The best thing I've done for my biz
You know what the hardest thing is about running your own biz?
That is, calling the people you need to call, following up on customer questions, feeding the content beast, showing up to meetings, managing difficult staff, cultivating a good culture in your team, getting out of bed when it's dark and cold, working on the tedious parts, tracking the numbers...generally, just, well, doing the things that need to get done today, so you can have a business tomorrow.
And, you know the biggest thing that can get in the way of Doing The Work?
Ever feel this way?
I know I certainly suffer from overthinking-that-becomes-procrastination. That old, "I'll just think about it some more, then get to it later today"...But, the 10 minutes you gave yourself to "think" turns into an hour, and before you know it, you're side tracked by emails, pitches, customers or just that ah-mazing insta feed that suddenly needs to be completely investigated...
Well, I've discovered one really quick way to beat procrastination and overthinking and thought I'd share it as I'm seeing real results in my biz (and life). It's a book called The 5 Second Rule by US author and radio host, Mel Robbins that came out early 2017.
The basic premise is that by counting backwards from 5 to 1, we can trick our brains into switching gears from anxiety or procrastination into actually taking action. Mel Robbins came up with the idea during one the darkest periods in her life; she was 41, unemployed, facing significant marital and financial issues and unable to even get up in the morning to get her kids to school on time. At the end of a long day she saw an advert on TV with a rocket launching and promised herself that the next day she would literally "launch" herself out of bed, get the kids to school and look for a job. When the alarm went off she counted herself down - 5,4,3,2,1 - and stood up. A simple act that led to significant changes.
So, how am I using it?
Well, I'm using it to stop myself overthinking things and instead, just getting on and doing them. For example, one morning I was getting ready to drive to Daylesford to teach a workshop and considered doing an IG story, face to camera. Now, I don't do these often and began the overthinking: "It's 6am, I have so many bags under my eyes, I don't have much makeup on... What do I have to say that's of value?" etc etc. Then, I just started counting and by the time I got to 1, I had my phone out, camera turned on me and I was hitting the record button. That IG story resulted in 17 direct messages, more than 340 views and two people contacting me to work with them. To date, it's been my most viewed IG story...and it almost didn't happen.
Another example? While at the airport, I came across a magazine I'd always wanted to write for, but had never contacted. The idea of contacting the editor, there and then while standing in the airport newsagent hit me, so I counted down, got my phone out and sent off an email right in the middle of the aisle. The editor replied within two hours and I got 2x $1750 feature pieces running in this mag.
A fellow biz friend recently reached out to me on email one night relaying some work issues she was having. I asked if there was anything I could do and she replied help her set up an email platform. I could have delayed it but instead I counted down, took roughly five minutes to set it up for and sent her the login details. I could have sat on that for a week or more, but I chose to take action there and then. The 5 Second Rule helped me be a friend and helped my friend get on with her biz goals.
Anything else? Indeed.
One of the best things I've learnt from The 5 Second Rule (and the corresponding video series that you get when you purchase it) is that ALL problems and challenges can be divided into two camps: permanent and temporary.
Temporary problems are those we can fix, i.e. losing weight, changing jobs or relationships, moving house or living in another country.
Permanent problems are those we can't change, like someone else's personality, getting time back or wishing we had started something at a younger age. I spent some time reviewing the problems I dedicate energy to in my biz and life, and removed those that come under "permanent". I am learning to accept them. In life, and in business, getting this time and energy back is invaluable.
The 5 Second Rule isn't going to magically transform biz challenges into child's play. It will — if you actually put it into practice — allow you to stop the over-thinking and procrastination and start Doing The Work.
After all, good business isn't about working harder, but working smarter.