Thursday, July 03, 2008
I'll be sharing this one in my speaking life, but wanted to give it to you first.
This is NOT easy. Frankly, it's mentally exhausting. But I think it's one of the most useful ideas/strategies that I've put to use over the past couple of years.
Okay, so enough with the prelim warnings. Let's get to it.
Right now, I've got a LOT of stuff on my plate... At least 4 separate businesses that are all coming together at once, and with work I'm responsible for in each business. It's hard to find time to focus on the development of any one business without getting distracted with another, as well as keep up my habit of learning new material, exercising and teaching Jiu-Jitsu. But, I know how important it is to give focused, directed thought to each business, so....
Today, instead of putting on sped up business/marketing material on the MP3 when I went out for my 2 hour walk, I decided to try something different. I read into my voice recorder each of the questions from Gary Bencivenga's "Da Bomb" (over 50 of them), each to a separate MP3, then loaded them onto my mp3 player. Then, while walking, I listened to each question, and answered as best as I could into the voice recorder.
I ended up with 48 minutes of notes answering every question on "Da Bomb". I doubt I could have had the patience/focus to get through the whole thing in a sitting (I know I couldn't... e-mails were coming in, internet's tempting, etc). But while walking, there was nothing else to do. In other words, it's the perfect environment for focused introspection about my businesses.
You can obviously do the same thing with any number of checklists that are available. Every copywriting checklist, marketing strategy checklist, jay abraham questionairre, etc... These things are widely available, but I've never actually taken the time to go through them on a step by step basis. Chunking them into my walk was the first strategy I've used to really dig deep mentally in this way, and it produced some great results.
So the question to ask yourself is this: What "pre-flight checklists" exist for your business model? What areas bear more introspection? How can you structure it (either during a walk like I did, or during a commute, etc) so that you're confined with only those penetrating questions to answer for an extended period of time? (Just as a note: My reading of the Gary B questions were 8:40 in length. My answers to the questions were around 50 minutes. Hence, I'm pretty confident in scheduling myself at least 2 hours to get an hours worth of output, as a general rule).
Hope this helps somebody