How to be Proactive Instead of Reactive in Your Business

Episode #5

How to be Proactive Instead of Reactive in Your Business

Show Notes:

Are you approaching the tasks in your business proactively or reactively? If you're treating your business like a game of pinball, where you're just doing what you can to ensure you don't lose the ball, you're being reactive. Instead, consider ways you can treat your business like a game of bowling, where you're always focused on the strategy of knocking down the pins. Listen in as I share three ways you can leave the game of pinball that you're playing in your business behind and implement the strategy of bowling!

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Our destiny is not an uncontrollable future. It’s an active decision to write our own story.

Bowling as a Strategy in Business (1:57)

Three Ways to Bowl Instead of Pinball (2:44)

  1. Create before we consume.
  2. Batch your time.
  3. Pick one metric to focus on and check in once a month.

 

Review the Transcript:

Hey, everyone. Before we jump into this episode, I wanted to let you know, I'm hosting a free five day virtual conference called Write the Dang Book for women who want to get their non-fiction books published. Now you might not know, but during coronavirus, the self-help industry and the book space actually went up. So people are needing storytelling and inspiration now more than ever. So from September 21st to the 25th, you'll join a closed Facebook group of other women writers who are also on the same publishing path as you. Each day, I'll kick it off live, but you can always watch the replay later with a new topic, challenge or lesson around getting your book published. Then you can also listen to speakers like Amber Ray, author of Choose Wonder Over Worry, or Meera Lee Patel, author of Start Where You Are about their writing process and advice that they have for you to get your book out into the world. So head to Jessekstrom.com/writethedangbook to sign up for this free five day conference, so you can write the dang book.

What's up, everybody. It is Jess Ekstrom and welcome to Business on the Bright Side, the podcast where you can learn how to make a living and make a difference at the same time. Life is short and so is my attention span. So let's get started. One of my favorite birthday parties as a kid was when we would go to the bowling alley. I remember as a kid, show up at the bowling alley, everyone had matching shirts, there's cake, you can win prizes. I wasn't ever really good at bowling, even with the bumpers on, but it was something that I still think about to this day. One of the reasons is because bowling can actually be a really good strategy in terms of a mindset for our business, because usually my mind is more like a pinball machine reacting to balls bouncing all over the place rather than bowling, which is a precise strategy to try to hit certain pins. And I don't know if you've ever felt like this, but in the morning, instead of being intentional about your day, you're just flailing around trying to catch what's falling and make sure balls don't drop.

But instead, it's way more effective to have a plan, to have something that you want to achieve by the end of the day, which is more of a bowling strategy than a pinball strategy. So how do we train our minds to bowl instead of being a pinball machine? Here are three things that have helped me with that. The first is create before we consume. So at the beginning of the day, if you're like me, you set your alarm on your phone, your alarm goes off, you switch it off. And then in that same swoop to switch off the alarm, you check Instagram, you check Twitter, you start checking all these things. And then all of a sudden you've been 15 minutes in bed and you're going through your inbox. And you're like, "I need to start the coffee. I need to get to all these emails."

And you're starting the day with other people's needs before your own. And so what I try to do, sometimes I'm not as effective, but what I try to do is set my alarm, turn it off, not touch any of my apps. No Instagram, no email, no Twitter and open up my computer and write. So it doesn't matter if I'm writing a blog or if I'm just writing for myself, but just get my own ideas and listen to my own voice before I hear other people's voices in the morning. So create before you consume. The second thing that you can do to be more strategic and intentional about your day is batch your time. So one of my friends, Kate Rosenow, she is the founder of Work Well With Kate and she is like the batching time queen. And so she has gotten me hooked on this, but you can literally just whatever calendar you use.

I use, I think it's Google Calendar. Go in and then just block off times that you know you want to do certain things, even if it's just blocking off creative hours or blocking off time to work on your book or blocking off time to work on your speech or your start-up. You don't just have to use your calendar for commitments with other people or deadlines or things that you have to do. Use your calendar to batch your time for things that are important to you. And sometimes the things that are most important, like our creative hours, are the things that we forget to make time for or the things that usually come up last on our priorities. So batch your time so you know that you're making time for the things that you want to be doing, the things that make you feel at your best and doing the deep work and not just the shallow end.

The last thing I like to do to make sure that I am bowling and not pinball machine in my head is just pick one metric in your business or in your life to focus on and check in once a month with it. So you might hear the fancy term KPIs, key performance indicators. And we do that at Headbands of Hope, where we have a monthly meeting where we go over our numbers from that month and compare them to the same month last year. But it's really good to do this even just in a small way with one single metric. So I like to pick an impact metric. What is the thing that I can measure that shows that I'm on the right track, that shows that I'm fulfilling this mission or this thing that I've set out to do. So for Headbands for Hope, it's headbands donated, for Mic Drop Workshop, it is women enrolled in the course. Whatever it is, pick one metric that you can keep a pulse on.

That way, you know are all the other things in your business working, or are there things that maybe there's a glitch that you need to go back to the drawing board for? When you have that one metric, you can be more intentional about pulling the levers of your business. Do you need to send out an email to get sales to go up this month? Do you need to make more time for your staff or whatever it might be, but instead of inundating yourself with tons of different metrics and a million different numbers that you're not sure what story they tell, just pick one metric that you're focused on and how can you make that one metric better? And that, my friends, is bowling. So I'll leave you with this. Our destiny is not an uncontrollable future. It's an active decision to write our own story.

Thanks for listening to Business on the Bright Side. I'm your host, Jess Ekstrom. For all the show notes, head to businessonthebrightside.com and be sure to tell me what you thought of this episode on Instagram. And if you're picking up what I'm putting down, subscribe and write a review, wherever you consume podcasts. See you next time and keep chasing the bright side.

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