The Consistency Struggle - how to be consistently consistent
Consistency is one of the keys to business success. Here is why:
- Being consistent helps you to feel organised, disciplined and efficient. It helps you to feel in control and reduces your stress. This is because you know exactly what you plan to work on and deliver on when.
- Consistency ensure that every time a customer interacts with you that they have the same experience. If they have the same experience - they come to rely on it and will select your company every time and spread the message via word of mouth. Think of McDonalds or Subway. We all know exactly what we are going to get when we visit their stores. Customers want to have confidence that we’ll deliver on our promises every time, not just when it’s convenient.
- Most things you do in your business take time to get traction. You need to stick at with consistency to see the results. For example you can't expect to post on Facebook every now and again and grow your audience to 5000 people. You can't expect to get sales from your newsletter if you don't send it out on a regular basis. You need to commit to a strategy and execute it consistently. Then you can measure whether its worked or not because you have given it your all and given it enough time to get traction.
- Consistency makes you look professional. For example if you send an email newsletter one week, then again 3 weeks later, then 3 months later - this doesn't look professional. They don't know when you will be sending out your awesome information so they won't think of you when they need help or want a similar product. You need to be front of mind and to do this you need to communicating regularly. Great companies do everything consistently. Its what helped to make them great. They systematise as much of their business as they can so it is repeatable.
"Trust it. Give it time, and keep being consistent. You’ll get it.”"
It's something so many of us struggle with - me included. It is something I have been thinking a lot about lately and something I have promised myself that I am going to work on.
I have made a commitment to myself not to take on anything unless I can be consistent with it and follow through. For example when I started this group - I asked myself - can I commit to posting and responding everyday? If I can't then - I shouldn't start it because that is what is required to grow a Facebook community. So far I have done - ok smile emoticon missing maybe only 1 or 2 days.
Do you struggle with consistency? Why do you think you struggle with consistency?
So how do we get consistent?
1. Keep your focus on your why
When you know why you are building your business, how it helps others and how it fulfills a need in you - its easier to stay on task.
Here is what I mean.
If you are a marriage celebrant, for example, your whole reason for existing is to give the engaged couple the best ceremony ever. You know that you can create the perfect day. You believe that your unique talents can help lots of newly engaged couples. However you can only help them if they know about your amazing celebrant service. The only way they can know about you - is if you get out there and market to them. To do this - you need to create a strategy and execute on it consistently. Your drive to reach as many couples as possible helps to keep you focused on marketing activities like posting on Facebook and blogging. If you don't, lots of wonderful couples will miss out on finding a truly incredible marriage celebrant. Now, that's not fair is it smile emoticon Keep your why front and centre.
2. Pick your battles
You are only human and despite our best intentions its hard for us to be consistent at everything. We tend to stay consistent at those things we make a habit of like showering in the morning.
As business owners we need to pick our battles. I touched on this when we did the time management training - when I spoke about "your one important thing". Once you decide what your one or two important things are - you need to make a habit of working on it.
Our businesses go through different seasons and our focus needs to change with the seasons. If you know an area of your business needs focus now - make a commitment to your self to focus on that and be consistent at it.
Don't pick 10 battles. Pick the number of battles you can handle. How do you know this number? That depends a little bit on your available time. If you haven't worked through the time management training - so back and do that now - it will really help.
3. Plan + Schedule It
We tend to stick to things when we plan it and we know our objectives. The best way to do this is to schedule it.
The time you set aside to work on your important tasks needs to be scared and non negotiable.
In the time management course we create a timetable. This is where you schedule the things you want to get consistent on. Once its in your schedule. Printed out and up on your wall you can focus on sticking to it. Each week when you sit down to plan out your week - make sure you prioritise the tasks you want to be consistent on.
4. Ignore how you feel
This is the one time we need to ignore how we are feeling and do it anyway.
Part of this process is acknowledging that feelings and thoughts are temporary and subjective.
So even if you are not feeling like it - please do it anyway. No matter if you feel stressed, sad, busy etc. Stick to your schedule - you will feel better it in the end because you will feel accomplishment and satisfaction. These feelings are awesome and so much better than how you were feeling before you started work.
Try to be disciplined in the moment. Help yourself to be disciplined by setting up an environment where you can work comfortably and without distraction. If you enjoy your environment - this is half the battle. Grab your favourite hot drink and get cracking.
5. Don't beat yourself up
There will be times when you don't stick to the schedule. Don't beat yourself up. Get back on the wagon and keep going. Keep reminding yourself why you have set the goal to be consistent and the rewards you will get from it. The reward is worth it, keep persevering. Do one thing at a time. Cross it off and move to the next.
I know that each of us has it within us to be consistent. Lets all take baby steps towards this goal. Make sure you have decided your "one important thing" and lets start working towards focusing on this over the next month.
Do you have any other techniques you have tried to make yourself consistent? I would love to hear about them.