'3 Steps to Getting Your Life Back

3 Steps to Getting Your Life Back

March 22, 2023


Okay, I admit it. I occasionally take advice from Dr. Phil. See if this rings true for you as it did for me.


“You train people how to treat you.”


Here’s an example:  You may find yourself thinking that your time is not your own. Can’t seem to find time for something you want or need to do because there are so many demands on your time? How many times a day does someone on your team come to you with a problem for you to solve? It might vary from once-in-a-while … to every 20 minutes.

What guidelines or agreements do you have in place that address the gift of direct access to you as the owner of the business so that you don’t wear the unwanted hat of “solver of all problems”?

Do all problem-solving roads lead to you? This does two unfortunate things in your business. First, it eats up all your time and focus and takes you away from delivering only your expertise.

Second, it puts you in the position of being a bottleneck to simple progress in your business because team members can’t move forward without approval from you in so many areas.

Here are 3 tips to help you protect your time.

First, embrace the fact that structure will give you more freedom.

It probably seems counter-intuitive, but studies have shown time and again that utilizing structure to remove the small, nagging, repetitive portions of your schedule will free up your creative brain to focus on the projects in front of you.

Maybe that means that you block out time in your schedule to do certain tasks – without interruption. Maybe it means that you schedule dedicated time for team members to have that coveted direct access to you.

Second, take yourself out of the “I am the Solution for every Problem” hamster wheel. This could be as simple as requesting that each problem brought to you comes complete with a solution created by your team members. Get them involved. Get them used to thinking first before they run to you. Get them used to working together as the creative collection of people called your team.

What if all you had to do was approve a solution after they did all the heavy lifting?

Third, it’s time for re-education … for you and your team. Changing this process (and the long-term bad habits that both you and your team have created) will have far-reaching effects for both you and your team members.

Please don’t blindside them with this change. Work with them to co-create this new framework. Give yourself time to make course corrections as things move forward. Give yourself and your team permission to make a few mistakes … and keep moving forward.

You’ll be surprised how much more time you have when you become the owner of your time. Spend that found time wisely…doing something or being with someone…you love.



Chris Ann Williams, CEO



'Where Has All Your Freedom Gone?

Where Has All Your Freedom Gone?

March 15, 2023


You got into business for yourself to be happy, to have more freedom, to call your own shots, right? So, in the famous words of Dr. Phil, “How’s that working out for you?”

Do you feel…too often…that you’ve been trading your happiness and freedom as you’ve worked to make your business successful?

Like you end up sacrificing personal things important to you?

Where exactly did your freedom go??

It can feel as though when you pursue profit, your happiness and freedom are often compromised. You work long hours, take on tasks you don’t enjoy, and let the business run you instead of you running the business.

And then there’s that whole situation of no more time left in your day to figure out what to adjust to get to what you want.  Your dream becomes the Impossible Dream.

On the other hand, when you pursue happiness and freedom, who pays your bills?

I’m betting I know the source of your conflict—you don’t have a plan or your plan is not working.

Your business has been built on an Idea… and then you dropped straight into action, implementing the Idea.

Think of it this way.  You have a thought about what you want to make for dinner, and you jump right into cooking it without a recipe.  You’ll make something, but it might not be exactly what you imagined.

Or you have a recipe, but it’s so complicated that it’s hard to follow, uses ingredients you don’t have on hand or requires skills that you just don’t have in your repertoire.

Either way – dinner can end up somewhere between boring and inedible.

I know creating a plan isn’t very sexy or exciting, but the result of having a plan can be both sexy and exciting.

Taking just a few hours to craft the plan for the remainder of this year or revise the current plan that is costing you your freedom will make all the difference. A clear plan  will enable you to work towards both freedom and profits, happiness and money. If you already have a plan, take another good look at it now.

It doesn’t have to be pages and pages of stuff.

Your plan can be as simple as this:

What’s the ONE, MEASUREABLE goal you’re going to focus your efforts towards achieving in the next quarter? By the end of the year?

What are the five (no more than 5) CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS that must be in play every day, through your every action, that deliver your ONE, MEASURABLE goal?

The Critical Success Factors are strategies in play all year.  The actions you take each day support one or more of those Factors.

That’s it.

Now, take a look at your To-Do list for today. Can you tie it to a Critical Success Factor? If not, perhaps it’s something that could be delegated or deleted. Voila! You’ve made space for something that brings you closer to your goal.

Once you have a clear plan to follow, your business becomes easier, simpler, and more profitable without costing you your freedom. You will be running your business and living your life…your way!




Chris Ann Williams, CEO

'Celebrating International Women’s Day

Celebrating International Women’s Day

March 8, 2023

Let’s celebrate! It’s International Women’s Day…a day that belongs to all of us. A day when we honor and remember women in all the ways they contribute to the world and make our lives better.

As women in business, so much of our success rests on the shoulders of other women. Today, let’s honor and celebrate:

The women who gave birth to us – Without these women, we would not be here at all. Their bodies provided our first nourishment, before we were even born. Some of them are still with us, continuing to provide nourishment in various ways.

The women who raised us – These women nurtured us, comforted us, kept us safe and showed us the ways of the world. Whether they were our birth mothers, adoptive mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, or surrogate mothers, they helped to create the foundation on which we built our lives.

The women who taught us – From the fundamentals of reading, writing and arithmetic, to psychology, history, biology and business, these women gave us knowledge and skills that have propelled us to careers and adventures in life. They opened our minds and our hearts to all that exists and all that might exist and helped us to make sense of it.

The women who broke barriers – Those who were the first in any given field, with a particular accomplishment. The ones who not only believed it was possible but proved it. Women like Madam C. J. Walker, known as the first female self-made millionaire, Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman to be granted an M.D., and Katherine Graham, the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. They blazed a trail for all of us to follow.

The women who hired us – The women who gave us that first job and provided the guidance that supported us in doing the job well. These women showed us how to set goals and achieve them, how to work with others, and how to lead.

The women who supported us – The companions on our journey, whether in our personal or business lives, walked with us for a time. They cheered and encouraged, lent a hand when we needed it, helped to push barriers out of the way so that we could continue toward the goal.

The women who challenged us – Those who pushed us beyond what we thought were our limits, called us to be more than we believed we could, were agents of our growth just as surely as those who supported us. The women whose achievements we determined to surpass gave us something to aspire to, something to motivate us to be and do more.

The women who come behind us – We are all in the process of creating a legacy that will live beyond us. Each of will fall into one or more of the roles above for the next generation of women. Being prepared to be their mothers, teachers, bosses, supporters, and challengers calls us to continue to be our best selves.

The women we have become – Let’s not forget to celebrate ourselves. No matter where we have come from or where we are going, there is something remarkable about each and every one of us. Too often we focus on what’s wrong with us or on what still needs to be improved. Today, let’s focus on what is right and good and positive about ourselves.

Today, we at Wide Awake Business are celebrating all of you – our clients, co-workers and colleagues. We are so grateful to have you in our lives.

Happy International Women’s Day,