Happy productive Monday,
Last week I invited you to make a list of what is creating chaos in your life. And to take one small action. Just taking one small step helps us move from chaos to calm. We can find our motivation and inspiration in this sense of calm.
Today I want to zero in on what is most important to you and why focusing on what matters most will improve your productivity dramatically.
After brainstorming last week around what is creating chaos, you have an awesome list of what you can let go of as well as what you really want to zero in on.
The truth is not that you aren’t doing enough, the truth is you are doing too much.
Look over everything from last week’s brainstorm. And if you haven’t done that, do it right now. You will find the instructions here.
Pick your Favorite Project!
Take a bright highlighter (yellow is a nice, active color) and highlight the one business-related project that you love the most (e.g. your “Low-Fat Foodies” blog).
Then ask yourself:
- Does this generate leads and help me build my list?
- How many people read it?
- Is it active? Does it get comments? Do its articles get shared?
- Have I created a product for this blog?
- Am I actively promoting it?
If the blog is your main passion, ask yourself:
- What would happen if I canned everything else, and poured my energy into promoting and building a community around this blog?
Sit back and think about that—really think about it. Look for two key elements:
a) Is this blog in a niche that gets results for others?
b) Are you intimidated by putting all your efforts into it? Do you think “no one cares about this except me”?
c) Ask yourself: “What makes my blog different than all the others in this specific niche.
d) Drill down and ask yourself: “Am I being specific enough with this blog?
You need to know where your genius lies, and focus there.
And here’s a big clue: If you are totally passionate about a topic, it is highly likely that you will find your area of real genius right in that exact niche.
Here’s a simple law of human nature: Whatever we put energy into, we become expert at. And it’s not just about inspiration—it’s about spending actual work-hours:
- Writing about it
- Researching it
- Practicing it
- Living it
Stop Wasting Time
If you’re lucky enough to be able to zero in your main passion in life, don’t waste any more time: Scrap everything else and make a concrete plan to spend the majority of your time building your dream.
I can hear the thoughts whirling in your head. How do you know if this project is the right project? The money making one? If it’s worth it to put your focus there?
I share a simple process for researching your market to see whether or not there is already a paying customer base for what you are creating.
How to do Simple Market Research
Before you do jump joyfully into your blog, however, take one more precaution/step: Research your market and see whether or not there is a paying customer base.
A big indicator would be:
- Are there multiple Facebook groups or Forums on the topic?
- Do other blog posts on your topic gather comments and consistent interaction?
- Can you find YouTube videos on your topic with at least 25,000 views?
- Are there magazines built around that niche (check out Magazines.com as well as stores with strong magazine sections.
Also don’t neglect simple Google searches: These will reveal important facts you need to know about your niche.
Here’s the trick: don’t type what you do into Google search. Type what your ideal clients are looking for. For example, if I want to help people ignite their creative fire or reclaim their creativity, what they might type into Google is “how to be more creative”. Got it?
If you are stuck on this part, come join us in our Productivity for Creative Business Owners Facebook group and ask questions. I am happy to support you!
Your passion may not be blogging: It may be running a B2B service. Perhaps you are an artist or writer. Or you have expertise in creating podcasts. In which case, that blog you half-heartedly started surrounding your service area shouldn’t be thrown out.
- Change its focus. Write helpful articles for your best client.
- Automate it. Devote one focused morning per week (or even month), instead of an hour here, twenty minutes there. Investing one solid morning—particularly if you start by compiling a list of all the tasks you want to get done or posts you need to write—will yield much stronger, more focused results than pecking away at it here and there out of guilt.You can preschedule the posts you’ve written—and when you’ve done that, preschedule notifications to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and more when the article comes out via social media management tools like HootSuite.
- Outsource it. Give the job of writing articles to someone who (a) specializes in that field (b) loves writing those articles! Or if you love writing the posts but hate everything else, buy a package of time from a VA who specializies in scheduling social media and updates, to do all the “mechanical” work for you.
- Make a plan. This is the most important component. Decide:
- How many posts per month you want to display
- What the focus of each month will be. You know I am a huge fan of creating editorial calendars!
- What products you want to promote (and if you’re not promoting any, find one good one and become an affiliate!)
- What you want to outsource
- Who will handle each phase of your blog production
- How often you will sit down to work on the blog
- Whether or not the tasks you’ve decided to do can be achieved in that time frame
Creating and scheduling a concrete plan can easily eliminate ninety percent of chaos and confusion.
Put it in a written schedule and make it “real”. Use an app or paper planner that not only allows you to plan and schedule, but integrate all other aspects of your business and personal life.
The secret to business success is not doing more, it’s doing less of the right things consistently.
P.S. Feel stuck, overwhelmed or unsure of what project to focus on. Join us in the Productivity for Creative Business Owners Facebook group and ask your questions. Take this one action and reach out to ask for support. We can figure this out together!