Miriam Dorsett, 3x Entrepreneur and Productivity Guru
Miriam Dorsett, also known as Mary, is a full-time artist, entrepreneur, and community activator. Her passions are the arts, our community, technology and sustainability. She is an Editor at Tropicult Magazine, the founder of Chibur, and the CEO of Zen Zone Miami.
She has more than 15 years of professional experience ranging in the fields of youth development, small business management, and digital engagement. Her second book The Lion and The Elephant has been well received by readers and she is currently working on her third book titled From Where I Stand. You can follow her journey on Instagram: @mdorsettnow.
Let's get started!
Miriam is primarily an artist but she's also an entrepreneur.
The three businesses that Miriam owns offer professional services and products for other artists in the community, organizations and small business owners. She works via "We are passion at work" mantra.
Each of the three companies are related or interconnected and part of the reason Miriam considers her brand “A Connection Company”.
As a creative her strength is to explode her creativity into all things she’s passionate about and the reason she has three separate companies. There is, however, a congruent line that runs through her brands.
The three companies she owns:
Chibur – Works with artists, community organizations and small businesses (mostly tech related).
Bootstrap Publications – Publishes works or writing of other artists and entrepreneurs. Walks them through the process of how to write a book with the goal to prepare them for a larger publisher. They help prepare authors for the conversations and educate them on how to go about getting their work out there.
Zen of Miami – This is a venue space that's open to the community. They have various types of events as well as a gallery that supports the artists she works with. Other events include cooking classes, art, yoga, all kinds of things across the spectrum. Actions, community and building an artist.
How do you manage time with so many businesses?
There's a level of organization and dedication needed. A great deal of what is done is hold myself accountable and manage myself and expectations. There are also scheduling tips that she follows and shares some during this interview.
Morning routine – This is critical! It's the long term vision that you’re working toward not the day-to-day. You have to get up every day and maximize your time so it’s important to start the day strong. Having a solid morning routine gets you into a good place from the start and sets you up for success.
She published an article on Medium Scheduling Productivity Tips for Solo Entrepreneurs which includes 9 total tips but we review a select group of tips that might be helpful to the Connect the Dots audience.
Leave 30 minutes between meetings. This eliminates the anxiety of being late to the next appointment if the meeting runs over or you have travel time. It also allows you time to take action on any immediate needs and create follow-ups. And decompress from one meeting to prepare for the next meeting.
Schedule time for food. This sounds silly but it's important to be mindful of the food you put into your body, how it responds to different types of foods and the impact it might have on your day (carbs late in the day will NOT give you energy - it will make you sleepy). Also, as busy as we get sometimes, it's easy to forget the time to eat until you're starving - and that's not good for your metabolism or productivity.
Schedule meetings during food time. This is good for clients who are fast paced. Scheduling a meeting during a meal actually helps them slow down while giving you the opportunity to connect with them. Lunch meetings tend to take more time than you realize so Miriam suggests planning 3 hours for a meal meeting. Meals tend to take a little longer so plan at least one hour for the actual meal, drive time to and from as well as the 30 minute cushion on the front and end time slot.
Schedule all your meetings in one day. Create a meeting day where you have all of your in-person meetings in one day. It does require planning and patience to get into this routine. Always keep the meeting day, i.e. Monday, and schedule out until they are available on a Monday, for example. The exception: If you’re trying to schedule a meeting with a VIP who has their own meeting day, you need to be flexible with their schedule and accommodate accordingly.
Batch repeat tasks. The repetitive tasks you have daily, weekly, monthly, batch those tasks together into the same day and same time block. This includes meetings, proposals, social media, sales calls, etc. By batching repeat tasks you stay focused and are actually more productive. Your brain doesn't need to "switch gears" to something else - it stays focused on one thing and therefore allows you to continue.
Bring the day full circle – mornings keep pretty open for self care, doctor appointments and personal tasks. Then maximize your nights for networking, spending time with family and friends. Of course if you have kids, spouse, and other responsibilities, schedule those into your days as well. The point of this is to maximize YOUR day by planning and setting realistic expectations around what you can accomplish.
Miriam doesn't schedule anything until 11:00 a.m. because her morning routine is so important to her day-to-day maintenance of just being human. If she doesn’t have her mornings, everything else feels off. She doesn't use an alarm. She allows her body to rest as long as it needs. Her only exception is Thursdays when she has a standing 9:00 a.m. meeting.
Having your mornings open allows you to have life balance and to take care of yourself. Also a HUGE life hack: always schedule the first doctor, dentist, etc. appointment of the day. They are ALWAYS running behind schedule so by scheduling the first appointment of the day - even if you have to schedule it out farther - allows you to keep control over your day.
Batch phone calls as well. Schedule marketing, sales calls and customer service type call altogether.
Whether you’re a morning person or a night person, Miriam's rule of thumb for scheduling day: try getting up whenever your body wakes you up and still have a morning routine. Just start your morning routine whenever your body wakes you up. Also, look at the food you eat the night before as well. It might be contributing to shorter or longer sleep times but also may not be good for your digestion.
As the day goes on your brain has less power to make decisions. The more thinking and decisions you have to make, the more tired you get. So as the day goes on and you're thinking and deciding more, it makes you more tired or slower to respond to things that need your attention. Therefore, make the more important tasks in the morning before decision fatigue sets in.
Map a night time routine as well. Miriam is working on that balance and hasn't quite mastered it yet. That’s the time you can schedule to spend at social events, with friends, family, networking and meeting people to market yourself.
Marketing your brand and your clients via events you’re attending.
Goal isn’t to have SO many sales that you can't manage it. But it is good when you have your existing clients talk about you – they are marketing for you.
If you have multiple companies, consider how the brands support each other and leverage the congruent nature. Miriam is putting the structures in place to do that.
She looks at various clients and identifies how she can help Connect the Dots with two companies. She brings them together if they have similar needs, are both her clients and shows how they can work together. By doing this their strength is larger and they can grow their business more.
One way she does that is through their client newsletter – sharing content across the newsletters. Similar audiences each is trying to reach – it’s providing value for both audiences then bridging the gap.
What's one thing you want your ICA to know about you that they may not already know?
One of her strengths is long term. She works with clients who want to form long-term relationships and really want to grow over the long term. She doesn't want clients who only want a website but will send those requests to a freelancer. If someone wants to do a website and a strategy for how to grow their business over the next 3-5 years, then that's a good client for her. That’s their ideal client. AND it's important to have fun! She always tries to have some sort of connection at first but incorporates fun into work when it makes sense to do so.
My 3 take aways from my conversation with Miriam:
To maximize your productivity, plan your day with mornings dedicated to a routine after your body wakes up on its own.
Batch activities into chunks of time - all your marketing in one day, your sales calls at one time and have a day dedicated to conducting meetings (include a 30 minute cushion on each side of a meeting).
Take care of the most critical tasks in the morning before you encounter decision fatigue (when your brain becomes tired).
How is Miriam Connecting the Dots between Marketing and Sales?
Miriam has a unique setup with owning three separate businesses. She is able to cross brand and cross market each company through the other companies. It's a great way to market her brands. She also attends her clients events which extends the branding and marketing of her as the founder and the community she serves. By being present at client and networking events, Miriam is able to connect with people on a deeper level and better understand what they need and how she might best serve them for the long term.
You can connect with Miriam via:
If you'd like to read Miriam's Productivity Tips article in full, you can find it here on Medium.
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