What’s a Niffler, you ask?
Well, if you’ve read Happy Potter and the Goblet of Fire, you might remember that a Niffler is a critter that hunts treasure. Once it finds one treasure, it moves on quickly in search of the next prize.
Do you do the same thing in your business? Meaning, are you a constant gatherer of the things that you think will move your business ahead, but not so much the implementer of them? Do you get distracted by anything and everything that’s new in your industry? Do you come up with one great idea after another, but you never fully commit to completing one of them?
Yes? I hate to break it to you, but there’s probably a bit of Niffler in you! You could also call it distractiblity-disorder or failure-to-follow-through or fear-of-success/failure, or focus-challenged… but personally, I like having a bit of Niffler in me. It means I’m still passionate about what I’m doing, I’m still excited about learning new things, and I’m still interested in what’s happening in my industry, which lends to my ultimate success.
But what can happen is that all those ideas and thoughts and half-completed projects don’t move my business forward. For example, when I started my own business over 10 years ago, there was about half the business-building technology and tools available that there are now. And it’s so easy to want to jump on the cutting-edge bandwagon. But at some point, if I didn’t focus on actually completing things, I’d still be spinning my wheels instead of driving in the fast lane.
So, how do you tame the Niffler in you?
The strategy that has worked the best for me (not 100% of the time, but close enough) has been to keep an Idea Journal. Whenever I have a new idea or thought about something I want to do related to my business, I just jot it down in my Idea Journal. Then I go back to working on my current project that I am commit to completing. I know my ideas are saved there for me so I won’t forget them, and eventually I do go back and refer to what I’ve written and choose some to work on.
What this also does, besides helping me to maintain my focus, is it stops me from wasting time on ideas that ultimately don’t fit into my business. Many ideas end up almost self-selecting themselves out by virtue of time. So by keeping my focus on the ultimate treasure, I don’t get side-tracked by fool’s gold… 🙂
If you think you have a little Niffler in you, try this idea and enjoy a dramatic increase in your own productivity!
At my annual Online Business Breakthrough Workshop, we’ll focus specifically on creating your detailed plan that will show you exactly what to focus on during each step of your business building so you stay on track to move much more easily from where you are to where you want to be.
You can get your ticket right now for the lowest price available here.
I love to know how this resonates with you – share your thoughts with me below…
My good friend Marney Makridakis (truly, she was the first person to meet my daughter after she was born in 2005) has written an incredible mind-shifting and life-altering book – and I’m honor to share an excerpt of it here with you…
Try this: Imagine who you would be if you didn’t worry about time. How might your life be different? I surveyed fifty-two people, and the results revealed that 90 percent felt “somewhat anxious” to “significantly anxious” about time. What’s even more startling is that these results don’t even seem all that surprising. Anxiety about time is very much a part of most of our lives. Think back to a time when you greeted a casual acquaintance and asked how he was, and he said, “Great! Things are fantastic!” It can be almost jarring when someone responds so positively. Somehow we’re more conditioned to expect to hear people complain that they are tired, or sigh that they are busy.
It’s helpful to dig deeply to figure out what is at the root of our problems with time. Why do we overschedule ourselves? Why do we want to be so busy? Why are we so consumed with time? Why does it seem so “normal” to worry about time so much? Why is it easier to be caught up in a drama about time than it is to be released from it?
In short, what is the payoff for worrying about time?
When I examine this question myself, I can recognize that the more I complain about time, the more I block my ability to accept and express love and connection. Violette Clark shared, “I suppose not having enough time, or the illusion of believing this, makes us feel important. I also realize it keeps me safe. There have been a lot of dreams that I’ve accomplished, including publishing a book, but there have been a lot of balls that I’ve dropped, too, in the name of ‘not having enough time.’ Putting myself out there more fully means more potential for rejection. Sometimes not ‘going for my dreams’ is safer.”
Similarly, artist Peggy Lynn boldly admitted that time complaints are related to ego: “The ‘I’m too busy’ implication does stroke the ego: ‘Oh, look at me — busy, busy, busy!’” A workshop participant shared that her worries about time give her an excuse and an outside source for not following her dreams. She said, “I’ve never been someone who likes to blame, but now I suddenly realize that I’ve actually been blaming time. I don’t have enough time, and so that’s why I don’t go after this dream, or that’s why I haven’t tried this or followed up on that. Then it’s not my fault. This was a big discovery for me!”
Here are some examples of payoffs that people might receive from worrying or complaining about time.
➢ Time is a good catchall: if I can complain about being busy, then I don’t have to look at other areas in my life.
➢ Worrying about time gives me something to talk about with other people.
➢ Worrying about time is a convenient excuse for not following my dreams.
➢ My schedule is wrapped up with my self-esteem. Being “too busy” means that I’m successful.
➢ I don’t plan things that I might enjoy because it is too scary — it just feels safer to be bored.
Do any other payoffs come to mind? Which ones resonate as possibly being true for you? For further reflection, refer to the questions in the sidebar “Exploring Your Time Anxiety.”
Once we can identify the payoffs that we get from worrying about time, we can see them for what they are: illusions that keep us from living our true potential. Simply being aware of what we are getting from our time worries allows us to make a different choice. Choice is one of the nine ARTbundance Principles, which are building blocks to self-awareness. Making new choices is one of the best ways we can explore new layers of freedom with time. Dana Sebastian-Duncan, a trainee in the ACT program, put it nicely: “When I really think of the Principle of Choice as it relates to time, it reminds me that I have the freedom to create my life and my own ‘reality.’ My daily choices add up to my life, and that is empowering.”
Buy your copy here: http://tinyurl.com/marneysbook
Watch the trailer here: http://www.bit.ly/creatingtimetrailer
Marney K. Makridakis is the author of Creating Time. She founded the Artella online community for creators of all kinds and the print magazine Artella. A popular speaker and workshop leader, she created the ARTbundance approach of self-discovery through art. She lives in Dallas, Texas. Visit her online at http://www.artellaland.com.
Excerpted from the book Creating Time: Using Creativity to Reinvent the Clock and Reclaim Your Life ©2012 by Marney Makridakis. Published with permission of New World Library http://www.newworldlibrary.com
While the message and the market of your business may be different, there are some stumbling blocks that seem to pop up for even the seasoned entrepreneur.
Here are four of the ones that I frequently coached on with my private clients:
1. Not moving ahead even when they know what to do.
Almost always, this is a fear-based immobility. Whether it’s fear of failure or fear of success (the later seems more prevalent for entrepreneurs, including myself). We come up with all kinds of excuses as to why something isn’t getting done, but most often it has nothing to do with anything other than fear of the possible result of moving forward.
If you’re afraid of failing, remember that in our online world, we get to test things out with very little risk. My favorite strategy is to ‘fail fast’. Put it out there, see what happens, tweak until you get the result you want.
If you’re afraid of success, then you need to take a look at your Big Money Why (BMW – see #4) to see how you can make it more powerful and motivating (tip: money is never enough of a motivator, believe it or not). And you need to put in place a process for how you will handle the abundance that’s too come.
2. Being self-disciplined enough to make and stick to self-imposed deadlines.
The wonderful thing about being an entrepreneur is that you’re your own boss. The tricky thing about that is most, if not all, of our deadlines are self-imposed. Which makes them very easy to move, doesn’t it? I know because I’ve struggled with this one more than once.
If we go back to knowing what your emotionally driven motivator is for the success you desire, you’ll be more likely to stick to those self-imposed deadlines – but only if that BMW is strong enough.
Here’s a simple but very powerful tip for you in sticking to your own deadlines: Make them public. When I launched my first info-product, I told my ezine list that they would be able to buy it on a certain date, which gave me about 3 weeks to get it done. And done it was.
3. Claiming leadership status and fully stepping into the role of the CEO of your business.
Once an entrepreneur gets the foundational pieces in place for their business, it’s actually easy to stay in the start-up phase, because it’s comfortable. And because often they don’t know what the next step is, what the next layer of the business should look like, to take them to the next level.
The sooner they can take on the leadership role, by becoming the CEO of their business (even if they don’t call themselves that), the faster the growth of both the entrepreneur and the business.
One of the ways you can step more fully into that role is by delegating. So if you’ve been in business for a couple of years and you’re still doing too much of the managing of it, and especially if you’re doing all the admin work, and you haven’t hired an assistant yet, it’s time. Start with one small project and add from there,
For every task in your business, ask yourself, “Is this something I should be doing?”
Because remember, even if you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
If the answer is no, then pass it off to a capable assistant.
4. Having an emotionally driven motivator for your Big Money Why (BMW).
This is probably the most important one…
Money is NOT enough of a motivator, no matter how much you want it, or are attached to the ’6-Figure’ or “million-dollar’ mark. There has to be a reason behind wanting it, something that is so strong that it drives you and the business forward, no matter what.
If you find things aren’t moving as quickly as you’d like, or it feels too hard much of the time, or you just aren’t using your time and talent effectively, take a look at your Big Money Why. And if you haven’t done this before, then that’s your coaching homework.
In as much detail as possible, write out why you want the financial success you do. Is it to give to your family, is it to give to others, is it to create a charitable foundation, is it to take care of elderly parents, is it to enable your children to get the best education you can give them, is it to travel and expand your world view, is it to buy a nicer home for your family, is it to give experiences to those you love – they are a thousand reasons why, but you need to be very clear of what they are for YOU before you can make them happen.