I do not believe in coincidence.
Sure, I get the actual deconstruction of the word (co – incident, occurring at the same time), but it isn’t something magical or mystical to me. Just like the “Law of Attraction” — coincidence is all about tuning your awareness.
I certainly subscribe to the notion of giving an idea more conscious processing time when I’ve noticed it in 3 different ways/places/forms in a short period of time. I’m not saying that any of those 3+ interactions were not divinely inspired. What I am saying, is that independent of the externals, I noticed it three times.
By focusing on the internal aspect, I have some control over what happens — unlike what happened when I used to focus on the externals. I can only partially control what stimuli I’m exposed to, and that only by being aware of what environments I put myself into each moment of my day.
What I can take control of is my own internal state. I can apply that small amount of willpower in ways that have the biggest positive impact in my life, independent of the environment in which I may find myself.
The challenge is this: you can’t dig your well when you’re thirsty (HT to my friend Donna Fox). You have to plan ahead, do the work in advance, and have those resources at the ready when the need arises. It can be hard work, and you rarely have the extra resources available to do that hard work “on the fly” — any extra resources you can gather are usually needed to deal with the current situation.
Athletes do not walk onto the field/court/ring without having spent many hours perfecting their craft. They don’t go out on game day and expect to learn a new technique. They often spend years getting the mechanics internalized enough that they can then spend the rest of their life, or at least their career, perfecting the nuances of their craft. And that perfecting is a function of regular practice, tested through training with others, and proven through competition (HT to Scott Sonnon).
I take those “coincidence” moments, when I become consciously aware of a specific part of my world, and use them as triggers. This is a “privileged signal” from my unconscious that has become conscious. When I’m ready to receive that information, I know it is prompting me to “dig my well” and take some knowledge, awareness, or behavior to the next level.
What are the “levels”? Just like the athlete example, it is either going from nothing to gross skill, adding a layer of refinement to existing skills, or deconstructing a skill in order to teach it to others. These transitions correspond roughly, in NLP vocabulary, to moving from conscious incompetence (or possibly unconscious incompetence) to conscious competence, from conscious competence to unconscious competence, and unconscious competence to mastery modeling.
Right now, I am hyper aware of two related things: the physical ways in which we release our emotional tensions and the verbal mechanisms for shifting the beliefs that drive those emotions. I am putting in conscious time “practicing” by refining my skills at Sleight of Mouth language patterns as well as developing new skills in renewing joint mobility and releasing muscular tensions.
What do these promptings have to do with business? Only as much as your business involves you thinking clearly or moving smoothly. Last time I checked, even Internet-only business people have a body (all you brain-in-a-jar folks, please correct me) and that body influences your thought process (and vice versa)!
Taking a step back, business owners also need to know what skills need practice and training to prepare for the testing during “competition.” It’s also handy to know what situations are truly competition versus training versus practice. (My own rule of thumb: if it just involves internal skills, it is practice; if it involves your team or partners, it is training; if it involves other businesses in the same market, it is competition.)
For those of us not directly retailing, this time of year is perfect for practicing and training for the new year. While your competition is off thinking about the holidays, you can be digging your well — developing the skills you’ll need in the moment when things pick back up post-holidays.
Taking another step back, developing your awareness of how you’re being prompted, internally, can lead to some great moments of flow — both the “in the zone” type flow and cash flow! Of course, you need to do something because of that awareness and hopefully the little bit of knowledge shared here will help drive that behavior to prepare in resourceful ways.
If you’d like to find out more about the product I’m preparing to help “dig your well” emotionally, sign up on this page so I can send you updates via email.
How have you been prompted recently?
What are you practicing right now?
Please share below!
It’s been a whirlwind of a month. I’ve gotten more done in the last six weeks than the last six months and I “blame” a few different folks for contributing to my high level of productivity.
In late July, I walked through a process called ISIS and set an intent to serve more people, leverage tension management, and create sustainable functionality. If that all sounds like gibberish, that’s fine, because going through the process (with a little guidance) kicked me into high gear.
The week after I started through the ISIS process I finished six client sites, had a breakthrough in my research, and started developing a new product in partnership with John Delavera. I was doing so much good work that one of my friends lamented “where’s the fun Wayne?” (Don’t worry, he’s still here, just resting during this half of the tension cycle.)
The month was rolling along, I get the product ready for testing, and as I start sending out review copies — disaster — one of the web hosting companies I use disappeared and took the new product site with it. Annoying, but no big deal, they should be back in a couple hours.
That’s when I made the mistake of waiting.
A week later, still no signs of the hosting company.
Two weeks pass, still no word and no hosting.
Fortunately, I caught myself in the hurry-up-and-wait mode and broke out of it.
Switched hosting providers, got everything set up again, and slipped back into hurry-up-and-wait for the reviewers. This time I noticed it after a few days (instead of weeks) and pushed forward anyway.
During this waiting time Marlon Sanders sent out an email recommending a book called The 10x Rule by Grant Cardone. Grabbed a copy, read it over the weekend, and kicked back into gear. The major premise of the 10x book is that success isn’t something optional or nice to have, it is our duty and obligation to be successful. The title comes from Cardone’s suggestion for reaching success: make 10x bigger goals and take 10x as many actions.
The funny thing is, I’ll give Cardone credit for making a better meme, but I’ve taught the same principles that drive The 10x Rule before! It’s the “shoot for the moon and even if you fall short you’ll land among the stars” method of planning with what I call MnM goals.
Anyway, I kicked back into 10x high gear and leveraged the “do 10x as many actions” mantra, and my commitment to Delavera, to crank out my first product release into a particular marketplace (something I’d been considering for way too long without having committed). I found myself using the 10x mindset unconsciously, then realizing that the three solid reviews I got in time to release the product were the result of having given out 20+ review copies and if I’d given out the half a dozen I’d started with I would have been lucky to have any reviews!
This past weekend Marlon sent out another email with a challenge that meshed nicely with the 10x factor. The challenge was to implement two time blocks a day for 7 days, one for producing and one for promoting. I took him up on his challenge and set aside two blocks each day.
Again, time blocking is something I’d heard from Paul Evans and Derrick Franklin, but hadn’t thought to label them with core activities. (Thanks for that prompting Marlon! You really are the best at breaking marketing down into simple pieces.)
From all of this, I created a cool product called WP Instant Minisite. It released on Tuesday, and is already in the black and poised to pay a nice return.
Lessons (Re)Learned This Month
- Clarity from setting strategic intent generates lots of free energy.
- Having a solid goal that is beyond what you’d normally set pushes up the activity level.
- Thinking in terms of 10x actions generates enough action to reach those solid goals.
- External accountability, commitment, and feedback remove hesitation points (thanks John!).
- “Release early, release often” takes “80% done” into the marketplace for real feedback and iterative improvement.
- Knowing your core activities and blocking time around other commitments gets them done everyday.
- Faith without works is dead, no one is justified by the law; have faith and take action!
Basically, it’s the same few lessons repeated on different scales: trust, set an intention, take massive action, get feedback often, iterate quickly.
How are you going to apply these this week?
Leave a comment and leverage that public declaration!
You know the power of accountability, ne?
Leadership © by GrowWear
Having done a lot of soul searching and self-discovery over the years, I’ve come to recognize that I’m externally motivated and externally validated. Needing other people to get jazzed and to confirm straight thinking means the best way to kick-start yourself is to make sure you’re reaching out and connecting with other people.
Here’s the formula and a little explanation:
- Far + Near + Past + Feeling = Action
This is a tested and proven formula that has been used by myself and others to get more things done than would have happened otherwise.
As a business mentor, my friend and some time business partner, Donna Fox has used this with spectacular results — for herself and for those being mentored. She uses a daily meeting of about 5 minutes with these components. Check out her accountability blog post for the details of how she uses this formula.
In a productivity setting, my friend and fellow NLP Trainer, Stever Robbins has guided many groups through an hourly-check-in-for-a-day version of this same formula in what he calls Action Days.
The same components are there to some degree in both of these protocols: far, past, near, feeling — and they both generate more action than not employing these components.
Here’s the breakdown on what each piece is and how it helps:
- Far — this is a goal to be met several accountability cycles into the future. When meeting daily, that means on the week-month scale. When meeting hourly, that means on the today-tomorrow scale. Stating this gives you a direction to focus your efforts and a “big chunk” to double check yourself against before the next accountability session. When I declare I’m releasing a product next Monday, it is simple to check against this “product release” direction and say yes-or-no on whether my action at a given moment is headed in the right direction.
- Past — this is reporting what happened in the time since the last accountability session. A brief “got X & Y done, not Z” is a valid report on the past. The mere fact that we ask “what did I get done, or not get done” helps us track our results by noticing what is/isn’t happening between sessions. It’s amazing to me how small an amount of tracking can keep you making course corrections almost immediately.
- Near — this is laying out what you’re going to do before the next accountability meeting. Again, just a brief “I’m going to do A, B, & maybe C” kick starts actions. This Near is like the Far because it sets direction. The primary difference between Far and Near is that the Far sets a more strategic or bird’s-eye direction and Near sets a more tactical or on-the-ground direction.
- Feeling — this is where you take a moment to notice what you feel about the other components. Does your Far still have the same feelings surrounding it? How do you feel about what you did/didn’t do in the Past time frame? How ready do you feel to finish your proposed Near actions? How will it feel to hit those Near/Far milestones and be reporting them as Past accomplishments? (I’ll skip the explanation on how this component works. It will be quite obvious for those it will help, and moot for those that it won’t!)
There you go — a formula for getting a lot more done with a little accountability.
- Far + Near + Past + Feeling = Action!
How have you noticed these pieces as a part of your accountability?
When have you successfully used accountability to drive your own actions?
It is amazing to me what a little gratitude can do and how much difference a lot of gratitude can make. I wasn’t raised sending thank you cards, so I am having to be intentional as an adult — sometimes with more success than others.
Last week I developed an internal editorial calendar and, thankfully, it was prompted by a desire to be more intentional in expressing gratitude. What specifically prompted it was connecting with @TimBerry on twitter.
Tim is the president and founder of Palo Alto Software who makes the best business planning software I’ve ever seen. So what does that have to do with gratitude? I’ve gotten two great gifts from Tim over the last few years: a copy of Business Plan Pro and an hour of his time, both in connection with the McCloskey business plan competition.
Not only can I recommend the company’s software, but I highly recommend connecting with Tim as he is articulate, experienced, and an all around nice guy — especially when it comes to business topics.
And as I continue to practice my gratitude, we can all thank Tim for the inspiration — unintentional or not!
Who are you grateful to today? Share below in the comments.
- Know your desired action
- Focus on the right things
- Beware when being sold
- Know your desired action!
Here is the list of folks from the video — these are ones I listen to (and think you should too):
- Tinu – Web Traffic (facebook, twitter, youtube, blog, …)
- Marlon Sanders – Step-by-Step Dashboards (traffic, recruiting affiliates, writing, …)
- Dr. Wright – Media Coverage (TV, Offline Media, Press Releases, …)
- Dr.Mani – Solo Infopreneuring (getting started, passion, purpose, …)
- Paul Myers – Sales From Clear Communication (solid content, personal style, emails, …)
(And yes, I’ve gotten value from every one of the above links — that’s why I value and trust these folks!)
What do you take away from my top search rankings shown in the video? Comment below.
While talking with one of my web design clients, the question of where to put certain design elements came up.
I made this numbered image so that we could talk about regions of the Google heatmap image while working on his new site. The cool feature of this heat map is that it is based on the big G’s extensive Adsense data to recommend placement of ads for the most clicks (darker is higher click density).
Are you keeping these sorts of test results in mind as a starting point for your own tests on new sites?
Update (May 10, 2011): through “random” connections this evening I just ran across Michael Campbell’s Ultimate Heatmap report which overlays the major advertisers’ heat- and clickmaps to produce his “ultimate” map. The report also includes the main ad sizes to consider and 9 heavily tested templates for advertising on blogs. He makes the same suggestion of using his results as a starting point to run your own tests.
I recently dove into a project to set up Facebook Tab Manager, a cool plugin from David Carr that feeds a Facebook fan page it’s content from your WordPress install. There are a couple cool features of the plugin for turning off certain WP filters that makes it especially nice. Otherwise, you can create your
I’ve been spending the day playing with my darling children and during lulls in the LOLs I’ve been pondering certain little children and their families who will be just as joyful for their own “heart day” funded on this “heart day.” My friend Dr.Mani is continually raising awareness for congenital heart defects and he always
I’ve been fighting my perfectionistic tendencies for a month writing this up “right” and today I got two promptings to just get it out there. (Perfectionism in my writing does not play well with taking care of the family, finishing my dissertation, and finishing jobs for my clients. Here’s one small step for [this] man,