Welcome to the Momentum Sprint! Below are some articles to read, tools we recommend, and books to check out. We’re so glad you’re here and can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the next 12 weeks.
Articles to Read
The 3 Goals of Any Business Activity
With these three goals of business activities, you can make intelligent choices about how to grow your business.
Aligning Strategy and Compassion
You don’t have to choose between being an effective entrepreneur and being a creative, compassionate person. You can be both once you see that your head and your heart don’t have to be at odds.
Use the Two-Hour Rule to Make Progress on Your Creative Projects
Two hours is the sweet spot of productivity. When you use the two-hour rule to chunk your projects down into doable parts, progress flows more smoothly.
Maven, Connector, or Salesperson: What’s Your Archetype?
Knowing whether your archetype is a maven, connector, or salesperson can help you play in genius zone and get better results with less effort.
The Four Key Dimensions of Business
There are four key dimensions of business: strategy, operations, finances, and marketing. This piece discusses each.
How to Build the Delegation Habit
To be an effective leader, manager, or entrepreneur, you have to learn to delegate well. This post will get you started.
The 3Ps of Pricing Series:
Perception (Part 1)
There are 3Ps of Pricing – perception, placebo, and positioning. In this post, I’ll talk about Perception. Read on if you’d like to learn how to walk through pricing your products.
Placebo (Part 2)
There are 3Ps of Pricing – perception, placebo, and positioning. In this post, I’ll talk about Placebo.
Positioning (Part 3)
There are 3Ps of Pricing – perception, placebo, and positioning. In this post, I’ll talk about Positioning.
The Small Business Lifecycle Series:
Stage 0: The Aspirational Stage
The aspirational stage of the business lifecycle is the stage in which people think about starting a business but they haven’t yet.
Stage 1: The Entry Stage
The entry stage of the business lifecycle is when you’ve finally started your business but you haven’t taken off yet.
Stage 2: The Growth Stage
The growth stage of the business lifecycle is where your business finally starts to take off.
Stage 3: The Crucible Stage
The crucible stage of the business lifecycle is when your business is stuck and can’t grow.
Stage 4: The Cruise Stage
The cruise stage of the business lifecycle is where you have all the people, processes, systems, and positioning in place to grow the business indefinitely.
Drip — Drip is powerful email marketing system that allows you to build funnels, track what people are doing, and keep an eye on the health of your campaigns. It has a lot to it, but you can start with what’s familiar to you and what you need and learn as you go.
Sumo — Sumo (formerly SumoMe) has a been game-changer for us when it comes to growing our list and readership; for comparison, we went from about 181 signups per month in April 2016 to having a trendline of 700 signups per month now (with a fantastic 1.9k signups in January). Sumo is a suite of apps that you can install, play with, and uninstall on the fly. The consolidated dashboard helps you see what’s working and the split-testing tools are the best I’ve come across as far as ease of use goes. For us, the core of Sumo is its four list-building and attention-directing apps (List Builder, Scroll Bar, Smart Bar, and Welcome Mat) that each allow you to experiment with different ways of inviting people to join your community or get your best stuff.
Zapier — Zapier allows you to create integrations between your various cloud-based solutions. For instance, you can have an action in one service trigger an action in another; i.e,. a form submission on your website can create a new contact and case in your CRM and add that information to a list in your email marketing system. This is great because you don’t have to choose all-in-one business solutions that are usually mediocre at all the things they do – instead, you can choose best-in-class focused solutions and automagically tie them to other best-in-class focused solutions.
ConvertKit – ConvertKit has the simplicity of Mailchimp with some of the power of more comprehensive tools. It has a visual workflow builder that’s easy to understand, has simple opt-in tools, and automation tools that help you make sure your subscribers get the content they want. While it’s true that you may outgrow ConvertKit, you won’t have to relearn a completely different way of working with your list like you would if you started with Mailchimp.
Highrise — I’ve tried a lot of CRMs and keep coming back to Highrise for its simplicity, in both its use and its appearance. If you have a sales-oriented organization that needs a pipeline, Highrise won’t be the business solution for you because its pipeline stinks. The can’t-live-without feature is being able to get a daily email about contacts with a certain tag (prospects, clients) to see any and all interactions my team has had with them. This feature prevents the “are we talking to our prospects and clients?” worry.
Buffer — Rather than making you either send updates in real time or specify exactly when an update needs to go out, Buffer allows you to set up time slots to fill. That way, as you’re reading or sharing stuff on social media, you can space it out over time effectively; it helps avoid the “30 updates in 30 minutes, none for a week” phenomenon. I prefer Buffer to Hootsuite for the way we use social media here; it allows me to effectively batch my social media time without making a whole bunch of decisions about when things should go out.
Asana — Asana has recently become my #1 recommendation for task and project management systems, both for collaborative teams and for individuals. With features like multiple nested to-do lists, an action item being able to live in multiple projects, and the ability to set up default tasks and projects, it’s a flexible and powerful tool for ensuring that the right stuff gets done. Best of all, it’s free for fewer than 15 users.
The Small Business Life Cycle: A Guide for Taking the Right Steps at the Right Time by Charlie Gilkey