The Business-Minded Approach Toward GETTING THINGS DONE – (Part 2)

Today’s blog post is a continuation of the post, The Business-Minded Approach Toward GETTING THINGS DONE. And the way I ended that first part of a two-parter was with the seven topic headings I’ll be discussing today. The following seven headings refer to seven calls-to-action, or business strategies, that identify those with a business-minded or GETTING WORK DONE mentality. So, let’s get it.

Appreciate the Process

Originally, I had captioned this section as “Enjoy the Process”, but I had to change that, because sometimes you’re not going to enjoy the process. As a matter of fact, you may even intensely dislike it (okay, hate it, in fact). But if you’re going to go through a process no matter what, wouldn’t it make sense to get the most you can out of the experience?

In my book, Playground Instruction for the Growing Adult, I sum up the point about appreciating the process better than I can possibly do from scratch (right now). So, check out this little excerpt from the book:

If you have a certain goal that you’re trying to accomplish and you have to complete an uncomfortable task to reach that goal, then do the task, remembering that its completion is a stepping stone (part of the process) toward getting you closer to your desired result. Learning opportunities always arise from situations that test your ability to respond to adversity. Dig down deep, investigate, evaluate and meditate on the life lessons that present themselves.

What are these lessons trying to teach you? Maybe they’ll teach you more about your character, about hidden skills that were buried deep in the recesses, and about weaknesses that you didn’t know you possessed. Or, maybe the lessons will teach you about a hidden area of interest you’ve picked up along the way and are now in a position to acknowledge. So many life lessons . . . so many life lessons. You can’t help but encounter them by simply living life. The learning opportunities that will make a lasting impression upon that mind of yours are those that come about by experiencing the uncomfortable moments faced when going through the process.

Serve the People

One thing I’m becoming increasingly aware of is the fact that your business is not all about YOU. It’s just NOT! It’s come to my attention that we, human beings, don’t live in a vacuum, where the needs of others are drowned out because our own needs take precedence over everything else.

We live in a world where people need solutions to their problems. Now, there may be times when your problems are the same problems that other people face. And if you find a solution, then you find yourself in one of those WIN-WIN situations — a mutually beneficial outcome that not only makes your life easier, but also makes life more pleasant for others.

In this super complex world we live in, make things easy for yourself and give the people what they want. Don’t expect them to want what you think they should want. Actually ask them what they really want. They’ll tell you. And then, go out and get it for them. Give them the answers they seek and the solutions they desire. Become a problem-solver.

And to this end, I’m striving to be more connected to researching what people want and actually asking people what they need. So, don’t be surprised if I throw out some questions to you here and there to get your feedback on what matters most to you. After all, who’d know what you need any better than you? Certainly, not I. Therefore, I’ll be coming to the source for some guidance on how I can best serve you as a creative entrepreneur.

Have a Plan

If you’re a fly by the seat of your pants type of individual, then this part of the business-minded approach may not be for you. Therefore, feel free to skip this section. I always say “do you”. And if the no-planning approach works for you, then by all means, keep on the path that gets you the results. However, those of us, who need a little structure and focus to keep moving in the right direction, may need some documented instruction and guidance when it comes to GETTING THINGS DONE.

When dealing with the business aspects of my creative initiatives, I’m finding that it’s necessary for me to finally create an official business plan for Degrees of Maternity. In fact, I’ve made some preliminary steps in order to organize my thoughts. And eventually, those thoughts will take on some additional detail and morph into the components that will make up my business plan. To start, I’ve taken a white board and listed out the essential tasks and goals I’ll need to regularly engage in in order to make strategic moves for the business side of Degrees of Maternity.

I even purchased and received a copy of Your Author Business Plan (and the companion workbook) by Joanna Penn a little over a week ago. I’ll be writing a proper review of the book in an upcoming edition of the DOMinators News, a Degrees of Maternity newsletter, to let you all know what I think about it. And I’ll even be utilizing the book to help me take the items I’ve written on the white board, doctor them up with some detail, and formulate a thoroughly-written official business plan (for my eyes only). Some of the sections to my business plan will deal with the business structure, the target audience, products and services, pricing strategy, marketing strategy, and financial goals.

I’ve decided not to unveil the specific contents of this document on the blog or in the newsletter. My business plan will basically serve as a high-level document to help me solidify my direction and keep me on track with the goals I’ve set out to accomplish going forward in 2021 and beyond. My business plan will define who I am as a content creator, what my purpose is, and where I’m headed. I’m excited to take on this planning initiative.

Do the Work

The business-minded approach is definitely not for the lazy and undisciplined. It’s not. It really, really isn’t. And if someone told you that you can accomplish something worthwhile without working for it, then I’m afraid that person bold-faced lied to you. I promise he or she did.

Now, you might get away with delegating some tasks to family, friends, and employees (if you’re fortunate enough to be in a position to do so). But for the solopreneur or anyone who’s been given a task to do with no help in sight, then you will wear all the hats and assume all the roles.

And even if you’re the boss man or boss lady and you have the option of delegating, there’s still work for you to do in delegating those tasks and in handling all of the remaining tasks that a person in charge has to perform. There’s just no way to get around the work that’s involved in GETTING THINGS DONE.

So, shake off the work-averse mentality. Accept the fact that you will, more than likely, have to get down in the weeds and pluck ’em out by the roots. And get to work, already!

Oh, and speaking of work, in last Tuesday’s post, I mentioned that I would be going into some details about the upcoming free ebook and recurring newsletters for my email subscribers. However, I’ve decided to hold off until this coming Friday’s post, entitled “Blogging Truths Be Told: Marketing is So Cringey”. More news to come on each of these projects on Friday.

Be Proactive

When you know there are some skills, tools, or know-how that you’re lacking, it’s important to proactively research on how to acquire those missing pieces of your repertoire and follow the steps to actually gain them since they’re probably not going to come knocking on your door. And once you gain those necessary components, by all means, put them into active use.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. I graduated from college as a business major and I did take the necessary marketing courses for my major. However, I’m no specialist in marketing, and I’m finding that I need to take my creative business education into my own hands by investing in some courses that will equip me to move Degrees of Maternity forward.

Now, I’m not going to go off on a tangent about the topic of marketing; but let me just say that I need substantial work in this area of my business strategy. And I’m determined to utilize Skillshare and YouTube to acquire the know-how needed to successfully formulate my business strategy for increasing audience awareness and growth. Then, I plan on applying that knowledge in my creative career.

For the first quarter of 2021, I’ll be taking Skillshare courses dealing with blogging, Pinterest, email marketing, and SEO — all areas currently outside of my comfort zone. And most of the YouTube videos that I’ll be viewing in this first quarter will have to do with these same subjects as well.

Furthermore, I have another book by Joanna Penn called How to Market a Book; and in February, I’ll be rereading this book to refresh my memory on marketing for writers.

Be Consistent

In a previous post way back in the day, entitled “The Real-Life 3 C’s of Blogging”, I defined consistency as “a willingness to work on a regular and continuous basis until the goal is achieved.” Creating written content is something that I love doing, so I’ll do it regardless of the ups and downs along the creative journey. But what keeps me consistently creating content? Well, it’s definitely not my innate organizational skills; that’s for sure. So, I’ve chosen to set some strategic mechanisms in place to make sure I keep on track when it comes to letting my creative juices routinely flow.

Blogging Schedule – Establishing a blogging schedule was one of the goals I latched onto pretty early on in my blogging career. My schedule has changed over the course of the last two years, but I’ve been pretty good about communicating any changes, previous to them occurring or as they’ve occurred. An important reason for keeping a schedule and communicating it to others is to make sure your audience knows when they can catch up with you. It’s also important for your audience to see that you’ll show up and that you’re in it (whatever “it” is for YOU) for the long haul. Schedules help solidify consistent efforts.

Planner – I use my planner as a repository to catch all my other to-dos outside of and including the blogging schedule. Everything that needs any type of action on my part gets noted in the planner. And since I’m a tactile person by nature, I utilize the good, old-fashioned physical planner to keep me organized. I don’t carry it around outside of the house because it contains a lot of sensitive information and I wouldn’t want to risk the chance of losing it or having it get stolen. Therefore, I keep my planner in the house (wherever I want in the house). It pretty much floats around with me from room to room. And I never worry about placing it in one location for safe keeping, because I can always find it when I need it. Furthermore, no one in my household has any interest in my planner whatsoever. So, my planner being moved or misplaced by others is a never thought.

To-do Lists  – Lists contain the specific details of my agenda for the day. I currently house my to-do lists in my planner, so I’ll have a one-stop location for all my list stuff. It’s a much better strategy than having sticky notes lying around everywhere.

Accountability Partners – I’ve pretty much given up on setting strict deadlines for the completion of tasks because the deadlines never quite pan out. But when I’m at least 99.9% certain that I can follow through with a task or goal, then I’ll let you (my Accountability Partner) know. By doing so, I create another level of accountability in making sure I follow through with my responsibilities in a timely manner. There’s nothing worse than letting down the people you’re trying to form a lasting connection with, so I intend to do my best at keeping my promises. But, please give me some grace if I slip up an occasion or two. I’m only human.

My mantra for being consistent is to “show up even when you want to give up“. But . . .

Don’t Give Up!

Stay the course if you’re on track. Or, go a different direction if what you’re doing isn’t getting you where you need to go. It’s okay to pivot in your business-minded pursuits. Tweak your strategies, revamp them, and even do a complete overhaul if you must. JUST DON’T GIVE UP.

Anything you’re passionate about is worth giving some time, focus, and energy to before calling it quits. Don’t you think? I mean many of us might be missing our blessings by a split hair when we decide to throw in the towel prematurely. If we would have held on a little longer, we might have been able to use that towel to wipe off our foreheads after our victory laps.

So, give your ventures . . . initiatives . . . goals a chance to blossom. More than likely, they just need a little time. And while you’re waiting for your dream to bud, make sure you’re nurturing it and providing the tender loving care that only you can give it. Good things come to those who wait and don’t give up.

Get Things Done

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