Posts Tagged: Business Ideas
The power of pause is one of the most underutilized productivity hacks. I know it seems counterintuitive to pause when you are trying to be productive, but it will make all the difference in the world.
There is an old fable about a lumberjack competition between a young strapping lumberjack and an old grizzled lumber jack. Each was handed an ax, they stood up at ready and as the gun popped to release them to chop, something interesting happened. The older guy, stopped, sit down and sharpened his ax.
The young guy thought to himself, “I got this. I am surely going to win.” He would be wrong. The older guy not only finished quicker, but he had a better stack. It was more clean and consistent. The younger guy was worn out so much that the older guy went over to help him finish!
The older guy understood the value of sharpening the axe. He knew that his instrument works best when it is sharp. You most valuable tool is your brain. If you take time to rest, it allows your brain to do what it does best, synthesize information.
Trust me, I love productivity. I have a standing desk and a white board system to keep me on track. Productivity without reflectivity will burn you out. When you take time to reflect on what you are doing, you take time to power up the full resource of your brain. In essence, you are sharpening your ax.
Tips for sharpening your brain:
- Start by turning off electronics. Turn off the phone and don’t listen to music. It is important to let your brain relax and just take in what is around you.
- Take a walk in a natural setting: park, garden…something with lots of trees and nature.
- Take a scenic drive and let your mind wander.
- Take a bike ride around your neighborhood or park area.
- Go play on a playground, if there are no kids around. You don’t want to be creepy.
- Laugh. Watch a funny movie, comedian or youtube video. Give yourself permission to laugh.
- Go to church. Religion plays an important role in your values and beliefs. Prayer does wonders for stress.
- Take a nap. Science shows that 20 minutes is the ideal time for taking a refreshing nap.
- Spend some quality time, face to face, with a loved one. Just listen and let them talk. Your brain will smile and so will the other person.
There ya go. I give you permission to at least once a week take time to pause and sharpen your best tool. It will help you stay more focused, more centered, and more productive.
Everything you do especially online, needs to have a ‘call to action.’ A call to action is simply what action do you want your customer to do?
Call to actions are the response that a customer should take when viewing your marketing materials whether online or offline. Common responses include:
- Go to your webpage
- Sign up for your email list
- Go to your storefront
- Buy your product directly
- Call your business
- Download your materials
- Go to your video
The point is, if you don’t have a call to action, you are losing your customers. They read your marketing piece and then they may go to another page or call another company. You want to be specific if you want them to take action.
Let’s say you are building your email list. You create a video that shows value and entices your customer. At the end of the video you say, “sign up for my list.” Nope! This statement is not specific enough. Try something like this: “Now that you have heard this information, what I want you to do is go to my webpage. The link is right below this video. When you get to my page, sign up for our email list and I will send you a free report.”
This statement works because you are telling them exactly what you want them to do. Depending on what your call to action is, you can even video someone taking that action and include a visual reminder.
Also, notice that we give the viewer a reason to sign up on your email list. You are going to send them a report. Surely you know that your report must be specific: a report on the status of business in America in 2014; a report showing you how to lose weight this week; or a report showing you how to get your dog to start going outside within three days and ten minutes of work.
You want to be specific and communicate properly if you want your customer to take action. You will know if your communication is working by the actions your customers actually take. It is easy to quantify. If you have 10 people watch your video and 5 of them respond, you have a good call to action.
As an entrepreneur, you are a leader and a participant. And I would not be a very good leader if I did not practice what I preach, so here is what I want you to do. I would like you to share your vision or passion on our Youtube or GooglePlus. I want you to add to the conversation about entrepreneurship. Share a story or something you learned, don’t just try to sell something.
The point is to interact and build a community. Leave a valuable comment for our viewers because someone may see your comment and decide that you are the expert that they are looking for. They may decide to do business with you because of a comment added value to their life.
As entrepreneurs, we grow when we sharpen each other.