Do you feel like you are pretty efficient but yet there is this nagging feeling that you’re still missing something? The solution is simple – stop trying to be everything to everybody! You’ll never make everyone happy so stop trying. You’ll never know everything and more importantly you aren’t expected too. Just know what you know and say and do your best. Differentiate yourself.
OK, you’re taking all the right steps, and you’re feeling pretty efficient …
- You’ve figured out how to absorb 10,000+ emails.
- You’ve learned how to read 622 RSS feeds each morning.
- You’ve learned from 43 folders and from BusinessWeek how to write effective emails.
- You’ve turned off your email alerts, set up an autoreponder to allow you to batch items at certain times to single-task, and set expectations for those people who email you.
- You’ve focused on the essentials of productivity.
But you now have this nagging feeling that you’re missing something. Why do you feel this way and how do you rid yourself of this notion?
Well, you could do some research into the most popular blogs (there’s no one standard – try these: Self Made Minds, Technorati, Bloglines, eBizMBA) and add those to your feedreader. After all, you’ve figured out how to efficiently read as many as 622 feeds each morning.
But what good will that do you? You’re simply “treading water” at that point – keeping up with what everybody else is doing.
What, then, is the answer?
The solution is that you should stop trying to be everything to everybody. You can’t make everybody happy – it’s an impossible goal to accomplish and a ridiculous expectation for yourself that will always end in failure.
More specifically, you’re not expected to know everything. You’re expected to know about what you say you do best. Differentiate yourself.
In my case, I’m a business coach and consultant. I inspire people to define and create well-balanced, fulfilled lives and lifestyles, both professionally and personally. That’s what’s expected of me. I’m not expected to be a great blogger, so I don’t subscribe to all 85 or so of the technology/ blogging/ SEO blogs in the Top 100 list. I subscribe to some, as well as other blogs that I’ve found, that allow me to be a better resource to my clients in terms of their productivity, professional and personal potential, well being, and quality of life.
Harry G. Frankfurt, Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Princeton University, talks about this in his book On Bullshit:
“Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person’s obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic exceed his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic.”
Give yourself a break. Cut the bull. You don’t need to know it all.
Be a unique resource for people. Guy Kawasaki, in his book The Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, listed this as the first most important thing any entrepreneur must accomplish. He termed it “Make Meaning.”Find sources of information that support you, whether they’re obscure
blogs that nobody else reads or friends/colleagues who have a
knack for experiencing life.Focus on your strengths and your creative talents. That’s what people want to hear and learn from you.