My Obstacles: Unmasked
Last week, I wrote a couple of blog posts on the topic of obstacles. In the last one, I promised that I would put my obstacles on show in this blog.
That’s been hard. To be honest, I’ve been trying to ignore my promise in hopes it would go away.
That’s because you’ll see, from my obstacles, that I’m an idiot.
No, I don’t seriously think I’m an idiot. But some of these obstacles are painfully obvious. I just didn’t want to look at them, and I certainly don’t want to air my dirty laundry.
But after all, I think of my readers as clients, and want to make sure I’m delivering the value I promised.
So, after a long weekend of brooding on the sofa, stomping around the house, and scowling at myself in the mirror, I present to you eight obstacles I need to overcome.
- Checking email 100 times a day. I’m in good company on this one. Seth Godin admitted in a recent blog post that he has the same problem. My issue is clear — I was trained by my employer to do this. There, immediate response to customers was mandatory. I try to turn my email off but get fidgety. Email has become the equivalent of a smoke break. Time to break a dirty habit.
- Reading the news. In corporate life, checking the news was my form of stress relief. You check the weather, news, foreign news, Snooki baby news, and before you know it, you’ve wasted an hour. I need to have better respect for my time and get Snooki out of my head.
- Letting my web designer waffle. My designer has been working on my site-refresh for six weeks. As a consequence, I’ve made no updates to the site since July. That means no blog posts, no added testimonials, no tweets, and no new additions to my portfolio. He promised me a completed site last week, then again this weekend, and so far, nothing. It’s time to have a therapeutic yell at him and send him a bill for the delay.
- Pretending to market myself. I keep telling myself that sending 10 emails a week to LinkedIn contacts is marketing. It isn’t — it’s a form of networking. I have a draft marketing piece ready for design and a mailing list ready to go. I’ve hesitated because my website isn’t finished (see number 3). I wonder if I can hire a marketer to market me?
- Not managing my energy levels. I’m one of those people who needs regular exercise, protein at lunch, a good night’s sleep, and a range of activities to be fully productive. Without these behaviors, I’m just not much good during the day. Corporate life just pushes you along regardless of your energy levels or preparation, but as a self-employed person, I’m responsible for my productivity. Time to hide the carbs, get out the barbells, and go to bed on time.
- Inconsistency. I’ve always been a sprinter when it came to work. Furious burst, rest, furious burst, rest. That’s become a pattern where I work intently on Monday and Tuesday, lie around on Wednesday, and then play catch-up on Thursday and Friday. I’m trying to even out my productivity so that every day counts for something. Maybe Wednesday can become my administrative day?
- Making lists that I don’t refer to. Over the weekend, I waded through my OneNote archive and came across seven lists of tactical and strategic plans for my business. On the bright side, I had accomplished about 80% of the items on the lists. On the dark side, I had completely forgotten about the other 20%. Time to mind the 20% and consolidate all the lists into one.
- Collecting stacks of marketing education I never read. In the first flush of starting my business, I subscribed to 15 different sources of marketing insight. Today, I consistently read two or three a week. I either have to unsubscribe or wade through all the resources I’ve collected. I need to schedule some reading time.
Any of these seem familiar to you? I’d imagine most of my readers have at least one or two of these. For your sake, I hope you don’t have all eight! But I’d love to hear what obstacles you’re facing. Feel free to share your challenges in the comments, and we’ll all weigh in to help.
Until May 26th:
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