In the past few weeks I’ve had quite a few conversations with people and business owners where they feel completely overwhelmed. The overriding feeling is they have so many ideas or directions they could or should be going but they aren’t quite sure what to do.
So they end up doing one of two things. Either they try to do them all, barely achieving anything or they do nothing failing to act due to indecision.
I’ve also fell prey to this as well, oftentimes over committing my time and efforts when I should focus on fewer items.
First, if you feel this way realize you’re not alone. Also realize there is no magical zen moment in the future where it all becomes clear.
I do not know one high achiever that has a lack of options or has reduced the decisions they have to make on a consistent basis. Actually as you obtain more success your options grow exponentially. Typically this is because you have more access to quality people and resources such as capital. That’s not all though, it’s the new perspectives gained along the way that allows more options to be discovered.
When these conversations come up here is where I try to lead people:
Focus on the Essence
Bring it down to the most basic challenges of a problem or opportunity. Let’s take the essence of digital marketing. It’s about having an offer that resonates with a target market and getting that target market to see that offer.
That’s the essence but when we discuss the how and people start to feel overwhelmed. Do I need a website or a blog? Do I need to be on social media? How do I show up in the search engines… and within each one of those items there is another set of decisions, like what host to use, what platform, what plugins… the list goes on.
All that detail is what is ultimately clouds your vision.
Take out what is overwhelming and get to the essence of what you’re trying to do. Most of the times we allow ourselves to over-complicate things. If we just took a step back we’ll realize what we are trying to do isn’t that tough to describe. It gets simple if we can bring it down to it’s essence.
Share with Me in Exact Detail What This Looks like in 3 Years
Take a challenge you’re faced with right now. Can you describe your desired outcome? If I asked you to share with me in exact detail and describe what it looked like in 3 years from now could you tell me? Not I’ll get back to you… you should be able to launch into a full detailed description this instant, like right now.
If you can’t then I’d argue that you’re getting up every day without a long term vision. Now here’s where you say “I see it in my head, I know exactly what it looks like” or “I feel it in my gut”.
That’s not good enough. Most likely it’s about to get pretty vague the more we dive in a little deeper. I usually get there within one or two questions when someone realizes that their long term vision isn’t really there.
A lack of a long term vision usually means you don’t have (or can’t have) a short term plan to get there. How could you have a short term plan if you don’t know in exact detail where you’re going?
Tell Me How You’re Going to Make Money Tomorrow
Uh-oh, I used the M word. This weekend I had a Skype conversation with a friend of mine. He shared with me that he was going to start working on a new design for his site. Here’s what I immediately asked him:
Why? Wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on something higher level in your business and make enough money so you can have someone else do this? …and can you tell me exactly what your expected conversion rate will be if you spend the time and effort making this change?
Now if I know my friend he’s still going to spend the time himself to redevelop his site (he’s like me he likes to still get dirty with code at times) but I do think the conversation we had helped him get a little refocused.
I believe more than ever it’s critical that you focus on how you can monetize your efforts today. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t find ways to provide a long term value to your target market, but how can you make revenue today?
I’m specifically asking if what you’re doing right now and have planned for tomorrow are the single most important things you should be doing to maximize your potential and revenue.
If you have all these options and ideas floating around in your head which one of those will turn into money tomorrow? Which one of those actually creates income for you or your business? Which one of those ideas will your target market find so irresistible that they will take out their credit card and transact business with you?
Here’s Your Real Issue
What, you have issues? No worries we all do, some just kind of make it a little more obvious, like really obvious. You’re not overwhelmed with options. The only challenge that’s holding you back is making a decision that brings you one step closer (even a tiny step) to your long term vision.
So what is that step you need to take right now?
Once that decision is made then comes the hard part– taking immediate action.
Then comes the harder part– taking consistent and constant action.
Then the hardest of all– even more fierce action when you get to that point where you typically have given up in the past.
Then you get to do it again!
Photo by hang_in_there