Stay out of my way in the morning!

I’ve never been a morning person. I don’t like crawling out of bed, I hate lacking sleep and I’m an overall grumpy person first thing when the rooster crows.

However, the real reason to stay out of my way first thing in the morning is that it’s my most productive hours of the day. I want to get at the day and attack what I can with a clear mind before distractions set in.

That can also be a reason for adding a “back after lunch” sign to your door too. Honestly, it’s nothing against others, but I tend to get derailed from my projects by answering calls, emails, and having to go on social media for my work: just one joke email or cat meme on Facebook can sidetrack your progress… and you may never regain that momentum.

So, here’s an exercise in what I do to be the most productive first thing in the morning: ignore everyone and everything. I know that sounds easier said than done, but if you can help it, a text message or email reply can wait. Even in this age of instant gratification, most things are not an emergency to address.

Settle in. Make that coffee. Attempt to ignore that inbox, and go directly to what it is you need to accomplish.

Within an hour or two, you will feel like your morning has become much more productive. Start stacking those mornings into days and weeks, and you’re going to be so efficient that you can afford to waste time filtering through your email inbox in the afternoon, a time when I generally lag.

If you need even more help with managing your time and productivity, don’t forget to head over the resources area of this website, where I outline some tools that will help save you time and stress, plus also keep your management and organization on track.

For those who need even more help with balancing their time, several computer and phone apps, many free to use, offer ways to track your time and keep you on pace with your goals. Even a simple stopwatch or kitchen timer can be the difference with sticking to a set time before jumping to your next task.

But when all else fails, stick to my adage: leave me alone in the morning! When you start thinking about distractions and how to limit them, I promise you’ll feel far less pressure throughout the day associated with the usual stress of not getting things done.

All because you took care of business first thing!

I’ve always been hypercompetitive: but you’d never know it

While recently training on the treadmill for a fitness test I started thinking about something I’ve always done at times throughout my many years of athletics: push myself harder.

I’ve never been satisfied unless I’ve known I’ve given something my best. I’m never content with where am I and always striving for more. (Yes, that’s why DisContent isn’t some random slogan.)

However, you’d never know I was so hypercompetitive. Even back in high school, I wouldn’t make my intentions known that I wanted to make an upperclassman look foolish for dogging our sprint drills by beating them to the finish line. I never let others know I was trying to outdo them in training.

And even in my daily life, I don’t tip the hat to my competition that I want to beat them at their own game.

It’s that humble “keep it to yourself” mentality that keeps me grinding. Each day I need to outdo myself. I don’t worry about things which are outside of my control either. So, what if a competitor is bigger? Strive to get to where they are, but don’t do so to your detriment. You can control the outcome of your efforts: you cannot control what they do.

Therefore, what they do does not dictate what you do.

It’s another one of my mottos and with good reason. A rival may have more years, more time, and/or more money invested in a certain venture than you do. Knowing that you do good work, you can continue improving on what you do well. That path will eventually lead you to greatness.

No one gained 10,000 Twitter followers overnight. They started with one. One became ten, ten became twenty, and eventually, one hundred led to one thousand.

You have to start somewhere. Dwelling on what others are doing is not a productive way to use your precious time. There’s never harm in seeing what the competition does well and creating a pattern for yourself to follow. However, be warned that simply copying what someone else does will never make you stand out.

You won’t be unique. You won’t have a niche. You will be seen as an imitator in a world that rewards innovators.

When success gives you the highs but failure gives you the lows, always take the high road. Don’t allow someone else to manipulate what you’re doing. They may attempt to do so because they feel threatened you may overtake them.

Don’t give them the satisfaction of knowing that, even if you know it to be true. Do as I learned as a teenager: keep it to yourself. Soon others will take notice and then, they’ll do the talking for you.

Note: this may seem like a vague entry into my blog, but if you apply this to any aspect of your content marketing or business efforts, you’ll find yourself wasting less time and negative energy on those things that will drag you down.

A prime example could be someone who makes negative comments about one of your blogs, podcasts, or social media posts. You want to cater to the larger part of your audience, that is, those who will advocate for you. Sometimes you’re better off ignoring what we like to call trolls. It will only make you question the very thing you are doing to be successful: and that success will sometimes breed jealousy.

Don’t fall into that trap. Be hypercompetitive: just don’t let them know who it is you’re trying to be better than.

Is content marketing a fit for your business?

While I’m a big proponent of content marketing, I’ve come to a realization that it’s not for everyone.

What kind of brands could benefit from content marketing?

It all depends. The world of content marketing isn’t a one size fits all solution. First, we have to definite what content marketing is. This is my definition, and not something you’ll find in a dictionary

Leveraging different platforms to share your information (“content”) on them.

Content marketing is comprised of many platforms. I like to think of the five “pillars” of content marketing as the following: blogs, podcasts, social media, email newsletters, and eBooks. (I do believe they belong in that order as well, but more on that later.)

One channel you may already use in your content marketing strategy is posting to Facebook. If you’re regularly updating your followers by posting blurbs or photos on your business’ Facebook page, congratulations: you are already using content marketing to build your brand’s awareness.

From there, however, things get a bit trickier.

How much time do you devote to creating content? Do you always send out the same information? Does it generate any interest? Which platforms do you need to be on? And do you need to be on all of them?

Being consistent is as important as the message you are sending. But aside from creating a marketing strategy, the first question atop your to-do list should be “Is this right for me?”

Whether you own or operate a nationally recognized corporation or a pizza shop with a single location that answer is almost always yes. There are far more benefits to generating content and publishing them on your various channels than not. Some of those are simply getting your name out, while others have to do with Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In many cases, “sweat equity” (that is your own time and effort) is all it takes to operate a successful content marketing campaign. But in many cases, people will feel as though they’ve become a slave to the process and give up: which a have far-reaching negative effects on your brand. (Yes, even worse than never getting started!)

That’s why I created this site, along with my upcoming book and podcast series. I don’t want to see anyone abandon their blog or Facebook page, giving up because they feel they don’t have the time or the means to share their story. Oftentimes the very tools you need to successfully grow your business with content marketing are right in front of your nose.

Sometimes, the materials you need are right there too and require no extra work other than a few minutes each week.

If this kind of information sounds interesting to you, I implore you to follow and/or subscribe to my various social media accounts and the DisContent Podcast. In the coming weeks you’ll learn how to utilize the same tools, tips, and tricks I use to efficiently, and effectively, leverage these five pillars to build your brand’s awareness.

And if you don’t have any these outlets already setup, don’t worry. I will be sharing how to successfully build a platform in which your content will shine.

My goal is to make sure you no longer see content marketing as a scary word. Join me, and you’ll see why.