The simple trick that saves you hours of time and gives you 10X the impact in your business, career or passion

If you have a business, a career, or a passion that you want to turn into a business or career, then there’s one super-simple thing you’re likely forgetting to do, that means you’re wasting your time and effort.

It’s something that needs to happen before you do ANYTHING. For example, you need to do it before you:

Write a blog post (I did it before I wrote this one!!)
Write a bio
Go to a Networking event
Write literally anything on your website
Interview someone
Be interviewed by someone
TELL A STORY
Name your Instagram account
Do a talk
Decide to start a podcast
Write a newsletter
Post on your Facebook page
Do a Facebook Live
Make literally any decision about your business

I see people ALL THE TIME not doing this, which means the thing they did – that blog post, that talk, that About page on their site – was a huge waste of time.

Here’s the thing you need to do first:

Ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve here? What do I want to be different in the world as a result of me writing this?”

So, for example, say you’re…

Writing a blog post.

Ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve with this? What do I want to be different in the world as a result of me doing this?”

Some answers I came up with for this particular blog post:

  1. I want my people to start asking themselves these questions (why? So there’s less pointless work out in the world)
  2. I want my people to think, “Wow, Marsha gives really helpful tips, I should follow her stuff regularly!” (Why? To build my audience, so I can have enough of one to start running events across North America and TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!)(jk I just want to hang out with you in person, we can leave the world domination to more ambitious people)
  3. I want my people who are already following my stuff to think, “Marsha is so helpful and great. I feel like we’re already friends!” (Why? (a) same reason as in 2, (b) ego. I really like when people like me)


How to use this:

These answers inform what I do and don’t include.

For example, I often think that these questions should be asked when it comes to writing press releases. Having worked in radio, I have read so many terrible press releases, where someone has clearly written them with the thought, “I need to…write a PRESS RELEASE” instead of asking these questions. BUT: I know that my people – aka you – don’t spend a lot of time writing press releases. So that isn’t one of the examples I’ll give where I run through a list of answers.

I know that my people – aka you – do spend time thinking about what goes on their website. So I’ll use examples like “Writing a blog” and “Writing an About page,” and “Writing a talk,” so that you can relate to it.

Note: I keep saying “My people” not just “people.”

Not everyone is going to like me (or you), nor do you want them to. As my Huru, Marie Forleo, often says, “If you’re tawkin’ to everyone, you’re tawkin’ to no one.”

So when you’re thinking about who you want to be affected by your work? Think only about your people, the ones you’d want to hang out with.

Another example of asking these questions:


Writing an About page.

Ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve with this? What do I want to be different in the world as a result of me doing this?”

Some possible answers:

  1. I want my people to see that I have the solution to their problem (Why? So that they’ll hire me or join my community. Why? Because I would like to pay my rent doing this work).
  1. I want my people to see that I’m the kind of person they want solving their problem (Why? Because I’m probably not the only person with a solution like mine. So I want my people to choose me over the competition.)
  1. I want people to see that I get and understand their problem and I won’t shame them for it. (Why? Because, often, the problem people need help with makes them feel bad. If they know that I won’t laugh at or treat them with disdain, they will trust me, and be more likely to buy from me or join my community)
  1. I want people to see that there is hope, there is a route out of their situation. (Why? Because often, we think that there is no solution to our problem. So by giving them hope, I’m helping them even if they don’t buy from me. Which is important from a service point of view, and from a sales one.)

How to use this:

Make sure that the About page starts with a description of who your ideal customer is in terms of what is their problem (as they understand it) (1 + 3) and what is the solution they want (4). Then, position yourself as someone who understands the problem (3), and can provide the solution (1). Finally, put enough of your personality (through the way you write, or via your story) so that they know YOU are the kind of person who gets them (2 + 3).

Let’s do one more.


Writing/Doing a talk.

Ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve with this? What do I want to be different in the world as a result of me doing this?”

Possible answers:

  1. I want people to know XYZ specific thing and take ABC different action in their lives. (Why? Because I want to make the world a better place! And because I want people to think I’m great – see #2)

How to use this:
Probably, there are a HUNDRED things you could teach. So ask yourself, if I could only teach them one thing, what would it be? Then build your talk around that. This will help you decide what stays and what goes in the talk. Editing is HARD, so this helps a lot!

  1. I want people to think of me as an expert in my field. (Why? Because I want them to hire me for more talks. Also: ego. Which is a perfectly valid reason!)

How to use this:
Make sure you aren’t just talking about other people’s work and research. Include stories and facts about you and what you’ve done and learned.

  1. I want people to hire me as a consultant or coach, and/or buy my online or in-person classes. (Why? Because it’s fun to pay rent doing work you love!)

How to use this:
During your talk, include tiny advertisements for how good you are at your work. When I work with clients on their talks, I always make sure we choose stories that perfectly illustrate your points, but also just happen to point out what a badass you are, how good you are at your job, and how powerful the results are for your clients.

 

As the three examples show, asking yourself these two questions before you do ANYTHING to do with your career, business or passion, changes everything, makes what you’re doing MUCH more effective, and saves you (the writer/do-er) and me (the reader/listener) a LOT of wasted time.

So, next time you’re planning on doing something, ask yourself:

“What am I trying to achieve with this? What do I want to be different in the world as a result of me doing this?”

 

‘Before you start writing anything for your website or business (blogs, bios, About pages), ask yourself these 2 questions, “What am I trying to achieve with this? What do I want to be different in the world as a result of me doing this?”’

(TWEET THIS HERE)

 

Thanks so much for reading!

Has asking these questions changed the way you do something today, or in the past? Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who either worries about their business decisions, or who regrets them (or who can’t understand why all their hard work on their business or career comes to nothing), then you can share this blog post with them either using one of the round buttons below, or click HERE to share on Facebook, or share it on Twitter HERE.

 

You rule.

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

 

PS Want even more ideas like this – plus tips, tricks and stories that I won’t put on the internet? Join the Yes Yes Family for free – I’ll even throw in my guide on the MAGIC BULLET for powerful storytelling. Just pop your details in here:

Photo by Austin Chan via the ever-excellent Unsplash.com

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