After spending countless years reading books, attending events, enrolling in teleclass programs, buying home-study DVD packages, subscribing to blogs, joining membership sites, listening to podcasts and watching webinars, I realized that a big piece of success in business is keeping an eye on your Consumption-Production Ratio.
As a passionate lifelong learner, I thoroughly enjoy consuming other people’s expertise, insights and discoveries. But if you invest too much time in the creations of others, there’s no time left for your own creations.
And with the massive amount of information available today, you could literally spend all day, every day consuming content and not even make a dent in what’s available about (and perhaps even relevant to) your life and your work. And guess what? There’s gonna be a brand new influx tomorrow!
The biggest problem is that it can give you a false sense of accomplishment. Like somehow you’ve spent your time well. You needed to know this information, right? Or at least, you will need it in the future. You needed that inspiration in order to move forward through your self-doubt. That Facebook post really lifted you up.
But let me ask you a question … have you ever gotten to the end of the day and realized that you didn’t really accomplish anything measurable? Sure … most of us have. But have you ever gotten to the end of the week and realized the same thing?
Or maybe you experience this same thing week after week, month after month … either having nothing to show for all the hours you’ve *worked* or very little that ever actually reaches the point of lift-off.
Well every successful business owner will tell you that you have to *complete* your projects in order to start reaping the rewards. That list of half-baked ideas isn’t going to make you a lot of money. That program sitting in a folder on your hard drive that’s not quite done isn’t going to get you noticed, invited to speak or secure you a new client any time soon.
So if this sounds just a little too familiar, don’t freak out. You’re not a lost cause. In fact, if you’ve accumulated a number of half-done projects, it shows that you are a creative. So I count that as a win. If you’ve got that many ideas, there’s no reason to believe that they won’t just keep coming. So you’re likely sitting on a gold mine … or at least the potential for one.
We just need to get you PRODUCING! So here’s what you need to do:
- Schedule time for creating/producing (set aside time in your calendar that is dedicated to uninterrupted creating)
- Pick a project (pick ONE – yes one – project to work on and commit to completing & launching it before moving on to another one)
- Chunk it (you’ve probably heard this before, break your project up into chunks, then break those chunks into mini chunks that fit into your allotted Creation time for that day). Chunks are turning out to be too big to complete in your creation time? Re-chunk it baby. You’ll get better and better at estimating what’s realistic as you move forward.
- Give yourself a deadline (based on the number of chunks you have, plot out when your project should be complete)
- Set a Goal for each Creation Time (I will *complete* this specific mini-chunk. Not “I will work on this” (this being such a huge thing that it would take a whole week to do). I want you to have a *win* at the end of each Creation Time.)
- Learn to course correct. Get this … it doesn’t matter if you complete the project on the day you planned. As long as you are still working steadily toward it and course correct/re-set your goals/deadlines along the way. If you haven’t mastered the creation-production-execution process yet, you’re likely not going to be doing a million-dollar launch yet. So a missed internal goal is not the end of the world. Use your missed deadline as an indication that you still need to work on setting realistic goals, managing your time, making faster decisions, etc. Identify the area you need to grow in and start working on it.
And on the CONSUMING front …
- Schedule time for consuming (create a regular time in your schedule that you will consume other people’s content). Maybe you schedule email/Facebook time for 30 minutes every morning. Maybe you set aside Friday afternoons to listen to calls or watch webinars that seem interesting. Whenever it is, make sure it stays in it’s place & doesn’t leak into the rest of your day/week.
- Let it go! No I’m not singing the theme song to “Frozen”. I’m saying that if you miss a webinar that according to their email “you must not miss!” … it’s gonna be okay. The success of your life and your business is very likely not reliant on any particular webinar … no matter what their promotional email said.
- Minimize the number of people you follow. Really winnow that list down to the people who are talking about the things you need to know to get from where you are in your business right now to the very next step. If you run across an amazing expert that you may need in the future, make a note. But if they’re not someone who is going to teach you something you need to know in the next 3 months, don’t subscribe to their email list. Just keep a running list of experts (their name, their expertise, their website), so they don’t clutter up your inbox with offers that aren’t going to get you to the very next stepping stone on your path. Then at the end of every month, revisit your expert list to see if there is someone you need to add into the mix.
I want you to be experiencing success after success, but in order to get there, you have to be completing and launching things out into the world. Get a handle on your Consumption-Production Ratio, and you’ll do just that.