I have a confession to make.
I suffer from sparkly object syndrome.
What that means is that in my business (and my life), I see something and immediately think: “I should totally do that!” and sometimes then rush off and do it.
This is one of the things that really slowed down my business success in the beginning.
And it’s something I struggle with now. I have A LOT of ideas! (And sometimes I also have A LOT of caffeine!).
These two things together are usually not awesome :).
But anyway – one of the things that has made my business grow bigger every single year is to change how I make business decisions, especially in two areas: 1) How to market and 2) What programs to launch and when.
And it all comes down to two questions:
1. Is this the most leveraged use of my time?
2. Does it feel good in my heart?
Being a business owner is hard, while I have a crack team, there is only ONE of me. And only I can create the content or do the coaching that is the heart of what I do.
So I have to make sure that when I spend time on something, it’s absolutely worth it, and aligned with my business and life goals.
I can’t say yes a lot of things.
In fact, people will tell you that the more successful you get, the more often you say no (and feel GOOD about saying no!).
It’s so SO SO true.
Let’s talk about marketing.
For marketing, I preach the idea of a platform – i.e. one simple marketing channel like Linkedin or Public Speaking.
One of my big platforms is writing.
Now that I have a lot of visibility and credibility, I get people asking me ALL THE TIME to write for them. The more experienced websites will talk up how many hits they have per month and how this will let me reach more people.
Of course, most of them want me to write for free :).
And I’m okay with writing for free – if I can say yes to the questions above.
Why? Because writing is how people find me and my business, and start to engage with me, and eventually become clients and customers.
So it *can* be an excellent use of my time!
If the pitch was good, I will go and check out the website and see their style. Then I will follow up and ask if they will allow me to link back to my website in a non-spammy way at the end of the article, not just in the bio.
Note: There’s SO MUCH FREAKING content on the web, just having bio links won’t generate much referral traffic to your website these days.
If they say no – I pass…because it’s not a good use of my time.
I’ve built some great relationships with different major websites, and I know that they will generate awesome traffic for me. I don’t need to be swayed by a good sales pitch that may, or may not, add anything to my business.
When I first started, I wrote for and pitched a bunch of different websites. I noticed which sent traffic and which did not, and then I stopped writing for the ones that didn’t, and started writing more for the ones that did. It was hard to say no in the beginning, but I learned fast that I didn’t want to grind out my time on activities that had minimal pay-off.
These days I usually only write for one major website at a time, because I’ve found I don’t need to do more to generate great results. In fact, doing more usually leads to more stress (and less results).
I’ve learned to leverage my time in a way that feels good in my heart.
Let’s talk about products or services
Every year in Q1, I sit down and plan out my ENTIRE year. It’s a big, pretty loose, plan. Each quarter I dig in, make adjustments, and plow ahead.
Doing this lets me stay focused and on my game so I’m not chasing anything random or spinning my wheels.
But I still struggle with shiny object syndrome when I see something new or cool, so I have to go back to my two questions: Is this the best use of my time? Does it feel good in my heart?
Today, for example, over the the RevClub, I’m opening up a guided self-study version of my signature career coaching program, The Career Happiness Revolution.
Offering a self-study where I don’t have to be heavily involved has always been a great use of my time. But – I’ve never done it before for this particular program.
Why? Because it didn’t feel good in my heart.
I know that people need real support when making any big career change, so I hated offering such a robust and expensive program without any live support or coaching from me. It just didn’t sit right. And because it didn’t sit right, I never explored doing anything with it beyond launching it once a year so I could be live with my clients.
However, when I sat down this year and set out my income goals, and my personal potential goals (things I want to achieve for myself that are meaningful for me), I knew I needed to think about the Career Happiness Revolution.
So, I sat down and asked myself this: “If doing this program as a self-study is a slam dunk in terms of leverage and personal growth, what can you do to make it feel good in your heart?”
I realized I needed to figure out a way to add in some live support for this program and I could do it easily with some of the tools I already have (like Facebook). And, by only offering it now, once, before we upgrade the program, it wouldn’t have an ongoing impact on my time.
So, any time you find yourself making business decisions about your services, offerings, or struggling with what to focus on next in your business, just ask yourself: “Is this a good use of your time?” and “Does it feel good in your heart?”
Don’t be distracted by what other people are saying.
Other people don’t run your business.
It’s okay to say no! To others, but most importantly, to yourself.
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