Transcript of Episode 5 of The Be Heard Podcast
Eating frogs, staying quiet, having Google work for you, and leaving breadcrumbs, all in Episode 5 of the Be Heard Podcast. Let’s go!
I am coming to you live from a slightly overcast Philadelphia with a message of sharing, connecting, understanding, and growing. I want to hear your story. Why do you do what you do? Let me hear it. Shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me why you should be heard.
Welcome to the Be Heard podcast where each week we’ll inject simplicity into marketing for your business. My name is Lisa D. Sparks and I am passionate about your success as a small business owner. During the next few minutes you’ll be inspired, gain key insights, and find ways to improve what you’re already doing to make yourself heard in the marketplace.
Mindset Minute: The Power of Quiet
It’s odd that I would have a mindset minute about the power of quite on a show called the Be Heard Podcast, but here I am doing it. To be heard we must be quiet, sometimes. There are lots of types of quiet. It can be forced or mandated (churches, movie theaters). It can be voluntary as in prayer. It can be collective as in a moment of silence for a solemn occasion. Quiet is introspective, contemplative, spiritual. I like to say to be heard we must hear others. But to be heard we must also hear ourselves. This sharpens the voice we have inside and it makes it much easier to produce articles, podcast episodes, tweets, Facebook posts, and all of the other things we use to connect with our audiences on a daily basis.
The only way to truly connect with others is to know who we are and what we’re saying. That way we can communicate clearly, succinctly, and with understanding, compassion, and a true to desire to learn and understand.
I’m quiet when I pray. Some are quiet when they meditate. For others, the only time they’re quiet is when they’re asleep. My suggestion: Time yourself. Give yourself one minute to sit silently. Be forewarned, everything you have to do will come to your mind in that moment. All of the odd, various things will pop up to dominate your thoughts. Welcome that. Have a piece of paper, write those things down and do your best to get back to your minute of silence. The end result? Clarity, focus, and a specific to-do list!
Cool Process: Reminders, Act Now, and Breadcrumbs
When working on my passion projects I like to go nonstop. When working on chores I set my tomato timer and then I rock and roll for 25 minutes and take a break for five minutes until the work is done. Sometimes I have an epiphany. I have an idea. I have a cool thing I want to do and I want to make it happen immediately. That’s when I follow the Act Now with Breadcrumbs Process.
I call it ABP and it’s a way for people with a constantly flow of “big” ideas to honor them. You’re going to have lots of cool thoughts and ‘what ifs.’ Out of a thousand of those, one of them is going to be that shining, golden thought that changes your world and the lives of possibly thousands of other people. To get to that gold you have to sift through a lot of silt, dirt, and things that may not be very valuable. Questlove, a musical artist from my native Philadelphia, recently gave an interview to Terry Gross at the local public radio station WHYY. He shared the story of how he and his band mates the Roots came up with the theme song for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. They had written hundreds of songs and Jimmy happened to hear that one by accident. And that one song is now the theme. Quest said it was a throw-away, something they were using to test the speakers, and it turned out to be the premiere sound of Jimmy Fallon’s late night show.
Now back to ABP. When you get an idea (even if it’s small, passing, and seemingly inconsequential) work on it a bit. Record it. Write it down. Save it somehow. Then simply set a reminder for one of your work sprints to sort through it all. This is the process I use to produce this show and it is such a great help! One of the resources I mentioned during show number 3 is called Pocket. I use that to save online articles for myself, my clients, and for Be Heard Podcast show ideas. Be on the lookout for those ideas and remember to Act Now with Breadcrumbs to bring them to life after you jot them down.
Best Resource: Google Alerts
One of the best resources I’ve found is Google Alerts. It’s the perfect reminder for me to remain current about issues I’m interested in. I love it because it’s a passive way to do a major task, which is absorbing the newest and latest on a particular subject.
Here’s what it is: Google has a news gathering service called Google News. It puts together headlines and links to stories online about the most interesting items of the day, and sometimes of the second. Millions of news items pass through Google’s servers and I just want a small sliver of that news. In comes Google Alerts. I enter a search term into Google Alerts. I click a button and it vows to send me a daily email with the latest articles on that subject. I have an alert set up for my name so whenever I’m in the news, I get a little summary. I also have one set up for my other interest such as fitness. It’s pretty cool and it is yet another great source of information for me when I’m coming up with articles and ideas for my clients and for my own projects. I’m including a link to it in the notes for the show on my website. Enjoy!
Book Review of the Week: Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
This week’s book review is of Brian Tracy’s classic Eat That Frog. The name comes from the wisdom of Samuel L. Clemmons (aka Mark Twain). The story goes that Mark Twain once said if you eat a frog at the beginning of the day everything else will be easy going. Brian Tracy uses this concept as the vehicle for his classic take on productivity called, Eat That Frog. I love this because my greatest victories have come from doing things I should do but I didn’t want to do. Mastering how to do this consistently is the challenge of my life and I’m glad to undertake it. For all of my creative efforts, it’s exciting to harness the chaos of ideas with the discipline of actually getting things done. I know I’ll always have the push and pull of having a big idea and executing the big idea and Brian Tracy makes the challenge a bit easier to meet with his systems, structures, and practical exercises for taking dreams into reality. One quote he shares has helped me a lot. It’s by Alan Lakein, a productivity master in his own right. It goes, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”
This kills the sense of powerlessness I often feel when faced with an enormous idea. The key concept of the book is to break things up into small sections. The smaller the section, the bigger the win. Another concept Tracy covers is momentum. These are two of my favorites because action truly does breed more action. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit and Smarter, Faster, Better, discusses these two concepts in each of his books. Duhigg features the power of small wins in The Power of Habit. I noticed in Smarter, Faster, Better Duhigg talks about having the courage to do the difficult things and that setting tiny, easily-achievable tasks gives us a temporary high but leaves the ultimate goal far away. He introduces stretch goals in that book and I see the foundation of stretch goals here in Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog.
Out of all the great things I picked up in this book, the simple act of re-writing my goals each day is the most powerful one. It’s easy to make grand declarations. It’s difficult to really grind things out every day to make that declaration real. But doing something about those grand declarations every single day is what gets me to the point of actually believing something amazing can happen. The bigger the idea, the bigger the skepticism in the world. Writing, re-writing, and writing my goals over again helps me to believe in myself when no one else does. If you’re a big dreamer, you may find this book a useful ally in your quest to change the world.
Wrap-up and preview of the next show
I had an amazing time with you today! As a quick re-cap I shared how being quiet is the essence of being heard. You’ll want to Act Now! with Breadcrumbs to get things done. Google Alerts leaves amazing treats in your email inbox when you least expect it. And Brian Tracy, taught us how to eat frogs and change the world while doing it.
My life is better as a result of all of these things, but it’s made exponentially better just by sharing this information with you today! I’ll be sharing some exciting news during the next show about a new service for small business owners so keep your eyes and ears open for that!
Next week I’ll be reviewing Arianna Huffington’s new book on the science of sleep. I’m actually really looking forward to that one! I’ll reveal one of my greatest resources for graphic design, and why wasting time is one of the most important things you can do to get things done. You’ve been listening to Lisa D. Sparks share awesome resources and insights and until next week I want you to do everything in your power to Be Heard!