Do you sometimes feel a wee bit overwhelmed by all of the actions you could take, the marketing you could develop, the strategies you could implement, the information you could take in, the connections you could make in this increasingly noisy and crowded business world?
I know I do, and I often have to battle a serious case of what I call Popcorn brain! That’s when you get “almost started” down several different avenues of options all at once and then get all tied up in knots that can lead to procrastination or overwhelm.
I can usually get myself out of those creative cul-de-sacs these days, but what if there was a better way so I didn’t habitually find myself detouring?
It appears that there is!
And I’m delighted to share it with you.
When I was out walking this morning (a new habit I am determined to develop, now that we are oh so fortunate to live near the water in our new home) and heard a simplified approach to this on a Podcast I was listening.
It made me pause.
And breathe out.
The speaker (Charlie Gilkey) talked about how he managed the plethora of options that were available to him with a simple philosophy, asking himself these 3 questions at the beginning of every week.
1. How will I CONNECT?
2. What will I CREATE?
3. What will I CONSUME?
These questions hark back to focus and flow for your business and will, of course, mean different things for different people, but let's take a closer look at their beautiful simplicity.
1. How will I connect?
Connection is at the heart of all we do in a Next Chapter Business. First and foremost, you need to have a clear connection to yourself, your why.
I believe you need to stand for more than simply what you sell.
That’s what helps you stay buoyant and energised, even when the road to business success and fulfilment, to reaching your goals is difficult and you feel that it’s just never going to come together. When you’re connected to your core message, when you feel committed to its importance, the tough times are easier to manage (not easy, just easier!).
So, if you’ve checked in with yourself and reaffirmed your connection to your own intentions, then you can turn your attention to the world.
How will you connect? And who will benefit from that connection? Will you connect with:
- A client?
- A friend?
- A family member?
- A colleague?
- An individual?
- A larger audience?
- Someone with who you want to create a deeper relationship?
- Someone you are longing to help?
- Someone you need help from?
- Someone you haven’t been in touch with awhile, but often think about?
- Someone whose work you admire, just to let them know?
- Someone you’ve been thinking of working with and find yourself now ready?
How will you connect with that someone?
Will you pick up a phone and make a call? Will you visit someone? Send a card. Hold a webinar or a zoom workshop? Host a Retreat? Perhaps you’ll Pin, Tweet, Post, Update, Snap, FB Live or IM. We all connect in a myriad of ways – but consider, what communication channel calls to you for each person you want to connect with?
However you choose to connect, ensure you do so with heart and intention and with alignment to your values. Pause and focus – how do you want the recipient of your connection to feel as a result of connecting with you?
It’s my overarching intention to have everyone who I connect with to always feel more confident about what’s possible for them, clearer on the strategy they need to take them closer to their goals and, all in all, to feel better about themselves and their vision.
2. What will I create?
We are all creators at heart. You may not put brush to canvass. You may not pen a novel. You may not design a building or a bridge. But you, dear reader, are a creator nevertheless.
You create moods and feelings and products and programs and results and goals and dreams and plans and new possibilities and so much more.
And you help your clients and community to do the same.
And so what will you create this week?
How will you thoughtfully add value to the world this week? How will you make a contribution to expansion rather than adding volume to the noise.
In your business, focus in on what your Most Aligned Clients are struggling with or challenged by, what gaps they are looking to close in their knowledge or skills, what they are aspiring towards. If you spend time in Facebook or other groups, observe the conversations and what people need, their frustrations and blocks. Consider the questions you are asked the most often or where you see something that could be simplified, enriched, extended or improved.
How can you help?
What are you called to create?
You might chip away at your creation, little by little, making gentle progress towards a big, hairy, audacious goal.
Promise me you’ll celebrate when you do.
You might put the finishing touches on something that’s been brewing for quite some time and then step back, and admire your handiwork.
Promise me you’ll celebrate when you do.
You might take a deep breath and put your thoughts and opinions, or your carefully curated offer into the ether for the very first time, a mixture of nervous and excited, petrified and exhilarated, all at once.
Promise me you’ll celebrate when you do.
Because the celebration is intimately entwined with the courage to create, not the results you achieve. Of course they’re important, don’t get me wrong, after all, we’re building a Next Chapter Business here. But I’m all for saluting progress, not perfection. And yes, sometimes we might not get it right, (this journey is all about feedback and evolution and pivoting) but oh, when we do hit the spot, it’s glorious!
And we HAVE to create and contribute to find out either way!
Believe me, I know that creativity invites judgment and that very fact can make you freeze with self-doubt. But I also know 2 things for sure:
- That the actions of confidence come first and the feelings of confidence come later
- That I'm not here to serve everyone – none of us are, and so I trust that my people, the ones who resonate with my style and view of the world, will love and take inspiration from what I create
So I publish the post, send the newsletter, record the Podcast, hit go live on Facebook, craft the retreat, design the mastermind experience, plan the training webinar.
And so, my lovely lady, should you. What will you create?
BTW: I have a wonderful webinar recording you can watch all about using ACT – Acceptance Commitment Training to help you keep moving forward and creating, even when fear and doubt try and trip you up – watch it here.
3. What will you consume?
Oh information overload, we face it each and every day.
On one hand, it’s absolutely fantastic to have access to the depth of resources we do, but on the other, decision fatigue is a real thing. And comparisonitis? That’s a killer.
How often do you, for example, just nip onto Facebook for a quick update and then find yourself half an hour later, deep down in the rabbit hole, dopamine addicted, scrolling, clicking and consuming?
How many opt-ins and checklists and formulas and quick fix solutions are squirreled away in your hard drive, waiting to be consumed?
How many newsletters are you subscribed to, now waiting in your inbox, to be consumed?
One of my highest values is learning and sharing what I’ve learned. That’s at the core of my business as a Mentor and Mastermind Facilitator. I need to stay up to date and on top of things. But I also need to balance this with conscious choices of how I invest my time, energy and attention. And I need to ensure I am creating at least as much as I am consuming.
And so, I’m going to focus on making better decisions regarding what and how I do consume.
Perhaps you need to as well?
I suggest you simply ask yourself, "what will I consciously allow into my mind and body that will nourish and support and stretch me"?
This encompasses books and emails and blogs and podcasts and a myriad of other possibilities as well as what you actually put into your body, what you eat and drink. I’ll confess I’m getting better at the former, but there’s still a long way to go on the latter!
Not everything has to be purposeful all of the time – not at all! We need to relax and unwind and I do love a great cat video… I’m simply suggesting that you have choice and it’s a good idea to be aware of:
- How something makes you feel – if it’s a catalyst for comparison and deflation, STOP! If it makes you think and feel and expand – CONTINUE!
- Your own vision, goals and skill gaps – is what you’re choosing to consume helping you move closer to these?
Just shining the light of awareness can help you to see where a change might be needed, so you can become a conscious consumer in all ways.
And so there you have it.
Connecting. Creating and Consuming.
A new way of looking at your activities discovered on a walk by the water. I hope my thoughts provide you with inspiration - and thank you, of course, for choosing to consume what I've created 🙂