In my post about taking massive action, I said:
Ideas and inspiration are only useful if you ACT on them
Which is a fine thing to say. It’s sage advice. A great soundbite (or tweet.)
And the words alone are completely and utterly useless.
One of my mantras is to “lead by example,” so I realized that in order to be in integrity, I had to actually DO something. (Oops.)
I sprung into action by doing 10X the thinking and came up with an enormous, complicated and overwhelming plan.
Next on the list: analyze the plan to death (using 10X the effort!) – then take a nap. (Hey…maybe I could do 10X the napping?)
Recognizing the pattern, I snapped myself out of it and chose ONE thing from the plan.
I’m going to write – and publish – a blog post 5x per week this month
(I described this as a “small” challenge, seems it’s only 5X, not 10X. One of my club members set me straight on that!)
There are any number of other challenges I could have taken on. (Or that YOU could take on 😉 )
- Make 10X as many cold calls
- Attend 10X as many networking events
- Send 10X as many emails
- Contact 10X as many former clients
- Ask for 10X as many referrals
- Record 10X as many podcasts
- Shoot 10X as many videos
If you’re considering joining me in this challenge (please do!) – you might be wondering…
How do you choose the right challenge?
In that 10X the effort of “thinking” that I mentioned above, I mostly thought about the criteria for choosing the right actions to focus on.
I decided that I wanted my actions to align with the following:
- Contributes to one of the business goals I set for the year
- Develops an important skill or contributes to growth in some way
- Feels doable (even if I’m not 100% sure exactly how to do it)
1. Does it contribute to one of your business goals?
You’ll get better results by putting 10X the effort into ONE thing, rather than doing 10 different things 1 time each.
10 times the amount of random, frenzied activity is a recipe for overwhelm and chaos, not a prescription for progress. 10 times the action towards one, specific project or goal is purposeful.
One of my big projects for this year is “visibility” – showing up and being seen – and my blog/website is the primary space I’m doing that. (At least so far!)
My goal was to publish 50 posts this year – roughly one per week.
So I elected to write a blog post every weekday during the month of March – a total of 23 posts! When I add that to the 10 I’ve published so far, that brings me well over half the way there. That’s a motivating goal!
I could have elected to just WRITE the posts, then scheduled them to drip out over the course of the year. I choose to PUBLISH them instead in order to meet criterion #2.
2. Does it help you grow?
Writing and scheduling would have increased the amount of effort/work I put in. This alone would have been a good outcome.
But I wanted more. I wanted to get some growth out of this.
So I chose to publish daily, which means that I will come up against the following growth challenges:
- Perfectionism. Publishing daily means I can’t spend hours writing, re-writing and second guessing myself.
- Consistency. This has been a challenge for me for a long long time.
- Vulnerability. Writing this often will bypass some “filters”
This is also a skill-building challenge.
I want to become a better writer. Publishing every day means that I will get intense, focused practice.
It also means that I’ll get used to sharing what I write and getting feedback: which posts get comments? Which are liked or shared? The feedback will help me get better.
3. Is it doable?
A good challenge nudges you out of your comfort zone and is achievable. Completing it successfully is motivating. Taking on too much and not finishing can be discouraging. (Ask me how I know this!)
I believe I’ve hit the sweet spot for myself with this one.
I’ve had a journalling practice for years now, so I write almost every day anyhow.
What I don’t do is publish.
The journalling is personal. It’s for me.
The blog is business. It’s for you.
I write this blog to help grow my business – by being helpful, educational and useful to the people who read it.
And yet, when I read through my journal, I see that some of what I’ve written could be really helpful and useful – if only for that sense of “whoa…so it’s not just ME who experiences this!”
My intention is to combine the two styles of writing. To continue to be educational and helpful – and to share my personal experiences as well.
Business skills are only part of the battle – the bigger issue is the personal growth that is required to make a go of business. Once we know “what” and “how” – the hard part is execution. Facing fear and motivating ourselves to take action.
So there’s no question in my mind that this challenge is doable for me.
The real question is: will I be brave enough to click publish on posts that may be:
- More personal than I usually write (because that’s what will be easier)
- Less polished than I usually write (because I won’t have hours of time every day to edit)
- Potentially provocative (because while I have strong opinions, I tend to temper them when sharing)
We shall see.