Listen to the Work Smarter Live More Podcast
Please subscribe, rate, and review on
your favorite podcast player!
In episode 51 called You Don’t Want Everyone to Love You, we talked about finding your audience and speaking directly to them. Today we’re talking about how to determine what to say to this audience.
Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m Dr. Ashley, your host, and this is episode 53. We are starting our month-long focus on content, which is one of the five pillars of my Business Basics program. If content is one of your struggles, please subscribe to this podcast so you’ll get the content episodes each week. If you have questions regarding content, DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton. Screenshot this episode and share it on social media. Tag me, and I’ll reshare!
Let’s get into it.
Content is a huge struggle for a lot of people, me included. Even fifty plus episodes into this podcast, sometimes my brain is a huge blank for content. After all, everyone says content must be valuable and helpful, and we all want to make our time count. Sometimes we just don’t have ideas about what to say, or we even think we don’t have anything to say that’s helpful. None of that is true, but it’s easy for us to listen to those voices in our head that tell us we don’t really have anything to say.
So how do you figure out what to say?
Remember when we talked about finding your ideal client because we wanted our messaging to address someone specifically? If you haven’t heard episode 51, head over and listen to it after this one. We talked about how to find that ideal client and doing research on what they “look” like, specifically going into Facebook groups, Reddit forums, and other places where your ideal client hangs out.
You’re looking for your ideal client’s words about their pain and problems. You want their exact language. You are looking to craft your content to address pain points and problems for your ideal client.
Here are some of the comments I saw when I was trying to narrow topics for this month’s content:
- I don’t know what to say.
- I’m not sure what to talk about.
- What do my clients want to hear?
- How do I find the pain points?
Sound familiar? These are all things I said earlier in the episode. Like I said a few minutes ago, you are looking to craft your content to address pain points and problems for your ideal client.
I have two ways I usually do this –
- When I’m regularly looking through social media, I’ll save posts when I recognize pain points I want to address. If I can’t save the post, I’ll screenshot it and put it in a folder on my phone or my computer.
- Occasionally, I’ll spend 15 or 20 minutes doing the targeted research I explained earlier. I’m looking for the exact language that I then compile into a list so I can use the exact language, like I used above.
I do this research often, especially when I’m at a loss for what to say. If something during my regular daily life doesn’t inspire a topic for me to talk about, then I dive into this research. Like I said, I keep my research time short. I set a timer for a specific amount of time so I am sure not to get lost in the social media rabbit hole. I have some groups bookmarked on a couple of platforms; I go directly to those groups and start reading. I don’t look at my feeds, and I don’t check notifications. It’s a focused research meeting, just like I was doing research for a school assignment in the past. It doesn’t take too long before their words spark an idea for me to talk about.
Now let’s talk about the next step in this process. You need to start writing content. There’s a couple of very important things to consider when you start writing content.
First thing – you want your content to solve problems in your special way. The way you are unique, the way you different, and how you work with clients. Those are the things you include in your content. Your special proprietary method is how you solve problems for people. In your content, you are going to tell someone the why and the what. You’ll tell them why they’re having trouble and what they can do about it. Your how is what you’ll sell them to solve their problems quickly and efficiently.
Let’s talk about an example. I work with people to help them build credibility by using print and online media. I talk about how print and online media can help build credibility. Why you want to use media. What my media features have done for me and my business. I was featured in O Magazine the print version last year. Recently, I was featured again in an online article in O Magazine. This is a credibility builder for me and often is a conversation starter that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Everyone has expertise that can be used in media, especially in print and online articles. There are a wealth of articles that need to be published daily. The most important part is your uniqueness in contributing. This is what you talk about.
Which brings me to the second thing that apparently has become incredibly important in light of things happening in the past week or so in the entrepreneurial community. Nicole Arbour, a You Tuber, called out Jay Shetty for plagiarizing content. She provided several examples where the content published on his social media and videos actually should have been attributed to others instead of being passed as if it was Jay’s material.
This is what you want to make sure you avoid.
It’s great to put content out, and it’s great to put amazing content out there. It’s not great for you to put amazing content out there that is actually someone else’s content without giving them credit.
Here’s an example – I am going to tell you the definition of plagiarism. I am going to find this definition on Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. I am telling you all of these details because I want you to understand exactly where I got the quotes I am about to tell you.
Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines the word plagiarism as the “act or instance of plagiarizing.” Plagiarizing means “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another as one’s own; use (another’s production) without crediting the source.” Also from the same online dictionary.
Let’s break this down and make it really simple so you understand exactly how to prevent this problem.
Plagiarizing is when you steal someone’s content and don’t give them credit. For example, let’s say you take my previous sentence and put it as a quote on an Instagram post but you put your name on the graphic and not mine. That’s stealing. If you put my quote on an IG graphic and you put my name underneath it showing that I said it, that is not stealing.
If you’re saying the same words someone else said, you need to look at your work more closely.
Remember, you’re wanting to share how you’re unique when you’re talking in your content. How you view the world and what you do specifically is what will draw your ideal clients to you. Ideally plagiarism will never be a problem because your unique perspectives and processes will be different from everyone else.
Let’s recap – you’ll write your content based on your unique ways to address pain points of your ideal clients. You’ll make sure your content is based on you and your work, including why someone is experiencing the pain and what you can do to help them solve it.
Bottom line: Content is important. Knowing your audience is important. Combining the two – speaking your message to your specific audience – is your goal. Here’s your challenge for this week that I’ll be doing as well. Head over to some groups or forums and find out what your ideal client is talking about. Use those pain points to make social media posts, write blog posts, or record podcast episodes. And come back here next week for another podcast episode about content!
Are you inundated with pictures of Ferraris and Lambos on social media? What about posts that tell you to take your laptop out to the beach to get some work done? Choosing a lifestyle you want is important as an entrepreneur, and that’s what we’re talking about today.
Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m Dr. Ashley, your host, and this is episode 52.
What do you do when you see the marketing posts on a social media platform that say you too can get a Lamborghini if you just follow some random guy’s directions on how to build your business?
I used to read them because I find them highly ridiculous and fascinating psychologically. I’ll take a shortcut just as much as the next person, but I actually want the shortcut to work. Otherwise, it’s not a shortcut at all.
What about the posts that show a laptop and someone’s feet in the foreground and off in the distance you can see the beach sand and the beautiful blue water? Do you read those? I don’t read them because I can’t relate to those posts. I’ve never been in a situation where I thought I’d take my laptop to the beach to get some work done. A book maybe to read and relax. Maybe a notebook and a pen if I was trying to find some creative energy. Never my laptop.
If that’s what you want, please get it. I want you to have exactly what you want. I think those posts are gimmicks and BS. What I want for you is for YOU to choose how you want to live your life. You, not someone else.
Let me tell you a story. In 2013, I was two years out of graduate school and back at the prison location where I did my internship. I was back with my friends, back in a town I knew, and making enough money to start doing fun things just for me. My boss was pretty terrible, and I decided it was time for me to put in for a promotion. So I did, and I got the job. And then my world fell apart.
To be an employee of the federal prison system, you have to complete three weeks at a training academy. The first big deal is to complete the physical test. If you can’t complete the physical test, your training session is cut short, and you return immediately to your home institution where you’re fired. I’d been warned by several people that the physical test was no joke, especially if you're like me and definitely not an athlete. Even if injured, the suggestion is to suck it up and do what you have to do. I mean, you’re supposed to be tough enough to work in the federal prison system. So when I hit my knee on the rung of an aluminum ladder I was scaling, I kept going. I can still sometimes hear the echo off the walls and everyone in the gym go quiet. It hurt so bad I said several cuss words that I can’t repeat here since this is a clean podcast. I sucked it up and kept going. And kept going. And completed every physical task we had to do before limping over to Medical and letting them look at my knee, which was massively swollen and throbbing in pain by this point. They gave me some Ibuprofen, an ice pack, and a high five for completing the physical requirements. And I went back to Medical several times over the next two and a half weeks. Nothing was improving. I kept icing. I took Ibuprofen several times. Nothing. When I got back home, I went to the orthopedic doctor, and a ton of treatments ensued. Six months worth of physical therapy before the doctor gave up and said my knee must be hurt worse than they could see in the MRI. So I had to have surgery. And after the surgery, the doctor told me my knee would never be 100% no matter what else we did. The damage was too bad. I suspect it was because I kept going and tore the muscles more as I ran and scaled tables and climbed stairs. My doctor did the best he could, and I kept doing physical therapy after the surgery. Still he told me the damage left me with structural damage to my knee. And that was the end of my time at the prison.
That long story to tell you this – in all of the classroom training I had to do, we constantly heard that the prison system had our backs. We were family. We’d be taken care of. And we shouldn’t fear going to work because everyone was looking out for everyone else. I can tell you I didn’t experience one bit of that family feeling when I forced the issue of me continuing to be hurt. They were cold and argumentative and at times intolerable to deal with. They accused me of not being hurt and tried to manipulate me into coming back to work. In those moments, I swore to myself I would never work for someone else again.
And that began my quest for finding the type of lifestyle I wanted, even though I didn’t know it then.
I can imagine many of you have the same type of story. I’ve heard it over and over. Job schedules weren’t flexible enough. Military spouses couldn’t depend on locations. Certain types of jobs weren’t available for decent pay. The bottom line is we all made it to the entrepreneur world, and I hope you have the same belief I do – this is the best thing that ever could’ve happened to me work wise.
If you are listening to this and you are still straddling the line between working for yourself and working for someone else, you’ll get there. I quit without a back-up plan. I don’t recommend anyone take my route at all. Making a slower move usually means you can make better choices.
One of the choices you’ll need to make is what you want your life to look like.
Have you ever thought about this? Similar to your workplace values and how you want to conduct business, you need the same for your life.
I currently work in my private practice in batches, like we’ve talked about before. I’ll see clients one week and then the next week is for me. I catch up on paperwork, I work on my side hustle, or I goof off. I absolutely love doing this because I have a great rest break from emotionally tough work. This is one decision I’ve made that works well for now. If it stops working, then I’ll shift my schedule again to make it work for my situation at that point. This is one of the lifestyle things that is most important to me – I can create my own schedule.
Some of you already know I’ve been in the decision phase of moving. I’ve been looking at other places to live that are more in line with how I want my life to be. I wanted to find more of an entrepreneurial community that doesn’t exist where I am currently. So I looked all over the country examined a ton of factors and narrowed it down to about four locations with Seattle, Washington in the number one spot on that list. So I started looking for jobs I could work while my psychologist license was being transferred and places I could stay. A couple of months later, here’s what I determined. Seattle’s cost of living did not mean there was an increase in salary. So I’d have to work a full-time job there and work on the side to have a house. I could squeeze by in a one bedroom apartment on just a job salary, but a house with my own garage and an extra room to set up an office for my side hustle wouldn’t be in the budget. It’d also mean I’d return to working at least 40 hours a week with no week off in the middle and that was to survive and pay bills.
While there are huge benefits to the Seattle area and it checked off almost all of my boxes, there was one big one that it didn’t fill. So I took some time to think about it. I talked about Seattle as if I was moving there to give my brain time to process thoughts and feelings about making the change, even though I hadn’t done anything. Kind of like a virtual reality simulation. I consistently felt uneasy as I talked about it. Not about the place or the people or the weather. It was always about the money. I didn’t want to change my schedule, stop traveling, or stop doing fun activities just to move to somewhere that wasn’t as hot as where I am now and is much more free spirited than where I currently live. To me, there wasn’t enough benefit to outweigh what I was going to have to give up.
In the end, I chose my lifestyle, including making my own schedule, being able to afford to travel, being able to buy the type of house I want to have with the space I want, and most of all, not being at the mercy of a boss again.
So how do you do this for yourself?
You first have to get real honest with yourself about what matters. What are your must-haves or your must-dos? For me, it’s traveling. I’ll spend money for an adventure, but I don’t care about having designer jeans. I’m fine with $20 jeans.
Like I said earlier, I value time. Do you want more time or more money? People that want more money will often work more to get paid more. For me, I’m fine with the money I make, and I prefer to have more time away from work to live more.
What about your life right now is just how you want it? For me, that’s the schedule. Because I can make my own schedule, I can take an afternoon nap with Gemma on some days should I choose to do so. Or take off on a day trip with my dad during one of those weeks where I’m not seeing clients. That is important to me. If you have kids, maybe you want to be able to go on field trips. Or maybe you want to be able to volunteer with animals or at a local soup kitchen, and those require middle of the day commitments that you couldn’t do if you had to answer to a boss at a company.
Here’s the hardest part in all of this… You’ll have to tease apart what you’ve been told all your life that you “should” do and what your life “should” look like and figure out what YOU want to do.
You don’t have to change everything at once. Start small. Maybe it’s just changing one thing about your schedule. Let’s say you see clients and instead of seeing two clients two days a week, you change and start seeing three clients in a day and one client the second day. If three clients isn’t too much and you want to move the fourth one, do it and try it out for a few weeks. If it doesn’t work, you can change it back. If it does work, you can decide if you like that open day for other projects. Or maybe having that open day means you have time to take on one or two more clients. The biggest factor is to make sure you’re making the decisions and not anyone else.
Bottom line: If you haven’t decided yet what you want your lifestyle to look like, I challenge you to start thinking about it today. What is important to you? When you look back in five years, what are the things that will make you say “Wow, I’m really glad I did that” or “I’m really glad I made that change”? It’s time for you to choose the lifestyle you want and go get it!
You can’t be all things to all people. It’s disastrous for your health and for your business. Stay tuned to hear why this is a problem and what you can do to fix this in your business if you say you like to work with everyone.
Hi, I’m Dr. Ashley, your host, and this is episode 51.
Before we get started, let me preface this episode by saying it is absolutely a tough love episode. If I’m talking to you because you fit into this category, I am saying these things for your benefit so you can make your business better, not to hurt your feelings. I will be completely blunt though with the goal of giving you ways to improve your business so you can hopefully increase your revenue and spend less time working. After all, that’s what this podcast is about. So let’s get started.
The following statement and mindset is one of the most dangerous ones in business but one I hear VERY often – “My offer or service is good for everyone. My clients can be male or female, young or old, service business or creative, online or brick and mortar. I can do it all.”
First of all, no you can’t. It’s total BS to think this way or say this out loud. If you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. I’m sure you’ve heard that statement before. It means if you’re aiming your offer to me, an almost 40-year-old entrepreneur with two businesses and no children, you’re not likely to also reach a 19-year-old single male that is just thinking about starting a business or a 50-year-old woman that has just become a grandmother and is now thinking about how to slow down her business so she can partially retire and still bring in revenue. Not only are we three very different people, we are at different stages in business, and we have different life goals. We will not likely respond to the same offer. So you’ll put out multiple offers and fish for customers, and you’ll get some to bite but you’ll do more fishing than you will working.
What if you’re that person that says “Come on, Ashley. This is working for me. I get to personalize everything, and it’s great.” I’m going to give you a virtual high five for your revenue coming in, and then challenge you to look at numbers. I want you to look at the amount of time you’re spending doing the following tasks – marketing to everyone, taking sales calls and having email discussions with everyone, and writing copy for social media and sales pages to attract everyone.
Let me give you an example, and you decide which person you want to be. Let’s say I have five one hour sales calls to fish for clients, one of those resonates with my offer, and one of the five signs up for a coaching program that costs $3,000. You spent five hours to get one client at $3,000. What would you be able to do if your initial messaging was dialed in to one type of client and you sold your $3,000 coaching package to all five of those sales calls? What if your five hours of work resulted in $15,000 in revenue instead of $3,000?
With the work that goes into trying to find clients with no revenue coming in, you’ll find yourself inching your way towards frustration and burnout. Each of those four other calls in my example was a no, and after putting in an hour of your time, you want to hear a yes instead of a no. I know if you were sitting in front of me I’d see heads nodding and hands raising. You know why you’re here – you want to work smarter and live more. So if this is you even just a little, here are some tips to use now to start reigning in your love of working with everyone to get much more specific with your clients and your messaging.
- Repeat to yourself “I will not destroy my business by refining who I want to work with.”
This is probably one of the biggest fears I hear from entrepreneurs in general. They’re scared to cut out a category of people because they believe they won’t have enough customers. In fact, it’s the opposite. Remember my example earlier about me, the 19-year-old male, and the 50-year-old new grandmother? Let’s say you want to work with people that are already in business. With that decision, you delete the 19-year-old. What did you lose? I’m guessing nothing, especially if your current offer is talking to people that already have businesses. He would have self-selected himself out of your customer pool because you weren’t talking to him, which is good. We want people to leave. We want people to unsubscribe. We don’t want everyone to love you. We only want love from your raving fans that you really want to work with and serve.
2. When your messaging is in line with the type of client you want to work with, your messaging will sell your offer with little to no effort from you.
I went shopping this past week to buy some summer clothes for my trip to Australia at the end of the year. Summer clothes are on sale or clearance right now, and I want to make sure I grab a few things before all of the fall and winter clothes are out. For those of you that don’t know like I didn’t until a couple of years ago, Australia’s seasons are opposite ours in the US. When we have winter, they have summer. So I wanted a couple of new short sleeve T-shirts to take with me. I go into the store, and they have super cute ones with sayings on them in the softest material and they’re like $12 a piece. I’m in. I decided I’d buy at least two and probably three. Except the sayings on the shirts didn’t match me. They had one about coffee, but I don’t drink coffee. They had one about wine, but I don’t drink wine. They had several about being a mom, but I’m not a mom. And the last ones that I really loved were about having a dog. I don’t have a dog. I have a cat. So the messaging on these shirts just wasn’t for me. But how many women would any of these shirts have spoken to? Likely well over the majority between coffee, wine, kids, and dogs. While their messages were broad, the company was still speaking to specific women. Sure, I didn’t buy those shirts, but I was in the minority. They don’t need to market to me because I’m not who they want to work with.
I promise you if they’d had shirts about Dr. Pepper or whiskey or cats, I probably would’ve bought all three.
This is the kind of specific that you want. The messaging sold those shirts without them having to do anything extra.
3. Everyone say niche down or create your ideal client avatar. You can only have one avatar. The riches are in the niches. Narrow, narrow, narrow. Get more and more focused.
I know you’ve heard these, probably so much that you hear them in your sleep.
If you’ve been here for any amount of time or you know me, you know I do things my own way, which usually is against the grain. I do believe in these things to an extent, but I also think these phrases are used to scare entrepreneurs into buying programs and services they don’t need.
Why do I say that? Because I was one of them.
I wouldn’t say I got scammed necessarily. I would say that this really isn’t as important as it is currently made out to be in the market, and I definitely believe you don’t need to hire this out.
I’m going to tell you how to find your ideal client in less than five minutes for free. If this is what you need and you’re multitasking, either stop what you’re doing and get ready to take notes or pause this episode and come back when you can jot some notes down. Or head over to my website and you can get word for word show notes there at drashleyhampton.com/podcast.
Alright, here we go.
For your ideal client – who do you want to work with? Yes, you get to choose. Your choices will influence your offers so be prepared.
You’ll write down all of your ideal client’s demographics. That’s how they look – age, gender, race, location, marital status, socioeconomic status, religion, where do they live, what kind of job or jobs do they have, do they have kids, etc.
Then write down the things about your ideal client that will help you with marketing. These things are called psychographics, which is a fancy word that means attitudes, characteristics, lifestyle choices, etc. These are the things that consumer marketing is built upon. For this, I want you to write down what podcasts your ideal client listens to, what TV shows they watch, what magazines they read, what celebrities or entrepreneurs they follow, how do they feel about their business right now (if you’re working with entrepreneurs), etc.
For those of you that have done any kind of Facebook ads marketing, do these categories sound familiar? It’s part of how you can build an audience. It’s part of how large advertising companies build audiences for big brands like your favorite restaurants or clothing companies. When a company gets ready to film a commercial, there are reasons why every single detail is chosen. And you have these two categories – demographics and psychographics – to thank.
A lot of times entrepreneurs build an ideal client that looks like themselves before they “made it.” Cool. There’s nothing wrong with that. My ideal client is kind of like me in that she is a self-made entrepreneur that has a business but got so much work quickly that she didn’t build the proper foundation along the 5 C’s that we talked about last time in my Business Basics Program – credibility, cash, composition, character, and content. She’s stuck and overwhelmed trying to meet client demands while also working on a shaky business foundation, spending more time completing projects because she has no systems, no workflow, and no routines. Of course, I have everything built out about my ideal client, but that’s her in a nutshell.
You can do this too. Take 10 minutes and sketch what you think you want your ideal client to look like. Then start researching….go to Facebook, get into groups, read posts from people that look like your ideal client. You can also go to Reddit and search forums. You’re looking to see if the people that fall into your ideal client category have pain points that you can address with your offer. Specifically, you want the actual words they use in their posts to describe their pain. It’s those words that you use in your copy to attract your specific ideal clients.
4. Breathe. None of this is written in stone. It can change as you pivot your business, and it can become even more specific as you hone your offers.
Just like everything else in business, your ideal client can change and morph and even become more narrow, especially as the price of your offers increase. Let the changes be motivated by business data and not your feelings of fear that you may be excluding someone. Remember, we don’t want everyone to love you. We are creating raving fans that love you.
Bottom line: That’s how you move in the direction of helping everyone to helping only the clients you want to work with. Don’t feel like you have to do each of these steps at one time. Start with #1 and repeat it to yourself for a week. “I will not destroy my business by refining who I want to work with.” Then after that doesn’t shock you too much when you say it and think about removing the potential that someone in some far off category might respond to some of your posts, move to #2. Looking at your messaging. Chances are your messaging really isn't as inclusive to everyone as you think. It’s likely leaning in a direction that may lead you to #3 which is to determine who you want to work with and what that ideal client looks like. The last step is to realize this ideal client avatar will be a bit flexible as you hone your offers and even as you pivot your business.
If you’re still listening, you made it. Sure, it was a little tough love, but nothing you can’t handle. Business is tough, but you are tougher. Remember why you’re here – you want to work smarter so you can work less and live more. I’m cheering you on and look forward to giving you a virtual high five as you make changes!
Today I’ll be talking about why listening to your clients is important and give you steps on how you can use this feedback to make improvements in your business.
Welcome to episode 50 of the Work Smarter Live More podcast! I’m Dr. Ashley Hampton, and you just heard the new and refined intro. I am excited for today’s episode and the continued improvements we’re making moving forward. The best part about this podcast for me is you the listener. I have enjoyed receiving messages from you about things you’re implementing, episodes that really resonated with you, and episodes you’ve shared with your tribe and business friends. Thank you for being here and for listening. I am happy we can continue to hang out. Keep sending messages! I’d love to hear from you.
So these messages…We’ve been receiving requests about the podcast, and I am listening to what you’re saying. You want more length in the episode with more information about how to accomplish what I’m talking about, which is awesome. I have been focusing more on implementing this year, and I’d love to help you implement as well. Starting today, the Work Smarter Live More podcast will have longer episodes, and there will be one episode release each week. Here we go for this week!
We are drilling down with even more clarity for this podcast and my business as a whole. Not only have I been able to incorporate your feedback into this podcast and making it better for you, I’ve also been able to incorporate some of the feedback into my own business. Today I want to spend some time talking with you about this process and giving you some things to think about when your clients, customers, or students give you feedback, specifically how do you listen, what do you choose to listen to, and then what do you do with the feedback.
- Listening to clients is important.
This is generally a no brainer but for some reason entrepreneurs as a whole don’t have this mentality. Instead, entrepreneurs put an offer out they want to solve a pain point they had and to make things better for them. And then these same entrepreneurs cry and whine when no one buys their offers. Right? I know you know examples of this.
Listening is important. A quick side note from the psychologist in me – listening is different from hearing. You can hear people talk all day long and not listen. Listening involves actually processing what someone says and evaluating their words for yourself. As I mentioned earlier, there will be some people you choose not to listen to, and that’s okay. If you listened to everyone, you’d never complete a task. There’d be too many cooks in the kitchen, as my grandmother was fond of saying. Listening to your clients is different. Your clients are the people that are giving you money to solve their problems. As such, you need to work to solve their problems. You know how you decide what problems they have? You know. You listen.
In my current scenario, I listened to the people that I consider my clients for this podcast. You the listener. You messaged me and told me what you liked, what you didn’t like, and what you wanted. My sole goal for this podcast is to help you work smarter so you can live more, just as I’ve learned to do now in my fifth year of business. My revenue is steady, and I'm spending time outside the business playing, relaxing, reading, and traveling. All things that fill up my cup. That’s what I want for you. How do I help you get there? By listening to what you need and making changes when I can to help you with those needs.
2. You need a plan to guide you.
Alright, so let’s say you’re listening to clients, and you have some ideas written down on a piece of paper. Or a few pieces. Or a dry erase board like I did. You need to take some time to develop a plan to guide you.
I am sure you noticed there were no podcast episodes put out last week. For that, I apologize. I needed podcasting time to sit and create a plan for moving forward. I wanted to implement some ideas, and I wanted to come in BIG and BOLD for episode 50. When I started this podcast in February, I had a goal. It’s the same one I just talked about – I want to help you do what I’ve done, work smarter and live more. That was all I had. I had no clear idea about how podcasting would work, how much I’d love it, or how to really structure things. Sure I took a course and followed some experts and listened to a ton of podcasts and still do. The bottom line is that I was not sure how I wanted my podcast to work or how I could best serve my clients. Now I know more about podcasting. I know more about how I want to get information to you, and I know more about what you want. It was time for me to sit and develop a plan.
My plan consisted of me looking at the remainder of the year and breaking down topics into months. For the next few months, we’ll talk about the platform of my Business Basics program, and I’ll cover the remainder of the C’s. I’ve already talked about Credibility, or using media to help establish your credibility as an expert. For the remainder of August, we will talk about Character, which is who you are in your business. What is your mindset? For September, I’ll be covering topics related to content, specifically how to put your content out to your clients. In October, we'll be talking all things cash, specifically your business finances and how to get your finances set up into a system to make things easier for you as the year is coming to a close. In November, we'll talk about the composition of your business, specifically how you set things up in your business, like systems, funnels, and marketing. In December, we’ll talk about wrapping up the year and then beginning 2020 in January.
There are plenty of ways to make a plan. This is just one example. For me, it was easy for me to choose categories based on time. I know I’ll be traveling in September, October, and then again at the end of December and beginning of January. I wanted to make sure I had content covered, especially for when I’d be traveling. This plan will help me ensure everything is planned ahead of time.
3. Your skill and expertise means a great deal. If you don’t have expertise, you can’t pass go or collect $200.
Alright, this is likely going to be controversial, and I’m okay with that. There’s a reason I say you need to understand your skills and your expertise and stick only with your skills and your expertise.
When you’re listening to clients, you need to be very clear about your skills and your expertise. You need to be able to repeat your previous work to achieve results for your clients. If you’re not sure about your skills or you’re pretending to be an expert when you’re really not, you’ll never be able to repeat. This is a dangerous place to be. You don’t want to promise what you can’t deliver.
This is one way to determine the feedback you have to eliminate quickly. If you have feedback that doesn’t align with your skills or your expertise, that feedback has to be deleted. It can’t be considered because it has nothing to do with your skills or expertise. This has nothing to do with any person. It simply is a business decision.
Let me give you an example of focusing simply on skills and expertise in your work and not getting distracted by anything and everything else. During the day, I operate a solo psychological practice. Just me and my work. No team. No office. I just see clients through several agencies. This is year five in that business, and it is great. When I began, I had an office because I worked with a government agency seeing clients for them. As I grew, I began running numbers and realized when I accounted for no shows where I wasn’t paid and the amount of money I was putting into an office and overhead, I wasn’t doing as well in the profit category as I wanted.
So I made a huge shift in my practice in year three where I eliminated a complete revenue source and deleted a lot of working hours from my schedule. When I stopped seeing that set of clients, I also stopped leasing a physical office and eliminated my office overhead expenses. It was scary as everything. However, having that free time allowed me to take on more higher paying clients. If you do the math, you can take less higher paying clients and still make the same amount (or more) as if you have a bunch of small paying clients. So I worked less hours and eventually actually made much more money. Year four I went all in on this strategy, and it was my best year in my practice thus far. And that's when the idea was born to work smarter and live more.
This shift allowed me to double down on skills and expertise. I wasn’t trying to offer services I knew nothing about. I took what I knew and made my process more streamlined, better, and easier for me to accomplish. This is what you can do too – as long as you are very clear about your skills and your expertise.
4. Becoming more clear in my structure allows me to offer more targeted services.
Finally, one of the best parts to using this feedback to increase clarity in your business – your offers and services become clearer as well. As you listen to the language clients speak, specifically the words they use to talk about their problems and what they want to find as solutions, these will give you ideas and help you refine your work. You can use these specific words in your sales pages, in your sales calls, in your email subject lines, and in your content delivery, like in your podcast.
I hear entrepreneurs frequently talk about not being able to spend time with their family or not being able to travel or missing out on important things because they are working too many hours. They need systems. Or they need to know how to organize finances so they don’t spend two days compiling information for tax returns. Or they need to know how to use technology in the most efficient way to help them, but they’ve picked up one piece here and the next one there and really never put any time or effort into thinking about how they work together. All of these things were concerns for me in the beginning. Some I’ve completed eliminated over time because I created systems and routines. Some are still a little trouble here and there as I continue to create and refine those systems, especially in this side business that is just over a year old.
This shift in looking at the next few months in categories will allow me to create more freebies that are in line with the topics, be able to help in a more targeted way, and allow me to give better, more actionable tips and tricks that are focusing on the topics in my Business Basics program. It’s pretty exciting to think about it and how it came to be as a result of you telling me what you needed and me listening and thinking about how I could give you exactly what you need within my set of skills and expertise.
Here is your challenge – look at your offerings, look at your content, and look at your clients. If you’re not crystal clear and consistent, consider using these steps to gain clarity in your business and with your work. If you don’t really know where to start, consider asking past clients. Get feedback from people that know you that you trust. Look at the totality of everything and spend time evaluating how the feedback can help you based on what we’ve talked about today. Let’s move forward together!
After my launch, I want to share a recommendation with you that I didn’t do and wish I had. Stay tuned to hear the biggest task I’ll conquer before I even think about launching the next time.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 49.
A week out from a launch, I am still looking at ways to improve and things I want to add for the next launch before I start moving forward. In my opinion, this is the way I improve as an entrepreneur but also as a way to make sure I am improving the experience for students.
Like I mentioned in the last episode, launching was fun but incredibly exhausting. Because I was so exhausted as the days ticked by, I didn’t do everything to advertise that I wanted to. So before I even begin to think about the next launch of anything, I’ll be creating a marketing plan.
I had nothing in place to guide my marketing decisions before, during, and after the launch. Sure, I had ideas in my head, but my brain was pretty much mush by day 5. Instead, I’ll be planning out a written document with material prepped ahead of time. I can pre-write and schedule social media posts, make graphics, write and schedule emails for my list, and record podcast episodes ahead of time, all centered around the work up to the launch and the launch. While I did these things as I went for this past launch, I could’ve conserved a lot of energy by actually having a plan and completing these tasks ahead of time as much as possible.
Another aspect to consider in the marketing plan is to expand my reach on other online channels, like Pinterest or YouTube. While Instagram used to be a big driver of traffic for me, the updated algorithm has caused some traffic nightmares and really reduced engagement. If I completed work ahead of time, like creating graphics and searching for keywords, there’s no reason to believe I couldn’t add in Pinterest with just a bit more effort.
Another consideration in the marketing plan is to consider to increase brand awareness through using the media like I teach. While I continue to be featured in the media, I could absolutely ramp up my media spots before a launch to help draw more people to my work.
For me, my marketing plan moving forward will consist of a 30-45 day period where I start focusing specifically on content related to the launch, and that goes everywhere. Social media. Emails. Conversations with others. Media. Anywhere and everywhere. I’ll have a written plan that outlines where and when I’ll post, what topic to cover, and what I want to say, including graphics and drafts written ahead of time. Most of my lag during my launch was related to having to write posts and create graphics as I went.
Bottom line: Being prepared with a marketing plan going into a launch will benefit you, especially if you are a solopreneur and still doing all the things yourself.
Launching a course, program, or services is a big way entrepreneurs bring in revenue. I’m fresh off a launch and sharing several lessons I learned.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 48.
This is the week after launching the Get Featured: Print and Online Media program. The emotions are overwhelming. I am happy and exhausted. The launch went well, and I’m happy with how things finished. I also have a list of updates I want to make to my application funnel so I can keep it open to allow entrepreneurs to enroll in the program any time of the year.
Here are five lessons I learned while launching this program:
1. Launching is exhausting.
I had heard from plenty of entrepreneur friends that launching was a whole mood, and I did prepare. I cleared as much off my schedule as possible. It was even more than I expected. I had several nights of four hours of sleep in a row, and I hadn’t done that in years. This past weekend, I was able to relax, read a few books, and start planning the next phase. As you know, an entrepreneur’s work is never done.
2. Launching was so much fun!
I really enjoyed meeting and talking with new people. Meeting new people was even more fun than I expected, and this feeling was what kept me going each day with little sleep. These connections will be long-lasting and are much more valuable than just one launch.
3. I was the most productive I’ve been in a while right before the launch.
The deadline to launch spurred me to clean a lot of things off my to-do list. While I don’t like working like that where I feel the pressure down to the wire, it worked well this time. I also have an idea of how a launch goes so I can make some changes about how I want to handle the second one. There are some things I can implement ahead of time, like writing and scheduling social media posts, writing emails, and batch recording podcast episodes.
4. I said no to people during my launch, and it was really liberating.
I usually will help friends and colleagues whenever they ask. Many times I stop what I’m doing to help someone, especially when they’ve helped me out. During my launch, I said no. I told my friends and colleagues no during launch week. I simply said check back with me in a week. It was liberating to just focus on me, my work, and what I needed to accomplish. Lesson learned.
5. Nothing was perfect, and it was still great!
My funnel, my email sequencing, everything…nothing was perfect. Like I said earlier, I have a whole list of things I want to do to improve the funnel, the emails, and everything for the next launch. I have let my desire to have things perfect delay my launch before. In the end, everything worked well. The only problem with being a slave to perfection is I lost a lot of time delaying my launch when I could have been helping others.
If you are an entrepreneur wanting to launch, I strongly encourage you to set a date, make it public, and put yourself and your work out there. Was it scary? Absolutely. Was I stressed at times? Definitely. Was it worth it? Yep, every second. On top of these lessons, I learned I could implement a launch, I have completed a launch, and now I’m looking at when I can do the second one. Take big steps forward in your business. It may be tiring, but it’s also inspiring and motivating.
Let’s review the five lessons again in the hopes that these can help you as you prepare for your first or next launch of your course, program, or services.
- Launching is exhausting.
- Launching was so much fun!
- I was the most productive I’ve been in a while right before the launch.
- I said no to people during my launch, and it was really liberating.
- Nothing was perfect, and it was still great!
Bottom line: Launching your program or course or services is important for your bottom line. Don’t wait until everything’s perfect. Start somewhere solid and improve with each launch.
If you want to see the funnel from my launch or apply to be part of the Get Featured program, head over to drashleyhampton.com/getfeatured. If you have questions about launching, DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton.
In 2018, being featured in the media as an expert in the entrepreneur world was my #1 goal. Stay tuned to find out what I accomplished and what being featured in the media has done for me.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 47.
Today I am officially opening the Get Featured: Print and Online Media program. I am really excited to be launching this program to help other entrepreneurs get featured in the media just as I have in the past 18 months. The program has limited spots available, and the application deadline is Saturday, July 27, 2019. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/getfeatured for more information.
At the end of 2017, I set a goal to work on exposure for my personal brand through using the media in 2018. Initially, I intended to only work on this goal for six months and then stop pitching the media. I had about 20 dream media sites that I wanted to be featured on, and I decided that would be plenty. Over 30 sites later, I am not finished yet.
Because I like connecting with the media world. I’ve met some amazing people along my journey, and I know there are many more out there to meet. I also haven’t finished my original dream media list yet; there’s one place left I haven’t been featured. I’ve also added a few more since I created the initial list.
But it’s more than that. I’ve been able to help others with my expertise, and that is why I opened both of my businesses. I have worked with journalists on articles about trauma and how to move in the world if you’ve been traumatized, especially in the event of a school shooting. I’ve talked about mental illness with the goal of reducing stigma around experiencing symptoms and reaching out for help. I have also attempted to empower women at every step and have been successful a few times.
Because my system has been refined over the past 18 months, I don’t spend a lot of time for what I feel like are major benefits to me.
Media has definitely helped me showcase my authority. I can directly tie my media coverage to being offered a spot on a panel speaking at a live event and speaking on a virtual summit. I have helped several women entrepreneurs also be featured in the media by teaching them my system. I’ve also developed friendships with other entrepreneurs and journalists by being involved with live events around media, responding to media inquiries, and being connected to others because of my media exposure. These connections are more valuable than the time spent on any media pitch.
At the beginning, I thought being featured in the media would take forever and derail all of the things I needed to do in my business. I was wrong. Even before I refined my system, I didn’t spend more than 5-6 hours a week writing pitches. Now I spend maybe an hour or two a week writing pitches.
I also thought I needed to hire an expensive PR firm to help me. Wrong again. I achieved more results myself than the PR firm did for me. The two print magazines I was featured in – Oprah’s O Magazine and Cosmopolitan Magazine – were both a result of my system. Those are two of my favorites for obvious reasons. One of my other top-tier features, Success, was also a result of my system. And there are more than 25 others like those.
I am often asked if media is a long game, like podcasting and other ways of establishing credibility. It doesn’t have to be. I had several large media features within the first six weeks of using my system, including Self, Thrive Global, The Penny Hoarder, ABC News, Bustle, VICE, and Hello Giggles. I could’ve stopped there and had plenty of logos to use on my website for the “As Seen In” banner.
Being featured in print magazines is definitely a long game. From start to finish, the O Magazine article took nine months from pitch to publication. Cosmopolitan was almost nine months. The anticipation with those was intense because my information could’ve been pulled at any point in the process. No one would guarantee my information would be in print because they couldn’t. I had to wait until I opened the magazine and saw it to claim it.
Online articles are obviously much shorter. I’ve been interviewed for an article on a Monday afternoon, and by Tuesday morning, the article was released onto the internet. Online features are a much faster turn around in general, but I’ve also waited up to two months for an online article to be released. Timing is not guaranteed in media features.
Can I promise that you’ll have the same results I did? No, I can’t and I won’t. You also likely won’t build a part of your business around connecting with media like I have. I also don’t promise that media is going to be your big break, nor do I say being media featured in the media will make your email list explode. Those things may happen, but it’s not a guarantee.
Knowing everything I know now, I would not only do exactly what I did all over again – without the expensive PR firm – I’d also double down on my own system and pitch more than I did. This is why I continue to use my system every week. It is why I recommend other entrepreneurs use media as a part of their marketing process to establish and showcase their expertise. My results are also why I created the Get Featured program. Being featured in the media doesn’t have to be hard or expensive or extremely time consuming. In fact, I’d argue the process can actually be enjoyable.
Bottom line: Being featured in the media is a great way to establish authority and credibility as the expert in your niche. If you’d like more information about my program, head over to drashleyhampton.com/getfeatured.
If you’d like more information about media, check out the mini series I did on this podcast about media topics, episode 26 titled Using media to establish authority as an entrepreneur in the online business space through episode 33 titled Pitching as an Art, Exploring the Win-Win. I’ll link to the episodes in the show notes.
I have been talking about a launch of my online media course for a couple of weeks. Stay tuned to hear what is happening, and why it is important to you as an entrepreneur, even if you aren’t interested in the course.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 46.
Before we jump in, I want to say a huge Thank You to you, the Work Smarter Live More community, for sending emails and asking questions about the Get Featured course even before I’ve officially launched any details. These emails have made my days happy.
Here are a few details – the course was initially created to be dripped out every week for 8 weeks. Because of some things that are happening that I can’t divulge yet, I have to change the format. Instead of having a course, I’ll be offering a 1:1 package with anyone interested. The best part is that the pricing will not change, even though I’ll be involved more. If you’re interested in knowing more, head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio and sign up for the worksheet on writing your expert bio to be placed on the VIP list. You can email me with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So what if you are the listener that isn’t interested in buying the course? That’s okay and leads me into why I hope you stuck around to hear this. You determine what is right for you and your business taking in all of the factors that are happening in your life at the moment you need to make a decision.
This is the bigger lesson I wanted to share – I’m on the heels of a launch and something happened. I have to change what I initially planned. I have to pivot.
Sometimes as an entrepreneur we are given opportunities that literally come out of nowhere that we can’t anticipate. As I said earlier, it is important to evaluate each opportunity and determine what is right for your business. Not listen to the ‘shoulds’ or worry about what someone else thinks. We especially don’t need to compare ourselves to others. It’s never a direct comparison anyway because no two businesses or entrepreneurs are exactly alike.
Have I seen anyone change something this drastically before a launch and make it public knowledge? Nope.
Do I do things just like everyone else? Not usually.
The beauty of being an entrepreneur is the ability to pivot when you need to. So that’s what I’m doing here. A major pivot that I think will be much, much better in the long run for everyone.
Make choices that are good for you and your business.
Make your own rules and serve your clients in an amazing way, even if your way is far outside the box.
Bottom line: If you need it, here is your permission to make your business look the way you want it to look no matter what.
If you’re an introvert like me, you know sometimes meeting and working with new people can be awkward. Listen to this episode for ways to help you embrace the awkward.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 45.
While being a solopreneur is definitely in my wheelhouse and something I enjoy, there’s only so much one person can do. It is important for you to have your tribe as we talked about in episode 4 and colleagues along the way to help you with business things outside your zone of genius. Sometimes when trying to find those business colleagues, it can feel awkward reaching out to people you don’t know.
How do you do it? How do you talk to people you don’t know? I get this question a lot. If you were to observe me at a conference, you’d see me talking to many people. In fact, at conferences, I’m often confused as being extroverted. I’m not. Conferences and live events exhaust me, but I’m there for a reason – to learn and to meet people. So I do some of the things I’m going to tell you about today.
First, I embrace the awkward. Everyone feels a little awkward from time to time. Sometimes it’s even appropriate to have a laugh with your new acquaintance about the early introductory awkward stages of conversation. It can ease the tension. If the beginning of the conversation is feeling awkward, it’s likely because one or both of you is forcing small talk that isn’t really branching into conversation. So try this.
Listen more than you talk. Most people love to talk about themselves. Ask questions when you meet people, and then actually listen to what they have to say. Because of my job, this is my expertise. I love listening to people’s stories, so I ask questions. Who does my new friend help? How do they accomplish that work? What is their expertise? What brought them to the live event? What have they loved so far at the event? Where are they from? What is their favorite part of the city where they live? And sometimes if they’re local to the event, I’ll ask for restaurant recommendations. Who doesn’t love food? If you take the time to listen, you may find you have some very interesting things in common with your new friend.
A true business relationship beneficial to both parties will have a win-win aspect. Both people will win. It isn’t a one-sided thing where one person gives all the time, and the other person takes. If you’re in one of those one-sided disasters, it’s time to move on. True collaboration and help benefits both parties. In the beginning when you’re meeting people and starting to evaluate if you’ll be working together, provide value. I’m not saying work for free. I am suggesting help with encouraging words, answer a question, or make an introduction. If this is going to become a good collaborative relationship, you will receive value with return. Always lead with value.
Good communication skills are often underrated. I teach communication skills and still stumble. Sometimes we just have a day when things are a little off. If you need to, acknowledge it. Be honest and genuine in your communication.
The last way I’ll talk about today to help embrace the awkward when meeting and working with new people is perhaps the most important – remember to be your amazingly wonderful self. Be you. Don’t compromise you in order to have a business relationship with someone. Hold your head high, and stick to your values and business principles. When you find your tribe, they’ll stick around because they know the real you. And anyone who doesn’t stick around because you were the real you doesn’t deserve to be around your awesomeness anyway.
Bottom line: Meeting and working with new people can be awkward with a capital A. We have all been there. Don’t let the potential awkwardness hold you back from being able to meet and engage with really cool people to forge great business collaborations.
Links we discussed in this episode:
http://drashleyhampton.com/amazonukI’ve been asked about using podcasting as an entrepreneur several times lately. Stay tuned to hear what I’ve enjoyed about podcasting, the benefits I’ve received, and a couple of things to think about if you want to host your own podcast.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 44.
Before we talk about today’s topic, make sure you sign up for my free worksheet to help you write your media worthy expert bio. Signing up for the free worksheet also places you on the VIP list for my upcoming course launch this month. The VIP list will have access to bonuses that will not be available to the general public. You can find the free worksheet at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
For today’s question…it’s one I’ve been getting lately on social media and in regular conversations. Why am I a podcast host? I have several answers to this question that I want to share with you, especially if you are contemplating starting your own podcast.
For me, podcasting seems like a more real, more intimate conversation with listeners than I would be able to have with a reader reading a blog post. I specialize in talking and listening to people, so having a podcast was more intuitive to me than writing a blog post twice a week,
I like to generate topics that help others, like this episode, and appreciate I don’t have to follow a specific set of rules. I don’t have to worry about SEO or blog headlines or even creating images to use inside of blog posts. Instead, I put in my airpods, get out my microphone, and talk about a topic in the hopes I can help entrepreneurs work smarter so they can live more outside of business.
The other big advantage to me is you. You the listener. Podcast listeners, like podcast hosts, are extremely loyal. A host provide an episode, and the listener listens. Every time. And sometimes the listener plans her day around listening, just as the host plans her day around recording. Come on, I know I’m not the only listener that gets excited for Thursdays because many of my favorite podcasts have new episodes.
A side note for you before I move on…I seriously plan when I can record a podcast. This is a thing you should consider if you are interested in becoming a podcast host. I can’t tell you how many times I have to edit out Gemma talking to me or not record because I put a load of laundry in the washer. I’ve even been interrupted by a phone call because I forgot to turn my phone off before pressing record.
I have several answers to the question why. Let me also tell you a bit about the benefits I’ve received.
First, I’ve met some amazing people since I began podcasting that have become personal friends. I have had several media opportunities as a result of podcasting, and I have made amazing new business connections.
Second, I thoroughly enjoy recording this podcast and have fun with it every week. Unlike other business work, this one is high on my to-do list because I love it.
Third, podcasting allows me to share content to help other entrepreneurs, which is why I started my own personal brand. These episodes are intentionally short so you can listen and then implement what you’ve heard, whether it is an action tip for your business or a mindset shift to think about and incorporate into your world.
For me, there aren’t any downsides to podcasting.
If you are thinking about starting a podcast, you can find the list of equipment I use on my resources sheet, which you can find at drashleyhampton.com/resources. I’ll link to it in the show notes as well. I keep my equipment very simple because I don’t see the need to make things any more difficult. Remember, the goal here is to work smarter.
Along with the initial question of why podcasting, I often have entrepreneurs asking me if podcasting is a fast way to build an audience. My general answer is no, not necessarily. Perhaps if you have an already established audience on social media for yourself and your brand, you may be able to grow your download numbers quickly. If you are just starting out, I would describe podcasting as more of a long game and something you need to enjoy if you are going to commit to doing it. Your listeners will be counting on you, as I talked about earlier.
Overall, podcasting has been one of the best choices I’ve made in my business so far.
If you have questions, reach out to me on Instagram DM @drashleyhampton or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
Bottom line: Podcasting is a fun way to help others by sharing your knowledge and connect with new people.
Links we discussed in this episode:
Amazon list for UK
Episode 43: Collaboration over Competition
Did you watch the Women’s Soccer World Cup Finals game? Congratulations to the US Women’s National Team that played their hearts out and won 2-0 over the Netherlands. Stay tuned to hear why I had to record this podcast episode immediately after the game and postpone my scheduled podcast to share my thoughts with you.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 43.
This morning, July 7, 2019, I watched the US Women’s National Soccer Team play their way to another World Cup victory. This time they won 2-0 over the Netherlands. The game was hard fought with some missed calls, some intense fouls and head collisions, and plenty of fight from both teams to try to control the ball. These women went all in for almost 100 minutes total, and the US was eventually crowned the World Cup winner.
I am a soccer fan from way back. I worked with the men’s soccer teams in high school and college. I don’t enjoy any sport as much as I enjoy soccer.
I do however enjoy entrepreneurship as much as I enjoy soccer. One of my favorite principles of entrepreneurship is “Collaboration over Competition.” The one thing that the US Women’s National Team is incredible at – collaborating. The US had 17 shots and 10 shots on goal compared to the Netherlands’ team’s 5 shots and 1 shot on goal. The level of collaborating from the US team was phenomenal.
This reminded me of how business can skyrocket when entrepreneurs collaborate and work together for the win.
In a previous podcast episode, I talked about creating your tribe. I’ll link to the episode in the show notes. I talked about finding your tribe of entrepreneurs to help you with your entrepreneurial journey. This is one step further in that you need to find your tribe to collaborate and move forward in business goals.
Collaborating can happen in several ways – joint webinars, guest blog posts, podcast swaps, speaking on a panel at a live event, participating in a peer mastermind, or just talking occasionally for accountability on a project. Think of ways you can collaborate that allow for a win-win-win. You get a win, the entrepreneur you’re collaborating with gets a win, and your audiences get a win. This is the definition of the ultimate collaboration.
I challenge you to look at your entrepreneur friends and decide if there are any you’d like to collaborate with. Maybe it’s a sounding board type arrangement. Maybe you swap services and help each other. Maybe you give each other a discount on your products in exchange for an honest testimonial.
I will give you a caveat. Make sure to check out your collaborator before working with them, especially if you’ve never met in person.
Bottom line: However you decide to collaborate is up to you. I am challenging you to collaborate because your success can be multiplied instead of moving through your business life alone.
That is all for this episode of the Work Smarter Live More podcast. For more episodes and show notes, check out drashleyhampton.com/podcast. Please subscribe on your favorite podcast player. I will talk with you again next time.
Links we discussed in this episode:
Find Your Tribe (episode 4) – www.drashleyhampton.com/episode4
Comparing Yourself to the Competition is a Huge Time Suck (episode 11) – www.drashleyhampton.com/episode11
When thinking about your business, have you ever thought “If I didn’t have to do this, I’d be happier”? Or what about “If I didn’t have to use that, I’d be happier?” If you’re nodding your head or shouting yes, this episode is for you.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 42.
Today we’re talking about removing things from your life and your business that don’t bring you joy.
There are some things in business we have to live with, but there are some that are optional. Or the way we do the thing is up to us. This ability to change or eliminate things is what we want to focus on today.
Years ago, if you wanted to be in any kind of online business, you were supposed to be on every social media channel possible. So I signed up for Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, and Instagram. I even have a YouTube channel that is sitting dormant right now. Now the prevailing wisdom is choose one or two social media channels and grow those. While I have all.the.things, I am only active consistently on Facebook and Instagram.
I used Twitter religiously years ago and built a decent sized following. However, the audience was for old projects, like writing and social justice initiatives. When I would open Twitter, I’d see tweet after tweet about social justice projects and things that were going on in the world and what was not being done to correct these horrendous human rights violations. For probably a year, the voice in my head has told me I’m supposed to be on every social media channel. Right? You never know where your audience is going to come from. The problem with that theory is that I would get so lost in what was posted on Twitter that I’d leave the platform without posting anything at all.
Last week, I deactivated my Twitter account. While it felt scary initially, nothing negative happened as a result. All of the people I loved on Twitter, I follow on other social media channels as well. After the first 24 hours, I didn’t even think about Twitter until I sat down to record this episode. So Twitter is gone. And I’m relieved.
Because this worked out so well, I am systematically moving through several others parts of my business and examining what I actually need and what can be removed. Not only will this improve my efficiency, but it will also improve some of the drag on my overall mental health. I want to try to determine how I can spend more time doing the things that bring me joy, like this podcast. By removing excess that I didn’t enjoy and was slowing me down, I’ll have the time and mental space to do just that.
Is this a somewhat controversial idea about deleting a social media channel? Yes.
Is it still important for you to determine what is good for you and your business without letting others dictate it? Absolutely.
Let me give you another less controversial example. I work with plenty of entrepreneurs that do not like the paperwork/administration side of business. They’re idea generators. Outsourcing or simplifying the paperwork process becomes a way to bring them joy. One way to simplify is to eliminate financial software you pay for month after month that you use to upload your revenue and expenses. Often times learning how to use the software is confusing for many and replacing it with a pen and paper tracking system is relieving. And yes, you can still track revenue and expenses using a pen and paper even when you make multiple six figures. I still use a simple pen and paper system. Remember, your expenses should be small in order to gain the most amount of profit, so tracking them should be relatively easy. However, having a financial tracking system is another thing that is encouraged when it isn’t really necessary. Plus it’s an expense you can eliminate, which means you have more money in your pocket and you feel less bogged down. Win-win.
I challenge you to look at what you’re doing and determine what brings you joy and what is a drag. If you can off load something that drags you down by eliminating it altogether, making changes to how you do it, or even outsourcing, by all means make the change. Not only will it improve your outlook, it’ll improve your efficiency.
Bottom line: You are the creator of your life. I don’t structure it for you. I am giving you permission to create the life you desire. Even if it means having Twitter and fancy financial tracking software.
This episode was brought to you by my free expert bio worksheet. Need some help writing or refining your media worthy expert bio? Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to download your free worksheet.
This sabotages success more than any other mindset problem I’ve seen. Stay tuned to find out what it is and ways I use to reduce it.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 41.
The thing we are talking about today is the biggest mindset block in moving forward with your business.
Are you ready?
Defined, procrastination means the “action of delaying or postponing something.”
We all know what procrastination looks like. The list of tasks needed to complete a project is staring you in the face, and you will do anything that isn’t on the list. Usually there is a reasoning you tell yourself and others that goes something like “I’ll be able to focus completely on my project if I take care of these other things first.”
I know it’s not just me. Raise your hand, nod your head, I know we’re standing together in this one.
I was infamous in grad school for having the cleanest house before we had a big project due. Every time. Three years straight.
And I admit, I still do it. Not as much now as when I started my practice though. It’s harder for me to procrastinate with a list of things to do for two businesses plus fun.
I often work with entrepreneurs that can’t recognize procrastination because they are accomplishing things that need to be done eventually. This is the trick procrastination plays on your brain – by very definition, you are completing tasks. Because you are making progress, this tricks your brain into believing your time is well spent.
For me, I notice this still happens a bit when I am on a project deadline. I find myself doing household chores during the day when I am at my peak focusing time. Usually I save my household chores for later at night because I am not at my best performance but don’t really need the detail aspect anyway. Folding laundry is a rote task, for example. I’ve been doing it for so long I don’t have to think about it.
These kinds of rote tasks are not how I need to spend my most focused hours, which for me is the morning before lunch and between 2 and 5pm.
So what do I do now?
One thing I do – I recognize what I’m doing and make concessions as needed. If I’m feeling overwhelmed because I have several household tasks to complete, I’ll do one. For example, I’ll start a load of laundry and work while it’s washing, which takes 50 minutes. Moving the laundry to the dryer allows me a break from my desk.
Not only am I silencing the procrastinating voice in my head, I am actually doing both things I need to do at one time.
The second way I look to tackle the procrastination is to start my work day with the task that is the hardest or the scariest or the one that I want to avoid the most. If I complete the task I most want to avoid first, then everything else is easy for the rest of the day. If I try to save the task I most want to avoid until later in the day, I’ll usually avoid it altogether.
The last thing I do is to schedule time in my day to relax or do something I enjoy. I’ve noticed if I’m feeling burned out or overworked, I am more likely to procrastinate.
Let’s recap – you want to recognize that you are in fact procrastinating and what you’re doing to procrastinate. Then you’ll want to schedule your day to work best for you and make sure to include some time for yourself, even if it’s just 10-15 minutes.
As you can tell, these are things you can implement in your own schedule and business as soon as you admit you are procrastinating. That is the hardest part.
Bottom line: Recognizing when you are procrastinating is the first step to controlling your own schedule and being more productive than ever.
While you’re being productive, head over to my website and grab your free worksheet on writing your expert bio. You can find it at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio. Signing up for the worksheet will also place you on my VIP list for my upcoming course launch; the VIP list will be offered extra incentives that the public will not receive.
What do you do to celebrate wins in your life and in your business? This is my encouragement to you to start celebrating!
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 40.
It’s time to celebrate wins!
We have talked before about success and failure in an earlier series on this podcast. If you haven’t listened to it yet, I’ll link to it in the show notes, which can be found at drashleyhampton.com/podcast. I strongly suggest you listen to that series first before you follow this framework for celebrating wins. Why? Because you need to define what success and failure mean to you so you can decide what you want to celebrate. I celebrate successes and failures, and it depends on how I’ve defined those how I celebrate. Let’s dive in, and I’ll explain more.
Here is my framework on celebrating wins:
1. Define success and failure and determine what and how I’m going to celebrate.
2. Work. Hustle. Do the thing.
3. CELEBRATE. A lot.
I am a to-do list person, and I write lots on my to-do list. Some are tasks for projects that I’m doing now, some are things I don’t want to forget to do, and some are tasks that are there in case I finish things and have extra time. Sometimes my to-do lists freak people out, and that’s okay. Remember this podcast is about taking the information and making it work for you.
My version of success on a daily basis is finishing my work that I’ve set out for each day. On days when I can complete something else, I count that as a bonus. Either way, I celebrate. This celebration can be anything I want that makes me happy – watching a tv show on hulu, spending extra time playing with Gemma, researching a new travel destination, going for a drive with the sunroof open and the music turned up loud. Anything that makes me smile can be my activity to celebrate. My goal is to celebrate on a daily basis, and I believe I am more productive and motivated now that I’ve implemented this as a regular goal.
Here’s the key for me – on days when I worked my butt off and nothing was going my way so I didn’t complete my to-do list, I still celebrate. I celebrate my effort because my effort was important and is worthy of celebrating.
When I finish a big project, I typically celebrate by doing something much bigger, like taking a trip or buying something for myself as a present. Generally the trips aren’t very long but are a way for me to focus on something fun when the crunch time is on for the project and I am so tired but have to keep pushing through. The presents are things I don’t necessarily need but have wanted for quite some time. My present to myself for my upcoming launch…I’m buying a new pair of Doc Martens boots that I’ve wanted forever. For me, it’ll be a mini celebration every time I wear them because I’ll remember they were my reward for completing my first online course launch.
Why is celebrating important? To keep things simple, celebrating activates happy chemicals in your brain, which are important in regulating your emotions like feeling happy, keeping you motivated to return for more work and celebrating, and helping you to build connections with others. As an entrepreneur, all of these things are important for you to continue building and growing your business on a daily basis. And yes, even small celebrations like me driving around listening to music and singing along off-key are beneficial.
I challenge you to work through the framework and establish a routine for celebration in your life and your business. Define success, failure, what you’re going to celebrate, and how you’re going to celebrate. Work and make sure to take time to celebrate! DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton to share your celebrations so I can celebrate you too!
Bottom line: Celebrating your time, your effort, your work, and your progress is important to your motivation and growth as an entrepreneur. Take the time to celebrate! It is time well spent.
Before I go, please make sure you head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to grab your free worksheet on how to write your expert bio. This also puts you on the VIP list for my upcoming course, and the VIP list will have an announcement that the public will not receive. Make sure you sign up and stay tuned!
That is all for this episode of the Work Smarter Live More podcast. For more episodes and show notes, check out drashleyhampton.com/podcast. Please subscribe on your favorite podcast player. I will talk with you again next time.
Links we discussed in this episode:
Sometimes change is good. We need to be flexible and welcome ways to change and improve. Sometimes we change things for the sake of changing them because we’re wasting time. How do you know the difference?
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 39.
Please make sure you sign up for my free worksheet to help you write your expert bio. The people that sign up for the free worksheet will be given a VIP invitation to my upcoming course launch that the regular public will not be given. Want a special gift just for you? Do yourself a favor, and head on over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to download the worksheet and put yourself on the VIP list.
Before we get started, I want to send a big shout out to each you with my sincerest thank you for listening to this podcast. Numbers of downloads are growing every month, and I owe that to you. If you haven’t already, I would greatly appreciate you hitting the subscribe button on your favorite podcast player. Leave me a review or send me a DM @drashleyhampton on Instagram with any comments, suggestions, or episode topic ideas. I’d love to hear from you!
Let’s get down to the business of today’s episode. Change. Like I said earlier, sometimes change is good. And sometimes change is nothing but an excuse to keep you stuck.
If you’re changing something in your business and the change allows you to move forward – good! That’s a good change, and it is one you should make immediately.
Sometimes things just aren’t that simple. I know. I’m definitely guilty of using change as an excuse.
If you are stalling from moving forward and looking for things to change, stop. Just stop.
One big example I see frequently, and one I’m guilty of myself at times, is trying to make something perfect before unleashing it into the world. I did that with this podcast. This podcast launched almost four months later than I initially planned because I didn’t have everything just right. Well, guess what, I’m about to change things again. Not changing for the sake of changing, but instead because I’m taking steps to move forward and that has put me in a different place. Don’t worry, the premise of the show, the micro episodes, and the name are all staying the same. The intro with someone else’s voice has to go though.
Another example I see frequently and have definitely been guilty of myself is saying my website isn’t finished so I can’t do/launch/finish whatever project I’m working on. I had to come to the realization that my website will never be finished. I am one of those people that likes to continually update and work on a website. I admit it here. Because of that, my website is always on my to-do list. I had to decide that having a website I feel is not “finished” would not hold me back any longer. I’ll always be changing things on my website, but those changes no longer have to hold me back from doing something else.
Through doing work and moving forward, I will continue to make changes to improve things. This is the best part of change. Improvement for you. Improvement for me.
Changing for the sake of changing to waste time has to stop. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Am I stopping myself from doing ______ because I’m scared or fearful?
- Do I need to make this change? Will the change result in moving me forward?
- If I make this change, what time delay will it cause in finishing this project?
- Is the change absolutely necessary for me to move forward?
If you find the change is stopping you from moving forward and it isn’t necessary, write down the change you’d like to make on a piece of paper and take the next step in your project. Come back to the change in 24 hours. If it’s needed, make the change and continue to move forward. If it’s not needed, throw away your note.
Bottom line: The key is to not let change derail your process or be an excuse to stop you in your tracks. You have amazing talents that the world needs to see.
Stay tuned to hear why I do not like the phrase “too busy” as an excuse. This episode is part rant and part ideas for you, if you’re someone that says you’re “too busy.”
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 38. This episode is brought to you by my free expert bio worksheet, which you can download at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
A little rant here… This came about after hearing a conversation this week. I heard someone say they were “too busy” to follow through with a task. The excuse of being “too busy” cost this person revenue in that direct conversation.
Here are the things I heard instead of the person being “too busy” – I heard the person saying I don’t want the business. I don’t want to work with you. I don’t want to do that work. As a result, I placed this person on a list to not work with in the future. I also won’t refer anyone in my audience to this person.
Why is this so important? Why am I semi-ranting about this? There’s a two-fold reason:
- Communication is imperative when working with others, as it is important to say what you mean.
There is a difference in saying your coaching slots are all booked versus saying you’re too busy. If your coaching slots are all booked, then you’re not too busy. You’re booked, and you can put the person on a waiting list.
If you don’t want to do the type of work being offered, then you could say something like “I don’t offer those services. Here’s what I can do for you.” Or if the person isn’t your ideal client and you know someone that provides the services they’re needing, offer to make an introduction.
Either of these other ideas would have been preferable to someone saying they were “too busy” because these two ideas imply the other person’s needs were considered. If you are not accurate in your communication before you work with a client, it is likely you won’t have clear communication when working with the client.
2. Saying you’re “too busy” just isn’t true.
If you’re “too busy” to make money, like in my example, how are you spending your time? If you are constantly turning down offers to spend time with others or collaborate on a project or do something to move your business forward in some way, look at how you’re spending your time. You’re choosing your priorities. What are they?
Maybe it’s family obligations, another job, time spent practicing a hobby, or even time spent reading. You could insert any activity here. The honest answer isn’t “you’re too busy.” The honest answer is “I’m choosing to spend my time doing something else.”
Let’s say someone wants to collaborate with you on a project, and they want to meet this week. You don’t have any appointment time open on your calendar. Please don’t tell them you’re “too busy” to meet this week. Instead, offer them a couple of times next week that are open for you. It’s as simple as saying “I can’t meet this week. I have 1:00 open on Monday and 9:00 on Tuesday. Would either of those work?”
I know all of this sounds really simple. And it is when you’re aware of your language and take steps to change things. If you’ve already removed “too busy” from your vocabulary, high five to you.
I’d love for you to screen shot this episode and share it on your IG stories. Tag me @drashleyhampton, and I’ll share your story.
Bottom line: Communication is much better when it is clear and honest. Say what you mean and mean what you say.
This isn’t your typical create your business vision session. I want to give you another way to look at your vision for your business. Stay tuned.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 37.
Today’s listener shout out is for all of you. Thank you for the messages about Gemma. I am happy to report she has a clean bill of health from the specialists. I can’t explain how, but I am very grateful. Thank you all for your concern and words of encouragement.
Let’s jump into today’s topic about vision.
Most people create a vision for their business on day 1 and then never refer to it again. It is a rare business and entrepreneur that actually uses the stated vision to help guide the business and the work. It is even more rare for an entrepreneur to change the stated vision as the business’s work changes.
If you do not have a vision for your business, perhaps you’ll think about one after you listen to this episode. If you do have a vision written for your business, when is the last time you looked at it? When was the last time you used the vision to guide your work or your decisions? When did you last evaluate whether your vision still applies to the work that you’re doing?
I’d like for you to look at creating a vision for your business in a different way. Specifically I want you to look at creating a vision for your business that will bring you joy or contentment or happiness while you’re working.
This idea came from a conversation with a business colleague and friend. We were talking about larger business goals, like where we want our business to be in three to five years. What we ended up discussing was our big vision for our business, including the impact we wanted to make and the bigger legacy we wanted to leave the world.
We spend a lot of time making goals for the week, the month, or even a year. Because we are working very hard to achieve these goals, we often don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the big vision for the business.
I’m talking about this because I don’t have an answer for my business. A big vision is a big task. I can tell you that my practice has morphed into something much bigger than I imagined five years ago when it began. In the beginning, my contentment was centered around a revenue goal, and my vision was only to help those that were not being helped. I have surpassed revenue goals many times, and I am grateful for that. I’ve been able to help many that would not be able to receive help otherwise. However, those are really day-to-day goals about working inside my business. That isn’t a vision for the business that is guiding my work and making me content.
So tell me. What is your big vision for your business? Do you have one? Are you still working on creating a big vision? DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton and share your big vision. I’d love to celebrate what you’ve accomplished and cheer you on as you move forward.
Bottom line: Day-to-day goals are good for your business. The larger vision is also necessary to help guide your work overall and help to make you feel content with your business.
This episode was brought to you by my expert bio worksheet. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to download the worksheet and write your expert bio today.
Today we are talking about ways to manage your business when life needs to take the front seat so to speak. Stay tuned!
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 36. This episode is part 2 of our two-part series on life getting in the way of business.
This episode is brought to you by my free worksheet to help you write your expert bio, which you can find at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
If you haven’t listened to Monday’s episode about life getting in the way of being an entrepreneur, you can pause this episode and listen to episode 35 first. Or remember a time in your life when things just got so chaotic that you needed to pause certain parts of your business to deal with life.
Today I want to share a couple of things I’ve done in the past week and also share some tips and tricks I have done and do on a regular basis to try to make my working life easier when real life becomes unpredictable.
This week, entrepreneurial me has done three things that were very important for me.
First, I gave myself permission to take space away and process what is going to happen for my little family. Instead of trying to continue to work and spending a lot of time trying to focus, I gave myself permission to not work. That one was difficult, but it was time well spent. When I returned working after about 48 hours, I was back to being efficient with my time.
Second, I looked at my calendar and determined what was absolutely necessary and what could wait. Thankfully I had no client work due. The biggest thing on my calendar was the launch of my upcoming media course. I made the tough decision to move my launch date. I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t stand thinking that my students could be impacted by my life. For me, it was better to postpone for month to protect the customer experience.
Third, I continued my regular self-care practices. I still checked in with my entrepreneur friends. I slept the same amount of time at night, and some days I even took a little extra time to snuggle with Gemma for an afternoon rest break. I didn’t change any of that routine, and this helped me keep some sense of normal. In the past, I’d sacrifice sleep – and everything else – to keep pushing forward. My productivity would ultimately suffer simply because I was exhausted. I stayed the course this time, and I believe that helped me get back on track sooner.
Those are the three things I did this time that I hadn’t previously tried, and I would say they were helpful. Here are three things I do routinely to try to cover myself when my schedule gets out of whack.
- We talked about this one before when we had a mini series on systems. The systems superpower = BATCHING!
Batching helps you work on tasks for the future. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, batching is simply sitting down to work on one task and you produce several weeks of it at one time. For example, you email your list once a week. If you batched your email writing, perhaps you’d write four emails at one time, enough for the whole month. Ideally, you’ll want to group these tasks as much as possible. You can do this with many tasks, like email writing, podcast episode recordings, or website updates. Anything that is on your time tracker worksheet multiple times over a month, you can batch. If you haven’t tracked your time, grab my free time tracker worksheet at drashleyhampton.com/timetracker and listen to the mini series on this podcast about systems.
2. As difficult as this sounds, I try to anticipate problems and build in contingencies . For example, if I am dependent on something I can’t control, like technology, I try to complete the tasks ahead of time. With the extra time, I can attempt to fix any bugs or problems I encounter.
I know you’re wondering how I figure out any problems. Mainly I listen to others. For example, a couple of months ago, there was a big glitch with Zoom that affected many people. As a result, I’ll add testing Zoom to my task list and leave plenty of time to check problems. It won’t always keep me from having trouble, but keeping some extra time gives me flexibility.
3. I saved the best for last. This one is actually one I struggled with initially, but it’s so easy for me now. Choose software that is helpful for your business goals. I only have the software I need and nothing extra. No software that repeats tasks. No multiple payments. If you’d like to know all of the things I use in my business, including software, you can check out the full list at drashleyhampton.com/resources.
Let me give you an easy example. I use Click Funnels. Click Funnels handles my funnels for freebies and product sales and email management. I’ll also use Click Funnels for hosting my courses, my virtual summit, and eventually a membership site. Because Click Funnels can do all of these functions, I can eliminate the need for separate softwares for each of these things as well as the software to connect all the separate pieces.
Here’s what that means overall –
- All of my work is essentially in one place.
- I learn one software, not five or more.
- I pay one subscription fee, not five or more.
- Click Funnels has a large community for support and a ton of free training, specifically in using the software.
Choosing software that will work with your business goals will help you improve efficiency and will allow you to turn to one place, in my case, if I need to do something quickly to move a project forward.
Here are a few things you can do when life hits you square in the face –
- Give yourself permission to take space and time to process.
- Do what is absolutely necessary work-wise. Determine what you can do later.
- Continue your regular self-care practices.
And these are three things you can do ahead of time to try to prepare your business before anything happens –
- Batch tasks that can be batched, like scheduling social media posts, recording podcast episodes, or writing emails to send to your email list.
- Try to build in extra time for completing tasks, just in case there is a glitch along the way.
- Consider setting up your business to give you a strong foundation. This can include software and systems.
Bottom line: There are several ways you can help yourself weather the chaos that is sometimes life. Here’s to hoping you don’t need any of these anytime soon.
Links we discussed in this episode:
Systems Podcast Series (4 parts)
Life sometimes gets in the way as an entrepreneur. Stay tuned to find out what’s happened… Episode alert – this a vulnerable episode.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 35. This episode is part 1 of our two-part series on what happens when life hits you square in the face as an entrepreneur.
This episode is brought to you by my free worksheet to help you write your expert bio for your website. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to download it now.
Today’s listener shout out goes out to Duffash, who left the following review on iTunes: “Dr. Ashley has words of wisdom to keep us on track. Her voice is soothing, and the quality of the audio is excellent. Keep up the great work!” Thank you so much! If you want a shout out on a future episode, head over to Apple Podcasts and leave an honest review for this podcast.
Well. As I promised in the teaser, this is a vulnerable episode, so it’s different from the others so far on the podcast. It wasn’t at all planned, which I’ll talk about more in this episode and the next episode airing on Thursday as part of this two episode series. In fact, this is something I hoped I’d never have to say.
For those of you that don’t know me well yet, I have a cat named Gemma that is almost 7 years old, and she is my child. I don’t have human kids. Last year, she had a tumor removed from her back that was tested and determined to be cancer. We are a month away from our last follow-up visit, and this past weekend, I found another knot where the first one was removed. We did the confirmation visit with our regular vet this past week, and she agreed with me that it is likely the same type of cancerous tumor. So off to the specialist we go this week.
All of that to say – my brain was not in focus mode last week, so I lost of ton of time working. This week, I’ll use multiple days for appointments. And the time lost is important because it means I had to make the difficult choice to push the launch of my upcoming media course to July.
Not only could I not complete the tasks I wanted and needed to, I definitely didn’t want to have students enroll in my course while I was mentally checked out because I’m more focused on appointments than the course. That’s not fair to my students, and it would definitely interfere with the experience I want to provide.
So I made the tough decision to let life dictate my plans as an entrepreneur, which I generally avoid doing if at all possible. I prefer to work my business as smartly as possible in order to make my time living life the most impactful. After all, this is what the podcast is all about!
Does this sound familiar? Are you worried you’ll have to let life dictate some of your business time? Or have you already experienced this and you’re nodding your head in agreement? I want to hear from you. DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton. Share this episode on IG stories, and I’ll reshare your story with my audience.
Bottom line: Sometimes life just requires more time and focus, and sometimes we have to work our business around our life. This becomes a delicate balance… If you want more information about how I made changes and my tips and tricks to protect your business as much as possible, you’ll want to check out Thursday’s episode #36, which is the second part of this mini-series.
This episode is dedicated to you the listener. We’ve hit two big milestones, and I want to share them with you.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 34. This episode is brought to you by my free worksheet to help you write your expert bio. You can download it at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio
In May, the Work Smarter Live More podcast had the biggest month so far in terms of downloads. We’ve now surpassed a total of 1,000 downloads! When I started this podcast, I of course wanted to have a lot of downloads like this. I had no idea it would happen so quickly. All of this is because of you. Thank you so much.
Where we’re going from here…I will keep putting out at least two micro-episodes a week. I’ll be adding in episodes with guests that can provide you actionable tips and value to add for your work and your life. If you have ideas for topics or guest suggestions, please DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton.
You can find free resources and downloads on my website drashleyhampton.com. You’ll find all podcast show notes on the website as well.
I’d love it if you’d share this podcast with your friends and colleagues. Let’s see if we can get to the next 1,000 downloads even faster! Please rate and review the podcast on iTunes, as I’ll be continuing listener shoutouts on every Monday episode.
There is an art to pitching the media. It’s similar to working with other collaborators in your business. Curious? Stay tuned to find out about the art of pitching.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 33 and part of our continuing series on media. This episode is brought to you by my free worksheet that helps you write your expert bio, which is the first step to demonstrating your authority as an expert on your website. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to download your worksheet. That’s drashleyhampton.com/expertbio
There are a few ways to be featured in the media. We’ve talked previously about being quoted in an article as an expert. This episode is focused on another way – pitching an article that you want to write yourself. In most cases when writing the article yourself, you have to pitch the article idea to an editor. Occasionally they want a summary pitch. Sometimes they want to see the draft of the article during the pitch. Those details can be found on the websites that you’re pitching, along with a host of other information usually titled something like “Pitching Guidelines.” Every website is different.
In terms of these guidelines, I recommend you follow them 100% down to every single last one. Here’s the reason – when you are looking at hundreds of emails in your inbox pitching articles, you need to find some way to disqualify them. The easiest way is to disqualify a pitch if they did not follow the specific instructions in the “Pitching Guidelines.”
For example, most sites I’m familiar with that request an article draft up front want the draft pasted into an email not attached as a Word document or pdf. If it’s me and I’m going through a hundred of email pitches, I’m going to automatically delete the emails with attachments because I specifically asked for no attachments. Next, I’d likely look at the email subject line. Is it compelling? Is it brief but concise? Is there even a subject line? A subject line is the first experience the editor would have with your writing, so it needs to be great.
Let’s say you survive those two tests, and they actually open your email. What do you say in the pitch?
The most important thing to consider when you’re writing your own articles to pitch to media is the win-win. You want to provide a win for the site, as it’s clear the win for you is being published on the site. The win for the site is ALWAYS the VALUE you can provide. You need to communicate the win specifically for the site; never assume they will know or that they will read between the lines. Briefly and succinctly, you’ll offer your article idea and clearly communicate the value you’ll provide for their audience.
They understand your win will be the media feature. You don’t have to explain that in your pitch.
Reputable sites get hundreds of pitches per week. You’ll need to make sure the article aligns with other articles on their site, make sure you’ve followed their pitching instructions specifically, and be clear and precise with your pitch. If your pitch is four or five paragraphs long, not including the article, it’s likely too long. Your pitch without an attached article is the only writing sample the editor has to review before asking you to write an article for their publication. The email must be catchy but not silly, concise but still explain your points clearly, and error-free. If you have spelling or grammar errors, the editor will not want to work with you because you’re just going to make their job harder. Remember they have hundreds of pitches that they’re needing to go through. Make their jobs easier. Provide them with exactly what they need by following the directions of what they asked for.
Bottom line: Pitching media isn’t difficult, but it does require significant and precise work. When you are thinking about pitching articles, make sure you always look for the win-win.
Are you looking for ways to connect your brand and your work to your audience? Stay tuned.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 32. We are continuing our series on begin featured in the media. This episode is brought to you by my free worksheet to help you write your expert bio. You can download it at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
Today’s listener shout out is for AndreaFitBit. She posted this review on iTunes: “Thank you for the valuable information, Dr. Ashley Hampton! Keep up the good work.” Thank you, Andrea, for the review. I appreciate you listening! If you’d like to be considered for a listener shout out, head over to iTunes and leave a rating and review for the podcast.
In today’s episode, we’re talking about using media as a way to connect to your audience. There are three things to consider when wanting to use media as a way to connect to your audience.
The three things are:
- Make sure your media choices align with your audience likes. For example, if your audience is reading business publications, like Fast Company, Inc, or Harvard Business Review, those need to be the sites you’re targeting for your media. If your ideal client never reads articles from these sites, you might not want to spend time pitching articles on those sites, as you’re not likely to find any new audience members. When you are creating your avatar that represents your ideal client, media sites should be considered. You’ll want to determine the sites your ideal client reads regularly.
2. Make sure the media choices and the articles that you are writing or being featured in as an expert align with your business and the products or services you’re offering. I see misalignment happening often. Entrepreneurs are so excited to be featured in the media that they don’t attempt to make sure everything is aligned. You want alignment between your work and your brand with the topic of the article and the media site. For example, if you are working as a bookkeeper working with entrepreneurs, you’ll want to focus on topics related to finance in publications that entrepreneurs are reading. Your work will be less impactful to your entrepreneur audience if you are featured in an article for a bridal magazine on how to pay for your wedding without help from parents. Sure, there may be a couple of entrepreneurs interested in this topic, but it is not likely to help your entire audience.
3. If you’ve aligned your topics and your media sites with your audience, your next step is going to be making sure your audience knows you’ve been featured. You’ll need to be proactive with this and create a strategy to share your media wins with your audience. You may decide you want to share an article or two in your weekly newsletter. On Instagram, you may share on your IG stories or in an IG post. You may go live on Facebook when you find out you’ve been featured in an article. I suggest a combination of all of these. And don’t forget – media is out there. As your media wins resonate with your work and provide extra value, reshare them. As long as you were working with an evergreen topic, you can continue to share the articles for months and years to come. Just remember the goal in sharing is to constantly provide value to your audience. Value should drive your decision to share every time.
A quick review of our three things to focus on –
- Make sure your media sites align with sites your audience reads.
- These media sites and the topics need to align with your business and the services or products you offer to maximize audience alignment.
- You’ll need to tell your audience about your media wins!
Bottom line: Connecting your media wins to your brand and your work requires initial thought and planning, specifically related to your choices of media sites and topics you want to talk about as an expert. If you want more information on choosing these sites and topics that we didn’t cover in today’s episode, go back and listen to episodes on types of media you can earn as an entrepreneur and choosing goals for being featured in the media
I asked for you to submit questions about media, and you responded. Stay tuned for your questions and my answers about being featured in the media.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 31. We are continuing our spotlight on getting featured in the media. Don’t forget to check out the free worksheet I created for you on how to write your expert bio, which is the first step in obtaining media coverage using my proven system. You can download the worksheet at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
Before we begin, I want to remind you these are answers based on my experiences. If you listened to the episode about my superpower of thinking way outside the box, you’ll know my way of thinking isn’t always the same as other industry experts. If you haven’t listened to that episode, I strongly suggest you listen to it and discover your own superpower.
Let’s jump right into your questions and my answers.
- What’s the easiest way to get your first press release? What is considered press release worthy?
I think press releases are a colossal waste of time. You write a very brief paragraph about something important, like a course release, and then you send it to a press release company who distributes it to who knows where. There are a couple of fundamental problems with this scenario.
First, the press release isn’t meant to give details but just announce something important. Great…except that doesn’t provide your potential client with enough information. What if I like your brief paragraph but the press release doesn’t give me any information on where to find you? Contact information for you isn’t always guaranteed to be published. I could either google you, or I could move on to the other hundred things that are vying for my attention at the exact same time. Guess which one wins?
Second, you don’t generally have control over who your press release is sent to if you’re using a company to distribute it. This could be disastrous for your business. What if you work solely with men but your announcement goes strictly into women’s publications? You have targeted a population that isn’t even your ideal audience, so your leads are not likely to convert. All of that equals a colossal waste of time and energy.
For me, the easiest way to get your first press release is to not have one at all.
2. Can you just do this for me?
There are plenty of media and public relations firms out there ready to take your money. Some deliver, and some don’t. If you’d like someone to plan a PR campaign for you specific to a program release or a book launch, please contact me. I can introduce you to the person I’d hire if I was going to hire a firm. She’s spectacular, and I’ve seen firsthand the results for her clients.
If you’re groaning because you want someone to do the work but you don’t have a huge chunk of cash to fork over, I’d encourage you to check out my system of getting featured in media. I’ll be opening a group course in June. The cost is much, much less than a PR firm, and you’ll have direct contact with me. I won’t do the work for you, but I’ll teach you my efficient system to do the work yourself.
3. Does this work outside the US?
This is a good question. I’m sure getting featured in the media outside the US is possible because it happens. I’ve never tried it because I’m based in the US. Because of that, I cannot and will not say my system works outside the US.
4. I want to grow my email list and become a household name. I’ve heard getting featured in media is the only thing I need to do. Can you help me?
The short answer is no. While being featured in the media is good to build credibility and authority as an expert in your niche, it is not the only thing to do for your business to increase your authority. You could also write a book, speak on stages, and collaborate with others in your space, as just a few examples.
Some in the industry like to say being featured in the media will help you grow your email list. I do not promise this at all and instead think of this as a happy surprise when I see new email subscribers after being featured in an article. I do encourage you to plan for email subscribers though by having a freebie on your home page that is attached to a funnel collecting email addresses.
5. How do I figure out what topics I’m an expert on?
There are many ways to determine which topics you’ll want to focus on as an expert. The easiest and fastest way is to look at what you do for work and pull out a few topics from your work to focus on. For example, I’m a psychologist in private practice. The bulk of my clinical work has focused on trauma, addictions, mass incarceration, and mental illness. Being a business owner gives me expertise in entrepreneurship, productivity, scheduling and habits, and some specific business tasks I’ve learned, like being featured in the media. You’ll have these areas too. Look at your work and things you do on a daily basis. Think about your conversations with your friends and family. When they need your help, what are they asking about? Maybe it’s time management or communication or parenting or juggling demands from many places or maybe it’s an important behavior change like how to say no.
I encourage you to write down these topics and then cross off any that you don’t feel like align with your current business. For example, I have a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and have done work with clients and others on relationship issues. I don’t generally answer those media requests because relationships is not a topic I focus on right now in my practice. While I have the expertise, I choose not to answer those requests because I am not trying to attract clients with relationship issues.
6. How do you determine if a media outlet is the right fit for your brand or your media goals?
This is an exceptional question, and the answer depends on your goals. For example, if you are new to being featured in the media, you’ll likely target a different caliber of media site than if you’ve been featured in plenty of places. Initially my goal was to get in front of people that were part of my ideal audience. So any site that wrote articles inside my expertise that had a female readership was on my list. Everything from Bustle to HuffPost to Shape to Self…anything that fit these two criteria – female readers and I had expert knowledge about the topic that I wanted to share as we determined in the answer to question #5. As I began being featured in articles on these sites, my dream media list quickly dwindled, and the sites I started looking at were much more difficult to be featured in, like Fast Company and Success. I still kept my goals focused on female readers, usually entrepreneurs, and expert topics, but I honed my expert topics. Almost all of my article pitches this year have focused on entrepreneurship.
In terms of your brand, obviously you want to focus on media sites that align with your ideal client. You also want to consider the type of site and make sure it aligns with your brand. For example, there are some sites that are very business professional. If your brand is more fun and flippant, those may not be the best sites for you to target. Remember in your entrepreneurial backbone when I talked about being clear on your purpose and the problem you want to solve? Choosing media sites is very similar – be clear on your purpose and the problem you’re solving for them in providing your expertise.
And the last question I’m always asked when I open a Q&A about anything –
7. Can you introduce me to Oprah?
Inevitably every time I solicit questions on social media or for this podcast, I have at least one person and usually more than five people ask if I can introduce them to Oprah. My answer is always no. I don’t know Oprah. I wish I did. I’d love to meet her. Focus on your journey and your dreams and accomplishing your goals. Don’t waste valuable time trying to convince someone else to introduce you when you can do the work yourself in less time and with less effort.
Bottom line: There are plenty of ways to be featured in the media. There are plenty of media types to be featured in as we’ve discussed in previous episodes in this series. The key is to be clear about your goals related to the media and how achieving those goals will impact your business, as this information will guide your work.
Don’t forget to download the free worksheet on writing your expert bio at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio. If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and review this podcast on iTunes. I would love to hear from you and maybe even feature your review as a listener shout out on a future podcast episode!
In this episode, I’m sharing three mistakes I made when I started trying to get featured in the media last year. Stay tuned to find out what they are.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 30. This episode is brought to you by my free worksheet to help you write your expert bio. You can download it at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
This episode will air on Memorial Day here in the US. I’d like to take a moment to thank our military – past and present – and remember those that are no longer with us.
Today I’m going to tell you mistakes I made in the hopes that you won’t make the same ones. These are things I wish I’d done to improve some of the results I saw from being featured in the media.
- Do everything you can with your owned media. As I talked about in episode 28, make sure you have your expert bio written and on your website, along with an opt-in that will collect email addresses for people that visit your website.
Like I said in episode 28 when we discussed owned versus earned media, you have control of your owned media. You can update all of your owned media today. When I first started being featured in the media, my website wasn’t finished. That wasn’t the terrible part though. The terrible part was not having a freebie opt-in to try to capture email addresses. Through Google Analytics, I know hundreds of people came to my website after each large media hit. With no opt-in, I lost the potential to capture them for my email list. And that’s a big bummer.
2. Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose.
Similar to #1, you own several media platforms – your website, your email list, your social media profiles, maybe even a podcast. Share your media wins with your audience. Be consistent in sharing but not a pain about it. You want your media wins to inform your audience and give them value; you aren’t looking to share because you want to brag.
3. Create a media strategy.
I wish I had been taught this much, much earlier…but I only recently figured it out. In terms of a strategy, you want to be strategic in which publications you target. In episode 5, I talked about becoming very clear about your purpose and the problem you solve. This is similar in that you need to become very clear about the purpose of being featured in the media. For example, I have a few areas of expertise that I want to be featured for, which include entrepreneurship for my online business. Because of that focus, I want to choose sites that are specific to readers that are entrepreneurs. You also want to do the same for podcasts when determining which podcasts you want to be a guest on. You don’t want to pitch podcasts that will not put you in front of your ideal client. This is like me pitching a podcast that talks specifically about sports. While I may be able to talk about some sports intelligently enough to hold my own in conversation, that time spent on the podcast will not help me if my audience is entrepreneurs that don’t care at all about sports.
Also in your strategy, you want to make sure you repurpose your media features. This is something I’m working on creating a system for right now. I have a large library of features now, but I need to have a more cohesive way to share them with my audience as I grow.
When we have to figure things out for ourselves, sometimes we have bumps in the road. These are just a couple of my bumps that I am sharing because I don’t want you to have to experience these. If you are already trying to be featured in the media and you don’t have these things set up for yourself, pause getting featured and take care of these three things. Later down the road you’ll be happy you did the work ahead of time.
Bottom line: Please avoid making the same mistakes I did in the beginning by doing three things –
- Set up your website for success by creating a freebie opt-in and putting it on the top of your homepage.
- Repurpose your media features everywhere. Be strategic about it, which leads directly into #3.
- Create your media strategy that includes your expert topics, sites to target, and how you’ll repurpose your media features.
There are different types of media you can earn as an entrepreneur. Which types are best for you? 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 29. This episode is brought to you by my free worksheet which explains how to write your expert bio. You can download it at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
In the episode just before this, we talked about the differences in earned and owned media. We talked about owned media and what you can do immediately to work on the media you own, such as writing your expert bio and placing it on your website. In this episode, we are going to talk about the different types of earned media available to you as an entrepreneur.
If you have not listened to episode 27 on how to determine goals for earning media, pause this episode and listen to that episode first. Once you have your goals set, you can use those to choose which of these five types of media you would like to work towards earning.
The five main types of earned media are:
- guest posting on others’ blogs or a collaboration with a colleague
- being featured in print/online magazines and sites or being a guest contributor for these sites
- being a guest on podcasts
- being a guest on TV shows
- speaking at online and live events
Along with the goals you established in episode 27, consider what types of earned media out of these you’d like to explore. I do not recommend you try all five types at one time. To be efficient, you’ll want to choose one or two that you can work into your already packed work week. I recommend beginning with being featured in print/online sites and being a podcast guest. As you choose these types, you’ll want to narrow your search by audience.
In earning media, you are providing expertise in exchange for being in front of their audience. Keep that in mind every time. You are the expert. You provide expert content. The key here is to make sure you are providing your expertise to the right audience, meaning the media site’s audience is aligned with the audience you work with. For example, I work with female entrepreneurs. I am not going to look for a live event to speak at that only allows male attendees. You want to be in front of your dream clients as much as possible.
Bottom line: You’ll need to choose the types of earned media you would like to earn based on your goals. If you haven’t decided on your goals yet, check out drashleyhampton.com/episode27. Determine your goals and then choose one or two types of earned media you want to pursue. It’s time to start the planning process!
It’s time for you to learn two types of media you can utilize to establish yourself as an authority and expert in your niche. You can start one of the two types of media today as soon as you finish listening to this episode.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 28.
This episode has a bit of a different listener shout out today. I’ve created a freebie worksheet to help entrepreneurs write their bio as an expert in their niche. I want to send a shout out to all of the entrepreneurs that have downloaded the worksheet so far. For those of you that haven’t downloaded it yet, head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
There are two types of media you can use to establish yourself as an expert. The first is called earned media, and the second is called own media. Earned media is exactly what it sounds – you earn it, like being featured in print and online media. This is what I teach.
The second kind you can start working today as soon as you finish this episode. Owned media is what you own. Your social media. Your website. Any live events you speak at. Your podcast. Your book. Anything YOU own. This is why it is so important to first write an expert bio and put it up on your website.
Because owned media is what you specifically own, this is the first place to begin.
Here are some tasks you could do right now:
- Write your expert bio and put it on your website.
- Make sure your title is clear. For example, I used to call myself an Entrepreneurial Coach. Unfortunately people didn’t understand what that meant. I needed to make my title clearer – so now it is crystal clear. My title is now Media and Systems Strategist, which is much more specific about the two areas where I work – media and systems.
- Place an opt-in on your website that is attached to a funnel collecting email addresses for your list. Please don’t make the mistake I did – I had several media features and podcast episodes published before I added an opt-in to my website. Even if someone came to my site, I didn’t have a way to continue the conversation with them.
- Post on social media consistently. Share about and promote your work. Also, you want to consistently give content to your audience, whether that is through a blog, a podcast, speaking at live events, etc.
Being ready with owned media helps make it easier for those in the earned media category to see you as an expert when they do their initial search when trying to determine who they want to quote as a source. Don’t forget to grab your worksheet to write your expert bio at drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton and let me know what you have updated. I’d love to see your work and your expert bios!
Bottom line: You are in control of owned media, and you can start using it today. Don’t wait!
When thinking about media for your business, there are things you need to decide before you begin working. What are they? 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 27. We are continuing our focus on media, which I am really excited about.
In the previous episode, I talked about my 2018 goal of being featured in media outlets to boost my credibility as an expert. I accomplished that goal on a much larger scale than I initially thought was possible. The important part was having a clear goal about what I wanted to gain from media coverage.
For example, I have people coming to me and asking me to introduce them to Oprah. Don’t laugh. It’s happened many times since I was featured in O Magazine last year. I’ll give you the inside scoop – just because I was featured in O Magazine doesn’t mean I have the inside line to Oprah herself. Clearly, this isn’t an attainable goal for media, nor is it really beneficial for your business.
Here are some goals that have been mentioned to me that aren’t feasible. Of course there is the exception to every rule. These are generally not good goals for media coverage.
First, I have potential clients saying they want to use the media to grow their email list. While media often sets you apart from your competition and definitely puts you in the spotlight as an expert, being featured in the media isn’t a list building strategy. I know plenty of course creators that say this is possible. I’ll tell you from my personal experience that my list did not explode just because I was featured in O Magazine or Cosmopolitan. It’s more likely media will bring someone to your website, and then it’s up to you and your website to encourage them to sign up for your email list with your website copy and your available opt-ins.
The second one I hear has come up a lot recently. The person says, “I’ll send a press release to the media to promote my course, and it’ll help me sell out my course.” Or you could say live event here too. One media feature isn’t likely to draw enough people to sell out a course or a live event. You may have a few sales or tickets purchased because of an interview, but I wouldn’t rely on the media as your only strategy to get people to buy.
The third one I hear often…I want to be famous. Chances are a few media features won’t do that for you. What may help you gain more exposure is to showcase how you’re different as an expert in your niche and highlight how that difference helps you sell or work with clients or makes your product different. Can things happen based on one post going viral? It can, and we’ve seen that. It is rare. It is not likely you’ll be famous from one viral post.
Some goals I’ve heard that are attainable in terms of media are using media features to establish your authority as an expert, boost credibility for a podcast or live event, or even a vanity factor of being featured in a specific magazine or a specific television show just because it’s a dream. All of these are valid goals and can be achieved.
When the entrepreneurial voice in your head tells you that you need media coverage, why does it say that? What is important to you in regards to being featured in the media? How could being featured in the media help you?
Remember being featured in the media is a two way street. You’re offering your expertise and the media outlet, whether it be print, online, or podcast, is offering their audience expert content.
What have you determined is your goal for working towards media coverage for yourself and your work? DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton and let me know. If this resonates with you, please screenshot this episode and share it with your friends.
Bottom line: Obtaining media coverage for yourself and your work is doable. Some types of media coverage take more time than others. If you know what to do and how to do it, most reasonable media coverage can be obtained without you needing to pay for an expensive PR person.
Today I’ll tell you about my 2018 business goal and why I’m still working on it in 2019.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 26. Today we are talking about using media to establish authority.
Today’s listener shout out is for my listeners in New York City, who far surpass any other geographic area in the country for downloads of this podcast. I haven’t traveled to New York City in 2019, and I miss the city and my NYC friends. Thank you for listening! Other cities in the top 10 include Washington DC, Birmingham, Dallas/Fort Worth, Boston, San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, Raleigh/Durham, Houston, Chicago, and Denver. Thank you all.
So let’s jump into today’s topic. I’m excited to start this series on media and specifically why I’ve chosen to focus so much of my time on media.
In 2018, I decided I wanted to seriously pursue an online business. And then I realized how hard it was. I mean, way more difficult than opening my psych practice. In my practice, I niched way down and provided services that were needed in the tiny town where I started. Services that were so needed that I was booked solid in just a few months after opening my doors. I didn’t need to advertise or try to put my information out to others for referrals.
When I started online, I knew I’d have to advertise and find a way to set myself apart from the crowd of people that were working with entrepreneurs. I had a PhD. I had results from my business. Those two things just weren’t enough to set me up as an expert in the online business space. In my practice, I can’t ask for testimonials, so I needed to find another way to establish my authority as a credible expert in the eyes of others.
After some research, I decided on working with the media to be featured in articles as a quoted expert. So I went all in on that goal in 2018 with my time and my wallet. I attended several live events, took a few courses, and even enrolled in a very expensive PR accelerator. None of those produced substantial results regarding being quoted in the media. I did, however, make several friends and connections as a result of attending these events, which we will talk about in the near future as well.
In 2018, I was featured in over 30+ print and online media articles. My big dream that I achieved using my system was being featured in Oprah’s O Magazine. The print version. I’ll add pictures in the show notes. In 2019, I’ve been featured in less but have continued to mark off sites on my dream list, like Success and Cosmopolitan.
In fact, on February 11, 2019, I posted on Instagram that I was pitching Success to be featured in an article as an expert. I was excited and a little nervous, as they were one of my remaining dream outlets left on my list. I was called for an interview and had a great time speaking with the writer, Mary. And…Mary featured some of my quotes from our conversation in her article. I’ll link to it in the show notes, as I think the article is beneficial for everyone to read. It talks about using small, positive habits on a daily basis to improve your happiness.
My work and the system I developed produced significant results in minimal time each week. It’s free, and I’ve dialed in the system so much that I don’t spend more than 10-15 minutes a day at most working on media.
Being featured as an expert in media has allowed me to establish myself as an authority in the online space. If you’re interested in learning more about media, stay tuned to this podcast as I’ll be doing a series on media for the next few weeks.
I also have a worksheet available for you that will help you write your expert bio, which is the first step in starting to work with media. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to grab the worksheet. This will also put you on the waiting list for more information about my upcoming media course that will teach the exact system I used to obtain my media results.
Bottom line: In the crowded online space, you need things to set you apart from others, especially those that help you establish your credibility as an expert. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio to grab your free worksheet and write your expert bio!
Links we discussed in this episode:
Success article by Mary Sauer
This is the fourth episode in our four-part series on systems. And today I’m going to tell you about a superpower technique to use in systems to make your work even more efficient.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 24. This episode is the last part of our four-part series on systems for entrepreneurs.
Today we are talking about a superpower technique to use in making your systems work more efficient. That superpower technique is called batching. Like systems, I also hear entrepreneurs saying they batch, but these entrepreneurs don’t explain exactly what batching means or how to do it. Now is the time.
Batching involves combining tasks in a larger time block to finish more of the same task at one time. Using our example from the last episode, I talked about how I created a system around putting together paperwork for client appointments. The way I put together that system was by using batching. I now batch my paperwork every Monday, which is a simple way to say I complete the same task for the week in one day. It takes about 30 minutes for me to put everything together at one time instead of breaking that apart and spending 10 minutes each day putting the paperwork together. I usually save between 10 and 15 minutes depending on how many packets I need. 15 minutes each week adds up to an hour a month and 12 hours over the course of the year. I either have that 12 hours back to myself, or I have 12 hours I could potentially work with clients to bring in more revenue.
Batching can work with many business functions. Let’s think about writing content as an example. Perhaps you write four blog posts a month, and each of the posts takes you two hours to write, edit, and schedule for releasing on your blog. That is 8 hours worth of work. What if you sit down and write the four blog posts at one time, edit, and then schedule. If your brain can focus on one task, you’ll be more productive in completing the task faster. When you move from one thing to the next to the next, your brain takes time to transition from thing to thing, which is called context switching.
If you reduce context switching, you’ll be more efficient. In our example, you write and edit your posts. Then you log into your blog once instead of four separate times and schedule all four posts at one time instead of four times. This is just one way batching saves time.
Entrepreneurs tell me batching is a lot of work. And it is initially. However, if you can create a system and then use batching to complete your work, you’ll save the most amount of time possible. The key is to start your system as we talked about in step 2. Once you start your system, try to batch as much work as possible as you refine your system. You’ll be able to save time as you improve your system until you have the most refined system with batching. As you start batching tasks, your brain becomes used to working that way, and it becomes easier, just like setting up a system.
Bottom line: Batching is a superpower technique that will help you up level your systems. Up leveling your systems helps you up level your business. It’s time for you to move to the next level!
Do you want another example? Stay tuned for a bonus episode this weekend with the first guest interview on this podcast!
It’s time for step two in our series on developing entrepreneurial systems. Stay tuned for me to continue to explain exactly how to set up a system in your business.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 23. This episode is part 3 of our four-part series on systems for entrepreneurs.
Before we start on our content for this episode, it’s Monday, so you know that means it’s time for a listener shout out! If you want a shout out, head over to iTunes and leave a rating and review for this podcast. This week’s listener shout out is for Alycia. Alycia’s review says: “Dr. Ashley is a true pro! She is so lovely. Like truly lovely in how she shows up. I love that she isn’t over-the-top as an extrovert, but yet she is so successful with typical extroverted things (media, podcast, etc). Can’t wait for more episodes to come out!” Thank you, Alycia. Those are very kind words, and I really appreciate your words and your time writing the review.
Alright, you know what time it is. In our last episode, you learned about tracking your time. You have been tracking your time on the time tracker worksheet. If you haven’t tracked your time yet, head over to drashleyhampton.com/timetracker and grab your time tracker worksheet. Write down what you’re doing each day and how long it takes you to complete your tasks. You want to track your time for at least a week and preferably two weeks just in case you have a couple of days that aren’t typical.
Once you have complete time tracker worksheets, it’s time for step 2. Step 2 involves finding tasks that repeat over and over. Look over your worksheets and circle or highlight every task that you worked on daily, like email or administrative paperwork or invoicing. Those are common ones. This is not a task you do daily that is time sensitive, like creating content for my upcoming course, for example. You want to pick out the tasks that you do many times a week or even daily.
You may have three or four highlighted. Choose one. Look at that task and write down the steps you take to complete that task. Once you have the steps, look for any ways you can repeat the task easily. Sometimes that is a draft email, sometimes that is a template or a checklist for multiple parts of a task so you can run through steps easy, or sometimes it is combining all of those tasks into one day in a large chunk of time, which is called batching. I’ll talk more about batching in Thursday’s episode.
Now you have a task that you complete many times a week. You write down the steps. You look for ways to shorten the process. Let me give you an example from my practice. When I see clients, there is a standard set of paperwork for each client that I have to take with me. All adults get a sign in sheet, a release form, and an informed consent form, along with the IQ testing protocols. I put that with any paperwork I received for the case, and that becomes the client’s file, so to speak. Everything I need to handle with that client in their appointment is in that packet of materials. When I first started a system for this task, I determined which pieces needed to be in the packet, and I would make a packet every time I scheduled a client appointment as soon as I scheduled the appointment. Then I updated the system and made the packets the day before the appointments right before I prepped my bag. Now I’ve updated the system again, and I prep all of my client packets on Monday for the remainder of the week.
In this example, I started slow, just prepping a packet for each individual client appointment I scheduled. Then I would prep for each day’s worth of client appointments. Now I prep at one time for the entire week’s worth of appointments. As time has moved on, my system has improved. I now keep everything in one file organizer on my desk, and it’s all sitting waiting for me. Each day has a different folder. Each form has its own folder too. This is how you create a system.
Once you’ve created a system for the first task you chose, you start implementing that system. When you’re comfortable with that system, move on to creating the second system. As you move forward with system #1, you’ll notice as you go through the steps that there will be small things you can improve. Improve them as you go. Remember, you want to save every bit of time possible. With tasks we repeat often throughout the week, saving 30 seconds each time could add up to minutes each time we do the task, which can potentially save us hours over the month.
Please hear this. I mentioned this in the episode covering step 1. You don’t create a perfect system the first time. You create a system. You use the system, and then you’ll identify flaws. Once you identify the flaws, you’ll make tweaks to make it a better system. This is not a one-and-done process. You will continue to make changes and improve upon your systems to become more and more efficient.
Your mission – after you track your time for two weeks on the time tracker worksheets, lay them out and see which tasks take up most of your time. Choose one and set up your system as we talked about in this episode. If you are driving or working out or walking your dog and want to see these steps, head over to drashleyhampton.com/podcast to see the show notes for this series.
Bottom line: Setting up systems does not have to be difficult or complicated. It will take some work, but the time spent will be worth it. You’ll get that time back plus much, much more.
Entrepreneurs know systems are important. I hear this all the time. What I don’t hear is education on how to develop systems. That is going to change with this episode. I’ll be teaching you the first step in the process today. Stay tuned.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 22. This episode is part 2 of our four-part series on systems for entrepreneurs.
We learned in the first part of our four part series, episode 21, why systems are important. If you haven’t heard that episode yet and aren’t convinced you need systems, pause this episode and listen to part 1 first.
I wasn’t kidding at the beginning of this episode. I am going to teach you the first part of developing systems right now. In true Work Smarter fashion, I’m keeping it simple, to the point, and I have a free opt-in for you.
You do A LOT of things in your business. If you’re a solopreneur like me, then you are it. The one that does it all. You do everything from pay the bills to send the emails to talk to clients to complete the paperwork. What if I told you all of those things in my business involve some sort of system? And no, the systems aren’t necessarily complicated. Head back to episode 20 if you want to hear about my system recording revenue and expenses each month. I’ll link to it in the show notes.
The very, very first step you have to do when developing systems is track your time. Most people groan when they hear this. I’ve heard all kinds of ‘buts’ when I say this. But I already know where I spend my time. But I know I need an email template. But I want a system for my products. Unless you’ve tracked your time, you have no idea how you spend it. Let’s be honest with ourselves. Until your smartphone offered that screen tracking app, you didn’t realize how much time you actually spent staring at your phone. Right?
Head over to drashleyhampton.com/timetracker and download the time tracker worksheet. You’ll see your day broken into 30 minute segments from 5:00am to 7:00pm at night. You simply keep that tracker near you on your desk and write down what you’re doing as much as possible. It’s best to track for at least a week and preferably two. After you have two weeks of time tracking, you should see trends on what you spend the most time on.
When I started wanting to develop systems for my business, I tracked my time. Paperwork and emails were by far the two places where I was spending too much time. I knew I needed a system for those, and I’ll teach you about that in the next episode. For now, I want you to focus on tracking your time.
A couple of notes about tracking your time –
First, there is no judgment here. Be completely honest with yourself. If you binged on Hulu for three hours one afternoon, put it down. This exercise should help you identify trends in your work, especially with the tasks that are taking the most amount of time.
Second, if you look at your trackers and begin to feel like you’re on a hamster wheel and won’t be able to jump off, don’t worry. You’re not alone. That’s exactly why you need to create systems.
Third, I’ll say this again in the next episode, but I want to make sure it’s said more than once. You don’t create a perfect system the first time. You create a system. You use the system, and then you’ll identify flaws. Once you identify the flaws, you’ll make tweaks to make it a better system. This is not a one-and-done process. Sometimes tracking your time won’t be one-and-done either. As things change in my business, I often go back to track my time so I can determine if I need to create other systems. One example of one I’ve created lately is around producing this podcast.
Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to track your time. If you already have a time journal, you can use it. If not, head over to drashleyhampton.com/timetracker and get your free time tracking worksheet. Print it out and get started logging your tasks.
If you have questions, DM me on Instagram @drashleyhampton.
Bottom line: Developing systems does take work. However, the amount of benefit to your business far outweighs the work. I promise.
Links to things discussed in this episode:
Episode 21 – Save Time with Systems: 3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Need Systems (Part 1 of 4)
Today I’m sharing with you my #1 tip for entrepreneurs on how to save time while working. Stay tuned to hear my answer in the first episode of a four-episode series.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 21.
Today’s listener shout out is for Jason. He sent me an email and suggested I have a waiting list for my upcoming course on how to establish your authority as an expert in your niche by being featured in different types of media. Super shout out for the idea of a waiting list, which I hadn’t implemented. And because you know I put my own swing on things, I’m not going to have it be just any old waiting list. I’ve created a free checklist for you to help you write your expert bio, which is the first step you need to take. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio for the checklist. That site again is drashleyhampton.com/expertbio.
Now it’s time for me to answer the initial question. My #1 tip for entrepreneurs on saving time while working involves creating systems for tasks that repeat.
Inevitably when I say this I get a look. And then the excuses begin. It’s too hard to create systems. It’ll take too much time. It’ll only save a minute. I don’t need them. I’m good at working quickly.
Here’s my reasoning for creating systems. Let’s suppose you create a system for a task you do everyday, and that system saves you 1 minute each day. Over the course of the year, that’s 365 minutes or about six hours. Let’s suppose you make $100 an hour and you can monetize those six hours making you an extra $600 a year. Would that be interesting to you?
Here’s the best part. The example saved 1 minute for 1 task. We all do plenty of tasks daily that we could systematize. What if we saved 10 minutes a day or 3,650 minutes a year which equals over 60 hours. If you instead made those 60 hours into working hours, that would be an extra $6,000 a year. Does it sound more interesting now? I bet it does.
Here are three reasons why systems are useful for you – aside from the possible increase in revenue you could generate with the extra time it gives you –
- Systems create a foundation for how your business operates when completing certain tasks. Sometimes these systems are called SOPs or standard operating procedures. As you grow your business and hopefully have others take over certain parts of your business, you’ll already have a system in place for how to complete the task. While it takes time creating the system initially, not only will the system save you time every time you implement it, it’ll also save you time in the future when you’ll be able to train a new employee much more quickly.
2. Systems help you reduce or eliminate decision fatigue. Decision fatigue as a solopreneur is real. We spend so much time making decisions and then having to react to those decisions. And then we make other decisions to balance our first decisions. Sometimes that process is just plain tiring. If you have a system in place that handles a specific part of your business, you don’t make all the decisions anymore. You’ve already made them. Now you just have to react if something happens. Not only did you free up more brain power and energy to use on other tasks, you also saved yourself time by not having decision fatigue.
3. Remember our goal is to work smarter so we can spend more time living outside our business. That is the whole point of this podcast. Creating systems means I work less inside my business and have more time for things I enjoy. In my private practice, I have systematized as much as I possibly can. Setting appointments, emails to caseworkers, report frameworks, interview questions, paperwork completion before, during, and after the appointment – all of these tasks are ones I do over and over, so they all have their own system. I’ll tell you more about how to create a system next week.
A process for paperwork is the same every time whether you create a system around it or not. You might as well go ahead and create a system, so your brain automatically runs through the routine. Systems save you time and energy and allow you to focus your brain power where it matters, which is usually something that is new or a more difficult task.
In the next episode, I’ll talk with you about tracking your time, so you have an idea about what tasks in your business may need systems.
Bottom line: Let’s review the three ways using systems in our business can be beneficial –
- Systems create a foundation for how your business operates when completing certain tasks.
2. Systems help you reduce or eliminate decision fatigue.
3. Creating systems means I work less inside my business and have more time for things I enjoy.
Don’t forget to download your checklist to write your expert bio, which is the first step in establishing yourself as an expert in your niche. A hint – this is the first part of your overarching media system. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/expertbio for the checklist.
Are you an entrepreneur that overcomplicates life? Stay tuned to learn three ways you can remove overcomplicating from your business today.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 20.
Overcomplicating things is one of our worst enemies as entrepreneurs. We make things more complicated often while following those ahead of us that we are trying to emulate. The problem is we forget they’re a mile ahead of us in business, and their goals often require different things than the ones we need early on in our business.
One of the main things I see entrepreneurs overcomplicate is software. Many entrepreneurs I talk with and work with have the most complicated software set up to run their business. I hear “I don’t know about technology,” and then the next few sentences out of their mouths are how they have a software for email, one for courses, one for sales funnels, one for payment processing, and one for a calendar and setting appointments. Then they need a software to connect everything. The result of this is often a big bunch of nothing. What some refer to as analysis paralysis. No movement forward equals no results, which can be death for a new company.
This is way too complicated. In the example I just said, there were six different softwares, which means six times the learning curve to learn how to use each software program. This is one of the reasons why I use ClickFunnels, as it does several of these things in one piece of software. Is there a learning curve? Absolutely. Can I do many things with one software and have one learning curve? Absolutely.
Side note: If you haven’t listened to episode 16 where I talk about the tools I use, check it out after this episode. You can also download a free pdf checklist of tools I use at drashleyhampton.com/resources.
The reality is you don’t need anything complicated and giving you grief when you’re starting your business. Every piece of software has a learning curve and most have a monthly subscription fee. Take your emotions out of the decision, and remove any negative language you are telling yourself about what you can’t do, like we talked about in episode 19. The first way to avoid overcomplicating your business – look at the amount of money you’re spending and whether your software choices actually meet the goals of your business, what you can handle, and what your business actually needs right now. Choose software based on what you need only.
Along the same lines, I often see people wanting the most difficult financial software when they’re starting out. Do I need Quick Books? Intuit? Wave? A bookkeeper? The problem with this decision is they don’t even have revenue to track yet. I’ve tried several of these softwares over five years in business, and I don’t use any of them. They were all way too complicated for my needs, in addition to having a monthly fee that I didn’t need to pay.
Let me tell you my financial system. It’s very sophisticated. Get ready. The second way to stop overcomplicating things – go back to the basics. I use a pen and paper. Every time I receive a receipt for paying an expense or a check stub paying for my services, I place it on the top shelf of this stacking filing organizer I have in my office. The entire month, everything is placed on that shelf. At the beginning of the next month, I get out my binder that has a piece of paper for every month, and I write down the revenue and the expenses received that month.
That’s fancy, right? Total old school. It takes me less than 10 minutes to record everything. I clip it by month and place it in a box, so when I package all of my information for that year’s taxes, it’s in some semblance of order. Not only did I not have to spend my time learning a new software, I also saved $30 or $40 a month by simply using a pen and a piece of paper.
Right now my revenue and expenses are not complicated enough to justify using a complicated method of tracking. So I keep it really simple.
The final way I’ll cover to stop overcomplicating things – please stop asking for everyone’s opinion.
Facebook groups are a great place to fall down what Amy Porterfield calls an entrepreneurial rabbit hole.
You know what I’m talking about here, and I don’t even need to explain it. Some of you rolled your eyes when I said this, and some of you wanted to raise your hand because you’re guilty. Some of you are guilty of asking the same question in multiple groups, getting hundreds of answers, and then sitting on your hands in analysis paralysis.
Asking an opinion from everyone, especially people you don’t know, clouds your judgment. It’s just too much noise. You don’t know if the people are experts or really if they even have a successful business. You do know everyone has an opinion. You anxiously read all the comments, they inevitably contradict each other, and then you fret even more over your decisions. Instead of making a decision and moving forward, you do nothing.
If you have a question about your business, product, or services, I recommend asking yourself the question first and answering it based on your ideal client avatar.
Here’s what I see: I want to offer XYZ service. Do you think that’d be a good idea?
The answers range from YES to no, it’s an awful idea. When the reality is none of these opinions should matter because the people you asking don’t fit the description of your ideal client. Who cares if they think it’s an awful idea if they aren’t the audience you’ll be marketing the idea to?
If you can’t answer the question by considering your ideal audience, consider the possibility that you may be overcomplicating things.
I am recently starting to see a lot of questions about payments. What payment options do I offer? Should I offer three or six or nine or twelve payment options? If you can’t answer that by stepping into the shoes of your ideal client, then look at whether you’re overcomplicating things. Potentially offering a paid in full option and then four types of payment plans is absolutely overcomplicating this. Offer a paid-in-full option and one payment plan and move forward.
If these two checks on your question don’t answer it, then consult your entrepreneurial colleagues and friends that know you and your business and are either at the same place or slightly ahead of you in business. Asking random strangers in a group that don’t know anything about you or your business is not helpful.
If you are an overcomplicater, don’t worry. You can remove that language from your identity today with a few shifts in how you approach things. Make some changes and see if you have more time to live and enjoy instead of having to spend that time working in your business.
Three ways to avoid overcomplicating things are –
- Choose software based on your business and your goals, not what the mysterious everyone else is doing.
- Keep your systems simple until you need something more complicated.
- Avoid asking everyone for their opinion when you have a question.
Bottom line: Overcomplicating your business is a huge time suck. Changing a few things will make a big impact in making your business more efficient
It’s time to change my language around technology. Stay tuned to find out what this means and what changes I’m making now.
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 19.
Before we jump into today’s topic, I have a listener shout out for Jessica. The two episodes this week, this one about changing my language and episode 20 which will cover ways to avoid overcomplicating things, stemmed from a conversation with her the week before I recorded these episodes. Jessica, THANK YOU for the ideas, the help, and the conversation. I’m looking forward to talking with you again soon.
I have a few questions for you.
Have you ever had an identity that you outgrew?
Maybe you labeled yourself as something and one day that just wasn’t true anymore?
Our language can be very impactful on our achievements, especially when it’s negative. We believe what we say, and that belief runs deep the more we say and internalize those words.
Many years ago, I dated a Computer Engineer. To say it was a disaster is a serious understatement, but that’s not the point of this episode. The point is I learned then that I wasn’t good at technology. I learned it because he told me over and over, and I incorporated that into my identity. Ironically, I’m extremely talented with electronics, including even hooking up his television and surround sound when he couldn’t do it. I’m not sure why I ever thought it would be okay to bring that negative identity into my world. I blame it on me being young and dumb enough to listen to someone who I thought was supposed to be an expert.
Anyway, I adopted the “I’m not good at technology” identity at that point and held onto it for about 17 years.
And it was complete and utter B.S.
I wasn’t bad at technology. I simply hadn’t learned the skills yet. I listened to someone saying I was bad at technology, and eventually I started repeating it to myself. Again, total B.S.
How do I know I’m not bad at technology?
Remember me telling you about rebuilding my website? I moved my website from one host to another, completely killed my old design, and then rebuilt a new one. I did all of that. By. Myself. Without help. Is it perfect? Nope. But it is mostly done. And I proved to myself that my saying I’m bad at technology is simply not true.
The language I was telling myself was complete B.S. Letting go of that identity was so freeing. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to rebuild my website on my own and realize that I could complete these large tech projects. By myself. Well, me and sometimes some You Tube videos. Now I’m learning how to build funnels with the goal of being able to help others learn that technology really isn’t all that difficult.
Yep, I said it. Technology really isn’t all that difficult. And I’m good at technology.
What are you currently telling yourself that is complete BS?
Take account of your language about your identity. What do you say you can’t do? What do you say you’re bad at?
Got it? Good. Now really examine it. Is it true? Are you really bad at something because you’ve tried over and over? Or are you just lacking education or practice? Have you adopted something into your identity that someone told you over and over?
Are your eyes wide? Do you have a smile on your face? Maybe an ah-ha light bulb over your head? Now you know what you want to change in your identity. What are you going to do about it? Is this something you want to learn? If so, learn the skill. Just don’t repeat the BS someone else says when it’s not true.
Bottom line: You are in charge of the language you speak about you and your identity. You can be who you want to be. I’m a girl that’s good at tech, and that feels amazing.
I have a BIG question I want you to ask yourself. What is it? 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 18.
Before I ask you a really big question, I want to remind you that the Infopreneur Summit begins Monday, April 22, 2019. You have a few more days to claim your free ticket at drashleyhampton.com/baileysummit
So on to the big question…Who are you as an entrepreneur?
That’s big, right? I’ve talked about different topics on this podcast, and the answer to most of them comes back to you. You define the answer. You choose. And this one is no different. It’s something I’ve been struggling with lately, and I wanted to share it with you.
Last October, I attended Lewis Howes’ Summit of Greatness live event in Columbus, Ohio. It was the first motivational event I’d ever attended, and I’ll admit it was odd to leave a live event without a notebook full of practical, tangible notes on how to accomplish something. Instead, I left with a feeling I wanted to accomplish something massive. A feeling that I can conjure up by simply looking at the few quotes I quickly typed into my phone while listening to the fantastic speakers.
The question I’ve been pondering lately is from Lindsay Stirling. A side note – if you’ve never seen her, check her out on YouTube. She was fantastic. In her talk, Lindsay asked and I quote: “At your core, what do you want your definition to be?”
She was talking about defining the kind of person you wanted to be and using that definition to guide you. In my personal life, I have my definition solidified. Overall, I want to be a kind person that helps others and gives more than I take. I think I also carry that into my businesses.
I’ve been looking at this question a bit differently lately, as I feel like I’m at a crossroads. As I read social media posts, I have recognized my feeling as a Do I? or Don’t I? decision that so many other entrepreneurs have. I’ve made many decisions lately that have altered my definition, including this podcast.
This podcast wasn’t in my original definition as an entrepreneur. In my core though, I am a podcast host. This podcast has to be one of the best decisions I’ve made as an entrepreneur. It’s so much fun for me that I’m thinking about starting a second podcast. If I stopped everything else today, I’d continue this podcast.
The rest of my definition…well, that’s open, which feels ambiguous and a bit scary. I often see these social media posts where entrepreneurs are worrying over what software to get (my answer: Clickfunnels) or what podcast microphone to buy (my answer: I use the ATR 2100). Those are easy questions to answer, but they’re not the underlying question. The underlying question is who am I and what am I doing? And the next step is often who am I to think I can do this?
Like I know I am a podcast host through and through, I know I am an entrepreneur. Without a doubt. I’ve been one my whole life, and I love the hustle. Entrepreneurship is definitely in my definition. What does it look like though? I have struggled lately with location. My end goal as an entrepreneur – or part of my definition – has always been to be location independent. That one part is why I’m building an online business.
Lately, I’ve felt like I wanted to buy a farm and settle and have animals and be still. For those of you that know anything about animals and home maintenance and outside upkeep, this is about as far from being location independent as I can get. And then in the middle of searching for a place that I’d love, I get this pull to start looking at plane tickets to places I want to travel to.
Some of you are thinking these are good problems to have, and you are right. A decision to settle or travel is a good one to have, and it’s also incredibly complicated to make that decision as it impacts everything. Large decisions absolutely impact your definition. More than that, these large decisions are to be made in congruence with your definition. The friction I’m feeling is because my new thought of settling down is in direct conflict with what I had defined entrepreneurship for myself.
Look at your world. What is your definition? At your core, who are you as an entrepreneur? Are all of your current goals pointed toward that definition? If they aren’t, what are you going to change and when?
If you feel like you need some strengthening in certain areas after looking at your definition, check out the beginning episodes from this podcast that make up the entrepreneurial backbone. Those are foundational pieces for your business that can help you solidify what you look like as you move forward.
I’d love to hear who you are as an entrepreneur and how that definition feeds into your current world. DM me on Instagram. It’d also be amazing if you would screenshot this episode and share it on Instagram stories. Tag me @drashleyhampton and I’ll share your story as well.
Bottom line: YOU define who you want to be. And YOU are amazing.
Today we are talking about participating in a virtual summit as a student and how you can claim your free ticket to the Infopreneur Summit hosted by Bailey Richert. The bonus – I’m one of the 50+ speakers!
Hey you guys. Welcome back to the Work Smarter Live More podcast. I’m your host Dr. Ashley Hampton, and this is episode 17.
Today’s listener shout out is for all of you. There’s a story behind this so bear with me. I logged into iTunes to look for a review on my podcast’s page for the listener shout out for this episode. When I got there, before I looked at the reviews because it’s super easy to sidetrack me, I remembered I needed to find a new podcast to listen to while I was driving this week because I’ve binged on almost all the ones I’ve subscribed to. So I clicked on the Careers category in the Business section and was scrolling through the New and Noteworthy to see who was new in the space. I really enjoy listening to new podcasts, especially now that I appreciate all the work that goes into creating and launching a show and being consistent with content week after week. As I’m scrolling through the list, I catch a glimpse of an aqua color that looks familiar…and it’s MY logo. The Work Smarter Live More podcast made the New & Noteworthy featured section for the Careers category! After I screamed and danced around my makeshift office, I took a bunch of pictures so I could assure myself it really is real in the morning and I wasn’t hallucinating. So THANK YOU. Thank you to all of you that listen, that have subscribed, that have written a review and rated the show, and have shared with your friends. I’d love it if you are just now finding me and this show, please subscribe, rate and review, and share the podcast with others that would find it beneficial!
And now on to the topic for episode 17 – The Infopreneur Summit, your free ticket, and how a virtual summit can be beneficial for you as an entrepreneur.
First, I want to explain the words virtual summit. For those of you that haven’t heard for a virtual summit before, it is like an online conference. You hear from several different speakers on their area of expertise, but instead of being at a live event, you’re at home in your pjs watching the speakers on your computer. Or maybe at work listening – as long as you don’t get in trouble!
The benefit for this model is you can experience many speakers FOR FREE, and you don’t have to worry about travel costs or time away from your in person job and family duties. If you want more access, most summits usually sell an All Access pass where you not only access the free videos whenever you want instead of their assigned time live on a specific day, you also get extra content specifically for those that upgraded to the All Access Pass. Sometimes this is another video for each speaker that goes more in depth about their topic, sometimes this is pdf swipe files or templates or notes, or sometimes it’s a combination of all of the above.
The only sad part about a virtual summit is you aren’t in the room with the other attendees. For me, sometimes being in the room really energizes me, especially with certain speakers. Other times, it’s really draining and hard for me to focus on the speaker content because there are so many other things competing for my attention. For me, virtual summits help alleviate that focus competition, and I treat each interview like a mini podcast episode that I can listen to at the gym or while I’m driving. If the interview is technical and needs video, I make a note of it and will watch it when I’m back home. Most summits also come with an online venue, like a Facebook group, so attendees can virtually meet and develop relationships.
So now that you have a better idea that a virtual summit is basically an online conference with lots of different speakers, let me highlight the Infopreneur Summit hosted by Bailey Richert. If you already know you want to claim your free ticket, go to drashleyhampton.com/baileysummit.
I’m proud to announce I am a speaker on the Infopreneur Summit this year after having watched as a student the previous three years. It is a true honor to be amongst more than 50 speakers that are some of my online heroes. There are plenty of sessions I’m watching to learn more, and I am happy to have an expert in specific areas I can learn from.
Let me break down how this works. There are four days of speakers – April 22, 23, 24, and 25 – and all speakers have free videos. When you claim your free ticket, you’ll get an email each day with information on accessing that day’s live videos. You watch them in a very efficient way, learn, and implement in your business! It’s similar to this podcast in several ways.
On Day 1, April 22, there are eleven speakers. Experts on this day will be covering business Foundations topics like contracts, money, productivity, branding, and messaging.
On Day 2, April 23, there are fourteen speakers cover Online Presence topics, like social media channels, podcasting, websites, and SEO. My interview will go live on this day, and I’ll be talking about The Power of Earned Media. I’ll give you an insider hint – the information included in both of my videos is information directly from a paid course I’ll be releasing later this year. Yes, you heard me. I’m giving away information for FREE in this summit that I will be charging for later. That’s how BIG this virtual summit is on value.
On Day 3, April 24, there are thirteen speakers talking about revenue streams you can include in your business as an entrepreneur. These revenue streams include things like e-commerce, affiliate income, membership sites, coaching, virtual summits, masterminds, and sponsorships.
On Day 4, April 25 the last day, there are fifteen speakers talking about Sales, Marketing, and Scaling. Topics include list building, Facebook ads, sales pages, and funnels.
As you can tell, a free ticket to this summit is well worth it. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/baileysummit to claim your free ticket.
While the information included in the virtual summit is obviously valuable, especially for a free ticket, there are more benefits for you. All of these experts have been vetted by someone already. That’s one level of research you don’t have to do. You can hear how the speaker interacts with the host and absorb the information. If you upgrade to the All Access pass, you have information from 50+ experts for a very low cost. You can then decide if you want to go deeper with any speaker. That’s obviously not mandatory. Using me as an example, if you wanted to explore obtaining media coverage for you and your work and you weren’t sure how to do it, you could listen to my videos and use my tips to start the process. Maybe that’s all you’d need to do what you want. If you decided you needed more information, you could check out my course. Again, efficiency and low cost of entry are very large benefits with summits.
This episode airs on April 15, 2019. The summit will be promoted for one more week before going live on April 22, 2019. Claim your free ticket NOW. Don’t miss out. If you listen to one interview that provides value, you more than exceeded the FREE ticket price. Head over to drashleyhampton.com/baileysummit for your free ticket.
Bottom line: There are often many, many people vying for our attention and more than that our money. Virtual summits are great for providing a substantial amount of value for free. Like I said, my information will be included in my paid course later this year. I highly recommend you hear it at the Infopreneur Summit for free! Go to drashleyhampton.com/baileysummit for your free ticket.
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!