Last month I didn’t write a Bright Sparks list – I shared this secret instead. Considering the huge impact it had on my business and life I figured it was a suitable alternative.
So, what’s on my Bright Sparks list this month? 3 servings of inspiration, reality checks and tools for smooth running business processes. YUM. Dig in…
1. Hello, sexy new plaything!
Without it I’d be lost, invisible and boring.
Over the years I’ve carefully cultivated a personal library of amazing resources using Google Reader. Inside is a secret stash of my favourite websites and blogs that I pour over weekly, and I share the best finds with my social media gang on Twitter and Facebook.
Google Reader saves me HOURS each week. Yes it’s ugly but it’s supremely functional and quickly became one of my essential marketing tools.
Then Google decided to shut it down and I was heartbroken. *sniff*
Enter Feedly – my sexy new plaything! Google Reader beautified – great features, easy to use, and (at the time of writing this) free – so jump in quick before they change their mind!
Plus, there’s the smartphone apps and social media integrations (tweet your articles while inside Feedly), and if you’re like me and a Google Reader user, you can switch your account over painlessly in seconds. Seriously LOVE.
Grab your account here and have a play: Feedly
2. Whose celebration is this anyway?
If you were lucky enough to browse my Feedly, (you can but you’d have to pay me) you would see Chris Brogan’s blog feed filed neatly in ‘Shareables’.
(By the way, his Sunday morning email updates – just like his blogs – are inspired and full of wisdom – well worth taking the time to ponder over your morning cuppa).
One day in April when I was feeling less than great I read his post ‘Do You Invest In Yourself?’. At the time I was exhausted and spent – I’d over extended myself: working too late, worrying too much. And, as I read I realised that I was in that place because I hadn’t put my own mask on first…
When you fly, the safety briefing points out that we must secure our own masks first. What they mean is simple: you can’t really help anyone else unless you get yourself squared away so that you won’t pass out in the middle of trying to be helpful. Covey would call this “sharpening the saw.” And sometimes we get this. Other times, we think of ourselves as selfish. But is an investment in ourselves really selfish?
It prompted me to examine where I can ‘trim expenses’ – the stuff I do that has no value (hours watching The Real Housewives of New York City, anyone?), and to be more mindful of where I spend my time and energy by not getting caught up in other people’s rituals. That leaves more time for me to gorge on developing my growth – the precious things that will serve me, and those around me. Yum.
- Bed by 11.00pm
- Green juice daily
- Run at least 3 x a week
- Read or study every day
- Digital detox 1 x a week
- Daily gratitudes
- Ask for help when I need it, not after the shit’s happened
Read Chris’ post here and come back to tell me what’s on your list.
3. Be grateful and change your life
You probably know that practicing gratitude has been scientifically proven to improve alertness, optimism, energy and all sorts of other good stuff. (If not you should try it. Stick it out for 3 weeks solid and I defy you not to feel different).
Guess what? I use an app that makes this daily practice digitally fun + easy (naturally!). Download the free Gratitude 365 app from the App Store and take a few minutes each day to list what you’re grateful for. It will make small shifts in your mindset that have a big impact. Amazing…
Oh, and you can take an accompanying snap, download your gratitudes and even share them on your social networks to spread the feel good factor. Just watch the TMI…
Download the Gratitude365app
What about you?
What are you loving that’s making an impact in your business right now? Please share your resources in the comments below…I’d love to check them out!
Are your competitors following you on Twitter and signing up for your free stuff and email updates?
Initially, this can feel like a line has been crossed.
I get loads of questions about how to deal with this – especially asking how to block competitors (or anyone weird and unsavoury) from following on Twitter.
It’s understandable. When we put SO much effort into our businesses we don’t want anyone swooping in and taking our ideas and secrets.
Of course, you CAN block people from following you on Twitter, but wouldn’t that time and energy be better spent concentrating forward on forging relationships with people you DO wanna know?
I think so.
(If you really want to block someone – click on the ‘man’ icon next to their name on their profile or from your Followers list and click on the option to block that user)
So, instead, you could take this interest from rivals as a compliment. If they’re finding your content useful that must mean it’s great stuff, right?
It’s a very useful yard stick to indicate that you’re on the right track.
I’m always looking for ways to improve my own knowledge and skills – often this comes from ‘competitor’ blogs and newsletters. I bet you do too, so is there really room for getting upset when it happens to you?
I also get a healthy number of social media marketers and trainers signing up to Dig.it.all, and that’s fine with me. Why?
Because there’s always an opportunity for collaboration.
I’ve found that working alongside someone in the same field provides a fun learning experience and great business for us both. We all have different strengths and ideas to bring to the table, plus collaborating is an amazing way to get seen by more people interested in my stuff.
It’s sharing sound, reliable knowledge.
When you’re confident in the work you do and brilliance you share – you want to reach and help as many people as possible, and if that means it being shared through others who can add their own experiences too, it’s ALL good.
When this happens to you
- Don’t get angry, be happy!
- Check them out right back – you might learn something
- Be aware – it’s one thing being an inspiration to another, but plagiarism is NOT cool. Don’t let this happen to you
- Give yourself a gold star – you’re on the right track!