Do I Have That I’m Under-utilizing?
- Help you gain clarity & focus
- Create a day-by-day visual progress chart
- Help you plan with reasonable time for every task
- Reduce stress
- Allow big jobs and goals to be chunked into smaller tasks
- Identify what needs to be delegated
- Provide a To-Do and Done checklist
- Offer a “feedback loop” for progressive, time-bound tasks
- Deliver a single source visual process for teams
- Offer a data source for repeated events and procedures—because mistakes should be learned from, and successes repeated
Good news! I have one resource that provides all these valuable tools, and more. My company offers this resource as part of a broader coaching program at a very reasonable price. No doubt, it’s worth 100 times what you pay for it—however, don’t rush out to buy it before you first consider trying it as a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) project. Here’s how and why.
Part of my job is to help people and organizations achieve their sales and marketing goals. In most instances, I’m hired to provide technical or creative skills. While these have value, I believe it’s my experience planning and getting everything done with available resources that makes the profitable difference.
After many years of study and collaboration with a couple hundred different types of businesses, my instincts have become sensitive to seeing resources and opportunities when others don’t. My greatest source of frustration comes when I see money, resources, and talent wasted or neglected.
I think this trait comes from my mother, Helga. Born in Germany, she was seven years old when World War II started and twelve when it ended. While the maniac Hitler mounted war on all fronts, innocent German women and children suffered and sacrificed. She lived through countless air raids and running to the bomb shelters. Sudden food rationing and a lack of many basic products made meal planning and life difficult. Those who survived were challenged to become thrifty and imaginative. Wasting any precious resource was viewed with life-or-death consequences. Keeping homes clean and orderly helped reduce germs, which prevented or reduced the severity of most illnesses and infections, resulting in people being healthier and more productive. Rationing food helped conserve limited supplies and kept them working or going to school. Organizing households and keeping professional supplies neatly stacked and easily visible made people more efficient and reduced stress when the inevitable emergencies occurred. They knew where to find what they needed, and when.
In 1952, at age nineteen, Mom immigrated to Canada before legally coming to the United States. In those days, the United States had strict immigration standards, including language competency tests and criminal background checks. Also, everybody had to have sponsors and a desired marketable profession or trade. BTW, there’s no record of these practices being labeled as hateful or un-American. If a person was considered in any way a Communist or even a communist sympathizer, they got a red “No Entry” stamp. My objective is not to make a social or political statement, but to point out that being resourceful is a timeless, learned skill; a skill that the great inventor Thomas Edison recognized when he said, Necessity is the mother of invention.
Today, we have technology available in a seeming endless supply of cheap resources, information and computing power. These resources, IF not used wisely, quickly become serious liabilities, sources of confusion, second-guessing and doubt instead of clarity.
So…let’s answer that important question, What powerful simple resource do I have that I’m under-utilizing? Answer: Your calendar.
The momentum and satisfaction of checking tasks off your calendar list create a tremendous “buzz” of satisfaction and team spirit when people are working together. Online calendars enables all participants to view ongoing progress—and red flags— in real time, from any location. It is also brutally honest at revealing who’s contributing and who’s not. It’s imperative that all participants have equally agree to their time-bound commitments, be willing to exert themselves and get help when needed. All variety of inputs, like making sales, writing ad-copy, collecting testimonials, testing headlines, and marketability of a product or service are difficult to fit into boxes on calendars. I understand, I feel your pain; I go through these processes every day. Understand, the degree of difficulty or the need to coax our creative muse and motivate others cannot excuse any of us from doing our jobs on time and within budget. Our calendars can be our single best management tool. Entering dates on calendars and making to-do lists are procedures every competent adult is familiar with. We are so accustomed to these methods that many consider them too basic—a foolish assumption.
Closer to home, my eldest daughter, Katie, is engaged to be married late next year. Planning her wedding in her future home five hundred miles away requires good planning and team work. Managing the budget, vendors, location, in-laws, parents, bridal party, and guest list is a monumental job. Add to that all the well-intended unsolicited advice and comments, and you can go nuts without an executable plan. There will be a few tears with the smiles along the way.
Your plans and campaigns, scheduled and outlined on your calendars, can be a great way to manage your business successfully. It’s a unique skill that must be repeated and practiced. Be patient; it is hard work. In future dispatches, I’ll discuss gaining even more leverage using multiple calendars, including your “real time” scheduling, virtual programmed calendars, delegated calendars, and more.
Stay tuned, but darn-it… for now, get to work on your marketing calendar. Make your goals your reality.