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IN THIS ISSUE:

Personal Note: Sprints & Marathons

Featured Article: What's Important IS Also the Most Urgent

Kim Recommends: How to Develop Your Personal Marketing Action Plan

To read this issue online, click here.

September 11, 2009
Vol. 6, Issue 22
Published by Kim Nishida
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PERSONAL NOTE

Marketing marathonI've spoken to more than a few full-time and wannabe entrepreneurs lately who say that their stress levels have never been higher. And at times, I can definitely lump myself in with that group!

Sometimes that's just part of working and being in business. But there are times when you need an outlet to relieve the tension. One of my clients recently posted a video about how she takes breaks during the day to play with her dog. Me? My favorite thing to do is go for a run, especially at the beach.

When I was in high school, I was a competitive sprinter and jumper. I hated having to run more than a couple of laps around the track because, in my mind, I was strictly a short distance girl. When I questioned my coach about why I needed to run 3 miles if my best distance was only 200 meters, she replied, "Trust me. It's important."

And she was right. Logging in those longer distances was not nearly as fun or glamorous as the sprints, but they laid the foundation for the explosive power and speed I needed to finish strong.

As age caught up with me, I reluctantly transitioned to being a long distance runner. (That's me in the middle of that photo, finishing my one and only marathon in Honolulu a few years ago.) Now those longer distances are what I love the most.

Sprints and marathons are also part of running a business. Sometimes you have to push through short, intense periods, especially when trouble-shooting or putting out fires. Other times, you need to slow down the pace and keep it smooth and steady. In my opinion, it's the marathons in business that truly set you up for success. Keep reading to see how this applies specifically to you.

All the best,

Kim Nishida


 FEATURED ARTICLE

"What's Important IS Also the Most Urgent"

There are a few books that nearly every entrepreneur has (or should have) on their bookshelf. These include, The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, Good to Great by Jim Collins and, of course, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. (Do you have a business book that you absolutely swear by? I'd love to know what it is.)

In Covey's book, he introduces the concept of urgent tasks vs. important ones and lays them out into four quadrants. This includes activities that are...

I. Both Urgent and Important

II. Important But Not Urgent

III. Urgent But Not Important

IV. Neither Urgent Nor Important

Check out the diagram above to see an example of what typically falls into each quadrant.

In Quadrant II (Important, But Not Urgent), preparation and planning lies at the top of the list along with relationship building and values clarification.

The problem is, while you know you need to do what I call "marathon" activities like long range, strategic planning, come up with an organizational chart and job descriptions for your team, write a batch of articles, blog posts, and press releases, or follow up with and survey your currently happy clients and customers, most business owners put these actions at the very bottom of their list.

And guess what? That means, they never get done.

Sound familiar? I had private sessions with almost 40 entrepreneurs last month and discovered that nearly every single one of them knew what was "important" but couldn't find the time to do it.

What do they do instead? They focus their time and attention on what I call "sprint" activities. These are often fueled by adrenaline, like struggling to meet deadlines or trouble shooting sudden emergencies. (Both, ironically, often caused by poor planning.) Or their sprint tasks are short distance, instant gratification jobs like sending emails, tweeting, filing papers...anything that has a definite finish line.

Yes, life gets in the way. And yes, unexpected situations and opportunities arise that you feel you must take priority. But if writing your business plan, creating your marketing calendar, or investing time in building relationships doesn't happen, your business is never going to move forward. You're going to look around 3 years from now and discover you are in exactly the same spot with the same challenges, cash flow, and excuses.

Why not cut it out now and save yourself some time? Let's commit to taking care of those most important tasks as soon as possible.

Here are 3 tips to help you take care of those "long distance" activities sooner rather than later:

  1. Schedule an out of office retreat: Seriously, if you stay in your office or standard work environment, you will get sucked back into those "urgent but not important" tasks like phone calls, emails, and various distractions. Remove yourself from where you sit everyday and you just might get some much needed perspective. Make sure you block out at least a half day on your calendar (a full day or even two is better)...and write it down in ink, not pencil. (Does anyone still use hard copy calendars like me?)

  2. Work in front of an audience: Just like when I was on the track team and had both teammates and a coach to supervise, challenge, and observe my performance, having someone there to simply witness what you are doing might be all you need to finally get things done. I also highly recommend hiring your own coach to keep you on track, focused, and accountable. Or join a mastermind group and/or get a fellow entrepreneur to be your buddy.

  3. Put it in writing and keep it in front of your face everyday: Many entrepreneurs are highly creative visionaries who often "can't be bothered with the details." If you are someone who generally keeps all the details of your business in your head (which makes it virtually impossible to delegate any part of your business to someone else, by the way), you REALLY need to pin yourself down and put your plan on paper. Again, you might want to hire someone to help you with this as creating systems and detailed plans is probably not one of your strengths. And when you are finished, you must keep it some place visible to ensure you will actually follow your plan on a daily basis.

I am not a big fan of reinventing the wheel. Much of the important planning and systems creation you need to do can be "borrowed" from other successful business owners. If you typically experience "writer's block" when confronted with a blank computer screen, look for examples of what others have already created. The One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur by Jim Horan is a great resource.

Also, see my recommendation below for another tool that includes examples and templates for your very own essential marketing plan...


KIM RECOMMENDS

"How to Develop Your Personal Marketing Action Plan"

Keeping in line with today's theme of doing what's "important" and laying the foundation that will fuel your business with a sustainable and steady flow of new clients, customers, and cash I am pleased to recommend a resource designed to walk you through a critical key...marketing.

Adam Urbanski, known as The Marketing Mentor, is someone whom I highly respect for his ability to create solid, easy to understand plans that eliminate all of the guess work and leave nothing to chance.

Because I know that you probably don't have the time to sit and create a marketing plan from scratch (and believe me, that's not the most effective use of your time anyway), I recommend you take a look at Adam's Personal Action Plan.

His program gives you not only a sample of his very own Action Plan so you have a place to start, but also a fill-in-the-blanks marketing blueprint and a 2-hour training via audio and transcript on how to personalize it for your business.

Marketing "sprinters" are never going to get the best results. And the only way to become a successful Marketing "marathoner" is to have a plan. Why not borrow one from someone who has already succeeded in multiple businesses and has advised 7-figure entrepreneurs?

To read all about it and receive instant access, click here.


ABOUT KIM NISHIDA: I work with conscious entrepreneurs to who want to help more people & make more money through building profitable communities and networks.  For a free audio, "7 Steps to Launching a Profitable Community, visit http://ProfitableCommunities.com.