A few weeks ago I came across a quote from someone that I respect. Since first hearing it, I have thought about the variety of applications it has to my life and business.
"When you can no longer do the things you've always done, you can only do what matters most."
- Robert D. Hales
If you're anything like me, you just read that a couple of times. Now your brain is moving on a million different ways that it applies to not only your personal life but to your business.
For myself, there are a couple of key applications that I'd like to share with you.
First, that 20% percent of the actions my team and I take account for 80% of our profits.
It's easy to get caught up in activities that don't produce results. Take some time today and pay close attention to your work habits. For many people, it includes doing a little work, watching YouTube, conversing with co-workers, checking Facebook or Twitter, back to work for a bit and so on.
In some instances, I've observed a pattern among coworkers where they have at least 2 hours of meaningless co-worker conversations a day at the sacrifice of productivity.
Multiply those 2 hours by five business days and at the end of the month, those people are only working three weeks but getting paid for 4.
Now, the purpose of this article isn't to knock on employees; rather it's to demonstrate that when everything boils down, minimal actions truly account for the profit (or lack of) that we bring in.
With that in mind, doesn't it make sense to shift your focus toward the things that matter most? Imagine ramping up production to 50% instead of 20.
Imagine what would happen to your business if inside of your 8-hour shift, you achieved 100% production.
Perhaps that would let you enjoy a little more time with your family and friends without feeling the need to work insanely long hours playing catch up all of the time?
Second, So many people feel that the internet has killed a perfectly good way of doing business. The way they have always done things doesn't work anymore. And that's the internet's fault.
I submit that if what they were doing back then is an indication of what they are doing now, what they were doing then didn't work any better than what they are doing now!
Here's what I mean.
What mattered then is the same thing that still matters more than ever now, and that is people. People matter. Enriching and enhancing their lives is what matters.
But many of the people who complain that things don't work the same way today as they did then are mistaken. I don't see any evidence that these people tried to enrich or enhance anyone's lives back then any more than they are today.
If anything, the internet has added a layer of transparency that has exposed their lack of people skills.
So instead of blaming the internet for your business problems, I suggest you get back to the root of what matters most and focus your energy toward connecting with new people, solving their problems and encouraging them to visit you in person.
In closing, I'd like to add my twist to the quote I shared earlier.
"When you realize that things you've always done never worked, you should only do the things that have always mattered most. "