Minimize Your Digital Platforms

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We have a hard time appreciating what drag does to our lives and work. If you’re used to sifting through your junk to find your clothes, notebooks, gadgets or everything to help you in a day, the friction may be lost on you. It’s become a habit that’s comfortable and unnoticeable over time.

It’s easy to pick up a subscription or tool here and there. After all, software’s incremental cost of distribution is extremely low. So, freemium is a sensible model to attract and entice new users.

But, digital platforms still take up mental space. If you have data or partial use within many tools, the question of whether you are getting value, or much less, creating drag in your psyche, becomes a cost factor.

You only have so much attention.

You have very specific goals that truly matter to you.

It’s hard enough to focus and get your goals. Adding more things to manage in your life can affect your creativity, productivity and clarity. These are all critical to making ideas happen.

So, how about simply taking pause and conducting a digital audit:

  1. Write down the goals that matter for your success.
  2. Write down what digital tools help you get there.
  3. Write down all the tools you currently have beyond the ones that help you.
  4. Unsubscribe and get rid of the ones that don’t matter.
  5. Recommit to the platforms that truly get you results.

Consolidation, commitment and focus get you much more bang for the buck in terms of applying your attention.

We live in a world of too many options and distractions. Winning is less about having something novel and much more about executing with what matters and works.

These days I find I get a much better return by focusing and doubling down on what works in the world than sampling every option that comes my way.

What Moves the Needle?

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Most of the people I know are in a daze. Life is simply overwhelming. Sure, we have revolutionary technology that increases our productivity. However, are we really more productive?

We can push more information and work around like never before. But much of what is being pushed around is noise. It often doesn’t have much to do with the goal.

I’ve often stated that most things don’t matter. If you start with that premise, your mind can focus. You can cut through the onslaught of demands and unimportant projects that can suck your energy, time and attention. You can redirect your mind and work to what does matter. And my guess is that this is a very short list of items.

You have to honestly ask, “What moves the needle?”

For this, you have to figure out what your goal is. What do you want to exist that is not reality today? That goal has to stay front and center. Let’s say you have a business and want to make money. Here would be some things that don’t matter:

  • Coffees with people that cannot say, “Yes.”
  • Reading endless newsletters and emails that don’t change you
  • Traveling all over and making no deals
  • Working endlessly on your website look and layout
  • Organizing your office supplies

These are simply busy activities without a relationship to the goal. While we can be blinded by activities and effort, it does not move the needle. Wastefulness happens often because of our ability to rationalize and delude ourselves. Richard Feynman said it best,

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

I think it’s fine to do all sorts of fun activities. However, if you want to move the needle, then there are likely a few things that matter above all others and those are the activities that must be considered as top priority. With the goal of money-making for a business owners, it could look like:

  • Thinking specifically and creatively about creating value for customers
  • Spending time with the best customers
  • Talking to ten people a day that can say, “Yes.”
  • Developing ideas to help solve problems for people that can say, “Yes.”
  • Making selling a process that is repeatable and specific for a team

Those are examples that could focus your thinking and schedule so you don’t fool yourself. It’s an input/output approach to money-making. Do things that matter and move the needle.

It sounds simple, but we have to think about where we put our attention these days, lest the pull of things that simply don’t matter sucks all the hours out of our day and energy from our souls.

Consider making a short list of what moves the needle. Can you identify 3 things you need to do that moves the needle in your pursuits that have to be done above all else consistently?

Overcoming Salesforce Complexity

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” – Charles Mingus

When you see a Salesforce.com system which has been over-engineered and unusable, it typically stems from a lack of clear leadership around process and strategy.  It is easy to make what is simple complex as Mingus states.  A lack of clear thinking and articulation of how a team moves through the sales, marketing or service process they are seeking to execute exacerbates the issue.

A well-designed Salesforce.com system works with complete buy-in from all of the users and managers of the system.  Real-time information is valuable towards a feedback and action loop to drive a result:

– Increase revenue
– Increase customer loyalty
– Increase awareness
– Increase productivity

Many times, the goal is forgotten or drowned in the IT work in Salesforce.com.  Users end up becoming data-oriented rather than results-oriented.  Too many fields or data which is not related correctly can create more wasted energy than useful results.  Thus, complexity can creep easily without a clear structure, strategy and focus.  Doing less with clarity is much more valuable than adding features, forms, fields, or data because they are nice to have.  Over-engineering Salesforce.com can cost you the success you desire and becomes even more costly to undo.  Focus on success which is enabled by simplicity from creativity.

If you want to learn how to stay away from complexity, connect with me for Salesforce consulting help.

The Most Important Commodity

Every day my team fights for one precious commodity. We give money, time, energy and creativity for it. We spend thousands of dollars to get as much as we can. It is becoming more expensive and more scarce. It is your attention.

Remarkably, we have your attention right now. Later today, you will be taking in a relentless amount of text, images and sound. Your brain will be processing and shifting continually. The ability to distinguish between relevance and noise will become tiring and laborious.

Your customer will be doing the same thing. The reality is that your customer behaves differently than they did 20 years ago. They behave differently than they did even two years ago. Everything is becoming relentlessly fast. People’s email inboxes are overflowing and unorganized. Phone etiquette has stretched to the point that people do not even extend professional courtesy by returning calls. Flashy advertisements are ignored and bore onlookers. Everyone has too many choices. Everyone feels rushed. They are not paying attention to you. You look irrelevant and invisible. Continue reading