Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” -Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple Inc.


Productivity Secrets for Entrepreneurs

March 26, 2017 | Allison Dunn, Executive Business Coach



As an entrepreneur, you know that your time is money!  Unfortunately, with so much to do stacked on your plate both professionally and personally; it’s easy to fall into a constant state of overwhelm and “busyness.”   But are you really working productively towards your goals each day?  By making just a few tweaks to the systems in your business you can gain hours back in your day.


Let’s face it: increased productivity = increased dollars and sanity!


Delegation is one of our most impactful coaching tips to help you improve efficiency.


Identifying what you can delegate in your business can move “you” the entrepreneur out of a mindset of constant busyness, into a new level of strategic productivity.  Handing off tasks that you no longer need to be the one “DOing” creates time and energy for you to BE working in your strengths.


Here are the most common areas that I encourage entrepreneurs to consider delegating:


Answering Phones                                                      Book Keeping              

Autoresponders                                                          Payroll, Payables, Account Receivables

Booking Appointments                                                Calendar Management

Graphic Design                                                          Email Management/Filtering

Social Media                                                              Data Entry

Personal Errands                                                        Database Building

Event Planning                                                           Presentations

Email Campaign & Management                                  Transcription

Lead Pages                                                                Web Design

IT/Technology                                                             Virtual Assistants


Outsourcing Solutions for your home:


Dry Cleaning                                                                House Cleaning

Lawn Service                                                               Decorating

Window Cleaning                                                         Handy Man & Repairs

Gutter Cleaning                                                            Power Washing

House Painting                                                            Grocery Delivery

Carpet Cleaning                                                           Dog Walking

Personal Shopper                                                         Meal Preparation


Whether you hire your children, friends, intern(s), a part-time/full-time team member, a Virtual Assistant(s) or outsource these services to specialty individuals, the cost is often less and the results are more effective.  


If you are still doing all the above tasks yourself, I’d suggest by choosing ONE area to delegate and see your productivity grow!  Let me know how it goes.




Allison Dunn helps entrepreneurs launch, build and sell their businesses.  She is the owner of Deliberate Directions and ActionCOACH Business Coaching, a business coaching and leadership development practice which helps entrepreneurs identify engagement and growth opportunities in their business for maximum impact.  She’s helped hundreds of entrepreneur’s build their business mastery skills, up level their marketing strategies, document systems to leverage their time as well as customize recruiting, training and reward programs to grow their awesome businesses!





Curiosity and Entrepreneurial-ism

March 19, 2917  |    Allison Dunn, Executive Business Coach




Curiosity killed the cat

is a proverb used to warn of the dangers

of unnecessary investigation or experimentation. 

A less frequently-seen rejoinder to

“curiosity killed the cat,” is

“but satisfaction brought it back.”



Entrepreneurial-ism can be likened to the old proverb “curiosity killed the cat”. I think that one of the main ingredients to ignite an entrepreneurial spirit is curiosity, among courage, confidence, and willingness, to name just a few. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to focus on curiosity.

The above photo is of our 2 year old kitten, Gracie, who is an indoor cat – who really, really, really wants to be an outdoor cat. We searched endlessly online to find an outdoor cat line/leash runner and couldn’t find a good solution. So, last summer Mark, my husband, created a cat run for her to be outside ‘safely’.


The upside, she’d be safe and we no longer would we have to listen to her meow and beg at the glass door to come outside to play with us. Problem solved, right? Not really, as she’s become comfortable going outside and expects it. Also, she’s become more confident and “will” find a way to get out at any opportunity and has decided she no longer needs the leash.


 So, this week she’s managed to tree climb for the first time. Of course, right, she’s a cat with curiosity and confidence and skill and will.



So, how does this relate to entrepreneurial-ism? Most of us start out as a student or an ’employee’ – with lots of structure, rules, much like a leash and a run. As we get confident that we can do more, our inner curiosity takes hold and allows us to investigate and experiment with the idea of going out on our own.

As a business coach, I love to hear the stories that curiosity sparked which lead to the passion, the desire, the “what for” behind a business and the entrepreneurial journey. What I’ve found is that people love to share and have such brilliant life learning’s that we all could benefit from and to encourage us all to be more curious with our lives.

Want to share you entrepreneurial story with others? Ask me how.

Or are you curious and considering venturing out on your own and want some guidance?




Allison Dunn is an award winning Business Coach and owner of Deliberate Directions, an ActionCOACH Business Coaching practice, in Boise Idaho. We support businesses who are willing and able to grow.  

Our vision is to re-energize the heart of your entire organization for optimal performance and ultimate success. We coach over 15,000 business every week throughout the world. 



6 Step Powerful Hiring Process

April 10, 2016  |  Allison Dunn, Business Coach



Are you ready to grow, but, not sure how to go about hiring your next ideal team member?  Has your hiring process in the past produced costly mis-hires and candidates that lacked the will or skill to add value to your company?   If you are looking to create a best-practices hiring process, look no further!  Here are the six steps we utilize that attracts the ideal candidate that has the skills, will and talent you desire:


1. Identify Qualified Applicants –   In this step you need to develop a job description. Research and identify the appropriate job ad placement locations and then write and place an effective recruitment advertisement.

2. Screen Applicants – Highlight minimum acceptable standards and qualifications such as education and years of experience for your position. Create a de-selection process by requiring applicants to respond to a specific set of instructions.  Filter cover letters and resumes  – eliminating those that do not meet your minimum standards.  Invite pre-qualified candidates to interview and send no-thank you’s to eliminated applicants.

3. Assess and Refine Your Top List of Candidates –  Create a customized interview criteria sheet for the interview process.  Conduct group or individual interviews utilizing the criteria sheet ranking each candidate.  Select 2-4 top candidates to request a test drive activity.  Send no-thank you’s to the eliminated candidates.    

4. Test Drive – This step allows you to create a sample assignment which can include up to 4 job responsibilities tasks or essential duties that you require in the position.  Have the top 2-4 candidates complete this test drive assignment.  We suggest conducting a face-to-face interview at the end of the test-drive.


5. Final Interview and Hire –  Develop a list of interview questions.  Ask the same set of open-ended questions to each candidate.  Rate responses and record comments.  Rank candidates according to preference. Check references of top choice candidates.  Have your top candidate complete a DISC or assessment profile test. Negotiate salary and make an offer.  Execute a hiring agreement or contract with your top candidate. 


6. Induction – Create an induction schedule for your new team member.  This may include employee orientation, vision, mission, values, rules of the game, organizational chart, and training on processes.  Review and train based on the job description responsibilities.  Review company operations manual.  Also, this is a good time to identify any training or development processes needed.  

Successful hiring strategies and process ensures that you are on the path to acquiring the best candidate.  This may be a new way of hiring for your company.  But remember this, if you don’t create or change the system or process of hiring that you’ve been using thus far, then you’ll simply get more of what you’ve already got.


Download  a complimentary copy of our 6 Step Recruitment System.   We coach companies in our 4 Hour Recruitment System which is designed to simplify the process, taking the stress and hassle out of the process, click here to schedule a strategy session, want to learn more?  Message me!





I often hear these sentiments, “I need to hire my first employee, but I have no idea where to start” or “I have the worst luck with hiring the right people”. We coach clients that every hire you make in your organization should be a strategic one. Meaning that you should be hiring for the future, not where you are today. Using the hiring process as a way to evolve your organization. The way the business recruits new people is important as excellent people can enhance the business.

Here are 4 key principles to remember when recruiting – your first or next team member.

PRINCIPLE 1: Attract a large pool of applicants and you’re more likely to get the right person.

PRINCIPLE 2: Implement multiple levels of screening and you’ll waste less time in lengthy interviews with under-qualified candidates.

PRINCIPLE 3: Observe a short list of applicants performing the essentials of the position in real time and you’re less likely to be
surprised on their first day.

PRINCIPLE 4: Assess your short list of applicants to make sure that you’re making an appropriate match.


This may be a new way of hiring for your company. But remember this, if you don’t create or change the system or process of hiring that you’ve been using thus far, then you’ll simply get more of what you have already got.

Request a complimentary copy of our 6 Step Recruitment System.

We coach companies in our 4 Hour Recruitment System which is designed to simplify the process, taking the stress and hassle out of the process, click here to schedule a strategy session, want to learn more? Message me!




It’s a New Year and You Have Nothing to Fear – Become a VIP Member!

Does fear stop you from making decisions you know will move your business forward?  When you are working with a shoestring budget, it is easy to let that fearful voice win out. After all, the reasons it gives  – “you can not afford it”, “the time is not right” etc. – sound reasonable enough, right?

I know how it feels to bootstrap a business – it is what I did in the beginning too. I looked at what was coming in and thought I’ll invest when I have more disposable income. The problem is, it doesn’t work that way – I needed to invest and then the income would increase.

I know how scary it can be to outlay what you feel you don’t have, but here is my rule of thumb. If you feel you will get a return on your investment, do whatever it takes to make it happen, because you will make that money back, over and over again. The #1 best thing you can do in 2016 is invest in yourself!


And while I have many clients who have made the investment in working with me one-on-one and made significant leaps in their business, I know there are many more people who want and need my help, but are not quite in a position to hire me.  Which is why I created the VIP Member Program that includes a powerful combination of  training and planning that gives you the blueprint for positioning your business as the expert, building relationships with high-quality clients, and creating the revenue that gives you the lifestyle you deserve.  

VIP Member Program offers over 40+ hours of business training and planning each year through:

Are you ready to join us?  GET STARTED

I want to help Business Owners make 2016 their BEST YEAR EVER, so I am making this program available to you for 10% OFF. This is a one-time offer so be sure to take advantage of it!

Click here for all the details and to register.

You should know this is happening fast. I am only offer this program to 10 business owners.  Registration for the program ends on January 30, 2016 at midnight for a February 15, 2016 start!

Investing in yourself sets the intention of what is to come and is the first step to commanding and getting the revenue you are worth. Are you ready to start 2016 with BIG goals? If you have the vision, I have the steps to help you make it a reality.

Click here to sign up at this pricing and I will see you there!

Ultimate Business Books To Read This Holiday

With Christmas upon us, it’s not unusual to start to wind down and take it easy and rightly so, you would of worked hard again this year! The entrepreneurial people amongst us will have an eye on 2016 and for that reason I have sent you our Top 5 Business Books to read this Christmas.

Continuous learning is the key to earning, so start your business education today by reading these ultimate book recommendations.  

The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines Into Massive Success & Happiness
By Jeff Olson & John David Mann

The Slight Edge is a way of thinking, a way of processing information that enables you to make the daily choices that will lead you to the success and happiness you desire. Learn why some people make dream after dream come true, while others just continue dreaming and spend their lives building dreams for someone else. The Slight Edge is not just another self-help tool for traveling the path to success. It is the doorway to creating powerful results in any area of your life, by using tools you already hold within you.

You Are A Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness & Start Living An Awesome Life
By Jen Sincero

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want, Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW, Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.

By Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

Most business books give you the same old advice: Write a business plan, study the competition, seek investors, yadda yadda. If you’re looking for a book like that, put this one back on the shelf.

Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you’ll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don’t need outside investors, and why you’re better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. You don’t need to be a workaholic. You don’t need to staff up. You don’t need to waste time on paperwork or meetings. You don’t even need an office. Those are all just excuses.

As You Think
By James Allen

In 1904, a relatively unknown Englishman named James Allen wrote a little book called As a Man Thinketh. The book has become one of the world’s greatest self-help books – “self-empowerment” is a better term – for it not only reveals to us that the keys to success are within our own minds, it shows us how to use these keys to unlock the greatest fulfillment we can imagine.

In this revised edition, author and publisher Marc Allen updates this classic, changing language that has become dated or obsolete, and honing the clarity of the message. He makes As You Think gender inclusive, showing how these principles are truly universal and apply to everyone, regardless of sex, age, race, beliefs, social class, or education. I particularly enjoy listening to the audio version of this book.

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: Why Now Is The Time To #JoinTheRide
By Darren Hardy

That is what SUCCESS Publisher Darren Hardy set out on a mission to discover. What he found was startling. All the previously reported reasons and assumptions for the failure rate (capital, location, credit, inventory management, and competition) were wrong.

Failure was not due to outside factors–they were internal. They weren’t economic–they were emotional. The unexpected and terrifying emotional roller coaster an entrepreneur experiences is the greatest factor in why most quit and ultimately fail.

Happy Reading & Merry Christmas!