Carson Tate was working in sales when she realized there was a direct correlation between how organized she was and how much revenue she brought in. When her colleagues adopted her system and started earning more, she knew she was onto something.
Carson saw that as her cue: She left her full-time job and launched her business, Work Simply, Live Fully, which helps professionals of all stripes to take back their time and grow their bottom line. Today, she is a dynamic teacher and coach known for personal transformation and simple, powerful, actionable content. A nationally renowned expert on productivity, Carson has been featured in Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Fast Company, The New York Times, Working Mother and more. And she’s just published her first book, Work Simply: Embracing Your Personal Productivity Style, with Penguin Group (2015).
I recently had Carson on my show, where she shared some no-BS insight on how and why to stop wasting time on things you think are productive (but aren’t), and a way to think about time in terms of investment, not just tasks, by keeping your activities and revenue aligned, and maximizing unexpected free time. Here’s more from Carson on the biggest lessons she’s learned throughout her career on how to conserve time and energy, everyone’s greatest assets.
How did you make the decision to leave your last job and go out on your own? What was that job, and how did you know it was time?
I was working in outside sales and had been asked continually over the years by my colleagues how I got my work done so efficiently and stayed so organized. I developed a process to help myself manage a new facet of our compensation system and when it went viral in my organization I knew that there was an opportunity to serve others and it was time to leave my job.
What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
A doctor 🙂
When did you realize this was (or wasn’t) going to happen?
In my freshman year of college when I was taking chemistry 101. This was only the beginning of my science journey and none of the concepts made any sense. There was no way I was going to make it through organic chemistry. I quickly moved down the hall to the psychology department.
What is it about your life now that you can’t believe you do, and wouldn’t have believed if someone told you 5-10 years ago?
That I would be serving others through my writing, coaching and teaching.
Where do you think most of us waste our time? What do you recommend doing to change it?
Meetings. Before you automatically accept that next meeting request, ask yourself if this meeting will produce a significant return on time investment for you. If not, consider declining the meeting.
What’s the worst advice you’ve ever been given (and did you take it)?
Just stick with it. I have learned that the goal as the entrepreneur is to fail and fail fast. Don’t stick with it. If it is not working, let it go and learn from the experience and then go try again.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time 10 years?
Focus on today and the rest will take care of itself.
What lesson(s) did you learn the hard way (could be your career, or life in general)?
Sticking with things that are clearly not working is a significant waste of time and energy. Let go. Learn and move forward.
Any other advice you want solopreneurs/entrepreneurs to know?
Every time you say yes to something, you are saying no to something else. Time is your greatest asset and liability. Invest it for the highest return in your life.
For more about Carson and how to manage your time in a way that gets creativity and inspiration flowing, visit www.carsontate.com and @thecarsontate on Twitter, and pick up her book, Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style.
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