People seems to be focusing on the wrong things… themselves. Now don’t get me wrong, I am as guilty as the next person. I love thinking about myself and how I can get better, improve, and grow my connections.
Life and these lovely social networks, like LinkedIn, are all about relationships. If you want to grow them, you need to plant lots of little seeds along the way. How you do this is by engaging with others that are in your network. Scroll through your feed, find an interesting picture or someone you respect, actually take in whatever their content is, and engage with it. Don’t just give a quick like and scroll on, leave a thoughtful comment. Leave them something that gives them kudos or poses a question.
If you want to grow your community and your engagement, it’s all about commenting and interacting with others. It’s about planting lots of little seeds and growing your brand, your community and your network one person at a time.
I don’t know about you, but I am incredibly forgetful. I can think of something I need to do or think of a “brilliant” idea and in the matter of five minutes I get completely distracted by the fact that someone brought in the most scrumptious and delectable donuts from Tip Top Donuts.
Since I am so forgetful and I have a million ideas running around my head, I take a 3 by 5 index card and write down those to-do’s and ideas with a little checkbox next to them. Yes yes I know, how archaic it is that I am using pen and paper when I have an iPhone in my pocket.
You don’t have to use pen and paper, but the reason I personally do is because it does something extra for me. Physically writing it down, instead of typing it out, adds one more thing to help me remember it. However you capture down these to-do’s and thoughts, whether with a chisel and little stone tablet , pen and paper or a phone, make sure it is something that doesn’t add stress and that fits who you are.
Why should you start capturing to-do’s and ideas in the throughout the day? Let me list a few:
- It declutters the mind and allows your brain to focus on the task at hand without getting distracted.
- Helps you keep track of what is most important and allows you to see some quick wins you had throughout the day.
- Allows you to be intentional, set a plan, and accomplish more throughout the day.
This isn’t a new idea. In fact, it is actually multiple ideas that I grabbed from a couple different folks and meshed into something that works for me. Please, take the time to try this out over this next week. If you like it great, if you don’t… well at least you tried something new. I just know the positive impacts it has had for me as I have accomplished more and freed up my mind to focus on what truly matters.
Life is infinitely better together and I think that is something we can all agree on. As true as that is, it still seems that people are living their lives more and more in isolation and behind screens. Let me encourage you to do something a little cray cray… pick up the phone and make a call. I honestly don’t care to whom, just make the call.
Good, now that we have started to loosen up, I want you to do something really crazy. What I need you to do is think about the people you interact with on social media or those you work with, but have only talked with through email. Narrow it down to one person, and give them a call. Don’t have their number? Doesn’t matter. Reach out and ask for it. Don’t make this some weird awkward hopeful date thing. This is a you genuinely caring about another human being that you have done life with kind of a thing.
I have been able to do this a handful of times over the past couple of months and it has been such a great learning opportunity. Here are just a handful of things I have learned:
- Know your personal brand. This gives clarity for the big and small decisions we’ll make.
- Patience, mixed with realistic expectations, is what will help you as you navigate business and the need to not only provide for your family, but also close deals and provide for your customers.
- Vague beginnings lead to chaotic endings.
- Culture is everything. Make sure it is their from the beginning of your business and not something you halfheartedly add at the end.
These four brilliant nuggets of gold are what I have learned from others. Please, do us all a favor and grow your network and community by authentically caring about others and getting to know them. One last word of caution. Don’t go into these conversations trying to dig out some brilliant life lesson. Go into the conversation with some general questions and direction, but let it go where it goes.
Who do you need to call? What did you learn?
This company that I visited does everything with excellence, and when I say everything… I mean everything. They even care about the details so much, that their yard where they have all of their equipment looked like perfection with each truck and trailer lined up perfectly. As some would say “There is a place for everything, and everything is in it’s place.”
Being mindful of the details didn’t just stop with the equipment in the yard. Part of the reason I visited exactly when I did is because part of the process for them to deliver our product involves cross docking and loading trucks from various origin points. Not only did they make this whole scenario look effortless, they made sure that as they were moving the product from one place to the next, that all the lids where on just right, that the plastic wrap didn’t look like hell, that pallets were in good shape, that the trailers were clean, and that everything looked at its best.
I know what I just described seems like a simple task, but it truly isn’t. If it was, there would never be refused product for boxes looking like hell or that fell over because of a weak wrap job, or broken pallet shards all over a once clean trailer. It’s these small actions of being mindful of ALL the details that make the biggest difference. In talking with this company about all of this, they talked about their why behind it all. “If the product looks nice and in place, when the doors are opened up for it to be inspected, it puts the inspector at ease and makes the process go more smoothly. Not only that, the buyers hear about it and potentially start buying more of your product because it is consistently in great shape. If they buy more of your product, you will need more trucks to ship it and everyone wins.”
It is a simple philosophy, but one that is truly overlooked time and time again. It’s also a philosophy that takes humility and a heart of service to execute well.
What are the small actions that you can make within your day to day operations that will have a big impact and increase business?