Here’s the 1 Vital Lesson You Can Learn from Jim Gavin, Aidan O’Brien and Willie Mullins

jim-gavin-man-management

Are you running a business?

Do you manage people?

There is one thing that Jim Gavin, the Dublin football manager, Aidan O’Brien and Willie Mullins, the racehorse trainers never fail to do.

Let me explain.

Aidan O’Brien

Last week, I was, as usual, watching the racing on Channel 4.

Aidan O’Brien’s horse, The Ghurka, had just won a group race.

In the after race interview O’Brien did what he always, without fail, does: he name checked all his stable staff who look after the horse on a daily basis.

Not a generic thanks to “all the staff” but along these lines: “Mary looks after the horse every day, and Jimmy rides him out, and Timmy, Susan, Aidan, and Shane-they all look after him and love the horse and said he was in great form, so we couldn’t have been happier with him…”

O’Brien name checks, and recognises, individual stable staff after big (and all) successes as a matter of course.

If he had named the local postman as being instrumental in the horse’s performance and rude good health I would not have batted an eyelid.

He always thanks “the team”, and deflects individual glory as if it to say, “this is not about me, it’s about my team, I’m very lucky…”

Can you imagine the pride these employees, and their families, take from their daily work being recognised by the boss from the parade ring at Royal Ascot or Epsom in front of millions watching live on television?

Do you imagine it would engender some loyalty from those staff?

Some serious commitment?

Would they take pride in their work?

Would they really look after the horse in their care, even when nobody was watching?

Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins, the national hunt champion trainer, does the same thing in virtually every interview. Listen to him closely on television at Cheltenham or Leopardstown or Punchestown, or anywhere else, for that matter.

He name checks the individual member of staff who rides out or mucks out on a daily basis, or travels with the horse, or makes any contribution.

 

It would be easy for O’Brien and Mullins, champions of their sport and geniuses of their profession, to take all the credit.

Nobody would quibble, as their brilliance is rightly recognised, spoken about and written about in the media.

Yet they take every opportunity to thank and recognise each worker involved, no matter what their rank or position in the organisational structure.

Jim Gavin, Dublin Football Manager

Last weekend the Irish Times trumpeted the fact that they had an interview in the paper with Jim Gavin. They described it as his first “one on one interview”.

They told us this was unusual because Gavin had not, since taking over as manager of Dublin, given interviews to anyone.

Here’s what the Irish Times said:

But you must understand something. Jim Gavin has been the manager of the best team in the country’s biggest sport since late 2012 and this is the first time he’s sat down alone with a newspaper reporter. We’ve asked countless times and the answer has always been polite and always been no.

This is in sharp contrast to many managers who cannot resist a microphone or reporter’s note pad and pencil.

So, I was intrigued because I thought to myself, “why now?”, why is he giving this interview?

When I read it it soon became clear: the prime purpose was to promote the Bray air show which was on the same weekend, and which Gavin is involved in as a pilot and safety officer with the Irish Aviation Authority.

And the reason for not doing interviews before this one was set out very clearly by Gavin:

“I’ve always steered away from one-on-ones,” he says. “Because it genuinely is not about me. It’s about the team.”

And this one philosophy was the only football related comment Gavin made in the interview. The rest was about flying, his life as a pilot, how it all started etc.

But it’s an important one, especially if you are managing people in any capacity.


Conclusion

From these 3 masters of their sport/profession you can see the one common philosophy and dogma: it’s all about the team.

Is this the case in your business or organisation?

If it’s not, I invite you to reconsider and learn from Gavin, O’Brien, and Mullins.

1 Email Marketing Mistake that Makes You Look Stupid and Lazy

email-marketing-ireland

I would attribute a huge part of my success in growing my solicitor’s practice to email marketing.

Anybody with an ounce of sense can, with a little research and study of online/digital marketing, quickly recognise the stunning power of email marketing in helping you grow your business.

However, it is not all plain sailing.

In fact, there is one simple way to ensure that your attempts at using email marketing will flounder badly and, in fact, be stunningly counter-productive.

The power and purpose of email marketing

Let’s back up for a minute and take a look at the power and purpose of email marketing: the power is that you get access to a person’s email inbox.

The purpose is to get the opportunity to earn your position as a trusted advisor/expert in your particular field.

The knock on effect of this win is you get a chance to sell your products or services later on in your relationship, when the subscriber to your list feels the time is right and he/she is comfortable in doing business with you.

It’s worth dwelling on this idea briefly:in exchange for someone’s email address you promise to deliver into their inbox something of value, probably on a regular basis.

The outcome of this exchange will be, if done property, the trusted authority status you seek, and of benefit to you as business owner and to your subscriber.

But before this exchange, before a website visitor gives you their email address, you must give them something of value in advance-an “ethical bribe”, if you will.

One way to blow this strategy out of the water is not to deliver value in advance, not to provide an incentive for the reader to give their email address, not to give them the opportunity to confirm that they want to join your email list, and simply to go for the short cut.

The counterproductive shortcut

The short cut?

Simply putting someone’s email address on your list, without their consent, without a “double opt in”, and sending them unwanted commercial emails.

There is probably more than one definition of spam, but unwanted, unrequested commercial emails into my inbox is a sufficiently accurate definition for me.

So, for me, it’s spam.

Look: let me be clear: if you add me to an email list of subscribers without my consent, and send me commercial emails, I will simply report your emails as spam in my Gmail account.

And the consequence of this is that your email will simply be undeliverable with future emails going straight into my spam folder.

Google is good like this.

There is only one thing worse than this mistake in your email marketing and that is getting someone else, for example a so called professional marketing company, to make this mistake on your behalf.

Not only will your emails go straight into spam, but you will be paying some “marketing/promotions” company for the privilege of having your email address blacklisted.

As I said earlier in this piece, I rely hugely on email marketing.

I work very hard to grow my subscriber lists

But each and every one of my subscribers to my many email marketing lists has been bribed in advance with something of value, such as a free guide, in return for their email address.

In addition, they must also confirm that they want to opt in and receive communications from me; and, finally, they have the opportunity in every single email to unsubscribe from the list.

Don’t want to hear from me any more? Just hit the “unsubscribe” link and I’ll be gone like a thief in the night appears regularly in my emails.

When you go to the trouble of doing it right, and creating something of value to swap for an email address, I find it easy to get angry when I receive commercial emails from people who have simply added me to their list and hoped for the best.

Have You These 4 Essential Elements in Your Sales Page?

sales-page-essentials

Have you a sales page on your website or blog?

Even if you haven’t a dedicated sale page you will still want website/blog visitors to purchase your service or product.

If you have, there are 4 things that are absolutely essential if you want it to be effective in making sales of your product or service.

Let’s take a look at what they are. Sounds good?

The 4 questions are what, who, why, and when.

1.      What is it?

The first thing to address is to answer the question, “what is it?”. This might seem obvious to you, and it probably is, but you must guard against the well-known curse of knowledge.

You are completely familiar with your product or service; in fact, you may have created it and lived with it with passion for years. We all take things for granted.

But, your website visitor may never have heard of you or your product or service.

So, you must be absolutely clear about what your product or service is, what it does, who it helps, and what problems does it solve for your reader.

2.      Who are you?

You need to address the question, “who are you?”

Why should the reader believe you? Why should she trust you?

Have you the necessary expertise and experience to help her solve her problem?

Do you know what you are talking about? Can you show this?

3.      Why is your product/service essential for the reader?

Why does the reader need what you have to sell? Why can they not do without it if they want to solve their problem?

4.      When will they see results?

If the reader buys your product or service, when will they see results?

People are impatient for solutions to problems, and nowadays especially are used to shortened time spans, shortened attention spans due to social media usage etc.

Conclusion

An effective sales page on your website or blog, or in print, will need many more components.

But without the four essentials above it is very unlikely to perform in the way you deserve, or is supportive of your business.

The Stupidest Article I Ever Wrote

facebook-ads

I have to admit it-I was completely, utterly wrong.

Misinformed, misguided, wrong-headed, mistaken, idiotic.

I’m talking about Facebook ads.

I wrote a blog post entitled “The Shocking Truth About Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses”.

The sad thing is that I received a lot of good comment about the article at the time. Positive comments from people who had the same view as me. You can see them below the article.

But I was completely wrong, and advertising on Facebook is now a central part of my online marketing efforts.

I took the time to learn about Facebook advertising, and then began implementing what I learned from others, and from my own trial and error and observation.

Now, I get likes, engagement, page likes, post likes, shares, comments, video views and, most importantly of all, leads and clients. Yes-I have got clients straight off Facebook, at very small cost per lead/client.

Cost of Facebook Advertising

I primarily advertise with an objective of page post engagement with my video posts, and for page likes (not so much now because I have enough of them).

Facebook Page Likes

I can now easily obtain Facebook page likes for $.01. Take a look at the screenshot image below, and you will see that I got 6,013 page likes for my Terry Gorry & Co. Solicitors Facebook page for $51.75-a cost of $.01 per page like.

facebook-page-likes-advertising-cost

What is the value of a page like? Social proof.(You might be interested in Social Proof-Don’t Overlook This Stunningly Effective Tool in Your Business).

When somebody comes to any of my Facebook pages some of the questions that cross their mind will be: “does this man know what he is talking about?”, “what do others think?”

When they see over 6,759 page likes they are reassured.

The same story applies to other pages of mine: Employment Rights Ireland Facebook page has 10,549 page likes today and Family Law Ireland has 4,752.

When anyone lands on any of these individual pages they are not backing away because nobody else likes the page, or because they are doubtful; they are reassured by the large number of other people who like the page.

Video Page Post Engagement

Most of my ads on Facebook are Page Post Engagement ads with a video in the post. Here’s an example about rest breaks in the workplace.

Not the sexiest topic in the world, you’ll have to admit, yet take a look at the statistics:

172 likes, 51 comments, over 40,000 views, 25,351 post engagements for $46.28

And the cost per post engagement? .002 of a $US. That’s two tenths of a cent per post engagement!

The vast majority of my ads, over 95% in fact, are video based ads. The videos are basic, just simple, useful tips for my audience/target market.

facebook-page-post-engagement-cost

And new clients?

I have a “conveyancing/property purchase” campaign running at the moment. It comprises approximately 10 videos dealing with various aspects of buying a house.

My spend is $5 per day, and I have obtained 3 new conveyancing clients in the last 3 weeks. This is a massive return on my spend if you consider that one conveyance will generate a fee of €1,100 to €1,900 plus vat and if you are acting in the sale and purchase, which I will, I will get both the sale of the existing house and the purchase of the new one.

Conclusion

I haven’t even discussed probably the most powerful aspect of advertising on Facebook: the powerful targeting possibilities with all your ads.

Do yourself a favour: don’t make the mistake I made and overlook the power of Facebook advertising. Take the time, though, to learn Facebook advertising.

And be sceptical about commonly accepted wisdom as to what works and doesn’t work with Facebook advertising.

Experiment and test yourself. Think about who your ideal audience is, your perfect customer, start small, scale up.

And don’t be afraid to change your mind and put the power of Facebook to work for your business.

Social Proof-Don’t Overlook This Stunningly Effective Tool for Your Business

social-proof

Holy s**t!

That was my son’s reaction when I showed him the Facebook page.

Do you know the way young people know everything?

The way they are all full of piss and vinegar?

My son’s 19, so anything that would impress him in relation to social media is worth a second look.

And if you are a business owner, or thinking about starting up a business, or you need to sell a product or service this piece about what I showed Paddy will be useful.

Sounds good? Let’s take a look.

Firstly, we need to understand and recognise social proof.

Social Proof

Wikipedia defines social proof as

Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behaviour for a given situation.

If you have teenage kids you will know that when they tell you all their friends are going to the concert, or all their friends have a particular brand of runners, or football boots, or other brand you will have to start reaching for your purse or wallet.

Because your kids won’t want to be left out. They won’t want to be seen as socially gauche, or nerdy, or geeky, or “uncool”.

And you won’t want that either.

Social proof was described as one of the 7 principles of persuasion by Dr. Robert Cialdini in his seminal work, “Influence-The Psychology of Persuasion”. At its most basic Cialdini recognised that we are hugely influenced by what others have bought and approved of.

Another example of social proof at work is when you are invited to a party. There are two sure things:

  1. You don’t want to go if nobody else is going, and
  2. You don’t want to be first.

So, what’s this got to do with the Facebook page I showed Paddy?

Let me explain.

I have this Facebook page about employment law in Ireland. There is quite a lot of useful information, links to articles, videos, employment related stories in the news etc.

When someone lands on the page, and they are researching an employment related problem, one of the first things they will consider is whether I, as the man in the videos and owner of the page, actually knows what I am talking about.

Am I spoofing, or am I an authority, someone who knows their stuff?

On Facebook they will invariably check how many fans the page has.

This is social proof. This is what I showed Paddy.

The number of fans is over 10,000.

This is what prompted the “holy s**t” remark.

Ireland is a small country; employment law is not the sexiest topic in the world. We are not talking about a fan page for Justin Timberlake or Miley Cyrus.

So, 10,000 fans is pretty good; it’s pretty impressive social proof.

Social proof is incredibly powerful. You need it in your business, no matter what you are selling.

Because nobody wants to be first, nobody wants to be the guinea pig, nobody wants to discover that you are completely untested.

You may not have a Facebook page with 10,000+ fans. But you should make it your business not to overlook the power of social proof.

Perhaps start with a testimonials page on your website or blog?

Or on your YouTube channel?

Or on Facebook?

The 3 Most Important Questions for Consultants and Coaches to Ask Clients

coaching-questions

Are you a coach or consultant?

Or maybe you are involved in another role which requires you to spend time helping colleagues or clients.

The easy thing to do, and a common mistake, is to jump in and try to help immediately by giving advice.

Or posing questions which are really pieces of advice masquerading as questions eg have you considered x, y, z?

The bottom line, though, is that in order to help them you need to figure out, and let them recognise, what their problem or issue is.

To do this you need to ask questions.

Not just any old questions.

The questions you ask are absolutely critical.

Have you given much thought to the most effective, useful, powerful questions to ask?

In this piece I am going to share what I consider to be the most effective questions-there are only 3.

The rest is window dressing.

These are the questions I use myself in my law practice when I meet clients or prospects.

I didn’t learn them in law school, though.

I use the exact same questions when I am consulting with small business owners and start ups and entrepreneurs.

You could waste a lot of time asking the wrong questions.

And there is a multitude of questions you could ask.

Questions beginning with who, what, why, how, when, which etc.

The three most important questions begin with the same word.

Let me explain.

Ready?

1st Question is on Facebook

There are three questions you need to ask.

The first you will find on Facebook.

This question has been an integral part of Facebook’s growth into a worldwide phenomenon.

Take a look at the box at the top of your Facebook page, the one that invites you to comment or share something or update your status.

There’s a question in that box to encourage you to do that. It’s the question that Facebook has used, save for one short period, from the early days.

It still uses it today.

The question is: What’s on your mind?

This gives your client the opportunity to open up and tell you what the issue(s) is.

But it’s almost certain that what they tell you will not be the real problem, or if it is a real problem it will not be the only one.

Or the most important.

It’s almost certainly something that concerns them, but may not be the real crux of the matter.

2nd Question-3 Short Words

The second question is designed to deal with this.

The question is: and what else?

This is only a short one, but it’s essential and critical.

Because it will almost certainly get you to the real concern, especially if What’s on your mind has not elicited the real meat of the problem.

The third question is a natural follow on from the other two, because now you know exactly what the real issues are.

Let’s recap.

Question 1: What’s on your mind?

Question 2: And what else?

The third question is what do you want me to do?

Conclusion

Resist the temptation to immediately jump in with advice.

Lean back.

Listen actively.

Ask these 3 questions.

Then you both know exactly what the issues are, and what each of you have to do.

 

Do you need a small business consultant who has actually walked the walk?

Who has built businesses in Ireland since 1986 in a variety of industries?

Who understands and leverages digital marketing, email marketing, social media marketing to continue to build businesses?

If you do, feel free to contact me.

Assignment and Sub-Letting Your Commercial Premises-What You Should Know

commercial-lease-law-ireland

Do you hold a lease on a commercial premises?

Do you want to sub-let it? Or assign (transfer) it to someone else?

You may run into difficulties with your landlord, though.

Let’s take a look at the issues.

Most leases will have a restriction on alienation-assignment or sub-letting- contained in the lease. This is to allow the landlord to protect his investment by ensuring that the quality of his tenant is high.

Because any tenant can ultimately obtain security of tenure in the premises. And if he is a poor tenant and the landlord is forced to enforce the covenants in the lease it is going to cost time, money, inconvenience, and possible diminish the value of the landlord’s property.

However, the landlord will also need to consider how restrictive the alienation clause is, because if it is unduly restrictive it will have an adverse effect on the rent he can achieve. Quite frankly, less tenants will be prepared to take it on if they think that they cannot assign or sub-let it in the future, if necessary.

The tenant will need to consider his business, how restrictive the covenant is, and the premises itself.

Restrictions on Alienation

All commercial leases will contain a restriction on the assignment or sub-letting of the premises without the landlord’s consent, and an absolute prohibition on letting part of the premises.

Put simply, the landlord is entitled to ensure the property is not handed over to an undesirable who will devalue the landlord’s property.

However, the landlord is not entitled to unreasonably withhold his consent to alienation. The question of what is “reasonable” is a thorny one, though.

There is no statutory definition of a reasonable refusal, therefore it is a question of fact and circumstances in each particular case. If a tenant is not happy with the landlord’s decision, he can go to Court to seek a declaration that the consent is being withheld unreasonably and allowing the assignment/sub-letting to go ahead without the consent.

The case of International Drilling Fluids Ltd v Louisville Investments (Uxbridge) Ltd [1986] provides a good summary of the principles to apply in determining whether the landlord’s consent has been unreasonably withheld or not.

Many leases will also contain a pre-emption clause. This gives the landlord first refusal on any assignment.

He may also have the right to match any 3rd party offer.

Break Clauses

Tenants will look for a break clause in the lease. This will allow for circumstances changing in the future.

Generally, the breaks clause would be exercisable at the time of the 1st rent review, but this is entirely a matter for negotiation between the parties at the outset.

Most break clauses will only be exercisable when the tenant has complied with all provisions in the lease.

Assignment of Lease

The existing tenant must ensure appropriate references-trade and bank-are obtained and submitted to the landlord, along with the request for consent to assign.

The existing tenant will also have to be released from his personal guarantee, if he has given one.

The new tenant’s solicitor must make the usual conveyancing enquires about title, planning permission, mortgage on the property, and the usual pre-lease enquiries.

Service charges, and any other annual charges, will have to be apportioned between new and existing tenant.

The landlord, and his solicitor, will be anxious to ensure that the new assignee is as satisfactory as the existing one.

Sub-Letting

The existing tenant will be the landlord for the sub-tenant and he will be granting a sub-lease to the sub-tenant. He will need to get references from the sub-tenant to give to the head landlord, and apply for the head landlord’s consent to the sub-letting.

The sub-tenant, in addition to ensuring the proposed sub-lease is satisfactory, will need to ensure that the head landlord’s consent is given for the sub-letting.

The head landlord’s position is not affected from a legal perspective as he will still have his original tenant on the hook as that tenant will remain contractually liable to the landlord.

Partial Assignment or Sub-Letting

Most modern commercial leases will prohibit partial assignment or sub-letting.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you will see from the above that entering into a lease can be a complex matter which should not be undertaken without professional advice.

Quite frankly, it is easy to sign on the dotted line of a commercial agreement. Especially when you are starting a new business about which you are understandably excited.

But it is foolish to do so when you run the risk of running into costly difficulties later on, and find that you cannot assign or sub-let or you are staring at an eye watering rent increase through the rent review.

Rent Review Clauses in Commercial Leases-What You Should Know

rent-reviews-commercial-lease

Do you occupy a retail, industrial, or office premises?

If you do you will probably have you a commercial lease?

If you have, it will almost certainly provide for a rent review.

And you could be in for a very nasty shock.

Let me explain.

Over the last few years, since the property crash at the end of the Celtic Tiger years, quite a few commercial property owners were just happy to get their commercial premises let.

Any rent is better than an empty commercial unit or office.

Many of the leases granted then were on initially favourable terms for tenants, simply to get them let.

However, many of these leases are coming up to their first rent review, typically 5 years after commencement. The big problem for small business owners is that these rent reviews provide for “market rental value” which is causing a nasty shock, and in some cases unaffordable rents, for small business owners.

Because in some cases they are seeing their rents double, or more.

What is the legal position?

Is there anything you can do about it?

How does a rent review work?

Let’s take a look.

The purpose of a rent review clause is

  1. to protect the value of the landlord’s property
  2. to reflect the changing value of the property during the term of the lease.

What will normally happen is the landlord will serve a notice on the tenant seeking a significnatloy higher rent. Generally, time is not of the essence in relation to the service of notices by either landlord or tenant.

The tenant should then write back indicating his disagreement and asking what is the basis for the figure sought, and how was it arrived at.

Landlord and tenant will then instruct representatives such as valuers/surveyors/auctioneers to engage with the other side and attempt to agree the new rent.

Reviewing the Rent

The rent review clause will normally provide for the rent to be reviewed by an independent expert if the landlord and tenant cannot agree on the new rent. This independent expert will either act as an arbitrator or expert; in practice, the difference is not hugely significant.

Generally, the appointment of the expert will be the prerogative of the landlord if the landlord and tenant cannot agree on who to appoint.

If the landlord fails to make the nomination the tenant may be able to nominate, or the rent review clause may provide for appointment by the President of a professional body such as the Law Society or the professional bodies for Chartered Surveyors or Auctioneers/Valuers.

If there is a delay in agreeing the rent the tenant will be liable for the back-dated rent, plus interest at a “base rate” provided for in the lease.

The basis for reviewing the rent will almost certainly be to “current market rent” or “market rent”.

Up to the passing of the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act, 2009 rent review clauses provided for “upward only” rent changes.

However section 132 outlawed “upward only” rent reviews in leases created after 28th February, 2010.

Therefore, it is possible, albeit unlikely, that the rent can be decreased to reflect market value. This was never the case with leases before the passing of the 2009 Act.

The critical date is 28th February, 2010; leases before this date can have “upward only” rent review clauses. After this date such clauses are of no effect.

Assumptions and Disregards

The basis on which the new rent will be determined will be on the basis of certain assumptions and disregards:

  1. that the premises will be let as a whole
  2. what it would fetch on a free and open market
  3. with vacant possession, that is, as if the premises was being let with full vacant possession as it was at the granting of the lease
  4. for a term of the greater of 15 years or the residue of the lease
  5. on the same terms and conditions as the present lease, including with a rent review clause
  6. that the tenant has fulfilled all his repairing and decorating obligations as provided in the lease, and has fulfilled all covenants in the lease
  7. no work has been carried out on the premises that diminishes its rental value.

Also, the following will be disregarded:

  1. any effect on the rent of the fact that the tenant has been in occupation and disregarding any goodwill he has built up and is attaching to the premises
  2. any effect of improvements or works carried out on the premises by the tenant.

In summary, the lease to be valued at rent review time is a hypothetical lease identical to the existing lease so that the rent will be calculated on the same basis as the existing lease.

Conclusion

Leases can be confusing, technical documents which require careful drafting and interpretation. Mistakes and oversights can be made in drafting them, including in relation to the rent review clause.

If you are facing an eye-watering increase in your rent on foot of a rent review it would probably make sense to have your solicitor take a close look at the lease.

6 Steps to Achieve Extreme Productivity and Overcome the Limitations of Your To Do List

increase productivity

Procrastination.

Inaction.

It happens all of us, at one time or another.

You have so much to do that you don’t know where to start, or what to do next.

Do you use a “to do” list in an effort to organise yourself and ensure some productivity?

A “to do” list is a help, but isn’t enough.

It’s a blunt instrument because it doesn’t take into account two vital factors:

  1. the importance or priority of a specific task on your list, and
  2. the timing or urgency of the task.

I have recently begun to use a method of productivity which reduces stress and procrastination, helps me prioritize the tasks to be executed, and ensures that I am extracting the maximum return from my time.

I will explain exactly how I do it.

Sounds good?

How to Become Seriously Productive

  1. List everything you do

The first thing you need is a piece of paper or a spreadsheet. then, list everything you do in your job or business on a  regular basis. This is a list of all the tasks you need to carry out routinely on a daily or weekly basis.

This list should also all the things you would like to do, if you were not in a regular state of firefighting.

    2. Time frames

Secondly, you need to divide this list into 3 time periods:

  1. career/business aims (5+ years)
  2. objectives (3-24 months)
  3. targets (<1 week); Targets are “action steps”, things you will do routinely on a weekly basis.

Then, check that each of your objectives has one or two associated targets, that is, a step to advance that objective.

If you have an objective that does not have a target you need to think about the next step you can take to advance your objective, and add this to your list of targets.

Next, you need to put aside your career goals and turn your attention on your objectives and targets.

    3.  Rank your objectives

The third step in this process is to rank your objectives in terms of importance. But before you do that you need to think about your objectives being in three categories:

  • what you want to do (supply)
  • what you are good at (supply)
  • what the world needs from you (demand).

Broadly, you should rank your objectives in accordance with the list above, by giving a higher ranking to those things you want to do and are good at-the supply side-but you will need to be mindful of your obligations to your employer or business (the demand side).

You, therefore, need to exercise smart judgment in how high or low you rank your objectives. This is a tough exercise requiring qualitative judgment, but an exercise that is well worth doing if you want to be more productive and stress less about your massive to do list.

Because it will ensure you have great clarity in relation to your objectives and you will be matching your time spent on tasks in proportion to the importance of the objective it advances, rather than reacting to less important things.

Once you have thought about your objectives rank this list in order of importance from 10 to 1, with 10 being the most important one.

These objectives can be reviewed on an annual basis.

      4. Rank your targets

The fourth step is to rank your targets, that is, the action steps you will take on a daily/weekly basis. First, though, you need to recognise that there are two categories of targets:

  1. enabling targets-these advance your objectives
  2. assigned targets-these must be done, for example filing tax returns or putting out the bin.

Then list your enabling targets and rank them in order of importance with 10 being the most important down to 1, the least important.

This ranking will be based on how important the associated objective is and how well the target advances the objective.

Assigned targets are generally low priority, and you should not be expending too much time on them, and delegate where you can.

      5. See how you actually spend your time

The fifth step is to see how you actually spend your time at the moment.

Questions you should be looking at are what are the 3 things you mostly spend your time on and how many hours each week do you spend filling out reports, responding to emails etc.

Now compare the time you spend with your ranked list of targets and objectives.

    6. Allocate your time based on your priorities

The sixth and final step is to allocate your time based on your priorities, and to fix the mismatch identified when you look at the time your are currently spending on tasks.

Essentially you are going to spend your time in proportion to the importance of the task and objective.

The McKinsey consulting firm has found that the vast majority of professionals only spend 50% of their time on the most important priorities. The mismatch between time spent on the most important priority items and other stuff arises because of the failure to allocate time properly after properly identifying objectives and targets.

What they spend a lot of time doing is reacting to crises.

You won’t have that problem, though, if you follow the steps we have discussed above.

To assist with your time allocation you need to make a list of your objectives and tasks in order of priority. This should be a dynamic list, though, which you review every week to allow for new objectives, projects, and tasks.

You may also drop less important tasks or delegate them, if that is possible.

In a nutshell this method of extreme productivity focuses on prioritising your tasks and objectives and allocating the time you spend at work in order of priority of those tasks and objectives.

Remember a task is what you do on a daily or weekly basis, and it should advance an objective. If it does not, then you should consider why you are doing it or get someone else to do it (delegate).

The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online-Kindle and Paperback

The Art of Marketing Your Services Business Online-ex amazon

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Paperback