The other day I was on a mastermind call with Bryan Franklin and Jennifer Russell. Jennifer said, “Most people spend so much time maintaining what is that they don’t focus on creating a new future for themselves.” That made me think about what I was really doing to grow my business and build the future I imagine. The hard truth is, not enough.
There are only 2 things that will move the needle in any business: creating products and marketing. But too often those activities don’t hit the top of my to do list.
After years of trial and error and too many broken promises to count, I’ve finally (gasp) gotten serious about developing the business rituals I need to keep me moving towards my long-term priorities. Because the truth of the matter is, without rituals and systems, “getting to it” doesn’t always happen.
These are the five failsafe business rituals I’ve used to keep me on track when life tries to get in the way:
1. PUTTING FIRST THINGS FIRST – Sometimes my day feels like a train that hurtles me towards night. Once I board, I can’t get off. If I don’t focus the first couple hours of each day on my top priorities, they get left on the tracks. I’ve developed the practice of sitting down each morning and focusing my creative energy on the one thing I could do to move my business forward in a real way. What’s your one thing today?
2. BLOCK TIME – Once something is in my calendar, I know I’ll do it. But whenever I leave something in the ether of “I’ll get to it later,” it usually doesn’t happen for awhile. I recommend scheduling blocks of time in your week to focus on marketing. The most successful entrepreneurs spend a whopping 20-50% of their time marketing their business. If you’re serious about growing your business, I recommend scheduling at least 8-10 hours week to build your online presence through blogging, social media, emails and other internet marketing strategies.
3. VISUALIZATION – OK, so this one may sound woo woo, but research shows that people who visualize themselves doing the work and achieving a specific outcome are over 50% more likely to follow-through and do it. If you can imagine where you’re sitting, the time of day, the light streaming through your window as you sip a hot cup of tea and start pounding the keys on your next post… then you’re halfway to actually doing it.
4. CREATING CONDITIONS – I got this one from Eben Pagan’s seminar on Creativity & Innovation. Think about what you want to accomplish, then figure out the 3 essential conditions that, if put in place, will guarantee or almost manufacture the outcome you want. That may be hiring a virtual assistant, creating your first product or putting a post-it note on your bathroom mirror every morning to remind yourself to exercise (or even sleeping in your work-out clothes). Know what’s it going to take to achieve your goals, then set yourself up for success.
5. EASTER EGGS – This one’s kind of bizarre, but it keeps a smile on my face when the going gets tough. In the web development world, we have something called “easter eggs.” These are hidden messages or inside jokes that you bury on a website just for fun. For example, if you hit the audio icon in the banner of my site, you’ll hear bird songs. If you refresh your browser a couple times you may even hear a rooster and a crow (not the prettiest sound). In college, I challenged myself to use the word “funk” in every term paper wrote. How can you add fun and spice into your marketing efforts?
I’m visualizing you marketing your business online. Let me know how it goes…