Working in a digital landscape can lead to some mindset hiccups that hold you back.
When you spend a lot of time online, it’s easy to develop the belief and expectation that things happen fast.
And sometimes they do.
You can order a package from Amazon this morning, and depending on your location, you might have it at your doorstep by this afternoon.
If you’re feeling bored, you can find entertainment via Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Instagram, Twitter, or what have you with just the click or two of your mouse.
Want to know who that actor is in the show you’re watching and why he looks familiar? IMDB or Wikipedia will give you answers in under a minute.
Have a question for your best friend? Just send a text…
You can access information, entertainment, inspiration, and products faster than ever before.
Is it any wonder, when you start to market your services, you feel like things aren’t working if you don’t get an immediate result?
The other mindset that’s a hazard in our industry is feeling like you’re too late if you’re not an early adopter.
Don’t have a blog set up yet? You missed that wave.
Thinking about launching a podcast? Everybody’s doing it already. How will you get found?
Want to build a social media presence? Isn’t that a bit passé at this point?
These two mindsets can leave you feeling like nothing you try is working and nothing you want to try is really worth the effort because you’re behind the curve.
The truth is, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to find success in any number of ways… but you need to kick these mindsets to the curb first.
And the best way to do that is by consciously adopting a long view. Because if you take consistent action over time, it adds up. And when you take consistent, strategic action, good things will start to happen… so long as you just stick with it.
Let me ask you this… do you ever feel like you need to get everything done now, now, now and fast, fast, fast?
You have a book you want to write, and you feel like it should already be done.
You want to build a presence on LinkedIn, and you feel like you should already have 1,000 followers.
You’ve just come up with the name for your new website, and you already feel like it should be up and working for you.
When you have to get everything done as fast as you can, you may think the best plan is to break the work into big chunks with the goal of completing it in the fewest days possible. Then you set a deadline — and promise yourself you’ll hit it.
But things come up, and within a day or two, you feel hopelessly behind.
You can change this by taking a longer view and planning smaller steps into your days.
What if, instead of trying to write 1,000 words a day in your book, you write 200?
It will take you eight months to finish your 50K-word draft instead of seven weeks. True. But if writing 1,000 words a day overwhelms you, and you keep putting it off, the slower “smaller day” progress will actually get you where you want to go.
One way to reach your bigger goals is to give yourself more time to do it by planning smaller tasks to accomplish each day.
When you commit to smaller actions each day, it’s easier to stick to it… And that means you can develop a streak. If you keep track visually by crossing days off a calendar, your streak can become a powerful motivator to continue making progress.
When you glance at your calendar (or your bullet journal or however you’re keeping track) and see that you’ve hit your target every day for the last three weeks, you’re going to be much more likely to hit your mark today, as well.
Longer streaks add up over time.
Work You Love
Finally, as part of taking a long view, try to focus on doing tasks you love, or at least enjoy.
Do you want to land five new clients in the next year? What can you do every day that is small and effective… and that you enjoy? It might be sending an email to a friend asking for a referral. It might be having a conversation on LinkedIn. It might be publishing to your blog or putting in a half hour preparing for your next podcast.
Do you want to be able to run a mile in eight minutes? Maybe you commit to an eight-minute run each day, and strive to get a little farther in that time each week.
Once you figure out this combination — small, effective, and enjoyable — you’ll be on your way to accomplishing big things… as long as you give yourself a long window to bring them to fruition.
In Case You Missed It…
Mari Smith, dubbed the “Queen of Facebook,” is a leader in social media marketing. She specializes in relationship marketing, particularly through Facebook, but she’s also skilled using other platforms and tools. And recently, Mari sat down with me to talk about community building and new trends on social media. If you haven’t had a chance to watch this interview, you should check it out. You’ll find it right here.
Do you have businesses in your life that you buy from again and again? In her most recent Reality Blog, Jennifer Ayling looks at the ways a business can earn a customer’s loyalty… and gives you insights into how you can do the same with your clients. This is a great read!
Whether you’re writing for Business-to-Consumer or Business-to-Business companies, chances are, sooner or later, they’ll ask you to write some email messages. Now, there are some key differences between these two audiences, and in her newest Email Marketing column, Michele Peterson looks at what you need to know to knock your next email campaign out of the park.
Mark Your Calendars…
September 6: Our next Monthly Member Update is just around the corner. Join me on September 6 for a look into three quick-to-master projects you can use to get your foot in the door with clients… and that could even convert into retainer agreements. Plus, we’ll look at what’s new, what’s coming up, and get the answers to your most pressing questions. Be sure to join us!
Deadline — September 7: Have you checked out the latest Practice Assignment? The focus is landing pages — a highly in-demand project, and one that pays well, too. With this Practice Assignment, you have the chance to try your hand at a real-world-like assignment. You can even submit it to be in the running for a professional, live review. But for that, you have a deadline to meet, September 7. This is a great way to hone your skills, so I hope you’ll give it a go!
Keep an eye out: Also coming up is our next Reality Blog live interview. We’ll be joined by Jennifer Ayling to talk about her content development strategy, how to build a strategy of your own, and what the overlooked keys to success are. You won’t want to miss this. More details to come soon!
3 Things You Might Enjoy…
Need a little advice on how to be more confident in your professional and personal life? Ilise Benun discusses two types of confidence and how you can develop each. Give it a watch!
And if it’s your writing in particular that you want to be more confident about, here are seven steps you can go through to build your confidence in your work.
Or maybe you want to be more confident in talking to people. In that case, you’ll find 23 tips to help you converse more confidently right here.
That’s all for now. Have a great weekend!