This is a sponsored post on behalf of Staples. All opinions are mine. They just paid me to give YOU my opinions. It’s a win!
This survey by Staples came out just as small business owners are getting back to business in 2017. In it, Staples asked small business owners a number of questions to gauge their mindset as 2017 kicks off. And that mindset is pretty positive, according to survey recipients. People plan to hire more staff. They plan to invest more in their business. And though I didn’t take the survey, I agree with the 67% of people who think that business tax reform should be the administration’s top priority this year. As a small business owner myself (there are only three of us here), I still get quite clobbered by taxes and would love the ability to continue thriving as an owner in coming years.
Now, more than ever before, it’s important that we develop and nurture a platform where we can be heard. At the very same time that these tools become easier and easier to use, the world is more noisy. Add to this the fact that I believe we often forget a very important detail, and that this mistake might be costing you a lot of time wasted for very little return.
I just restarted my use of Trello. I’d fallen off the wagon. I’m about to restart my gym work. I’d fallen off the wagon.
It doesn’t matter. Start. Start again. Get back on it. Do the work. If you fall off, don’t pick on yourself. Just get back on. Whiners talk about what went wrong. Winners just get back on it.
“I don’t know what to write!” “When I write, it comes out wrong.” “I get jammed up and stuck for ideas.” Does this sound like you?
I started blogging back in 1998, when they called it journaling. I was terrible at it. Most of my posts were about my own opinion on things. There was no consistency of voice. I’d just finish the post when I felt done with my writing. Junk. And no one read my blog.
It took me eight years to get my first 100 readers. To my defense, no one was reading blogs back then. But also, I stunk. My mom read my blog. Becky read my blog. Jon. That was about it.
And then I got good.
How to Make Great Content Without So Much Effort and Fuss
I’ll tell you what I know. The reason YOU are probably having a tough time is that you’re really really (really!) self conscious as you write. “How will this be received? What will people say? What if they say I’m full of crap?” (They won’t say “crap.”)
When I came to master my voice in writing and creating content, I focused on just a few really important factors:
At the start of the year, I saw a quote by James Clear that really stuck with me. He said if you want more success, work on your habits, not your goals. It’s a really solid piece of leadership advice.
Work on Habits, Not Goals
Let’s say your goal is to have 10 active clients in your business in any given month. It’s a good enough goal (depending on the business model). But how will you get there? Action. Habit-driven action.
The big key point here is that you have to point your ATTENTION (and you have very limited attention) on those habits that will help you reach those goals. MOST people tend to put their mental focus on the number 10. I need ten clients. They miss where the attention needs to go.
Leadership at all levels knows the story: there’s more to do, fewer people around, and everything is moving faster. In the absence of step-by-step leadership, and with the velocity of change in business, it’s important that we educate everyone in the organization to a new kind of personal leadership. The first thing to go? Time management.
Never Manage Time
Time management is a bad deal. In this, we try to squeeze the best out of the hours in a day. But everyone has 24 hours in a day. It’s a flawed mindset. And working 8, 12, or 16 hours might or might not get “more” done, but does it get the right stuff done? That’s the issue. Especially with all the remote workers out there now, the old word of “butt in chair” management isn’t working any longer.
People also tend to fill up their “to do” list with tasks that might or might not be urgent, but that rarely align with the goals of the organization or even sometimes your own goals. The excitement of doing “to do” items clouds us from our “should be working on” items.
I’m working on my next book, Make Your Own Game. The first major premise of the book is that business and life are a game. Sure, there are serious parts to both, but if you’re working on improving your levels of success, maybe learning how think like we do in games will be the missing ingredient.
Business and Life are a Game
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to succeed with ease while you or I might be still wondering what the heck is even going on? I believe one tool to moving further ahead is to find the game in everything.
“Influencer marketing” isn’t new. It has been around for at least a decade in its latest form, which is “Hey, let’s get bloggers to talk about our stuff!” Lots of companies wonder if it’s the right move for their product. Let’s talk about that.
The nice folks at Skinny and Co sent me some amazing products made from raw coconut oil. Most are skin and body things like moisturizers and scrubs and the like. Some is food grade coconut oil, which I already use in my cooking so that’s cool. The products are amazing. Raw. Chemical-Free. No fillers, etc. Cold-pressed. All good stuff to have.
Here’s everyone right now: I’ve got a lot to do. New year, new me. I’m going to do this and that and this and… It doesn’t work. You end up running in a lot of circles, or at best, you hit a lot of smaller goals, but nothing that really moves the needle. Right? Let’s do something about that.
1000 Targets, One Arrow
The time to believe in multitasking is over. You might have a thousand targets (a thousand things to do), but you only have one arrow (your attention). If you shoot at two targets with that one arrow? You miss both.
People always want to know what “successful” people do in their mornings. You can google “morning rituals” and you’ll see tons of really thoughtful and well-considered information. It will also be sterilized and made to make it seem as if the person in question is a saint. Thus, when you compare how YOU start every day, you can’t match up because it’s this other person’s ideal. What if we showed our real morning rituals?
My Morning Rituals
Connect – When I wake up, I send Jacq a message. The first thing I do every morning is connect with the love of my life. (On those occasions where we’re in the same place, I usually don’t wake her so I’d skip this step.)