“A business will die from indigestion of good ideas, rather than a starvation of good ideas.”
When it comes to marketing, there is no shortage of good ideas, strategies, or opportunities.
There is so much noise about all of these amazing strategies you need to try, all of the platforms that you must be on, how often you need to post, and so on, and I’ve seen so many entrepreneurs kill their businesses trying to do it all.
I want to challenge you to stop worrying about all of your “to-do” lists, and start working on creating your STOP doing lists.
It’s just as important to say NO to any ideas that do not move the needle forward for your business as it is to say YES to the ones that will.
In today’s episode of the Not For Lazy Marketer’s Podcast, I’m sharing why it is critical that you start creating your stop doing list so you can focus on a few core initiatives that you put your maximum effort into.
Trust me, you will see so much more growth and better results if you can find the power to say NO.
Create your stop doing list and share it with me on Instagram (@emilyhirsh)!
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Hello, everybody. Happy week, happy April. April is a busy month in our house. Two of my kids, two out of three, have birthdays and they’re only two days apart, and then my husband’s birthday is in April. So three out of five of us have birthdays in April, and so it’s a very busy month with celebration, but I love April. It’s gorgeous in Austin in April. The spring is probably one of the best seasons in Austin. It’s so beautiful outside, perfect weather, but you know the summer’s coming. And for anybody who follows me knows how much I hate summer in Austin, Texas, and I leave. So this year we are going to Colorado and California for probably six total weeks, six to eight weeks, out of the summer because I cannot stand the heat here. So I am looking forward to, and not looking forward to that.
I am pumped for today’s episode. I think you guys are going to love this one. So I recently finished the book Good to Great by Jim Collins, rated it like a three out of five. It was pretty good. Maybe I rated it a four out of five on my Goodreads account, but it was pretty good. I don’t think there was anything earth shattering that I got taken away from that book, and one thing that bothered me about the book was that he just did a bunch of research and doesn’t actually have true business experience, so that kind of bothered me because I like the books where they have done it and they have worked in the company and either built the business or they are in the Silicon Valley company and they have the operations experience, whatever it is. And he just did a bunch of research, which you’re obviously always limited and flawed with research, but I think the concepts were good concepts.
One of the biggest takeaways that I had actually was not his original idea in the book, but he covered it really well, which was how important it is to stop doing things, certain things, and to also say no to things, say no to opportunities, and to really focus only on opportunities or initiatives or projects or different things you’re doing that follow your core business goals, and then just as important with that is the things that you say no to.
I talk about this a lot in my podcast, in my content, which is the importance of focus, but one of the quotes that he said, it was not his, I think it came from somebody who either found it or it was high up in Hewlett Packard was that, “Businesses are more likely to die of indigestion of too many great ideas than starvation of not enough great ideas.” And I love that because it just definitely illustrates the fact that there is not a shortage of good ideas.
This is true in marketing, this is true in business. There is not a shortage in good ideas. The businesses that survive and grow and thrive are the ones who are able to actually focus on only a few good ideas or one good idea and tune everything else out. And I talk about this all the time with marketing because there is so much noise out there. You should do this funnel, you should try this software, you should try this new strategy, don’t forget about this new Facebook update. It’s endless, the amount of you need to be doing this or you’re going to be left behind messages that are put out there in the marketing world.
I’m very passionate about tuning that out and how that has helped my own growth and happiness and overall ability as a leader to turn off all the noise because there’s so much noise out there. So I don’t have social media on my phone. I don’t really go on social media. I scheduled time where I don’t have my phone frequently throughout the day. I’m kind of obsessed with this. But with that, I think there’s another level of this, which is consciously saying what are the things you’re going to stop doing?
So one thing that he says in this book that I liked is making sure you have a stop doing list. And just like we all make to-do lists and we make projects and goals that we’re going to go and do in our company, or we’re going to do with our marketing or to grow our company or to improve our delivery, whatever it is, we all have so many to-do lists and projects and goals, but it’s not as often that we sit down and we say, “What are the things I’m going to actually stop doing? What are the initiatives I’m going to actually stop doing so that I can focus more attention on what I should be doing?”
Because the reality is no matter what, no matter what you put energy or money into, it’s taking away from something else, whether that you don’t even realize what it’s taking away from, and this is why I talk about not having four funnels that you try and spread your budget across and your energy and effort across because it’s hard enough to get one single funnel converting and profitable. And if you’re trying to get four at the same time, converting unprofitable, you almost never will be successful.
So I really like this concept and I’m going to start implementing it in part of our planning. So when you sit down to plan a goal, let’s say it’s your monthly goals, or you’re going to plan your next week, you should be considering and putting effort towards also not only what am I going to do, but what am I going to stop doing? And so let’s … Because this is a marketing podcast, let’s talk about this with marketing and how this could look, and I think this is very, very valuable and could really help a lot of you guys because we often don’t look at things we should stop doing.
So when you’re planning your marketing goals, I want you guys to think about where all your resources are going. Where are you spending your time? Where are you spending your money? Where are you spending your team’s energy, your business resources? What are all the efforts that you’re doing to try and generate traffic, to try and generate leads and sales? And almost write all those down. Some might be habitual, you’re doing it every single day. Some might be planned projects you’re working on, future projects you’re working on. Some might be that you’ve outsourced to a team what you’re doing.
I think what you’ll find is there’s a lot of things that have pieces of what you’re doing. I’m doing some organic marketing. I’m posting three times a week. I’m engaging in Facebook groups X amount of time. I’m running Facebook ads, I hired a contractor to help me with this. And you might find all these things kind of jumbled together and just get clear on everything you are doing to try and increase your traffic, increase your leads, and increase your sales.
Once you do that, go through each one and ask yourself, “Is this actually moving the needle? Is this actually pushing my one big goal, my main offer, my main product?” Whatever it is. And honestly, you have to be clear on that for this to work, but one thing that Jim Collins talks about in the book is what he calls the hedgehog concept, but basically it means do you have your one big goal, that everything you’re doing is pushing towards that one big goal. And I absolutely believe companies need that focus. And so when you lay out all of the different marketing initiatives you’re doing, different places you’re putting your resources, go through each one and ask yourself is it working? Is it moving us towards that one big goal or is it potentially taking away resources, either time or money, that we could be putting somewhere else and possibly get more results out of?
So for example, maybe you’re trying to master multiple platforms. Maybe you are posting on YouTube and Instagram and Facebook, and then you’re also running ads and you’re trying all these different things. The question is, one, are you measuring the results of those? And then two, which ones are actually getting you traffic and sales and leads for a reasonable cost or a reasonable amount of time? Because you can put all your time into something and it’s free, but spending 10 hours a week on it.
A great example of this is Clubhouse. Okay, yes, for some people it’s going to bring you more leads, it’s going to bring you more traffic to your business, but what is the time it’s going to cost you? I have a friend who, love her, she’s one of my best friends, and she loves Clubhouse so much. And I just saw her a month ago and she was telling me all the relationships she’s built on Clubhouse and how much traffic she’s got, and I’m like, “How much time do you spend on Clubhouse?” 15 to 20 hours a week she spends on Clubhouse, which if it’s worth it for her, that’s awesome, and she’s at a stage in her business where her time, she needs to put her time into that because she’s launched a new startup and it’s worth it for her, she’s evaluated it, it’s worth it for her.
For me, no way would I spend that much time on an app. 100% you could not pay me a million dollars to do that because my time is worth way more than that to me right now where I’m at and I also don’t enjoy it. So you can say, “Oh well, that’s free, I’m not paying for that marketing effort.” But you need to evaluate your time because everything you put your time into is taking away from something else. So I encourage you guys to evaluate first everything you are doing, because you might be putting resources into something that you don’t even fully realize, or you’re doing it because you’ve been doing it forever, and that’s why you’re doing it.
I mean, how many times do we have things like that in our business where it’s like we didn’t even think to change that because we’ve been doing it like that for two years? Look at everything you’re doing and then ask yourself in addition to creating lists and to-do lists and projects and goals around what you’re going to do, what you’re doing in the future, what are you going to stop doing? What are you going to let go of? What marketing efforts or budgets that you’re putting out or resources or contractors you’ve hired to help you, or your time or platforms or tools, what are you going to stop doing? What are you going to actually clear out and remove from your business and their goals?
And I think this will be a very … At least it was for me when I started thinking like this, a very empowering exercise. It feels like a relief when you actually make the commitment and say … For example, for me, I made the commitment and I said, “I am not doing Clubhouse. Hard stop. Yes, it might get me leads. Yes, it might get me traffic. And yes, it might get me sales. I don’t care. I’m not doing it because my resources are better spent in other places that will get me even more traffic, even more sales.”
And so that concept of a business will suffer and die from that indigestion of great ideas, of great opportunities, and instead of starving from good ones. There is no lack of good opportunities. You can go out there and find so many different ways that you can generate traffic and leads and sales in your business, but at the end of the day, you have to do a couple of initiatives really well to really succeed. And if you can’t do that, and you’re just trying to find the next thing or test out this strategy or you get bored so you ping pong across all these different things, you will ultimately really suffer from this and you will experience that you’re just like on a hamster wheel. You’re constantly trying to get something going and get results from it and you’re not getting anywhere, and that’s what it feels like when you’re doing too many things.
So my encouragement with this podcast is that inspiration from that book of do you have a stop doing list, and specifically with marketing, can you consciously turn off the noise, turn off the ideas, there is no shortage of ideas, and put your attention into two or three different initiatives max. And definitely into one funnel, unless you’ve made over a million dollars, one funnel, one offer, but maybe it’s two or three different initiatives. That also depends on, do you have a team or not? If it’s just you, you’re not going to have time for more than a couple of initiatives that you go and execute to try and bring in traffic and leads and sales. And if you can do that 110% and put your effort into it, you will see so much more results than trying to be on every app and post on social media every day and run Facebook ads and run Google ads and make all the funnels and write the emails.
I see so many business owners who think they’re the exception to this, who think I can do it all, I can make that many funnels, I can keep up on social media, I can make all the videos, I can make all the content, and they never succeed. I don’t want that to happen to you guys. So make your stop doing list, commit consciously to what you are doing. This also means how and who you’re receiving information from. You do not need to go listen to ten podcasts a week and watch webinars and read books and all the things. You need to execute. There’s not a lack of good information and good ideas. Everything you need is probably already right in front of you to create the success that you want to create. So make that stop doing list, evaluate everything with such a critical eye, and make sure you’re not putting any time or energy or company resources into something that’s not moving the main needle in your business. If you can do this, you will grow your business in the next 30 days more than you have in the last year.
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