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At some point, no matter how successful you are or have been, something has worked. Something was working well for you. What was that thing? What was that thing that has worked well for you? What worked in the past that you stopped doing for one reason or another?
Maybe you stopped because you got distracted. Maybe it was shiny object syndrome. Maybe you got bored of it. Maybe you simply didn’t recognize it was successful at the time.
When you look back, you’re going to see things that went well and things that didn’t go so well. Identify what worked and do more of it.
The 80/20 Rule
Pareto’s Principle states that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. More than likely, you’re spending 80% of your efforts on things that bring you relatively little return.
Rather than guess at what to do, do more of what already works! Odds are, you’re not capitalizing on something that has served you well in the past. You should be doing that thing way more than you are. You need to be doubling your efforts there—tripling them even.
It’s easy to spread yourself thin. It’s easy to keep moving on to the next thing, but half of the work is finding what works well in the first place. Once you find that thing, hold onto that!
- What brought in the most clients?
- What campaign generated the most sales?
- What video received the most comments?
- What podcast got the most positive feedback?
- What product made up the bulk of your revenue last year?
Stop Doing What Doesn’t Work
Part two to this is to stop doing the things that aren’t working. Yes, there’s something to be said for having perseverance, but if you’re simply not making any measurable or reasonable progress somewhere, don’t keep doing it!
You’ve got to maximize your efforts. Put your energy into the things that are working.
Find the 20% of things that are doing well and focus as much of your energy on them as possible.
So what’s worked for you? What went well when you look over the last month or year of your work? What did you stop doing for one reason or another? What are you still doing that just isn’t doing you any good?
How Much Better Can It Be?
If you want a quick win, do more of what works. If this seems obvious, that’s because it is. I share it with you because I needed the reminder myself. Sometimes we get content with how well something good is going. But what if we applied more of our energy where we’re getting good returns? How much better could it be?
I’m working on new courses, a video show, building out a podcast network and course platform, and new functionality for the Community, and I’m often so ready to go to the next thing that I lose sight of what could be further improved.
For instance, my Learn Lettering courses continue to sell really well. They bring in sales every month and it’s easy to think that I can just move on to the next thing. While that’s certainly true—I can—what if I applied more of my energy where I’m already getting good results?
I spent several days working on an exhaustive screencast video that goes into depth on How to Digitize Hand Lettering and it received over 2,500 views in less than 48 hours!
As well as things were already going in an automated sense, when I put a little bit of extra effort in that area, it just exploded. Those are more people that are now aware of my courses and eventually more people that will buy.
I think if you take an objective look at your last year, there’s something you stopped doing for some reason that was working. Regardless of how successful you are or were, something has worked for you.
My message for you today is do more of that thing.