At least a million times in my life I have told myself or someone else to think outside the box. Stop being so rigid. Break down the barriers.
Now I have to smack myself on the forehead. What if you don’t have a box?
I have been thinking about it ever since I heard Mark LeBlanc speak at a conference last week. Did I have a box, a structure that provided the comfort of knowing what needed to get done and when? Or do I sort of plan in my head what will go on any given day or time you know without actually writing them down.
I know plenty of business owners that are doing okay. Their vendors are happy. So are there customers. Should they keep doing what they’re doing or should they tighten up a little bit. How does one define success for another? At what point do you ask them about the structure of their companies and the value of having it or not?
The best place to start of course is with myself. I set up the Coffee Cup in my Firefox browser to I can decide what has to be done per day and everyday. First thing in the morning I start going through my list. Sometimes it’s an hour, sometimes it’s more than two. The point is that I check in on all the places that make a difference for my company: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my bank, three blogs and lots and lots of news. I like to know what’s going on in the internet world so I can pass it along to my clients.
We do the accounting every Friday morning. I use mostly online banking and avoid receivables like the plague but it does happen so I try to get everything reconciled. Nice to be able to leave it for a certain day and time. Plus I can just email it to my accountant. YEA!!!
I have other work too. I have several microsites and a regular site for a client. That work is done every day along with newsletters, press releases and that kind of stuff.
It’s routine. It seems boring sometimes. That’s the beauty of it! Working within a solid framework allows me the space to think up new ideas, get clarity on the types of clients that are the best match for me, see the solution to a nagging problem. If I were thinking outside the box all the time I couldn’t be sure if all the information was good or not and I wouldn’t make good decisions.
What are you doing to create a box or structure that holds you up while you choose great things? I’d love to know. Leave a comment!