Do One Thing Right and Do No More
A college buddy of mine sent me the book, "The Only Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results" by Gary Keller. I take any advice from her seriously given her expertise in running her small business.
Starting with chapter 1, it provided me with a message that's already hitting home. It recounts a memorable scene from the hilarious 1991 movie "City Slickers" with Billy Crystal and the late John Palance. Mitch, played by Billy Crystal, is on a Dude Ranch with a few of his city slicker buddies. Throughout the movie, he's been clashing with gritty cowboy, Curly, played by Palance but they find themselves together looking for stray cattle.
Suddenly, Curly stops his horse and turns to Mitch and the conversation goes:
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
Mitch: No. What?
Curly: This [He holds up one finger]
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don't mean sh*t!
Mitch: That's great, but what's the "one thing?"
Curly: That's what you've got to figure out.
This is such a critical lesson for those of us running small businesses. I have a tendency to take on too much. I keep a detailed to-do list and it gets longer and longer and longer. I also keep a quarterly goals that I review daily and I still have a tendency to focus on things that don't get me to my goals.
What happens is I start getting overwhelmed taking a toll on my personal life. I stop working out. My prayer / spiritual life goes down the tube. I get grumpy and impatient. (Ask my wife. No fun at all.)
After reading the first chapter, I reviewed my goals and to-do list. Before reading them, I was thinking of putting off writing this blog post. It went high up in priority. I head up marketing and lead generation for the team. It's my ONE THING and here I was planning to blow it off. My content is a proven source for getting and here I was planning to do something else.
Kind of stupid, huh?
I took it a step further. I sent out an email to one of my partner companies requesting a suggestion for automating or outsourcing the process of sending emails out to my client list, Facebook friends, Linkedin contacts, and Twitter account. We provide our clients with VA services, but given our client load, I need to consider outsourcing this since it might possibly be something another group can do more effectively than we can. (It could just be that paying someone else to do it will force us to just do it. Funny how that works.)
And one more thing. I'm going to stop right now and attend an Orange Theory Fitness training class. It helps me both physically and mentally and leaves me at my creative best. That's a good thing considering the marketing work I do for my clients.
So I'd like to challenge you to do ONE THING. What is the absolute ONE THING that is most critical to your business (and personal life for that matter) and make it your top priority / your utmost focus. See how that makes a big different in not only the success of your business, but the sanity of your life.
Hope this helps!