Charles Gaudet

Charles Gaudet

Busy is NOT Productive – Part 2: Clarity

Each day, I talk with entrepreneurs who ask me for the latest strategy about being more productive and growing their business… They are all looking for clarity, but they don’t know it. 

LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and dozens of various growth hacks… 

Entrepreneurs falsely think that by adding “more” strategies into their business at the same time, they’ll inevitably generate more revenue.

To quote a Russian proverb:

“If you try to catch two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”

One of my newest clients earned $20 million in sales last year.  

Looking to take his company to the next level, he said: “Charlie, I’m stuck.”  

Within half an hour of our first call, he proceeded to tell me about his marketing strategy. In the past 30 days, he launched a direct mail campaign, conducted an in-person event, ran Facebook advertising, is developing a Core Story (a la Chet Holmes), is attending networking events, launching pay-per-click advertising, and the list went on and on…

I was getting overwhelmed just listening to his growing to-do list!  

Dilution is not the solution. 

Don’t dilute your attention or focus.

While tackling all of those strategies might be okay for a company that has many team members who can focus, he has 3 employees and plans to tackle all of these strategies himself.

The result?

He’s stressed out of his freakin’ mind… 

And for what? 

Nothing. It’s certainly not making him more productive. 

His growth plateaued, and if anything, took a hit.

Everything he thought was supposed to work to grow his business was actually working against him.  

While I commend him for taking action, he’s not focusing on the right action.  

Imagine for a moment that you’re living in Boston and you’ve decided to drive to Naples, Florida. You know the general direction of Florida, so you get behind the steering wheel and drive south with the goal of making it in 3 days.

Along the way, you see several different routes that could get you to Florida, so you haphazardly pick whichever route you think makes sense.

Eventually, after a few detours, you may get to Palm Springs… 

However, you could have gotten there a lot faster if you just set your GPS at the beginning… 

Your GPS will tell you each step of the way, so you reach your ultimate goal in the most efficient, quickest way possible.

When setting their GPS (aka, setting their goals), however, most people aren’t specific, nor do they have things broken down into logical steps.

For example, an 8-figure client told me his 12-month goal was to: “Establish multiple sources of revenue.”

So I told him, “Good, I’ll show you how to earn $1.00 in the next 10 minutes and we can celebrate achieving your 12-month goal.”

He came back with: “No, I mean make millions with multiple sources of revenue.”

I said: “How many millions? And how many sources of revenue?”

Once again, he had a goal of “a lot more” – but he wasn’t clear on what, exactly, this looked like for him.

So I asked:

“If you don’t know exactly where you want to go in the next 12 months, how will we know if we’re on the right track?”

Without specificity, you lack clarity, and without clarity, you operate inefficiently – wasting time, energy, and resources.

Clarity starts by knowing where you want to go – and identifying the #1 most important action you need to take right now, in this moment.

For example, if your goal was to make an extra $1 million within the next 30 days… Do you know the most important action you need to take right at this very moment? 

What about the most important action you need to take tomorrow?

The next day?

The day after that?

If you don’t know the answer, then how do you expect to reach your goal without just being busy?

Folks, hard work is NOT enough.

To reach your goal, the most important action must be your core focus.

For example, I work with a board that is mentoring 22 successful entrepreneurs, ranging in size from $1 million to $100 million in revenues. 

For these successful entrepreneurs, growth is their top priority.

Most other experts would have stood in front of this group and shared their favorite strategy, claiming that XYZ is the secret to growth.

Yet, that approach is no different than a doctor prescribing the drug Zithromax to everyone who walks through the door of the ER. Zithromax works well for different types of bacterial infections – but it’s not the best treatment for acid reflux.

Growth is not a “one size fits all” solution.

Go online and you’ll see unlimited gurus telling you:

“You need to be on SnapChat…”

“You need to run ads on YouTube…”

“You need to run live webcasts…”

Etc.

How do they know what’s best for you without knowing your business?

They don’t.

But with a little clarity, YOU will know.

Yes, there are many strategies to get more leads and sales, but do you know the best strategy for your own unique situation?

If you don’t know the answer, you need clarity… And you can get there by asking yourself a very simple question:

“What has to be true 30 days from now in order for me to reach my goal?” 

And start each day asking yourself: “What’s the most important thing I need to do today to reach my 30-day goal?”

Clarity is power.

Even if you’re not entirely sure what to do, answer the question anyway.

I’ve spoken to thousands of entrepreneurs and I know – with certainty – that most people are resourceful. Most people, deep down, know what they SHOULD be doing (but often procrastinate because of fear or overwhelm).

As Zig Ziglar would say: 

“Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you can do it well.”

JUST GET STARTED AND TAKE ACTION! ACTION MAKES A BIGGER IMPACT THAN MORE INFORMATION!

Remember, it’s your ACTIONS that determine your OUTCOME – and it’s the result of the outcomes that improve your actions.

Stop lying to yourself. You do NOT need to wait until you get more information to take action.

It’s this directive that helped one of my clients grow his business by 30% within the first 3 months… With less stress, frustration, and overwhelm than anything else he tried in the past – putting him on target to better than DOUBLE his business this year.

Once he identified “What had to be true,” he cut everything else out of his to-do list and made this his core focus.

As we discussed, you’ll get where you want to go a lot faster, easier, and more efficiently when you set the GPS and get clear on where you want to go.

This is classic 80/20 thinking.

80% of the results come from only 20% of your actions.

Point your attention to the 20% of actions that drive the biggest results.

Sometimes for you to achieve more, you need to say no to other things. 

“It seems counterintuitive that shutting down opportunities would be the best way to build something great, but turning them down in exchange for focus is exactly what’s required. Especially today.”

— Mikael Cho, Founder, Crew

When you take an audit of all the demands upon your time and the impact they have on your business – it will quickly become clear that you will have to give some things up in order to achieve other things.

If Steve Jobs were alive, he’d give you the same advice that he gave Mark Parker (Nike’s CEO in 2006): “focus on the good stuff.”

Know the best opportunities you need to focus on right now and eliminate the rest.

Remember, you don’t need more information – you DO need more action.

Start each day asking: “What’s the most important thing I need to do today to reach my goal of _________________?” 

…And remain fiercely focused on the most important action.

Simplify and eliminate what’s not necessary (just as Apple has), and you WILL grow faster, easier, and more efficiently.

More to explore