Do less, be more
These days it’s a popular catchphrase, part of the current movement towards slowing down and living a less distracted life. But how does it work in business, when it feels like there’s always so much to do?
Over the weekend I attended Problogger Evolve in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to the one-day conference with presentations from the likes of Pat Flynn , Jadah Sellner , Darren Rowse and James Schramko , the Sunday was spent in a mastermind – tables of eight, working with each of the speakers for 30 minutes at a time, to get specific feedback on our business challenges.
Like any big event, the biggest challenge comes afterwards, with the implementation. I’ve come away with some big plans, and plenty of areas I need to review, learn and implement in my business. And of course I’m back in the daily flow of clients and kids and life, without huge swathes of time to put everything into action.
I’m letting all the ideas percolate for a few days before I decide (and take action) on my next right step, but if I was to sum up the key ideas of the weekend in a single word, it would be this: streamline.
Focus your attention – You only have so much time and mental capacity, so you need to be ruthless about what comes into your sphere and make sure you are putting your time and attention into the things that will move your business forward. Don’t underestimate the power of simplicity in your business and the amplifying effect of more focused messaging, deeper engagement and fewer (but more profitable) revenue streams.
Only consume content you can action – We’ve all experienced getting sucked down the endless rabbit holes offered by social media. Put your time and attention on consuming content that you can implement right now – and let go of the rest.
Know your end game – I’m not talking about where you want to be in three years or five years – I’m talking about the end goal. What does your ultimate business vision look like and what are you doing today to move towards that goal?
Hearing Kelly Exeter pose this question – and then challenging us to answer it on the spot – was a bit of a light-bulb moment for me. While I think about where I want to be next year, or in five years, I often forget to focus on the bigger picture. It’s easy to let the projects that would move me closer to that goal, slip away, eclipsed by the day to day client workload and marketing. You think “I’ll write the book one day, I’ll seek speaking opportunities later…” well why not today?
What are you doing today to work on the projects that would move you closer to those goals?
Listen to your customers – If you want to build a loyal tribe, you have to stay connected. Make sure you’re taking time to regularly engage with your customers and hear about the challenges they are facing right now. We are often blind to our own strengths and may well overlook the very thing that would be easiest for us to provide. So talk to your customers, ask why they bought your product or service and what they are struggling with right now. You may be surprised what you discover.
Stick to your message – What would happen if you focused your content around one big idea, for a whole 12 months? How much traction could you gain, what relationships could you build, how would it elevate your authority and expand your body of work?
I often ask my clients what they want to be known for and this is a great place to start. Take what you want to be known for, break the topic down into twelve big ideas, and make each idea your content theme for one of the next 12 months.
Schedule the themes according to your big promotions and launches, follow Pat Flynn‘s lead and write your content four weeks in advance (I know!) and voila! That’s your content headache sorted.
Choose your next right step – There are always going to be lots of things you could do, but what’s the one thing that would really move your business forward? Prioritise the action step with the highest impact and leave the others for later.
There’s much more I could say and plenty more I plan to do, but for now I’d love to know, which of these tips resonates with you? What’s one thing you could do this week to simplify your workload and amplify your results? Share your ideas in the comments below.