“Directing attention towards where it needs to go is a primal task of leadership.” -Daniel Goleman
Ever feel overwhelmed?
Like you’ll never be able to get ahead?
Is your business in a slump?
Or are you having trouble finding momentum?
If so, let’s talk about “shiny objects”.
As a business owner, you know exactly what comes to mind when you hear that…
Somebody is talking about somebody jumping from one thing to another, always trying to catch the latest “shiny object” and ride it out, hoping it’ll have some payoff. It’s so easy to do that these days! We’re in a culture of immediate satisfaction. Some might even argue we’ve been conditioned to look for an immediate result, or we believe that the latest shiny object is no good.
This is dangerous.
Especially when it happens in business. In YOUR business. Don’t worry, it happens to everybody.
But here’s the danger. The danger is that “shiny object syndrome” can sneak up on you.
Look at your to-do list. How long is it? How much can you realistically get done today? Or in a year even?
And an even more pertinent question…
How much of those tasks are actually moving you closer to your goals?
That’s the key to everything right there. Today’s Marketing Minute will give you some tried and true advice that seasoned business owners use to actually reach their business goals, and stay sane at the same time.
The Power of One Core Action
There’s a book called, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller, the founder of Keller-Williams Real Estate. It’s all about how he didn’t want to live a life of regret and so made the decision to invest his time, instead of spending it. This is what enabled him to turn Keller Williams into the largest real estate company in the world.
The book’s big idea is that it teaches you how to think BIG but focus on ONE SPECIFIC thing at a time.
As Gary Keller says, “If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”
And it’s true.
There’s a story you might have heard that gets passed around in business circles that illustrates this point as well…
The “Ivy Lee Method”
According to the story, Charles Schwab, one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen of his time, hired one Ivy Lee, a respected consultant, to help increase the efficiency of his team and discover better ways to get things done.
There are a few versions of what happened, but essentially, Ivy Lee came in with a mic drop…
As told here -
“As the story goes, Schwab brought Lee into his office and said, “Show me a way to get more things done.”
“Give me 15 minutes with each of your executives,” Lee replied.
“How much will it cost me,” Schwab asked.
“Nothing,” Lee said. “Unless it works. After three months, you can send me a check for whatever you feel it's worth to you.”
You can imagine what Mr. Schwab was thinking here. What could Ivy Lee possibly do to be able to promise something like that? (That’s a great lesson in sales right there, too!)
Here’s what he did…
“During his 15 minutes with each executive, Ivy Lee explained his simple daily routine for achieving peak productivity:
At the end of each workday, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
Repeat this process every working day.
The strategy sounded simple, but Schwab and his executive team gave it a try. After three months, Schwab was so delighted with the progress his company had made that he called Lee into his office and wrote him a check for $25,000.
*A $25,000 check written in 1918 is the equivalent of a $400,000 check-in 2015.”
What can we take away from this?
Focus Is Your Superpower
It starts with being able to prioritize what’s most important.
Join me in taking a good hard look at your day-to-day. Just takes a few minutes. Break it down, prioritize, and focus on what really matters, by asking yourself the following questions -
- What’s my end goal here?
- What tasks will actually get me there?
- What tasks can I eliminate or delegate?
Note that in order to actually make progress on what will move you closer to your goals, you’ve got to be willing to eliminate other things. Anything else needs to be considered a distraction. Even if it’s a seemingly “good” thing to do!
Take social media for example - for some people, it’s worth it to create and post several times a day and various different platforms, but unless they’re able to do it consistently, they won’t see any momentum! And honestly, most business owners hire this out. They are part of the process, but they outsource or delegate the task to someone else.
Another example is sales. This is essential for any business to keep their doors open. You need sales!
I learned this the hard way. When I was starting out, especially, this was a lesson that completely impacted how I approached my business. At the time, I was busting my ass putting out content, trying to be everywhere at all times, doing as much of every strategy the guru’s were pushing. And I was doing it all on my own. Finally, I was getting very little traction, and almost in desperation, I asked myself -
“What’s the ONE thing I really need here?”
Asking myself that one question changed my strategy completely. It simplified everything and I actually started to advance dramatically. Soon, I was running a full lead generation and marketing agency. The reason we had so much success with our clients was because we streamlined the process to focus on what matters. You might even say we created “anti-funnels”.
In everything we did, we focused on the ONE thing that we needed: more sales opportunities.
We needed more calls on the calendar and we focused only on the tasks that would make the biggest impact in meeting that goal.
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How to Ensure You STAY Focused Longterm
There’s one more thing to consider -
It’s one thing to take the time to prioritize what’s most important and then focus ONLY on the tasks that will have the most impact on those priorities…
And it’s another to make sure the shiny object syndrome doesn’t creep back in, derailing your motivation and productivity.
My solution is to be honest with yourself here and periodically check-in to make sure that what you’re doing is actually helpful. Here are a few ideas -
Eliminate the guesswork: Plan and maintain a routine based on your priorities.Many people feel like they need to have time and freedom to be spontaneous, so they don’t like to plan. It’s counter-intuitive, but planning out what is important FIRST will give you the time to be spontaneous later. When you strategize ahead of time and you know what you’re doing every day when you sit down at your desk, you can jump right in. That’s the genius of the Ivy Lee Method - the night before you figure out what you’ll focus on the next day.
Create systems to ensure follow-through and execution.Whether you outsource certain tasks or do them yourself, it’s always helpful to create “standard operating procedures” that involve systems so that everyone is on the same page and anyone can jump in. Also, utilize technology where possible to automate tasks.
For example, there are many tasks involved in the sales process, including prospecting and follow-up tasks that you can automate and still get incredible results from. The best part about automation is that you ensure it gets done and you open up bandwidth for yourself!
Keep focus, motivation, and morale high by keeping the end goal in mind.This one is about knowing what a difference you’re making and why you’re doing what you’re doing. When it’s tempting to try something new and add to your schedule, you need to weigh whether or not that will be the best use of your time in the long run - and if it aligns with your end goals.
If you’d like to learn more about our systems and how we leverage technology to automate sales processes, join us for a Groundbreaking New "Done For You" Prospecting & Lead Gen Service That Generates 2400 Leads And Dozens Of New Clients Sent Directly To Your Inbox Every Year.
On This Small Group Call You'll Discover:
- How we're able to send 100-200 targeted high-ticket leads directly to your inbox FOR YOU every single month.
- How to turn new leads into sales opportunities with automated outreach and follow up that hits their primary inbox nearly 100% of the time.
- A beginner-friendly way of keeping your name and your brand in front of your best prospects though social media without having to create ANY content yourself.
- PLUS how to access my team of lead generation and marketing coaches to make sure that you are deploying the latest and most effective techniques.