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  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 7:30 AM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)


    Does the thought of selling make you want to run for the nearest emesis basin? For many nurse entrepreneurs, selling is the most difficult part of running a business. But without selling, you don’t even have a business.
     
    You can actually develop a love of selling, if you have the right mindset and understanding of what it really is.

    Let’s examine what you’re really doing when you sell.

    Listen to Your Prospect as You Would Your Patient

    Sales start with listening.  You listen to what your prospects are telling you about their pain or problem.  Don’t assume they aren’t interested in buying from you. On the contrary, your product may be exactly what they’re searching for!

    In order to be a successful salesperson, you need to be a good listener. You need to understand your prospect and their needs. Nurses are great listeners and communicators, so it stands to reason that they can excel at selling. Think about it: you listen to your patients when they tell you their symptoms, fears, and questions.

    Your prospects are doing the same thing. The only difference is, they’re telling you the problem for which they need a solution, their fears if they’re unable to find a solution, and objections that may prevent them from buying.

    Nurses are acutely aware of the importance of informed consent. And how do healthcare providers assist patients to make informed decisions? Through education. It’s no different with prospects.

    Once you know what solution your prospects are in search of, it’s time to reflect back their needs, fears, and objections, using the same language they use. Educate them about your product or service and how it can provide the solution they seek. Remember to emphasize the benefits, that is, what their life will look like once their problem is solved.

    Make it Personal

    Some consider sales to be just impersonal business transactions where people are simply numbers. It's a numbers game, pitting quantity over quality. The more prospects you pitch, the more cold-hearted sales you make.

    But good salespeople connect personally with their prospects. You start off by making a personal connection. Then, together, you work to find solutions to their problems. Think of it as the nursing process for business.

    Selling is Helping Your Prospect Solve a Problem

    An obstacle to viewing sales in a positive light is when it’s seen as manipulating a prospect. They shudder at the thought of trying to convince someone to buy something they don’t want, and using slimy sales tactics to do it.

    When you offer a product or service that's actually helpful for the prospect, there's no manipulation involved. In fact, you're actually "serving" them as you know you’ve got a solution to their problem or need. And isn’t that what nurses do?

    Use the nursing process to assess your prospect’s needs, make a “diagnosis” based on your findings, decide on the appropriate “interventions,” and evaluate their effectiveness.

    Your diagnosis is based on the need as your prospect expresses it. This part is important! If you misdiagnose their need, your sales messages will miss the mark, as they won’t clearly reflect what your prospect is asking for.

    For example, let's imagine that you're selling coaching sessions to help clients improve their health. You’ll miss the mark if you try convincing a prospect to sign up by emphasizing your skills and credentials. That’s not what they’re searching for. Instead, speak to their desires and their picture of success.

    Offer a free session where you teach a few crucial things they can apply today to get results. Once they try what you taught them, they'll realize the value of what you offer.

    Your sales “interventions” are the ways in which you communicate your offer, overcome objections, and demonstrate to your prospects how your product or service offers the best solution to their problem.
     
    Remember to follow up with your prospect to get feedback about your offer. Without this vital information, it’s impossible to pinpoint what caused them to either say “yes” to becoming your customer, or “no, I think I’ll look elsewhere.”

    Build Your Self-Confidence

    Could there be something deeper that causes you discomfort at the thought of selling? Perhaps the possibility of rejection is the real cause of your avoidance. There’s no doubt about it: rejection hurts. Intellectually, you know it's not a personal rejection. But it can still be painful when your offer is rejected, despite your best efforts to communicate your product or service’s benefits to prospects.
     
    Be assured that your confidence will grow through these experiences. The more often you face rejection, the more you’ll recognize that it isn’t a rejection of you, but a choice made by your prospect to seek a different solution. You can also gain confidence by knowing your product well, and being able to effectively communicate to prospects how it can benefit them.

    Let me know what you think. Do you have an aversion to selling? Or do you proceed confidently, knowing that your product or service is a great help to your prospects?

  • Monday, April 22, 2019 8:00 AM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)


    While there is a wide variety of online marketing methods from which to choose, there are a few basic online marketing strategies that no business can afford to overlook. These methods allow you to reach your target market and connect with them on a more personal, and even emotional level than with traditional t.v. and print. In this article, you’ll learn the most basic online marketing strategies to employ.


    Social Media Marketing

    Social media is perhaps the cheapest and easiest marketing tool you can leverage. It can be used for market research, to build relationships with your target demographic, and to promote your products and/or services. Popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn offer a wealth of information about the people who search for products and services like your own. The stage is set for you to introduce them to your brand. Some people now buy directly on social media; for those who don’t buy directly, social media still plays a prominent role in brand and product awareness.

    Email Marketing

    Marketing to your email list is the most direct and intimate way to offer helpful content to your subscribers. You definitely want to create a special offer to give visitors in exchange for signing up for your list. Then, you can promote products and services to them via email. Most of the content you send out to your list, however, should be helpful information, and not always promotional. Remember to link to your social media accounts, blog, or website in your emails so that your audience can find more information about your business.

    Content Marketing

    Publishing articles that offer helpful information and advice, or sharing your knowledge in topics related to your expertise can help grow your brand. While there are many offline publishing opportunities, the quickest way to reach a large audience is to publish online (for example, this blog post). You can start your own website or blog if you want to compile all of your content in one place, or find websites or blogsites that publish articles. The point of this strategy is to broaden your content’s reach, thereby grabbing the attention of potential subscribers.

    search engine optimizationSearch Engine Optimization

    Ensure your website is optimized for search to get more leads through the various search engines. Choose strong keywords and use them organically throughout the text of your site. Use a plugin like Yoast to assist you on the backend. Work to make your website as easy as possible to navigate.  Backlinks are also desirable to include, as they help search engines understand what your content topics are related to.


    The basic concept behind marketing is rather simple: find your target audience (or help them find you), so you can ultimately present them with your offer. That might not always happen immediately. Sometimes you’ll need to educate and nurture them. Implementing the basic online marketing strategies discussed here afford you multiple avenues for your marketing efforts. Once you’ve mastered these, there are many others for you to explore. But that we’ll save for another day.

  • Tuesday, March 26, 2019 12:45 PM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)

    There are certain essential skills and habits that can help you work well with others. Fostering these habits can lead to greater business opportunities, increased sales, and a more positive experience for yourself, your team, and your associates. Learning to work well with others is crucial to having a thriving business. Although each of these skills and habits are small on their own, they add up to a larger impact overall.

    Some of the following skills may seem obvious to you, but they’re important to keep in mind – otherwise their mention wouldn’t be required! Although, this isn’t a complete list of the skills and habits you need to succeed, it is a great place to start. Most of these skills you probably utilize in other parts of your life; making them business habits might be your key to success.

    Your Most Powerful Tool

    The simple act of smiling is your most powerful relationship tool. People who smile regularly are often happier and more successful. A smile is the easiest way to enhance interpersonal communication. Smiling can benefit you in any workplace context. It can improve your mood and open others to receiving you message. Smiles can even be recognized over the phone!

    Respect Boundaries

    Whether doing business online or in-person, respect the boundaries of others and set boundaries of your own.

    Try not to share too much of your personal life when you first meet a new business associate – everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to sharing and/or hearing personal information. Of course, these boundaries will differ from person to person and change as your relationship develops. Clear boundaries are key to effective business relationships.

    Silence Your Phone and Just be Present

    Given texts, calls, e-mails, and social media notifications, we’re constantly connected to our phones. Repetitive notifications can be a major distraction. When meeting with someone either online or in-person, turn it off (or at least on silent) and put it away. Quickly reading a text message or checking updates when someone else is speaking is rude and takes your presence out of the room. It also interrupts your own workflow. Instead, check your messages or make quick calls during breaks or lunch.

    Learn to Let Go

    Disputes are inevitable in business relationships, just as in personal ones. When they happen, it can be difficult to repair the relationship and work together effectively again. If the disagreement is resolved, the best thing that you can do is move on; focus on the resolution and the work ahead of you.

    If tension around the dispute remains, find a way to fairly and effectively talk about it. If the other person is still upset after the dispute, do what you can to make things right between the two of you.

    Wait for the Right Moment

    We’ve all been in the middle of a discussion, only to be constantly interrupted. It’s annoying, isn’t it? That’s why it’s important to never become “the interrupter.” You may think of a great idea while someone else is speaking; instead of interrupting, take a breath and relax. Jot down your idea so that you don’t forget it. When you have a chance to speak, share your ideas. Those around you will be more receptive to new ideas when presented at an appropriate time.

    Recognize the Contributions of Others

    Whenever warranted, share credit with your team members. This is a clear way to show not only that you work well with others, but genuinely value their input. Sharing credit builds respect between you and those with whom you work. When you share credit with others, they’ll look forward to working with you on future projects.

    Conversely, failing to give credit where credit is due, could result in you developing a reputation as being selfish or willing to sabotage others in order to succeed. A little humility goes a long way.

    Share What Resources You've Found Helpful

    As a business owner, you run across and use multiple resources throughout the course of your week. If you find them helpful in running your business, it’s likely that others will, as well. Don’t be stingy! Share what you discover, and others will be grateful to you when your recommendations solve their problems.

    These resources may include the following:
    ·        conferences and webinars
    ·        training sessions and courses
    ·        apps and software
    ·        groups and communities

    If you find a resource you think could benefit your team or business associates, don’t hesitate to share it!

    Follow Through

    When planning your schedule, allow enough time to complete projects on time; this includes planning extra time for unexpected mishaps. It’s always better to give yourself more time than you think you need to finish a project, rather than to underestimate and miss a deadline. Divide projects into parts and set specific trigger dates to keep yourself on track. By scheduling ample time and planning ahead, you can avoid disappointing your team, your associates, your clients, or yourself.

    Aim to surpass expectations. One way to do this is to follow up, whenever possible. This accomplishes two things:

    1.     It strengthens business relationships and instills confidence in your work.
    2.     It provides you with important feedback.

    Own Your Mistakes

    Take responsibility for your actions, especially when something goes wrong. No one is perfect; we all make mistakes. Failing to claim ownership of your mistakes gives the impression you aren’t in control. You’re also denying yourself the opportunity to learn and improve.

    You’ll probably notice two things when you claim responsibility. First, others will probably be more willing to help you correct the problem and help you succeed. Second, these same people will trust that you’re an honest person who would never place the blame on someone else.

    Work Collaboratively

    It’s sometimes tempting to think you know the best way to go about a project. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind. This is an especially good practice when you’re a business owner. When working closely on a project, it’s easy to miss alternate solutions. If you regularly disregard different approaches, you might come across as inflexible. When this happens, it is difficult to foster an open, creative workplace.

    By working collaboratively, your passion for the project over your own ego is clear. Because everyone has different strengths and problem-solving processes, collaboration has the potential to preemptively solve issues and develop great ideas much faster.

    Sure, you're the boss, but even solo-preneurs can't escape working with others, whether you're working with co-founders, freelancers, associates, or staff. In the end, it really all comes down to showing respect and walking with integrity.

  • Thursday, February 14, 2019 2:43 PM | Deanna Gillingham

    image of case management nurse at a desk and computer

    Case management is not for everyone. Without the skills and qualities necessary for case management you will detest your job and your clients will suffer. Some skills can be developed such as organizational skills, time management, and computer skills. But many of the qualities that make a good case manager are intrinsic and can not be developed. For example, without the strong, innate desire to advocate for your client you will not see the importance of, or opportunities to, do so. This will result in poor outcomes for your clients and poor job performance on your part.

    Experience

    Case managers need a thorough understanding of how the healthcare system works in practice, not just theory. For this reason, a firm clinical foundation is a must. The consensus is that a minimum of 5 years of experience working in the healthcare industry with much of that in acute care is a necessary background for someone entering the field of case management. Case Management is not an entry level position, but rather an area of expertise that requires the knowledge and skills that are accumulated and mastered over years in the practice setting.

    Excellent communication skills

    Excellent communication is an essential part of case management. Communication is how we conduct our assessments, advocate, negotiate, document, educate, and transition our clients. Without good communication skills a case manager can not be successful. Case managers need to communicate respectfully and effectively with all members of the healthcare team, the client, their family, and other stakeholders.

    It is important for case managers to understand verbal and non-verbal communication, being good listeners who can hear both what is being said and what is not said. Case managers also need to listen with an open mind to understand and practice empathic listening - understanding the other person’s frame of reference (values, beliefs, and feelings).

    Interviewing Skills

    Interviewing skills are the ability to develop a rapport with the client that allows him to feel safe opening up and providing you with the information you need, including sensitive information. It is important that the case manager be able to obtain the information needed during the client interview as this is the foundation for the remainder of the case management process. For this reason, good interview skills are a must.

    Strong computer skills

    Today’s case manager must have strong computer skills. The RN case manager replaces her stethoscope with a computer. The computer is used for client selection, a portion of the assessment, documentation, research, and communication.

    Basic proficiency in the use of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook Mail are necessary to most case management positions. Case managers must also have basic computer skills to build on that will allow them to learn how to use computer software that they will use to send and retrieve faxes and other documentation, determine the length of stay, and document.

    Examples of how CMs use computers:

    • Software that finds clients at high risk that may benefit from case management services

    • Access to the client's medical record

    • Documentation of assessment, intervention, response, communication (everything)

    • Researching diseases not familiar with and community resources

    • Google for information and resources

    Prioritization, Organization, and Time Management Skills

    Case managers are busy people. To get everything done they need excellent prioritization, organization, and time management skills that enable them to work quickly and efficiently. Case managers will have a variety of tasks to perform on a daily basis making it necessary to prioritize those tasks and manage their time wisely. Organizational skills will help them to find the resources they need to do their job quickly.  

    Adaptability/Flexibility

    Things are always changing. It’s good to start the day with a plan, but things will come up and case managers need to be flexible and adaptable to change when this happens.

    Independent worker but knows when to ask for help

    Case managers MUST be able to work independently. They need to know what needs to be done and how to do it. There will always be the occasion where the help of others is needed, and they must be willing to ask for that help, but for the day-to-day work of the case manager you are expected to perform your role without direction.

    Strong problem-solving skills/Critical Thinking skills

    Critical thinking skills include the ability to reason, organize, and analyze information so that problems are understood and solutions are developed. Case managers will often get a large amount of info and need to determine what is relevant. They need to understand the problem, or potential problem, and formulate and implement a plan that will resolve the problem.

    Strong Interpersonal Skills

    Interpersonal skills are the ability to communicate and interact with others. Case managers do not work in a vacuum, they are constantly working with others and need to be the type of person others enjoy working with. You can’t do your job if others are avoiding you because of a lack of interpersonal skills.

    Strong Ethics, Values, Integrity, and Trust

    This is a core part of case management and covered in CMSA’s Standards of Practice. This is a non-negotiable for those entering case management.

    Advocacy

    Case managers must have both the desire and ability to advocate for the needs of the client. This includes conveying the client's desires to the providers, caregivers, and family as well as teaching self-advocacy.


    Compassion

    Compassion refers to both an understanding of another’s pain and more importantly for case managers, the desire to somehow mitigate that pain. It motivates the case manager to want to go out of their way to help the physical, mental, or emotional pains of another. Without compassion the case manager will find themselves dreading going into work each day. They will also not be able to truly meet the needs of their client. Case managers need to have the ability to have compassion for their clients, as well as other stakeholders.

    Personal Development

    Case Managers need to be constantly learning so that they can best serve and educate their clients. Congratulations! By taking this course you are proving that you are committed to your personal development.

    For more information on resources and training for case managers go to CaseManagementInstitute.com

    Or email Support@CaseManagementInstitute.com

  • Monday, February 04, 2019 7:00 AM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)


    Managing your social media marketing can be overwhelming if you don’t have a clear plan. 

    Without it, your presence on social media risks becoming a random collection of messages that bear little resemblance to your brand and fails to speak to your intended audience.

    Developing a social media marketing strategy enables you to reach your audience no matter which platform they follow you on, and ensures that your message is reflective of your brand identity, and by extension, the needs and aspirations of your audience.

    Know Your Audience

    If you don’t have a clear grasp on who your audience is, you might as well be speaking to an empty room. That’s because your message or offer will never grab their attention, either because it’s too vague or it misses the mark entirely. 

    For tips on how to optimize your social media brand page to reach your target audience, see “Building a Strong Social Media Presence” over at the Change of Shift blog.

    In some cases, you may want to market to a sub-audience. Audiences can vary, depending on the marketing campaign you’re running. For instance, if you’re promoting a coaching program, you might only want to market it to those who have purchased your book.

    Identify Your Optimal Social Media Platforms

    Based on the knowledge you have about your audience, your industry, and your competition, you should be able to identify the best social media platforms on which to implement your marketing efforts.

    If your product has visual appeal, you’ll want to be on Instagram. Combine visual appeal and a female audience, then definitely go for Pinterest, too! LinkedIn might be your best choice if you’re marketing a new healthcare innovation. Coaches and consultants can also be successful on LinkedIn. For a more general audience, Facebook is probably your best bet.

    No matter which platform or platforms you choose for your social media marketing, cater to your audience’s needs and highlight the unique way your product or service solves the problems they have.

    Study Your Industry and Get to Know Its Influencers

    Understanding everything you can about your industry is crucial in making any social media marketing strategy work. Be intimately familiar with its trends, challenges, and innovations. If you can’t keep up, you’re sure to be left behind. 

    Identify key influencers in your niche. Why? Well, for several reasons.

    • Learn from them. They’re doing something right. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have the following they have. Study their posts, try to ascertain their marketing strategy, and visit their website. Read comments and reviews from their followers. Subscribe to their mailing list. Find out what makes them so appealing to their followers.
    • Their followers may also be interested in following you. Contribute to their groups or forums. If your content is related or complementary, their followers may take notice and start following you, as well.
    • Affiliate or collaboration potential. Once an influencer becomes familiar with you, the quality of your work, and you’ve had some positive direct exchanges, it might be appropriate to bring up the possibility of collaborating on a project or of being affiliates for each other. You never know, they may even ask first!

    Stay Close to Your Competition

    You know the old saying, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” I’m not suggesting that your competition should be regarded as enemies, but I am advising you to know them well: be familiar with their product and service offerings, study their movements, and observe their follower engagement.

    Never let competition frighten you. In fact, if you think you have no competition, it should make you question whether or not you have a viable product or service. Keeping tabs on your competition can only make you better.

    By observing their posts, you’ll get a heads-up to what works for them and what doesn’t. It also allows you to see the what they’re promoting currently, and what products or services may be in development.

    The social media insights available to you are rich with data to further analyze your competition. Look not only at what they post, but also at your own dashboard, which, if configured properly, gives you a glimpse of your competition’s performance.


    Considering the effectiveness social media has in converting followers into customers, it only makes sense to create a plan for developing your social media marketing strategy. With just a little effort upfront to identify your audience and determine which platforms make the most sense for your brand, you’ll gain a clearer vision for how to broadcast your message.

    Then, understanding your industry and its influencers will keep you on top of trends as they develop, so your marketing can always be fresh and current. What’s more, following and developing relationships with influencers in your space will help to grow your own following and may even result in cross-promotional opportunities.

    Finally, keep a watchful eye on your competition. There’s no need to spend an excessive amount of time doing this, but just being aware of what your competition is up to and how their followers are responding. In the end, it can help when evaluating your own social media marketing strategy.

    For training and resources on developing your social media marketing strategy, be sure to check out the “Social Media Marketing Simplified” course at our business school, the Nursing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy.



  • Monday, January 07, 2019 7:00 AM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)


    Few things will put a business on the long, slow path toward death than the inability to get things done on a consistent basis.

    Apart from procrastination, (you can read tips for beating procrastination here), failure to implement productivity strategies will inevitably lead to overwhelm and burn out in even the best-intentioned nurse entrepreneur.

    Knowing you would never want that to happen to your business, I’ve compiled 10 Best Practices to Maximize Your Productivity. Choose, today, to implement these as a gift to yourself, your business, and your clients. Doing so will give you a one-up in scaling your business and greatly contributing toward your future success.

    Create Your Pre-Work Rituals

    One way to harness your focus is to create a pre-work ritual. This is a simple ritual that gets you into the right state of mind. It could be something like meditation, a morning walk, or listening to music.

    I actually love pre-work rituals, and have had my own ritual for many years. What is it? My morning cup of coffee. But before you scoff at that, let me explain.


    I love my morning cup of Joe. (In reality, two.) It helps me to ease into my day while I enjoy it, sitting in one of my favorite rooms in the house: typically the one with the brightest natural light. It’s during this blissful time, when the house is quiet and the garden is right outside my window, that my mind wanders to the things with which I’ve been blessed. The little things that really aren’t so little: a ladybug on the shrub just outside my window, the fact that I’ve never been wont for food or a home, the memory of my daughter’s sweet smile.

    By cup #2, I start to review in my mind, the events of the last day, and mentally prepare for today’s tasks. This is the time when I review my priorities and make any adjustment needed. Now I’m ready to get on with my day.

    Establish a Morning Routine

    What is the first thing you do each work day, as soon as you hit your office? Does it help or hurt your productivity? Create a morning routine that makes you feel fresh and eager to start the day.

    Only you can decide what that routine will look like. Will you start by reviewing your priorities for the day, reading and responding to emails, making phone calls, or communicating with your team? The point is to choose those actions which will set the stage for continued productivity throughout the day. You don’t want to start with any activity that sucks you into a black hole.

    A lesson I learned years ago is to not let the priorities of others become your own. Other people will always want you to respond to them in some way, but ask yourself whether doing so will advance you toward accomplishing your goals. If not, set it aside for a more convenient time.

    De-Clutter Your Work Space

    De-clutter your work space, your mind, and your list of things to-do. Remove distractions and things that waste your time, and you'll find yourself being much more productive. 

    Who can think clearly with piles of papers, office supplies, and snack wrappers strewn across their desk? No one, that’s who.

    Devise a file system that enables papers to be put out of sight, but not out of mind. I keep a file drawer with sections for each day of the week, containing a folder for this week and next. Any paper item related to tasks falling on that particular day get filed there. At the start of each day I pull out the corresponding file for the needed papers. That way, only my paper calendar (yes, I use one of those!) and the files needed for that day are sitting on my desk.

    Keep only your daily go-to items on your desk. For example, your laptop, physical calendar, if you keep one, a pen, and the day’s file. Everything else can go in desk drawers.

    Eliminate or Mitigate Distractions

    Identify the things that distract you and hurt your productivity most. These are your main enemies! Develop special strategies to eliminate and/or control them.

    For most, the biggest distractions are their phones and social media. Turn notifications off on your phone. That way, you won’t bombarded by emails, text messages, and updates every time your favorite You Tubers upload a new video.

    Use an app that limits your social media time and notifications. You’re able to set up the parameters yourself, making it easy to set the least disrupting times of day to check these time-sucks.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander so what you block on your phone, do the same for your laptop.

    Prioritize Your List

    Spend some time each day creating a list of things to do that's prioritized from most important to least.

    Never confuse importance with urgency. Not all important tasks are urgent. Likewise, not all urgent tasks are important. Try never to allow a task to become urgent, and ditch or delegate the ones that aren’t that important.

    Be mindful of smaller, building-block tasks that need to be completed before the larger task, upon which the smaller is dependent. Are you one who needs to schedule every detailed task, or can you see the smaller to-dos within the larger task?

    Set realistic deadlines for task list items over which you have control. Trying to do more than is humanly possible only leads to more stress. Give yourself permission to lower the priority of some items. After all, not every item on your list can be tagged with an exclamation point!

    Give Each Task Your Full Attention

    As you perform a task, give it your full attention. If you find yourself too distracted or burnt-out to continue, take a break and come back to the task when you can give it the attention it deserves. 

    One way to commit yourself to clear focus is to consider those who are trusting you to produce your best work. Too often, we see tasks as little annoyances that over-burden us, but if we can see their place in the big picture of how they contribute to delivering our product or service to our clients, it’s easier to appreciate their significance.

    Also consider how failure to produce your best work reflects on your business. If you’re not fully attentive, your product won’t reflect your stated values, and the quality of your customer service will slide. The surest way to produce a high quality product or service is to drive with a full tank, so to speak.

    Work with, Not Against Your Natural Rhythms

    We each have our own natural rhythms. Discover your best times of day to focus. Get in touch with yours and use them to your advantage.

    Some people are natural born early risers. They get up at the crack of dawn before the “early bird.” If this is you, and it’s your most productive time, you could have half your to-do list checked off before the rest of the house wakes up! Just make sure your morning routine means working on your business. Otherwise, you may have a cleaned-out garage, instead of the work that’s on your desk.

    If your most productive times don’t come until the afternoon or evening, perhaps the earlier time of day is better spent checking emails and social media. It might even be better spent on household tasks- those that don’t require much mental energy. Perhaps the earlier part of the day is also your time to work out.

    Whenever your most productive times roll around, just go with it. Fighting your natural rhythm will only leave tasks unaccomplished and breed feelings of failure.

    Track Your Time

    Assess how your time is spent each day. Keep a work log or journal for a week or two. Looking back over it may surprise you how you're actually spending your time.

    Make any adjustments needed based on your findings. Do you spend more time reading other people’s stuff (OPS) than working on your own? Dedicate a certain time of your day or week to look at the content of others that sparks your interest. It just doesn’t have to be during your most productive hours.

    Does your phone constantly ping with pithy social media notifications? Try what I’ve done: I don’t have social media apps on my phone. That way, I only look at social media once or twice a day from my laptop. I’m rewarded with a much more peaceful day- one in which the constant noise doesn’t follow me everywhere I go. I get a lot more done, too.

    Mind Your Health

    Stay in the best physical health possible because it affects your mindset. Get some exercise, eat and sleep well, and develop some strategies for handling stress. 

    You’re a nurse. You know this is important. But then, again, we’re nurses. And we’re known to neglect ourselves in favor of tending to others… an admirable quality of self-sacrifice, to be sure. But we’re not talking about lavish, self-indulgent, self-absorbed practice here. Just pay attention to those facets of human existence that keep us healthy and happy.

    To read more about the issue of burnout, the consequence of failing to meet your basic needs, read this article written by one of our members, Karrie Brazaski.

    Delegate as Needed

    You're not alone! Get help when you need it and take some of the unnecessary items off your to-do list.

    It’s really quite liberating to unload some of the burden you carry around on your nurse entrepreneur shoulders! To do that, start by automating as much of your business tasks as possible. Examples include email, social media posts, appointment scheduling, and anything can be streamlined through the use of integrations.

    Then, outsource your most mundane, repetitive, or “non-productive” tasks to a virtual assistant. Your time should be spent on the things that only you can, or should do. Doing anything else is not the most productive use of your time.

    Finally, review your to-do list for any tasks that aren’t really vital. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by everything you “have to do,” toss some of them! There now, don’t you feel better?!


    Maximizing your productivity in business really isn’t much different than doing the same when working at the bedside or other healthcare services. You learn to be productive out of necessity. Think about how, as a bedside nurse, you have to quickly prioritize your shift and jump into patient care.

    Take what you learned in clinical practice and apply it to your business. Remember: you’re just as important as your patients. Now that you’re in business for yourself, people are still relying on you to deliver your service. Use these practices to ensure you’re able to do so for years to come.

    For more productivity tips, strategies, and resources check out The RNiie Network’s Business Clinic, “The Nurse Consultant’s Handbook for Maximizing Productivity,” available at the Nursing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy.

  • Monday, December 17, 2018 7:00 AM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)


    Procrastination is something we all find ourselves doing. It can quickly become a habit, though, and cause nurse entrepreneurs to let their dreams sail by.

    Procrastination will derail your business success faster than a missed business meeting, a hacked website, or a social media blunder. In habit form, it will sabotage even the best business plan. Successful people have learned to circumvent procrastination by implementing a few good strategies.

    1.    Ditch Perfectionism

    Perfectionists will put things off out of fear, until they’re certain they can produce exceptional results. But in reality, they just reduce their efficiency by analysis paralysis. 

    It’s important to realize that getting the job done is more important than doing it perfectly. No one’s perfect, and no one expects you to be perfect. Instead, focus on meeting the deadline, not letting down team members, and providing what is needed.

    If perfectionism is at the heart of your procrastination, give yourself permission to let go a little and get it done.

    2.    Consider The Impact Your Procrastination Has on Others

    Sometimes we’re so busy agonizing over a task, we don’t stop to consider how failing to complete it will affect others. By procrastinating, we could be causing a ripple effect that forces  team members to miss deadlines or pull up the slack. It may also damage personal relationships if plans with loved ones suffer at the expense of trying to complete a task that had been put off until the last minute.

    Seeing the effect our procrastination has on others may be just what’s needed to end the cycle.

    3.    Add Only Your Highest Priority Items to Your To-Do List

    Do you over-estimate what you can get done in a day? If so, keep your to-do list small, with no more than your top three priorities.

    Leaving just ONE task on your to-do list is ok, and in fact, may work even better than having two or three. If you do this every day, your mind will start cueing you to regard that one task as absolutely crucial. Not only will it get done, you’ll probably also find the time to complete a few more.

    4.    Remove Non-Essential Tasks From Your To-Do List

    Over-filling your to-do list can easily lead to exhaustion and overwhelm. And when we feel like there’s way too much to do, we tend to respond by doing nothing at all! Remove non-essential or less critical tasks from your to-do list.

    You may be surprised at how lifting that burden from your shoulders can give you the energy to move forward again. Lose the ball and chain and get more done.

    5.    Connect With The Positive Results of Completing the Task 

    People sometimes procrastinate because they fail to see the connection between the task they’re facing and the goal they’re working toward. Re-connect with why you need to complete the task, what the possible rewards or payoffs will be, and what its effect will be on your finances, relationships, and self-respect. When you re-connect with your “why,” it becomes much easier to stop putting things off that lead you toward your goal.

    Procrastination is no friend to nurse entrepreneurs. It’s not a habit of success. Resolve now, that procrastination will not stand in the way of realizing your dreams. Discover why it’s been a problem in the past, throw away guilt or excuses, and start moving forward today!

    For additional assistance beating the procrastination bug, check out our course, "7 Ways to Break the Bonds of Procrastination and Start Building Your Business."




  • Tuesday, November 20, 2018 2:58 PM | Deleted user


    ‘Are you on LinkedIn?’

    I often ask this question to individuals that I speak with in person or connect with over email for the first time. Instead of asking for their business card, I refer them to connect with me on LinkedIn. If you are reading this, I will encourage you to connect with me as well. I also encourage you to consider building your brand through LinkedIn.

    I joined LinkedIn in 2007 when I first learned about the platform during one of my MBA courses at Northeastern University. Yet, I did not begin actively using LinkedIn until three years ago in 2015. During these last few years, I’ve grown my personal connection base from under 500 connections to over 14,000. Beyond the numbers, the strategy I’ve developed and executed for LinkedIn has brought forth significant business opportunities. These opportunities include (but are not limited to) international and national speaking opportunities, requests for publications, new clients, and most importantly an opportunity to share my perspective to build a sustainable brand.

    To build a sustainable brand on LinkedIn, there are five core categories to consider. In this post, I will share the five categories to consider in an effort to use LinkedIn for your professional and business goals.

    1.     Your Profile

    Step 1 is to start at the beginning with your profile. If you do not have a LinkedIn account, now is the time to start. Think of your profile as your online resume. Put your best foot forward and let people know what you have to offer the world in your area of expertise. Below is a screen shot of my profile. You can use this as a guide to get started on yours.


    2.     Your Strategy

    Once you have your profile set up, the next step is to formulate a strategy. Your strategy is how you will approach using LinkedIn to build your brand. Some questions to consider are:

    • ·      What is your sphere of influence?
    • ·      Who is your target audience?
    • ·      Where is your audience located?
    • ·      What is your area of expertise?
    • ·      How do you want to approach your audience?

    Consider answering each of these questions before moving on to steps three through five.

    3.     Your Network of Connections

    Next, you’ll work to build your network of connections on LinkedIn. With LinkedIn there are connections and followers. Your connections will automatically become followers (unless they decide to unfollow you). You may also gain followers that do not actively connect with you through LinkedIn. The screen below depicts the total number of followers on my account as of 11/18/18. Through the strategy that you developed, you can then work to build your connection base.


    4.     Your Activity

    While building your LinkedIn connections and followers, you’ll also want to leverage your established strategy for how you engage and contribute on LinkedIn. Your engagement and contributions will help you build your relationships with your LinkedIn connections.

    Below is a screen shot of one of my recent posts on November 10th, 2018. In eight days, the post has over 3500 views with 6 comments and 11 likes. The views, comments and likes demonstrate that the post resonated with a large audience.


    5.     Your Voice

    The last category of importance is your voice. This is the most important of all categories as it is what will make you stand out from others on LinkedIn. You are the only one with your voice. Knowing your voice means knowing what you want to share with others. For me, there are a few areas where I tend to focus my activity efforts on LinkedIn. These areas relate to nursing informatics, innovation and entrepreneurship. While there are other personal interests of mine, I keep my voice related to these areas to remain consistent for my audience of connections and followers.

     

    This article should offer you some initial insights as to how you can approach LinkedIn to build your professional brand. Through iCare Nursing Solutions we have a comprehensive resource that offers step by step guidance for you to experience the opportunities that LinkedIn can bring you over time. For more information about that program, contact me directly at tiffany.kelley@icarenursingsolutions or contactus@icarenursingsolutions.com.

  • Thursday, November 08, 2018 1:27 PM | Karrie Brazaski


    Starting and running your own business can be very exciting, scary, exhausting, and rewarding, just to name a few emotions.

    Some days you may feel you’re on a roller coaster; you’re not really sure if the ride is enjoyable, but you know you want to go again!

    You probably left clinical nursing or nursing leadership roles because you simply got burned out. You just couldn’t do it anymore. You realized the joy, excitement, and passion was missing. But if you’re not careful, the same things that sucked the joy away can happen again in your business. You’re still at risk of burning out unless you design your business to augment your life, not BE your life!

    I listen to fellow nurse entrepreneurs and hear them stressing over of some technical portion of their business. They complain that it’s taking everything they have to build the business. There’s no doubt it takes dedicated time and effort, but you’re still the human element running the business. Remembering why you left clinical nursing and realizing...

    NO ONE WILL DIE HERE

    can put a smile on your face while keeping you moving forward. But you’re not invincible. You can’t run on empty any more than a car can run without gas in its tank.

    So ask yourself. Are you designing your business around your life and that which you hold most sacred? If you’ve never thought about this, you need to answer that question. The world needs your gifts. You don’t want to end up burning out in this adventure before all those gifts are shared.  

    Self-Care Without Guilt

    One of the best ways to ensure you don’t burn out is actually taking care of yourself. Remember, you are a nurse. You know how to take care of others - now is the time to take care of YOU! It doesn’t have to be elaborate days at the spa, a long vacation or an expensive outing. Those are nice and I strongly encourage them whenever you can. Too many times people think self-care is this grandiose idea when it is simply making time for yourself and doing it without guilt.  Don’t make it so hard! Self-care can be easy, small steps you take each day. Here are five simple ideas: 


    1.    Read a book for fun.Sit down and read a book for enjoyment that has nothing to do with your business. Detach your mind and give it a break.

    2.    Be in nature.Sit or go walk outside in nature. I always love the feel of the sun on my face or the breeze in my hair. It is amazing what a few minutes outside can do to energize you.

    3.    Take back lunch! Sit down and enjoy your lunch without working at the same time. I hated not getting lunch as a clinical nurse. Go ahead and admit it, you resented those departments that never had to miss lunch because of patient care and always got to eat lunch together. You now control the time. Make sure to take time to eat and enjoy your lunch!

    4.    Meditate or create quiet time in your day. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, simply be still. Let your mind relax and wander. You can also use guided meditation or Yoga Nidra if you want someone to walk you through the process. You can do it in as little as 5 minutes. Just be still and this will help you be more productive and less stressed. 

    5.    Set aside a day each week where you are totally disconnected from your business. Give yourself a break from your business. (This is a tough one when you are just starting out). If a full day disconnected is too much then start with ½ a day.  Don’t check email, worry about a missed Facebook post, or plan your next launch; just enjoy your day as it unfolds.  As Christy Hendricks, nurse entrepreneur and founder of RNiie says, “Sundays are my day of rest. I can take a nap if I want to and not feel guilty about it at all.”

    Self-care is not something to feel guilty about! You must rekindle the light within you so you can shine brightly for others to follow. 

    Setting Boundaries

    One of the hardest things for people to do is to set boundaries and nurses in business are no different! You think you can and have to do it all. You feel you don’t want to say no or let someone down. You feel compelled to be married to your business. While you need a healthy love for your business, you didn’t go into business wanting to be married to it. If you work from home this is sometimes an even bigger challenge because you can never leave and always know the office is close by. But you must!

    Try these tips to help set your boundaries:

    1.    Set defined working days and hours for your business. This will allow you, as well as your family, to know and respect your working time. This will also allow you to do #5 above (disconnect) a bit easier. Be realistic with your time and stop stressing about it. Who said you had to work 8 or 10 (or more) hours per day? Do what works for your life.  You’re not punching a time clock; you’re building a business.

    2.    Have a set space for your business in your home. Don’t allow your business to be run in your office, kitchen, living, and bedroom. Define the space so that you easily (or more easily) walk away at the end of the day.

    3.    Establish an end of the day ritual to help you leave behind the stress of the business day. Have a structured few minutes at the end of each workday so that you have a definite end of the day before engaging in your life activities. For more on how to establish that practice read Leave it at the Door! 4 Steps to Leave Work at the Door so You Can Enjoy Your Free Time! 

    Recognize the Symptoms of Stress 

    As stress builds in our business just like it does in our life, we tend to overlook the symptoms. I believe as nurses, we have perfected this ability to see stress in others but not ourselves! 

    If you start to find yourself consumed with work, short-tempered, frustrated or not sleeping well… listen to your body. It is trying to key you into the fact that the stress is building inside. Don’t ignore the symptoms. Doing so may lead your body to become run down. You’ll start catching more colds, feel tired all the time, and just be fatigued overall. Use it as a self-check to see if you need a bit more self-care, or need to set better boundaries.  

    There’s no magic bullet to make you immune to burnout in your business. You can take steps to work your business around your life so that you can “enjoy the journey,” as they say. Stress is our modern day plague; make sure your immunizations are up to date!

    _____________________________

    About Karrie  

    Karrie is passionate about sharing the gifts of stress reduction and relaxation. After 27 years in nursing and 15 years as a hospital CNO and COO, Karrie has witnessed the toll stress takes on individuals and organizations.  Her goal is to help and support clients so no one ever gets to the point of being so frustrated and burned out that they say, “I’m DONE! I can’t do this anymore!” as she did. 

    Karrie is the CEO of Healing Millions® and Co-founder of Nursing Nidra® where they are on a mission to reduce the symptoms of stress, compassion fatigue, and burnout.   Karrie is a Stress Reduction Specialist, Registered Nurse, Certified Yoga Nidra Teacher, and Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach®.  She has successfully healed her own work-related PTSD and anxiety using the same methods she teaches her clients.


  • Monday, November 05, 2018 7:30 AM | Christy Hendricks (Administrator)

      

    Everyone wants their Facebook brand page to been seen by potential followers, but what can you do to increase your odds?

    1. Use keywords in your Facebook brand page description

    Keywords rule the world (or at least search), so don’t forget to include them in your Facebook brand page description. You should include the same keywords you use on your website.

    2.     Choose the most appropriate categories for your brand

    Categories, in addition to keywords and other descriptors, help Facebook understand the genre your brand page belongs to so it can help by suggesting your page to people looking for brands like yours. For example, if someone searches for, or “likes” pages that cater to health and wellness for women over 40, Facebook could suggest your page as one they might also like.

    3.     Add a location if you’re a local brand

    This is vital for local brands and may determine potential customers’ ability to find you. If you have a storefront or serve customers or clients in a particular city, don’t miss this important step in helping them find you. Who knows?-they could be right around the corner!

    4.     Link to your verified website

    Security and verified identity are becoming vitally important in these days of fake news and bogus accounts. Verify that you are who you say you are. Make sure Facebook knows that you really own the website your brand page links to.

    5.     Embed the Facebook brand page widget on your website 

    This WordPress widget that can create a small box in the sidebar of your website, showing a live view of your brand page and the number of page likes you have. Your website visitors can click on the widget and be taken straight to your Facebook brand page, where hopefully, they’ll like you there, too!

    6.     Put share buttons on your website pages & posts

    When your website visitors share a blog post or other content from your site to Facebook, their friends and followers will not only be led to your website, but if they like what they see, they’ll also be more inclined to like your brand page, as well.

    7.     Invite friends to “like” your Facebook brand page

    Let’s face it: Mom loves you and so do your friends! Invite them to “like” your new Facebook brand page and to share your posts, at least until you’re up and running on your own. They’re bound to have friends who would be interested in what your brand offers. Come on- how could they say “no” to you?

    8.     Share your brand posts to your personal profile, too

    It’s worth a shot: the friends who didn’t respond to your invitation to “like” your brand page might at least show you some love by sharing a post or two. After all, sharing is caring.

    9.     Post videos produced by your brand

    Do you have a YouTube channel for your brand? Whenever you upload a new video, you should also be sharing it on your Facebook brand page. Better, yet- upload your video straight to Facebook, since Facebook will give greater exposure to video that is native on its platform.

    Facebook loves video because people love video. People also share video more than simple posts. This is also a good strategy to use for widening your reach. People who subscribe to your channel on YouTube will be more likely to follow you on Facebook, too.

    10. Create events on Facebook and other event sites 

    Create an event for anything you can come up with. No, really. Will you be doing a Facebook live? Create an event. Are you holding a workshop? Create an event. Webinar on the horizon? Create an event. When you create an event on Facebook, make sure you do it from your brand page and not your personal profile. You want your brand page to be the host and the event to be public. You can even pay to have your Facebook event boosted. Imagine that.

    In addition to creating a Facebook event for your brand page, consider other event sites like Eventbrite. Not only can you share your Eventbrite event to Facebook, you might also attract followers who never discovered you on Facebook but who saw your event when browsing the Eventbrite platform.

    11. Hold Facebook Live events

    Facebook loves itself and knows that people will stay on their platform longer if they’re engaged in a live video (or any video, for that matter). A couple of times in the first few minutes of your Facebook live, ask those who have joined in to invite others to your Facebook live. They may be discovering your brand page for the first time. Lucky you!

    12. Create a group around your Facebook brand page

    Groups are a wonderful way to gather fans together for a more personal relationship with your brand. In addition, groups are discoverable on their own. That means, someone with absolutely no familiarity with your brand may join your group for what it offers. You might be surprised to find that brand page “likes” originated from your group! 

    13. Consider paid promotion

    Brand pages can certainly grow organically, but sometimes you just need a little push to get going. I wouldn’t invest a lot of money to get page “likes,” but it at least gives you an audience where once there was just Mom. Not to dismiss Mom, but you know what I mean.

    14. Get other brands to “like” your page as their page

    You’re minding your own business and then one day you look at your notifications and see that another Facebook brand page “liked” your page. Could this be love? So what do you naturally do? You visit their page, by golly! And since they “liked” your page, you should at least return the favor, right? 

    Here’s your strategy: look for other brand pages that would share a similar audience or fall within the same genre as your own. “Like” those pages as your Facebook brand page. That’s the caveat. Go to their page, and before getting so excited that you just click “like,” click the three dots below the cover image and select “like as your page.” The pages you own will populate and all you have to do is select the one you want to do the “liking.”  There’s a good chance that the owners of those brand pages will visit yours and return the favor. If they do, your brand page will show up on theirs as “Pages liked by this page,” giving your brand page additional exposure. Viola!

    Well, there you go! 10+ (count them: 14 in all) ways to get your Facebook brand page seen by more people. Let me know if you’ve found one of these ways to be particularly fruitful for your brand.


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