Dispense With Heroics; Be Practical

Last night we tackled three themes from Contentrix founder Alice Seba’s top 40 lessons learned. As a reminder, the themes were: get others involved, focus, and execute. Tonight, in looking over numbers 21-40, we take a look at three more themes: batch processing, succession planning, and prioritization.

#21. It’s okay that a lot of people don’t understand what I do

#22. Technology is my friend, but I don’t mess around with it more than I have to or am capable of

#23. Customer service is a critical part of your business, but it’s a productivity inhibitor

#24. Other people’s blogs can be useful

#25. Nothing on the Internet is private

#26. If you don’t own the site you’re publishing too, you really don’t own that content

#27. Working in batches is great for productivity

#28. I used to think religion and business don’t mix

#29. There is no one quite like you, but you are dispensable…or at least you should be

#30. Tools and Software don’t grow your business, you do

#31. You don’t have to explore everything to diversify

#32. Listen to your audience…they can teach you a ton

#33. There is no shame in selling

#34. If you’re not confident, they’ll know

#35. Knowing the words to use is also important

#36. It’s okay to take a break when you just aren’t into it

#37. To do lists are always meant to be shortened

#38. Use your freedom to do good things

#39. Appreciate and be thankful for what you have

#40. Take care of yourself

People who are gifted at time management have been touting the virtue of “chunking your time” for years. The phrase means to set aside times when one type of activity is pursued exclusive to all others, thereby avoiding distractions and staying on course. Grouping tasks together into batches of similar issues can help build momentum.

Seba urges the entrepreneur to think of him/herself as dispensable.  “Start with the end in mind.” If we approach the process of building a business as trying to make it less and less dependent on the founder, then we are a.) empowering others to add their collective strengths to the development of the enterprise and b.) purposefully preparing for the day when others are making more of the major decisions. To arrive at the place where the business is capable of being handed over requires working on the business rather than in it.

It is so easy as a company founder to have an endless list of things that all seem important and urgent. We drive ourselves to work, work, work in headlong pursuit of milestones that indicate the business is on track and successful. With each passing day, the perfectionist inside drives towards an exhaustive, never-ending cataloging of “things to do.” here’s a secret: reduce the list to only a few things, execute at least the top two, and feel accomplishment rather than lack of fulfillment. You will be glad you did!

The combination of planning your own exit, prioritizing your work, and pursuing it in batches  should be beneficial for you. It has been for many others.


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