One of the most important and influential decisions you can make, is choosing what to work on.
Far too often, we launch into actions or projects that are useful, or helpful or even necessary…
But, there’s a difference between actions that support growth and contribute to it, and actions that move the needle on your business – also known as Growth-Driving Activities.
It’s nice to update your website or redesign your slide deck… but if your site doesn’t get much traffic or you don’t have any appointments in your calendar, neither of those tasks will make any great difference.
And yet, far too often we doggedly insist on doing things that make us feel nice ‘n productive, but that aren’t effective.
Point in case: the SalesFlow Coach app, that I was hoping to release yesterday.
Just when I thought we’d be ready to press play and share access with you, it turned out that a bug had crept into the system, and my team and I now need to figure out what went wrong.
A few years ago, I could have easily said “Drop everything Martin! This needs fixing because you’ve put so much time into it and you’re so close!”
But then I’d simply be chasing the sunk cost of invested time and money… at the expense of working my pipeline and communicating with my buyers.
And yes, once the app is live it will serve as a lead magnet and that will get me more visibility and inquiries and buyer opportunities…
But I already have opportunities.
Ignoring them in favour of hours and hours of testing systems, poring over code snippets and reading manuals & FAQs would be, well, foolish.
SalesFlow Coach is (will be) a useful asset in my marketing arsenal, but working on it is not a Growth-Driving Activity.
So instead, my developer is figuring out the problem, and I get to focus on actions that drive results.
Here’s why this matters:
Whenever we choose to ignore GDAs in favour of more pedestrian work, there are two important internal motivations to consider, and if you want your business to grow, you’d do well to ask yourself these two questions:
1. Are you avoiding the GDAs because of resistance?
I.e. do you subconsciously want to avoid some negative aspect?
For instance, would the GDA in question require you to spend many hours on boring tasks?
Or would sudden success put a strain on you, if your Growth-Driving Activity would generate that success?
Or maybe writing that proposal for that speaking gig would mean you have to – gulp! – give your first ever public talk?
2. If not that, are you subconsciously looking to satisfy an emotional need?**
Sure, you procrastinated on doing important work… but MAN look how organised that filing cabinet now is!
Empty desktop folder… inbox 0, every task tagged correctly! Woohoo, I’m a productivity machine!
Yes matey, but you’ve been productive on things that make no material difference. Might want to think about that.
In my case, suspending GDAs in order to launch the SFC app would satisfy my desire to feel like I’m building something; it would give me the satisfaction of feeling like a guy who gives things his all and follows through on things; and it would make me feel like a powerful problem-solver who puzzles until he figures things out.
A sublimely enticing emotional cocktail. Which I’m not having today – I’ve been there and drunk that. The hangover is awful.
Of course there are many different reasons why you might avoid working on your GDAs, but these two questions – what are you avoiding, what emotional benefit are you seeking to gain – are a terrific razor.
You can use them to clinically assess what actually is the reason you’re avoiding those things that directly impact your business results.
And, they’ll help you decide what is the actual GDA you ought to focus on.
That app I’m building – SalesFlow Coach – scheduled for beta-release in September 2022.
Register here to be notified when it goes live.