get stuff done

Focus at Work – Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing and Get Stuff Done!

In the last post, I wrote about how deep focus might be the key to actually get stuff done in your craft or industry. Focus on the 20% of the effort that makes you the 80% of your income. You simply don’t have the capacity to do everything under the sun.
Since that post, I’ve had a few readers of that post message me and ask why I was going against the traditional advice of building an online business.

And as I thought about it, I realized that while I might be going against the more traditional advice of building a digital business, there are examples in the real world that suggest that less can be more.

So in this post, we’re going to look at just a few such examples.

Is Less Always More?

Now you might be thinking, there are plenty of examples of businesses that have grown after they offered more products and services. One such example is Amazon. Without knowing their history, you might think that they’ve always sold all the products and online services that they offer today.

However, this wasn’t always the case. When the company first started, it was an online book store based out of Jeff Bezos’ garage. Did he know that it was going to become what it is today? Probably not. But as the company offered more products and brought more people on to help manage those products, it is definitely an example of “More is More”.

Sometimes Scaling Doesn’t Always Work as Expected

But for every Amazon who scales correctly from the beginning, there’s also going to be examples where adding more to the menu might not be the best course of action.

Example 1: McDonald’s

Take McDonald’s for example. I remember in the late 00’s when McDonald’s was losing out on customers because people started to get smarter about what they were eating. It was during this time that chains like Panera, Starbucks, and Subway grew like bandits. In fact, it was pretty common to hear about places in large cities that had a couple of Starbucks on the same street.

These companies were eating McDonald’s lunch. So what did the golden arches do in response? They grew their menus and model to include some competitive products to what these other places were offering. By 2013, it had 145 items on its menu.

This was nuts and completely unsustainable. It’s no wonder that they were losing money at this point.

In an attempt to right the ship, they hired their most recent CEO, Steve Easterbrook. What Steve ended up doing was removing the items that weren’t selling as well and went back to the basics of the business. This seems to have worked because in the last year or so, their stock has actually risen.

Example 2: Apple

While this might not be the best recent example, it wasn’t too long ago that Apple was the tech company to watch out for – as an investor and a competitor.

In the Beginning…

Personally, I’ve always been an Apple user. My first computer was one and currently I’m writing this on a Macbook Pro.

During that time, the company has seen its ups and downs. I remember when I was first learning about computers, I found out the hard way that Windows 95 would not work on my Mac. How could this be? I thought everyone was going to be able to use it!

Nope, I was in the minority. Windows based PCs were what everyone else had. I can’t tell you how many conversations I had in high school answering questions about why I had a Mac… even when Steve Jobs came back as the CEO!

As I got involved in the Purdue University Mac Users Group (PUMUG), I started to learn how awesome of a group Mac users actually were. I had found my people! But interestingly, we were still a small group. All the clones had been taken off the market by that point. Those of us who were still users were because we were creatives or simply loved the Mac.

The Epic Growth of Apple

However, it was also during this time that the iPod was released. And interestingly, this was about the same time that I started paying attention to the stock market. I remember in 2001 watching the AAPL stock rise almost 50% until 9-11. 

Of course, stocks were down for just about everyone at that point. But as new and better versions of the iPod came out, their stock rose. And then, the point where everyone became familiar with Apple was in 2007 when the iPhone debuted. Wow… I really should have got some shares then. (Unfortunately, I thought I had already missed the boat. Ha!)

But there’s a point in me telling you this personal story of watching Apple rise. No one would have believed it would happen when I first got my computer – an Apple Performa 575. Had they stuck around trying to compete directly with Microsoft PCs, I think the company would have folded. Even to this day, but especially back then, they were known to jack up the price on products that were matched by less expensive PC options.

But it was because Steve was able to focus on building the next best thing (as he originally did with the original Mac) that they were able to be as great as they did during his time as CEO.

On a Smaller Scale

So, there’s a couple of examples of large companies that righted their ships after bloating to try and be everything to everyone. But it’s not something that just companies that size have to deal with. There are much smaller companies that struggle simply because they don’t focus on keeping the main thing the main thing.

And because they often don’t have the necessary resources or connections to keep going, they tend to not have the time to get their act together in time.

Example 3: Marsh

One such example is a local grocery store chain here in Indiana which was named Marsh. Like many local groceries, it folded in the last couple of years. It couldn’t find its niche in the market. I believe the main reason is that they tried to be everything to everyone. Instead of focusing on having its stores in certain profitable locations, it kept trying to keep open stores that were underperforming due to local competition – no matter what the cost.

Even after the company folded a couple of years ago, there are still locations that have not been bought by other chains. When I see them, I’m reminded of the struggles they had before going belly up. 

Interestingly, though, the places that were bought by other chains seem to be doing pretty well if not better than they did while they were under the Marsh banner. Some were bought by Kroger while others were bought by a regional chain called Needler’s. In fact, the Needler store in downtown Indy is considered by many to be one of the best groceries around!

Had Marsh realized that they should just cut anchor and focus on these stores that were actually making them income, they might be around yet today!

Action Steps

So, hope that gives a little more perspective on why it’s important to focus. If you’re good at building sales funnels, do that until you can outsource it. But don’t try to do that AND build a Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) business AND build a podcast AND build a YouTube channel.

Pick one, get a handful of clients. Once you’ve done that, scale that business using ads on social media. Then from there, you can think about doing something else when the first job is sustainable.

big picture thinking

How Big Picture Thinking Makes You Good but Small Habits Make You Great

As creatives, we’re taught to start with the end in mind. We’re taught to look at the big picture. If we keep that in front of us, we’ll eventually get to where we’re wanting to get to, no matter where we start.

This thinking process applies to creating just about everything.

In fact, Think Big, Start Small, Keep It Going was the topic of Amplify’s event last week. We had several speakers who have done just that. Here was the lineup:

Special VIP Guest Host: Mr. Richard Samuels

Featured Musician: Icie Marie Hinton

Artist Spotlight: Rebecca Robinson – Artist, Author, Fashion Entrepreneur

Featured Nonprofit: Community Action of Greater Indianapolis (C.A.G.I.) with Val M. Tate

• Keynote Speaker: Colin Martin – Founder of ViceRays

These individuals had incredible talent. Rebecca had some pretty interesting pieces (one of which I’m pretty sure was of Jack Sparrow – she just didn’t know it!). Icie had an impressive singing voice. And Val – wow, the organization she’s a part of (C.A.G.I.), I didn’t even know existed. They’re all about empowering individuals within the community to figure out how they can enrich themselves and their lives.

But then there was Colin. 

Wow. Dude has had the life that many of us in the online entrepreneurs crave. But, interestingly enough (and I’m hearing this more and more), he got burnt out by it. A lot of the building he did was to simply keep an image of success. Always wanting and doing more. 

Once he figured that these actions were what was tearing him up, he reallocated how he works. Today he has much less stress in his life than he did not too long ago.

Between all four speakers, you could see the talent oozing from them. You can see that they’re all headed towards great things.

But here’s the catch, talent or the potential for great things isn’t everything. It’s just that – potential.

We need to figure out what actions we can take now, to eventually get us to where we want.

Until then, we’re not going to get too far.

Football and Business

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to go to an LTD conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. There were lots of great speakers but one that stood out to me was David Cutcliffe, head coach of the Duke football team.

As you guys probably have realized, I love comparing the inner workings of football to business development. So this was a treat for me.

As he was going through his presentation, I thought, this is great stuff! In the past I’ve written about this topic in a little detail, but not as detailed as he was presenting it.

So here’s a little bit of what David knows about thinking big, starting small, and building the right habits to succeed.

Raising Enthusiasm Leads to Successful Results

In the presentation, David started with a quote from Winston Churchill. He said “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm”.

If he was to stop there, I’d be like “Yes, that is correct”. Interestingly, David changed it up a little bit. He said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another while gaining enthusiasm and passion”.

While the difference between those two statements might seem small at first, if you think about it, his perspective is powerful.

Let’s say you have two players training for a particular sport. They’re going through drill after drill, honing their skills.

One of the players goes from drill to drill, task to task, with little change of emotion.

The other player gets more emotional after each drill, determined to be better whether he fails or succeeds.

If you took these two individuals and placed them in a competition with each other? Who do you think would win? The first or the second?

For me, I believe the second would have a better chance to win. And that’s what I believe David’s quote is referring to.

Results Speak For Themselves 

With that being an underlying value of David’s beliefs, how does it translate to the field and the team he’s in charge of? How does he put it into action?

Well, before we get there, let’s look at the results of his work with his team. This will give us a bit of perspective when we get to his methods.

From 1997 to 2007, Duke football was horrible. They had:

  • Only 19 wins
  • No bowl appearances
  • Four or fewer wins each season
  • Three no-win seasons
  • A 25-game ACC losing streak
  • And in December of 2007, the cumulative GPA of the team was 2.46

Since David came in 2008, they’ve had:

  • 67 wins (which is more than a 360% of winning)
  • Six bowl appearances
  • Three consecutive bowl victories
  • 31 ACC wins since the beginning of 2008 season
  • ACC Coastal Division Champions in 2013
  • And in May of last year (2018), the cumulative GPA was 3.126

It’s pretty apparent that the program got better.

Focus on the Little Things to Build a Foundation of Success

So what are the things that David changed to help his team find success? In fact, there’s three things he told the audience that he focuses on:

  1. Climate 
  2. Practice Habits
  3. The 55

Here’s what he had to say about each one:

Climate

The atmosphere that a coach and staff create within a program to enable players to develop to their greatest potential. Great attitudes and a positive approach are critical to the proper atmosphere. It’s the nucleus of the program and will dictate the ability to be successful with the rest of the tangible values. It also gives a sense of hope and accomplishment to everyone involved.

In a recent post, we talked about how the new climate and expectation to win is a big reason why the Colts had a successful season last year. 

Practice Habits

These are instrumental in allowing us to compete at the highest level. We must achieve excellent practice habits in order to achieve our goals.

Furthermore, he adds, that Power is equal to Work/Time (P = W/T). Work, then is equal to Our Habits (W=OH). So, in the end that means that the power that we produce is equal to the habits that we have over time.

Practice Makes Permanent!

The 55

Not entirely sure why David called this group of practices The 55. I think he said something about giving it a unique name that stuck. But what it consists of are practices he said were basic fundamental parts that if done right, they can hang with any other football team.

  1. Alignment
  2. Assignment
  3. Effort
  4. Execution
  5. Finish

He mentioned that if he watches film on the next opponent and they don’t do one of these parts perfectly, such as alignment, he knows right away that his team should be able to beat them.

In business and work, we need to realize what it is that we fundamentally have to do right each day, each week, etc. What are our core values? Our core habits? Are they getting us to where we want to be? If not, then we need to figure out what needs to be changed to get there.

Action Steps

So, that’s pretty much it for this post, guys. As I said, it was a good conference. A lot was learned and discussed with those that I went with. Very motivational.

If you’re counting on motivation and talent to get you through, then you’re not going to get far. We have to work our craft regularly whether or not we want to. 

It’s when you can do that, when you know you’re onto something great.

Or as Coach Cutcliffe said, If you focus and follow through with the small stuff, the larger stuff will take care of itself. 

community builders

6 Simple Practices for Community Builders

As we all know, it’s one thing to have the heart to want to make a difference in your community. It’s quite another to actually express that in a way that others can understand.

In the last post, I wrote about the mindset it takes to have an impact in your community. Essentially, if you want to grow your community, you have the community in mind as you’re working.

Meaning if you’re working with a nonprofit, for example, you want to be working with those people the nonprofit is meant to help to reach solutions. Same could be said about developing an online following. If you want people to engage with you, you have to reach out first.

But what does it mean to reach out? To be someone who cares? What are the actions that this person takes?

Here’s 6 simple practices to help you reach out and start impacting the lives of others.

6 Practices of a Community Builder

Listen and Examine

The first place you want to start when making an impact for your community is to simply listen. What are some of the problems that aren’t being addressed? Out of these problems, are there some issues you could personally help with? Is there something that sounds like it’d be fun, but maybe you don’t know that much about?

If so, get good at asking questions and digging deeper. This process, called Idea Extraction, is a skill just about anyone can put to use in their work.

Skill Up and/or Branch Out

Once you learn what the issues are in your community, it’s time to figure out some solutions. In the entrepreneurial space, this could be anything from coming up with a service of some sort to creating some software, or even creating a course that people can take on a particular topic.

If you’re in the nonprofit space, maybe you find out that a group of people aren’t being addressed the way you’d like. What would be the solution to that which would be beneficial to everyone in the community? How can you make it a win-win-win?

In either situation, you can choose to do the work yourself (or learn to) or you can team up with someone who’s already well vetted in the work you’re looking to do. A great skill to have is one where you find problems and plug people into them who are naturally gifted at fixing that kind of issue.

Act like Nick Fury and find your team!

Plan Together

Now that you’re starting to put together your own group of Avengers, it’s a good idea to get their input as far as decision making goes. Forming a council or a board of these early folks is a great idea so that you can regularly bounce ideas off of each other.

One thing you don’t want to do is to be the one constantly making decisions for the entire group. If you find yourself in that role, then there might be some things you don’t see and people might inadvertently keep info from you that would have helped make a better decision.

So make sure this group of yours plans together regularly to avoid these issues. Also, there’s the added benefit in iron sharpening iron… if you’ve selected the right people.

Oh, and make sure that these meetings are kept to a minimum. Idea people love to think things out, but if you include implementers into this meeting, they might just lose interest.

Mobilize and Implement

In the US military, there are two distinct groups of people. There are enlisted folks and then there’s officers. Officers are the supervisors of the enlisted. While they think about what needs to be done, the enlisted people have to figure out how to actually get it done.

In this new group of yours, it makes sense to plan. However, great plans don’t lead to great results on their own. You’ll need to take action to get the desired effect you want.

What’s great is that usually your implementers are usually not the idea people in your group. So make sure you let them figure out how something will actually get done once you figure out what that something is!

Adjust and Re-adjust When Necessary

Here’s the thing about implementing a plan. Sometimes it might not work out the way you thought it was going to go. In fact, most of the time, it’s not going to work out the way that you first expected it to. However, that’s not a problem. You’re not a sniper. You don’t have to calculate all the things that can go wrong with your one shot before you take it. Instead, you should think of yourself as someone who’s in control of a machine gun. Fire, then adjust your aim until your bullets start hitting the mark.

So, for example, what does this mean in the nonprofit world? Let’s assume you’re working with people who have a specific kind of health related issue. It’s your job to get them the care they need or connect them to people who can. However, they’re not showing up to their appointments with you or with the other people who can help them.

Why? Why is that not happening? It’s NOT your job to blame them for not seeking the help. It’s your job to reach them where they’re at!

Celebrate Wins

I’m sure there’s people out there that say that they don’t like taking the time to celebrate a job done well. However, those people are few and far between.

Truth is, people like being rewarded for their efforts. And sometimes, the work might be hard, and sure the outcome was worth it, but it might feel a little empty to some of your group members. They might feel like they’re being taken advantage of.

So make sure to celebrate the successful campaigns, the stressful events, and the big launches. Your team will feel like you actually appreciate them and will want to continue to put the effort into this meaningful work.

Action Steps

Now that you see what kind of work it takes to build a community, it’s up to you to fit in the details. This is simply a formula that works for just about any kind of mission. If you have any questions regarding some of the specifics of any of these steps, ask below. I’d love to tell you how we handled something for Amplify.

proactive personality

Developing a Proactive Personality – How the Best Create Their Own Luck and Don’t Try to Control What They Can’t

Manifest: Anything is Possible is the name of the event coming up this month that Amplify is co-sponsoring with Walk the Talk.

In the event’s description, it reads:

The law of attraction is always steadfastly delivering what we have consciously or unconsciously asked for through our focus, our thoughts and most especially our feelings.

We are always in the process of manifesting and creating our lives. This is good news because it means we can change our thoughts to change our world. We can learn to come from an empowered place and use this law to manifest the life of our dreams.

Can’t say that I can disagree with this statement at all. In fact, I think most people who have done any work in the self-help / personal development space would agree with this statement.

However, I think there’s something I should bring up. And, I think it’s something that a lot of people tend to gloss over:

Being proactive is all about controlling what you can control and not expecting what you can’t.

Start with the End in Mind

We’ve all heard about Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, the first two habits are, I think, the hardest two for many people to get used to. Mainly because we live in such a reactive world.

The first one, is simply to stay proactive. Like my co-hosts and I talked about all the way back in session 5 of the AoL Podcast, It’s only when you work proactively that you can become the influencer instead of the influenced.

The second habit is all about planning. It says that if you want to be successful at achieving something, you need to start with the end in mind.

Not to go into too much detail in the football analogy here again, but since we did just see the New England Patriots win the Super Bowl again this past weekend giving both Tom Brady and Bill Belichick their 6th ring, it might be worth noting that there’s no doubt in my mind that they start from day 1 each season with the end in mind.

I’d go on to say that the particular end that they’re going for is easier to illustrate to the new roster because the organization has reached that pinical so many times.

That analogy aside, if you were to build anything, say a dog house, a phone application, or even an organization, you need to know what the final product will look like.

When it comes to these two laws, simply letting the universe (or God) decide our fate, isn’t a great move. We need have that plan in place to get to where we want.

Habit 3 suggests that the first thing we need to do is determine what the order of steps are we need to perform “to get there”.

Luck Does Play a Role

The definition of luck is this: it’s the point where preparedness and opportunity intersect. With that definition, it’s hard to not think that Andrew Luck has learned to truly embody his surname.

Quenton Nelson, who was the Colts’ rookie guard this year, recently said that Andrew is one of the biggest nerds he knows. And he’s not just talking about football. When the team is traveling, Andrew acts as a tour guide of the city they’re visiting.

When we’re wanting to achieve something in our work or lives, we need to not only be prepared, but we also need to be on the lookout for opportunity. Meaning, if you were a fisherman, sure you could have he best gear and have the best techniques, but if you’re not near a body of water, then you’re never going to land a fish.

Likewise, if you’re looking to serve a certain kind of people, but you’re spending your time elsewhere, perhaps that’s not the best move. If you were Andrew, even though you were good at it, you wouldn’t be practicing soccer in preparation for a football game.

External Expectancy: It’s a Trap!

Now, with all this talk about setting out with the end in mind and being lucky, there’s something we really need to watch out for.

Expecting certain results to come to us from the universe after we put in our own efforts.

Here’s the truth: you can only affect the things that you control. It’s when we try to affect things outside of our control that bad stuff happens.

For instance, you might have wanted to write a book. Ok, that’s great. Are you doing it for the right reasons though? Are you wanting to write it because you want to get nationally recognized or because you simply want to get your message out there?

If it’s the latter, then you’re good to start. Build a writing habit (say 1000 words per day) and you’ll have that puppy out in no time.

However, if the reason you’re wanting to write a book is because you want to get that recognition, then you might have some problems. For one, what if it doesn’t get recognized? Does that mean that you shouldn’t create in the future? Does that mean you need to choose a different niche? Perhaps you’re just not cut out to be an author?

It doesn’t mean any of those things. You just put the expectancy on external results.

Here’s another example. Perhaps you wanted to earn more money last year or become more connected in your industry. If you did everything that you could do to make that happen, but you’re upset. I’d argue, what’s really upsetting you isn’t that you failed – because you didn’t. What happened is that the results that you have no control over weren’t what you were expecting.

All of these questions pop up when you expect things to go a certain way and they don’t. So don’t try to control things you can’t control.

If you want more about this topic, Srini Rao did a good writeup over at Unmistakable Creative.

Action Steps

So here we are. Halfway through winter and you’re still spinning your wheels in how you can get out of your individual rat race.

If you really want to make your situation better, the first thing I would do is figure out if you’re truly doing meaningful work. I WOULD NOT set a possibly unattainable goal of being able to change or quit your job or switch the focus of your business in the next 90 days. You need to first get your bearings of who you are, where you fit in the world, and the superpowers you have.

After that, I’d seek out the first mountain you want to climb and start putting steps into place about getting there.

Maybe you want to be a coach – is there a certification that you’d want to get before setting off on that journey? Is the niche of people you’re wanting to serve actually able to pay you for your services? If not, what’s a possible way you can build an income stream from that work?

Maybe you want to be a consultant? Do you know what that entails? Where do you find clients? How would you sell your services to a potential client?

Heck, maybe you love watching American Pickers and you want to do what Mike and Frank do. Do you know what the market value is for antiques? Do you have a place to store your findings? How will you find targets to pick from?

Figure this stuff out before you set out on your own.

And the third step is this – set the fundamental daily habits in place that will enable you to be successful. As I mentioned earlier this year, I’d recommend looking at Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Habits. But there are tons of other books out there on the subject as well that might be a better fit for you.

evolution of marketing

Avi Arya – It’s Not All About the Hustle: Life Balance, Creative Fulfillment, and the Evolution of Marketing Online (AoL 140)

The ongoing evolution of marketing has yield today’s social media. Facebook along with its peers are an interesting tool. Most of the world looks at it as a distraction or a way to share with family and friends. However, those of us who are in the entrepreneurial / creative space – we see it as a little bit more than that. Sure, we like to let people know what we’re up to, but we also like to share our projects and/or our message.

If you’re good at digital marketing, you’ll have no problem blending in your personal posts with your business posts. If your business is part of your personal mission, then it’s even easier.

Today’s guest, Avi Arya, is all about helping companies reach out and connect to native social media users. He travels the world not only as a speaker, but as a consultant.

However, this doesn’t define him. This is simply the work he does.

When he’s not traveling around the world, he spends as much time as he can with his family, dogs, and doing the things he really enjoys doing.

The key is this: He works to live, not live to work.

In this installment of the AoL Podcast, listen as we talk about how he rose to the the top of the industry, some of the mistakes that new marketers make, and his perspective on work/life balance.

Enjoy!

SPECIFICALLY, YOU’LL FIND OUT MORE ABOUT:

  • How did working with his dad help Avi get started in digital marketing? 11:31
  • What has changed since he first started work in digital marketing? 20:18
  • How has Avi incorporated a traveling lifestyle into what he does online? 24:06
  • What are his thoughts on having life balance? 26:41
  • Are there certain mistakes that he sees novice online advertisers making on a regular basis? 30:54
  • What’s the secret in finding fulfillment in what we do as creatives? 40:40
  • How does Avi strive to become a better version of himself? 48:05
  • Is there a process he goes through to get him psyched to do live streams? 49:41
  • What else is he looking forward to in 2019? 52:17
  • What are three books he often gives or tells others about? 53:48
  • Does he have a favorite social custom that he’s seem in his travels? 55:04
  • What is something Avi believes all high school students must know? 56:02
  • Are there any travel tips he has for new travelers? 57:21
  • How can someone be a difference maker in their community? 58:24

ITEMS and PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Avi Online: Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube
Session Sponsor: Namecheap
Quora
Reddit
Elon Musk on AI
Technological Singularity
Crushing It – Gary Vaynerchuk
New Earth – Eckhart Tolle
5 AM Club – Robin Sharma

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.

SHOW NOTE EXTRAS:

Fear No More

Avi Meets Gary V.

On Location at Social Media Marketing World (Day 1 of 3)

Avi talks with Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner


Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

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If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on CastboxiTunesStitcherPodBean, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!

Cheers!

plan your future

Plan Your Future! Using YOUR Offseason to Make 2019 Great!

The Colts lost this past weekend to the Chiefs. The offense didn’t seem to show up for the game. And after such a hard loss, many would be discouraged. However, instead of dwelling on “what-could-have”‘s, the front office decided to step it up and start building for 2019 right away.

This is something that we all can learn something from, I think.

As you might have read in a recent post of mine, I was very pleased with the results of the team this year. Not just because of the wins, but because of the atmosphere in the locker room.

There’s a true culture there of success there. From the front office all the way down to the newest of players.

The Colts and any teams that haven’t achieved what they wanted to in 2018 are in the same boat.

It is officially the offseason. It’s time to retool and rethink about next year and next season.

Play at a Higher Level in 2019

There are certainly some things that they need to address to get ready for next year. Here’s a few examples:

Personnel Adjustments

Most, if not all, teams need to address their personnel. Maybe someone’s just not working out and they have to be replaced. Maybe the player graduated if they’re in college. Or if they’re in the pros, maybe the front office and player isn’t seeing eye to eye on a new contract.

On the coaching side of things, maybe a coach gets a better opportunity elsewhere. Or perhaps a retired player wants to become a coach – how does he or she fit in?

Personnel is one thing that all teams have to deal with in the off season. You can hear more about what all they need to deal with in this end of season presser with Chris Ballard.

Coaching Adjustments

Even if a team has all the right pieces in place, they have to consider if what they did last year will work the next season if they simply execute better. Chances are, though, that they’ll need to change a few things about what they’re doing because there’s an entire season of footage on what they did last year.

So they need to not only look at their own play calling to see what worked and what didn’t, but they also need to look at other teams around the league. See if there’s strategies they can use to help them get to the next level. Hear more about what Colts coach Frank Reich is going to handle the offseason in this presser.

Fan Outreach

One of the things about the Colts this year is that their ability to connect with fans on social media and in other live events has been great.

As part of the last season, they promoted Amber Derrow as their head of social media and digital content strategy. She has done a wonderful job this season.

In just the last year, you can see a huge jump in engagement in the Colts’ socials. From images, videos and memes posted to the Colts’ Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, to even becoming a regular in Colts subreddit on Reddit. She’s been everywhere!

Action Steps

One of the quotes that I heard from Bill Belichick in the last couple of seasons is that having to play (and win) in the postseason puts his staff behind everyone else. And it does. Every time they play in the Super Bowl, they’re effective a month behind all the teams that didn’t make it into the playoffs.

As business owners, creatives, and entrepreneurs who use the web to promote what we’re doing, we need to be doing what great organizational leaders do. There are certain things that we can plan out. In a recent video of Pat Flynn’s, he lists a few things that we should look at:

Start with your Content Calendar

Harrison and I, along with other leaders of the Amplify Indy community, have already worked on this pretty extensively. My goal is to write about topics in this blog that mirror what we’re discussing in our local events. That’s why you’re getting this specific post as it’s related to the event this week – Find Your Strength in 2019.

Products and Events

Next, Pat talks about figuring out when you’ll be dropping out products and events. Again, these are things we’ve already started to look at within Amplify – Our monthly events will be each third Wednesday.

Personal Time and Goals

Personal downtime and goals are other things you need to consider. Is how you’ve done things continuing to work for you? Are you in a point where you need to change things a little or a lot?

Recently, if you’ve started following him at all, you might have seen that Brendon Burchard is now living in San Juan. He’s planning to make this a regular thing for him and his wife because he’s tired of winters in the northeast.

On a smaller scale, maybe you want to be healthier this year. Look at your calendar and plan a time for that if that’s the case. It’s so much easier to follow through if you set it in your calendar and make it a habit.

What Else?

There are plenty of other things that I haven’t mentioned that we need to focus on at the beginning of a new cycle. Depending on when that cycle starts for you, you might make those decisions last month, in September, or even start in November. What are some of the things that you focus on during your “offseason”?

increase confidence

Expect to Win – 3 Ingredients We Need to Increase Confidence

Confidence is something that is discussed quite a bit in entrepreneurial and self-help circles. It is extremely important in almost every part of our lives, but yet so many people struggle to find it. Without it, it’s almost impossible to find true success in what we want out of our lives.

In fact, it’s a vicious cycle between confidence, goal setting, and success.

When we have low confidence, we find it hard to set goals. We think that it’s useless because we won’t achieve them. Then, without setting goals, it’s almost impossible to be successful because we’re not defining what that success looks like.

So, how do we turn this cycle around? How can we become more confident in what we’re doing to eventually feel and be more successful?

Let’s take a look.

It Starts with Action

When I was active in LTD, I really enjoyed the training that was available. I’ve posted about much of what I’ve learned in past blog posts. But one of the things that was taught pretty frequently to new members was this simple idea:

Taking Action yields Results which yields Belief. The more Belief we have, the more likely we’re going to take further Action.

While this might sound like confidence, it’s only a part. Through taking Action and gaining more Belief, we’re actually building Competence in what we’re doing.

What’s great about building competence by practicing a certain skill set is that it’s pretty straight forward. Just start and learn from the action you take. Do it again and again and you’ll gain not only a feeling of confidence that you can do that particular thing but you’ll also gain a bit of appreciation of the work you’re doing.

Believe in the Mission

While we gain confidence through simply performing simple actions, we start to also gain a bit of an identity of ourselves through this work. It gain even more confidence when we start out with a perception of who we are and what we’re about. When our actions and results start fulfilling that perception, then we start building confidence through Congruence.

As you guys know, I’m a fan of the Colts and have been since I was in junior high. Over the years, I’ve gone from a fan who was only excited about watching the games, to a fan who analyzes the team as a whole. Not just paying attention to the players but what the leadership is saying as well. Not just through the games, but listening to what the coaches say and what the players are saying as well.

This past weekend’s game (and this past season) is a great example of seeing Congruence at work. Rookie head coach Frank Reich has installed a winning identity into the team. From the preseason where the leadership actually focused on winning games to this past weekend, there has been an expectation to come out of games with a win.

Even though they started the season at 1-5, they have rallied to get into this season’s playoffs. While they’ve been competitive and played pretty good ball all year, they definitely weren’t getting the results they were going for early on. However, the leadership didn’t lose faith and kept an even keel.

As they started to win, many members of the team started to realize that when they had that losing streak, it was mainly because they were sabotaging themselves. They weren’t living up to their own expectations. With a combination of this new belief in what they’re doing and performing their individual jobs correctly, they have dug themselves out of a hole. And they are now the 3rd team ever to get into the playoffs after starting with one win and five losses.

So, here’s the takeaway from this: Know and be clear on what you’re going for. Find your own personal mission. Take action and learn from past mistakes. As you get better at your skills and start fulfilling your mission, you’ll gain even more confidence.

Connect and Work with Others

When thinking about people who are successful, most of the time we look at them as the reason that they were successful. However, that usually isn’t the case. Great people are successful because they’ve built a great network. They’ve built a team. They have learned how to Connect.

In fact, the most successful people in the world aren’t those who have worked the hardest and it’s not those who have the most talent. While those are great things that can most certainly help, the real catalyst is knowing how to meet others, work with them, and elevate them to achieve things they couldn’t without you.

When you’re executing the best you can in a mission you believe in and doing so with other people, then there’s probably a good chance you have a certain level of confidence that will help you achieve anything you set out to do.

If building this network is something you want to develop, check out Jordan Harbinger and his podcast.

Action Steps

So if you want to build confidence in yourself and in what you’re doing, I first suggest finding out what your own personal mission is. Once you know that, you have the biggest part of achieving success – clarity.

At this point it’s up to you to build the skill sets you need to achieve that mission as well as figure out those who you need in your team to help you succeed.

After all, it doesn’t matter how good a Quarterback is if he doesn’t have a supporting cast. He needs other players to have a chance at winning the game.