Leigh Howes is a business consultant and coach. She offers advice to company founders and leaders about how they can learn to ‘appreciate themselves’ and value their time.
Here’s her top six tips:

1 Go grab the opportunity, don’t overthink it

Time is ticking every single day and when it goes, you don’t get it back. Please use my perspective to help you find the courage you need to be the person you have the potential to be.

2 Be clear on your goals – write them down

Set the sat nav. It will save you wasting time and fuel driving about lost. Once you know where you are heading, you can then map out clearly the journey you need to take to get there and who you want to be travelling along with you on the way.

3 Value your time and your worth

I continue to be on a mission to prove that you can work flexibly and still be successful. Start with the end in mind of what you would like your income to be in either turnover/profit, then figure out the number of hours and weeks you want to work, then you have a simple sum that helps you understand what you should be charging by the hour/day to achieve your financial goals. Without this, you run the risk of working excessive hours to get the income you need, which for most of us goes against why we started out in the first place.

4 Get focussed

I am a serial magpie. I love anything shiny and I have a head full of ideas. My challenge is in the execution because I have a terrible habit of starting projects and not always finishing them. When I am clear on what I need to do, have completed my forward planning (I will write out at the start of the week what my 5 big goals are and plan in the action I need to take to fulfil these), have removed distractions (notifications off, Wi-Fi off, earplugs in), set the timer and planned in regular breaks, I am so much more amazing.

5 Establish a routine

The other area for me is creating lasting habits through my routines. This, alongside my focus is what maximises my productivity and also keeps me sane. Juggling and running a business can be testing, a routine will help you become more consistent and create new positive habits. Include within this, time for yourself. Time to switch off. You are not a machine. You are a Human Being, NOT a Human Doing. Remember that.

6 Lastly, inner circles

If you are a sole trader, when it is financially viable – join one and/or get a mentor/coach to lean in on. I run Your Inner Circle; a mastermind of 8 female business owners who work together with me to work through their problems, support each other, cheerlead each other, brainstorm ideas, lean on each other and cry together when times get tough. Running one of these is amazing. BUT – investing in ME and finding my own inner circle of support has been critical to my progress. Working on your own can be lonely. Having a sounding board in a safe space can really make the world of difference to the confidence you discover in yourself. Alone you can go fast, together you can go so much further.