Yup! I'm sharing my to-do list. We all have one I'm sure. That list of all the tasks and chores we need to accomplish each day so we can check them off, one-by-one, and end the day feeling satisfied that we had a day well spent.
I do have one of those. But that's not the list I'm going to share. Because too often we get so caught up in checking off those daily activities, that we forget what's really important. This is true whether you are an entrepreneur or whether you work for someone else. Whether you go to an office all day, work on a production line, or are a stay-at-home mom (or dad!). No, the list I'm talking about is one I learned about in a workshop on gratitude. It's where I learned to journal about my day. Many of those journal entries become the basis of future blog posts. And though they may not seem important to my business, I promise you - I would not be successful without this to-do list. So here we go!
1. Count my blessings! I do this every evening. Just before bed, I list 5 things that I am thankful for today. It can be something as wonderful as a #1 bestselling book. Or it can be as simple as a phone call from a friend or a walk with my husband. But I never go to bed without remembering how blessed I am.
Why is this important for my business? Lots of reasons. There is so much negativity in the world, especially now, that sometimes it's hard to keep positive. And when that happens it impacts everything you do. When you let that negativity become so strong, it begins to show up in your relationships with others, that's when you're going to see its impact on your business. No one wants to hang around or do business with negative people.
A positive attitude will also help you when you do hit a stumbling block. Life is not always easy. But facing obstacles with a positive attitude, knowing that this is merely a temporary hiccup, will help you face and deal with your challenges more effectively and efficiently.
And it's good for you health! Negative people suffer from much higher levels of stress. And stress can cause all kinds of health issues.
2. Be kind! You wouldn't think I would have to add that to a list of things to do. But sometimes when someone or something is pushing you to your absolute limit of patience, it's hard to remember. So yes, it's on my list - especially since patience is not exactly one of my strongest virtues.
How does being kind help my business? That's easy! There's a saying you probably have seen posted on several social media sites. "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." I've seen it attributed to several people, most notably Theodore Roosevelt and John Maxwell. I don't know which one actually said it - maybe neither! I do know that it's true. People will remember the kindness you have shown much more readily than they will all the facts about why they should join your business or buy your product. Do you do business with particular people just because you like them? I know I do! All other things being fairly equal, I will frequently make my choice just because I like the salesperson or owner or waitperson or whoever I have been interacting with. And the opposite is just as true. I have often walked away just because of how another person was behaving towards me or someone else.
This doesn't need to be some huge act of charity. It can be, by all means! But it can be as simple as calling a team member to see how they are doing, providing a testimonial for a friend whose business you trust, writing a thank you note to a mentor, or reaching out to a business newbie and sharing some of what you have learned along the way. I promise it will come back to you a hundredfold!
3. Let go of what I can't control! This is a hard one for me as I am controlling by nature. Years ago, my mom gave me a wall hanging with the Serenity Prayer on it. You know - God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I sometimes have problems with that "wisdom" part! So this is on my list as a reminder.
Why is this important? How often have you spent your time worrying over some perceived obstacle, or chasing some impossible goal when you could have spent your time much more profitably? Let go and go do something you can accomplish. No internet? Been there! Read a business book. Or start writing one of your own. Spend time with family. Relax! Upline not being supportive? Forget them! Go learn what you need to know on your own. Find another mentor or coach. Downline not performing like you hoped? Don't spend your time on those who aren't willing to do the work. Focus on the ones who are. Dogs barking in the background during the recording of your podcast, husband's hoard of papers visible during your Hangout, Tshirt showing reversed on your Facebook Live? Hey! This is LIVE people and I am a real, genuine person. You want perfect? Look elsewhere. It's been a hard lesson to learn but I have accomplished much more since I have learned not to worry about all those things beyond my control and just focus on doing what I know how to do.
4. Listen to my gut. Have you ever been going to do something and you're about to make a decision? Your head says this is the right choice. Go for it. But there's this little nagging voice in your gut that says walk away. Listen to your gut. It's almost never wrong. And yes, this is on my list. My husband is a very logical man. He will research something absolutely to death before he makes a final decision. And yet we often find ourselves on opposite sides of a decision because my gut is telling me he's wrong. And because there has been a time or two when I didn't speak up because all of his facts and figures looked so good, how could I be right about what I was feeling, that I keep it on my list as a reminder. Because he was wrong and it cost us, sometimes dearly. (P.S. He has learned to trust my instincts. He hates admitting that sometimes it's not logical, but he listens!)
The same is true in your business. You have a chance to work with what appears to be a great new client. Or join a fabulous new business opportunity. Or buy some wonderful new marketing tool. It all looks amazing. What could go wrong? But your gut says no. Listen to your gut!
5. Be still and just breathe. In our hustle and bustle busy lives, this can be difficult. Especially when you are trying to build a business. And there are those out there that will tell you to do whatever it takes. Work non-stop. You can sleep after you are successful. I am here to tell you just the opposite. You know what you get when you do that? Burn out! Poor health. Damaged relationships. Yes, you need to work. So when it's time to work, get to it. But set some time aside everyday to take a break and just breathe. Spend time with your family. Go for a walk. Read. Go to church. Take a nap. Meditate. Whatever it is that helps you recharge, find time everyday to do it.
Oh by the way - my other to-do list? Write a blog post. Write my list. Post in Facebook groups. Finish laundry. Meet 10 new people. Work on new sales funnel.
What's on your to-do list?