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3 Lists Every Entrepreneur MUST Make

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by David Garland in David's Blog

As cliche it as it sounds: as an entrepreneur, are you focusing on your strengths? Cultivating your unique, unfair advantage over the world?

Or, do you keep trying to improve weaknesses? Perhaps you keep chasing and juggling shiny red balls until they all drop and you freak out (sound familiar?).

A quick personal story (stop groaning):

We have all been there. Taking on too much. I’ve done it many times. Then, I freak out and come back to my core. The core is always the show and writing, but then other things pop up. Additional opportunities. Other revenue generators.

Over the weekend, I decided to go grab a delicious burrito to punish both myself and my stomach. On the way, I was just observing people. Walking. Talking. And I kept wondering to myself, “I wonder what his/her story is?”

And just like that, I had, in the oddest of all places with no apparent reason…an epiphany moment.

I realized (and this is shockingly simple, yet important) to focus on my unique strengths: storytelling, in-depth interviews with unique entrepreneurs and big thinkers (By in-depth, I mean storytelling. Finding out how entrepreneurs rose to success. What they did. How they did it. Essentially picking their brain for 30-40 minutes for all of us. I mean, really digging in and not just a quick interview. And having fun with it.), promoting others and writing.

And (this is the key) outsource/refer/partner the rest.

Is this revolutionary? Is this something I uniquely came up with? Am I Captain Obvious? Absolutely not.

But it doesn’t make it any less important.

Because, especially in this era, there are a lot of shiny red balls flying around with entrepreneurs like us trying to grab them. Consulting opportunities. Product opportunities (For example: I’ve had a bunch of people approach me about doing a course showing people how to do their own online chat show, which would be really unique. But does it make sense do it right now?). Investment opportunities. Time wasting opportunities. The list goes on.

But, the somewhat ironic thing is that with so much choice comes trouble. Trouble could be in the form of inaction (“I can’t decide what to do. There are so many choices!”) or too much action (“I’m going to try everything and keep adding to my plate until I want to punch myself in the face!”).

Here is a tip. Next time you are overwhelmed, ask yourself these key questions and make three lists to get back to your core strengths AND passions (and get rid of all the other stuff).

List #1: What do you love to do in your business day-to-day?

Your “ideal situation.” Your actionable passion within your business. This can, of course, be MORE than one thing.

For example, creating online content, designing a logo, working with great clients, creating an inspiring product, cleaning the bathroom (if that is the case, you are weird).

List #2: What do you HATE to do that is a part of your business?

Can it be outsourced now or later?

For example, accounting, bookkeeping, dumping bodies in the river, etc. Perhaps you have the capital now to outsource or will be able to in the future. The key here is getting into the mindset that YES, one day (maybe tomorrow? next week? next year?), you CAN outsource this stuff.

List #3: What are you good at, asked to do, see as a good opportunity…but you just aren’t that into it?

For example, maybe you are making good money from consulting but just aren’t that into it. Or you are teaching social media because it is bringing in some dollars, but it doesn’t turn you on (yeah, I went there). Is there someone though that you know that IS really into it? Can you refer business to them so you can focus on what you do best? And also let them know to refer business to you for something on List #1?

Then what do you do? Do you make these lists and never look at them? That probably won’t do too much. Print it out. Write it on a piece of paper. Whatever. And stick it on the damn wall. Or put it in your purse or wallet. Seriously.

And then take action. Get rid of the bad stuff OR at least PLAN on how you are getting rid of it. And how about examining how much time you are spending on “good at stuff” on List #3 vs. “love it” stuff on List #1? Can you start making some changes?

So, how ’bout it? Give it a shot. Looking forward to hearing YOUR list (go ahead and publish it below and I’ll make sure to do it as well).

Image Credit: PaDumBumPsh

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8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

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