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When I was growing up, we had two pianos in my home. As the son of two musicians (one of whom was a Grammy award nominee,) it seemed only fitting.
But here’s the thing – The two pianos? They were rarely in tune. Every five or so years, a piano tuner would come to the house and tune up the pianos. God, they sounded AMAZING after he left.
But in a year or so, they started to drop out of tune. Five years in? It was like trying to play a symphony on a rusty refrigerator. Eventually, the piano tuner would come again, and all would be right. But it always took until the end of time for my parents to call him.
My parents, the musicians, the music educators, never had a tuned piano in the house.
I was the Shoemaker’s kid. You know the story. The shoemaker was so busy making and fixing shoes for his customers, that his kids went barefoot, because he never had time to make shoes for them.
That crap just doesn’t work when you’re spending your life perfecting your hustle. You simply HAVE to take care of yourself and your business first. If you don’t, it doesn’t matter your dreams, they won’t come through to reality. The worst part is, we’re so busy fixing the problems of our clients, that ours get worse, and they actually prevent us from making money. Who would want to hire a piano player they heard play on an out-of-tune piano? Or, to put it another way, who would want to hire you if you don’t project excellence in all facets, whether it be your site, your communication, or heck, even how you look
The Greeks said it best: If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anybody else.
So. Five ways to take care of you first.
5) Become your client. We all know what we do for clients. We create SOPs, schedules, assign account numbers, bill time, etc. Do that for yourself! Schedule 90 minutes a day to client YOU, and make a schedule of the things you need to do for yourself each day. Work on your mailing list. Find time to make good content worth sharing. Include things like “update site,” “blog,” “reach out to clients to say hi,” etc. Make that time about improving your business. If you don’t do that, you can’t grow.
4) Get feedback. Who’s going to tell you you’re doing something wrong, or point out the glaring errors you simply don’t see because you’re too close? Not your employees. You need peer feedback. Best way to get that? Join a Mastermind. Either mine, or one that works for you. But join one. You need to get out of your own head.
3) Take stock of your working conditions. Whether you’re working by yourself in your kitchen, or you run an office of 40 people, you need to make sure you’re working the best you can. Years ago, when I moved from the couch to a desk, my productivity took a massive upswing. It was a major boost. Turns out, the couch was too conducive to sleeping. No room Try a Varidesk – You can work from anywhere as you stand – healthy as anything.
2) Take care of you personally. Take a class. Learn something new. Learn how to code your own site, or even edit your images so they don’t look like you shot them on an iPhone that was doped up on meth.
1) Observe what’s going on outside your routine life. What’s going on in the industry? In other industries? What can you learn from what’s going on in another industry entirely? What can you learn from browsing TMZ for a change? It’s doing something different on occasion that keeps you sharp all the time.
What else can you do to stop being a Shoemaker’s kid? Let me hear in the comments.
We’re discussing this and more next week at the ShankMinds Atlanta Mastermind, being held at MSL on Peachtree NE. Come join us!