All the things, and your one thing

“We’re doing all the things right now, so I guess my question is…what do I focus on?”

Had a one to one Momentum session with a client last week, and when I asked what particularly she wanted to cover, this was it.

This is for those of you who ARE actually doing things. Loads of things. All the things.

You’re proud of yourself for taking action (and rightfully so). You’re thankful to be in a place where there are many things to do, and plenty of business.

But…you have this sneaking feeling you could be focusing your efforts in just one place to make more progress. Isn’t that how success happens? Consistent action, in the same direction, day after day, year after year?

I saw this on Twitter, a “fascinating fact about a grandparent”. I sat and stared at it for a while. Three bricks a day. Every day. For seven years. A LITERAL HOUSE.

I confess I even did the math. Three per day… that’s 21 per week… times 52 weeks per year….times 7 years. That’s 7,644 bricks. Is that enough for a house? Did some googling and yep, looks like it is.

It doesn’t seem enough, does it? Three bricks a day. Seems like he needed to be hauling an entire wagonload full of bricks every day. Gather an entire family or workforce together.

The reason he could build a house with those bricks is that’s all he carried home every day in the lunch pail. Three bricks. If he’d carried other things, or skipped it now and then until he stopped doing it altogether….no house.

Back to my conversation about doing “all the things”. This particular client felt she knew what ‘category’ of thing she wanted to prioritise (for her it was their onboarding system).

It’s easy to say “I’m going to prioritise onboarding”: but what are the three bricks today? How can you build your onboarding house if one day you’re carrying bricks, the next day nothing, the next day a few small bugs and a stick, then just one brick? It’s going to take you a lot longer than 7 years.

Answer all of these questions as they relate to your one area – onboarding, or prequalifying, or hiring, or scaling the firm, or project management. That way, you’re not randomly doing something every day, but you’re identifying what your bricks are, to build your onboarding house. Your hiring house.

  • What’s annoying you or wearying you right now? Is there a question you’re tired of answering, a task you’re tired of doing every day or week or month?
  • What question do you get asked all the time? Which, if you could simply answer by sending a blog post or video, would save you a lot of time?
  • What task is being done just a little bit differently every time (by you, or different team members)?
  • What’s been on your to-do list for absolute AGES? You’re tired of looking at it, or it’s ceased to have any meaning. You don’t actually believe you’ll do it.
  • Does it have to be…? Does it have to be as big a project as you’re imagining? For example, do you actually need a full, brand new website today…or would one new page on your existing site solve 80% of the problem? Does it have to be an entire online course, or would a few quick Loom videos cover most of what they need to learn? Does it have to be a detailed PDF guide, or could it be a few blog posts? We are thinking of the house when we need to scale it down to the bricks.
  • Where are you finding it difficult to say NO? If you and the team are swamped but you’re still taking on new clients, an actual waiting list page (with a form and a video explaining how it works) could help you to say no. If you keep hiring people and not long after letting them go, creating a checklist against which to review potential new team members will help you say no. Create that.

 

Whichever one of these questions was the easiest and fastest to answer, that’s your one thing. Work on that and get it actually done (not perfect but done!). And then move on to the next and the next.

Before you know it, you’ll have built your house.

And it might even take less than seven years!

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ON THE GRAM

I’m not actually bummed about the grey weather we’re having. Here’s why.

I went for a walk in the MORNING today, which felt like i’m winning at life. 🏆 

Lately I’ve been fitting in my daily walk at 9 or 10pm after a long day of meetings. I’m super grateful for the way it’s still light so late at night, but a walk-at-end-of-day doesn’t have the same motivational kick as the walk-at-the-start. 🌑 

So that one little thing I did puts me at champion status, and affects my entire mindset for the day. 💪 

There are a lot of contributing factors to this morning’s walk, but the top one was that it was grey, cool, and windy...which is far more motivational to me than bright sunshine. 🌬 

I know, it’s weird.

The rest of britain is like UGH WHAT A SHIT SUMMER and i’m here going um...i really, really love the rain. And clouds. And cool breezes. And grey skies. ☔ 

I’ll join in the conversation and be like yea, yea, it really does suck...but that’s just to start conversation and show British solidarity. Deep down I don’t think it does suck. 👀 

I do like sunshine, but after spending 25 years of my life in Arizona, I don’t love or crave the heat. ☀ 

Anything over about 20 degrees and i start getting a bit antsy...and my limit is “23 with a breeze”. 😎 

If it’s higher than that I’ll literally hide inside, not rush out to sit in a beer garden or at the beach. I really don’t enjoy heat at all. 

So thanks grey skies and wind, you helped a lot today. 💪 

Just me? Everyone else dreaming of 30+ degrees and sunshine?? It’s okay if you are...i just...don’t get it. 🤣 

#justkeepgoing #walkoftheday #goodmorning #wegotthis #onestepatatime #motivation
Cancelling things is a superhero skill.

Not all the time, of course: we want to be trustworthy.

And the sheer stubbornness of being a business owner is good.

I can do it. I will do it. No matter what! I can make. this. work.

A product, an event, a new hire, a business.

So we keep pushing. Show up, send the emails, make the phone call, record the videos. More training for the new hire, more new hires. Make sure we never let anyone down.

Of course, things happen. We get sick, something happens to a family member, or there’s an emergency and we need to shift things around.

But cancelling things can be a superhero skill: when you do it well, knowing why it’s time to cut the cord and communicating it well.

Here’s some of what I consider when I’m trying to decide if it’s time to dig in, or stop & go another direction:

1. Does anyone even know about it?
Sometimes it’s been a big part of your business life and used a lot of brainpower, but no one outwith you and your team know it was meant to happen.

2. What’s the cost of not doing this now?
The full cost, more than financial, including:
- Motivational cost for you, team, clients
- Decreased trust for clients
- Loss of strategic partnership connection

3. Could you replace it with something else?
Another day, an online option, a template instead of custom build? Sometimes a replacement isn’t a cancellation at all. You’re doing it, but in a less costly way.

4. Do I have the energy and appetite to keep going?
I can do it with an automaton approach…but given the other things on my plate, where do I want my energy to go? How much do I have to give? Will it renew energy, or drain it?

I ended up cancelling a small event recently, & whilst I was disappointed, it was the right decision for these reasons.

It can feel embarrassing...but cancelling something can be a superpower, if it’s done well & communicated clearly and honestly. And when it’s more the exception than the rule.

Anything you are considering stopping? What impact might that have?

✨This is from this week’s Creative Headspace note. They go out every Friday - except for the rare occasions I skip a week for my own sanity. 😄 Sign up in bio!💌