Action Items – Podcast
Two week’s ago I called for “A Year of Action!” So now, what… I am guessing that is what many of you are thinking. You understand that action is important, but you are having trouble figuring out your next (or first) step. No need to fear. I have a host of action items for you. Hopefully one or more of them will spur you into action. As you might imagine, these have been my own action items over the last several years.
While we often talk about one, monolithic, Reputation – with a capital R — I believe that there are a series of reputations that make up the whole. This book will focus on the combination of reputations that make up your one, overarching, Reputation. By examining each of these reputations in detail, I hope you will find specific areas where you can improve your work, your actions and your thoughts so that your overall professional reputation grows.
Why break your Reputation down into its constituent parts? It is often said that you can’t “do” projects, you can only do the individual tasks that make up the project and achieve the desired result. The same can be said for reputation. You don’t build your reputation as a whole, you cultivate the smaller reputations that create it. Each individual action builds your reputation in unique ways and each requires some thought as to how they relate to the whole.
Start a blog
We all have something unique to say. We all have unique experiences that make us an expert in something – cooking, computing, crafting, cars. You have heard me say before that an important part of any career is telling people “what you do and how well you do it.” Guess what? A blog is the #1 best way to share that expertise with others. Using Blogger.com or WordPress.com, you can have your blog online in about 5 minutes. Then you have a place to start showing people what you have to offer. Post your special ideas, your special knowledge, your special experiences and people will find you.
Publish a book!
Write a blog long enough and you are sure to have enough content for a book. Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing makes it easy for anyone to produce an ebook that can be read on nearly any device – Kindle, Mac, PC, Android, iPhone, iPad and more. Why not take advantage of that? Do you have a piece of writing, long or short that you would like to share with the world? Get it into the Kindle Store and then start telling your friends, family and whoever else will listen. You don’t have to charge for the book. You can give it away as a freebie to introduce your writing to people, as a reward for reading your blog or as an incentive to sign up for your mailing list. You can also just do it for the fun of it. Heck, you never know, you might even make some money at it.
Ever been on a photowalk? Think of it as a hike where the object is not miles travelled, but images captured. You, your friends, or even strangers, gather somewhere and start taking pictures. This can be an urban setting or out in the country, something traditionally picturesque or gritty, it doesn’t really matter.
The goal of a photowalk is to set aside an hour or so to “see” again. Photography forces us to slow down and pay attention to what is right in front of us. The effects of this “seeing” spill over into other aspects of our lives. It shows how we can can pay more attention to everything we do — how to be present in the moment — instead of letting our mind dance over all the coulda, woulda, shoulda, thoughts in our heads. And you can post your photos on your new blog!
Over the years, music has become a passive activity. We sit and listen to others make music or their recordings instead of making music ourselves. A century ago, most everyone could play an instrument, sing a song or play the spoons along with others. I think that this is something that is greatly missing in today’s world. Making music feeds our analytical mind through the skill of reading music and discovering the mathematical patterns within, but it also feeds the soul. Making music is as different from listening to music as cooking is to watching a cooking show. Find a way to play music, by yourself or, even better, with others. It can open your mind in some amazing ways.
Money is not the root of all evil. The actual quote is “The Love of Money is the root of all evil.” Money is important, but you may be ignoring ways of making money outside your regular job. I mentioned publishing a book above, but there are other ways, too. Maybe there is a product you can make and sell on eBay or Etsy.com? How about consulting with others about an area of your expertise? Maybe you could hold a class for your co-workers or the interested parents at your child’s school. There is a host of ways to make some money and you might even find these tasks more rewarding, both personally and financially, than your current job. It doesn’t happen for everyone, but it is a possibility worth pursuing in the new year.
These are but a few action items that can jumpstart your year. Choose one of them, or any that jumped to mind while you read or listened to this column. Remember, the point is to take action — any action — to get you moving and keep you moving towards your career and life goals. Even the smallest step can get you started.