“Don’t mistake activity for achievement” – John Wooden
Ain’t that the truth!
And entrepreneurs who work from home are the worst offenders. You can find all kinds of stuff to stay “busy”, and yet get very little done.
Jim Rohn said – “Don’t mistake movement for achievement. It’s easy to get faked out by being busy. The question is: Busy doing what?”
In my 10+ years in the financial services business, I’ve seen this over and over. Agents spending their days shuffling paperwork, making calls to the home office, putting together their presentations … and basically doing anything they could to avoid doing the MAIN thing.
Which was either doing an appointment with a qualified prospect, OR doing whatever they need to do to get on an appointment.
This was before the days of Facebook and social media, so I’m sure you can throw that in to keep’em “busy” today.
And it’s no different for home-business entrepreneurs.
They’ll mess around with websites, blogs, graphics, anything but the MAIN thing… which is actually 3-fold:
1. Get Traffic
2. Generate Leads
3. Convert Them Into Customers
There’s something called the 80/20 rule. I’m sure you’ve heard of it.
It says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activity. This is universally true. For businesses, 80% of their income will come from 20% of their best customers.
So it just makes sense, that if you want MORE SUCCESS, you need to identify that 20%, and spend 80% of your time doing those things. That’s called getting the biggest bang for your buck.
So the question then becomes, what is that 20% for you?
For an online business, those 3 things are it:
But that’s a 30,000 foot view. Each one can be broken down into very specific activities.
Let’s take traffic. You’ve got…
Brainstorming different ad ideas
Writing ad copy
Each of these things is important, but that doesn’t mean you need to do them all yourself.
Case in point…
A few years ago, I was promoting a product online and was testing different pages with different images. This was before there were all kinds of push-button tools to create pages on the fly, so I was doing it all manually with an HTML editor.
Now, I’m no programmer, and I just know enough to be dangerous. After about 30 minutes of messing around with a page, I couldn’t get the images and the text to line up exactly like I needed them too, and was getting really frustrated.
And that’s when it hit me. Go to Upwork.com (which was Odesk at the time) and find a freelancer to do it for you.
So I head on over to Odesk.
Post a job.
And within minutes I get freelancers applying for my project.
I hired one, and in less 30 minutes, he emails me exactly what I needed for a measly $10.
Since that day I was hooked on the idea of outsourcing anything that takes too much of my time, and is not part of my top 20% of activities that generate most of the results.
At least most of the time I do that.
In your business, you have to know what drives it, and what are the key activities that you need to focus on to move the needle.
If you’re a designer, by all means go for it and knock yourself out with graphics.
But if you’re not, you may want to consider investing a little bit in hiring one, and spend your precious time on other activities that produce results.
In my business I do a lot of writing. Now that can be outsourced too, and for some people who are not professional writers that’s probably a great idea. But in my case, it is a strength and that’s what I spend most of my time doing.
By the way, should you choose to hire a writer, either for content or sales copy, don’t be cheap. Find a good one. Because this is not the area you want to settle for lower quality to save a buck.
So, you’ve identified your key activities.
You’re taking action.
Now, you want to ask yourself this question at the end of each day… what did I get accomplish today?
Because remember, the goal is progress, not just mere activity. So do what you need to do and then check your progress. Do that, and you’re well on your way to achieving whatever goals you’ve set for yourself.
This takes commitment and discipline. But if you got big worthwhile goals, isn’t that worth it?
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