I am so over the “Just do it!” slogan. I’ve had it with the anti-procrastination advice: “Don’t overthink it!”
I totally get why procrastination is a Thing. I understand how perfectionism can stop you in your tracks. I know what the business equivalent of stage fright is.
You stick in your own head. It’s a trap. And for all the advice about believing in yourself and living your dream and feeling confident, none of that works.
So, what works?
I speak to a lot of people in my week, and I get to meet a lot of procrastinators.
In some ways, I could appear to be the grumpy boss, telling you with my stern daddy eyebrows “Get on with it! Just get it done!” (I’m referring to my age, not to the number of eyebrows I have).
But I am a consummate procrastinator, and overthinker.
And in spite of all of that here’s what I have produced in the last week:
- I wrote two email courses
- I converted a third email course into a booklet
- Created a video to humblebrag about the booklet and got over 7000 views on it
- was interviewed on two podcasts, both of which have hundreds of listeners
and saw hockey stick growth on my email list:
(If you want to join that hockey stick, you’re going to have to go through my Win More Business email course first).
What does all of this mean?
It means that I have somewhat learnt the secret to beating procrastination.
On the surface, this might look very impressive or appear to be bragging.
This email is not for me fishing for your praise.
It’s telling you that the key to getting stuff done, and especially getting content out there, is to redefine success and failure. Better still, eliminate the very notions of success and failure from your language and your thinking.
You don’t need to feel confident. No single piece of content is going to make or break your business.
No deal that you lose spells death. There’s always another one around the corner.
But one thing I can tell you does spell death: the word “Draft”. Publish or perish is my motto.
Now for you, “publish” may mean something different to getting an unedited video out there on LinkedIn.
For me, it meant planting seeds. Writing that post. Sending out that weekly newsletter.
And you know what? Now that I’m doing it, I’m doing it. I’m Just doing it. Not because I think it’s perfect. But because I know there is someone out there who I’m helping. I’m a long way behind you, dear reader, in so many different ways.
But I do have this going for me: I don’t care if it’s not ready.
I see people drowning. I can help them, even if my swim stroke isn’t perfect.
I’m half apologising for making this such an “I” focused article, but I’m writing this to tell you that you’re not confident, your writing or your offering isn’t quite ready yet and it doesn’t matter!
Dancing, writing, cooking. You don’t have to be the best in your game to be able to help someone who is a little behind you. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.
OK. End of humblebrag rant.
Two pieces of content that you might like:
How to sell less
Do you have clients who love you, but don’t know how to work with you? Is there some access to you that doesn’t fit into the bill-by-the-hour or project-pricing model?
What if you could offer them a retainer agreement that wasn’t tied to X hours per month or time sheets? How would that work? How would you charge them? What would you include (apart from your time)?
Here’s my hot-off-the-presses course on how to sell retainers. It’s totally free. It’s six parts (currently), and it’s not really 100% finished yet. But it might just be enough for you to craft a compelling offer, secure that revenue engine and give you some runway:
What to say to people who think your job is boring
How do you create intrigue when “everyone” thinks your work is boring?
What can a taxidermist teach you about how you describe the impact of what you do?
And why on earth should bookkeepers sell themselves as travel agents? Intrigued?
How you talk about your work is critical, whether you are in IT, bookkeeping or are a taxidermist.
Fasten your seatbelts and listen to me as a guest on the “Monetising Knowledge” podcast.
P.S. I’m opening up some slots for half-hour calls where we dig into one tiny problem in your business (probably around finding your next clients!) I’m not into doing a hard sell at the end, so this is a completely safe way for you to reach out to me. I will make a recommendation, which (surprise, surprise!) might involve me offering my services, but I hate being sold to and so do you. So if that’s the only reason you’re not booking a half hour with me, do it now. Don’t procrastinate! Just do it! Don’t overthink it!