Are you frantic? Does this make your business inconsistent? Are you doing everything you possibly can and it’s making you crazy and you aren’t able to get any traction?
It’s time to learn the skill of focus. That’s right, focus isn’t something you do, it’s something you learn. It’s a skill, you get better at it each day, or it diminishes if you allow distractions to take over. I fight focus on a daily basis.
A few weeks ago, you heard me interview Melissa Miller and we briefly discussed the book, Essentialism. I’m almost done and I’m blown away by the practical advice and reminders that are in the end of the book. I’ll give you the quick overview of the point of the book, and then some of the top tips to help you and your team succeed without going absolutely nuts and burning yourself out.
The main point of the book is that we do too much. And by doing everything, trying to capitalize on every opportunity that presents itself, we lose ourselves. If we can put our best efforts into what is most essential, then we will have more margin in our life. This resonated with me as it brought me back to a few years ago when I got really sick.
Haley was just over a year old, and so Zoey was 4. I found a lump in my underarm. I started getting uncontrollable fevers and chills. I found myself hospitalized with the doctors testing for everything under the sun, including lymphoma. They told me they didn’t think that was what it was and were just ruling it out with a biopsy, but they were lying to me. The biopsy came back negative and by default I was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disorder called Kikuji-Fujimoto disease. I needed a lot of rest, and it would just pass after six months. Sure. Ok. I started working from home and the house shut down at 8pm. We basically did nothing on the weekends and declined most invitations, especially anything that would keep me out past 7.
And you know what I missed most? Nothing. My life never felt so full. I gave myself plenty of rest, and by default, my family rested. There was peace and we only did the things that really, truly mattered the most. The things we kept were time with our immediate family. What got cut were birthday parties and driving long distances. No more amusement parks, just the jacuzzi. And it was awesome. When I get frantic, ironically I long for those days, where I had an excuse to say no and stay centered. My team at work had the best performance in my career, and my family was happy. Crazy right?
Let me share with you my top three take-aways from the book, and how we can all apply this to our businesses. Today, I’m not speaking as to what you should be doing. I need this episode as much as you do.
1. Focus on mastering the skills that will have the most impact to your business.
There are so many things you could be doing for your business. Email people. Call people. Have a FB group. Send FB messages. Do a booth or 10. Go to this training. Go to that training. Read these 10 books that were recommended to you. Host an event. Do a 1-on-1. Follow-up. Promote a sale. Recruit a builder. Call my current builders. I’m getting overwhelmed just thinking about it.
Instead of trying to figure out a way to do it all, focus on the activities that will generate the most revenue. Of course I recommend calling people, doing 1-on-1s, and nailing that follow-up appointment. Until those are mastered and consistent, don’t sweat managing a FB group. And focus on the things that you are really good at. For me, I’m good at coaching and not so good at social media engagement. So I spend my day coaching. It energizes me and I’m putting my best foot forward.
Now, I’m going to smack you leaders upside the head. Stop tagging your team in every single thing that pops up on social media. Your first priority is basic training, which I strongly recommend you do personally to build your relationship and credibility. After that, each month they should have a specific skill they are looking to master. Let them have some wins. Only share info with them that applies to that skill, where they are. I know your intentions are good, but think back. How overwhelming is that? Your job as a leader is to filter out all the noise and help them take the next step in the most important things in their business. If they need to be better at inviting people to events or 1-on-1s, only give them training resources on that topic. Guard them from being overwhelmed. Ok, rant over.
2. Create a buffer
I am susceptible to the “let me do one more thing” syndrome. As a result, I find myself running 1-2 minutes late and not accounting for how much time things actually take. I underestimate how long things will take in my business, like writing this podcast. I might have allotted 30 minutes, but actually, it will take longer. The tactic shared in the book is to ad 50% to whatever you are doing to give you space. It’s a buffer. If I think it will take 15 minutes to get to karate, allow for 22 minutes. This will give me peace. My coaching sessions are typically an hour. Instead of scheduling every hour (and never having time to pee) I need to buffer the extra 30 minutes. What I loved most about this tip was that it was so concrete. Instead of a vague “leave more time than you think” prescription, it gave me a specific formula. This way when I get a call from my client in the middle of writing my podcast, I still have time before the next thing I have to do. Buffer. Yay.
3. Create small wins every day
Progress is the most motivating element in work. Let me read an excerpt that explains it much more beautifully than I could ever. “Instead of starting big and then flaring out with nothing to show for it other than time and energy wasted, to really get essential things done we need to start small and build momentum. Then we can use that momentum to work toward the next win, and the next one and so on until we have significant breakthrough- and when we do, our progress will have become so frictionless and effortless that the breakthrough will seem like overnight success.”
The other day Zoey came home and wanted to play baseball. Baseball? Yeah, she is crushing on her friend in class a little who plays baseball. That’s cool Zoey. Learn how to play instead of going to watch. I can dig it. We did some hitting and she rocked it, but catching was a little rough. She needs to catch now that she is playing goalie in hockey. Eventually those six-year olds are going to learn how to shoot high. I encouraged her that she needed to leave on a high note, and catch at least one before we stopped. She did it. Her response, “one more.” And then “one more.” Catching one was not so overwhelming, she could focus on it, she could achieve it, and the small success was kind of addicting.
This inspired me to get The Five Minute Journal app this morning. I had heard about it on a podcast a while ago, and I wasn’t ready for it. Today, it made sense to me. And after half a day, I think that I might love it so much I make it required for my clients. In the morning, I need to write three things I’m grateful for, what will I do to make today great, and a daily affirmation. At night I will log three amazing things that happened today, and how could I have made my day even better. Immediately, after the 60 seconds it took me to fill out the morning part, I felt myself energized, grounded, and focused on the small wins that would make today a success, instead of the million things I could be doing instead. I hope you will join with me. You can pick it up on Amazon for $18 if you like to put the pen to paper, or the app is $5. I personally don’t love using my phone, but I’m cheap so it will have to do for a few weeks until I get sick of it and buy the paper version. 🙂
Ok, quick recap. Master the skills that make the most impact on your business, create a buffer, and create small wins every day. Resources for this podcast can be found at emergesalestraining.com/43
I really hope you liked this episode. If you aren’t sure of which skill to focus on mastering, head over to emergesalestraining.com and on the homepage you can download a checklist of the 10 skills you need to succeed in network marketing. Then you can go down the list one at a time. Have a great week, and I can’t wait to chat next week.