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One of the most formidable foes an entrepreneur will face is fatigue. It can sneak up on you, and when it does, it can pull you down for long, long periods of time.

Earlier this week we discussed the importance of building in breaks to our daily, weekly, and monthly routines to keep our rhythm fresh and fatigue-free.

Now we’re going to tackle the practical side: the impact that our lifestyle choices can have on our energy and motivation levels!

Regular Exercise

The importance of getting regular exercise may seem like a no-brainer, but how many of us actually work out regularly? Working out has been one of the lifesavers in my battle against fatigue. It’s become a key non-negotiable. It must happen!

Working out clears mental clutter, gets out aggression, and oxygenates your brain. It also spikes endorphins which, generally speaking, makes you feel better throughout the day.

As goes the body, so goes the mind. Exercise will keep you on point mentally which will lead to overall rejuvenation.

Nutrition

I’m still learning how huge this component is. Up until 2 years ago, I didn’t give much thought at all to what I put in my body.

I’ve always had a pretty mean sweet tooth and would just cram as much junk as I could into my daily diet. And until I turned 30 there were no physical ramifications; my metabolism let me eat what I wanted to.

But as I get older, I know it’s important to eat better not only for metabolic reasons, but it also contributes to my overall energy levels. What you put in is what you get out. The food that you eat will contribute to your energy levels, which has a direct relationship with fatigue.

Cutting down significantly on carbs and sweets and upping my intake of protein, fruits, and veggies has become my regimen. In essence, clean eating! The importance of nutrition cannot be overstated.

Fighting the fatigue with diet can be as simple as having protein (nuts, sunflower seeds) in the afternoon instead of a sugary snack or coffee in the afternoon. Protein will keep those energy levels going instead of something sugary that will make you crash!

Talk It Out

Some of you may scoff at this, but talking about what you are feeling is one of the quickest ways to fight mental fatigue. Truthfully, not talking it through will add the weight of nobody knowing what you are going through. That is a heavy burden to bear.

By having mentors that I can talk to and say “Man, this is what I’m feeling – burnt out, frustrated, like I can’t push – you have been doing this longer, what did you do when you felt like this?” Even if the answer is something like “keep pushing,” it helps me greatly to know that somebody else knows what I am going through and has made it to the other side.

My mentors have been invaluable to me in helping me shape my thinking around fatigue. That there’s this thought that as entrepreneurs we’re supposed to be invincible; we never get sick or tired or frustrated or lonely. The reality is that isn’t true. Having people you can talk to who have experienced it and know the steps you need to take to push through is key to fighting fatigue.

Final Push

The fatigue is almost always mental. Very few of us work in jobs where there is a physical fatigue. Most people in 2015 have a job surrounding a desk and computers – that leads to mental fatigue. It’s pointless to try and push through fatigue; it’s like beating a dead horse.

Your mind is already fatigued – the horse is already dead – there’s no sense in pushing forward. You might actually do further damage if you don’t take time to recharge!

There’s a dangerous notion of “the hustle” and there are certain times and places for you to push. But if you pull a muscle when you’re working out, sometimes you can push through, but sometimes you need to rest and recuperate.

The difference in terms of longevity is to know the difference between discomfort and injury. You can push through discomfort. If you try to push through injury you will only make the situation worse. That is true of our muscles and of our mental capacity.

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely battle. I want you in this for the long haul. I need you guys to take care of yourselves so that we can change the world together!

 

This year I am happy to say that I’m in the Strategic Coach program. One of the main tenets of the program is identifying and understanding your unique ability as an entrepreneur. The thinking behind it is this: If you understand and emphasize your unique ability you will find the area in which have no competition.

My Experience

The more you can understand that ability and stay busy doing that ability, the more your business will grow. Unique ability is Strategic Coach’s term and I love it for how clearly it defines where we need to focus. If you are an entrepreneur you have to check out Strategic Coach. It’s a must!

My unique ability revolves around seeing a problem, identifying a solution, recruiting the right people with the right unique abilities to produce a solution, and then release into the wild. Over and over again. Knowing that has allowed me to cut everything else that does not correlate directly to this ability. Absolutely everything else is either delegated or eliminated.

The Challenges

A lot of entrepreneurs get hung up at the delegation and elimination point. They think they can do it all. Or that they should do it all because they don’t want to spend the money or they haven’t found people they can trust.

I struggled here, too. An example: managing accounts and taking care of clients. I am really good at identifying a problem and creating a solution. In other words, I can see where companies struggle with social and then discuss with them about what it would mean to have those problems alleviated. Basically, what this amounts to is generating interest in the products and services that we as a company provide.

In the past, once interest is piqued, I was having to both create the content and manage the client relationship. It was a recipe for disaster. Although I can perform these duties, they are my secondary gifts.

So, over the past 18 months it’s been a process of giving away the content writing to people who are more talented writers than I am. It’s also meant giving away the oversight and management of those key client relationships to be nurtured by someone whose strength lies in that area.

I’ve leveraged other team members’ unique abilities with my own and as a result we have something that is infinitely better than I could produce on my own.

It was scary and I took a risk but Strategic Coach helped me to see that I can’t do it all nor do I have to do it all on my own. There are other people whose unique abilities fit in directly with my weaknesses and together we can offer a far superior product and service to our clients.

Bricks and Mortar

Another example of me leveraging my unique ability by dovetailing with a team member’s strength is this blog. Part of my unique ability is a desire to learn and teach. That naturally flows into this blog and the content on the blog.

But there was a bottleneck surrounding that specific component of my unique ability. I can’t type very fast, my thoughts and therefore words tend to wander, and then putting those thoughts together in a cogent way is a struggle.

So for the last two months team member Emily and I have developed a process where her unique ability is being leveraged with my unique ability.

Every week she and I get together. I read through my notes, tell her what I’m learning, and she takes all of that jumbled mess and makes sense of it all and writes these posts (Hi, everybody!). I give her the bricks to build the posts, but she fills in the blanks—she’s the mortar.

There are a lot of really intelligent people out there who feel like they are cheating if they aren’t the ones writing their posts or guest articles. There are a lot of people who could benefit from this system – but instead they are allowing these insights to wither and die or be expressed inconsistently.

That was the epiphany for me—all these notebooks I fill up with insights and lessons learned would never see the light of day. I kept saying to myself, “Oh, I’ll get to that someday!” But I never would!

Look back at this blog 3 months ago and see the infrequency of the posts as compared to now. I wanted different results so I changed my system and delegated. I leveraged my unique ability.

Take Away

Find your unique ability and focus in on it. Whether that means delegating out to a team you can trust or cutting the unnecessary items off of your agenda, you need to focus your energies on what you are best-at.

It will be challenging at times, but the benefits far outweigh the temporary pains. You will never rise above until you can set yourself apart.

Do you think differently as a result of this post? Hit a share button below and spread the love

Josh Burns coined the title phrase, and I have been using it ever since with one tiny addition. Social media is a relational platform – not an advertising platform.

Many times when we first start working with a client they will naturally look at social media as an advertising platform. Their focus is primarily on driving clicks, views, eyeballs – however you want to say it. They ask us time and again: “How do we drive clicks to our product/site/store?”

That type of thinking comes out when you hear things like “How many likes did we get this month? How many followers did we add? What is our click-through rate of our Facebook ad?”

The Primary Function of Social

Now, let me clarify: the above are not bad questions to ask. In some ways, social is another marketing tool.

However – that is it’s secondary function. The primary function of social is to establish, build, and nurture relationships. That’s it.

Social works in the same way that we meet someone at a party and nurture that relationship towards friendship. When we’re at a party we’re not thinking (at least non-skuzzy people aren’t thinking) “How do I get something out of this person?” We’re thinking something along the lines of “This person seems interesting and I’d like to get to know them better.”

To put that paradigm on social: it’s like having that dinner party conversation infinitely with the people in our social communities. It’s not about baiting them to buy. It’s about building a relationship. You and I both know when we’re being sold to. People in your social media communities know when you’re selling.

If you want to drive business with social you have to put in relational effort first. Think of it this way: I don’t mind if – in fact I cherish it – when a friend comes to me and says “this is what I do professionally, I think I can help you, here’s what it would look like.” But for that to be something I value and will be open to, months and years of personal relationship have been established. Social media contacts function the same way.

KLTB

Seth Godin calls it “permission based marketing.” Gary Vaynerchuk calls it “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” We call it the KLTB spectrum: Know, Like, Trust, Build.

Basically, we wanted to have a relational metrics for a relational platform. When we work with clients we use KLTB.

This spectrum was born of these four questions:

  • How do we get people to know who you are?
  • To like who you are?
  • To trust who you are?
  • How do we get people to build alongside you?

Under each one of these queries go specific metrics but it is crucial to keep in mind that the point isn’t the metrics. The point is the relationship. The metrics help support the ultimate goal which is establishing, building, and nurturing relationship.

The Efficacy of Social

Is social media effective at *insert your ultimate objective here* (sales, donations, more members, attendance, book sales, etc.)? Absolutely 100% freaking yes! But you have to remember that it looks different than a broadcast platform like radio, tv, print, and billboards.

The key is knowing the difference between the two.

Social media is there for you to find like-minded individuals and to connect with them. It’s there for interaction. It’s there for relationship building. Let that truth sink in as you schedule your social content this week!