I recently decided that I had to make some changes. Some positive changes.
My idea of New Year’s Resolutions is different that most. I think of them as goals to accomplish BEFORE New Year’s. Fall has that feeling that the year is starting to wind down and it’s time to take it easy and get a good start for the new year. That’s a really bad idea! October, November, December, that’s three months, or 25% of the year! We can’t afford to slack off for a fourth of a year!
Some of the ‘resolutions’…
- Learn to be more productive, find techniques, sites, and apps to help
- Be better at finishing things and not have a dozen half-done projects that never quite get the the finish line
- Be more social (online)
Of course, no goal is anything without a plan and action.
I still suffer from SOS, ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’, collecting things because they’re something that will be really useful…someday. Or something that is directly useful NOW and would be really neat or impressive but makes whatever I’m working on more complex and time-consuming, sometimes to the point that it’s done too late.
My timing was good this time though. While going through all this, I heard about Dean Holland’s and Craig Crawford’s 2018 Quick Start Challenge.
The basic idea of that is to set up a blog and to put together a small product funnel to the point where it could be marketed.
I found participating in the Challenge very valuable and informative.
- Technical skills learned: ZERO.
- Process skills learned: TREMENDOUS.
I already knew everything I needed to get started. I just always let ‘project creep’ (and uncertainty) get in the way.
What Did I Learn?
- Deadlines are great – They make you focus on getting things done, not getting them perfect with every little feature you’d like to have.
- Accountability helps – There were a group of us going through the same process at the same time. People were giving updates on progress or lack. But since everyone knew when it was due, you couldn’t take the easy way out and just change the schedule. The accountability kept you on track
- K.I.S.S. – Keep It Sweet and Simple…Even knowing that a deadline was approaching, I still found myself trying to add features and make it ‘better’. I kept having to tell myself “Just get it going now, get it better later”
- The value of a plan – Dean had a plan for what we were going to do so we only had to concentrate on doing it. Having a good plan prepared before you start makes things simpler and easier to manage. Like Covey says, “Begin with the end in mind”. Without a plan, even if you know the end, your path can be all over with false leads and dead ends. The plan provides the stepping stones on the path.
As an aside, I have to say one thing about Dean Holland. I like his values. As we went through the program he repeatedly talked about remembering that there are people behind the clicks. Real people with real interests and real issues. He always stressed that a key principle is delivering quality and value to your customer. That’s a value I’ve always tried to follow, but I don’t see it anywhere as often as I’d like.
The five weeks of the Challenge were a great kick start to getting back into action. Next came the question of how to maintain my momentum…
The answer to that is another structured program, longer and more comprehensive, but still provided by an extremely successful person. I signed up for the Partnership To Success program with John Thornhill.
I’ll have a LOT more to say about that as we go along!