Self investment from here on out should be focused on finding and using the best tools and techniques to build a network of enthusiastic followers. A crucial part of self investment during a down economy is to start recognizing that you have to change the way you think about your business. You will need to expand what you do best…thinking creatively about not only your art but also your direction.
Think about how many negative messages you are getting about the current economy and think about, and notice the effect, they have on you by using the techniques I described regarding ANTS. When we are pummeled constantly with negative messages, those messages take an emotional toll on us. Notice your feelings (not your stories) when you think of the future relative to a down economy. Some of those feelings may be: feeling scattered or randomly moving from one thing to another and not getting anything done ,anxiety, insecurity about the future and what to do, self doubt about your abilities or feeling unsuccessful, or fear of moving in any direction, of failure. All of these feelings breed and trigger scarcity and scarcity leads us to being stuck. Now the funny thing about worrying about the future is unless you are psychic you never really know what is going to show up next.
The first thing to realize is that what is going on outside of you has very little to do with your success and you can control how it affects you by changing your beliefs. It is our nature to become identified with external factors, accepting as given the effects those factors have on us, in essences, we become victims and we start feeling stuck and worried. In a down economy we very often revert to what we think is safe, we become risk averse returning to old ways of living. We choose to cling to the sinking ship blinded by our ANTS because we know it, it feels safer than the cold unknown waters. Instead we should be looking for lifeboats that will help us get away from the maelstrom of the sinking ship and finding a route to safety by using our innate ingenuity, and intuition.
Your # 1 intention should be to self invest by owning your future, breaking away from your fear and anxiety and start using your creative resources to find the best lifeboat with the best passengers. These passengers should not be survivors they should be adventurers willing to navigate whatever barrier surfaces in order to find the best route to land. They will also be motivated by a particular twist … their success will help keep other ships from sinking.
Lifeboats in a turbulent sea
Your lifeboat in the coming year should be equipped with the right gear to help you not only survive but also sustain you after you make landfall.That gear should also help you support those in your boat because they depend on your skill and knowledge. And the tools should also reinforce communications of all in the boat by amplifying your skills. The tools in the gear bag should help you feed and inspire your companions by unifying them into working toward a common goal ensuring that the lifeboat and all its passengers make landfall. In addition your tools should help you find and connect with other lifeboats so that you can have greater strength in numbers along with their relevant knowledge .
The primary form your lifeboat will take will be in the form of a blog because it will be your base of operations and primary beacon. You can use it to help those afloat on the sinking ship’s debris find you. In addition, you will need listening posts or buoys set up to send you information about the state of the sea ahead.
Now leaving the Titanic metaphor behind and remembering that the hub of your activities is your blog let’s look at two very important tools to have in your gear bag. One important thing about choosing tools is to choose only those that will help you and at the same time reduce the amount of time you need to use them… Remember the 80/20 rule.
Here are some that will help you right away.
- By using a variety of tools you can now segment your followers into geographic groups or whatever way you want.
- You can also send private tweets to only that group using Tweetgroup.
- Use twitter in connection with your blog to send your followers to special blog posts like discussion of what you will be bringing to a show or a special event at a show.
- Connect your blog to twitter so your posts will be sent out automatically.
- Facebook is the easiest and best way to start building communities, it is easy to set up and can be an excellent way of finding networks spread out geographically. And no you don’t need to have 5k friends, in fact it is best to be very selective using the tools built into Facebook.
- An e-mail list is important because not everybody is up to speed with using the internet. You should also have a way of segmenting your list geographically so you can send messages to key members.
- When your list starts getting large you will need an auto-responder that will automatically send messages to your members.
- For those who don’t do e-mail you may want to call and let them know you will be in their area. Skype is web based telephony which you can use for pennies, you can also have conference calls with several of your members.
You can start building your network easily by using the tools above, we will talk about strategies and tactics for using each one as well as other tools we will talk about later.
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