As everyone gets ready for the swing of the New Year, resolutions are promised and plans are made. Regardless of your goals for the year, it’s important to hit the ground running for the first quarter and continue to uplevel your business and your mindset.
Here are three ways to start the new year on the right foot that can be added as addendums to any of your current resolutions:
1. Get real about what your “One Thing” is
It’s been said time and time again – but those who achieve success do so because they’ve mastered “one thing.” This term is referred to at length by Gary Keller in his book “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results.” He says, “extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.” That means specializing in one niche area of offerings and doing the work to ensure that you’re the very, very best at it. Make this year is the year you double down on whatever this is for you.
Once you’ve identified your ‘One Thing’ that you have a bit of talent in and want to focus on, invest in yourself. Find courses other experts in your space have taken. Read all the books and watch all the videos. Work harder at it than anyone else, and in time, you’ll be the very best at it. And those who are the best in one area are guaranteed to succeed, especially because they can price however they’d like.
Then, take your ‘one thing’ outward. Become the best in one SECTOR. A sector can be more broad: such as Jeff Bezos in the e-commerce space or Warren Buffett in the investing space. Once you’re really good at one element, you can start to master the entire sector and build your empire.
“If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.” – Michelangelo Buonarroti
2. Prioritize building a network
Next, make goals for what you want your network to look like. Perhaps it’s full of other entrepreneurs who share a love and passion for your “one thing,” or a group of developers or salespeople who have skillsets that can be complementary to what you’re building.
Keep in mind that your network is built depending on how much time you spend with each person. University of Chicago professor Ronald Burt says, “networking is the one thing that cannot be outsourced.”
There’s a practice I like to share with people: assess what your current network looks like by making a list of everyone you had plans with last month and have plans with this month. Then, next to each person, just add a checkmark if your time with them helped you to further your goals. Every single person’s name should have a checkmark. If not, you aren’t taking things seriously enough.
In addition to managing who you spend time with, start to grow your network by setting standards for yourself, such as three networking calls each week or two coffee chats a week. Reach out to people on Linkedin or in Facebook groups related to your business or passions. Ask everyone you meet to refer you to someone else.
3. Find ways to outsource projects
Finally, make sure you’re building for efficiency. There are only so many hours in a day, so there’s only so much you can do to make progress on your goals. That means no time wasted on things other people can do for you. If you want to work 10 times the hours, you have to hire 10 times the people.
That doesn’t mean you have to immediately hire a full time team, but at least consider hiring a virtual assistant to work on some projects for you in the background, which is a great way to go initially. The New York Times listed benefits of outsourcing (as opposed to hiring) such as the ability to start new projects quickly, reduce risks, and control capital costs.
Hand over all busy work to the virtual assistants. A good way to figure out what to outsource is to do a time audit over the course of one week. Time how long it takes you to do certain actions, from responding to emails to building out the week’s content. Then, determine what takes the most time and what can be outsourced.
“The other part of outsourcing is this: it simply says where the work can be done outside better than it can be done inside, we should do it.” – Alphonso Jackson
These three techniques will ensure that this year tops all of the other years. As always, set benchmarks at the end of each quarter (or even monthly) to assess how these new techniques are working for you. The goal? Enhanced productivity and impact. Happy New Year!
What’s a goal you’d like to accomplish this year? Share it below so we can keep you accountable!
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