If you can love the process, you’ll stick with it.
If you stick with it, you’ll get enough practice to succeed.
The process I recommend is The 7 Disciplines of Authentic Business.
By learning to enjoy the disciplines, you’ll find more creativity and fulfillment as you work on your business.
In this blog post I’ll help you turn the 7 disciplines into the 7 joys!
The first discipline, Joyful Productivity, is by its nature about finding a deeper joy in every moment of work, no matter what it is you are doing.
Right now as I’m writing this blog post to you, I’m looking at a completely blank screen underneath this very sentence. I could get intimidated, anxious, concerned that I won’t be able to say something smart or interesting enough to keep your attention.
Or, I could return to a gratitude of being alive… the incredible opportunity and privilege of being able to explore and share my thoughts with people all around the world, and what a miracle it is that the internet allows this!
That is the essence of joyful productivity. No matter if I am writing, or doing basic admin work, or meeting with a client, there is always the opportunity, in each moment, to connect with a deeper purpose and joy in the action in front of me.
Remembering that deeper purpose allows me to enjoy everything. Let’s see how this applies to the other disciplines.
Consistent Content Creation
The biggest myth about creating content is that it is a marketing activity, done as a means to an end: getting clients or sales.
The deeper truth that has been tasted by those of us who create consistently, is that consistent content is really about exercising our creativity. We learn to find the feeling of flow that emerges in the act of creativity.
In the process of creating, I can pay attention to the anxiety and fear and thereby amplify it… or alternatively, I can give my energy to the joy of deepening my understanding of myself, and at the same time, the honor of contributing something that may help you.
The challenge is that it takes initial effort, almost every time we create, to work through the discomfort of not knowing. “Will I have enough to say? Will I sound smart? Will I keep their attention? Will this be a failure? Did I even choose the right topic?!” These questions are going through my head at this very moment, and everytime I make any content.
But I’m still here. I’m still writing because I know that by continuing to create in this very hour, I will eventually find a flow. And it is the most joyous feeling to experience that flow of creating. Sometimes it takes 10 minutes, sometimes 30 minutes, but by continuing to create, the flow appears.
Paid Content Distribution
Imaging being able to pay an affordable fee and have your message shown to the type of people you want to reach, anywhere in the world... never before has it been this easy, especially if you use Facebook Ads.
For every ad with which you distribute your content, look at it as a cause, an opportunity to positively impact someone. When you see it that way, it is truly a joy to be making a difference everyday that you have an ad running. It is doing good even when you’re not working.
“If you reach out with an open heart there is nothing to be afraid of.” -- Charo Pinilla, one of the students in my Authentic JV Course.
Seek out collaborations for the possibilities of expanding your ideas. Conversations with potential collaborators will delight and surprise you, and show you more clearly what exactly is most valuable for you to provide to the world.
As you reach out, imagine the other person receiving an appreciative and welcoming email like yours. Whether they say yes to the collaboration or not, you will be uplifting their day by simply sending a thoughtful message in their inbox.
Do you realize that every one of your audience members (whether it’s FB fans, Youtube subscribers, or email subscribers) is somebody who has found benefit or uplift in your content?
When you make efforts to understand them, whether by 1-1 conversations or by online surveys, you are expanding your heart towards what they care about. You’re becoming clearer about their hopes, fears, and dreams.
It is a joy to connect with audience members so that you can serve them better.
I see authentic marketing as a sacred process of a business exploring its calling. The most practical act that demonstrates this is when you invite your audience to your offering: “Here is my product/service… might you be interested?”
It is a humble process, and one that I hope you’ll undertake with curiosity, wonder, and a sense of humor. Get into a rhythm of offers, so that your audience can continually give you feedback by their act of buying or not buying -- both situations are actually valuable feedback.
Everytime you make an offer, you are dancing with your audience, better understanding their wants. Practice finding wonder and joy in that dance!
Client / Customer Feedback
My students and clients know that I’m obsessive about getting feedback, because I am always curious to know how I can improve my content and offerings to better serve them.
Let your clients and audience know frequently how open you are to feedback. Learn to enjoy receiving their suggestions (and as well, their praise!) and your business will keep improving.
With a practice of mindful working, these 7 disciplines become the 7 continuous joys of authentic business! The more you do this, the more your daily work becomes play and enjoyment itself.
Success will naturally follow!
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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