Keep doing the invisible work

I got distracted this week. I had brilliant new ideas about how to help our clients and a message I wanted to make sure we get across, and ended up spending most of a day working on a video and some content on this topic and all the new ideas when really...I would have done better to just keep going on the projects I’ve got before me.

I realised the next day what I’d done. I thought about how I used my day, and realised I came up with a brilliant idea and told myself it would just take an hour, and then  it ended up taking much more than that and essentially was a distraction which felt super productive and purposeful at the time. Because I was Doing New Things.

Where really what I needed to be doing was... old things. Not old as in tired or dated or forgotten, but as in... agreed things. Committed things. 

I’ve got so many projects on which I need to just. keep. going on. 

A new website. My book content. The videos for the course connected to the book. Little, daily, small things which no one sees and even if I share progress it’s still not done yet. 

Until one day it is.

Because one day, all the little invisible things will come together and suddenly one of those big projects will be done. The book will be published, the course will be ready for people to sign up to, the new website will be live and will link to the book and the course and all the things. 

The things I’ve committed to and invested in and decided were a good use of the time I have: they are a good use of my time.

And I need to keep using my time for them. 

Slowly. Invisibly. Little piece by little piece. Step by daily and hourly step.

Wednesday was the day I got distracted and diverted. On Thursday, when I realised it, I thought about it. I mulled it over on my morning walk. I shared it with the team.

And we talked about it. They encouraged me in the idea and the motivation for it and the “mind freedom to play with ideas and have brainwaves”. 

They reminded me it’s still positive, and we’ll still use it and benefit from it. I’ve even had several conversations this week with clients and prospects which were followed by “I was thinking of just this and recorded a video on it - I’ll send that to you”. The content I created is not a waste of time. It’s good and was motivated from the right place...it’s just...not what I had already committed to that day. It wasn’t the book chapter I didn’t finish on deadline. It wasn’t the website page wording I’d agreed to finish that week. 

I made commitments and set deadlines and had accountability, and then set it all aside for my brainwave. 

So I shared this with the team and we talked about it. I discussed it with my Marketing Manager in our weekly meet, and we looked again at one particular project I keep putting off, which is the short 10 minute videos I’m supposed to be recording for our Accountant Marketer course. 

These videos have been on my list for over a year. Maybe close to two. We’ve been considering how this “do it yourself” course would work, how it fits with our live coaching sessions and the book I’m writing, where it fits in our clients’ journey (and our pre-client journey too). We decided we’d (I would) create short 10 minute videos summarising the most important points from the Accelerator, with homework and workbooks and the opportunity to transfer everything to the live coaching group when people were ready. 

And last year, I realised I kept putting off the short videos, because I wasn’t clear on exactly what I wanted to say. (It’s much harder to record a 10 minute video than a one-hour session. You can ramble in a longer session. You need to be punchy in a shorter video.) 

So I started making a note of all the bullet points - the most important things for each of the 12 topics in the Accelerator. Audience, Issues, Branding, Websites. Those kinds of topics. 

Then I realised I had a lot more than bullet points, and started compiling content from all the various sources - blogs and videos and the Accelerator sessions themselves - and put it all in a Google Doc.

Then I discovered I had 60,000 words in my Google Doc so it had moved from key points to a book. 

Then I started working on the book, and as part of that process have revisited what the key points actually are. In order to get to the simple short version, I had to do the long version first. 

And on Thursday, because of my distraction and the subsequent conversations about it, I said to my Marketing Manager, “I keep putting these videos off. And I’m not even sure why. Can we talk about what’s blocking me?”

And she said of course, and we did, and I realised what was blocking me was 

  1. It’s invisible work. I don’t record a video and instantly share it and get lots of people saying oh this is great thank you so much. I record a video, and it sits quietly until the whole course is ready. 
  2. It felt like SUCH A BIG DEAL. Like this is an actual course people will sign up for and pay money for and watch - maybe over and over. I’ll be scrutinised and the words I say matter and what if I miss a key point and is the video quality high enough and do I need to use my DSLR and a tripod and my ring light and a remote clicker instead? 

So we agreed a few things. We agreed that thanks to this messy, confused, back and forth, up and down, let it go and take it back journey of the past year or two, I now have all the pieces. I have the key points. I know what is most important to say. 

And we agreed the videos I’d record will just be version one. They’ll be not perfect but done. They still need to be good (not perfect but good), but I’ll actually PLAN to replace them with the high quality video using the DSLR and the videographer and the tripod and the ring light and the aperture and the script. 

But for now, I’ll remind myself of what i keep telling my clients, which is, the message is what matters. You can get business with an ugly or outdated logo, or a tired website, or a simple video, if the message is on point. If what you share has value and fits the need your clients have. When it helps them think and be curious and consider and dig deep. 

So that afternoon, after I ran the live session of the Accelerator, I pulled up the slides I’d used, picked out the ones that shared the key points, opened Camtasia, and recorded the first 10 minute video. 

It wasn’t the very first welcome video. It wasn’t even session one. It was session 9, blogging. I just used the momentum I had from running the live session, and the lessons I’d learned from my distraction this week, and all the little pieces I’d been putting together for the past year (or maybe even the past six years), and did the invisible work. 

You’re not going to see the video yet. No one will see it yet outside of the PF team. But it will go on the back end of the website, within the online course which is being built, and will be another link in the chain. (One of those links is the waiting list for the course, which IS visible.)

And next week I’ll record another one, and another one, and before we know it the course will be ready and the book will be out (which will encourage people to sign up for the course) and it will all be published on our gloriously beautiful new website…

...and the invisible will have become visible. 

You keep going, too. The invisible work is good work. 

Get this Note in your inbox every Saturday morning

These Notes are emailed out every Saturday. If you’d like to be on the list, sign up here.


This product has been added to your cart