The Secret Life of a Recovering Procrastinator

Me . . . “Hi. My name is Nikita and I am a procrastinator.” You . . . “Hi, Nikita!” There I said it. And (by gosh) published it, for all the world to know. If you’re one of those nifty “plan ahead, always on deadline” type people, you are probably wondering how I manage a family and several successful businesses with such a dreadful habit.

The answer of course is delegation. If it were possible, delegation would be my answer for everything. Cooking, exercise, brushing my teeth . . . Oh, Jeeves? My good man, would you come here? Seriously though, I use any and all available resources to make “the magic” happen.

I was talking with Lori, my Get Clients Now! accountability partner, about some sales activities I needed to complete when we decided that I don’t have to be the one doing them. Get Clients Now! is an wonderfully potent book / program that was designed to help freelancers, consultants and other solo-practitioners locate, land and keep more new clients that you know what to do with. If you own a business and I’ve known you more than five minutes, I have probably recommended the book.

As a part of author Cynthia Hayden’s 28-day Action Plan, the reader outlines “action steps.” These are tasks that you will consistently carry out at pre-defined intervals (once or twice a day, a week, a month etc.) to increase your business.

I am Johnny on the spot when it comes to preparing my Action Plan, but you see . . . I am a procrastinator. So, it’s highly unlikely that the steps will actually get done, at least by me. That’s why Lori and I agreed that I could use outside resources to make it happen.

What a light bulb moment!

First, I learned from Get Clients Now! that next to setting SMART goals, follow-up is the key to success in pretty much everything. Successful people keep their promises. If we tell you we are going to call you, send you a letter or do you a favor, we usually do. We are consistent, leaving no room for the competition to wedge their little foot in the door. (Yes, see how I threw myself in there with the “we.” Positive thinking, I tell ya!)

And, even customers place a high value on follow-up. Have you ever heard the glee in a customer’s voice when they hear you’re calling just to check in or see how things are going? Soon enough, I was reaping the benefits of follow-up in settings having little to do with sales or even business for that matter.

Then, with Lori’s help, I figured out how to not be the thorn in my own leg.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying dump all your workload on some poor unsuspecting co-worker, team member or employee. I’m merely suggesting that you focus on what you like. What you do well. Those areas where you are practically guaranteed NOT to procrastinate. I mean really, who procrastinates when it’s time to open a Christmas present or cash a nice fat bonus check? Not I. And I’ll bet, not you either.

Besides, I worked so hard to build and cultivate a dynamic team. Why not use their expertise? They like manipulating databases, sound great on the phone and are “the whiz” at social media. With that kind of talent around, I’d be a fool to pass up a prime opportunity to delegate my action steps.

So, there it is. SMART goal-setting, follow-up and delegation. My secret is out!

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