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Bill Bergeman


10 Counterintuitive Things to Do In Your Business

The things on this list are what many gurus will say to outsource as soon as possible or not do at all. I agree to a point, as I don't want to get swallowed up in the minutiae of the day-to-day activities (easy to do!). But there is much to be gained by being more involved, especially when it comes to customers.

    1. Reach out directly one-on-one to customers to ask about their experience.

    I just started doing this one. I've been getting remarkable feedback.

    2. Fix a customer issue yourself.

    Doing it myself, rather than outsourcing it, builds empathy and helps me to understand ways to improve systems.

    3. Answer the phones.

    No better way to figure out customer pain points and how to help than to answer the phones myself.

    4. Try to implement a coding solution for something on your website.

    This is a tricky one, as you don't want to burn the house down, but if you have a sandbox to test things and you're reasonably confident you can make it work, then I think it's a good way to better understand how to write requirements for future fixes/enhancements when you hire a real dev to do the work.

    5. Accept good enough.

    Some people (me) fuss over little things like how an image looks, a minor page layout shift, the color of a button...the list goes on. Honestly, most people don't care unless it directly has to do with solving their problem. Make it look and work 'good enough' and move on.

    6. Stop obsessing over competitors.

    I've done this before and all it does is get me worked up thinking I need to add this thing and do that thing. Maybe I do, but doing it just to keep up with competitors is a fool's game because there is always going to be something I'm not doing. Run your own race; set your own pace.

    7. Don't work every day.

    I'm bad about this one, but I'm trying. I want to work all the time, but I also don't believe striving for ceaseless productivity is a good way to live this one precious life we have.

    8. Make yourself the face of the business.

    So I'm actually not doing this one right now, not very much anyhow. Of course, if you're running a personal brand business, this is a must. I'm not, so I can get away with not putting my face and name out there very much. However, I've been moving more and more towards sharing more of myself with my customers. I had a nice conversation with @MrOTG not long ago and he wisely recommended I put more of my story on my website. I haven't done it yet, but I'm sketching out how that might look. I want to make sure to do it right. It's a good idea.

    9. Take a nap.

    I've learned the art of the eight-minute nap. Lay down, set the alarm on my phone for eight minutes, and usually, I can be sleeping within three. That gives me about five minutes to rest. It doesn't sound like much, but I'm almost always fully refreshed every time I do this. It's my secret weapon.

    10. Let things happen and don't over plan.

    This one is also hard for me, as I'm a big-time planner. I like to plan everything. But, it never works out. Too many things come up throughout the day that throws off the plan. So I'm experimenting with sketching out my day, setting no more than three major priorities that must be accomplished, and then I try to go with the flow after that.

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