 12: Handling Negative Comments & Unsupportive People without Wasting Time
In another installment of “Things we waste our valuable time on,” today we are talking about dealing with negative comments and unsupportive people. Along the way, I’ve gathered plenty. Stay tuned to hear how I handle them.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 12.
Today’s listener shout out is for Renata. She requested I talk about how to handle negative comments and people that are unsupportive. Thank you, Renata, for the suggestion!
In the teaser, I mentioned I’ve gathered plenty of negative comments and unsupportive people. Some of you know me personally, and I know you’re thinking “But you’re nice.” It’s true. I am nice. Like Patrick Swayze in Roadhouse, I’m nice until it’s time to not be nice. Then I’m honest, which most people don’t appreciate. The honesty tends to bring out the negative comments.
I am one of those people that will give you an honest answer when you ask a question. If you spend your time asking me a question, I expect that you want constructive feedback as your answer, so that is what I will give. If that’s not what you want, I’m not the right person to ask your question.
I deal with my business in the same manner. I don’t believe in telling you whatever you want to hear. I’m going to be honest and forthright. Unfortunately, some people don’t appreciate that. In order for me to be most efficient, I believe in being honest.
What about dealing with negative comments in our favorite place – social media…I don’t.
I don’t respond. I don’t engage. And most of all, I don’t care. Here’s why I don’t care. The negative comment says more about the person saying it than it does about me. I’m only referring to the negative trash that doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Things like comments about my appearance, comments about my attitude or my opinion, or simply snide comments about nothing at all just so the person can be negative. Responding to someone that is trying to get a rise out of me, as my grandmother used to say, does nothing but waste my time. And if all they have to say is something nasty, they’re not worth my time. Remember, the negative comment has to do with them, not you.
I’ll accept all constructive criticism of me, my opinions, and my ways. Constructive criticism is valuable, and I don’t consider it negative. As I invite you to do each week, if you have feedback about the podcast, something you want me to talk about, or a question you’d like answered, DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton.
In dealing with unsupportive people…I don’t.
When several of you heard that, I know the first thing that came out of your mouth was “but, but, but.” I’ve heard it all. The unsupportive ones are your husbands, your partners, your wives, your mamas, your kids, your neighbors, and especially your terrible boss that wants to keep you under his thumb so he doesn’t have to do any work.
With the exception of your marital partner relationship, none of these other people need to hear about your business if they aren’t supportive. In your partnership, you’ll need to sit down and set expectations that both parties understand and can handle, especially when it comes to finances. As your business and revenue grow, sit down and have a conversation again. And again. And again.
There are two kinds of people in this world: entrepreneurs and not entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are willing to take risks, sometimes BIG risks and often may fear failure but also have confidence to push forward anyway. This is definitely me. It has been my whole life, but it wasn’t until about five years ago that I really strengthened this part of my personality. I get this from my Dad. Although he never owned his own business, he’s definitely entrepreneurial. My mom, on the other hand, is absolutely in the not entrepreneur category. She worked for what I termed “the man” all her life until she retired at the end of last year. She told me a couple of times that I would fail. While I know she loved me, she believed that a corporate job held security and what I was trying to do by going back to graduate school and then eventually opening my own private practice was too risky. In some situations, she was right. However, I was looking long term, way past her insecurities.
You heard me. Her saying I would fail had nothing to do with me and everything to do with her. It took me YEARS to realize that. I knew I’d succeed because I’m really too stubborn not to. It’s sometimes hard to keep that in mind when the person you love most in the world doesn’t believe as much as you do. I know. Hear me say it again – really hear me – Her saying I would fail had nothing to do with me and everything to do with her. She’s proud of my success, but I know she also worries because she just doesn’t have the entrepreneurial risk-taking spirit in her.
Bottom line – we will all have to endure negative comments and unsupportive people along our entrepreneurial journey. Please remember that their comments or lack of support have everything to do with them and nothing to do with you.
A side note for those of you that listen when the episode airs – thank you to each of you that have reached out and let me know that my website is down. I’m working on it as fast as my non-techy brain will allow. Which isn’t very fast. At the time of the release of this episode, I am only expecting it to be down another day or two. When it comes back, you’ll have show notes for each episode and some opt-ins, including some new opt-ins for upcoming episodes. Thank you for being patient!
Episode 11: Comparing Yourself to the Competition is a Huge Time Suck
Today’s episode starts a series on things we need to eliminate in our days to work smarter. Get ready…I’m not talking about ditching your Netflix binge. This is serious business.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to episode 11 of the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Before we begin, I want to give a listener shout out to Robin who messaged me on Facebook after listening to episode 10 last week and said Thank You. Thank you, Robin, for taking your time to contact me. I am grateful for each message I received. Please keep sending them, and I’ll keep mentioning you, my awesome listeners. I love to hear how the episodes are working for you.
Now to the topic of today…I mentioned during the last episode that I offer VIP services to help entrepreneurs establish systems for the back-end of their business. The other services I offer are related to establishing expertise by being featured in print and online media sites and podcasts. I often have entrepreneurs messaging me because they want to be in the same media their competitors are in.
In fact, two weeks ago, I had an entrepreneur contact me and say she was ready to establish her expertise in the niche where her physical product lives. She decided she wanted to be featured on the same site as her competition. That was her only goal. She wasn’t interested in the process, any other media sites, or strengthening the business’s messaging to help obtain media coverage in multiple outlets. She just wanted to have her product featured on one website.
It’s the wrong strategy altogether.
I spent almost 90 minutes in conversation with her in total. It is not clear how long she had been researching this, but I’m sure she wasted 90 minutes of her time that she could’ve spent trying to target more customers for her products.
In this example, she was operating on a competition strategy. All she had focused on was what the competition was doing. She wasted valuable time by watching the competition, comparing herself and her products, and building goals around what the competition was doing. All the time she spent focused on someone else achieving their goals was time she didn’t spend trying to achieve her own goals.
In media, the goal is to establish your expertise. You establish your own expertise by choosing your own dream media sites based on the clarity you established in your entrepreneurial backbone. If you haven’t developed your entrepreneurial backbone yet, go back to episode 2 and start there.
What does your business stand for? Who is your intended target audience? What problem are you helping your audience solve? Those questions are the criteria you use to make decisions. Never make your decisions based on what someone else is doing. All you’re doing is wasting time you could be using to build your own business.
If you want to cultivate relationships with others in your niche that serve a similar audience with similar products that are different from yours, do that. I believe wholeheartedly in collaboration versus competition. A good collaboration is well worth the time spent developing and implementing.
Bottom line – the goal of this podcast is to help you work more efficiently so you can work less without reducing your revenue. Basing decisions on your competition wastes time. Leave them alone. Comparing yourself to the competition is a huge time suck. Don’t fall into that trap.
Episode 10: Clarity Equals Working Smarter
Why does clarity equal working smarter? In this episode, I’ll dive into this question and what it means for you and your business as we finish our mini-series on setting up a foundation for your business.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today is episode 10, and I can’t believe it! Thank you so much for being here and spending your valuable time with me. I appreciate you.
We have now talked about what I call the entrepreneurial backbone and defining success and failure in business. I talk with a lot of entrepreneurs, and many of them are stuck because of one of these areas. They have no clarity to help them make decisions in their business.
The problem with being stuck is that entrepreneurs tend to think they have to work more to get unstuck. This leads to a spinning wheel scenario that feels like they’re the driver of a car that the wheels are stuck in the mud. They keep pressing the gas. And the tires keep sinking deeper and deeper. Sound familiar?
Working more doesn’t accomplish anything if you’re stuck, except maybe lead to burn out. In these conversations, I’ve found at least one piece of the entrepreneurial backbone missing in their business foundation. Also, surprisingly to me, very few entrepreneurs define success and failure for themselves as entrepreneurs or for their business.
Being clear in these foundational pieces will help guide your decisions and how you work as you move forward.
This podcast is about working smarter. The first thing to work Smarter is for you to become crystal clear in these areas I’ve described. For example, if you aren’t sure of your definition of success, how can you get there? Maybe your success definition doesn’t include a revenue goal, but currently you’re only looking for ways to make money. In this example, you need to clarify your what your revenue goal will be in order for you to consider it a successful year for your business.
Working smarter is more than using a time saving technique or an app to accomplish a process, although these are helpful. Working smarter includes clarity in your foundation which helps to guide your decisions, setting up systems to help automate certain parts of your procedures, and yes, using those time saving tools and apps.
In order to set up systems and choose tools to use, you need to be clear on what you’ve done as a business, how you want to move forward, and what has and has not worked for you.
Let me explain what I mean. I have entrepreneurs contact me and ask if I can help build systems in their business, which is one of the VIP services I offer. They’ve just started, and they want to make sure they’re working efficiently. I applaud them for their desire; they’re putting the cart before the horse because they have no foundation to start with. They’ve tried nothing. I can’t systematize nothing. You try your procedure, you test to see what works and doesn’t, and you try again. These data points allow you to get rid of what doesn’t work and tweak what does as you become more efficient and streamlined. I at least need data on what you’ve tried that hasn’t worked well so I have a starting place in helping you set up systems..
In my work, I have a system for everything I do in my psych practice, from setting appointments to conducting the appointments themselves to completing and sending the paperwork. Nothing looks like it did five years ago when I began because I systematically found ways to improve. However, the first thing I had to do was get really clear. I couldn’t have streamlined any systems without the clarity of knowing my purpose, my audience, how I was unique and fit in the space, and how I was defining my practice success and failure.
Once these foundational pieces were in place and helping to guide my decisions, I made one change at a time to test what may work better. Sometimes the changes were home runs, and sometimes they were total strike outs. The strike outs gave me valuable information as I knew what didn’t work. I could try again and often came up with a better idea to implement.
Bottom line – clarity equals working smarter because you have foundational pieces that help guide your work and your decisions.
If you have topic suggestions or want to ask a question, please DM on Instagram @drashleyhampton – I would love to hear from you.
And if you haven’t listened to the previous episodes, I recommend you check them out. Get super clear on your business foundational pieces in your entrepreneurial backbone and your definitions of success and failure. Next week, we are moving into a new mini-series about ways to work smarter that include tools and apps, how to spend your time, and how to structure your work day.
Episode 9: Celebrating Success and Failure
In this episode, we are talking about the importance of celebrating both success AND failure. Yes, you heard right. I want you to celebrate failure.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. This is episode nine, and I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today, I am encouraging you to celebrate both success and failure. I know. Yet again something different I’m telling you about entrepreneurial success and failure.
In episode seven, I shared my outlook on success and failure. And in episode eight, we talked about the good, the bad, and the ugly of failing. If you haven’t heard these episodes, I’d encourage you to go back and listen to them as well.
Let’s get to the celebration part!
We all know that life is more fun with celebrations. Sometimes that looks like friends and parties and great food. Sometimes it’s a bit more low-key with a bubble bath and a glass of champagne. Whatever your chosen celebration, it is important you take the time to celebrate all of your accomplishments, even if they fall into the failure range.
Because my version of failure is actually a good thing because it means you tried, I highly recommend you celebrate the effort you put in before you go back to the proverbial drawing board and make tweaks to your program or service. This celebration teaches your brain to be excited about trying, even if the results aren’t exactly what you picture.
My celebrations usually involve some type of adventure. This year, I decided I would have a mini-celebration each month involving a new activity. In January, I went to a traveling rendition of the play Kinky Boots. The cast was fantastic, and I loved it. February was Nashville during its rainiest February ever for the Click Funnels live event, Funnel Hacking Live. Definite eye opener and total game changer for me. That event delivered on its promises. This month I went to Podfest Expo in Orlando, a conference for podcasters. Also fun and a great event. In April, I’m going to see a traveling rendition of Rent. I’ve already been informed that it’s sad I’m as old as I am, and I’ve never seen Rent. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of that in a few weeks.
I want to hear from you. Screenshot this episode and share it on Instagram. Tag me @drashleyhampton and tell me your favorite things to do to celebrate.
The point of all of this is to celebrate the work I do on a daily basis with a fun experience because those are important to me. You choose what is important to you as a celebration, just as you choose your definition of success and failure. The most important part of that celebration choice is actually following through with the celebration.
For too much of my life, especially in grad school, there was a list of things I had to do to accomplish whatever goal I was working on. In grad school, I simply called it the checklist. I needed to finish each step on the checklist so I could graduate. And I put my head down and barreled through because that was how I knew to do things. Just concentrate and work and pretty much ignore everything else until it’s done. That made for a pretty miserable few years. While I didn’t have a lot of time or money for celebration back then, it would’ve been nice to simply stop and pat myself on the back for making it through one more part of the program.
Start today giving yourself permission to celebrate, even if that takes you away from your work. You’ll return more ready than ever to work smarter because you’ll be working towards the next accomplishment and celebration. There’s never a reason you should continue to push through without recognizing what you have done, what you have tried, and giving yourself a pat on the back for all of it.
Bottom line – celebrating successes and failures in your business and your life helps you work smarter and live more. Even if the celebration is short, take the time for it. Celebrating matters!
Episode 8: Failure: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
In this episode, I’m going to let you in on a secret about failure. A secret that has been foundational in building my business over the past five years.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. This is episode eight, and I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today is all about the good, the bad, and the ugly of failing.
In episode seven, I shared my outlook on success and failure, which is different than what society tells us these should look like. Well, I’m at it again. Today I’m telling you that failing is the good part, not the ugly part.
Failing is good because failing at something means you actually tried. Trying things – even things that you may fail at for whatever reason – is good, and I highly recommend it.
Not only does failing really help you develop a thicker skin, which I argue is necessary in business, failing also gives you ideas of where to make tweaks in your business so you can continue your journey to success.
For example, my website is a hot mess right now. It is up and available, but there are plenty of things that don’t work and quite a few things I want on the site that aren’t there as of the time of this recording. I had this site professionally designed, which is something I had avoided previously. Epic fail. I accept responsibility for it though because I wasn’t clear on the goal for my website or clear about my intended target audience. Here’s what I learned from this failure – (1) I have to be much more clear and specific about what I want when I hire someone. (2) It is best for me to design my own websites, so I can have things exactly as I want them. (3) I have to clear my calendar in order to make all of these changes, which means I have to pause other projects and put more time into my website.
The bad part of failing would be failing and not implementing these lessons or learning from the failure. Many people don’t pay attention to the failures or the lessons and continue to do business the same way they’ve always done it. As a result, they get the same rewards and the same failures. I often hear this group of people complaining that nothing goes right no matter what they do. It’s simply because they aren’t changing the way they operate.
The ugly part of failing is completely stopping and giving up when something doesn’t work. How many times have you failed and given up? Maybe moved to the next thing and tried to forget about the failure? To me, that’s the ugly part in failing.
As you can tell, I believe in embracing failure, learning from it, and moving forward is actually the best thing for you, your life, and your business. When you fail, you learn.
This was not always my opinion though. I was the kid that didn’t fail at anything. Or if I did, I simply left it behind and walked away to do something else. Remember the ugly part? All those things I left behind, and I’ll never know if I could’ve been good at them if I had just tried again. Anyway, back to the story. Fast forward to 2011. I graduated with my PhD in the fall of 2011 and completed the work I needed in order to apply to be licensed as a psychologist. I had one thing standing in my way. The test we call the EPPP. It’s a standardized test that covers several sections of psychology. I was afraid of this test. I’ve never tested well on standardized tests, and while I had plenty of friends that took ACT/SAT prep courses in high school, I didn’t have the money nor did I understand the importance of those courses back then. I learned much later that I didn’t know how to take a standardized test. So this EPPP…it’s one of those tests you have to schedule and go to a testing center to take. And the rule is, if you don’t pass it, you have to wait six months before you can take it again. The job I had at the time required me to be licensed, so the pressure was on.
Take one. Fail. Okay. No problem. I had six months to continue studying, and I’d pass the next time. It was just because I didn’t study hard enough.
Take two. Fail. Holy you know what. Now I’m going to lose my job because I haven’t passed it.
Instead of losing my job, the universe intervened, and I was offered a job returning to the prison system. For me, it was a no brainer, not even considering this licensure stuff. I took the job.
I continued studying. I even bought different prep materials. Take 3. Fail. We are 18 months into this process, and now my ego is starting to take a beating. I missed the passing score by three questions. For the love of everything, I couldn’t pass this test. This was the most epic failure I’d ever experienced in life.
I knew the answers. I finally discovered I was having a hard time deciphering what the question was actually asking. So between take 3 and the fourth take, I actually studied the test. I studied how the questions were worded, why the answer was the one it was, and I pored over all the sample questions I’d spent thousands of dollars to buy.
Take 4. Two years into this process. I chose to take the test in the place I love the most in the whole world, Wilmington, North Carolina. I drove there the morning of October 28, 2013. My life was a mess, literally falling apart. I was six weeks post-op from major knee surgery. I wasn’t sure if my physical therapy would be enough for me to return to the prison, and everything upon everything in my life felt like it was against me. With all of that, I knew this time was different.
I entered the building in the zone. I remember talking with the woman at the front desk, putting my things in the locker, and taking a seat at my assigned computer. After that, everything is a blur. I forced myself to take a break halfway through the allotted time. I don’t remember a single question the test asked, which was drastically different from the previous three times. I left that building afraid to think I’d passed, but I knew deep in my gut it was the last time I’d take that test.
And I was right. I passed the test on my fourth try on October 28, 2013. I’ll never forget the date. While everything else at the time was chaotic and unpredictable, that day wasn’t. And it was the start of my world righting itself. As passing that test allowed me the freedom to leave working for someone else and open my own practice.
I still have an emotional reaction to thinking about the two years I wallowed in this failure. Everyone knew. I slept next to the iPad that had my study questions on it. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner with those questions when it was possible.
The good part of the failure is that I learned how to fail. It took a while for me to accept what was happening, and I didn’t make the necessary changes to my studying as quickly as I needed to mostly because I didn’t know. However, that lesson has helped me immensely in business. When something doesn’t work, I recognize the sadness and the frustration. I set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and really feel those emotions. And then I turn them off and get to work examining what needs to be done differently so I don’t fail the same way again.
In a nutshell, try different things. When they don’t work, spend some time feeling the failure – a day or two at most – then pick yourself up, examine what didn’t work, and make changes. Implement those changes, and you’ll be steps closer to success. Remember forward motion is the key here. Giving up isn’t an option.
You know the drill. I want to hear from you. Screenshot this episode and share it on Instagram. Tag me @drashleyhampton and tell me what failure has looked like for you in your life or in your business. I also want to hear how you’ve moved forward using those failures to catapult yourself to success.
Bottom line – embrace failure, and use that failure to catapult you into success.
Episode 7: Defining Success and Failure
In this episode, I’d like for you to join me in a discussion about success and failure that is not talked about in society.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. This is episode seven, and I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today you and I are talking about defining success and failure.
As you might have guessed, I have a different outlook on success and failure than what society tells us these should look like.
I know, I know. I’m constantly flipping the script on things you’ve been told your entire life. And truth be known, I like that part. I like giving you something else to think about that isn’t necessarily a popular opinion. If I inspire you to think, then this podcast is successful.
And that’s the point of today’s chat. I would like to give you permission to define success and failure on your terms. Not your mom’s. Not grandma’s. Not the nosy lady down the block. And definitely not society. I want you to be able to look at your life and determine what you feel like success is for all parts of your life – work, relationships, hobbies, all of it.
I want to embolden you to step away from solely looking at the way society defines success and failure for you and instead support you in taking the reins and defining these terms for yourself.
Here’s an example for me – I’ll use this podcast. I set up this podcast to connect with one listener. I wanted to help one listener. Sure, my big overarching business goal is to help one million entrepreneurs. But this podcast is about one listener – you. My podcast downloads this month so far have surpassed last month’s numbers. My version of success for this podcast was one. I’ve met my goal for success. I didn’t define failure for this podcast. Even if I didn’t get you as a listener, I’m still speaking my truth and what has helped me as an entrepreneur. Failure didn’t exist for me in this scenario.
And this is one very large distinction in society that I want to show you… Failure is not the opposite of success. If you don’t succeed, that does not mean you failed. It means you have not succeeded yet. Emphasis on YET. You get to decide what failure looks like. And in my podcast example, I decided there was no scenario that would be failure for me. I can only succeed because I am speaking my truth. I have one listener – you – that is another success. And you have blown it out of the water for me with success in continuing to listen. Thank you.
Society will tell you one thing. If you don’t succeed, you failed. I’m calling a big BS on that one. You get to decide. You make your choices. You make your definitions. YOU.
You want to be an entrepreneur? Great. You decide what your business looks like. Use the entrepreneurial backbone in the previous episodes to determine your voice, your tribe, your uniqueness, and the problem you solve for your intended audience. Guess what? You also get to decide what success is going to look like in your business. You decide what success is going to look like in your social media. You decide what success is going to look like for your team. You decide what success will look like for your revenue. You decide.
The best part…you decide what it looks like when you fail too. Just remember not meeting your version of success does not equal failure. Not meeting your version of success simply means you need to change some things you’re doing and keep trying.
I want to hear what success and failure mean to you! Screenshot this episode and share it on Instagram. Tag me @drashleyhampton and tell me your definitions of success and failure.
Bottom line – in order to be successful in any area of life, you need to first define what success and failure look like to you.
Episode 6: Be You...Questions Answered from Listeners
In this episode, I'll be answering two questions that have been asked repeatedly over the past couple of weeks. You want to hear this episode.
Hey you guys. Welcome to episode 6 of the Work Smarter Live More podcast.
I'm your host, Dr. Ashley Hampton. Before we get started today, I wanted to take a minute to thank you for being here. Hopefully you've subscribed to the podcast on your favorite podcast player, and it pops up automatically in your feed at least twice a week, Monday and Thursday. Watch out for some bonus episodes coming soon. I want to thank you again for downloading these podcast episodes. The downloads have far surpassed my expectations, and I am super excited about it.
If you like this podcast, please share it with your friends, your colleagues, and your entrepreneurial tribe so they can get in on the goodness as well.
I'm trying something different today, and I want to hear how you like it. Send me a DM @drashleyhampton or screenshot this episode and put it in your Instagram stories tagging me @drashleyhampton, and I'll share it on my stories.
I'm answering two questions today that have come up multiple times during the past couple of weeks. The episodes preceding this one make up what I call your entrepreneurial backbone. You need to find your superpower and what makes you unique. You need to speak your voice and find a tribe of colleagues to support you. You also need to be clear about your purpose, your intended target audience, and the problem you want to help your client solve. I'll link to these episodes in the show notes so if you haven't heard them, you can go back and listen to them.
I've had the same two questions for multiple listeners, so I wanted to answer them before I move to the next theme in this podcast where I'll be talking about one of my favorite topics, success and failure.
The first question: How do you sound so polished in your episode?
I am going to attribute this completely to the equipment. I use a ATR2100 microphone and Garage Band on my Mac. I'll link to those in the show notes. I've also been speaking professionally off and on for about 15 years, so that helps. I also am trained as a psychologist, so I've had multiple times where I had feedback from professors, mentors, and people that were supervising me about voice and tone and inflection. If that's your concern, first I want to say – you don't need to be like me. You need to be like you. That's what all the episodes before this one have talked about. Be you. Be unique. Be who you are. Don't be like anybody else. If you're like somebody else, we're not hearing from you. Hearing from you is the most important part. Again, if it's the equipment, I can definitely hook you up with that and let you know where to buy that. If you're trying to be like me in terms of what I'm sharing, don't be like me. Be like you. I want to hear what you have to say.
Question #2: This one has come up more frequently than the first question and is very important. It is exactly what inspired this whole episode. The gist of the question from multiple people was “My podcast or my business isn't like yours. How can I be more like you?”
I am in year five of my private practice. I have made a ton of mistakes. I've had a ton of failures, some of which we will talk about during the next couple of weeks on this podcast. I've also had some success. When it was small success, I tried to capitalize on that and make that success much bigger. That's how it worked for me. That does not mean it has to work the same for you. Again, same topic, different question. I want your business to look like you, not like me. If you feel like there's something you want to replicate in terms of systems, then definitely send me a DM. I can tell you the systems and resources I use. Some of the software products I use are on my website – drashleyhampton.com/resources. You can find some of the software I use there. Otherwise, I don't want you to copy my business. I want you to copy your brain and put it out there for people to hear.
I did not have an outline for this episode, so it's totally different from the others. I kept hearing the same questions. The underlying theme was “I don't know what to do. I need to just copy what someone else is doing.” You don't. That's what every episode prior to this one is about. You need to create your own business because what you have to share and what you've experienced is super valuable.
Go back and listen to the other episodes. If you have questions, DM me and let me know.
If you like this episode and want me to answer your question, send it to me, and I'll answer it on the podcast.
Again, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate your time. I appreciate that you are here and engaged, and I look forward to talking with you soon.
Episode 1 – Thinking Outside the Box…WAY Outside the Box
Episode 5: Clarity, Purpose, & the Problem You Solve
In this episode, join me in talking about clarity, purpose, and the problem you solve. I’ll tell you why you must be crystal clear about these things in order to succeed in business.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. This is episode five, and I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today we’re talking about Clarity, purpose, and the problem you solve.
This is the last part of the entrepreneurial backbone and is probably the most important. While the others I’ve spoken about are more internal to you as the entrepreneur, this one is focusing more on your work with clients.
You want to be clear on what you want to do in your work and the audience you want to work with, you want to define your purpose, and you need to narrow the problem you solve.
This is important because you can’t be everything to everybody. I know that can seem harsh. Coming from a person that wants to intuitively help people, this was a hard lesson to understand and incorporate. Once I did, though, it was a game changer for my business.
When I first started my coaching business, I wasn’t clear on any of these things. I knew I wanted to help women build successful businesses just as I’d built my practice. That was all I knew, and that level of detail simply isn't enough to build a foundation. I needed to get really clear on my purpose so I could then get specific with my target audience about the problems I solve.
Now I can tell you My purpose is to impact the lives of one million female entrepreneurs while helping them to build efficient and sustainable businesses.
My core target audience is female entrepreneurs age 30-45 that are stuck in their current space and want to uplevel or want to systemize and automate their business. My secondary target audience is female entrepreneurs that have been laid off from the corporate world and moving into the world of entrepreneurship. The struggle is the same – wanting to create systems and strategies for efficiency and continue to uplevel.
The problem I solve – if you couldn’t guess it – is inefficiency. I help female entrepreneurs systemize processes so their businesses become more efficient. Just like the name of this podcast – we Work Smarter so we can live more.
The secondary, more emotional problem I solve is feeling disconnected. As we have talked about before, being an entrepreneur can be lonely. If I don’t have any clients scheduled to see in my psychological practice, I could go a couple of days without leaving my house. The solopreneurs I’ve talked with and worked with say the same thing. We work by ourselves for ourselves, and many of us do not have a team yet. This model of business is great; I use it and have used it for five years. The downside is my world doesn’t always understand entrepreneur problems. They definitely don’t know who I could call to run FB ads or help me with a marketing project or an email campaign. That’s where I come in. By virtue of my psychology background, I love listening to people’s stories. And in listening to those stories I find out what they do, who they work with, and their purpose in business. I have a virtual Rolodex that I use to help connect people. Sometimes it is for services, sometimes it’s for support, and sometimes it’s to media contacts I have because the media contacts are in need of a specific type of expert.
Are you clear on your purpose in business? What about with your target audience? Can you give me a breakdown of what your target audience looks like, the problems they struggle with, and where they hang out online?
Can you tell me the problem you solve in one word? If so, I want to hear it! Screenshot this episode and share it on Instagram. Tag me @drashleyhampton and tell me your one word problem. Maybe I’ll add you to my virtual Rolodex!
Bottom line – in order to be successful in business, you must be clear about your purpose, your intended target audience, and the problem or problems you solve. Clarity is a must.
Episode 4: Find Your Tribe
In this episode, join me in talking about the importance of finding a tribe, which I believe is an essential part of your entrepreneurial backbone.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. This is episode four, and I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today we’re talking about another part of your entrepreneurial backbone, finding your tribe.
First I need to clarify what I mean by finding your tribe. We use the word tribe a lot. I am going to talk with you today about finding your people as an entrepreneur, not your clients. Some people refer to this group as a personal board of directors, some call them mentors, and I simply refer to them as my tribe.
These are the people that understand your vision and your definition of success and want to help you achieve success. They are 100% behind you in your goals and are not afraid to challenge you when you are playing small. They’re part cheerleader, part tough love coach, part friend, and part warrior standing beside you in your journey. And these people are sometimes hard to find.
Your tribe will change as you change. My tribe now as an entrepreneur five years into my business looks different than the one I had before I started my business. In five years, my tribe will likely look radically different than it is now.
The main point is that you need people standing beside you to help you. Sometimes that help will come in encouragement. Sometimes in connecting you with others. And sometimes your tribe will kick you in the butt and remind you that you have a big vision and purpose to fill in this world but you’re playing small.
Do you have three to five people like this in your life right now?
If not, are you asking yourself right now how you find your tribe?
It’s a question I’ve asked myself a lot over the years. I look up to a lot of entrepreneurs and influencers. They’re 7 and 8 figure business owners, and those people are outside of my reach. For now. I learn from them by being in their programs, engaging in their groups, and attending their live events. While that helps me progress as an entrepreneur, they’re not going to be the ones encouraging me and standing beside me when things get tough.
I first started looking in my inner circle, the people I talked with. Who was already providing me encouragement and listening to me vent when things got rough? Who has come into my circle lately that does the same?
Some I’ve met online, and some I’ve met in person. Some I text and call, and some I message on social media. Some I talk to every day and some every other week.
There is no blueprint for how your tribe has to look. You can create it. Perhaps there is a person online that you check in with once a week to talk about a specific part of your company, like driving traffic to your website. You two talk strategy and numbers and try new ways to find clients. Maybe another member of your tribe is really good at encouragement and you seek this person out when you’re having a tough time completing a task. And maybe another member of your tribe is someone you talk with daily to hold you accountable with making major strides every day.
However you want to make this work, you do it. The important part is having a tribe to support you, encourage you, and kick you in the butt when you need it. After all, you have a big goal to create a large impact in this world. No one does that alone.
I’d love to hear about your tribe. Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on IG stories. Tag me @drashleyhampton and I will share it on my stories. Or DM me and tell me how you created your tribe.
Bottom line – Being an entrepreneur can be very lonely. Having people to stand with you on your journey is imperative in helping you play the big game and get results.
That is all for this episode of the Work Smarter Live More podcast. For more episodes, check out drashleyhampton.com/podcast. Please subscribe on your favorite podcast player. I will talk with you again next time.
Episode 3: Speak Your Voice
In this episode, we are talking about how you find your voice as an entrepreneur and why you want to make sure you speak your voice.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
This is episode three, and today we’re talking about your voice as an entrepreneur.
Before you can speak your voice, you have to find your voice. I know, it sounds silly for me to say find your voice. I’ve said that to plenty of people, and they look at me as if I haven’t heard them talking in conversation. I’m not talking about hearing yourself speak. I’m talking about finding and speaking your voice as an entrepreneur.
Finding your voice is important to your brand and includes how you speak and the words you choose. For example, I deliberately open my podcast episodes with “Hey you guys” even though my target audience is female entrepreneurs. I do this for a very simple reason that makes me smile every time I say those three words. And once I tell you this story, I think it’ll make you smile too.
When I was a little kid, my dad worked on the railroad. He’d work all shifts, which was normally not an issue when my brother and I were in school. During the summertime, my dad would get home from working third shift when we were eating breakfast. He’d eat breakfast with us and then go to sleep. My brother and I would either watch movies, or he’d play Nintendo while I read books. We watched A LOT of movies when we were kids, and I loved escaping into other worlds for a little while.
How many of you have seen the movie The Goonies? Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, and a host of other actors that were spectacular in the movie. It was one of my favorites as a kid, and I still occasionally watch it now. The basic premise of the movie is these kids are trying to find ancient treasure to save their house from foreclosure. They have some amazing adventures along the way while trying to find the treasure. Anyway, one of the characters says “Hey you guys” and every time I think about those three words, I hear his voice echo in my head. It makes me smile, so I wanted to use that as my welcome to you each and every time.
For those of you that have seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about, and I bet you’re smiling right now. And for those of you that haven’t, I highly recommend you check it out. It’s chock full of goodness from the year 1985.
Another example I love and want to make my personal hashtag is “be the boss of your best life.” This is a phrase that I have written on the white board in front of my desk to remind me I’m in charge of creating the life I want for myself. This same freedom and power is what I like to instill in my clients and what I hope to help each of you achieve through the information in this podcast. I want each of you to be the boss of your best life.
Here’s a question for you – how do you speak when you’re talking to your ideal client? What kinds of words do you use or want to use?
Entrepreneurs also have to choose the type of language we use in our writing, our work with customers, and how we interact with others in a business environment. For example, I have chosen to keep this podcast clean and am going to attempt to avoid the explicit lyrics tag because I’m not sure who will be listening. I want you to be able to listen to this podcast while you’re driving a carpool or while you’re at your office or any other place. If we have a conversation in life or if we have the chance to work one-on-one with each other, I won’t promise to keep my language clean. Sometimes I get fired up, and that comes out in some extremely colorful expressions I’ve picked up along the way.
I have deliberately chosen again how I interact with others through my voice.
Being consistent in the way I speak with you, the way I speak with clients, and the specific language I use conveys a truth as an entrepreneur that you want others to see. Maybe they won’t pinpoint exactly why they feel your authenticity or your genuineness, but they will feel it. And when we’re talking to customers, we want them to feel as much as we want them to learn.
Speaking YOUR voice also sets you apart from other entrepreneurs. In episode 1, we talked about my superpower of thinking outside the box and how to use that to your advantage as an entrepreneur. In episode 2, we talked about finding your uniqueness to set you apart from other entrepreneurs. And now we’re talking about speaking your own voice. Do you see the pattern? All of these episodes are meant for you to determine how YOU want to show up in your business. How are you different from others? What makes you special as an entrepreneur? Being able to show and tell others how you and your services are different will become the backbone of your business.
Bottom line – Speaking your voice consistently in your work allows others to get to know you as an entrepreneur.
Episode 2: Finding Your Uniqueness
In this episode, I want to talk with you about what makes you unique. How are you different from others. And why finding your uniqueness matters as an entrepreneur.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today we’re talking about what makes you unique.
Unique is defined as “being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.” In most areas of life, people strive to blend in and often are ridiculed if they are seen as different.
I was definitely one of those kids that was ridiculed. In episode 2, I talked about thinking outside the box – way outside the box. This is my uniqueness and one of my superpowers as an entrepreneur. It didn’t sit so well when I was in middle school and high school.
I didn’t think like the other kids. I wanted to go to work and had zero problems saying no to partying on the weekends. I chose to take college classes while I was still in high school, and I was criticized for thinking I was “better” than my friends. I didn’t think I was better. I was thinking about how to use my time efficiently in scoring college credit instead of wasting hours in electives in high school. Plus those college credit hours were cheaper, and because I would be needing scholarships for college, every financial advantage helped.
In graduate school, I worked two, sometimes three, jobs at a time to pay my bills. I didn’t want to borrow money, if I didn’t need to. It made for really long days and nights and some B-work instead of A-work. Who cares? The most important part now is I haven’t had to make any career choices based on needing to pay back student loans, which was a great benefit to me when I started my own business.
Those are only a couple of examples. Hopefully they help you in jogging your memory about experiences you’ve had that could help highlight how you are unique.
Because we are taught to be “normal” and blend in with the crowd, it’s sometimes difficult for us to find our uniqueness. I created a pdf question list for you to give you ideas about finding your uniqueness and what sets you apart from others in your entrepreneurial space. You can find the pdf at drashleyhampton.com/podcast. Again, that’s drashleyhampton.com/podcast.
Why does finding your uniqueness matter as an entrepreneur?
Two main categories – connecting with your tribe and connecting with your customer base.
In terms of tribe, I am interested in finding the uniqueness in everyone, especially in the crowded entrepreneurial world. This is one topic I LOVE to talk about with people. I enjoy hearing people’s stories, and I usually am able to connect people through their stories. How? I listen for their uniqueness. What sets people apart generally tells me whether I want to be friends with them. It also is an easy way for me to know how to handle referrals.
In my growing tribe of people, I hold onto those that could be excellent referrals for others. For example, one of the problems I solve is connection. I like to introduce people and hopefully help them find others that can solve problems for them. I don’t do branding or software tech support or social media strategies or Facebook ads. I do, however, know many people in these areas and can refer potential customers to them — because I know the uniqueness of the people in my tribe.
With your customer base, I find uniqueness to be a HUGE asset. Being unique sets you apart from the competition and allows you to provide a customer service experience your ideal customers won’t find anywhere else. I’ve had people that come to me for media help that have tried a number of other services, and those services didn’t work for whatever reason. Mine did. Why? Because I have a unique way to present the material and a unique system of how to implement it into daily life without it being cumbersome. I can provide a customer service experience that others can’t because their systems are set up differently.
Your business is the same way. You’ll offer a strategy or a skill set or even a mindset shift that others do not. You’re you. You’re unique because of that. And that uniqueness is something to recognize, celebrate, and leverage!
Here are the questions to ask yourself to help find your uniqueness:
- When people meet you, do they ever mention a characteristic you have that they feel like is unique? What is that characteristic?
- Have you heard from someone that you have a superpower? What is that superpower?
- When you look at the history of your accomplishments, is there a specific thread that follows you throughout your work?
- What traits have you expressed in the past that people have called weird or odd?
- What do you feel are your most special, most different characteristics that set you apart from others?
If you don’t yet know your uniqueness, now is the time to find it! Head over to drashleyhampton.com/podcast to download the free pdf question list to find your uniqueness.
When you’re finished answering these questions or if you already know how you’re unique, I’d love to hear about your uniqueness and a bit more about your business. Send me a DM on instagram @drashleyhampton and let me know what you learned about yourself.
Bottom line – Being unique as an entrepreneur is one of your biggest strengths.
Episode 1: Thinking Outside the Box...WAY Outside the Box
In this episode, I want to talk with you about thinking outside the box – way outside the box. Why is it beneficial and how you can stretch your thinking.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton.
Today we’re talking about what thinking outside the box.
For me, my superpower is thinking outside the box. WAY outside the box. I do things differently than others in my space. For example, last year, I learned how to be featured in multiple media outlets. All the methods I learned from industry PR professionals and others in my field were great. And super involved. And not predictable in the return. Or in the case of pitching TV coverage, I’d need flexibility in my schedule that sometimes came down to being able to change my schedule within hours of being called. For me, those methods didn’t work. I needed to find a streamlined system that didn’t cost me a lot of money or time. And I did. These systems were responsible for me being in O Magazine, Inc, Fast Company, and Money last year, along with many, many others. This year, I’ve been featured in Prevention among others and am waiting to hear the possible good news about being featured in another print magazine.
There is no doubt in my mind that I would not have achieved this level of success if I stayed with someone else’s ideas on how things are to be done. I know others that have achieved great success with those methods. With my time constraints of running another business as a solopreneur, I needed something extremely efficient, streamlined, and a method that didn’t put me on call for media every minute of every day.
Thinking way outside the box to create my own methods has worked well for me in beginning my online business. In addition to this podcast, I’m developing a course right now to teach other solopreneurs how to obtain media coverage without investing thousands of dollars in a PR firm and without completely giving over your entire schedule to the industry. The course will teach the same strategies I used to be featured in over 30 media outlets in 2018.
Thinking outside the box has also been very beneficial in setting up systems for my practice. I’m beginning my fifth year in my private practice as a psychologist, and I do everything from setting up appointments to seeing clients to billing and every task in between. Over the years, I’ve created systems and checklists and templates.
My industry said it couldn’t be done. ha!
They simply hadn’t met me yet. And I hope you have this same confidence about your superpowers!
I don’t accept that there is only one way to do things, and you don’t have to accept it either. Even with what I suggest on this podcast, feel free to think about how you can make it your own. You’ll want to consider your schedule, your responsibilities, what kind of life you want to create, and your uniqueness. We’ll talk more about your uniqueness in episode 2. All of these things are important for how you’ll conduct business, and the way you conduct business does not ever have to look like anyone else.
Stretching your thinking about HOW you do business is almost as important as focusing on your WHY for business.
Let’s say you know your WHY. I do – I started this podcast and my coaching business because I want to help one million female entrepreneurs. My HOW…well, that comes in when I’m teaching my strategies. My ways to do things, which are different than other entrepreneurs in my space, that have proven results for me and others I’ve worked with.
For you, let’s say you are in the financial space and you have a unique system to help you save money. Over the past year, your system has helped you save thousands of dollars without ignoring things you wanted, like a new pair of shoes or a new cell phone. This unique system is how you’ve thought outside the box and made a “normal” process, like saving money, work for you and your life.
In one of my podcasting Facebook groups, a participant posted last week and asked a question about launching a podcast in the midst of completing other tasks. I made a suggestion about how to complete all of the tasks in an unusual order, and the suggestion was well received. The reply from the participant: “You think WAY outside the box.” Yeah, heard that one before.
It’s very true. I do think way outside the box, and so can you.
Along with examining the way you do things, you can also look at the differences between those you look up to in your space or in a niche you use. For example, I am eating healthier than I ever have in my life. There are several people I watch, especially their recipes, because they each focus on a different area, like smoothies or easy meal prep. One of my friends still uses chocolate in some of her recipes. Total game changer for me.
When you’re looking at the differences in the way things are done, look less at the person and more at the method. What works for you and what does not. How could you change things to fit your lifestyle or your schedule. These changes to what exists currently starts the process of you thinking outside the box.
I never suggest copying what is out there. Not only is that a jerk move, someone else’s method is not you. The world wants to hear from you. Start putting your spin on things!
To recap, thinking way outside the box helps you frame methods, strategies, and systems in a way that works for you, your schedule, your business, and your life. It’s highly likely you’re already doing some of this and you didn’t recognize it.
Episode 0: About Dr. Ashley Hampton & the Work Smarter Live More Podcast
In this episode, I’ll tell you about me, about my vision for this podcast, and invite you to come along for the ride.
Hey you guys. I’m your host, Dr. Ashley Hampton, and I’m here with the episode that will officially begin the Work Smarter Live More podcast.
Let me tell you a little bit about me.
Here is the very condensed and professional version –
Dr. Ashley Hampton is a Licensed Psychologist and Entrepreneurial Coach, bestselling author, speaker, and host of the Work Smarter Live More podcast. She has been featured in O Magazine, Forbes, Inc, and Fast Company, among many others. As an Entrepreneurial Coach, she guides female entrepreneurs to build efficient and sustainable businesses using her proven systems and strategies.
There is a much longer version. After all, I have worked almost 20 years in mental health. I’ll give you the highlights of the past few years. Before I went to graduate school for my PhD, I worked as a School Counselor and also on a college campus in both the career and counseling centers. While in graduate school, I worked again on a college campus in the counseling center and also at multiple federal prisons in the psychology department.
After graduating with my PhD, I worked in a secure state hospital as a Forensic Psychologist and eventually returned to the federal prison system to work in the psychology department.
I am now the founder and owner of a solo private psychological practice that is beginning year five at the time of this recording.
As an Entrepreneurial Coach, I am in my second year of working with female entrepreneurs. I help solve two problems. First, I like to tackle the feeling of being disconnected because as an entrepreneur we are often working by ourselves. Even when we grow to have a team, the team is not always on site with us. Second, I guide female entrepreneurs to build effective and sustainable businesses by improving systems and strategies.
I want to reach one million female entrepreneurs, and that is one of the many reasons I started this podcast. That’s the work side…. what about the live more side?
For fun, I love photography and traveling, and I’ll be taking you on some journeys I have planned for the upcoming year, including spending some time on the West Coast of the United States. If you have suggestions, send me a DM on Instagram @drashleyhampton of places I must visit, food I must try, or people I must meet.
In addition to photography and traveling, I’m an avid reader and author. I have to writing projects in process right now. I have a cat named Gemma whom I adore and have trained to walk on a leash and stand at the door and meow when she wants to go outside. Bonus points for you if you DM me with the correct answer for how I chose her name.
The Work Smarter Live More podcast will be published twice a week on Mondays and Thursdays and will include actionable tips you the listener can use in your business and your life. There will be a mix of solo episodes and episodes with guests sharing their journey and their most valuable business building tips and how they make everything work. I want you to be the boss of your best life.
I promise this podcast will be honest. I will share the good, the bad, and the ugly because those are realities for entrepreneurs. I will share actionable tips you can use in your business. I also promise this podcast will be released consistently twice per week. And when possible, we may even sneak in a bonus episode or two.
I invite you to come along for this journey. You can visit my website at drashleyhampton.com to sign up for my email list, so you can be notified each time an episode is live. You can also subscribe to the show on your favorite podcast player, so the episodes automatically hit your library as soon as they are released. If you have questions you’d like for me to cover on the podcast, DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton or use the contact page on my website.
Thank you for being here. I am looking forward to spending time with you twice a week!