Richard talks to Tiana Wilson-Buys, author, business coach and owner of Talking Business, about time management, productivity and Getting Stuff Done.
An Interview with Tiana Wilson-Buys
Who is Tiana Wilson-Buys?
Tiana moved to the UK from South Africa, and says she left her home country for political and safety reasons, having reached a point in her mid-30s where she was ready to build a business and a good life. She spent some time in London before moving to the north east, wanting to add value to a community. She says she likes the weather, because it’s cooler than Africa, and chose Newcastle because it’s a beautiful city.
She’s a business consultant and works with creative industries to help them build and expand their businesses. She’s also a speaker, author and expert on networking, time management and productivity.
Who She Works With
Tiana works with a lot of creatives (although not exclusively), including video or film producers, graphic designers, writers and consultants – sales, HR and so on. Many work nationally or internationally, because for creative industries they’re not bound geographically.
Tiana says that with advances in technology it’s the age of the global small business, so she works with her clients on global expansion. Tiana has several clients outside the north east, and believes it makes things more interesting – although conflicting time zones can be challenging sometimes.
Why Time Management is a Problem for all Business Owners
Time management is possibly the biggest problem of every business owner out there, not only creatives. Tiana says one of the biggest problems people have is that they’ve never been taught how to prioritise, meaning they have too many things to deal with and don’t know how to manage them.
Another issue is that people don’t plan properly and tend to just knee-jerk all the time – they react to things happening rather than planning. It’s very much life happening to them instead of them making life happen on their terms.
It’s important to decide how you’ll work and then stick to it. Many business people, particularly creatives, are good at what they do so that’s where their mind energy goes. However, this means that the day to day tasks slip down the priority list, because they don’t really want to do them.
Practical Advice for Getting Everything Done
You have to set the boundaries, because if you don’t no one else will. It’s up to you to run your life. Tiana recommends time chunking, and chunks her own week into 10 blocks – the am and pm of each working day. Certain blocks are allocated to certain things.
Doing this allows her to have focused time for business development and client work. She adds that we don’t need to be available to our clients constantly, and setting those boundaries helps to establish when you’re free to support them.
Tips for Networking
People find networking nerve-wracking, so Tiana’s top tip is to look for one friendly face when you walk into a room, and strike up a conversation with that person. They’ll probably be able to introduce you to new people.
If you can’t do that, head to the refreshment table and take your time making your drink – someone will come over eventually and start chatting to you. It’s important to go to networking not to sell, but to meet people, build relationships and make connections. If you do that, sales will come naturally.
The Referral Harvester Method
Tiana’s book, “The Referral Harvester”, is based on her own experiences of networking, finding clients and growing and maintaining relationships with them. She says that too often people give or receive random referrals, which makes them reactionary.
By contrast, the Referral Harvester is a proactive system you can implement to get referrals and help you build relationships with key people to create ‘A-listers.’ This will lead to referrals, so long as you’re proactive.
Mentioned in this Episode
- Book: The Referral Harvester
- Book: Eat That Frog
- Book: Do it Tomorrow
- Book: The Winner’s Bible
- Tool: Evernote
- Tiana’s Business Website: Talking Business
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