January 27, 2010

information overload

I haven't been posting much on my blog.  You might have noticed this.  I think about doing a post every day and in fact I have about six draft posts in various states of completion.  Having a post partially completed though is the same as no post from your perspective.  I get that.

It has been bothering me that I am not posting as often as I would like.  I committed to myself that if I started a blog, I would post two or three times a week.  During December and January I have not been achieving this.

There's any number of reasons.  Reasons of course make little difference; either there's a new post, or there's no new post.

I finally bought myself a copy of the 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss.  My sweetie has been recommending I read it since we met.  It got to be the right time for me and I bought it.  The book is amazing and it will change my life.

One of the things Tim talks about is being careful with what you spend your time doing, and that includes what you spend your time reading.  What this has had me become acutely aware of is the massive amount of information that I take in every day.  And most - probably 90% - of this information is not useful to me.  It takes time to read that I can't then spend reading or doing something else.  It doesn't move me closer to my goals.  Or make me better able to accomplish the things that I am up to.  It doesn't offer me a new perspective that causes me to think differently about things.

Thinking about this has had me take some immediate actions.  For one, I have gone through my subscriptions in google reader and unsubscribed from three quarters of my feeds.  I am going to be very deliberate about anything I add in.

It also has had me think about my blog posts, and what I intend my blog to be for.  Short, easy to read posts that might possibly have you think slightly differently about something in a way that makes a difference for you.  Maybe it's in how you feel about your day.  Or your relationship with someone.  Maybe it has you be just a little bit happier or more content with your life.  Maybe it has you get in touch with someone you haven't talked to for awhile.  Maybe (in the case of this post), it has you make a little change in what you are up to every day that brings you greater satisfaction, or creates some space in your day to contribute to someone or something else.

That's what I intend.  And I will keep being deliberate about my posts.  The number of posts doesn't matter; what matters is whether the post is what I want my blog to be for people.  It's cool to see that.

January 12, 2010

more on big rocks

In October I shared some thoughts about creating the space in our lives for the big rocks first.  A great quote was shared with me yesterday that ties to this.  The quote is by Robert Heinlein.

In the absence of clearly defined goals we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.

This is such a great reminder for me.  I choose to keep my goals present for myself, because daily trivia isn't what I am up to in this life. Making a difference is.

January 10, 2010

your story

My iGoogle home page gives me three quotes every day.  I like this.  I like reflecting on the quotes and what they mean for me.

One of today's quotes is from Kathy Sierra. She says "the more you try to compete, the less competitive you really are". Brilliant.

I had a recent experience in a fireplace shop that illustrated these words.  The salesperson spent the first few minutes of his interaction with us dissing the competition.

This resulted in a few outcomes.  One, it took the focus of the conversation in a negative direction.  We were directed to look at what was wrong with the other providers.  It was an easy leap from there to wondering what was wrong with the provider in front of us.  Two, his words created a sense of unease.  If he could be saying these things about the competition, what was he capable of saying about his customers?  Three, that valuable first impression time was taken up with something other than what his company stood for.

I wanted to know about what his shop valued.  Maybe that customer satisfaction was important, that I would be happy with a purchase and feel well looked after.  Or that they were proud of the products they carried, used them in their own homes, and had excellent success with them.

When a customer comes to you, everything that you say and do becomes a part of the story they make up about you.  What is the story that you want them to have?

I don't think you want your story to be about how much worse the competition is.  You want them to write it about you:  what you offer, what your promises are, what you care about.

Customers can and will draw their own conclusions.  Their story about you is what will have them choose you.  Or not.

January 1, 2010

every passing moment

Today is the first day of a new year. And the first day of a new decade.

2009 was a challenging and interesting year for me. I have been looking forward to 2010, eager to apply all that I have learned over the past 12 months to a new year. Somehow the date on the calendar was significant, representing something different, an opportunity.

Yet I think about one of my favourite quotes, which is 'every passing moment is a chance to turn it all around.'   I don't need to wait for a new year to do things differently or create something new. I can do it at any time, in any moment.  I find it a comforting thought.

It is good for me to remember this as I move into 2010.