I’ve always been a bit of a power house when it comes to #GSD (getting stuff done) but last year I stopped running (well shuffling was a more apt description) and it had a significant impact on just about every part of my life. I stopped feeling quite so good about my business (and myself), I put on over a stone and a half in weight (so now my clothes didn’t fit me) and my productivity took a nose dive. I was fed up and didn’t seem to know how to get out of this funk. And I know I’m not alone when I talk about this because I’ve met quite a few members of the EC (entrepreneur Circle) who totally understand what I’m saying. Something needed to change, and it was in my hands to do something about it.
Having given myself a good talking to, I made a couple of small changes to my life this year. Whilst each is quite minor, together they have had a profound impact on where I am and what I am achieving. You’ll have to bear with me on the story – it might not appear business related BUT trust me it is.
The first change is after years of running, cycling and other body-damaging activity, I’ve finally found YOGA! After just a few weeks I’ve been sleeping better, feeling better, I’ve got better posture and I’m 3cm taller – that’s really important when you are only 5’2” to start off with. But the real impact has been on my energy and productivity. I get up and go to a Yoga class at 6.30 am about 4 times a week. And anyone who knows me would never have put money on me seeing 5 o’clock twice in one day! By the time I get home, get showered and ready for work it’s about 8.15 am. Coffee in hand I am energised and in a “get to it” mood. As a result, I’ve been achieving more before 11.30 than I usually achieve in a whole working day! Now I am not for one moment saying that unless you start YOGA, you aren’t productive – but it’s definitely working for me. To be honest a quick walk to get the paper would probably do it for some people.
The second change is that after quite a few years of barely being in touch with my sister – she doesn’t DO social media or email, and still has a Nokia 6310 which she uses for mainly playing snake! – we’ve got into the regular habit of hand-writing letters to each other! It all started with a 50th birthday card so I think this milestone probably reminded us that life is precious!! My sister Sharron and I have always been complete opposites. I’m a shorty barely covering 5’, she’s just shy of 6’, she was always the outgoing one with loads of friends whereas I was always head in a book studying, I travelled and changed job like Elizabeth Taylor changed husbands, she’s been in the same job for nearly 30 years. But letter writing was always something we shared a love of.
In one of the letters I was promoting my new YOGA habit with all the enthusiasm of a new convert –I did go on a bit! Now usually it takes a couple of weeks to get a reply but this time I got one by return. You see, whilst she was pleased to hear that I was practicing GOYA (Getting Off Your Arse) she had found something equally as satisfying for her new hobby of SOYA!! (Sitting On Your Arse) fulfilling the life-long commitment to us being opposites!!
It did get me thinking though that when I had, earlier in the year, practiced quite a bit of SOYA, the impact on my business was noticeable in almost every area:
Less interaction with potential clients lead to fewer conversations
This lead to less money coming in
And left me with a smaller, slower pipeline of potential clients
Resulting in a bit of panic and the need to do MORE work to build up momentum when I needed to generate more income.
One of the common success habits of many great leaders is to start the day with a bit of exercise. I hadn’t really appreciated that this would make such a difference to me personally. But finally getting into GOYA mode is literally transforming my business AND more importantly the way I feel about the business and myself.
I now have time for handwriting letters, something I had avoided for years with the excuse of “I don’t have the time”, almost completely losing touch with my sister as a result. So apart from re-igniting my sibling relationships, the other main benefit of getting used to writing to another human being is in the language that I use. It’s one of the things you can sometimes forget when you can just whizz off a snappy auto-text message. The result – better copy in my marketing material! I’m really engaging with my potential clients in a way that makes me much more human – and they are engaging with me A WHOLE LOT MORE!!
GOYA has also meant I’m actively engaging in more networking, more meetings and building positive relationships with potential clients and partners who are referring me to more work. MY engagement with clients has significantly improved – which gives them better outcomes so they are really happy. It’s improved my productivity in ways I could never have predicted – because I have new energy, I’ve had new and more creative ideas and become much more confident in my pitch to potential clients. I’ve finally hired someone to help run my business AND am launching my first Business Accelerator Programme (after over a year of procrastinating!), with my new online training products launching before Winter. Good for me, great for my clients, partners and prospects.
Suddenly life seems a lot easier!
So if you are practicing a lot of SOYA at the moment – just give GOYA a go and see what difference it makes, not just to your business but to your life!
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