We (app developers and Entrepreneurs) live all around the world, but here in Columbus Ohio where I live, we have 4 seasons. We are approaching the official first day of spring on Monday March 20th, but I am starting this week. Fortunately, I am not cleaning the house…no..I’m cleaning something else.
When the weather starts to get warm and I can go on as many long bike rides and runs as I want without winter gear…I get more productive. My days are frequently planned around the weather and I like that.
So because spring marks a great time to clean out your house, car and closet..I think it also marks a great time to clean up your business.
Below I will highlight 5 things I am doing to set myself up for a great year
1.) Remove unnecessary expenses.
It’s easy to have a huge bundle of services that you have acquired for specific projects and never canceled them. Here is a screen shot of some of the ones I have and will be canceling. Sure…some are $7-10 a month, but it adds up. You can go down through your paypal and credit card charges to identify what is being charged.
2.) Do a project inventory.
It’s easy to keep doing the same things over an over without really measuring if it’s worth your time. Don’t forget to ask hard questions like:
- Is the project making me a profit in either $ or in an education?
- Is this project exciting?
- Is this project leading to something bigger?
- Is this project a reflection of my great work?
- Is there something I’ve been putting off that could be a better fit?
3.) Relationship inventory
This may seem odd to you, but let me explain.
- In your personal life is there a friend or companion that is taking away from your general well being? Are they draining you and not supportive of your lifestyle and projects?
- In your work life do you have an issue with a programmer, developer, graphic designer, advertiser, partner or any other person that you work with? Because projects move fast and everyone is busy, it’s easy to put up with someone that is no longer a good fit. Not to mention that to find any of the above examples isn’t easy or quick (most of the time). I get it. I recently started the search for more options on graphic design and it drives me nuts sometimes. Although after enough mini projects and communication I was able to find some options. Now I can remove a thorn in the operation and replace with someone great.
4.) Skills inventory.
Are you still trying to design an icon even though you suck at design? Are you still trying to figure out common errors in Xcode? Are you still trying to have a custom project created that has too many holes in it instead of just buying a template that will get you 90% there?
This is a funny one for me because I’m stubborn on stubborn, BUT the older I get the more I realize how much of a relief it is to get great people to do what they are great at. I can focus on my part and they can focus on theirs. Sure, we all have enough knowledge to help us get by in a pinch, but normally it’s quicker and cheaper to have someone do the parts of a project you dread. Recently I had a project that had a simple error in Xcode because of a programming change, and instead of spending 3-4 hours in Xcode into the night, I just had someone that knows exactly what is going on fix it in 5 min. The younger me would have stayed up late. The current me was already asleep with the issue fixed in the time it took me to brush my teeth and get ready for bed.
5.) Goal Check
So if you did what a lot of people did and made a ton of crazy goals in January, but didn’t follow through on some of them did you figure out why? I mean, I did the same thing. Some of those goals I’m on track with and some I’m not even close. The main things I think are important to look at when you abandon a goal would be:
- Was your “why” clearly defined? If you really didn’t have a clear reason to reach this goal then it’s pretty easy to quit and say you didn’t need it.
- Were their consequences for not hitting that goal? If there was nothing at stake then how the hell can you expect to keep things going when it gets tough?
Will power can be strong, but on long days when nothing goes your way, it’s easy to quit or make up an excuse on why you can’t get it done. For these days having your “why” and the consequence / penalty set in place can keep you going.
I’m not pretending I don’t fail all the time. I do. I’m writing this to myself too.
When I think back on the craziest physical things I have accomplished in the last 10 years they are never done on a whim with no prep. I don’t mean spur of the moment stuff. I mean the kind of things you need to train for. Examples.
- Running my first marathon (26.2 miles) 10 months after breaking my left foot.
- Running a 4:56 mile on a treadmill
- Trying a fight for air stair climb (ascend 40 floors as quick as possible) *Took 5:56 my first time
- Cycling my first century ride (100 miles) with an average speed of 18.5 mph
Every one of these things seemed crazy when I decided to do them. That’s part of the thrill, but deciding to do something is just like a new years resolution / goal. It’s a thought. The execution of doing crazy things usually requires a lot of work no one will ever see. Call it whatever your want…prep work, training or trial runs, mini failures..etc.
I ran that marathon after breaking my foot because I consistently trained. When I decided to run that marathon the longest run I’d ever ran was 5 miles years before. To me a long run was 3 miles. It’s the same with all the others. When training for that first century ride I was out in August hot temperatures doing 40,50,75 mile rides trying to stay hydrated enough so I wouldn’t cramp up all over my body. No one saw that. No one saw the time I pushed it too far when I had a runny nose and not enough hydration early on in the cycling season and ended up on the floor for 2 hours after. I cramped up in my legs trying to get out of a chair and then had to slowly “fall” down. Each time I tried to get up (even with help) a different part of my body cramped: Legs, arms, chest, neck. I had to have my fiancée bring me up lots of fluids and salt to try and get back to neutral. Two hours later I scooted to the stairs and used them to help me get up. The ride that caused this was only 15 miles when was 60 degrees out.
That day I learned the limitations in certain circumstances and it hasn’t happened since…even when I ride 50+ miles hard (20+ avg mph) in 90 deg weather.
So when you set goals and fail, think if you had a clear:
- “Why am I doing this?”
- “What will it take to actually accomplish it? Plan
- “What happens if fail? Plan
Break it down. Numbers, hours, dollars, miles…etc.
When I train for a marathon I don’t just go on a few long runs and call it done. I set a schedule of specific daily runs that equal a target weekly mileage. Over time, that shifts to more and more miles until right before the race.
So with business. If you want to make a certain amount.
First ask why.
Then ask how you can actually make it happen
Then figure out what to do if you fail.
More importantly, what does failure mean?
I wouldn’t call one failed training session a fail. That’s training and learning. I would call a fail as quitting the training if I wanted to run the race.
What spring cleaning category was your favorite?
Email me: Support@moneyfromapps.com