One Sure Fire Way to Accomplish More in 2016

As we bring 2015 to a close and stand ready to welcome 2016 with open arms, I want to share one small tip that can help you achieve more next year. 

Don't wait until the calendar changes to start working on your goals.

Get a head start on them now.

The momentum you build these next few days before we turn the page on a new year can propel you into achieving more than you ever thought you could.

We often over estimate what we can accomplish in the short term, but rarely do we realize fully what we can achieve over the long term. 

Go into the new year energized and excited to tackle all you hope to accomplish. And while your at it give yourself a head start while you can.

I started attacking my 2016 reading list this past weekend and have been over joyed to have already completed my first book on the list.

What are your big goals for 2016 and who said you had to wait until then to start working on them? 

Client Meetings

Regardless of your current profession meeting with people is one of the most important aspects of your success. Over the years you will share countless meals with people you are looking to influence and build healthy relationships with. Changing how you approach these situations can transform your results as well as your business. Today I discuss how you can run meetings that do far more than generate business. 

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1. Take It Offline

The first step in building relationships and taking your game to the next level is to get personal. There is only so much you can do over the phone or email, at a certain point you need to meet face to face. When it comes time for that, pick up the phone or shoot them an email offering to treat them to coffee or a meal. Pick a place closer to them than to you. Begin developing the habit of putting their needs above you own, it will be invaluable.  

2. Personally Connect

The very best meetings are those where you connect on a personal level. Make your time together about them. Spend over 95% of your time asking good questions about the them and their story. It communicates that you genuinely care about them, are looking for common ground and value relationships over business. Connections are built on common ground. You will find that the better you become at connecting with people, the richer your life will be and the faster your business will grow.     

 3. Explain Your Process & Set Expectations

When you do broach the topic of business, use it to as an opportunity to establish expectations. Frustrations are born from unmet expectations. Everyone carries certain expectations with them through life. Sadly, these aren't always communicated and it reaks all kinds of havoc both personally and professionally. Why not use your client meeting to establish expectations for your future clients? Use it as a chance to share your process, answer their questions and roll back the curtain on your operation.  

 4. Follow Up

 As you may have heard, the money is in the follow up. The best habit you can develop is to follow through on the commitments you make durring the meeting. If you tell them you will send them an email containing certain information, send it to them. It does you no good to nail the meeting and then fail to follow through. One common way to follow up is to send a recap of your time together as well as any other information you discuss immediately following your meeting. This establishes trust and sets us up for a successful relationship. 

Clients meetings are often some of your biggest opportunities. Respect their time by doing them well. You just might find that some of your best meetings yield not only some of your best clients but some of your best friends in the process. 

Developing a "Stop Doing" List

Most lead lives full of activity and lacking discipline. "To do" lists are overwhelming and ever growing. They are filled with wasteful activities, "we just have to do", that drain us of energy, steal our time and keep us from chasing truly great opportunities. 

Enter the idea of the "Stop Doing" list. 

A "stop doing" list in its most basic form is a list of the things that you and / or your team are going to stop doing.  

The solution to your crazy schedule and consequently a crazy task list isn't just another list but the process of evaluating exactly what you are doing each day. A "stop doing" list helps you take a cold hard look at what you are doing and literally stop doing those things that are not the most fruitful for you and your team.  

Like much of life, the power is in the process. 

How do you determine which activities are worth doing? Putting together a "stop doing" list begins by taking a hard look at your task list and asking yourself a series of questions.

1. What is the purpose of this task? It is always helpful to begin with the end in mind. To ask yourself the five year old's favorite question, why? Why is this item even on your "to do" list? What was it's origional purpose? Why are you doing each particular task? Purpose matters especially when it comes to the tasks that cosume your time. If the ultimate purpose of a task isn't worth the time, energy and resources it consumes ditch it. 

2. What outcomes does this task produce? Every task you perform produces an outcome. What is the result of doing each item on your list? What fuit does it produce? Make note of the outcomes your work produces. If what you are doing isn't producing good results that are helping you achieve your goals, it is probably something wasting your time.    

3. If I did not already do this, would I do it? Thinking about starting over often helps provide clarity. There are any number of things you do each day that were once great and needed items but whose time has passed. Honestly evaluate each and every item as if it were a new idea even if you've been doing it for years. Just because its the way things have always been done isn't a good enough reason to keep something on your to do list. You have too much going on for wasteful tasks born of tradition.  

4. Does it fall in my area of strength? Focus on what you do best. A stop doing list allows you to focus on your strengths. Stop doing things you're not best equipped to do. Chances are that even if the task is worth doing, someone else around you might be better suited to perform it.