Shiny Nonsense

September 8, 2021

Bright, shiny nonsense washes over your world on a daily basis.

Every day we wade through a blinding glare of misinformation, nutty ideas, lazy delusions and irrelevant data.

It’s like we’ve put on a pair of those fun house glasses – the ones that distort the shape and size of everything — to keep us from seeing what really is.

The few meager morsels of focus-driving insights and ideas that are actually useful, stimulating and success-oriented get pretty hard to see in that out-of-focus picture.

What moves you forward versus what simply keeps you busy?

The root of the problem is simple: we don’t know where we are going.  We haven’t identified what the end point looks like.

And you know the wise, old Chinese proverb…

If you don’t know where you are going, it’s hard to know how to get there.

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t get in a car to drive to… say… Powell River, British Columbia without mapping out your route.  And I bet your GPS would be on or the map would be by your side to make sure you are tracking on the route you chose.

Yet, we see this lack of planned direction everyday with small businesses in every industry.

That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news.  You can change this today, and it’s not hard.

When you have the will to decide your destination, and then develop the enhanced ability to ferret out the very few nuggets of insight critical to reaching that destination—only the things that are mandatory, that must happen to reach that goal—the clouds part, the bright, shiny nonsense dulls, the fun house glasses come off.  Your path to the destination becomes very clear.

Two very simple actions will bring you this clearer-than-clear clarity, and in less than 45 minutes.

First, decide and write down your ONE, big, MEASURABLE goal for the rest of this year.  Note the words in CAPS.  There’s only one goal, not several.  You can’t drive your car to two places at the same time.  And the goal must be measurable.  If you can’t measure it, how do you know when you’ve arrived, or how far you must still go or if you’re off course?

I was working with someone the other day and she was super-clear on her goal: a certain number of appointments every month.  I asked her where she was against this month’s appointment goal.  She said, “We don’t check until the end of the month.”

Say what?

You can’t address fix this month’s shortfall at the end of the month.  When you know your measurable goal, check it against your present location all the time.  Just like driving to Powell River.

The second thing to do during this 45-minute assignment is to identify the very few things (no more than four or five) that are critical to reaching your goal.  Critical.  Mandatory.  Must happen.  Not nice to do or the thing that arrives next through email.  Those few things are so critical they will be markers for you all year.

Two very simple, fast assignments that will stop the glare of nonsense that sucks up your valuable, limited time.

Take off the funny glasses.  You’ll love what you see when you finally see it.

Go forth and do great things,

Martha Hanlon and Chris Williams