How not to fail…

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So, we’ve talked about focus. That’s an easy concept to grasp but a difficult mechanic to apply. Just how do you focus?

If I’ve learned one thing about delivery; be that content, information products, software or major IT projects, it’s this: plan. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

A good way to remember useful information is to use a mnemonic. See if you can forget this one: Posh Spice Eats Raw Carrots (PSERC). That’s one of those brain worms that doesn’t let go! SO let’s break it down and see how it can be of use to you in your internet marketing business.

P is for Planning

Planning is a key part of your project as we’ve mentioned above. The best way to go about planning is to build yourself a list of tasks. How to do this? Use a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). In fact PSERC is a work breakdown of sorts and will give you a headstart on building your task list. You can be as formal as you like in this recording and if you’ve got access to MS Project or similar (try Project Libre for a freebie tool) then you’re off to a great start. Detail is the key here. Set out your major tasks and then break them down into smaller steps with timeline and effort associated. It’s helpful to know if you’ve got one task that you can complete in small chunks over a number of days or another you need to get done early. Mapping your dependencies here also helps greatly. Can you start Task 2 whilst Task 1 is still open? Getting your thoughts down in this way allows you to review and re-plan when needed. This is critical when you are in full on project mode so you don’t forget stuff. Equally important is being able to rejig your plan if something unexpected happens. Plan, people. Plan! :)

S is for Specification

This part very much depends on what you’re trying to deliver.

  • Is it a blog? Write down your topics to be covered over a period of time. Add research time. Add writing time. Add revision time. Plan ;)
  • Is it an information product? Write down your goal, break down the content, write the Table of Contents
  • Are you testing something? Write down your test specs. What will you test and how? What are your expected outcomes? What precursors do you need?
  • Is it a piece of software? Write the requirements down. Plan for design of the user interface, functional specs. Your developer (if it isn’t you) will thank you greatly.

E is for Execution

This is the engine room. This is where you “do stuff”. Your plan comes to life, you start to achieve your goals and ambitions! Ok, so it’s hard work but this is where you apply all of the things you planned out. Write some articles, write some chapters, build some code, test some funnels and conversions. Doing the “doing” bit.

R is for Recording

Recording your progress and results is key. Finished a task? Mark it complete. The simple joy of crossing things off your to do list, completing tasks in your plan is that you will get to see evidence of your progress. There is nothing better than seeing proof that you are actually making progress. Procrastination is usually fed by a feeling of helplessness or, let’s be honest, laziness. If you’ve planned properly you’ve tackled the first bit. Giving yourself a kick to get the work done and then marking it complete will help with the second. You’ll find you get more energy and drive from completing tasks and get that one step closer to your goal.

C is for Completion

Completion activities can sometimes be overlooked. So it is best to allow some time in your task list and plan for wrap up activities. Consider having a “Lessons Learned” session. What went well? What failed miserably? What would you do differently next time? Need to thank some people? Do it. need to count your cash? Do that too. Wrapping up your project gives you the satisfaction of learning from your experience. You reinforce the good stuff and you can shed the bad stuff. It’s cathartic, trust me :)

All sound like too much work? Well, it IS work. Don’t be fooled into thinking internet marketing is simply “push button riches”. It’s a job. Treat it like one and you’ll succeed. Treat it like a game and you’ll be stuck on the roadside with the rest grabbing at the next shiny object hoping it makes you rich.

Still sound like too much work? Hire a project manager. Outsourcing stuff you’re not really great at will become second nature to you when you start building your business. And Outsouring will be the subject of another post!

Got any thoughts on this post? Please share below, I love hearing from you! :)

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