Guest Post: Ten Basic Pieces of Tech Worth Tackling by Molly Mandelberg

Coming from a long line of teachers, preachers, artists and writers, the tech world never sang to me. At least not until I started my own business and realized what was available, if I were to master a few key ingredients.

This is where my nerdy researching took flight. I dove head first into studying all the tools I could find to make running my business (hypnotherapy at the time) easier in any way I could. I started launching online courses, building out elaborate sales funnels and futzing around with email sequences until I finally found my calling. Turns out my writer background and engineering brain LOVES to build and connect these valuable strategic business systems laced with boatloads of content.

I’m talking about automation: for some it’s passive income, for others it’s a lighter load in their email inbox. Whatever it looks like, the point is that technology can make life a heck of a lot easier, if we just take the time to set it up.

“We are the Jetson’s!” We are living in a time where it couldn’t be easier to share your message on a large scale.

But Where the F do we start?

NOTE: These are useful tools to implement, but by NO means necessary to the growth of your business. You can always go without, it just gets easier when you have some systems to support you.

# 1 Online Scheduler – (and a digital personal Calendar to sync with)

This one can be the biggest immediate game-changer. Imagine how things are to begin with: Someone makes it to your website, they realize they want to learn more, and you have them ‘contact’ you in a simple form which leads to an email correspondence. That leads to three or four more emails to find a mutually good time to meet and after a good 30-45 minutes of your life has been spent organizing, you eventually have the appointment.

What if instead, a person made it to your website, and decided they wanted to talk to you and (with or without the filtration step of an application or survey of some kind) they book themselves directly onto your calendar for a consultation. !!!! Time saved. Potential client relationship starting off with a bang.

My favorite tool for this is Acuity Scheduling as it does custom appointments, allows for automated email reminders, syncs with your personal calendar, takes payment, and even allows you to host classes and sell packages. Here’s my affiliate link: bit.ly/wildheartsacuity or a direct link: https://acuityscheduling.com/

Online scheduler’s can be a hassle so I made a quick checklist to help people set Acuity up, if you’d like a copy of that you can find it here: https://wildheartsriseup.mykajabi.com/p/acuity-checklist

The added step of syncing this calendar with your personal appointments depends on your use of a digital calendar such as Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook or the like. Not necessary, but really nice for avoiding the dreaded ’double-booking’.

Look for: Payment processing, calendar syncing, email reminders and a nice user interface. Free is not always better in this case.

#2 Autoresponder –

I LOOOOOVE this tool. This might be my nerdiest love affair of them all. This is what people refer to when they ask about your ‘list’. Basically, an autoresponder allows you to automatically, or manually, email your entire following of subscribers (I hate that term too) anytime you like.

I’ll set the scene again: (Although this has likely happened to you on the receiving end, many times.)

Imagine you invite someone to a workshop, or to partake in your free gift, or someone makes it to your website and wants to receive updates from your blog or something… They plug their email into a little box, click submit, and KAPOW! They get a message right away! That immediate delivery happens from an autoresponder. Again, lots of amazing tools out there, but in my nerdy poking around on the inter-webs, and after trying out at least 3 for myself, my hands-down favorite is Active Campaign.

I get a little heart flutter excited every time I share about it.

Affiliate link: bit.ly/wildactive or direct link: https://www.activecampaign.com

Here’s what you want to look for: (and what Active Campaign of course excels at)

  • Does it include automation for the introductory price?” Mailchimp is a great introductory tool, but won’t take you as far as other programs that allow for tagging and better organization of your list.
  • Is it easy to segment the list? This may not come into play for you at first, but at some point you are going to want to send a message to your whole following except for your current clients and your moon circle friends (maybe that’s just me?) and that is NOT simple, segmentation I mean, on some of the platforms out there. Active Campaign uses tags and it may sound fancy but you get the hang of it pretty quick. i.e. Send to everyone except ‘x’ tag, and… done.
  • Can the user experience be catered to their interactions with your emails? In AC, you can actually tag someone when they click a link, or become a client and they will immediately stop receiving a series of emails encouraging them to schedule with you or ‘check out this thing’. I find that when we only send messages to people based on their interests, we not only hit the nail on the head for them offering-wise, but we can feel a whole lot better about what we’re sending because we know it actually applies to who it’s going out to.

PRO TIP: Always, always, ALWAYS write emails in a document first and copy them into your autoresponder later. This is to minimize loss and frustration in the writing and sending phase as well as the migration to a new system phase. Keep that stuff organized for extra brownie points. You will thank you later.

#3 A Business Building Website –

WTF is that? There are two kinds of small biz sites out there:

1. A Brochure Website: Gives information, talks a lot about your services, links to a bunch of things, maybe has a contact form.

2. A Business Building Website: Builds a relationship with your people, speaks directly to their heart, offers value up front and allows the visitor many ways to get in touch or receive more from you. Free gifts, opt in forms, scheduling links etc. Brings them down the path from viewer to friend.

My favorite tool for this: WordPress.org

PRO TIP: This process begins with purchasing a ‘hosting’ package through one of the many Hosting companies out there. SKIP GoDaddy, they suck for more than one reason. I use Bluehost, and also recommend HostGator as a trusted source with good customer service. Once you purchase hosting, they will help you ‘install’ WordPress onto your fancy new domain name.

(Note: .com is highly recommended over .org or .biz if possible when choosing your domain)

I hate seeing people get stuck on this step. The truth is you DO NOT need a website to get your business up and running.

But, I know for some there is a feeling of legitimacy that comes with a website, so if you want to go the WordPress route and want some help setting it up, reach out. Someone in your network, or Tad or I can recommend someone. I even built a mini course to walk people through building sites on WordPress because I was tired of seeing my friends spend $5k on a website they didn’t like.

#4 Surveys, Questionnaires, Quizzes –

One of the greatest ways to know what your people want is to….. ASK THEM! Yep, to actually get their input on how they think about their issues, what they desire most and what kinds of solutions they are looking for. (There’s a great book on how to do this called “Ask” by Ryan Levesque.)

You can use a free system like Google Forms or Typeform and create a quick survey that asks them a couple key things.

  • What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing right now?
  • What have you already tried?
  • What do you want instead?
  • What kind of support are you looking for?

….and so on.

PRO TIPS on this: Keep the number of questions low and make most of them multiple choice. The one you really want their exact words on is how they’d describe their biggest challenge when it comes to (the problem you solve). Surveys work better when you make their personal info optional, or don’t ask for it at all. This is an info-gathering phase, not a list-building phase.

Quizzes are awesome ways to both get to know your people and add some value. It’s human nature to want to know about ourselves, if we can provide insights like that, while also learning about the needs of our audience, awesome! I use Thrive Quiz Builder on WordPress, but have heard good things about Qzzr as well.

#5 Content Delivery Platform –

Do you have a Blog? Podcast? Youtube Channel? Meetup Group?

Are you sending out emails, pdf’s, checklists and blueprints? There are countless platforms to assist you in delivering your message to your people. My recommendation matches Tad’s, start where you feel like starting. Play to your strengths.

Whatever you do, start doing it and sharing it with your people. Your unique point of view is what sets you apart from every other practitioner.

Yes, the world needs your message.

There are people out there literally waiting for your refreshing take on this wild ride called life.

Share it.

Ring the bell.

Shake the dust.

#6 Social Media Biz Presence –

This could be a Business Page on Facebook, a Professional Profile on LinkedIn or even an Instagram account, the point is to figure out where your people are hanging out and show up there. Many kinds of people hang out on Facebook, but sometimes it’s easier for a jeweller or photographer to get found on Instagram, as it’s more imagery based. Likewise, corporate or traditional business folks might be more inclined to seek resources on LinkedIn.

I encourage people to begin with a media presences that feels light to you. If you are a writer, write. If you are a speaker, live stream some videos. If you are better in some other format, start there. I have personally gained a lot by pushing myself to expand to new frontiers of visibility, but I started with words on a page. That’s what I knew how to do.

#7 Social Media Scheduler –

One of the biggest game changers in my business growth was when I started batching my creative output. Rather than worry about how I was going to be ‘visible’ on social media, or to my list, or in the world on a daily basis, I started tackling that stuff in big batches.

So I’d sit down and write 20 inspiring posts, or a months worth of Blog entries, or pull a bunch of quotes from past talks and videos. I started mining past articles I’d written for what I like to call ‘nuggets of glory’ and then using those quotes on an amazing website called Canva.com where you can easily put images and text together in a fancy way. (Without having to learn the ins and outs of photoshop.)

Then, I would, and still do, take this chunk of juicy content bits and use Hootsuite.com to schedule them out into the future on my various social media pages. Don’t put it off forever, it goes quicker than you expect.

#8 CRM or Follow Up System –

I don’t personally use a CRM (Client Relationship Management Software) but the idea is that with a good tracking system, following up is easier to do. When you meet someone and they express interest in your work, or you do a consult and someone says “Yes, but let’s start next month.” You want to have a solid way to track that information so you don’t forget to follow up because when you follow up, you generally end up with more clients.

I use a project management tool called Trello.com which syncs to my phone and allows me to set due dates and make notes about people I’ve spoken to. (More on this below.) You can also set a reminder in your actual calendar to call them back. Whatever you use, make sure you’ll keep up with it. The best plan of action is one you will actually take action on.

#9 Content/Project Management –

Tad talks (“TadTalks”) about tracking things like the ‘Hubs’ for your niche, and organizing your brilliant ideas as they come to you. I found after a few years of great ideas and personal connections, I was overwhelmed with pieces of paper and ‘important notes’. So this tech tool tip is to find a project management, or idea organization system that works for you and USE it!

Here are my favorites:

Trello.com: I use this to create new projects, to organize what I delegate to my VA’s, to track my work with my clients, what they’re working on, how many sessions they have left etc. I even use it to keep all my To Do lists organized in one place. FREE I have like 30 separate project boards and still haven’t paid a dime.

Evernote.com: This is where my brilliant strikes of inspiration go first, into special organized note folders until I know what they’re for or what project they associate with in Trello. Lists like Books to read, Links to remember, Groceries to buy, and Gift Ideas for Mom and Dad usually end up in Evernote. FREE

Scrivener: This one is really more for writers, but I’m mentioning it here because I love it. I’m actually writing this in Scrivener right now. Easily create folders and subfolders for different parts of a project. Great for keeping good track of ALL your content without going hunting for it, or for managing the development of a book. $40 software.

#10 Shopping Cart –

This is a key element when it comes time to sell a product, course, program or service. If it’s a class or appointment, you can use Acuity, or whatever scheduler you chose that hopefully takes payment. If it’s something larger, you can get started on PayPal, Stripe or Square. All charge roughly 3% to process payments. When you move into an online learning platform, they will often include secure checkout pages also linked to you via PayPal, Stripe or Square. Don’t feel like you need to go out and get a “Shopping Cart,” you’ll know there’s a need when the time comes.

The fact that you’re reading this means you are on to big things. I love that about you!

I’ll leave you with two last reminders:

1. You do not need all of this, especially not all at once.

2. You do not have to do it alone. If you need support, get it. If not me or Tad, someone else you have access to. It can be daunting to take new systems on but I promise you it is worth it in the long run.

To infinity and beyond!

Xo Molly Mandelberg

About Molly:

Having studied with masters, traveled the world and applied the great teachings to her own life, Molly Mandelberg is uniquely qualified to help launch you from where you are now, to the next level of your business. Molly has an unusual combination of spiritual/visionary and high tech/practical/business savvy. She is an artist, a globe trotter, a writer, a speaker, a facilitator and a leader.

Whether you are stuck in procrastination, confusion or things just aren’t moving fast enough for you toward your goals, having empowering, kickass support may be just what you need. From content and design through streamlined global delivery systems, Molly Mandelberg may be the answer you’ve been looking for. You can learn more about her at: www.WildHeartsRiseUp.com 

The 1000+ Small Dreams Project

19800699_10154606493405671_8906803628215049469_oA few weeks ago, I saw that my old friend and colleague Alex Baisley (pictured here) had launched a new program when I read the following words in an email from him:

“Have you been wanting to horse-back ride? Scuba dive? Take a weekend road trip? Get a tattoo? Play the song you wrote in front of people? Go canoeing or camping with your family or friends? Host a dinner party for your neighbours? Try bringing improv or acting into your life? Do a life-drawing class?

Maybe you’ve thought about writing poetry, or taking a Mediterranean cooking workshop in your community, or martial arts? Learn what opera or bluegrass is all about? What about an instrument, a language?

Just that… you haven’t got round to it. Could you use a nudge?

Would you be willing to listen to my project about: The 1000 Small Dreams Challenge?

My goal here is to inspire 1000 good salt-of-the-earth people across Canada (and in a few other countries – wherever you are!) to pursue a small dream that rocks them”

Small dreams are so important in business.

I see so many people going for something big and huge. 

But business growth comes from small, little projects. In fact, most impressive, large and profitable businesses I know of come from this. Most non-profits start like this. They start small. I speak about this at length in my Niching Spiral Home Study Program: the need to create small, niche projects or experiments. 

And so, I thought I’d interview him on this subject that he has a great deal of experience with.

1000 small dreams

*

What’s the story of this project? where’d it come from? what did you see was missing?

I’ve had the unusual opportunity to be on the ground of a lot of big dreams and new businesses for a long time. And I see ONE THING missing that would help folks bring them to realization a little or a lot sooner.

I’ve had the Big Dream Program for something over 15yrs now and I spend my days talking with folks – a lot of them – about Big Dreams they’ve had for years & businesses or lifestyles they so want to create for themselves – if ‘life’ didn’t keep getting in the way for them. Jobs, responsibilities, feeling paralyzed by too many possibilities… Maverick people who feel in their bones they are meant to be doing something more in this world, for this world. And living day-to-day in the way they dream of – such as more spiritual practice, leaving a soul-sucking job, more family time, or traveling.

And… though there are many reasons for these challenges, I have found that manifesting ’the dream’ depends on one capability that most of us are not nourishing well:

If this sounds like you, and if you’re anything like me… you have about eight journals-full of ideas and schemings, hundreds of hours spent brainstorming and daydreaming, you have taken classes on this sort of thing, but… for some of us (me included)… months slip the hell by. And then years. And still… it ain’t happening. Eff. This hurts.

My, and my clients’, hard-earned point of view: I don’t think in most cases we are ‘wanting’ for genius or a more finely tuned idea.

I think the problem is usually that our Big Dreams are so big – at least emotionally – that we don’t know where or how to start, OR get ourselves to ‘do it’.

Enter the Small Dreams muscle. (you can see what happened with Lisa and her showers project below, for instance)

If we want to make ‘anything’ happen – like making a sandwich, there is a base-line capability at play. Let’s call this the ‘I can do this muscle’.

The stronger and more ‘you’ this muscle is, the more you can create for yourself. Period.

How to work your Capability muscle? And quickly?

Make dreams happen. Now. Small Dreams. Have a blast working THAT muscle, and watch what can happen. Examples below.

How?

Start a Small Dream. This week. Doesn’t matter if it’s related to your Big Dreams or not. The muscle doesn’t care. It. Will. Grow.

instagramWhat is a ‘small dream’?

A Small Dream is this:

  • Something you’ve been wanting to do, or explore for a long time, and not getting around to. Life is busy.
  • Requires no extra time or money than you have already – meaning there is nothing ‘outside you’ standing in the way, except perhaps for lack of the beauty of more social encouragement ;)
  • You give yourself a 3wk (21 day) window in which to do it.

In the Small Dreams Challenge, folks start with a workbook to help them decide what they’d like to do.

Why do small dreams matter? What’s the potential impact of people following them?

Small Dreams matter to a lot of us, because it’s SUCH A GREAT WAY to get started on something you care about, without turning it into some big thing we never get ‘round to. People are accomplishing things (examples below) that they’ve been thinking about for FOREVER. It develops the very muscle we may have been needing to accomplish our bigger dreams – such as starting that business!

Moreso: Small Dreams also matter for a much bigger ‘world reason’ which is 50% of why we are doing this, and publicly talking about it:

“You may not heal the whole planet with your small dream. But… you will contribute greatly to the ONE THING, I believe, that if anything is going to do it WILL heal our planet…

You become more sunshine, earth, and life-giving rain for the garden of the ideas in human hearts around you.

In other words, you help you and others unlock ideas and interests that WILL evolve our world further…

Here’s what I mean:

When we look around us at the world, or accidentally listen to the news, we can be taken out at the knees by the challenges in our world. At the same time… check this out…

  • Someone, somewhere was Small Dreaming of ditching the car and bicycling to work, not realizing that it would inspire his neighbours and children to do the same. It ended up resulting in a career change to someplace closer – and WAY better job.
  • Someone, somewhere is Small Dreaming of joining a pilates class. Little does she know she will meet Eshru there who will become her best friend, and change her life incomparably.
  • Someone, somewhere is Small Dreaming of learning to ride a horse, and it’s about to make her feel so, so, so lovely and authentic inside. It’s going to feel like she found a piece of herself she didn’t know was missing until she found it. And her kids TOTALLY notice, and love the new Mom in the house. Her twinkle is back.”

Can you give ten examples of small dreams?

Lisa had been wanting to provide showers for the homeless community in her home-city. She and her team had been working on this idea for many months. It was a Big Dream. When she adopted the ‘what could I do within 3 weeks’ Small Dream idea… they wound up giving showers, and more to homeless folks in exactly 3.5 weeks. Success.

natashaNatasha started and completed her first Small Dream: She and her hubby had been dreaming for a long time of doing a honeymoon camping trip. They did it! From Natasha: “I LOVE camping! So does my husband, Patrick, except he also loves his hairdryer (he does have REALLY nice hair!!) Finding a minute to sneak away is hard so we opted out of a big ticket honeymoon. After being together in 1990 for 1yr9months, finding each other again after 21years to be together, I finally married the love of my life this summer. Sneaking away just the 2 of us is extra special w 4 amazing kids, 2 dogs & 2 rabbits & busy jobs! It isn’t where you go; it’s who you’re with that makes any moment special.”

michelleMichelle took new look at a small ‘storage’ room in her apartment. She went to work a few days ago in the Challenge, and here’s what happened:
from Michelle as a poem: “storage room goes from stagnating, boxes and bags of clutter, to beautiful oasis meant for, relaxing, reading and marvellous meals, homemade hamburgers with pickles and coleslaw on a pretzel bun” Well done Michelle! She’s now working on her book of poetry.

michaelMichael started a Small Dream some time ago, and here’s what he said about where it LED to: “I always wanted to be on stage in front of alot of people and so i started telling stories to youngsters. 10 yrs later i met Alex, and started to tell at an open mic in front of a storytelling community. And now I not only tell, but am paid to PERFORM (with my whole spirit and body) in front of dozens of kids – who are a tough and most rewarding audience. I’m not quite at my full dream yet, but its coming!” 

cathyCathy had been reading and salivating over the book “the life-changing magic of tidying up” and dreaming of transforming her home. She joined the 1000 Small Dreams Challenge. From Cathy when she started: “My small dreams challenge is to purge my home… I’ve been wanting to do this FOREVER and I keep putting it off. So for the next 21 days I am tackling a different aspect of the house (ie. clothes or a particular room).” Well she’s half-way through now, posting pictures every day, and just wrote this beautiful blog post called ‘My Suitcase and Letting Go ‘about her experience. (http://www.fortheloveofmommy.ca

Me, Alex, I founded this challenge, and I’m the same as every other leader in there. I picked a Small Dream for myself. EFT is SO helpful for me – it changes my life. AND I seem to avoid it like the plague. Armed with the beautiful encouragement in the group, I’m now on Day 7 of doing 20mins of EFT every day. And it’s making SUCH a difference, my god. 

Nicole has been writing poetry for years. And she loves it. After some deliberation in our challenge, she decided she was going to do something about this. She’s now compiling her book of poetry. Accountability for her (and many of us) in the group has been key for her now being at least a third of the way through completing her dream project.

jillFrom Jill in the Challenge: “Hi all. I’m glad to be in the group! I’ve been thinking all week about what I want to challenge myself with and … I wanted to commit to making 2-3 new recipes each week. I love buying beautiful cookbooks and never end up using them… My first recipe tackled last night …Baked Brie with candied pecans, raisins, brown sugar and phyllo pastry. The guests gobbled it up!” 

From Sarah: “Hi everyone – my small dream is to organize my time / activities better…so I can enjoy what I do…and also enjoy my down-time (because I won’t be over-thinking about what it is that I think I should be doing….). When I do this (set a schedule) my mind feels free, my stress lessens, I sleep better, eat better (who knew planning my food would actually help?) So – I’ve ordered a School year planner from a company called Passion Planner – and I’m looking forward to using it. I’ve also created a month envelope system for collecting all receipts, etc.” And Sarah has motored ahead with these things since.

Others: Gerri is finishing her book, Heather has designed and begun a 21-day self-love practice, Carol is taking a horseback riding lesson, Anne is doing an abstract art 21-day challenge for herself, Olivia has launched a workshop in her hometown, and Bill is finalizing his plans for a permaculture-based Challenge for himself. And there are piles more stories happening in here as I write this. Two posts just came up in our group with new Small Dreams while I write this. Yay!

What are the top three mistakes you see people making when tackling their small dreams?

  • Not starting one.
  • Too big. Choosing something that requires something they don’t yet have. (money, time, resources) – the essential point of a Small Dream is to evolve our accomplishment muscle. Ergo, I suggest choosing something with who you are, and what you have NOW.
  • Going it alone. In my personal experience – I’m doing 21 days of EFT and I’d have NOT done it several days now due to ‘busy-ness’, but knowing I can post my daily ‘accomplishment’ in the group – and get pats on the back to be honest – is the ONLY thing that got me through the times I didn’t want to do it. I see the same echoed over and over again in our group. Bottom line – try not to do it alone. Join us in our group OR get yourself a buddy to do your Small Dream with. Judging by our members so far, 90% of these small dreams would not have left the gate or got past day 5 were we not excited to post about our developments each day.

What are the top three tips you’d give people?

Choosing a Small Dream? Well aside from the pitfalls to avoid above, here’s what I recommend after YEARS of experience:

  • Fun Over Duty: Choose something fun or meaningful rather than something you just think you SHOULD do and honestly are just not caring about right now. Work your Small Dreams muscle first – and then you may find more energy or inspiration for some of the should-dos.
  • Share the heck out of your accomplishments, and even your challenges: Small Dreams are wickedly contagious. When you talk about them with other people, or share on social media, we have found a PILE of folks pick up on the energy of it. You can absolutely help others who might be feeling very stuck, or alone, with your Small Dream.
  • Re-consider the ‘I’m too busy thing’: A Small Dream doesn’t take more time or energy or money than you already have – I know you’re busy. My wife says that even when she’s quite full, she has a whole other stomach for a nice dessert. I believe she is right. Such is true also of small dreams and busy-ness. You’ve got a whole other ‘schedule’ for a bit of gorgeous Small Dream-ness, I reckon.

Can you offer up some Small Dream ideas to get people started thinking?

  • Design your very own daily spiritual or fitness practise based on activities that light you up – that you would like to commit to for 21 days.
  • Take a class on some topic that interests you: art, economics, permaculture, growing your own food, history…
  • Design you own educational experience for yourself for 3 weeks to explore something.
  • Pick a little doable goal for learning a new language, an instrument… Committing to a couple of lessons for instance, or getting yourself to the point you can order a simple meal or ask directions in Japanese.

What I think you’ll get, and not get, from a Small Dream Challenge whether with us, or on your own:

You may not suddenly become a perfectly-together buddha of a human being from doing a Small Dream. Didn’t work for me at any rate. It would seem, alas, I’m still imperfect (according to my teenagers anyway). But… you will become a lot more YOU in doing a small dream. This is the #BestGoalEver

Your ‘Small-dream-into-reality’ muscle will get stronger, and that means your more-buff muscle is available for another Small Dream, or a full-on Big Dream, or something for your family or career… you can start making new moves in your daily life, open up doors you couldn’t before because the doors were too heavy.

And… I think doing Small Dreams also, quite simply, makes our lives, and US, more interesting :)

Where can people learn more about your project?

If you would like to find out more about joining our 1000+ Small Dreams Challenge:

Here is the way in to our Challenge: 

bigdreamprogram.mykajabi.com/p/1000-Small-Dreams 

Here is our Private Facebook workgroup – The Small Dreams Forge – though you’ll need to register before coming in.

We are open for the summer – or maybe longer, and the price is a whopping $23 Can. You can do as many Small Dreams as you wish. There is also an optional (low-priced) Advanced Keener Club coming down the road for folks who want to turn Small Dreams into a life or WORK change. :)

Ongoing updates on my personal FB profile

Personal note from Alex:

I would love, for many reasons, to persuade you to join the 1000 Small Dreams Challenge and let me post about your accomplishments. And to give you the power of our beautiful social group. But… sales pitch aside…

I just really want you to start a Small Dream. Or a new one.

And if you do so, but prefer not to do it in our challenge, I would love one thing SO MUCH:

Would you write to me and tell me about it. I would like to hear if this post influenced you to try something new you’ve been wanting to do. And let me inspire others with your example. I’m talking to people every single day about what people are getting up to with their Small Dreams, and it makes a difference to them when I do. It is contagious. Inspiring. If you get up to something, tell me about it!

Big hug,
Alex

If Your Phone Keeps You Up At Night

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Like most of us in this modern age, my phone has kept me up late more nights than I can count.

I put it down to go to sleep only to find it, mysteriously, back in my hands, lighting the room with it’s strange, modern glow.

Of course, it’s terrible for our brains and our capacity to sleep.

The first thing I did was to get an alarm clock that wasn’t my phone. And that helped. But the phone kept finding its way back into my bedroom. And then, somehow, turning on and cycling me through Facebook, email, Huffington Post and you name it.

I would curse it. This modern bane of my existence. This addictive entity. This seductive Don Juan of my pocket. This electric vixen slowly robbing me of my productivity and productive life force.

I joined everyone in helplessly bemoaning it. I grumbled.

I secretly enjoyed every minute of it.

I resented it in the morning.

So, I finally decided a different approach.

I decided to love my phone and care for it.

I decided to proceed as if it were alive, just like myself, and needed sleep too.

And so, I made it a nest to sleep in.

And now, each night, I plug it in, say some good words to it, thanking if for helping me stay connected to the world, finding my way around, finding important information and acknowledging how tiring it must have been. I speak these words out loud and then turn it off and rest it in this bowl given to me by my friend Jesse Hahn, cradled in the old Mackay tartan wool scarf I bought years ago.

And then I go to my room, lit by candle light now, and read a book, meditate, stretch or journal and go to sleep.

 

Ten Simple Ideas to Deal With The Reality That Most Marketing Work Is Boring as Hell

10979948 - bored and tired business person working at home

Here’s the truth: most of marketing your business is boring.

It’s the tedious making lists of people to contact.

It’s pre-writing emails.

It’s scheduling things out and making plans.

It’s rewriting headlines.

It’s editing eBooks (dear God… the editing).

It’s doing all of those things when, frankly, you’d rather be having beers with friends or watching Netflix – House of Cards, amiright?).

99% of the work of marketing is not clicking send on the email or publishing the sales page. I think it’s why so many people do so poorly. It’s boring. It’s avoidable and, so, it is avoided.

What can be done about this?

Idea #1: Develop Packages That inspire you. Come up with packages and offers that are inspiring for you and that work for your lifestyle. You’ll be more excited to market them.

Idea #2: Do things in stages. Don’t try to sit down and write a sales letter in one go. Let yourself gather some thoughts for a few weeks. Have a place you can write them down as they come. Then, let yourself do a rough outline and then let it sit for a week. Then do a very rough draft and let it sit for a week. If you do it like this, each step feels manageable and you can see progress. Don’t let yourself do more than that. Let yourself have little wins. Of course, this means giving yourself enough time to plan. Most don’t and the combination of avoidable boring work mixed with an unavoidable time-crunch is the worst sort of entrepreneurial hell there is. Plus, it usually produces the worst kinds of results.

Idea #3: Work parties. Have work parties with friends at local cafes so you can show them what you’re working on and take breaks to chat. Don’t do everything by yourself and add loneliness to boredom.

Idea #4: Systematize regular breaks. Install something like RSI Guard on your laptop to make you take breaks from time to time. This has been a godsend to me.

Idea #5: Have a niche you’re excited about. If you’re doing work that doesn’t inspire you at all or that you aren’t very good at, it’s going to be hard to get yourself inspired. Take the time to figure out a niche you love to be in.

Idea #6: Develop a solid business model (and then build it). To do a lot of boring work towards creating a business that you aren’t sure will be profitable? It’s a terrible idea. If you have the business model in mind that you are trying to build, it’s much easier to stay motivated about it.

Idea #7: Make sure you have a system to stay organized. I use Things as my to-do list manager. Have some sort of tool that allows you to check things off as they get completed so that you can feel some sense of accomplishment.

Idea #8: Power Hour. I got this idea from the good Bill Baren. Have one hour, every day, when you’re at your most alert and focus only on your business. Turn off your phone and Facebook. Focus. You’d be amazed what you can accomplish in a focused hour.

Idea #9: Do five minutes. Sometimes we can get overwhelmed at the prospect of doing some long, boring job that we know will be tedious. So, just sit down and do five minutes. That’s all. You’ll likely find that getting over the hump to get started was the hardest part and that you easily do more than five minutes.

Idea #10: Make your marketing a practice. Meditation is boring most of the time. So what? It still brings benefits if you do it regularly.

Over to you. Post any of your ideas in the comments below.