Getting Personal

Written by Elisabeth Galperin on . Posted in Planning, Productivity

Personal Time Policies

What associations do you have with the words “policies” and “procedures”?  Long lists of rules employees are required to follow?  Pages of legal-speak that large companies produce but which are never read by customers/clients?  Dreaded documents that entrepreneurs are supposed to create during the start-up phase of business?

Harold Taylor & David Allen are two very well-respected experts in the field of time management and productivity.  These experts often speak of a different kind of policy, which many of you have probably never considered as part of your successful business plan: personal time policies.   The concept of personal time policies is that each individual should have their own policies that help guide daily decision-making and use of time.  Any productivity consultant will tell you this is a brilliant idea yet is one that very few business owners implement or even have on their radar.

Think about it; How many times are your actions and decisions driven by what others want, need, and prefer rather than what you or your business want & need?    Sure, you want to be helpful to others, especially your clients and customers, and at times you need to be accommodating, but too often business owners become out of touch and lose sight of their own goals and agendas.

Setting policies for yourself, both in business and in your personal life and relationships, provides consistency and helps you stay true to yourself and to your core values.

Not sure how to go about setting personal policies?  Here are some guidelines to get you started…

  • Determine what values & beliefs you need to honor and protect in work and in your personal life.
  • Discuss your policies with family members and/or co-workers; the people these policies will most impact.  This will help others to understand the decisions you make.
  • Remember that these are guidelines and are always evolving.  Take time to review and adjust them at least once a year.
  • Time policies help you maintain balance in your life and help when making difficult decisions regarding how to budget time.  Two great examples of time policies are:
    • For every new activity I take on, I will let go of another of equal value and time commitment.
    • I will respect my own time as much as I respect the time of others.
  • Write your newly-defined policies down and keep them in a location you look daily!  If they remain only as thoughts, they will quickly be forgotten and dishonored.

Once you become clear on your priorities and policies, you will find yourself making decisions with greater ease and using your time more wisely.

So, what are YOUR personal policies?  Share them with the Small Business Success Project tribe!  We can all learn from one another. 

Investing in Oneself

Written by Elisabeth Galperin on . Posted in Personal Development, Productivity, Professional Development


Summer has arrived, and for many this conjures up the image of sand, surf and vacation.  But ask many entrepreneurs and  small business owners about their summer vacation plans , and most will likely tell you they don’t have the TIME or MONEY to take a vacation.  This mindset- one of struggle, lack, and self-sacrifice – is one of the greatest barriers to running a successful business.

It may sound counter-intuitive to spend money on oneself rather than on the business, employees, equipment, etc.  But the reality is, personal development must be part of the business plan.  Investing in oneself is a critical component to building a successful, thriving business.  Business owners and entrepreneurs are notoriously self-sacrificing, known for paying themselves last and for working extraordinary hours to keep their biz going.  This may work for a short while, but success and the life of the business will be cut short if this is becomes the norm.

Investing in oneself goes well beyond taking a vacation every once in a while.  That is an investment in ones’ physical and psychological health; rest and relaxation play a large role in maintaining the energy & enthusiasm a business owner brings to the table.  But investing in oneself also includes professional development-attending training events, reading inspirational business-building books, working with a business coach, consistently participating in a think-tank group.  Remember, working ON the business is just as important as working IN the business.

Fellow Small Business Success Project leader Megan Huber uses a great phrase; “You have to PAY to PLAY.”  Investing in oneself does require time, money, and energy, much of which business owners often feel they have no surplus.  However, the time, money and energy does exist.  It simply take some creativity to find it, some sacrifices to create it, and/or some stepping outside of one’s comfort zone to make it happen.

So, are you willing to PAY to PLAY?    

Take the challenge this week to identify one action you can take or commitment you can make, to invest in yourself.  The return on your investment will likely amaze you!