How to make sure you actually Do The Work
Posted by Guest Contributor on
Sarah Thompson is a communications professional, former journalist and passionate writer. Her "why" is to help values-driven, contributive brands, businesses and people tell their story to the world. You can follow her blog @herostory_ and Hero Story Hub.
There’s a fizz of excitement in the air, punctuated by the hopeful, bubbling chatter that accompanies new connections in the making.
How good are entrepreneurial business conferences. The air is thick with fresh wisdom and imagination, as icy champagne sploshes into glasses.
Goodie bags are handed out, frothing with prettily-wrapped delights: handmade chocolates, silky-paged bespoke mags and — perhaps the best possible candy for every creator-preneur — spanking new notebooks.
You take your seat, lean in and start sponging up the insights spraying from the stage.
Then, just as you get comfy, one of the speakers drops a truth-bomb, life-hack or fresh approach to a business sticking point you’ve been trying to grind through.
Suddenly all those seemingly unconnected, colourful idea bubbles floating at the back of your brain burst and merge together — and you realise you have a picture of your new direction. That’s it, the lightbulb you’ve been waiting for. Better write that s...t down.
These events are a serotonin spike for the solo-preneur or side-hustler. A place where you can drop a Brené ,Tim or Richard* reference — no explanation needed.
And then it ends, and you feel amazing.
Look at all your takeaways. A notebook filled with biro-scribed gold. And at least 10 new friends forever on instagram.
Flick-forward a few months. Another amazing event pops up in your feed. The line-up smacks you in your brain’s happy sweet spot — of course, your new podcast crush is the keynote.
But then you have a saggy thought. What’s changed since the last event?
What have I achieved, what did I shake-up?
A tumbleweed floats across your brain.
Ok, so you’ve kept in touch with at least one or two people, and they’ve become a permanent part of your tribe. Possibly that lightbulb moment prompted a shift in your approach to one area of business or life. And the momentum from that day has totally boosted your drive a notch or four over the last few months.
You can still say, hand on heart it was worth investing in that event..
But where’s that notebook?
Be honest. Is it still in the goodie bag with the half eaten chocolate and the hand-cream you planned to re-gift? Or if it made it to your desk, how often do you go back through it?
You see, there’s a missing link.
Imagine, just imagine if you used that notebook on the day of the event, or even right after you got home, to write some dates and tasks next to all that carefully handwritten wisdom.
And kept your notebook within arms-reach every day since then. So that by now, it was a dog-eared, highlighted, coloured-sticky-noted pignata of actionable goodness.
It’s not possible to implement every thread of gold from every event or fired-up meeting with your mentor.
But the truth is, if you don’t take those very top level nuggets over the course of a year; the pearlers which made you think “THAT, that’s the thing I’ve been missing” — and actually make them a To Do, wrapped in a date bound timeframe, you won’t end up doing the work.
And if you don’t do the work, you’ll never gain the momentum you need to eat your goals for breakfast.
Don’t be that person who comes across a notebook of lost dreams and unapplied truthbombs.
Take those chunks of wiseness, and decide which are worth making it into a date-bound tasks.
Then Do The Work.
Then tick that shizzle off.
Then move onto the next task.
And watch that fizzy-feeling spillover from special-events only to the vibe of your year in general.
And actually, we’ve got just the tools to help you do just that.
*Brené Brown, Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson. Get around their books, podcasts and stalk them on instagram. But you can’t take my spot on Necker.