1. Discover your Strengths (If you don’t know what they are you need to find out)! What are you doing when you are at your best?
This question is deceptively simple but incredibly powerful. The most successful people in the world have discovered the things they are best at and built their working lives around those strengths.
If you don’t know what your strengths are you can purchase a book that offers the test, called STRENGTHS FINDERS.
2. Do a time diary How do you (really) spend your time?
For one day, write down what you want to accomplish and then use any one of the online tools to keep a record of everything you do. Do some research to find one that is right for you. At the end of the day compare your goals with what actually happened. You can also do this without the expense of spending any funds if you are disciplined enough to do it.
This is an amazingly revealing exercise because it shows you how much time you waste on random, useless activities. How much time do you spend checking email? How much time on Facebook? How much time endlessly browsing the news, feeling productive but not actually accomplishing anything?
As an exercise, see if you can identify the 20% of your time that produced 80% of your results. What can you do to have a more highly productive time like this?
3. Set Weekly Goals and Review Progress
What is your #1 goal this week? Setting goals is necessary. They help keep you focused. You waste less time and less money.
This personal investment strategy is similar to time management, but it lasts for an entire week. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in the day-to-day rush that we fail to step back and look at the things that are most critical.
It’s the old urgent-versus-important problem. We spend our time dealing with small, urgent issues when we should be focusing on important (but non-urgent) tasks. This week, fight back against the chaos by setting one main goal that you want to have accomplished in seven days. You can also pick two secondary goals if you’re feeling ambitions, but no more than that.
Look back on how you did at the end of the week. Did setting goals help you work more purposefully and effectively? If you had done nothing but work on your three main goals, what would have happened?
4. Get a Mentor
This is a harder challenge, but the benefits are worth it.
You need to find a mentor.
Make a list of everyone you know who has a lot of experience in your line of business. If you don’t know anyone who meets this criterion, broaden the search to people you know who were very successful in another field or with whom you particularly resonate.
Then, rank order your list of potential mentors by preference and start contacting them! Try to set up a regular meeting time and overarching goals for the relationship when you first get together. I’d also recommend establishing a task to work on in between each of your meetings, so you can get feedback and support from your mentor.
Mentoring relationships are a powerful source of knowledge, inspiration, and connections – don’t miss out!
5. Read a Great Book
Great books are like prepackaged boxes of ideas, painstakingly put together by a brilliant author for you to assimilate. Why not take advantage of this amazing resource?
Here are a few of my favorite business books. I challenge you to read at least one of them over the next month:
Twenty Steps to a More Glorious You
Rich Dad Poor Dad- Robert Kiyosaki
Cha-Ching – Jeffrey Gitomer
Become Rich on Main Street – Rick Pierce
Each of these books transformed the way I thought about business. Reading these books is like hiring a business coach for just a fraction of the cost!!!
6. Start a Habit that will cause you to “stretch”
What is one thing you wish you did every day?
Here are some ideas:
- Write a blog post
- Learn something
- Reach out to an influencer
- Brainstorm ideas
- (think of a productive habit that you would like to do)
- Guest post
Either take one of the above ideas or come up with your own. You’re about to make the chosen activity into a habit that you perform each and every day, using one simple truth.
You can do anything for 21 days. Make it be something that you want to incorporate in your life.
7. Build Your Personal Brand
What does your online presence look like? What happens when someone Google’s your name?
The topic of personal branding is too big to cover right here, so I’ll limit myself to one actionable suggestion.
Challenge: Create an “Info-graphic Resume.”
An infographic resume is a small, visually appealing webpage/rack card that provides your bio, contact information, accomplishments, and skills.
Next time you need to introduce yourself to someone online, just direct them to your resume page (that wasn’t so hard!).
8. Be Thankful
Being thankful is surprisingly powerful.
As Shawn Achor explains in his TED talk, taking five minutes each day to list three things you’re thankful for trains your mind to look for the positive. Amazingly, maintaining a positive mindset makes you more productive and effective in your work (as well as happier in general!).
As an aside, I started doing this a few months ago. Within a week of adopting this habit, I had a string of absolutely incredible brainstorming sessions that gave me a vision for Viibrant’s development over the next year.
That week was one of the most productive and creative periods in my life… and I wonder if it had anything to do with my new “thankfulness” habit. It may have just been a coincidence, but we’ll never know for sure.
9. Find Your Why
The purpose is a powerful thing. It gets you up in the morning and keeps you awake at night. Anyone who accomplished anything great was driven by a strong, deeply-held belief of what is wrong with the world and how it can be made right.
What is your purpose? Why do you work?
Take an hour today to sit quietly by yourself and reflect on what you care about most deeply. What types of “bigger than yourself” activities really get you fired up or make you feel most fulfilled?
Don’t skip this challenge. The benefits of knowing your purpose will last a lifetime.
10. The Biggest Danger Is Inaction
Change is always scary, and you may be reluctant to implement these suggestions for fear of what might happen to your business. But experimenting with these ideas will likely go unnoticed by most of your customers, especially those new to your business. If the changes aren’t beneficial, you can always revert back to your old policies and pricing.
Without taking action, you’ll never know how much money could be added to your bottom line.
Conclusion: Are you ready to get started with these challenges?
No one will do this work for you.