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December 2017


Each year at this time we are reminded to prepare for the next twelve months with "resolutions" to jumpstart our lives again. For A/E professionals, it is particularly beneficial to recharge your personal energy and rediscover what matters. Guest author John Jantsch, marketing consultant, speaker and best selling author, Duct Tape Marketing Blog, takes us on a journey to reflect, refresh and reconnect. He reveals a plan to inspire your professional career growth with simple creative actions.

Time management and prioritization are a huge part of running a business, but I would argue that managing your energy is even more important. If we get literal with it, you can't actually control time, it will go on regardless of what you do with it, but where you put your energy is much more in your control. By managing it effectively, you'll start to see your-to-do list dwindle as your priorities get put in the right place.

I've dedicated a lot of time to figure out where to allocate my energy to get the most use out of my time. In light of New Year's resolutions coming up, I thought I'd share some of my tips with you that could help jumpstart your efforts for the year to come.

Balance energy

As a marketing consultant, it seems that you always need to be focusing on not only staying current with trends in order to best help your clients, but you also need to be good at skills for growing your own business, like sales, prospecting and retention. Let's face it, it takes a lot out of you to stay on top of it all.

Here's an activity I do to help increase my stamina with all that is going on: Think of yourself less like a business owner, and more like a highly tuned athlete. Thinking of it that way, the training, nutrition,
rest and practice required to stay at the top of your game are important elements of your success.

To make sure your business is running as efficiently as possible, you need to know how to take care of yourself so that you can do your job and serve clients at the highest level possible (this could lead to more creativity and better results for your clients in the long run.)

Why you don't necessarily need to set goals

I've never been a big fan of setting goals (a controversial statement, I know). In my opinion, the secret to success, growth and change is locked into habits and behaviors. As soon as a person can change a habit or behavior that is holding them back, they can make effortless progress towards an end. Working harder isn't going to solve your problems or help you advance your career, but working smarter will. Success as a business owner working on your own terms is one of the most incredible ways to live a fulfilling life. It takes consistent intention, attention, and work to stay focused on building the best version of you in the process.

Influence your thoughts

Our thoughts are in constant motion, whether we choose to witness them or not. Our mind merely plays with what we feed it and tells us how to act based on that alone. If you want to change your outcomes, you must change your thoughts (easier said than done, trust me, I know.) So, here are my recommendations for taking the first step.

Begin to recognize your thoughts. This is how you begin to regain making choices about how you interpret, filter and react to everything that occurs around you. When we begin to regain our ability to stop judging and start thinking in ways that support who we really are, we can move in the direction of fulfilling any dream we may have. I have three acts I'd encourage you to take to liberate your thoughts starting today:

  1. Spend at lease 15 minutes a day witnessing your thoughts and calming any and all desire to judge things that occur.
  2. Start each day mentally reviewing a list of the things you are most grateful for.
  3. Read Deepak Chopra's, 7 Spiritual Laws of Success.


Breathing is probably the most mindless of all human behaviors. However, an intentional practice of mindful breathing is one of the most powerful productivity tools you can employ, for your career and your personal life, as well. Your breath controls how you feel, think, absorb, react, move and speak. Why not learn how to use it as a tool to better control these things. You can access the power of this tool, and use your breath to stay grounded in the present, with a few simple actions.

Manage energy

We can manufacture energy, we can channel energy, and we can use a variety of tools to remain conscious about the various types of energy we need to draw upon daily to get more done with the time we're allotted. Over the years, I've developed a few habits or rituals that I adhere to daily in my efforts to manage the energy I need to run my business. Whenever it feels like I'm getting a little stuck in business its almost always because I've grown a little sloppy in the area of energy management.

Tune out noise

Business is noisy. A typical day might involve dozens of conversations, meetings, decisions, tasks and insights. It might feel like you're running and talking to people all day long. And while you're doing that, you're also absorbing a lot of mental noise; every thought, conscious or otherwise, roars through your head like the intersection of trains headed into the station. We get pretty good at muffling the noise and become almost used to it, but it takes its toll no matter what we think. One of the best ways to return our focus to the priorities of the day is to practice being quiet. This isn't as easy as it might sound. Some of the ways I've found to turn down the noise include:

  • Go analog - Set up an area in your office with crayons and paper and other crafty kinds of materials. Every now and then unplug and go draw, cut and paste while taking your mind off your to-do list.
  • Journal - This can become an outlet for releasing thoughts that are blocking your intentions and focus.
  • Meditate - Think about meditation as five to ten minutes a day to simply witness your thoughts and experience first-hand how noisy it is up there.
  • Get outside - Every single one of us should get outside and lay on our backs in the grass and watch the white puffy clouds go by for about ten or fifteen minutes a day minimum.
  • Sit and listen - I don't know what, but this little exercise seems to open up pathways in my thinking and quiet the noise that's right around me.
  • Retreat - One of the biggest, scariest and most awesome things you can do is lock yourself away for a weekend retreat with no computer, phone, TV, or need to make any conversation at all.


Do you ever have those days where work just doesn't seem that fun anymore? If the answer is "yes", then sadly, you're not alone. Would you feel the same way if work felt more like play? Play is as much an attitude as a state. Every business can benefit by purposefully adding elements of play to daily routines and organizational process. Most people are more productive when they feel good and charged up. Play:

  • Is a great way to connect
  • Is a super food for creativity
  • Builds teamwork
  • Reduces stress

As a business owner, be sure to keep play alive inside and out to reap the benefits of it.

Figure out your purpose

The struggle to find that perfect thing you were meant to be is what causes untold amounts of pressure while the very thing you were meant to do is experience what you're actually doing more fully. When you realize that one distinction, you can start to change the world around you by building new beliefs. Everything we do in work and in life is dictated by our beliefs and changing this one belief is how you change your existing reality.

If you haven't tried any of the points above, I highly recommend giving them a shot. You may not see results immediately, but over time, you'll wonder why you didn't employ these efforts before.

What do you do to get more things done? I always love hearing about it so send me your thoughts.

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