Sometimes it's more about what to stop doing, rather than the overload of what you should be doing.
As December approaches, I'm looking at my 8th year of entrepreneurship looming ahead in the not-so-far-off distance.
My story is a crazy one. I basically started a business at 21 years old while living in my Dad's religious cult. I used the fledgling finances I was earning from it to escape that horrible environment in the middle of the night.
I continued to focus on growing my business for the next few years. My little idea for a content agency has now become a company with more than 95 remote team members and thousands of clients around the globe.
I also created two courses (the Content Strategy & Marketing Course and The Expert SEO Content Writer Course) and wrote two books (the companion book to my content marketing course and a manual for newbie content writers).
I'm writing my third book about my story at the moment, and I can't wait to launch that soon. Until it comes out, here are a few things I've learned on my journey to running a successful business:
Being successful takes a lot of strategic focus. I didn't learn this until my 6th year of entrepreneurship.
It's not just about working hard. It's not just about putting in the effort. It's about focusing on the right things.
A side effect of that: You must let go of other things along the way. Sad, but true. Difficult, but necessary.
What should you toss to the wayside in favor of moving ahead with less weight on your shoulders? From my experience, these are the top drags that could be holding you back in business.
Let them go, and you may find your success speeds up with less resistance.
Imagine me singing “Let It Go” from Disney’s Frozen as you read this list. Remember: No regrets.
This includes friends, family, AND coworkers. A harsh and cold, yet true, truth.
Anyone in your life who is unsupportive of your goals is going to act as a roadblock.
You need people around you who are entrepreneurial-minded. In other words, they GET it when you have a client fire you need to put out, or your hands are tied with a deadline, and thus can't go to that dinner/movie/birthday/etc.
If you have friends or family who put demands on you or judge you for this, let them go. Hold the door open for them on their way out.
How do you get more time with your kids, spouse, friends? Say NO to booking meetings, calls, or appearances that will not boost your bottom line. Kill those ideas and meetings before they happen.
This will help you free your schedule and actually have time for family – because that's something you DON'T want to fall by the wayside as you grow a company.
To determine whether an opportunity will lead to growth, ask yourself a key question: How will this experience contribute to my goals?
Multitasking is a productivity killer. But, don’t take my word for it. Look to science.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, our brains have two modes when we switch between tasks: rule activation and goal shifting. Every time you flip to a different task, your brain needs extra time to adjust.
When you focus on one task, you don’t have to switch gears. You can hunker down and get it done faster.
So, instead of buying into the lie that doing everything is the only way to succeed, stop. Focus. One thing, task, to-do list, or job at a time.
Are you still posting blogs yourself? Still creating images yourself? Still making all the phone calls yourself? Still doing the monkey work of hiring, team managing, etc.?
Part of your job that is a total waste of time and could be easily performed by a monkey instead of a human."
Via Urban Dictionary
Make a list of everything you can delegate. This is your Monkey Task List. Now delegate.
Are you spending too much time weighing big questions in your mind? Apply Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule...
1. Acknowledge the big question on which you’ve stalled.
2. Count backwards from 5.
3. Act on your instinct – that thing that’s tapping you on the shoulder, whispering in your ear, and pulling at your heart.
Mel defines an instinct like this:
"I define an instinct as any urge, impulse, pull, or knowing that you should or should not do something because you can feel it in your heart and gut.via MelRobbins.com
These are instincts of the heart. They are moments when your heart speaks to you. We all have our own unique brand of wisdom, made up of our experiences, intuition, and DNA."
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – your gut answer is WHAT YOU GO WITH. Don't overthink it. Don't fear failure! Plunge in and build.
You only live this year, this month, this day, one time. Don’t waste it.
On the road to success in business, or really, to any goal at all, you need to learn to let go of what holds you back.
What’s not important, what distracts you, what stands in your way? Repeat after me:
Let. It. Go.