A few months ago, I sent out surveys to several groups of online marketers. My goal was to find out what the biggest problems and “sticking points” for online marketers were and part of the reason for that was that I wanted to find out if I could detect demand for a product or service I could provide. Quite surprisingly, the results showed that the number one biggest problem for most online marketers had nothing to do with online marketing.
Too Much and Not Enough…
The biggest problem most IM’ers face can be summed up as “information overload”. That is, information overload and everything that follows from it.
Typical symptoms include, but aren’t limited to:
- Buying one course after another, but never even completing each individual course (a.k.a. chasing after shiny new objects or magpie syndrome).
- Starting a niche site this week, a PPC campaign next week, starting on your own product the week after that… and never getting anything finished (a.k.a. IM leapfrogging syndrome).
- Checking your analytics, then checking your facebook, then checking your twitter, then checking your e-mail, then checking your analytics again… and never getting anything done (a.k.a. the infinite distraction cycle).
- Generally feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do next or what to focus your efforts on (a.k.a. being an entrepreneur and not having a boss).
Any of the above seem familiar?
Focus & Action
Getting organized and being productive is one of the toughest things about running your own business. Having a boss around to tell us what we should do next does have it’s advantages, after all. Personally, getting productive and getting rid of the symptoms described above was one of the biggest challenges I struggled with, when I set out to build my own businesses. I read tons of books on productivity and management to try and get a handle on it all. Some of the advice was useful, some of it just sounded nice, but wasn’t practical.
After years of experimenting with different productivity tools and techniques, I had created a system for myself that helped me get things done and I even found ways to overcome procrastionation, almost entirely.
What it all boils down to is focus and action. I found that anything that really mattered, any technique that really made a difference, did so because it either increased my focus or helped me take more action more immediately.
Action without focus is when you’re treading water, when you feel like you’re in a rush and working your behind off all day, but don’t actually get anything done. It’s frustrating and stressful and it’s something I suffered from a lot.
Focus without action is… well, it’s meditation, I guess. All the rage to some people, but not very suitable for building businesses.
It’s only when you focus (focus on one task, focus on one method, focus on one goal) and apply massive action that things start to really move.
Focus and action is what matters. Everything else is noise.
Also, I made this product where I teach everything I know about being highly productive. You can check it out here.