There’s a lot of what we do that is intangible. We are off “marketing.” Sometimes, it’s at an event. Your presence at the event is with the goal of growing your potential future business. Maybe you’re writing a blog post (like this one) that will jolt someone into taking a different course of action, or hiring you to do work with them. Maybe you’re tweeting and updating Facebook and really showing people that you’re real and genuine.
But are you doing the work?
Do the Work
There are so many real opportunities to do meaningful work that will grow your own business, but they require work. There’s a lot in this space that isn’t sexy. There’s a lot in this space that doesn’t deserve the front headlines. But it still needs doing. There’s still plenty of unsexy work to be done so that you’ll eat tomorrow.
What aren’t we doing? We’re creating data but not doing things with it. We’re building content but not considering it’s use in funneling opportunities towards real business. We’re showing up on the social networks but not necessarily executing any kind of strategy to make the next step.
There’s work we need to be doing. There’s work we could be doing. There’s a lot of opportunity to do something meaningful. (I’ve said it twice now, and there are a few ways to take it. I’m not defining it because it’s up to YOU to decide what meaning matters to you.)
But it requires a lot of DOING and a lot less talking. Talking is what you do before and after you’ve done the work. Talking is what you earn. But we have to do. There’s a lot more “doing” that needs to happen in most of what you and I are spending our time on these days.
So Now What?
In most cases, you already know what needs doing that you’re not doing. In other cases, maybe you don’t. Want one way to think through it all? Draw a little visual map. My friend, Becky Johns pointed out a mindmap that Disney used back in his day, and what I loved about it was that I draw similar things from time to time. Why? Because when you draw the flow of anything, you see the missing parts better. It’s somehow better than starting at the checklist phase.
What might you put down? Draw about how you get clients. Draw about how you find them. Draw about what you do with them before, during, and after the sale. Draw about your plans for getting out of your job and reaching Escape Velocity. The moment you start drawing pictures and understanding where you should go, the work that you might not know needs doing might show up.
See, it was easier in the old days. If you weren’t putting the corn into the cans so the guy at the end of the line could seal them, and another woman would label them, and then someone would box them (etc etc), it was pretty obvious. Now? A lot of what we do can go on without anyone noticing what’s missing.
But we know. We understand it. And sometimes, we just let it slip away because there are so many other plates spinning in the air that we can’t possibly think about being thorough.
Hint: it ALWAYS bites your ass. Always.
Do the work.