“Happiness is not found the control we have over others. It’s found in the control we have over the moment-to-moment trajectory of our own lives, and more exactly – here we get to the root of things – the control of the personal systems that are ours to adjust and maintain.” — Sam Carpenter “Work the System: the Simple Mechanics of making More and Working Less
Whether you got your way today or you didn’t, whether, you remembered to put the final touches on that big project or sent it under the wire with some mistakes, the day is done, the deed is behind you and you should let go of the control you thought you had up to now.
Whether that fills you with disappointment or hope, the truth is that underneath both is a feeling of hope. It’s a feeling of next time I’ll do better. Or it’s a feeling of wow – made it.
That’s why you need to do what I’m about to list out for you.
You need to protect yourself from wack-a-mole style battling issues, personal or professional, and grab your confidence by the neck and shake yourself into composure once and for all.
Because really, the solution to getting what we want and making a contribution is not in complaining about the world condition or ingesting the perfect drug.
And it’s not about acquiring more things or being popular or famous. The solution is rooted in adopting a different perspective – a different way of seeing, thinking, and processing things – and it’s about facing the world cold-turkey, courageously questioning the sacred status quo as it relates to our own selves.
It’s about controlling what’s going on within our individual areas of direct influence.
It’s about controlling what only we the individual can control.
Far too many people, in personal and professional modes put out fires everyday instead of systematically have procedures in place. The wack-a-mole style of fixing a problem makes it disappear for a moment, but she pops up over and over if not tended to properly.
If you or your people don’t know how to handle things and in which order, nothing will get done. Nothing!
And letting go of that and those we can’t control, is the first clue to feeling better, stronger, and the key to making decisions that will keep you in a stream of enjoyment.
Carpenter’s book is filled with philosophical and technical details about how to systemize the small and even the largest corporation.
I’m going to summarize his findings for you here. Hopefully, you can see that the key to running a successful online and off business without running yourself ragged is to have systems in place for everything.
You’ll be surprised how much time you’ll save each week and how much more productive you’ll be once they are in place. Let’s take a look at a couple of different types of systems you may want to implement.
Document your systems and create checklists for them as you start to create them. They will come in handy over the coming months and years.
This is not just putting a system in place. This is stress relief.
Start with a simple list. Five or six items that would reduce stress. Once you get the hang of this, dig into the meat of your business.
Your systems for product creating will depend on what your products are and how you will deliver them, but some of the things you may want to document in the form of a check list are:
- Topic Research
- Creating An Outline
- Writing or Recording the Info Product
- Editing and Formatting
- Uploading It To Your Site
- Creating Sales and Download Pages
- Creating Marketing Materials
In addition, it’s a good idea to create a template you can use for all your short reports and ebooks to make sure they look consistent across the board. This will also make your job a lot easier when it comes time to format your product.
Templates and calendars will make your life so much easier when it comes to content creation. Spend a little time each month creating an editorial calendar for your blog. Figure out how often you want to blog and what topics you want to cover. With that in place you’ll never sit down at your desk with no idea what to write about.
Having templates in place is also helpful. Look at what content you create on a regular basis. Is it a newsletter, short reports and eBooks? Make templates for them. Most of your formatting will be taken care of and you don’t have to start with a blank page.
Make your social media interactions faster with a system in place. Figure out how often you want to post and during what times. When will you post your own content, when will you ask a question or make an observation and when will you share other people’s posts?
Having a schedule in place allows you to work ahead when you need to and just like the blog schedule it helps you get things done faster if you know what you’re writing or sharing ahead of time.
Website Maintenance And Security
How are you keeping your site safe and secure? If you’re using a CMS like WordPress to run your site, you want to make sure it’s updated regularly.
Backups are also a must. Schedule both those on a monthly basis and review your sites regularly to make sure everything is safe and secure. Set an alert on your phone or add the task to your calendar each month.
Do you have systems in place for handling customer service requests? Having a page with Frequently Asked Questions (and your responses of course) is always helpful. You can point customers to the page and be done.
A list of “canned “responses to common questions will also save you a lot of time. Personalize them as needed, but have the bulk of it ready to copy and paste. Having these systems in place also makes it much easier to outsource customer service down the road.
Having these systems in place helps you run your online business more productively, but there’s an added bonus to getting them in place. Once you have a system set up, it makes it easy to outsource that portion of your business to a Virtual Assistant.
As you grow and there’s more work to be done than hours in your day, you’ll appreciate being one step close to outsourcing.
Everything you do needs to be documented. Why? Because a working procedure is another way of establishing what is important and where you can tweak as you develop more confidence and routine into your business.
When you review and tend your procedures, see which you apply the most time, you will see the pattern of how to adjust and where.
When your systems of documented, others will understand what needs to be done as much as you.
Listen, everything is a work in progress. If it weren’t, you’d be buried in some cemetery.
Be kind to yourself, write it down, tweak your systems and above all, enjoy yourself.
Make sure you know who you are and what your purpose is. Find out more here.