A couple of days ago I have written, “Your Business Needs To Grow Continuously”. Today I want to combine that important fact with a very easy to do management or personal development practice, that helps you to achieve your goal, tune out distraction as you learn to focus on what's really important.
You will see it's not about time management or life management as some call it. You still have to come up with a way to use your time efficiently. Of course you can refer back to my original series of articles about Productivity and Time Management, “Touch It - Do It - Get More Done”. I wrote a total of 4 articles on that subject and they are available combined into a single PDF report in the download area for my newsletter subscribers. Actually the PDF contains some extra content that is not released on my Blog.
Might be the right time to sign up to my newsletter, right now. (To my existing subscribers: I'll send you the download info as soon as I have finished this post.) Sorry for the little detour.
Let's get back to productivity issues. The little, but nonetheless important advice I'll give you fits almost everybody.
It seems that people respect their boss and they do whatever they demand — more or less — in exchange for their salary. That's how this boss-employee relationship works. What can you learn from this for your own business?
Even if you have changed the sides in the meantime and become your own boss, either as owner of your company or manager of a department, you will remember the days, when you worked late or on weekends to meet the deadlines given to you by your superiors. All of a sudden everything became less important: your plans for Friday night, the date with your new acquaintance, the movie premier, etc.
You absolutely needed to finish your assignment, because your boss would not accept any excuse and even could fire you. Even, if your assignment appears to be ridiculous to you. Your boss is your boss.
I will cut a long story short (… and save your time).
Certainly I was taking some time to write this post after I have asked my readers to submit a question for me to answer. 4 questions qualified. In the meantime I have sent an even more detailed answer to those folks, who dared to ask a question.
Now it's time to share my answers in public. I don't want to carry that as liability into the next year. But since I am lazy at the end of the year, while my assistant enjoys a nice skiing vacation in Switzerland, I only will answer 2 of those questions today. I will deal with the other 2 topics in future posts in January.
1. You have hosted some blog carnivals on your blog. Do you recommend that?
Yes, and no.
It appears to me that hosting a carnival gets you more traffic, while using the same amount of time for writing and submitting your articles to other carnivals will get you more back links, which leads to more residual traffic in long term. What do you prefer?
I found the response from the folks whose articles get used in a carnival is less than it could be. Not many digg, sphinn, stumble, or bookmark your post with the carnival edition. That seems to be the reality.
Unless you see hosting or organizing a carnival as part of your content strategy, and you are willing to put some effort to work, you probably should just stick with submitting.
However, if everybody only submits, there won't be good carnivals left soon. Then it might pay off more to organize or host a carnival, again. I noticed that many recent carnivals are basically just link lists. If you don't have any problems with that, Blogcarnival.com makes it really easy to publish such a “list”. You only have to press the InstaCarnival button and copy the HTML code as is to your Blog. Finished.
It's up to you, how far you want to go. I will host other editions on my Blog throughout 2008, but I will have an assistant doing the actual work.
Good observation, I never wrote that post here. I only wrote parts of the answer in my time management series of articles Touch It - Do It - Get More Done! and in some comments on other Blogs, and I believe in one of my newsletter editions. Anyway, the answer is very simple.
You need to teach and train others to do your type of consulting in a similar fashion. Those folks will have to be employed or contracted by you. Then you will have the time to work on your business, expand it, and make it more independent from you.
If you are often hired as consultant for doing project management, then you need to start building a real business, a company around it. You'll need other people doing the work in the future that you are still doing by yourself right now. It's moving from being a freelancer towards being a business owner.
You probably already have seen, that I promote Rich Schefren's latest milestone type of report — The Attention Age Doctrine Part 2 — very prominently on this Blog. I even have shot a brief video.
The core message of the report for many businesses is
“You are no longer in control of your branding, positioning and marketing.”
Wouldn't you believe someone, who had made enough money to retire at age 25, but has so much drive that he just moves on and since then helped his coaching clients to make some hundred millions of dollars additional income.
“Don't ask any further questions?
Just download the free report and read it.” (It won't be available forever!)
So what are the lessons that I have learned from this?
I had 2.7 times more visitors on my Blog than usually on Sundays. I am already curious for todays figures. All because I decided last minute, that I will participate in Rich's 66 seconds promotion video contest. So why did I get more traffic yesterday? Because I took action to participate in an event (the contest) that has a lot of attention. It is that simple.
Do you remember my post about one key factor for success: The Speed of Implementation. If not, go back and read it. It is one of my top posts.
Even though the video contest had a sharp deadline only 36 hours after it had been announced, my situation was worse. I did not “pay attention” until 2 hours before the submission deadline. That's when I decided to do it.
All of a sudden I had hundreds of ideas, but no time to put them on screen. Furthermore I never made a promo video like this. But I wanted to participate, I wanted to see, how it effects my Blog. So I focused on the essentials and kept everything to the bare minimum.
Writing a script, the text.
Filming myself speaking
Trying different setups, quickly.
I just didn't like any of the intermediate results. But I kept going. The clock was ticking. Finally I realized, I have to make the video some kind of funny to cope with all those no-time, no-budget, no-preparation, no-outsourcing type of issues in this Saturday night mini project. Originally I wanted to get into the informational or compelling category, but … no music, no third party material to be edited into the video, …
I kept rolling, registered for those sites, and submitted the video 6 minutes before the contest submission deadline.
What do you think? Is the video funny or just plain stupid? About Rich Schefren's Doctrine (John's Video is no longer available)
Please, leave a comment here on the Blog.
Do you have anything else to say about the doctrine, Rich, or myself?
Say it, in the comments.
Do you see what was driving me?
It was not perfectionism. And excuses like there is not enough time or how could I win and compete against everybody else, … could not stop me. Today I have seen videos from my competitors in this contest that blew me away. I am also relieved, because — at least in my opinion — my video is not the worst one.
I was driven by the determination to enter this competition. Nothing stopped me. I used what I had available, which was not much at this time as far as my Internet video skills and tools are concerned, but I am proud that I did it.
I have proven to myself that I am an action taker and that I am capable of getting to speed quickly. That is what counts. It is much more important for me than this particular contest. Of course, if I won, it would boost my business tenfold or more, But I am confident that I'll be able to boost my business anyway.
If you are in the Internet business you might have heard about the legendary Mike Filsaime (Butterfly Marketing System and more recently The 7-Figure Code). Yesterday Mike wrote a longer blog post telling us his thoughts about people, consumption, and most importantly the betters ways to make money.
The sad part of his story is, as Mike says, “People are just not willing to learn. Give a hungry man a pole, teach him how to catch fish, and he will complain to you.” That's how Mike builds his article in a very interesting way. It is fun to read and it contains a very valuable lesson.