The Illusion of Productivity

What does spinning your wheels and practicing the illusion of productivity look like? What does it mean for your business?

I have had a lot of personal practice in the art of not moving forward. Sometimes we don’t know what to do, or what we need to do is so overwhelming that we stick to the things that are familiar – even when we know they don’t work! Even more often, I believe we are so deeply afraid of success that we keep ourselves mired in the comfortable and predictable. It can be scary to break free! 

Even so, consciously I know you want to start breaking walls, your own limitations, and out of the patterns you play out on a loop in your life. Recognizing and owning the habits that are not serving you is a key first step. So let’s break down some of the ways it manifests! 

✓ Not being “ready” to start – engaging in prolonged periods of education and research. You have started to notice the information you are consuming is starting to feel like a broken record, because you know your shit, but you still don’t trust yourself!

✓ Endless “tweaking” of your branding, website, pricing, photos, copy, or message. Tweaking is a great way to hone your offerings! However, it should be done from a point of understanding. That means you have tested and acquired feedback or results that inform your new direction. Making changes without new information is just not knowing what else to do, or being afraid. 

✓ Engaging in marketing activities that have proven themselves as totally ineffective, or low performers. Are you dropping links in every possible place, without considering if they will hit your target? Are you posting endlessly in groups where you get “validating” engagement but little-to-no actual leads/sales? 

At this point I also want to mention things like ladders, like for like, and facebook games. Algorithms decide when to actually show your posts to your followers based on a measurement of how many followers you have and how often they engage. If you have inflated followers who are not interested in your brand, algorithms see that you are not interesting to your followers, and not worth showing! These types of activities are not only ineffective, they are actually hurting you.

✓ Occupying spaces filled with peers, instead of finding and engaging with your true market. 

✓ Latching onto gurus who tell you, directly or indirectly, that you can’t succeed if you don’t do things their way or hire them. There are as many paths to success as their are people dreaming of it. Trust yourself first. 

✓ Playing small. Every single person is spectacular in their own ways. I truly believe our world would be a better place if we all honored and lived fully in our personal power and let ourselves SHINE. You’re a pretty big deal, stop pretending. 

✓ Accepting bad sales. These are sales that undervalue the time, effort, experience, and the heart you pour into your work. They may also be sales filled with red flags, clients or customers you know are out of alignment, but accept out of desperation or low confidence.

✓ “Investing” in low end services, education, or assistance that ends up costing you more in the long run. There is a common line of thinking that says, “I will invest real money in my business when it proves it can be successful” – ignoring that investing can help us get that success sooner.

✓ Jumping off bridges with your friends. This is often connected to gurus, again, but so often you can predict that a guru has spoken when suddenly you see businesses making identical announcements and changes at once….and then reversing them days, weeks, or months later when they realized they didn’t think it through. 

There are people who might read this and think, “well fuck, this is literally all I do” – and yea. That’s why you’re stuck AF, my friend. You’re just wasting your time and setting yourself up to fail! Knock it off. 

What do you do instead of these things? Well, it depends on your business! It depends on your market and where you are stuck. There absolutely is not a single one-size-fits-all answer. 

My usual suggestions are:

✓ Clarify your market, message, and brand – once and for all (do you know how many people are trying to sell their work without ever even taking this step?!)

✓ Establish yourself as an expert in something relevant to your work that you care deeply about

✓ Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you feel safe and comfortable – shake it up somehow.

✓ Stop accepting your limiting beliefs as reality. Get a no bullshit friend or coach who will slow your roll and give you a big dose of what is real.

✓ If you catch yourself complaining, ground yourself in gratitude, and then take steps to change what you’ve damn well been complaining about for the past however many months.