Saturday, April 17, 2004
Sunday, April 04, 2004
By Terry L. Brock, MBA, CSP
It was one of those mornings.
You know the kind. I knew I needed to go through my morning exercise routine but I just didn’t feel like it.
You know how it goes, “The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.”
The spirit part of me wanted to jump into the “big stuff” of push-ups, sit-ups, heavy breathing, etc. etc. But the flesh side of me didn’t get the memo on that “get moving” part! I knew that I needed to warm up first, get the muscles moving and get some oxygen flowing.
This is much like the challenges you and I face in running our businesses. We have a goal that is big, audacious and hairy (as Tom Peters refers to a BHAG, Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Yet, we can’t get past that little stuff that needs to be done.
Solution? Do something small first. Get the momentum going in a positive way initially and then other things will fall into place. It is amazing how small successes can lead to big successes.
I’ve heard some business speakers say you should tackle your biggest sales call first thing in the day. Well, maybe that works for them, but for me, I’ve found that I have to “ramp up” to those big tasks. I’ve found more success in doing several smaller things well, then gradually building up the confidence, the skill and the momentum to get to the bigger tasks.
For instance, if you have a list of calls to make in the morning, telling yourself you have to tackle the toughest one first can put you off from doing any of them. You rationalize. You think about all the other things that “really have to be done.”
You’re just kidding yourself. You really don’t want to make that difficult call.
Here’s something that will help get the ball rolling in the right direction for you. Make a couple of “starter calls” to happy clients, easier prospects or even friends. Keep them short and remember that you have to make that important call later. However, as you “warm up” with easier calls and sense the success you’re feeling for that day, you have more momentum to approach the bigger stuff.
This is what Walter Wriston of Citibank used to call “building success upon success.” You build your skill set, but even more importantly, you build the confidence to do more.
Here are some steps that will help get you moving again:
1. Make a list of all the projects and calls you have to do. Real simple. You probably are doing this now.
2. Prioritize by importance and level of perceived difficultly. Know that some things are going to take more time and effort. Don’t feel you have to tackle the toughest tasks initially. Prioritize your tasks into A, B, and C-level priorities. Next, number them as A-1, A-2, etc. The real world means that you can’t always proceed from A to C and 1 to 10, but you can go back to those most important as you progress.
3. Break down major projects into “bite-sized chunks” so you can accomplish something with several small steps. Trying to tackle the whole thing at once is a sure way to get discouraged. Breaking the whole task into bite-sized chunks is a great way to build “success upon success” and accomplish your goals.
4. Begin with tasks that move you in the right direction. Get the “Big Mo,”--- the momentum, moving in your favor. Remember it is about psychology as much or more than anything.
5. Don’t forget that you still have to achieve the big goals as well. It would be easy to stay with those easy tasks. Remember you are tackling the easy tasks first in order to move to the big one(s). Don’t let it get away and put a time deadline on when you have to accomplish it that day!
6. Realize that setbacks will be part of the game. Welcome to my planet. This is the way things work here. You are going to have setbacks and disappointments. Expect them. Then when they come you can conquer them by plotting your strategy and overcoming any setback.
7. Remember much of the sales process is a numbers game. You have to sow a lot of seeds for any to take root. All that you sow won’t come to fruition at harvest time. You have to keep tilling the soil, planting the seeds, nurturing the crops, fighting the weeds, adding gentle (not too much!) sunshine, water and even a bit of manure to make the crops grow.
8. Learn from your activities. This has been about starting in the right way. After you’ve gone through the day, take that very important time to do the debriefing on what worked and why and what didn’t work and why. This is how we learn.
Oh, yea, I was able to get through my exercise routine that day very well. I started with stretching (slowly), gradually built momentum and then moved into some really good calisthenics and good aerobic activity. Beginning small and building is a great strategy to accomplish your goals. Begin by noting what you need to do today, right now when you finish reading this article.
I wish you much continued success!
Terry Brock is a marketing coach who helps business owners market more effectively leveraging technology. He shows busy professionals how to squeeze more out of their busy days using the right rules and tools. He can be reached at 407-363-0505, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website at www.terrybrock.com.
Copyright © 2004, Terry Brock, All Rights Reserved Internationally. No portion may be reprinted or used in any way without prior written permission. Permission granted to Biz Journals to use in regular publications.