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I don’t like spicy food and that’s not very Asian. In fact, I went to a Thai restaurant where I requested spice level zero. That elicited a, “You Asian and you no like spice??!” response. Thing is, there is another trait that I am working on that might be considered un-Asian as well — the idea that you have to work hard in order to deserve success and abundance in your life. I’ve learned some great things from my immigrant parents, but their example of overwork is not one that I’d like to continue.
Growing up, if I wasn’t studying or practicing the piano, I was wasting time. Don’t get me wrong, I did play outside, loved crafts and of course watched Get Smart and I Love Lucy, but my mom called it all, “junk.” I was expected to perform to what I felt was basically perfection. To get there, I had to work hard (at least it had to look like it). The only time I got approval was when I worked tirelessly something. You can read the article I wrote for Entrepreneur.com about the movie, “Crazy Rich Asians” here.
Unfortunately I brought that same work hard mindset into coaching. Now I want you to hear this first — I’m not knocking excellence. I believe in putting your best foot forward. I also believe in done is better than perfect and if you wait until you have more credentials, more experience, more time in, or you feel good enough, you’ll never get to where you want to go. Which means now I’m on a mission to simplify my life and make it easier. I’m sure you’ve heard of the, “work smarter,” adage. So far I’ve managed to figure a few things out about freeing up my time, being more efficient and still putting things out that are at a level of excellence.
1. Focus on ONE Thing
When you focus on one thing, it’s easy to know what to do every day. My main product is my Easy Writer Guaranteed Amazon Best Seller program. I have other programs as well and it seems I like to add products every year. But this is habit is ending for me. I know if I launch Easy Writer twice a year and run it live, I can hit most of my income goals. So much so that the rest of the products or programs I sell would be a bonus.
I’ve been shown time and time again that the best marketing gets you known for ONE THING. I get tagged in other groups when people ask about book coaches. I want to make sure when people see my name, it’s synonymous with my program. That’s also why I decided to name the title of my last book “Easy Writer” as well. Brand consistency!
Focusing on one thing also helps to uncomplicate the scheduling of promotions. I used to have promotions overlapping each other, creating a nightmare for my social media content. Do yourself a favor and talk about one main thing.
2. Automate Your Processes
I’m pretty proud to be lazy in this way. If I can figure out how to get something to run on it’s own, I do it. I don’t want to manually schedule appointments with people. I don’t want to take their credit card number. Nor do I want to manually send them a welcome email when they sign up for my coaching. What time wasters!
I’d rather just get a notification in my inbox that someone has booked a call or purchased a product. I’m telling you — getting emails like this while you’re on vacation or in a conference is one of the best feelings.
3. Pre-Plan Your Schedule
I’m definitely a planner. I don’t like to fiddle-faddle around each day wondering what to do. Always have a purpose that you’re aiming for whether it’s monthly income goals or filling a program by a certain date. I used to take discovery calls every hour of any day and it drove me crazy! Then I deleted the option to chat on the weekends. Next I eliminated evening calls and now I only take calls on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the day.
I theme out my weeks and months. The first part of the month, I’m scheduling and putting out my promotional content. The middle part of the month is about creating my blog and my YouTube content that can be scheduled to go live on certain dates. Then the end of the month is when I edit those videos and upload the teasers.
Weekly, Mondays are the days I ease into the week. I have my live group coaching calls for my Easy Writer program on Mondays because I can be fresh without any other discovery or coaching calls on my mind for the day. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are for my discovery call appointments and private coaching clients. Fridays are for anything I need to catch up on or just fun stuff for work.
If you noticed above, I didn’t mention Thursdays. That’s because I take Thursdays off. I also am done with Fridays by 1:00 pm EST so I can go pick up my youngest son from school and do something fun with him in the afternoon. Usually we go bowling, shopping, to the movies or out to eat. Knowing that I’m spending the afternoon with my son gives me the motivation to get my stuff done earlier in the day so I can be fully present with him.
Don’t forget to also plan family vacation time too. As a child, we rarely took vacations. When I got married, I bought a timeshare because I thought it would force us to go somewhere at least once a year. And it worked! Yearly we take a trip for Spring Break and sometimes elsewhere for a long weekend in the summer. What I’d really love is a 10-14 day European trip every other year too.
5. Stop Feeling Guilty that it’s Easy
Given my upbringing, it’s been hard to celebrate when something comes too easily. I think it’s probably not just an Asian thing though. Society puts the hardworking mom or dad up on a pedestal because of all the sacrifices they’ve made. But what if you didn’t need to make all those sacrifices? What if you really could have your cake and eat it too? Because I believe you can. This idea that we have to work ourselves into burnout, stress or an illness is just not good. Being a martyr doesn’t help either. Besides, studies have shown that you aren’t productive for more than three hours a day.
So I say, go for the easy route. Figure out how to do everything efficiently and with excellence. And don’t feel guilty. You totally can hit your success targets without burning the midnight oil, trust me.
What are your thoughts on hard work? Takeaways from this article? Comment below!
Vickie Gould is a book coach, content marketing strategist, best selling author, and speaker. She believes that everyone has a story to share and a journey orchestrated for their positive growth — and that those experiences should be written in a best selling book.
Vickie helps entrepreneurs to share their stories, self-publish and leverage their own business books, grow their following, create more impact and turn readers into clients through her Easy Writer Program, one-on-one coaching and her free Facebook Group, Write Your Biz Book.
Get her cheatsheet called 5 Secret Strategies to Write Your Book Quickly at: bit.ly/5secretstrategies.