What comes to mind when you think about boosting your result-oriented author marketing effort?
* Tons of effort
* More time to devote to it
* More money
* A solid plan of action
* Someone else to do it for you
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with my long-time friend, and speaker colleague, Jeff Blackman. He peeked my interest with his unique approach to writing and marketing. And, since his success has lasted over 30 years, I thought he must be doing something right!
I begged him to share his approach as I’m always on the look out for exciting ways to navigate the path to success.
He told me his simple, yet poignant secret:
“Be more result oriented – in everything you do!”
Being curious, I wanted to learn more. I wanted him to share his specific secret ingredients to be more result-oriented.He took his time to get down to the nitty-gritty. He first wet my appetite with some basic advice on being successful in life:
“Be mindful about others! Never forget the needs and wants of your family, friends, business partners, and last but not least customers (aka readers).”
He stressed that this is the basis to become result-oriented. It’s our surroundings and relationships that make or break every successful venture in life – personal or professional.
I fully concur the importance of being considerate to people in all walks of life, especially those in past, present and future relationships.
After much bantering, Jeff let me in on his proven secret ingredients to become and stay result-oriented. These are all based on what he calls his “Focus Mode.” He explained that being in “Focus Mode” is pivotal to his success.
Because for him to reach his writing and marketing goals, he needs to steer clear of all distractions.
How does he do that?
Here are Jeff’s five key “Focus Mode” principles that he’s graciously allowed me to share with you:
1. Stay on track
The most important ingredient to stay on track is discipline. Why? Because, says Jeff, “without discipline, I’m not sticking to my goals – be they large or small. I’m not sitting down to write, and for sure I’m putting zero effort in marketing.”
When it comes to discipline, marketing is a challenge. Why? Because it often takes time to see the results of our labors.
There is nothing more valued in our society than immediate gratification. Yet, it takes strategy, and dedication to stick with your marketing plans to stand a chance of success. Discipline is at the core of everything!
2. Work smarter not harder
To work smarter means better time management – another crucial component to be result-oriented.
Have you ever seen time ticking away as your to-do list seems to grow, and nothing gets done? Those are the days when the unexpected happens, and nothing gets done.
Can we get this time back? As much as we think we can make up lost time, it’s just not going to happen – unless of course, you channel your inner “Dr. Who.”
For the rest of us, we have to work with the time we have – 1,140 minutes a day, 525,600 minutes a year, and, unfortunately, not a second more. As much as we want that 25th hour in the day, it just isn’t going to happen.
Time is finite, which means we have to use it wisely, and set systems in place to do so.
My favorite system is to carve out time slots for projects – be they writing or marketing. Failing to do this means I rarely get done what I plan.
3. Keep your goals in sight
Building on the need to manage my time, I started to manage myself. I looked into my habits, the things that drove me to procrastinate, and the ones that motivated me to achieve my goals.
Have you ever analyzed your own habits? Often we put more emphasis on scrutinizing the habits of others, such as a spouse or partner, children, or business associates?
Try this exercise. For a seven days, be critical of yourself and examine your habits, fears, and goals. Capture your findings a journal to become more aware of your likes, dislikes, what excites or frightens you, what you procrastinate over or what you enjoy spending time doing.
The better you understand yourself, the sooner you can begin combining time management with self-management. And then, create an efficient result-oriented plan for your writing, marketing, and life!
4. Enjoy the view
What would we be without creativity and inspiration? A writer captivating our audience? Highly doubtful! Where do our ideas, inspiration come from? Everyone is different, unique, and yet open to the world and its wonders. For the longest time, I was someone “waiting” for inspiration and creativity “to hit” me.
Jeff asked me: “Did you ever combine discipline, time- and self-management to tickle your creativity? Did you ever set time aside just dedicated to seek inspiration?”
Oh boy – he got me thinking and I had to admit that I took inspiration and creativity for granted. He challenged me to set a specific time aside to enjoy the view, smell the roses, and focus on getting inspired. He promised it would (with practice) result in a creativity spurt.
That was my challenge button, to just be with myself. My free-spirited internal habit critic of just letting inspiration happen, dreaded this approach. Take it from me, give it a try – it works!
5. Let your true colors show
Last but not least, Jeff came back to the basics of relationship building. He told me that honesty and dependability – as old-fashioned as they may appear – are his stepping stones. They go hand-in-hand with discipline, and ultimately success.
He asked me if I remembered him ever over-promising something in our 3 decades of friendship? He had a point!
Why do I trust him?
Why is he my friend?
Because of his honesty and dependability! Jeff shared how he’s used these values to build business relationships, and how “doing what you say you will do” raises his value to his clients and readers.
Everyone who’s had a relationship with Jeff knows that he always delivers on his promises, no matter whom.
Can you master these simple, easy, yet potent steps in a day?
Definitely not! However, when you invest discipline, time, self-management, creativity, and trust in what it is you want to achieve, the results pay dividends.
What steps will help you reach your goals? Do you have a work/life balance that makes you happy? If not, what’s the missing link?
Never stop learning, growing, and marketing! Your voice and message matter!
Thanks to Jeff Blackman, CSP, CPAE, for letting me share his wisdom to be result-oriented!
Listen to Jeff’s Book Marketing Mentors podcast interview “How to Be More Result Oriented to Boost Marketing.”
MMM – Make your mindset meaningful!
Leave your ideas in the comments, for us all to share and benefit from.