Protecting Your Time While Managing Your Business by NicoleDean


									              Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

                Expert Briefs:
             Nicole Dean Asks Successful
               Marketers the Questions
                 You Wish you Could

                 “How Do You
                  Protect Your
                                  By Nicole Dean

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                             page 1 of 18
                    Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!


                      You MAY sell it, AND give it away.
                   However, this report may NOT be altered in any way!

                  What CAN You Do With This Awesome Report?

                           −        Tweet about it.
                           −        Blog about it.
                           −        Post on Facebook about it.
                           −        Add it to a Membership Site.
                           −        Include it as a surprise bonus with your own products.
                           −        Send it to your list.
© Copyright Nicole Dean

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this report may be reproduced or transmitted in any form whatsoever,
electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any informational storage or retrieval system
without express written, dated and signed permission from the author.

AFFILIATE DISCLAIMER. Theshort,direct,non-legal version is this: Some of the links in this report may be affiliate links
which means that I earn money if you choose to buy from that vendor at some point in the near future. Yes, I am
proud that I feed my family by finding the *best* learning resources on the net and sharing them with you and I am
humbled and thankful that you trust me to do so. I do not choose which products and services to promote based
upon which pay me the most, I choose based upon my decision of which I would recommend to a dear friend. You
will never pay more for an item by clicking through my affiliate link, and, in fact, may pay less since I negotiate special
offers for my readers that are not available elsewhere.


The information presented herein represents the view of the author as of the date of publication. Because of the rate
with which conditions change, the author reserves the right to alter and update his opinion based on the new
conditions. The report is for informational purposes only. While every attempt has been made to verify the
information provided in this report, neither the author nor his affiliates/partners assume any responsibility for errors,
inaccuracies or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. If advice concerning legal or related
matters is needed, the services of a fully qualified professional should be sought. This report is not intended for use as
a source of legal or accounting advice. You should be aware of any laws which govern business transactions or other
business practices in your country and state. Any reference to any person or business whether living or dead is purely

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                                       page 2 of 18
               Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

                                  About Nicole:
                                  Nicole Dean is the Mostly-Sane Marketer. (Ask anyone who
                                  knows her and they’ll say that the “mostly” part is up for debate!)

                                Nicole loves to help online business owners to earn more money
                                AND have more fun! She is an expert in Affiliate Marketing,
                                Affiliate Management, “Lazy Marketing” for passive profits,
Outsourcing Effectively, and Marketing with Content. But, she’s got a secret. She uses a LOT of

Nicole juggles a lot of things, but she does it all without owning a Blackberry or giving out her cell
phone number. The reason she works from home is to have the freedom when and where she
wishes to work.

She enjoys work very much, but lives to spend time with her much-adored husband, her two silly
children – and also her two slightly neurotic puppies, Eddy (short for Edison) & Einstein.

Resources from Nicole at
Learn the secret shortcut that many niche marketers use to stop working so darned hard
Quality PLR Articles & Reports

Find out how Nicole has gotten a waiting list of people who want her to steal their web
traffic: How to Guest Blog

Jimmy D. Brown called her Wonder Woman when she was his Affiliate Manager. Why? She got
more done in a day than he thought she'd accomplish in a month.
Check it out here: How do you have a Business AND a Life at the Same Time

For infoproduct marketers, Clickbank is a hands-free way of selling online. Are you ready to get
your infoproduct out of your computer and into the Internet — where it can start making moolah
for you? Check it out Nicole's course here: How to Sell Your Products on Clickbank

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                       page 3 of 18
                 Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

Welcome to my latest Expert Briefs where I contact successful online
marketers, and ask them to share brief answers to your burning questions.
The question I asked our experts today is:

 “With so many people vying for your attention and so much
                         on your plate,
                how do you protect your time?”
And here are our expert replies on the subject….

The Awesome Shannon Cherry, of The Power Publicist
“Time, time, time, see what’s become of me
While I looked around
For my possibilities
I was so hard to please.”
- Simon & Garfunkel
It’s our most important asset in business and the one we abuse the
most… TIME.
With twin daughters in preschool, a husband, volunteer opportunities, and a growing business,
everyone – and everything – seems to want my time.
To keep things in harmony – and to keep my sanity – here’s what I’ve done:
1) Understand my peak working hours.
I’m a morning person… always have been. By 2 PM I’m in a slump and by 9 PM, it’s hard for me to
do anything remotely thoughtful. So, I schedule my working hours to coincide with the best times
that I do more and make less mistakes.
2) Tame the email and phone demons.
All my email (thanks to a tip from Nicole) now goes to a help desk where someone else either
deals with it or forwards it along to me. In addition, I also have autoresponders in place that tell

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                      page 4 of 18
                 Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

people when to expect a reply to the email (within 24 business hours.) I do not pick up my phone
unless there is a schedule appointment. Everything goes to voicemail, which I check twice a day.
3) Get it on the calendar.
I’ve scheduled basic tasks on my calendar and stick with it. Monday is writing day (blog posts,
emails, sales pages, press releases). Tuesday & Wednesday are phone call days and client follow-
up. Thursdays are planning and writing days. Fridays are my free day. Most of the time, I take it
off, but if I am feeling creative or need to wrap something up, I may use it for some work.
4) Outsource.
Even though I touched on this in the last expert brief, once you outsource, you free up time to do
other tasks.
5) Systems.
For everything we do in my business, we create systems (mostly checklists) of how it’s needs to be
done. That way, fewer time-consuming mistakes are made AND I can outsource it to someone else
to do it the way I want.
It’s key for any business owner to learn these simple, yet effective, ways to make more time, out
of less. Try one of these tips; I promise you, you’ll see you have more time on your hands!

The Amazing Lynn Terry of Clicknewz! says:
What a great question! If you’re not careful your business will run you,
instead of you running it.
When you start a business, or even a project, it starts out FUN. You
come up with the idea, you map out the strategy, you have the vision.
You OWN it. But somewhere along the way the tasks become
overwhelming, maybe even demanding, or at the very least… no longer
fun. And all of a sudden IT owns YOU.
I’ve been through this myself and there are three things I’ve learned
the hard way:
1. Be Prepared

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                   page 5 of 18
                 Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

You start a business expecting it to grow and be successful. Right? Ironically, very few people
structure their business for that growth. Growing pains can be incredibly stressful, and even fatal
(for your business).
The key is scalability. If you have to break your business structure in order for it to grow, every
time it grows, its ultimately going to break you.
Consider every task as one you may eventually outsource. Create it to be easily outsourced. DO
NOT be the only person that can perform each of the tasks it takes for your business to run
smoothly. Even if you run a solo-operation and don’t feel like you’ll be hiring or outsourcing
anytime soon.
Being set up for business growth from the start will protect your time and sanity as your business
2. Use Stock Answers
As you answer emails and phone calls, you’ll notice recurring questions or topics. Take note of
these. Use common questions to revise your marketing message and/or your business model if
necessary. Also document common questions and use those to create an FAQ page for your
website. For every person that takes the time to ask, there are many more that don’t bother – and
just leave.
Your swipe file and FAQ will make outsourcing communications much easier in the future. It will
serve as training material for new hires, and also take less of your time to copy & paste than to
personally reply.
AND it will make saying “no” a lot less personal. The options and opportunities can get
overwhelming as your business grows. Saying “yes” to anything and everything is a surefire way to
lose sight of your goal, and lose control of your business – and your time. Have a swipe file of stock
answers. Then it’s not personal. It’s policy.
3. Go Mobile
There is a right way and a wrong way to “go mobile”. Done wrong, your business will consume you
24 hours a day. Burn a hole in your pocket so to speak. Done right, going mobile will give you
greater freedom and flexibility.
If you structured your business to be scalable (#1) and created swipe files (#2) you can easily
manage your business on the go. Gmail and Google Calendar allow you to stay organized and in

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                      page 6 of 18
               Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

touch – and seamlessly synced across every device, or even team member. You can use Evernote
to store your swipe files, and easily access them from anywhere.
I work across Mac and PC, from mobile device to master workstation. Nothing is proprietary and
anything can be outsourced.
That doesn’t mean you should work everywhere, or all the time. It means you spend less time
trying to locate or transfer files & programs. Less time typing the same responses over and over.
Less time stuck inside in your office. And you become more productive by getting things done even
when you can’t be in your office. Not during family time, but in otherwise wasted time.
Example: I wrote these tips from my Android phone while waiting for a doctor appointment. That
means I have less to do when I DO get to my desk, and don’t have to call the morning a loss. But
last night when I was out for dinner & a movie with my handsome fellow?? My ringer (and all biz
notifications) was put into silent mode…
I hope this helps you avoid the chaos and frustration so many people experience with their
Remember: it’s your business, and your time. You either have control of it, or it controls you.

The Marvelous Melissa Ingold of Internet Marketing Sweetie says:
Outsourcing and planning. As your business grows, you get more customers, more
subscribers, more attention, etc. So it makes sense that more and more people are
clamoring for your attention.
Now you can either do it all yourself and crash and burn in the process, or you can
outsource and plan.
Through the use of a ticket desk, my assistant handles all customer service, and there’s a lot. She
spends at least 12 to 15 hours per month doing nothing except helping my customers. I also
turned over all work-related email accounts to her too, so that my time isn’t sucked up answering
It’s not that I don’t want to help my customers, I do, but I only have 24 hours in a day. I started my
business because I wanted the freedom to be with my kids and come and go as I please, while still
supporting my family financially. So outsourcing has become essential to protecting my time.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                     page 7 of 18
                 Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

And when I talk about planning as a way to protect my time, I mean that I know exactly what has
to be done during my work time on any given day. I plan promotions, projects, emails, etc., so I’m
not wasting time.
As to how planning relates to people vying for my attention, I’m very picky about what I choose to
do. That includes JV’s, interviews, promos, and so on. If I were to do everything that came along,
my business would be a mess, simply because it doesn’t all fit. I have a plan for everything.
If someone requests an interview, I want to make sure that it’s going to benefit them and my
business. Will it fit into a product, can I create a new product around it, is the interview relevant to
share with my readers or will they get nothing out of it, does that promo fit with what I have going
on…You see?
So I have to plan in order to protect my time from being wasted. My time is valuable because it
belongs to my family first. If I squander that time, I can never get it back.
On a final note, there will be people who’ll complain that they can’t deal with you directly, and
that’s okay. You have to remember that’s it’s YOUR business and you can run it however you want.
If they don’t like that, well, then that’s their loss.

And, here’s my 2 cents. I wrote this before reading the others just to make sure I wouldn’t let their
ideas sway mine.

Nicole Dean of .. here! .. says:
I’m having issues with my kids this summer. It seems that I’m only
able to work in short spurts before sibling rivalry rears its ugly head
and one of them ends up crying in my office. ((sigh))
Yes, I’ve got all kinds of processes in place to help summer go
smoothly (which I can write about another day) – but I’m limited in
how much I’m able to work right now.
So, when I DO get on the computer – I obviously can’t have 5000 emails and 800 voicemails
waiting for me, or I’d curl up and cry.
I simply have to protect my time. I’ve referred to myself as a “time snob” on a number of
occasions. I view time as my most precious resource, so I obviously can’t waste it or even give it
freely without consideration. Any time I give unnecessarily is time away from my husband and my

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                       page 8 of 18
                  Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

kids. It’s time that I can’t spend with my mom or my friends. It’s time taken away from taking care
of my SELF (you know, little things like hygiene and exercise). It’s time taken away from my life.
I’ll share some of my biggest tips for protecting my time right now. I know they may sound
extreme, but you’ll, hopefully, also see how I get so much done in my business.
1. Stop Trying to Make Everyone Happy.
First of all, as terrible as this sounds, I had to stop caring so much. A year or two ago, I would feel
obligated to respond to every email, no matter who sent it or what was asked. As much as I would
love to be able to still do that – it’s just not possible.
So, if you send me a question (that isn’t customer related) or a JV request and it involves more
than 5 seconds of effort on my part – unless I know you personally, it’s probably going to be sent
to archives. Of course this doesn’t apply to customers. Those emails are efficiently handled by my
support team.
2. Block Unknown Calls.
The phone service that we use for our main line at home (and is SUPER CHEAP) has a cool feature.
It blocks all “Unknown” or “1-800″ calls if you so choose. Well, we choose. So, now I don’t have to
worry about a telemarketer stealing time from me while I’m trying to work.
3. Prepare Emails in Advance.
I get a lot of the same questions into my help desk.
Rather than having my help desk gals write a new response each and every time (or ask me to),
we’ve got prewritten answers that are ready to send. It makes their lives easier – and mine, too.
4. Say “No” to Social Media.
While Social Media is GREAT, it’s unfortunately another way for people to bypass your help desk
and get directly to you. Plus, it just compounds your email issues and makes life crazier.
Focus your social media on the few sites that give you the most benefits, and let the rest drop.
For me, that’s:
    • – Nicole Dean on Twitter
    • – Nicole Dean on Facebook
    • – Nicole Dean on YouTube

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                      page 9 of 18
                 Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

I ignore everything else on the social media front at this point. And, even with those three sites, I
have most email notifications turned off. So, when someone sends me a message on any of those
sites, I don’t get an email that throws me into “workus interruptus”. Instead, once a week or so I
log in and check my DMs in Twitter and Facebook on MY time – usually with a beer in the
5. Know Where the Money Is.
It’s hard to prioritize what is worth your time unless you know where your money is coming from.
That’s where having good tracking and knowing your numbers is key.
Otherwise, how do you decide which JV requests to respond to, which interviews to accept, which
projects to outsource? You can’t. So, keep tabs on your business profits so you can make those
decisions wisely.
6. Be VERY Aware of Interruption-Based Activities.
I know I’ve mentioned this already, but it’s so important that it needs it’s own section.
Anything that interrupts your work time, immediately becomes more important than whatever it
is that you’re working on.
For instance -
If you have a screen pop up when you get a new email, then whoever sent that email just took top
priority in your mind – and threw off your train of thought.
When you get a phone call, that person suddenly trumped whatever it was that you were working
on (whether the call was important or not) – and, again, threw off your train of thought.
Because of this, I turned off Gchat (which is Google Chat) several months ago, simply because
anyone who’s ever emailed me at any point that I’ve had my Gmail account was given the power
(by Google) to GChat with me, therefore interrupting my work, whenever they felt like it. Now
that’s not to say that many of those interruptions weren’t beneficial (or helpful) to my business or
fun, BUT I wasn’t in control of how my day went anymore. I wasn’t in control of what was most
important in my business at that time. Yes, I can choose to ignore interruptions, but studies have
shown that any interruption throws of your productivity because it takes time to get your brain
back to where it was before the interruption – and by that time, there may be another
interruption – restarting the process. It’s a wonder we get anything done!

    • So, Skype is normally turned off.
© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                    page 10 of 18
                Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

    • GChat went bye-bye.
    • My phones go unanswered.
    • And I have my Yahoo Instant Messenger set to “offline” pretty much all the time.
I do this business because it’s fun, but more importantly, it feeds my family and is our only source
of income. So, I can’t let others dictate how my time will be spent – especially on the days where I
only want to work for an hour or two – which is most days during the summer.
I hope I don’t sound too harsh in this post. I just know that many of my coaching clients allow the
interruption-based mentality to totally sidetrack their progress.

How Can You Learn More about Time Management?
I could go on all day on this topic. In fact, I’ve been considering putting together some training on
the topic.
Let me know if you’re interested. If so, I may be able to talk some of the smart marketers on this
page into spilling more of their tips, too.

Here are the responses from my readers on this post:

Responses to “How do you Protect your Time?”

    1.            The Mom
         Twitter: PattiWinker
         Whew! That was a well put tirade. Okay, not such a tirade as I’ve heard personally… Nicole
         did reign in her angst a bit here for her dear public.
         Speaking personally, and just so you don’t think she’s avoiding Y-O-U… Nicole will snap
         when her dear family, including her dear mother, takes a chunk out of her day without her

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                    page 11 of 18
                  Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

         permission. And, I don’t blame her. I’ve SEEN Nicole’s crazy life in real time and it’s not
         purty sometimes.
         I know for a fact that Nicole actually does all the things she mentioned here. Can I get her
         on IM? No. Will she answer her phone when I call? Not always. Does she read or answer
         my emails? Not unless it’s urgent, which it never is, so, no. I, The Mom, am also on Nicole’s
         “back burner.”
         So, if you feel like Nicole’s been ignoring your requests, welcome to the club. It’s not a very
         exclusive club – it includes everyone… even her mother. All I can do is laugh.

         Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
         You’re soooo not on my back burner. I spend at least an hour a day with you.
         You just love me and want me all the time. (Who can blame you? I’m fun!) lol.
         And, I don’t answer the phone when call waiting beeps no matter who it is – but I DO
         normally call you back later.
         Love you bunches, mom. Now get over here so we can spend some time together.

                Lain Ehmann
                Twitter: Reply:
                You guys are so cute!
                Diana Walker
                Twitter: DianaWalker Reply:
                That was funny – I agree with Lain – “you guys are so cute!” Diana

    2.            Loretta
         Twitter: retta719

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                       page 12 of 18
               Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

       This is so full of powerful ideas I can’t even begin to thank all of you. First thing on my list to
       implement is get that service to BLOCK all those unknown and 800 numbers calling me all
       the time – that is awesome!

              Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
              Plus, caller ID is a God-send.
              Now, I can see whose calls I missed while I was working and then connect with them
              when I’m done – even if they don’t leave a message.
    3. Devin
       Twitter: devindabney
       Great information as usual. This is probably my hardest area to deal with. I’m going to
       immediately implement some of these strategies to make better use of my time. Thanks a

              Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
              That’s it exactly. It’s about making better use of your time – being more productive
              and being in control of how your work day goes.
              Then, after your “to do” list is done – have fun and play! Whatever that is – hang
              out in forums, play on twitter, call friends, connect with loved ones, throw the ball
              for your puppy, go jogging, etc.
              The important thing is that you actually get to complete your work in a timely
              fashion and don’t find 3 years has passed without accomplishing your goals. (In
              general, not you specifically, of course.)
    4. Susan @ New Niche Finder
       Thanks! I just can’t hear this enough. Know enough to do it all but it’s so easy to slip back
       into bad habits.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                       page 13 of 18
                   Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

         The worst distraction for me is computer stuff like browsers stalling. Having to stop and
         restart is a huge waste of time.
         Tied for first place are tracking down passwords. Though I have them all saved and most
         often they are remembered and loaded automatically, often enough there are sites that
         don’t save or in Google’s case where I have multiple accounts…and how I hate having to
         sign out of one to access another.
         I can manage the people distractions just fine. Even the phone is manageable, but
         computer stuff either through design or by chance, is the worst distraction of all and eats
         up a ridicules amount of time.

                 Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
                 I agree, Susan. That kind of thing drives me bonkers.
                 Regarding passwords, have you seen my video about that?
                 I used to struggle with it, but found a solution. You might like it.

    5.              Carl Coddington
         Twitter: carl_coddington
         Hi, I just found this blog through Lynn Terry’s Twitter
         I guess it’s a little unfortunate that this is the first post I read from you.
         I kind of feel that you don’t want to know people unless they buy from you….
         But I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way.
         I can’t wait to look through your other posts.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                         page 14 of 18
                 Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

                Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
                Hi Carl.
                Yes, I understand that’s how it could sound, but it’s actually quite different.
                The problem is that I do care too much. And, without having systems in place for
                when I’m working, I can let a month go by tending to everyone else, and not getting
                my business tasks completed.
                And, because of that, I’ve jumped through hoops for other people at the expense of
                my business (and at the expense of time with my family). Does that make more
                I do read all comments on my blog – so you can always connect with me here.
                Thanks for stopping by. Any friend of Lynn’s is a friend of mine.

    6.             Lisa Marie Mary
         Twitter: lisamariemary
         There are some awesome tips and advice here! But in the interest of protecting my own
         time, I have to come clean and admit that I only scanned the high points from everyone.
         Posts that really get me between the eyes like this, though, I always come back to later
         when I have more time (or daily work done!) to more fully read.
         Shannon – you totally won me over with the S & G reference!
         I’ve been kicking some email butt lately – it feels GREAT!!!

    7.            Peggy Baron
         Twitter: pegbaron
         Ah, time management. That’s one of my favorite subjects.        And it’s nice to hear how ya’ll
         manage your time.

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                      page 15 of 18
                  Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

         I can certainly relate to the kid interruptions, although mine are older and it’s more of the
         “Mom, let’s go out to lunch!” “Mom, let’s go to a movie!” because mom will pay for it. How
         can I say no to that??

    8. Liz@ name brand shoes for less
       Scheduling your time and planning it out needs to be a conscious effort, in other words you
       must do it every day. I don’t have too much trouble with people vying for my attention but
       I do have a lot of trouble with staying on task and avoiding distractions.
         Thanks so much, everyone had some great tips.

    9.             Alice Seba
         Twitter: aliceseba
         I don’t think you were harsh, Nicole. It’s how business is run. You’re the CEO, Head Cheese,
         etc. for a reason and you have a process of delegation.
         And for unsolicited business proposals or any type of unsolicited correspondence, I think
         it’s pretty normal for a company not to respond to everything. The key is, it’s unsolicited…it
         doesn’t matter if it’s by mail, email or voicemail.
         If you want to do business with someone new, you have to get creative. You need a way to
         get their attention, work with the gatekeeper, get introduced or meet them at an event
         they’ll be attending. It’s pretty standard stuff and if people really want it, they should be
         able to put in the effort.

                 Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
                 Thank you for saying so succinctly what I was trying to put into words.
                 Yes. What she said!

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                     page 16 of 18
               Learn More from Nicole at her blogl! →

              Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
              PS. Did you know that people from Wisconsin are “Cheese Heads” – so your Head
              Cheese comment cracked me up!
    10.         Diana Walker
       Twitter: DianaWalker
       What an amazing post – by 4 amazing ladies! I think this is absolutely in the top 10 best
       posts I’ve ever read…. And also I’m sure I am at a point where I need this expert advice to
       apply immediately! Thank you all so much, and Nicole, for putting this great material on
       your site.

              Twitter: NicoleDean Reply:
              Thank YOU, my friend, for the kind words and for always coming by to brighten my
              Hugs, N
    11.        Lynda Marousek
       Hi Nicole,
       I’ve been feeling lately that a lot of your posts have been speaking to me. This one is by far
       no different. I’ve been debating on calling you, but due to time difference was nervous. I
       for one hate being called during dinner time or family time so I am very considerate of who
       I call when. Now I know that I can call you when it’s good for me and you’ll return the call
       when it’s good for you and no one gets interrupted!!!

       Yes, you may certainly share this document with a friend!
                        Where Can you Learn More from Nicole?

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                   page 17 of 18
                Spread the Love. Share this With a Friend or Post it on your Blog!

        If you'd like to know which tools Nicole uses in her own online
                           business, they are listed here:

© - Nicole Dean, Groovy Slug, LLC                                                page 18 of 18

To top