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Successful Goal Setting – Part 1

Why do you do what you do?

Here’s what this is intended to help you do:

  1. Get direction
  2. Gain momentum
  3. Use your time more efficiently / Help stop you from wasting time in the short and long run
  4. Set up the foundation for guiding principles in all the following steps
  5. Create consistency in your life and hopefully a happy future.

Before you start any game and figure out a strategy, you aught to consider whether you like the game you’re about to play, and if you wan to play it at all.

A lot of times I find myself wanting to do something because I feel the need to do it. I want to win at some game or do the best I can do on whatever project is in front of me, and that’s fine in some cases, and often has little influence on ones life. But what if it were something more important.

What if it’s something you’re going to invest a lot of time into? What if it’s something that’s going to shape you in some way?

Well… Then you aught to consider WHY you are doing it. Does it fit who you are and what you believe.

I’m writing this to help you set goals. To accomplish something. This is not likely to help you on some one our project.

One of the first things I learned about getting on track to set goals and accomplish what I wanted, was to ask myself “Why am I doing this?” and subsequently “do I want to do this?”

If you’re going on a road trip to Alaska (or Hawaii for those of you who aren’t good with geography haha), I’d ask myself “Why Alaska?” and as a sub question “Do I really want to go to Alaska? It’s a long trip. Why am I doing it? Forget about the resources. I’m convinced that just about anything can be done, and that details can be worried about later. So for now, just ask yourself, “why?”

IF what you’re going really fits who you are, what you want, what you believe, then it makes sense to move forward.

I’d hate for you to get half way to your destination only to find out that you hate cold weather and prefer the tropics, or that you were only going because you felt pressured to go or didn’t know where else to go. There will be a lot of miserable people that would simply forge ahead for forging aheads sake. Hopefully you aren’t one of them. People like that seem to love being miserable, so maybe it’s the right choice for them?

This is all just for people who want to pursue some goals in their lives. To be honest I think you could be happy and made a difference anywhere you go, but if you’re going to invest a lot of time into something, make sure your reasons are right. Some people I know what to be actors because they want the fame, but they hate acting. That’s a nice recipe for failure 🙂 Don’t do that. Start asking why and get your internal compass out. Then we’ll start working on a plan.

The book that was recommended to me was “Starting with Why.” Here’s a link: https://www.amazon.com/Start-Why-Leaders-Inspire-Everyone/dp/1591846447

If find that you’re happy with the direction you’ve chosen, then you might be ready for step 2 (next week). If not, take a little time to think about why you do what you do. What motivates you and what kind of things you’d like to do that go along with your own internal workings. Take at least a day, maybe a week to think. Though failure is always a good option, it’s best to avoid having to turn back after embarking.

P1 – Find out why you do what you do, and ask yourself if you really want to do what you’re doing

P2 – Figure out what your overall goals are

P3 – Consult with someone & Lay out a larger plan

p4 – break down the plan into yearly goals

p5 – break down those goals into 3 month goals

p6 – be accountable to someone with those goals

p7 – start from p1 all over again

p8 – general rules to follow during the whole process.

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Warning! When to Ignore Warnings & Promises!

When a warning comes on a package or from some trusted source, you should pay attention to those warnings. A lot of times it’s the same with a promise.

Bleach for example. Promise: Will whiten things. Warning: Don’t ingest, it’ll kill you.

What happens when you get promises and warnings from sources you don’t know anything about. Like an email from some professional you’ve never met. Like this. Promise: We can get you to rank highly and give you a huge increase in customers. Warning: Google will kill you if you don’t fix these issues. It goes without question, you really should just ignore that email and just have a trusted professional look over your site for potential improvement or errors.

What about the more subtle salesman? Not the spamsman above. A more subtle thing. Maybe an ad on facebook or something you found on Google. Someone who promises vague improvement and lets you draw the conclusions about what can be gained and what you’re going to lose. Never the less, it’s some sort of miracle cure for your ailing business, or maybe if your business is well, it’s a chance for you to get richer quicker.

What do you do then?

  1. Check out the reviews
  2. Check out their competitors
  3. Get a second opinion
  4. Ask yourself “Do I generally spend money on things and not get the returns I expected” THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT because if you have a habit of buying things or investing in things that don’t pan out there’s a deeper problem here and your best bet is #3.

All the success stories I know of consist of consistent improvement over time. No shortcuts. Just doing what needs to be don according to well established standards.

I know… Boring right? Like eating veggies and getting sleep. But the sooner you integrate those boring aspects (perhaps in an exciting way if you want. That’s my approach) the sooner you can reach your goals.

EXAMPLE: Blogging is a good way to keep your site active. Most people don’t do it because it’s tedious and they think they have to write some profound thing each time. I tell people, write about whatever you feel like writing about. It doesn’t have to be long or short or about your business if you don’t want it to be. Just do it.

So the next time you get a warning about your website being a catastrophic disaster from someone you don’t know or you get a promise of unimaginable success from an add or maybe you get an email about yet another millionaire in Nigeria who wants to give you his money, maybe just ignore and think to yourself “What boring thing am I forgetting to do?” Or “Have I recently ignored a professionals opinion recently because I know better than they do?”

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Grow

This is just kinda fun really. I honestly forgot why I started this post. Good thing I left this link in it as a reminder.

https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

I took this test and found parts of it to be accurate. It helped put into words and really help cement the idea that I need help in certain areas. There’s an old saying right? You’re only as strong as your weakest link. What if you could hire someone to be that link for you.

That is to say, what if your weakest point could just be outsourced to someone else? You’d be a lot stronger.

If you know your failings, take the test anyway and then think about who you are working with now (or who you aren’t working with) that could help fill the voids. You want to provide a good service.

If I wanted to bake cakes, but I was terrible as making good flour, I’d either buy the flower or hire someone or some service to make it for me. I know I’d feel more special if I made the flower, but let’s be honest, the cakes would suck. That’s not to say I can’t learn more as I go, but I don’t want to be selling people something that isn’t good. Period.

Are you cheating others, or yourself, by not accepting that you can’t do everything?

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Outsourcing & Partnering

Do you ever feel like you wear too many hats? That you spread yourself too thin focusing on aspects of your business or your life that you really don’t know much about? If you do, then you know the feeling you get when you are doing something to “save money” or perhaps “keep more” of the money from a project. You go over and over the thing you’re working on (that isn’t your specialty) to make it as good as the rest of your project (which is your specialty) all the while you watch the hours tick away. You stay up late (or get up early) to compensate. In reality, while your intentions are good, you’re wasting time and lowering the quality of the overall project. Don’t believe me? Make a short version of whatever you’re working on (be it a video, a photo, an audio recording, content or pricing or maybe even sales). If it’s a 30 minute video, for example, take the intro or one of the complicated parts, go on Upwork and ask someone to give you a sample of what they can do with it OR give them $50 to get a good quality version to you and compare what you did to what they did. Don’t you think the client would prefer their video over yours?

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons.

Pros

  • Allows you to spend more times on your specialty
  • Produces a better product or service (because specialists are performing their specialty)
  • Save a LOT of time
  • Helps you move forward at a rapid pace
  • Greatly increases you chances of overall success
  • Helps you learn (you can dissecting the work done by the hired hand)
  • You’re going to have to do it sooner or later

Cons

  • You’re using money you could keep for yourself
  • There’s a chance the hired hand won’t do a good job (reduce this risk by reading their reviews and looking at sample works)
  • You need to know WHAT to outsource. That takes time to put together/figure out
  • It can feel like you’re cheating the client (even though the overall project comes out better)
  • Sometimes it takes an upfront investment and you need that money NOW

Back to the practical application

The video example above. Think how long would it take you to make that $50 back doing what you do best (your area of expertise)? Yes, you’ve used money, but you can make more now. Consider your hourly pay. Let’s say you have a project or a service you are providing and you make $100. You can do it on your own and it’ll take you 30 minutes to do the things you know, but it takes you 2 hours and 30 minutes to to do the part you don’t know how to do very well. Congrats, you only made $33.33 an hour. Now let’s say you spend 20 minutes on the part you know and spend $50 + 10 minutes of your time (for easy math) outsourcing. You made $50 an hour and you have 2 hours to spare, which you can now use on other projects.

There are times, especially in the beginning when you have to do things by yourself, just so you can figure out what needs to be done, but once you know what needs to be done, there’s no reason to continue struggling with tasks you aren’t so great at. Let’s face it, you’re also producing a lower quality product. If you don’t realize that, then you’re either working with the wrong people or you likely have an overly high opinion of yourself.

I know you might also enjoy doing things yourself and there’s a satisfaction in doing it yourself as well, but let’s be real. It’s a lower quality product overall because you could be spending MORE time performing your specialty. (don’t worry, you can still be well rounded and a specialist). That alone creates a better product. You’re also wasting time by not working wisely. That’s something you cannot get back and it’s something that is finite. Every day has the same number of hours in it (weeks too) and no mater how hard you work, you can’t change that.

What does outsourcing/partnering look like?

Ok, so now that you know it’s reasonable to outsource or find a partner to work with (whichever you prefer). It may not look like what you think it does. In my case it looks like this. I go to Upwork, I look for a specialist, reviewing their reviews and sampe work, and I say “I am redesigning this site. I need you to transfer all the material from site x to site y. How much will this cost?” Sometimes I create a base design prior to the transfer so that the person doing the transfer can put the content into the new design. That’s normally the case for bigger projects.

To get to that point I needed to know specifically what I needed, what was more or less the best order to do it in and where to look.

What this may look like for you.

In your case, it may be like this “Hey, I need help with my website. It’s not performing well and needs some updates. I’d also like it to perform better. What can be done?” In this case, you don’t even need to know what needs to happen. You just know what you want to happen. Before you know it, and sometimes it’s little by little, you have a specialist working on your website, it’s performing better and it’s reached heights you never new it could. In many cases you can even say “Hey, this is my budget, let’s prioritize.” Believe it or not, that’s outsourcing. That’s partnering.

What can I outsource?

Well, I don’t like billing, book keeping and taxes. I outsource that to a CPA.

I also find that, in all honesty, I’m a better advisor than I am a sales person, so I let other people sell my services in return for a small fee. That can be expensive but in all honesty, I partner with very talented people who share my values and I get tremendous/wonderful clients that I couldn’t imagine not having having.

Editing and proof reading is also a good thing to outsource.

You can also meet with someone and outsource the task of finding what to outsource. You would be outsourcing the process of finding out how to make your business more efficient.

You may want to outsource you strategic planning. I have an advisor that helps me with that (he’s on the home page). THIS however is more difficult for some people because you have to find someone who fits your values and then accept that THEY KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO! Or at least they do in the strategic planning area. I know, it sounds like I’m saying “give up your values and do things you don’t think are right.” What I’m really saying is “Seriously, you don’t always know what’s best, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for help.” I’m putting it bluntly because if you aren’t where you want to be, you need to be aware that you are responsible for that. NOTE: Don’t pick just anyone or the first person who comes to your door with a cool presentation that appeals to your eyes and tickles your ears.

Chances are you’ve tried listening to people before and you did one of 3 things: 1) You listened and did what they said until you disagreed 2) You followed things according to your own interpretation 3) You did everything 100% and it went wrong. In all 3 of these cases, if you still aren’t where you want to be, the answer is still “find someone who fits your values and then accept that THEY KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO!” Granted, you really should have an open ended conversation with them so that things can be adjusted as needed. That is part of following through.

Sounds like a cop out, I know, but how many people do you work with who would do better if they listened to you?

Good luck! Get crackin’. Things won’t outsource themselves and unless you are able to clone yourself, I don’t see any other option.

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Sowing Too Much

A year ago I had a lot going on, but I still wanted to have a garden. It’s rare that I make things smaller than I intended so the garden ended up being kinda large. I planted the usual things plus a few rows of corn. Things were growing well, but we hit some hard times in terms of weather. The plants needed a little more attention. There was a heat streak and a minor drought, which happens in life. This happened and I was pretty busy with work and I thought I could safely pay less attention to the garden.

Well, the plants got a lot of heat and not enough water. They needed more resources for a very short amount of time, but all my resources and time was being spent elsewhere. The corn did as nature intended. It and probably a few other things flowered early to make sure it could create seeds and live to see another year. What this looks like is very small, nearly useless corn.

This year there is no garden. Just minimal landscaping out front and a few potted plants inside. Nothing that I can’t easily handle plus maybe 10%.

Things are going well. Nothing fell apart and I’m fine, the plants are fine and business is fine.

The moral of the story is, if you plant more than you can handle and rough times hit, you will have to sacrifice. The good news is, it’s a great way to see and prove your priorities. The bad news is, you’ve wasted a lot of time on something that didn’t turn out.

With that in mind, consider outsources whatever you can if you really want to expand and have the brains to not bite off more than you can chew. I see a lot of people lose a lot of time and progress in their life doing this. This is PARTICULARLY true, if you’re biting off something outside your immediate area of expertise.

Keep in mind that at the moment Coca-Cola has 60 flavors around the world, but they only sell 4 flavors in the US (8 if you include the sugar free versions of the 4). Look at any other business. They could offer the same number of varieties of their products, but they don’t. Why should you?

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Time in the Market Beats Timing the Market

Another way of putting that is: He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

When it comes to websites, and doing anything on the web, waiting for the perfect time to do something is a sure fire way to lose. It’s true there are times when you should wait, but I think it’s also true that it’s impossible to determine the perfect time to launch.

So while you may have good reason to not make a website now, you’re never going to have the perfect reason and timing to launch and the truth is, the longer you wait to launch, the further you’ll fall (and stay) behind.

There are always going to be ups and downs, there’s always going to b rain and drought. You can’t avoid that. In all the years I’ve worked on websites, the people who act on things get ahead. Period.

If you are waiting for doors to open, start preparing to go through those doors. Walk up to the door. Get your ducks in order. Don’t use it as an excuse. If the door is shut, it won’t open. I’ve found this to be true on some projects. I make the project and it just sits there, but because I made the project and prepared, even if it’s a couple years later, the door opens and I look pretty good having already been prepared for it to be opened.

I once made a website for a very specific purpose in Chile. I finished it, and it works and it sat there for about 4 years working but not really generating income. I moved back to Pennsylvania and I met someone who needed that exact thing done in the same region. So it should come as no surprise that we are now partners in this venture. I prepared, I knocked on the door and it opened and I was ready.

When you go into the market, when you sow seeds and/or when you make a website you should do it as soon as possible and do the best job possible. Don’t sow too much more than you can handle and don’t invest more than you can afford. You can start small and then add an extra 10% to your project give yourself a little exercise and stretch your boundaries.

Here’s a quiz for fun! https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/career/procrastination-test-abridged

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Google Core Web Vitals and UX Update – Minimum Treshold

Google is coming out with a pretty big update this May (2021). Though Google has ben shifting towards this for a while and doing a lot of things in parts, with the rollout of any big update, especially ones that come with warnings, you can expect shifts to happen. For the most part Google doesn’t change their search algorithms so dramatically as to shift all results, as Google tends to create a consistent environment. That being said, I have seen sites that completely tank and never recover BUT they were doing something spammy. Like really really spammy, so if you’re making a reasonable effort to give your users a good experience you shouldn’t tank.

With that in mind, there are things you really need to work on because for you, being the owner and creator of your website, your website may be fine. It may load faster than before, it may be more stable than before, but compared to the standard, you may be behind. It happens. Try to take a look as an objective view of your website and see if you ned help. There are so many tools out there, you don’t hav to be afraid of an irreparable site, and you know what? If they cost a little money, which most don’t, that’s ok too. It’s seriously worth it and is going to cost pennies compared to what you can gain. Here’s a great article from my favorite hosting company, Dreamhost. Take a look, if you have questions, and would be up for contracting our services, give us a text, call or email. Optimizing is our favorite thing to do!

  https://www.dreamhost.com/blog/google-core-web-vitals/?utm_campaign=Newsletter&utm_source=education&utm_medium=email_all&utm_content=v1_202103