No, you’re not seeing things. Today is NOT #StrategySunday.
But I had several questions regarding #StrategySunday I wanted to dedicate some space to.
And instead of answering them one at a time, I thought I would address them all at once.
So, if you’ve ever had questions regarding #StrategySunday, enjoy this Q&A!
How do You Record Your Minutes?
Before leaving Calgary in October 2019, I made a few purchases to assist my journey as a digital nomad.
In addition to a new laptop, I also bought an iPad Pro, an Antbox iPad case, and an Apple Pencil (affiliate links).
A friend showed me his iPad and Apple Pencil at a conference in summer 2019, and that was enough to convince me that I needed my own.
The Apple Pencil got me back into the simple joys of drawing again, and that served as my late-night hobby for a while.
But I mainly bought the iPad and Apple Pencil for two reasons – to take notes, and to read Kindle books. And that is primarily how I’ve used these tools since arriving in Abbotsford.
I have done a lot of journaling inside my iPad, to where my Notes app suffers slowdown from too many files(!).
Anyway, this is still where I log my minutes. And when I’m ready to transfer them over to a blog post, I simply review what I’ve written in my notes, and type them up inside a Word doc on my laptop.
I figured you’d want to see what my notes look like, which is why I’ve included a picture. Enjoy.
(By the way, I tend to be platform agnostic and am not an Apple fanboy.)
How do You Speculate on Possibilities?
Within my #StrategySunday posts, you may have noticed the mention of “speculating on possibilities.”
I’ve shared a little bit about how this works in an earlier post on using a journal to boost your creativity.
Sounds innocuous enough, I’m sure. But I have personally had more success with speculating on possibilities than trying to come up with answers and strategies for everything.
There’s more freedom in speculating on possibilities than there is in forcing yourself to come up with instant solutions.
Consider the difference between these two prompts:
- Draw an apple, and draw it exactly as shown in my own drawing colors and all
- Draw an apple – assuming you draw an apple, you can go about it however you want
The first prompt is restrictive. It carries with it a “do it my way OR ELSE” kind of vibe. The teacher is setting you up for failure by forcing you to follow their example.
The second prompt is freer. You know that you need to draw an apple, but you can go about the process in your own way.
Basically, there’s a difference between “how could I solve this problem?” and “what are some things I could do…”
I’ve had a lot of success with speculating on possibilities versus forming perfect answers, so that’s my process. And I’m quick to implement too!
What is Weekflow?
I’ve been coining a lot of terms as of late. I call these “concepts.”
I don’t expect all of them to stick. I tend to ditch those that don’t resonate with my audience. I have a feeling concepts like #StrategySunday, YearSheet, and Effectiveness Diagnostic are here to stay though…
Anyway, let’s talk about Weekflow.
Much has been said about batch processing (bulk tasking). If you don’t know anything about it, then reference the Chris Ducker article I’ve linked up for you.
Now, batching is a great way to ensure you have a specific focus for your days. It can help you be more productive overall because it tends to cut down on task switching and unnecessary distractions.
But Weekflow requires that you think strategically about how you’re batching, what you’re batching, and when.
If, for example, you’ve set aside Monday for writing blog posts and Tuesday for editing, formatting, and scheduling blog posts, then you’d need to ensure you don’t have any Monday deadlines you’d miss because you weren’t thinking far enough ahead. To meet the deadline, you would need to write, edit, format, and schedule all on the same day!
It’s critical that you know how one task flows into another (got it?).
Here’s another example. If you have a meeting on Wednesday that you need to prepare for, but your batching efforts don’t leave adequate time to be ready for that Wednesday meeting, your Weekflow is broken.
This is the main issue I’ve seen with batch processing. With Weekflow, you can account for such contingencies and ensure that you’re seeing what’s coming instead of being productive for productivity’s sake.
- I log my minutes inside my iPad, using my Apple Pencil
- Speculating on possibilities means to brainstorm and consider your options instead of getting hung up on being perfect
- Weekflow means to ensure there’s a proper flow and order to your week, like an assembly line
I hope your #StrategySunday questions were answered, but if there’s anything else you’d like to know, be sure to let me know.
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Reading is an important part of personal growth. There is a lot of knowledge in books you can’t find anywhere else. So, are you prioritizing reading in your life?
In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, I share four books that made a difference in my life in 2017.
- 00:14 – My reading habits in 2017
- 00:52 – The four impacting books I read in 2017
- 00:59 – Do You Talk Funny? by David Nihill
- 01:58 – I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
- 03:17 – The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber
- 04:27 – Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
- 05:35 – Final thoughts
I didn’t get around to reading quite as much in 2017 as I had in the two years prior.
I’ve already shared about many of the events that sent me reeling last year and how that caused me to rethink my approach to life. My burnout and newfound social life both played a significant part in book reading taking a backseat in my life.
I don’t think I learned any less in 2017 compared to years prior. I believe I learned a lot of practical, real-life lessons that I could not have learned except through the experiences I lived.
In some ways, I felt like I was tossed right into the big leagues. My desire to grow as an individual has always been significant, but I had no idea I would be pushed this far this fast.
Anyway, there were still a few worthwhile books I read in 2017, and I wanted to share them with you. Here they are.
1. Do You Talk Funny?: 7 Comedy Habits to Become a Better (and Funnier) Public Speaker by David Nihill
How important is humor?
David Nihill points out that humor is one of the nine key elements of successful TED Talks. He shows why funny people tend to have better relationships and get more opportunities.
You may not consider yourself a comedian, and I don’t think of myself as one either. But if we can learn to inject humor into everyday conversation, we will be more memorable and stand out from the crowd.
In Do You Talk Funny?, Nihill explains how you can adopt a number of comedic habits, not just to enhance your speeches, but your everyday relationships.
As with any book, taking what you learn and applying it is the hard part, but I took a few valuable ideas from this book, some of which have served me well, such as The Rule of 3.
Pick up this book if you’re looking to take your public speeches beyond, or you just want to create a better rapport with people.
2. I Will Teach You To Be Rich: No Guilt. No Excuses. No B.S. Just a 6-Week Program That Works by Ramit Sethi
Managing your money isn’t easy. This is because there is a lot of misinformation out there, and in today’s instant gratification society, it is so easy to overspend and rack up a lot of debt.
Author Ramit Sethi brings it back to the basics and shows us how we can get our financial life on track. But he isn’t unrealistic either – he points out that you can’t have everything. You can drive an amazing car, you can live in a mansion, you can buy that bass boat you’ve always wanted. But you will likely need to pick and choose which of those things you truly want – it will prove difficult if not impossible to have it all.
When you hear the word “frugal”, you probably assume it means to spend cautiously. Sethi says it’s about choosing what to spend extravagantly on, and cutting back spending on what you don’t love.
In this book, you will also learn what to invest your money in. Many people are naïve, and assume they will never need investments to reach their desired goals. Even some business owners I know aren’t thinking about saving or investing in their future. This is a mistake.
So, if you’re looking for a simple plan you can follow to get your money under control, I recommend reading I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
3. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
The E-Myth is not a step-by-step process on how to transform your small business. Rather, it illustrates, through story, how to think about your business differently and approach it in a way that allows you to regain your freedom and enjoy your work again.
Most successful small business owners reach a point in their career when they can’t take on more work. This can be exciting for a while, but eventually they become stressed out. That leaves them longing for earlier times when their business was their passion, and they loved going into work every day.
So, how do you build a business that can grow and scale? Author Michael E. Gerber suggests that you must think of your business as a franchise. You must systematize your processes, and delegate work to your employees.
I’ve talked to a lot of business owners about systems, so I’m quite familiar with the idea of systematizing a business. Still, this was a worthwhile read, and there are a lot of great insights into marketing and selling that go beyond just systematization.
Read The E-Myth Revisited if you’re stuck in your business and don’t know how to keep growing while achieving more freedom in your life.
4. Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris Ducker
If you’ve spent any time listening to business podcasts, then you’ve already heard about hiring Virtual Assistants and outsourcing your work.
In Virtual Freedom, author Chris Ducker demonstrates how this works in practice, and the steps you need to take to ensure your virtual team completes their work to your standards.
There can be some hiccups to setting up your virtual team if you don’t know what you’re doing, and Ducker explains how to navigate these challenges.
As I was reading this book, I wasn’t ready to hire anyone yet, though I did eventually hire a transcriptionist last year. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for my business, because she delivers excellent quality work for an affordable rate.
The fact that I was willing to transcribe my own podcast episodes shows commitment and dedication on my part, but still not work I should be engaging in when I have content to create, books to write, and vision to think about.
This would be timely read for anyone overworked and stressed out. Don’t wait until you burn out to hire, because by then it might be too late.
I’ve started reading more in 2018 already, though I’m not certain I will make it to 52 books this year either.
The book I’m most excited about reading, and have already started on, is James Schramko’s Work Less Make More: The counter-intuitive approach to building a profitable business, and a life you actually love. I have a feeling I will be reading through it multiple times, because most of what I’ve built in the last year or two has been based on James’ methodologies.
Do you know what books you’ll be reading in 2018? What are you excited to read?
I look forward to seeing your comments.
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