Now that we are well into the second month of the New Year, many of us are already thinking, “what have I accomplished this year?” If your answer is somewhere between “nothing” or “not much,” this quick get-up-and-get-working guide is for you.
When creating a plan to achieve long-term goals, people often become overwhelmed or intimidated by what appears to be a mountain of obstacles. To make the necessary changes, start small and keep it simple.
"The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones." - Chinese Proverb
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one." - Mark Twain
Here are three quick tips to go from ‘waiting for success’ to becoming a ‘successful self-starter’:
Tip 1: Your Routine – the MEQ Test
Without realizing it, your routine may be the primary cause of low productivity. Small tweaks to a daily plan offer big gains in the long run. One of the first (and arguably most important) steps you can take to improve your daily structure is to determine what time of the day your brain is the most active.
Try taking the Morningness-Eveningness Questionnaire, or MEQ. The results of this test will give you insights about a “peak time,” when your brain functions the most efficiently. If the MEQ indicates you are a morning person, front load your day with more brain intensive work. If the results peg you as a night owl, maybe the more difficult work is best done over a nice dinner. Mix it up and see what works for you.
Tip 2: Get the Right Tools
For tasks that are time-consuming or for those you do not like, stay aware and be open to leveraging technology. While you do the research for software tools, don’t get distracted by what you see is “shiny.” Consider what will suit your weaknesses and let your strengths shine. Getting your hands on a business-specific computer will ensure that you get up and running. Take a look at these business laptops from HP; with military spec durability and data encryption, these machines will make sure your work stays safe for the long haul.
Tip 3: Make Yourself Visible
The old idea of “if you build it, they will come” is only true in movies. Potential customers must be aware of what you built.
There has never been more opportunity to connect with people based on interests and geography than today. Some say the quickest way to become visible is with social media. Most everyone is using various personal social media channels, but a more serious step with a professional account for your business can improve your visibility. To manage the many accounts, HubSpot has built-in Social Media management tools to monitor and publish on social media. Hootesuite is another popular social media management system.
Note: Social media accounts are not limited to Facebook and Twitter, look for tools such as Medium.com, YouTube, SlideShare.net, Tumblr, and Pinterest.
Once you have created these new business accounts, update them often (with high quality content) and interact with your customers. (Connecting and conversations is very important!)
Caution: Research shows that poor social media practices can negatively impact your image. Keep current and consider carefully what you share and how you connect with others.
If you have ideas about how to become (or remain) a self-starter, let us know in the comment section below!
“The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals. If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.” - Timothy Ferriss
About the Author:
Katherine Luk is a Community Outreach Coordinator for HP's Small Business Solutions team.