003 – How do I get so much done? Batch your work.

This is the second part of a two part series based around the question:

How do I get so much done?

I’ve been getting this question from friends, family members, clients, and people I’ve been interacting with online.

So let’s dive in:

Batch your work! By batching your work you allow your brain to focus in on a specific series of tasks. Thereby, you allow yourself to be more efficient while knocking out the similar tasks.

A big “Thank you!” goes out to Dan Miller and Justin Lukasavige for introducing me to this GREAT method for approaching work.

~Ivan

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Who’s doing the work?

Photo courtesy: dreamstime.com

We’ve all seen it. Typically on the side of the road. They’ll be some sort of construction just off the side of the road and they’ll be one or two men digging a ditch while 6 to 10 men stand around and watch the ditch diggers. A few are “in the trenches”, the rest are just bystanders.

It dawned on me the other day that even when we’re starting our own businesses we sometimes get confused as to who is supposed to do the work. Who’s supposed to take action. Who’s going to initiate a transaction where goods and or services are exchanged for money?

Sometimes we’ll be so busy “in the trenches” in one area of our business, we’ll ignore other, equally as important areas of our business. You might find yourself devoting days and weeks to making your website the best it can be, but you’re ignoring the accounting and the financials of your business. Or you might find that you’re devoting a lot of time to building relationships online, but you’re TOTALLY IGNORING your local community.

Sometimes, we find ourselves “in the trenches” focusing on areas that are not as important as what we should be focusing on. For instance, we may spend considerable time and money to have a logo created that catches attention and yet we are SHUNNING THE SALES PROCESS because we’re afraid we might hear a “no”.

In each of these examples we’re “in the trenches” in one area and being the bystander in the other.

In the past I have been guilty of this in many ways.

The first that came to mind are the various blogs I’ve attempted to start before. I honestly can’t remember the number of blogs I’ve started and let die. Somewhere between 3 and 5. Each case was the same. I would stumble upon an idea that would inspire me to write a couple blog posts. So I’d quickly crank out 2 to 5 posts and sit back and wait for the millions and millions of subscribers I was going to have.

There are NUMEROUS problems with what I just described, but for the sake of this discussion let’s just focus on two. My “trench” in each of these examples was the content that I produced for the blog. So I’d get busy for a few days on writing about whatever the idea was for the blog. And then I would TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY ignore any effort on my part to draw an audience, to build a community.

Another great example happened when I attempted to sell real estate. Here my “trench” was really diving in and trying to get to know the local inventory on hand so when I had clients I could take them to the PERFECT MATCH for their requirements. So I spent days and weeks combing through the inventory of houses in the local market. I made notebooks of all the details.

BUT I COMPLETELY IGNORED GOING AFTER CLIENTS! OK. Not completely, I sent out a bunch of letters. Thousands of them (we could mail 300 letters for free each month for the broker I worked for). So I passively went after clients.

Now tell me, what good does knowing the inventory do if you NEVER HAVE CLIENTS to show the inventory to???

NONE!

I don’t think I fully realized it then, but I occupied myself with being in one “trench”, knowing the inventory, at the expense of missing the most important “trench”, going after clients who could and would make a purchase.

So I ask YOU, what “trenches” are you currently in that should be taking a back seat to the truly important tasks in your business? Are you trying to design the perfect backend to the sells process but you’re ignoring actually finding clients? Are you focusing on producing content, but ignoring building a community of people interested in your content? Are you putting all your efforts into growing your online presence, but you’re COMPLETELY DISCOUNTING your local market?

Don’t confuse action with productivity.

Figure out the right “trenches” and then maximize your efforts THERE!

~Ivan

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002 – How do I get so much done? Prioritize

This is the first part of a two part series based around the question:

How do I get so much done?

I’ve been getting this question from friends, family members, clients, and people I’ve been interacting with online.

So let’s dive in:

There you have it! The way I’m able to get so much done is through prioritizing. And once I’ve prioritized I spend time working on those priorities.

I hope this helps you and business grow into your dreams.

~Ivan

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Are you excited?

I started typing this at 5:11 AM on a Saturday morning.

What time did excitement get YOU out of bed?

I’m surprised it didn’t happen much earlier seeming how I thought my alarm was about to go off, I mean I was just laying in bed wide awake and thinking the alarm was going to go off at any moment. After a few minutes, I’m very impatient, I got up and walked across the room to check my alarm clock. 3:39 AM. Yeah… I can’t get up that early. We have to drive to Macon this morning to pick something up, close to a two hour drive, I need SOME sleep!

So why am I awake so early? What could possibly cause me to miss out on some oh-so-precious-sleep???

Excitement!

OK. If that were typed how I just thought it (didn’t say it out loud because Alexander just whimpered in his sleep and I don’t want to wake him yet) it would be EXCITEMENT!

I am PUMPED RIGHT NOW! I had a hard time going to sleep last night. I woke up several times during the middle of the night. And I laid in bed waiting for my alarm to officially sound at 5:00 AM all because of EXCITEMENT!

And this has happened a couple days in a row now. And it’s happening more and more frequently.

So what’s got me excited?

A Better Way of Business. And all the things going on here. I’m excited that my first video blog was a huge success. WAY BIGGER than anything I expected. I’m excited about the relationships I’m building with people over the last few months. I’m excited about getting to get up and work on that oh-so-special-project I keep hinting about but haven’t divulged yet. And I’m excited by getting feed back that I am motivating other people to LAUNCH THEIR BUSINESSES!

Check out part of this feedback I received yesterday from Curtis Hollembeak from http://www.fundamusic.com/:

I have been encouraged by your postings at FAA to go ahead and do something. Your energy has already motivated me. FundaMusic.com went live this week, and I too am excited about the possibilities.

It’s feedback like this from Curtis that erases any doubt as to whether or not I’m heading in the right direction. I read his comment last nigh a little before bed. I as tired, I’d had a long day, and I was ready to go to sleep. After reading his comment I could have run a marathon! OK, I could have walked a mile or two and then collapsed from asthma is more realistic, but STILL! You get my point. That comment got me EXCITED!

So I ask YOU! What’s got you excited? Are you so excited about your business idea that it keeps you awake at night? It wakes you up in the middle of the night because inspiration just hit? It can force you to get up early on a weekend morning so you can get started and devote focused time to it?

What is it?

Do you HAVE anything that gets you this excited?

I can tell you that this is new to me. This level of excitement isn’t normal for me. Yes, I get excited easy, and lose it just as fast. This is different. This is POWERFUL. This keeps me going when I want to throw in my towel and quit.

So I ask you again. What gets you THIS excited?

~Ivan

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THANK YOU!

I just want to say a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to all you awesome people that made yesterday by FAR the busiest day at A Better Way of Business!!!

THANK YOU!

As many of you know, yesterday was my first video blog. I think it went well. I received NUMEROUS personal emails containing encouragement and some helpful tips on things I can improve. I received the most comments in a day on a single post, 7. And… I received the most page views in a single day…

99!!! This is a 254% increase over the previous best day of 39.

I know, I know, I KNOW! I JUST published the post on Quantity vs Quality where I explain as bloggers we should be more focused on having the right people view our blog than shear numbers. BUT IT’S REALLY GRATIFYING TO KNOW THAT SO MANY OF YOU VISITED MY BLOG!

So I honestly feel like I’m still in the crawling stage with A Better Way of Business. But soon I’ll be walking. And even quicker after that I’ll be RUNNING!

Hold on! It’s going to be a FANTASTIC ride!

Can I be so bold and so brave as to ask you for a favor? If you like what you’re seeing here. If you’re motivated and inspired by my writings and the lone video I’ve put out. Will you tell someone? Will you let your friends know about what’s happening at A Better Way of Business? Will you click the “Like” button for Facebook you see directly beside this post?

Thank YOU for making this happen.

As always, if there’s anyway I can help show you that there’s a better way of business, let me know!

~Ivan

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001 – Do Something

Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! PEOPLE OF ALL AGES!

Today you’re about to experience the first video blog for both A Better Way of Business and myself!

And I’m EXCITED!

Enjoy!

There it is! What did you think??? I’d LOVE TO KNOW!

Special thanks go out to all the people who have encouraged me to try this out! You guys rock!

~Ivan

Posted in Action, Friday Free Form, Video Blog | Tagged | 19 Comments

Quantity vs Quality

Quantity vs Quality

So I’m a numbers guy.

As a kid I grew to love baseball. And do you want to know what turned me on to baseball? It wasn’t the actual game. I had to FORCE myself to watch the game. It was long, and boring, and I only had about a five minute attention span (it’s up to 10 minutes now!).

It was the cards. Specifically the back of the cards, where several years worth of stats were kept. I LOVED looking at those stats. What was the batting average? How many doubles? Homers? RBI’s? Who had the highest average, per year, for the cards I had? Most homers? What about for 3 years? Add up the total number of hits for three years and divide by the total number of at bats. Who has the best average???

I loved it. I would make my own note books and hand write out all the stats from the back of the cards so I could then analyze the players easier (I wasn’t introduced to Excel until my college years). I would even go so far as to create my own stats and see what kind of numbers I’d get. Let’s give John Smith 605 at bats, with 203 hits, 47, doubles, 39 homers, and 146 RBI’s. Is that realistic?

Crunch the numbers!

It was great.

My love of stats transitioned into video games. Favorite sports game of all time? Tecmo Super Bowl. Why? It was the first game I came across that kept stats.

One of the reasons I love role playing games so much? You have to level up your characters, thereby changing and improving their stats.

To this day I’m still obsessed with numbers. Take this blog for instance. I found out I can monitor traffic at this site. I can see how many page views I get a day. I can see where the views are coming from. I can see so many numbers, and not all of them make sense to me yet.

I LOVE IT! Actually, I can see myself getting obsessed with it. Are my links from Facebook and Twitter working? How can I get them to funnel more readers over here? Do I get more views on Monday or Thursday? How can I tweak the titles of my posts to make them more attractive to drive more traffic? HOW CAN I GET MORE PEOPLE?! MORE TRAFFIC?!?! MORE MORE MORE!

You get the picture.

I actually had a bit of a melt down last Wednesday. I got to work and was pretty busy, so I didn’t check the blog until around lunch. That’s the day I wrote, “Can you accomplish everything that needs to done?” This was and is a topic that’s near and dear to my heart as I start A Better Way of Business. I was really excited about this post. So when I checked at lunch I was expecting this post to have a decent number of views, for me that would have been 20 by lunch. So I opened up the dashboard and what do I see???

To my GREAT surprise I see 1. One single, solitary, lonely page view. And that one view just so happened to be me because the way I get to my blog is by clicking on this link that I set up that takes me to the daily post (guess I need to change that so I don’t skew my stats) and then I click on the dashboard. So really, I had had ZERO page views by lunch.

I was crushed. I was defeated. I wanted to throw the whole site away as a failure.

I sent Skye a text asking her if I was making a mistake trying to get A Better Way of Business going.

About 30 minutes later it hit me. I was obsessing over the wrong thing (I do that too often). And I think I discovered what the right thing IS!

My love of numbers and stats had been telling me the IMPORTANT piece of data is page views. The more page views the more successful I am. The more people stopping by my blog, the more people who actually value what I’m saying. The higher the number of page views the more business I have…

Wait a minute…

THAT’S IT! That’s where I was wrong. I was equating page views to number of clients that actually want to work with me and have me help them and their businesses grow into their dreams.

And that’s not necessarily the case. I realized, that what if I had 1,000,000 page views in a day. I would be TOTALLY PUMPED ABOUT IT! But what if NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WANTED TO DO BUSINESS WITH ME? It would be POINTLESS to the extent that I want and need A Better Way of Business to provide income so I can support my family.

So it dawned on me. I shouldn’t be so concerned with simply having a large quantity of page views in a single day. What I NEED is a much smaller number of the RIGHT page views in a day, page views that will actually lead to clients working with me and me helping them and their business succeed better.

My thinking had changed.

It was: Quantity is all that matters.

It is now: Quality at the right quantity will lead to success.

What about you? Are you focused on numbers for numbers’ sake? Or are you focusing on the RIGHT numbers?

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