NASE Monthly E-Newsletter for Small Business Owners | Self Informed December-2022


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SelfInformed - December 2022

In this month's issue of SelfInformed, read about 9 habits to make 2023 the best year yet for your business, healthy self-employment and how timing is everything in DC.

9 Habits To Make 2023 the Best Year Yet for Your Business

Are you aiming to build a seven-figure business? Are you wondering how daily habits can lead you there? Everyday habits are the building blocks of your life. Strategies can be powerful, but they become effective when they are in harmony with life’s daily habits. This article walks you through habit-creation strategies (small wins and massive gains) to make 2023 the best year for your business.

Use These 9 Habits for Better Business Results in 2023
You want to start the year on a high note and end it with a bang. To achieve top performance results, you must set smart goals. These are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals that will push your business forward in 2023.

Be proactive by gauging where the market is heading based on current trends. You can then adjust your approach accordingly to maximize profits and minimize losses. Below are ten habits to integrate into your everyday activities for better results next year.

1. Declare Your Intentions
Setting intentions allows you to shape the direction of your business. Reflect on the past year and ask yourself, “What has gone well?” “Where can I grow?” and “What do I want to achieve in 2023?”

Think about what motivates you. If your current process is not working for you, it might be time to change your strategy. Set aside an hour or two to reflect on how you can make meaningful improvements in your business practices.

Ask yourself where you see your business next year, five years from now, and ten years from now. What obstacles may come up as you work towards these goals? How can you overcome them? List your ideas and share them with someone who will hold you accountable (and vice-versa).

2. Stop Multitasking
You have probably heard the phrase, “Focus on one thing at a time.” But if you are like most people, you do not always follow it.

Here are some ways you can avoid multitasking and become more productive in 2023:

  • Know your priorities ahead of time — Create a list of two or three things that matter most each day, and do them first thing in the morning when your willpower is highest (yes, even before checking emails).
  • Break big projects into smaller steps — This makes complex projects seem less overwhelming and easy to accomplish, one step at a time.
  • Use apps and software tools to eliminate distractions — Installing browser extensions that block access to social media or websites can help keep you focused while working online.

According to a survey by, 66% of workers admit to wasting time at work every day. A study by Basex shows that employees are distracted from primary tasks for as much as 2.1 hours per day because of multitasking, interruptions, and administrative tasks.

3. Batch-Manage Tasks
Batching tasks is an excellent way to increase your productivity. If you batch things like phone calls, emails, meetings, and purchasing together, you will spend less time on administrative tasks and more time getting other things done.

Avoid mixing different types of task groups. To batch-manage tasks, identify all the common threads between them. For example, purchasing negotiations, responding to customer inquiries, or following up on proposals are all similar because they involve communicating with others over the phone. The next thing to do is set aside time in your calendar for each group of task types and dedicate that time solely to completing those tasks.

4. Schedule Activities With Care
Small business owners lead busy lives, and sometimes your business needs to take care of itself. Set aside a little time to review your week’s schedule with an open mind.

Create a ritual where you pull out that day’s plan every Monday, and look at it for about three minutes. Keep in mind: only three minutes. If this sounds like too much, try imagining what would happen if something were to go wrong and how distracting it would be if you had no plan. You would not want that kind of distraction messing up your plans for Monday, would you?

As a bonus, schedule some time each week (between 15 minutes to an hour) for activities like exercising or checking out a new area without having to plan ahead of time. Do whatever strikes your fancy if it does not interfere with any other scheduled events.

5. Use Apps To Save Time
If you have a business or other entrepreneurial pursuit and are looking for ideas to save time and improve productivity, some apps can help.

For example, Service Autopilot is an app for those who want to be productive but do not feel motivated. This app can help you set daily goals and then tracks your progress over time. It also vibrates when your goal has been reached, so it helps keep you on track.

Time Doctor keeps a list of all appointments that need to be made in the future, and allows you to arrange them strategically based on importance. You can also arrange items by how long they will take, whether they need preparation ahead of time or not, and what follow-up work or action may be required afterward.

6. Try the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule works for almost everything: food consumption, business performance, exercise frequency, and more. The 80/20 rule is a tool you can use to get more done in less time.

The principle is simple. Focus on the 20 percent of activities that deliver the most value (the vital few) and delegate the 80 percent of activities that only provide small incremental value (the trivial many). Often in business, entrepreneurs tend to focus on the trivial things, like putting out fires and responding to emails, rather than focusing on growing the company.

To identify what actions fit into each bucket, ask yourself these questions: How much does this activity contribute to achieving my goals? Does this activity energize me? When I am doing this activity, am I at my best or worst? Answering these questions helps you decide if an action falls into your vital few or trivial many.

7. Have a Morning Routine
One way to improve your day is by having a morning routine. If you can get started on the right foot, you are more likely to stay productive throughout the day. Studies show that starting your day with purpose and intention makes you feel less stressed and more fulfilled than those who go into their day without any plan or vision for what they want to accomplish.

If your typical morning consists of checking your phone while you slowly wake up in bed, consider swapping out some of those activities for something that will add value back into your life (and maybe even help you meet those goals):

  • Spend fifteen minutes reading an inspiring book or blog post before getting out of bed.
  • Go outside for ten minutes. You do not need anything fancy, as you can just take a walk around the block.
  • Write down things you are grateful for in a journal and list things that have been inspiring you lately. Spend fifteen minutes brainstorming ideas or thinking through challenges you face
    at work.

Most people tend to approach goal setting from a big-picture perspective: “I want to achieve X this year, so I will just try harder.” When it comes down to it, achieving any big goal consists of just a bunch of smaller habits implemented over time.

8. Take Regular Breaks Throughout the Day
You can maintain energy levels and improve your concentration by taking regular breaks throughout the day. Breaks should be scheduled, planned, and made into a habit. If possible, this should be something that you do at approximately the same time each day.

Regular breaks help you make better decisions so that you do not start making mistakes later in the day. They will also help improve your mood, reduce stress levels, and give your mind a chance to relax and come back fresh after each break.

9. End the Day Right
End the day right. Contrary to popular belief, being busy does not mean being productive. At the end of each workday, make a list of what you need to do tomorrow and check that you have everything.

Before leaving your workspace, take a few minutes to clean up your desk, organize files and folders, and ensure that all your tasks are correctly assigned. Finally, if possible, take care of any personal matters so that your mind is fresh and ready for work when you return the next morning.

Intentional Habits Improve Productivity
When planning the year for your business, setting goals to increase sales or make more money can be beneficial. However, it is essential to look after yourself as well. Feeling great in an environment that is not toxic will improve your focus and productivity. By the end of 2023, your business could be making more money than ever with improvements in all departments.

Learn more habits for small business success. Contact the experts at NASE.

Healthy Self-Employment

Dr. Dana P. Wade, the CEO of Excellent Health LLC, is a NASE member from Bridgeport, Connecticut and a Medical Doctor with 9 years of experience in diabetes and cardiovascular disease prevention. He has helped thousands of Connecticut residents to reduce their risk factors for developing diabetes and heart disease and improve their health. In 2019, he was awarded a Hometown Hero recognition.

When and why did you join the NASE?
I joined the National Association for the Self-Employed in 2020 in hopes to grow my network and improve business skills.

What inspired you to enter the field you are in?
Our vision is to make prevention of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and COVID-19 complications accessible to everyone at increased risk for these conditions, regardless of income, gender, age, race, or ethnicity. Excellent Health LLC fulfills this vision by eliminating financial and logistical barriers that prevent minority and low socioeconomic status populations from accessing preventative evidence-based intervention.

When and why did you start your business?
Founded in January 2020, Excellent Health LLC is a minority-owned organization with a mission to delay or prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and COVID-19 complications by providing a CDC-recognized evidence-based lifestyle change program with a focus on under-served communities and addressing the social determinants of health.

How do you market your business?
The main ways I market my business is press coverage and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

What challenges have you faced in your business?
Like most businesses, getting new customers is always a challenge. I work to overcome this by increasing my advertising budget.

Do you have any employees? 
Yes, I currently have 5 full time employees and 14 contractors.

What’s your schedule like, what’s a typical day for you?
Due to the nature of my work, I have a more traditional schedule where I work Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm.

What’s the best thing about being self-employed?
The best thing about being self-employed is the flexibility, freedom to innovate, and ability to build wealth in ways of my own choosing.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
The best compliment that I have received is when I was told, “I am compassionate and passionate about my business.”

What’s the most important piece of advice you would give to someone starting their own business?
The most important piece of advice I would give is to work hard, network as much as possible, and be patient.

Timing is Everything

Washington, DC is never dull. Just as the Georgia Special Election concluded, with Senator Warnock securing a full six-year term, Sen. Sinema (D-AZ) will change her party affiliation to Independent. While this on paper shouldn’t shake things up from a Democratic majority perspective (i.e. the D’s will still remain in control of the Upper Chamber) it does tie their hands somewhat on their ability to issue subpoenas and clear bills out of committee.

And yet, that isn’t the most interesting thing that has happened in the last week.

The negotiations around an Omnibus appropriations bill seem to be stuck. The dynamics of the Republican House Caucus seemingly are having an outsized impact on the ability for the Senate to come to agreement, and there is increased pressure by a small minority of Republican Senators to punt this to the new Congress. All eyes are on McConnell who, I believe, has a tough decision to make. It would seem to make the most sense for the Senate to cobble together an Omnibus package and move into the new Congress without having to immediately address government spending, on top of a debt ceiling vote. We have had some indications that this is the path the Congress is marching down, but all eyes on the Senate to see what shakes out.

However, McConnell seems to be entertaining a Continuing Resolution, CR, as in some small way to help McCarthy in his Speaker bid. Frankly, a CR into the new Congress seems to be a bad idea and increases fears for a federal government shutdown.

Right now, the Congress will have to act on a short-term CR as the current federal spending bill ends on Dec 16, we believe based on recent intel, there is an agreement for a one-week CR through December 22, with the goal of a full Omnibus clearing Congress before the end of the calendar year.

The one thing I know we all can agree on is a CR for an entire year would be a disaster as it freezes funding levels at the FY 22 levels.

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