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Cross It Off – How to Win More in Business Without Feeling Overwhelmed

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Earlier this morning I was at the gym and talking to my trainer about his recent success and feeling overwhelmed with his first info-product… after a month or so of growth he now has a massive list of products that he’s planning to create, about a dozen marketing techniques he’s planning on testing, and multiple business partnerships he’s planning on forming…

I congratulated him on his success but then gave him my advice on how to keep winning and growing without going crazy!

I recorded this podcast on my way home to share my thoughts because I think this message is relevant for everyone in the eCommerce Lifestyle community.


eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast Show Notes: Cross it Off

Links to this episode:

Table of Contents

Don’t Get Depressed Feeling Overwhelmed

What’s up, everybody? Anton Kraly here again, and welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle podcast from ecommercelifestyle.com. Today, I have another episode coming to you from the car, but today I am not driving into the office. I’m actually driving home right now from an early morning gym session. I’ve been going to the gym with a personal trainer for, I guess, the past few months now. I’m doing four days a week before work, and I’ve been trying just basically to get in shape for summer. I got a lot of stuff coming up and it’s cool.

I’ve been doing a mixture of heavyweights with boxing, and if anyone hasn’t got into boxing … I’m just starting out. I’m 33 years old, and I got to say I love it. I’m not planning on fighting anybody, but it’s an awesome workout and it really does get your arms and shoulders and just the whole upper body shredded and it feels really good, and it’s also a fun skill to learn. Not what this podcast is about, but if anyone is looking for something to do cardio and get a good workout in that’s not boring, I would definitely recommend trying to find a trainer or a gym that has a boxing coach or boxing classes and try it out. It’s a lot of fun. Goes by fast and it’s a good workout.

But with that being said, the reason I wanted to make this episode right now on my drive home is because my trainer, who I’ve become kind of buddies with, he’s super fit guy, obviously, and he’s creating info products. It’s still eCommerce, not our traditional type of physical product businesses, but he’s already created his first one and he’s been selling it through his social followings that he has on Instagram, on Facebook, on YouTube.

His first product did well. He did a launch for it, got a bunch of sales, and now I was talking to him about kind of what he’s planning on doing because he knows I’m a marketing guy. He knows I’m an e-commerce guy, and he was sharing all these things that him and his business partner have planned and I was just like … And it’s just two of them. It’s him and his business partner that are running this business, which is fine, but I was like, “So when are you planning on doing all this stuff?” When I say this stuff, I mean things like having new courses come out, incorporating things like diet plans, incorporating a physical product store onto their website. Just this huge list of things that, yeah, in an ideal world would all make sense.

If you were doing them all, I’m sure they would … You’d make more money and it would help the business. But I kind of was going through with him what I think is realistic and kind of the framework that I use when we are looking at all of our options out there to kind of make sure we’re spending our time on the right thing and not getting depressed or feeling overwhelmed when we’re not getting everything done. This is the thing that every single entrepreneur will go through and it’s totally normal.

Don’t Set Yourself up For Failures

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I wanted to share kind of my thoughts on this with you because, again, this is totally normal to feel this way, and if you feel stuck or if you feel like you never get anything done, this might be the reason why. Usually, when people talk about shiny object syndrome … that’s a tongue twister for me, shiny object syndrome … and they’re marketers, they’re usually referring to people always wanting to hop on a new business model or try something new. But with me and with you, I’m assuming you’re already there in the sense that you have a business that’s running, that’s profitable, that’s making money.

For us, shiny object syndrome refers to, oh, wow, I saw this blog post on how someone is using Facebook lead ads and I’m not doing that yet; or, wow, I saw this YouTube video on how I can use YouTube TrueView ads or YouTube bumper ads and capture all this new market share that I’m not doing yet; or, wow, I’m selling product XYZ. I really want to add product ABC to my site. The list goes on and on and on, because as business owners, as entrepreneurs, we’re always looking for ways to do better, to improve, to make more money, to make our stores more profitable. And when that happens, we obviously get marketed to, just like we market to people, and we start to build these to-do lists.

Again, it could be try this new Facebook ad type, run these YouTube ads, contact the supplier, add this product, private label this, sell on Amazon, whatever it is, and before you know it, it doesn’t take long. Maybe even within a few days you could be staring down at a piece of paper that has things that would honestly take a team of maybe 10 people 12 months to accomplish, but somehow you have this list. You created it for yourself or maybe for you and your small team, and somehow you think that you’re going to get it all done, and the issue is you’re not. Okay? What we do when we, not overachieve, that’s the wrong word, when we create something like this, when we want to do too much, what we’re really doing is setting ourselves up to fail even though it’s impossible to succeed.

I’ll say that again. When we make these lists, when we see all these things that we want to do, when we, for some reason, think we can get them done, all we’re doing is setting ourselves up to start feeling overwhelmed and giving ourselves no chance at success and that’s a quick way to honestly go into a depression and think you’re a failure as a business owner and think you’re always behind, when the truth is you’re not. It’s just impossible to do what you want to do with the talent and maybe funds you have in front of you in the timeframe you want to get it done.

The whole point of this and what I was explaining to my trainer and kind of what I have to re-teach myself seems like every few months or so, is that it’s okay to not get everything done, and you always want to put yourself in a position where you’re going to succeed. Just like you, probably, when I see new ideas, when there’s new things I want to do, I do write them down, I add them to a list. But the way I do it is I don’t have it somewhere that’s right in front of my face all the time. I literally have a folder in my Google Drive and the folder is just ideas, and that idea list has all those things that I hear about, that maybe someone tells me at a mastermind, again, that I read a blog post about, whatever it is and that just has this huge list of things that, yeah, they’re cool and maybe one day I’ll do.

Why Weekly To Do Lists are Better Than a Long List

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Now the lists that I actually look at on a day-to-day basis, the list that my team and I together look at and work off of on a day-to-day basis has about three things on it maximum. Not the hundred ideas. It has about three things that we know 100%, without a shadow of a doubt that we can accomplish without feeling overwhelmed. Why do we do that? Well, first of all, so we can actually get things done, and second of all, so we feel good about ourselves, so we’re succeeding, because if I took that whole list … I really want you to think about this because you might be doing this to yourself. If I took that whole list, that one Google sheet I have and I shared it with the whole team and I said, “All right, guys, here’s our objectives. Let’s get to it,” and it was a list of 50 things that, again, are impossible to accomplish within any shorter given timeframe, we’re all, everyone’s going to freak out and be like, “First of all, what’s wrong with Anton? Why does he think we can get this all done? Second of all, how are we going to work together? Who’s going to do what? What should we tackle first?”

What I do again and what I think is a good framework for my trainer, like I recommended to him, and what I think is a great framework for you is you always have that list hidden somewhere in your Google Drive of everything you want to get done and what you do on a weekly basis. This is what we do. Every Monday I personally pick three things from that list that I know we can accomplish within a week. Those three things go onto a new list, which is our weekly list, the three things for the week, and on Monday we have a team meeting first thing in the morning. We go through those three things with the team. Everyone discusses what we actually have to do individually to everyone to contribute to getting them done, and then we get to work. Then on Thursday, we review where we’re at with progress on those three things. If anyone’s stuck or feeling overwhelmed, they say where they need help. If anyone wants to share anything that, whatever they got stuck with that they can contribute, they share it then. By Friday, we accomplish those three things.

Now, obviously, I hope you can see where I’m going with this, but what that does is make things actually possible. It makes progress actually happen. It sets us up for success more than anything and it makes us reach our goals, and guess what? Eventually, that huge list that I have that people don’t look at every day-to-day, eventually all the most important things are going to be crossed off. They are going to be accomplished. It’s because they’re not in your day-to-day list.

If you’re listening to this right now and maybe you’re looking down at a pen and paper or maybe you have your notebook somewhere with all your ideas, that’s what I want you to do. You have my permission. All these things that you think are going to totally revolutionize your business that you’ve written down, go ahead and cross them all off. If you need to keep them somewhere, put them in a file, but cross them all off of the list you look at every day because it’s seriously going to make you feel bad about yourself when you think, why am I not getting this stuff done? If you want to build on that, I could share more on our framework for meetings and for productivity in the future, but if you really want to get stuff done, choose three things that you know you can accomplish in a given week. Have them on your list on Monday, review them on Thursday. Have them done by Friday.

That’s kind of it, guys. That’s what I wanted to share in today’s message. If you have any comments or if you want me to talk about productivity and, again, how we choose maybe which tasks we focus on, go to ecommercelifestyle.com. Again, just spelled out, no weird hyphens or anything, just ecommercelifestyle.com. Click on the tab in the menu that says Episodes and then look for this episode and just leave a comment. Let me know if you enjoyed it, if you want to hear more about how we do this, if you want any of our frameworks, and I’d be more than happy to share them with you.

All right, guys, so that’s it. I’m back at my apartment and I’m sitting in my parking garage right now screaming at my phone like a weirdo. I’m going to go upstairs before anyone sees me down here. I hope everyone has a good day, gets a lot done, and I will talk to you all, guys, in the next episode of eCommerce Lifestyle. Thank you, everybody.

  • Mv says:

    Small lists with specific tasks is the way to go. Thanks for the useful information.

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