Saturday, May 3, 2008

5 Steps to making it happen

Its been about a week since my last post and so much has happened. I'm trying to nail down exactly what this blog is about and, to be completely honest, I don't know. My pal Jocelyn over at the nonproft technology blog makes a great point about discipline as a tool for finding your niche/voice. Writers are always told to write, musicians are told to practice, even Monster Careers puts you through a battery of worksheets to help you find the best professional you. Either way, this intentional approach makes a lot of sense to me. So, here is my modus operandi.

  1. Think BIG or go home - Why do something the same way its been done before? If you're not out there to make a difference, then don't do it. You won't be passionate about your endeavor and when the times get tough, you'll abort.
  2. Discipline, Plan, Discipline, Plan, etc. But at some point you gotta DO. - Religiously working over an idea in a structured organized way (i.e. disciplined) will get you to the core of why your idea is so great. This will help you prove your point. At some a certain stage, however, you have to drop all the planning and step out on a limb and just do it. You'll probably have to make adjustments as you go.
  3. The proof is in the pudding - No one will take you seriously if you can't SHOW that you are good at something. I used to work as a program evaluator and if there is anything that truly drives me crazy its when intelligent competent people make decisions without proof of the DO. "Let's give out ribbons because it will make our clients feel special." True, or they feel stupid. Show me proof that clients prefer ribbons over discounts and I'm all for it.
  4. Pick the low hanging fruit - This is pretty self explanatory. I love small changes that create big impact. Your clients, staff, family, whomever, will be more likely to adapt to small changes than huge overhauls. Put it this way, at least you save on training if the change is obvious.
  5. Be happy - No matter how good the pay or how good the idea, its not worth it if you or the people around you are unhappy.
These 5 points may seem really obvious to you, but you would be surprised to see how many people don't do these things. I know I'm not perfect.

So what is your approach? What makes your life easier and what do you stay away from?


Daniel said...

There is no shortage of "How to blog" advice out there, but to me, the key is passion. You're doing this for free, so you'd better love whatever it is.

The stock advice is you should pick one niche and blog the hell out of it -- become the go-to source for that niche. But for people like me, that just doesn't work. The more focused on one thing I become, the more bored I become with that topic. So for me, I have to have a sprawling blog. In fact, I have multiple blogs, which means that a sprawling blog isn't enough to contain "the set that is me."

Loving what you blog is no guarantee that anyone will ever notice. But you'll never regret the time you spend on it.

jocelyn said...

I go toward people and ideas that inspire me, like the great spiritual thinkers - who are/were just insanely brave and wise and committed. Right now I'm hooked on Henri Nouwen.

I TRY not to go away from anything, especially stuff that REALLY bothers me. I find the more upset I am the more likely it is that there's something there for me to learn.