Archive for September, 2010

Break Time

Monday, September 27th, 2010

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”  ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

Careful what we wish for, right? Every entrepreneur longs for success, for their concept to skyrocket and become something to be proud of. We’ve talked about how we all define success differently, and that’s certainly the case, but we still crave success as opposed to failure.

I’m thinking about success again, now, as I scramble to fit all the tasks that need to be done into the day. These past few months have been a blur of activity. Fabulous, productive, positive activity. Still, it sometimes prompts this little voice inside that says ‘now is the time to breathe.’

Because when we’re successful, sometimes we forget to breathe. We get so caught up in the doing that we forget the why behind the activity. So I’ve made a very entrepreneurial decision: I’m taking October off.

Now before you think I’m jetting off to work on my tan on a white sand beach, let me  clarify. I’m still working, organizing and most of all breathing. Just not doing it as publicly through the GUMP It Daily blog as I have been. I need to step back, reassess, and make sure that I am bringing you my A game. So I am giving myself permission to use October to refuel, rebalance and reflect.

As I do this, I’d love to read your feedback. Do you like getting thoughts from me each week, or is monthly more your cup of tea? Are there topics you’d like to explore or have I provided thoughts that have been helpful to you? Email and tell me.

See you in November!

Busy vs Productive

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Do you ever stop to notice the words we choose during the day? I’m thinking now about time, and how so many of us say something like “I spend my time…” or “I wasted so much time….”; but I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone say “Today I invested my time wisely”.  Why is that?

There is no shortage of advice about leveraging the time we have, and we all know that regardless of our level of success we all start with the same 24 hours each and every day. So why is that some of us get so much  more done than others? I’m going to be bold and say that it’s because productivity is not an accident. It is a conscious, ongoing decision to invest whatever time we have wisely. All too often, we mistake activity for achievement when, in reality, the two could not be more different.

Where does it start? With that decision to stop wasting or spending time and instead deciding where our investment of time will bring the greatest return.  Step one: Prioritize. You can’t do everything at once. Step two: Re-tool your to-do list. Because it’s impossible to map out every single minute of every single day, interruptions and surprises included, consider a weekly to-do list rather than a daily checklist. Constantly review and update, so you can see everything at a glance and choose what you can do that will fit the time you have available.

Try it for a week. Then reassess and see if you’ve gone from running in place to moving forward.

Can you do it alone?

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Can you do it alone?

It doesn’t even really matter what “it” is, if it’s important the answer is probably no. Not that we are incapable of action on our own. Rather, acknowledging that we need partners in the journey is a key step to increasing productivity, results and success.

Think about some of the greatest athletes of our time….Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky.  Crazy talented, skilled and blessed with a discipline that many of us would kill for yet still they all had coaches (coaches–plural). Why? Because even with the most amazing skills we all need a little prodding, encouragement and tough love along the way.

Having a partner who holds you accountable is a key factor in continuing to conquer our greatest goals, both professionally and personally. Think about losing weight; we’re much more likely to trek to the gym at 5 a.m. if we know our workout partner is there waiting. Professionally, we’ll work harder and smarter so as to not disappoint our project partner. There’s something about disappointing ourselves that’s easy; but to disappoint someone else? Unthinkable for most of us.

So why wait for a special project to find a partner in crime? Choose someone you respect, who will have no qualms about being brutally honest when necessary and who isn’t too much of a friend to hurt your feelings. Schedule a 30 minute accountability call once a week to discuss wins, losses and goals and challenge each other for better results the following week. What do you have to lose?

Are you ready to rock?

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Rock and roll is commitment. Rock and roll is passion and spirit. ~ Mick Fleetwood

Are you a rock star? The question has nothing to do with whether you can carry a tune or dazzle with a guitar riff. In real life, the question has everything to do with passion and execution.

Don’t we all want to be friends with the rock star? As employers we strive to pack our ranks with rock stars in various capacities and in networking we are smart if we can hang with the rock star. How often, though, do we do what we need to do to be the rock star? Let’s break it down…a rock star has superior talent, can harmonize with the band, has adoring fans, is a leader, and has that certain swagger that sets them apart from the crowd.

Regardless of discipline, becoming a rock star can be boiled down to three key elements: passion for what you do, never-ending hunger for knowledge and improvement and confidence in yourself and your abilities.  Concentrating on what you are really passionate about, being a life-long learner (whether that is through formal sources or simply the school of life) and cultivating belief in yourself will get you one step closer to that spotlight. But there’s one more aspect: execution. Rock stars have to take consistent action and continually execute their vision to retain rock star status.

So, tell me: are you ready to rock?