The following is a guest post from Liz Strauss.
Do you wish you could move a little faster? . . . need a little more go? . . . a little — maybe a lot — more traction? Are you feeling stuck on shoulder while other folks are speeding by on the Infobahn?
No? If you’re barreling down on your destination, don’t let my words hold you for even a second. You go. You keep on going until you finish a winner. I know what it means to be on a mission. I’m from Chicago … I saw them film the chase scene in the Blues Brothers movie.
Yeah, I’m that old.
Still here? If forward action might be an improvement, it’s not an uncommon condition, this time of year. People start feeling the pavement sticking for a number reasons: holiday bills, dips in productivity, distractions, noise, Internet traffic peaks and valleys, the generational nature of certain subjects that turns over readership in cycles.
One advantage of being elderly is that few brand-new situations end up in front of me. Rare ones that do often bare a significant resemblance to something I already know about. If isn’t”been there, done that,” it’s often “been close and It’s like that one.”
Take that feeling that you’re stuck and everyone on the Internet is passing you. It”s like finding your car stuck in the mud, when all of your friends are on a paved road heading to a party.
The wisdom that works for one can also be applied to the other.
Try not to spin your wheels.
If you’re stuck, a sense of panic can cause an overreaction — a gallant try to grab control. If you slam your foot down on the gas without thinking, you’re just as likely to spin wheels in deeper. Sit back. Reflect. Get your bearings. Don’t things around you be in control.
It’s rare to see a vehicle that stuck all the way. Some need jumping out. Some need rocking real slow.
Let all systems reach equilibrium. Check all your stats — subscribers, comments, content — and see exactly which need attention in which order. Decide how you’re going tease the best performance out of each them. People won’t remember how long it took. They remember the results.
Reform the rut to go where you want to go.
Are you in groove that has no traction? A small shift of the steering wheel can change the way your tires grip. Maybe a shovel can pull away enough of the barrier to get you going.
Ever notice when you only talk to the people you know, that new ideas come slow? Our communities and social circles can sometimes close around us, like the groove that holds a stuck tire.
Step left, right or even upward. Take a few minutes every day to explore the social sphere on your own. Meet people in your neighborhood — online and offline. Don’t wait for people to find you. Read a new blogger. Find a new Twitter friend. Talk to them all. Be interested and interesting. Offer to exchange ideas and guest posts with the ones you admire. Look for ways to add value to what they do.
Put substance behind your wheels.
Something to give the tires to grab onto to is what you need. Just a little traction from sand or cardboard under a soggy tires can get you moving forward in a try or two.
Work smarter. Pick topics, find angles, and explore questions that are intriguing and new. Be a thought-provoker who’s fun to talk with. Check everything you write or offer as if you were sending to the most important person on the planet. Because you are.
Have your heart in it. Go the extra mile to show that what you’re doing is important. Do what you say you will — answer emails, return phone calls. Respect the other person that way consistently and I guarantee that folks will notice and return that to respect you by tanker truckloads . . . because hardly anyone does it.
Know your message. Stand up for who you are — your personal goal. Know what to answer when folks say, “How can I help you?” Everyone feels better when someone is clear about who they are.
Get a push if you need one.
Five people on the back end pushing can move a car out of a rut too. It hard work and sometimes they have to go out of their way to help you.
When you really need help to get going, ask for it. Ask your friends to pitch in. Tell them why it’s important. Ask in a way that makes them feel proud that they helped you.
When you’re on the road again, keep an eye on the shoulder for folks who are stuck like you were. Lend a hand when you can. It’s what good folks do.
However you get there, keep one point to remember. Paying too much attention to what the other cars are doing won’t get you where you’re going.
You’ve got a different car. You’re a different driver.
How do you get yourself stuck and on the moving road again?