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All the things, and your one thing

“We’re doing all the things right now, so I guess my question is...what do I focus on?”

Had a one to one Momentum session with a client last week, and when I asked what particularly she wanted to cover, this was it.

This is for those of you who ARE actually doing things. Loads of things. All the things. 

You’re proud of yourself for taking action (and rightfully so). You’re thankful to be in a place where there are many things to do, and plenty of business.

But...you have this sneaking feeling you could be focusing your efforts in just one place to make more progress. Isn’t that how success happens? Consistent action, in the same direction, day after day, year after year? 

I saw this on Twitter, a “fascinating fact about a grandparent”. I sat and stared at it for a while. Three bricks a day. Every day. For seven years. A LITERAL HOUSE. 

I confess I even did the math. Three per day… that’s 21 per week… times 52 weeks per year….times 7 years. That’s 7,644 bricks. Is that enough for a house? Did some googling and yep, looks like it is. 

It doesn’t seem enough, does it? Three bricks a day. Seems like he needed to be hauling an entire wagonload full of bricks every day. Gather an entire family or workforce together. 

The reason he could build a house with those bricks is that’s all he carried home every day in the lunch pail. Three bricks. If he’d carried other things, or skipped it now and then until he stopped doing it altogether….no house. 

Back to my conversation about doing “all the things”. This particular client felt she knew what ‘category’ of thing she wanted to prioritise (for her it was their onboarding system). 

It’s easy to say “I’m going to prioritise onboarding”: but what are the three bricks today? How can you build your onboarding house if one day you’re carrying bricks, the next day nothing, the next day a few small bugs and a stick, then just one brick? It’s going to take you a lot longer than 7 years. 

Answer all of these questions as they relate to your one area - onboarding, or prequalifying, or hiring, or scaling the firm, or project management. That way, you’re not randomly doing something every day, but you’re identifying what your bricks are, to build your onboarding house. Your hiring house.

  • What’s annoying you or wearying you right now? Is there a question you’re tired of answering, a task you’re tired of doing every day or week or month? 
  • What question do you get asked all the time? Which, if you could simply answer by sending a blog post or video, would save you a lot of time? 
  • What task is being done just a little bit differently every time (by you, or different team members)? 
  • What’s been on your to-do list for absolute AGES? You’re tired of looking at it, or it’s ceased to have any meaning. You don’t actually believe you’ll do it. 
  • Does it have to be…? Does it have to be as big a project as you’re imagining? For example, do you actually need a full, brand new website today...or would one new page on your existing site solve 80% of the problem? Does it have to be an entire online course, or would a few quick Loom videos cover most of what they need to learn? Does it have to be a detailed PDF guide, or could it be a few blog posts? We are thinking of the house when we need to scale it down to the bricks. 
  • Where are you finding it difficult to say NO? If you and the team are swamped but you’re still taking on new clients, an actual waiting list page (with a form and a video explaining how it works) could help you to say no. If you keep hiring people and not long after letting them go, creating a checklist against which to review potential new team members will help you say no. Create that. 

Whichever one of these questions was the easiest and fastest to answer, that’s your one thing. Work on that and get it actually done (not perfect but done!). And then move on to the next and the next. 

Before you know it, you’ll have built your house. 

And it might even take less than seven years!

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