Working in corporate america for a company that encourages you as the employee to own and create a difference in the world for yourself, is a dream to many. With the thought-provoking measures that it takes to be a stage manager in theater productions to helping clients take their business to the next level, that really put systems in place to make sure that productivity is at its highest is the focus. It is all about helping the entrepreneur grow and evolve in their business.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started with the system strategy? It is really about more of who she is and the conversation that is going on about following your passion and you will never work a day in your life. Being systemized and organized is who she is, so really it is about looking at what you are drawn to and the constant theme that you have done in your life and really follow the underlying current. Which leads to success because you really have a passion and love doing what you do best. She has always been a part of systems and process as she was a stage manager in theater productions. So she has always done the organization of large productions to rave reviews and that is really her foundation. For a few years she worked for Lululemon Athletica, which is a yoga-clothing store but also they are a great company when it comes to leadership. They do an amazing job at developing leaders and they encourage you to go out on your own and create a difference in the world outside of the doors that they sell clothes. With many different roles with the company she started Aspire and Grow about two years after starting with Lululemon as just a side project. Two years into working Aspire and Grow full-time she has not looked back and it has evolved and changed because that is the part about business that she loves and brings that to her clients. System and process can be really simple and not complicated to run the behind the sense of your business and whatever you set up can change and evolve you and your business change and evolve.
When it comes to “busy” tells us how systems can debunk that feeling. How many people say, “oh, I can’t, I’m busy”? When it really comes down to, you don’t want to because you make a choice everyday, about how you spend your time and busy seems to be the way out of things. When you have fifteen extra minutes before you have to take a client call are you scrolling through social media or are you doing a task towards your greater goal? If you are doing little things towards the greater picture through a period of time they eventually move you forward. In her business when she is working with clients she maps out a 60-day plan and in that plan there are small steps to the success of moving your business forward, instead of tackling it all at once. And at the end of sixty days, process are either running for themselves or you have a better handle on where the gaps are and how to fill them in. It is all about commitment and taking the time to doing it. Val has a great blog post on this topic, on her site, here.
What are some process or tools that you love and recommend to clients? Several of her clients that have been in business for 7+ years are still using free tools and one of her favorites to recommend is Google Drive (otherwise know as Google Docs) and is available free with a Google account. You do not have to use Gmail but she highly recommends using Gmail for business. And you can get your own dot-com e-mail address for a low-cost of about $5.00 a month. Google drive is a cloud-based system, so you have all of your documents at your fingertips. You have Docs, which is like word or pages; Sheets, which is like excel or numbers; Slides, which is like PowerPoint or keynote. There is even a function that you can draw things in Google Drive or build a logo. There are a lot of extensions for Google Drive. A great feature is that you can share documents in real-time with others and edit or comment while both of you are working on the document at the same time. Plus Google Drive has a backup feature and automatically saves your work as you are working so you do not lose work if there is a failure with power or computers. With regards to creating a logo, there are drawings available that can help you create a logo. There are also extensions that are available for this feature as well. When it comes to security, Val recommends using Drop Box for items that you either want to secure or share with others that is sensitive data. Which is also free for a certain amount of storage or you can upgrade for a yearly fee. Anything that you put in a cloud is ultimately searchable so Drop Box has a feature where you can share and put expiration dates and it can be password protected and self-destruct in 90 days. There is also a feature that you can password protecting in Google Drive with an extension but she has not used it as she has just learned about the feature. You have to be using Chrome with Google Drive for a lot of the extensions, since Chrome is Google’s browser. When making recommendations about different tools it first starts with questions because there are always parameters based upon your answers to what is right for you and your business. However, Google Drive is applicable for everyone and Val breaks it all down here.
Another great tool for every business to have is a project management tool and the one that she recommends is Asana. Even if you are an office of one, when the time to add someone to your team the habit is already there and systems are in place and you can just integrate your team into your system. This is setting your self up for growth. It keeps your tasks off a notebook and out of your e-mail box in an organized system that is right for everyone. It allows you to set time and date deadlines, as well as attach documents directly from Google Drive and Drop Box. Asana allows you to create to do item tasks and copy them when you have tasks that repeat for your business that way you do not have to take the time to rewrite them for each time you do a task.
You can connect with Val on her website at www.aspireandgrow.com and there she has a group that is called “It’s Not Complicated” that is a membership group that has resources that help systems along.
More About Val: Val Geisler is a systems + customer experience strategist. When it comes to creating simplicity for your business and your clients, she’s the one to make things happen. Val has worked with everyone from startups to multi-six-figure businesses, brides to opera singers. Her clients love shaking off the weight of the day-to-day and finding the space and time to build their business dreams.
From her signature program Systems Finishing School to her one on one Business Boosters, Val loves the challenge of finding the perfect fit system for each of her clients.
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