planning your business Archives - Sandi Krakowski, Building Brand Equity For Small Businesses

Sometimes You Just Gotta Do The Next Thing

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Sometimes You Just Gotta Do The Next Thing!

Are you stuck today? Feel like the wind got sucked out of your sails?  Life happens, computers crash, projects get ruined on the hard drive and if you're a business owner, you might believe you just aren’t ‘cut out’ to do this sort of thing.

My advise is just get unstuck and do the next thing.

When you’re faced with a life threatening situation you don’t weigh the odds to see whether or not you’d ‘like’ to live, do you? Is there an option? The same holds true for business. Especially when you feel you're called & designed with the purpose of business in your life.

Life was never created to be easy, but it was designed to be lived fully. Entering our 20th year of business, I'll admit that there are days when my brain lacks enough cells to keep up with the tasks. But having a sense of humor, a strong circle of friends and enough skill makes it easier. PLUS…. we have an incredible team here at ARC! And they ALL help with these three key components. Don’t ever try to build a business without these three things.

Let me repeat them:  A sense of humor, strong circle of friends and enough skill.

Champions don’t get stuck and pause for a week. Neither should we.

Life happens …. So what do you do when it happens in over drive? The next thing. You just do the next thing. It's not so much about getting everything done on the To Do list all at once, as it is getting it done & having the list to keep you moving. Far too many people just don't "do" when faced with challenges.

For the new business owner challenges can sometimes seem like a sign of sabotage. To the experienced business owner it's a normal part of life. Businesses have challenges, customers have challenges, the internet has challenges, human beings have challenges. To believe a successful business is one without challenges is a delusion! It’s not the challenges that are the issue…. It’s knowing what to do next.

My advice is to DO the next thing.

When I was a young Mommy and days without sleep were the norm, I remember looking at my To-Do list (because I’ve always had one, charts and the whole 9 yards) and feeling super overwhelmed. Back then my standard was ridiculous- I felt as if I was a failure if everything on my list wasn’t done that day.  As I've grown in age, experience and value in the marketplace I realize that everything is never really done. Success is moving through the list and enjoying every step along the way. :) 

As a budding writer years ago I would struggle to put some thing, any thing, on the page and felt a total loss for words.  Now this might sound shocking to anyone who knows me well but yes, I did lack words and didn’t know what to write about. A secret tip that always worked was to change my environment.

Go somewhere else!

I’d go grocery shopping, run errands, or even go to the coffee shop for a date with my sons who were teens at the time. Maybe I’d clean a room, do a load of laundry, take a walk or do something with my pets. It worked every time… on the way home the ideas would be flowing and I’d get the writing started and finished.

Something to consider is this- was it the change of scenery that caused the words to flow again or was it that I just ‘did the next thing?’

Momentum is what you want in your business and getting momentum in your life will help considerably. You might not always know what the next thing is but the key is to never get stuck, never give in, and never back down.

Remember this saying the next time there’s a challenge- no matter what it is:  “Do The Next Thing”!

With love,

Sandi Krakowski











You Too Can Be Productive!

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business plan - marketing woman

You Too Can Be Productive!

Silvia Pencak

Almost on a daily basis I meet people who ask me, “How do you get so much done? What am I missing?” We all have a desire to get more done in less time so that we can enjoy more time doing what we love.

I wish I had a magic formula that you can say and things will turn around, but instead, I have three tips to help you shift your current perspective and take a step in the right direction. If this sounds right to you, this article will be a wake up call you need in order to get more done. 

Tip #1: Know Yourself

Way too many times people give in to “proven” strategies that only take them away from their unique abilities. We think that if it works for somebody else, it must work for us. Let me burst your bubble. It’s a lie!

We all take action differently. Some of us are driven by beating the clock, creating amazing results on short deadlines, while others need longer deadlines. Where someone needs to have all the information before making a decision and taking a step, others jump into a project and solve problems on the go. Knowing who you are and how you take action is crucial for you to avoid stress and focus your energy well.

Tip #2: Act Before You Think

I find it interesting that when you google “Act before you think”, images, articles and notes that come up advice you to “Think before you act.” Being a rule breaker, this strategy is super appealing to me. I’ve originally learned it from Kathy Kolbe, the brain behind Kolbe Index. My favorite part is that it works.

This is not meant in a foolish way, where you do something stupid. Let me explain.

We all have instinctive energy that helps us resolve the problems or create solutions in line with our natural strenghts and abilities. There is something that needs to happen before you give it another thought. Your instinct will naturally take you there. You either need to collect more information, brainstorm the ideas, put things into context or tinker with materials available. We need to learn how to listen to our instincts and use this energy effectively.

You still need to run your decisions through the reason (THINK part), but that’s the topic for another discussion. As Kathy Kolbe said, “It takes more than knowing your talents to increase your effectiveness. You also have to target your use of them.” In other words, it’s not enough to know how you function the best. You must put it in action. Listen to your instincts, decide to act on your gut feeling and refuse to get distracted by the voices in your head.

Tip #3: Reclaim Your Focus

As a busy entrepreneur, mom and wife, I have a lot on my plate. A look at all the tasks that are screaming for my attention on a daily basis would give a light hearted person a heart attack. Yet, I refuse to get stuck in overwhelm. I evaluate my tasks regularly, sorting them into these areas:

Productivity Time Decisions

Tasks in fields 1 and 3 need to get done now. Tasks in field 1 should be done by you, tasks in field 3 should be delegated to someone else.

In order for the task to move to the NOW area, it has to meet one of the following criteria:

  • Sustainability – it helps you sustain what is. These tasks help you maintain what is. They put bread on your table and gas in your tank. Question this task answers is… Is it necessary to do it now?
  • Growth – it helps you achieve your next goal. These tasks help you up-level what is and take it to the next level. This task answers to… Does it help me achieve my current goal faster?
  • Importance – it helps you live your values. These tasks cover all the decisions and promises you’ve made, everything that might not belong into the above two categories, but you are either passionate about doing them (helping a friend with the move) or foolish to promise and now you need to stick to your word because you are a person of integrity. This task answers the question… Is it important to do it now?

Everything else goes into fields 2 and 4. These will serve you as a Holding Tank where you will keep storing ideas until it’s time to act on them. You will notice that many tasks will never move up from the LATER field. Simply because even though they’re great ideas, they don’t move you forward in the desired direction. Be ok with that. Focus on what is important, what helps you support what is and what moves you forward.

Silvia Pencak Silvia Pencak is KolbeTM Certified Consultant as well as John Maxwell Certified Coach, Trainer and Speaker. She is sought after expert highly recommended by many businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals around the globe!  When working with her clients, she focuses on helping them discover their unique strengths, identify and achieve goals and strategically implement necessary systems in order to maximize their performance. Connect with Silvia at


Time Management

How Are You Spending Your Time?

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How Are You Spending Your Time?

By: Sandi Krakowski



The singing iPhone woke me up at 4:00 am today. I love to have music programmed as my alarm clock.



Most days I awake between 4:30 – 5:00 am. Today the day was going to be full, with very few moments for pause. So the choice was made to grab a few 'extra' moments to think early in the day.

I've heard it said a long time ago that the way you spend the first 2 hours of your day will influence the rest of your day. Well, by 7:30 am I already felt far more stressed than I was comfortable with. So, as I do on a daily, hourly basis – I made a choice for joy and not stress. Balance and not hectic. My attitude went to overcome and not victim.  And as it does every single day, things aligned to where I wanted them to go.

Learning to set my attitude and mindset like a thermostat in a home has been a learned skill for me. I'm not influenced like a thermometer, reflecting everything as I go. Rather, I'm a living thermostat, influencing and changing the 'atmosphere' wherever I go… and it has to start with me, first.

It certainly wasn't something I was born with, nor was it something that the home I grew up in helped to get into good standing. If I operated the way the home I grew up in did most days, that one moment of feeling stress would have quickly sunk to depression and then a thorough check up on all the things I've failed at and before we know it, in 30 minutes flat, total despair. Thank God that is not how I live today. It doesn't have to be how you live, either.

God did not create you to struggle. He did not design for you to struggle and He did not have a plan at the beginning of time that your days would be created for hardship. He desired that you would live a victorious life and it's my personal opinion that He gave everything we need to get there.

So, how are you doing in the attitude and time department when it comes to your life and your business?

Our lives are like a living bank account.

Whatever we deposit, we have to live on. Whatever we earn and compound along the way because of wisdom and good habits, we also get to live on. Many times, these 'compounded interests' are what will carry us through when the ledger grows thin.

Far too many people live in a fury and wake with their feet running the second they hit the floor. Never before in the history of the world have so many people felt rushed, behind and unable to catch up.

Even those who subscribe to using a planner or calendar of some sort many times are so overwhelmed by what lies 'ahead' on the agenda that the thrill of accomplishment has been taken over by the mere thought of surviving the day.

But it doesn't have to be like that.

One of the keys to success in business that I hide close to my heart is that good old fashioned work ethics and habits still pay enormous and generous amounts of money when upheld. One of these being the practice of a To Do list and accountability with time!

My advice to you is to make sure that a lot of your time is spent marketing in your business.  You can add employees, second level service professionals and more, but your marketing will always be your primary focus. The lifeblood of your business is built around marketing.

Your life is like a big bank account. The way you spend your time, the way to 'master' your attitude and the way you don't manage these critical factors in life, will determine if you'll live an abundant life or one near personal bankruptcy.

Guard your asset, ie your brain. Take care of your emotions and master your attitude! Take a good accurate account of every hour in your business. Where are you spending your time and how are you spending it?  Because that my friend is the key. Your time is being "spent" everyday. Use it wisely and it will 'pay you back' with the way you manage it.

I'm here to encourage you, support you and build a profitable business together with you!  Connect with me on Facebook, please. You mean the world to all of us here at A Real Change!  

With love,
Sandi Krakowski
Sandi Krakowski