I was in the car for over two hours yesterday.
Summer has definitely started and so has Mom’s Taxi Service. My son started an amazing day camp out at the beach, but it means 20 minutes of driving to drop him off and another 20 minutes to pick him up. Add on a trip to my daughter gymnastics class on the outskirts of town, and a swing out to target and I was driving for over 2 hours. Although every day of our summer won’t look exactly like this, one thing is for sure; my family is on the go and so my business has to be on the go too.
This is actually easier than you think. I’d like to introduce you to my assistant — my phone.
Phone Assistant Task #1: Teach me about business
The reason I know I was in the car for over two hours yesterday is because that’s about how much I had left of an audiobook I was listening to.
My Audible app for my phone and a handful of business books I’ve downloaded, is the first way my phone acts as my personal assistant.
One of my summer business goals is around the theme of learning. (You can download my free guide to set your own summer themes here.) I downloaded a handful of the business books I’ve been meaning to read and plan to work through them on the summer camp commute or when I take my kids to visit their cousins an hour a way. (I even downloaded a couple of the fiction books everyone has been talking about when I need a little break from business.) For the times you actually want to read words, Kindle offers what’s called Whispersync. Since both Audible and Kindle are owned by Amazon, you can download the audio and the Kindle version of a book and actually switch seamlessly between your audio version and your Kindle version with out losing your place.
Phone Assistant Task #2: Write my blog posts
The next way my phone acts as my personal assistant is by writing my blog post for me.
In fact this entire blog post was written using the Dragon dictation free app on my phone (and my headset) while driving to an appointment. I simply dictate all of my rough ideas for a blog post, capture them on my phone, then email it to myself to edit later. All of those great ideas you have while you’re out on a walk or waiting in the pick up line? You can now get them out of your brain and onto paper without even having to put your coffee down.
Phone Assistant Task #3: Manage My Paperwork
The next part to being an on-the-go entrepreneur this summer is having access to all the pieces of my business no matter where I am. Although I run my entire business from my laptop and a stack of post it notes anyway, I need an even more compact way to take this portable business on the go. Google Drive, Evernote and my phone’s camera allow me to do just that.
Google Drive allows me to have a folder for each of my clients, keep all of their business consulting assignments in one place and share it with them.
And with the Drive app on my phone, I can access my documents everywhere even if I haven’t brought my laptop. I can also share my Drive folders with my team, so they can keep the pieces of my business going even when I’m out. (Yes, as great as my phone assistant is, nothing beats hiring real help too!) As much as I love my technology, I am still a pen-to-paper girl. I usually carry around a large sketchbook in which I keep all of my notes, brainstorms and to-do lists. Research confirms you’re more creative when writing by hand versus a computer, however the notebook method falls short when it comes to finding that great idea I had six months and three notebooks ago, or having to lug all of the notebooks around with me. I also have a huge wall in my office dedicated to my post-it note planning method and obviously a 4 x 4 foot square is not very portable.
Here is where my phone assistant saves the day again. Using the Evernote app I can take a photo of the pages in my notebook, or my entire post it note wall. You can add titles and tags and then file notes accordingly. Evernote even allows your handwriting to be searchable.
Now, the downside of all these accessibility tools means my business is, literally, always at hand, so it is even more important to set clear goals, schedules and boundaries of when I’ll be working and when I’ll be focusing on my family or just taking some down time for myself. There’s certainly nothing wrong with listening to music or your children’s funny stories while you drive (where do they come up with some of that stuff, anyway?) Or flipping through the pages of a trashy magazine while you get a well-deserved pedicure or wait in pick up line. But, I love I’ve chosen a career path where I can take my kids to the zoo on a random Wednesday, check on my clients progress while my kids watch the penguin feeding, then after they have both crashed out in their car seats for the drive home, I can dictate my next blog post or catch up on the latest business best seller.
I know you are busy this summer and your schedule is hectic to say the least. But you can move your business forward this summer, you just have to be realistic, strategic and a little creative. You need to get in, get a great idea and get on with your summer. Introducing:
Your Awesome Business + My Great Ideas + A Realistic Plan = A Stellar Summer Strategy
In one 45 minutes phone call, we can get clarity around a sticking point, solve a problem you’ve been debating, or create actionable plan to move your forward in your business. Your session will include:
- A Quick-Take business worksheet to give me a snapshot of where you are are, what you are working on and where you are stuck.
- A 45-minute consulting call, scheduled at your convenience, where we’ll move fast and get you a solution before the next episode of Dora is over.
- A recording of our call, as well as a bullet-pointed overview of what we discussed. Don’t worry about taking notes if you’re doing this call from the passenger seat of your family road trip, I’ve got you covered.
Make the most of your time this summer set yourself and your business up for the Fall.