Did you tidy your office today?

Ask my staff and on 99 out of 100 hundred days they would tell you that my office needs a good sort out.  I admit that it could to with a tidy up from time to time, but strangely I know where everything is and can lay my hands on anything I need in seconds.  Oddly, this is something I can’t do if papers are neatly filed away.  But yes, I do admit, there are occasions when even I would accept that my office needs to be tidied.  You really can’t work effectively if things are in a real mess.

But enough about my office, I want to talk about yours.

My question is more by way of example than really wanting to know if you tidied up your office today.  You see all too many business people spend far too much time putting off what really would make a difference to their business in order to do, well almost anything else. Tidy the office, create a new filing system, design a new spreadsheet for the petty cash, make a long list of people to call. You know the type of thing I mean.  We’ve all done it.  We have all convinced ourselves that these things are really vital and will make a difference to our lives.  And, of course they will, but not in the way we actually want.

Why do we do it?  Well, the things that are going to have the biggest effect on our success are hard, and sometimes even unpleasant.  So we put these difficult things off and do other ‘important’ things like tidying the office instead.

So, if your business isn’t moving in the direction you want, as fast as you would like, be tough on yourself and list the ‘important’ jobs you have done in the past few days, against the really important jobs that need to be done to move your business forward.

Actually picking up the phone today and calling even a few people will have a much more dramatic effect on your business than having a long list of people you could call another day.

Do you press the button?

I was listening to Radio 5 Live recently: the programme on allowed listeners to have a rant.  When they were finished the presenters gave them a score: top score being the Rant of the Week!

Well, one guy explained how he couldn’t understand why people had to press buttons that he had obviously already pressed.  He gave a couple of examples: waiting for a lift and at road crossings.  I have to say it amazes me when people press the button at road crossings even when there is not a car insight.

The thing is that people are programmed to do all kinds of stuff without thinking.  We all do hundreds of things every day without a moment’s thought.  But, and this is really important, what don’t you do because it would mean having to think differently?

My bet is that you really want to grow your business. but that marketing your business everyday (as it should be) is not automatic.  So, the big question is how long does it take for something to become automatic?  Like most things there is no hard and fast answer.  Research shows that it can be anything from one to eight months and I bet it has a great deal to do with what sort of person you are, how old you are, but, bottom line, how much you really want to do it.

So, how about trying this?  Write in your diary, right now, ‘Marketing’ every day for the next month and see how long it takes to become automatic.