A few years ago I attended a workshop at the International Coach Federation conference in Atlanta. Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series, was speaking. He had us fill out a worksheet that detailed what we did each hour in our business day, for each day of the week. Then he had us place a dollar value on each activity. For example, what would filing paperwork cost if we had to pay someone. The third step was to add up the hours that we sent on actual revenue generating tasks and how much they were worth.
It was an awful surprise when I applied the formula to calculate how much I lost each year by doing the work someone else could do for me. According to that figure, by trying to save money and do everything myself, I was LOSING $ 25,000 per year!
We can see through this example how NOT to use leveraged action. I thought I was saving money by doing the work myself, but in reality I was using time more profitably creating more income-generating ideas. Doing those tasks alsoave me an excuse to not take action on my new ideas. That was a wake-up call for me.
To gain momentum, you have to take action, and the more you tap into other resources as you do that, the faster your results will appear. Once you start, you begin to attract the people and resources that will propel you forward.
Waiting until everything is perfect keeps you from finding out your next step. You'll spend all of your time fixing things without knowing if they will ever work.
So start. How do you do that?
1. Run, do not walk when you have a new idea.
2. Take massive action. What appears to be pure coincidence but is really things happening at the same time in parallel begin to occur. You have to be okay with chaos.
3. Make your action simultaneous, not sequential. There are four "Step 1's". Do not work linearly. Begin all things, work each of them, and run them through to completion.
4. Do it before you are "ready". As one of my mentors says, "Ready, Fire, Aim." Start without knowing. It's easier to clean up a mess than to start.
5. Leverage every asset you have:
– Other people's experience: If you are not a bookkeeper and have to learn how to run an accounting program, the learning curve plus the time you spend entering data will add up. Tasks like this may not be cheaper in the present, but they will be cheaper in the long run.
– Expertise: Do what you love and let others do what they love. Doing more of what you do well will soon make you a master at it. By focusing on your area of expertise, your knowledge becomes more valued and you become an expert.
– Connections: By joining associations, creating alliances, and participating in mastermind groups you meet people who might know or do what you need. Use their mastery to allow you to develop yours.
– Time: Make a decision that your productivity is more important than anything. Protect it. Wisdom dictates that you should invest only in high priority activities yourself.
Taking leveraged action also extends to my non-work activities. I even put this to use in my personal life by leveraging other people's time for doing my housecleaning. After a busy day at work, I have a need to relax, instead of doing things that are necessary but not pleasant for me.
I always feel restored when I do the things I find pleasurable. Although these tasks are not related to my work directly, I have more focus and energy when I do not have to do those things and it improves my bottom line indirectly.
So, take action, do what you love, and let others do what they are good at.