Monday

Make the Most of Business Opportunities Without Getting Overwhelmed

Today, everyone is pressed for time. There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. You may be trying to squeeze writing and marketing time in while working full time and taking care of a family. You may be trying to s-t-r-e-c-h time to get as much done as possible.

You may be trying to do it all.

Well, before you take on too much and finally break the ‘camel’s back,’ take a step back and take a deep breath.

While you do need to keep moving forward, to keep broadening your reach, you need to do it wisely.

Here are four tips to help you along your writing and marketing journey:

1. Have a plan.

No matter what your goals in life, you need to have a plan in place to reach those goals. Writing and marketing are no exception.

List two or three yearly major goals and create a detailed plan. Include the action steps you’ll need to take to reach those goals.

Be explicit, as if your action steps are car directions to a place you’ve never been. Turn left onto Route 127; make a right at the second red light; drive 10 miles then turn left onto the Belt Parkway.

You get the idea. Know where you’re heading and know what tools you’ll need to get there.

Having a plan helps you be in control. It helps you know what you should and shouldn’t do.

2. Don't overbook yourself - it's really not worth it.

Overbooking is a common modern day dilemma, but it just adds too much pressure and stress to your life. This isn't healthy or productive. And, it’s why this in #2 in this article.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “constant stress puts your health at risk [. . .] If your mind and body are constantly on edge because of excessive stress in your life, you may face serious health problems. That's because of your body's "fight-or-flight reaction" — its natural alarm system — is constantly on.” (1)

While this fight-or-flight reaction is needed in dangerous situations, it needs to be in a paused state until needed. So, don’t overbook yourself – it’s really not worth it.

Well, maybe that should be rephrased a bit. Don't overbook yourself unless an unexpected and immediate opportunity 'comes a knockin' on your door that would be foolish to pass up. And, even then, see if you can reschedule it if you're already swamped.

If rescheduling is not an option, take a close look at your schedule or workload. Maybe you can move ‘this’ there, and ‘that’ over to another day. In other words, prioritize.

If that doesn’t work, hey, health is better than wealth (or in this case visibility and authority) any day.

3. Never pass up an opportunity.

This kind of goes with number two in that the opportunity isn’t planned, but, immediate action isn’t usually needed. It’s about the kind of opportunities that happen to present themselves and that you have to take the initiative to respond to.

As an example, I got an exceptional webinar opportunity because I responded to a query in a newsletter I subscribe to. I proposed a webinar for the company's summer business webinar series and it was accepted.

Had I ever done anything that big before? NO. Was I out of my comfort zone? YES. Was I able to pull it off? YES.

Take that step forward . . . raise your hand . . . it's how you'll get noticed, build your authority, and increase your mailing list.

In this situation, you can usually plan ahead, unless it’s a spur of the moment thing. But, again, take a look at your workload and see how you can fit it in without overburdening yourself.

Never let opportunity knock without at least answering the door. Whether you can let it in or not is another story.

4. Make opportunities happen.

Making opportunities happen should be a part of your writing and marketing plan.

To put it simply, this means to find a need and fill it. If you’re in the writing arena, this doesn’t mean submitting writing queries, that’s a normal part of the writing arena. This has to do with possible guest posts on high-quality sites. Move past your comfort zone and get moving.

You might also take something you’re exceptionally good at within your niche and make the most of it. Try to find businesses or individuals that might need your talent and query them. This might seem like ‘cold calling,’ and it may be, but it can work. It can lead to a money-making project, a joint venture, or a quality connection. It also has the potential to boost your visibility and subscriber list.

An example for authors: Suppose you’re an expert in author school visits. You might query sites that offer e-classes to authors and ask if they’d be interested in having you offer a class on school visits. You might also contact small publishers and ask if you’re services might be needed for their authors, as a way of helping them market their books.

An example for content writers: Suppose you’re great at creating e/books. Contact business owners in your social networks or locally and see if they’d like to boost their authority with a book. Be well prepared with why they need one and the process that will be involved.

An example for solopreneurs: Suppose you’re an online marketing instructor for small and home businesses. Query e-learning sites if they’d like to sponsor a workshop or e-class. Or, you may contact businesses directly about how you can help them bring their business more visibility, traffic, authority, and conversion. Again, be well prepared.

Put on your thinking cap. Make opportunities happen.

Reminder: Don’t just ask if they need your services; explain what the benefit to the company will be. Write good sales copy and let them know what you can do for them.
Making the most of opportunities, while not overburdening or over-stressing yourself, is an excellent way to move onward and upward.

Reference:
(1) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001

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