As I was ascending from meditation this morning I thought popped into my mind out of nowhere: “How will I advance the ball today?”
This is football terminology. It is NFL playoff time but in all honesty, I’m not really a fan and I wasn’t thinking about it…at least not consciously. But I instantly thought, “Wow this is a great metaphor for business and personal development.”
“Advancing the ball” is an important strategic component in football.
The objective in football is of course to score a touchdown, or at least get into the other teams territory close enough to score a field goal. These are the objectives of the offensive team. However these objectives are generally achieved incrementally. Individual plays are designed to move the ball forward but not necessarily to the goal line every time. Even though each each play does not result in a score, each advancement of the ball and improvement of field position is important and valuable.
It’s a reminder that among all our activities each day, we need to make sure some of them have the potential to “advance the ball”. The items on our to do list are not all of equal value. Some of them have little or no effect of advancing our ball and some of them do. So it’s important that when we make our to do list that we designate major time on the highest value tasks. We need to certainly make sure that each day, our to do list includes at least one or several activities which will move the ball forward toward our goals.
“What is one thing I can do today that if I complete it will, make me feel as though it was a successful day?”
Then list 2 or more of those things and get them done. Even better!
Advancing the ball, career-wise, requires major time invested in marketing ourselves, our products or our services. Another is learning how to market ourselves, our products and our services better than we’re currently doing it. Whether that learning is how to communicate better, how to improve our networking skills, how to be more organized, or how to make better use of technology, for example, these ARE “ball-advancing” activities.
As the saying goes “time waits for no man.” The clock is ticking. Productive days build upon one another. Unproductive days just run out the clock. We don’t need to score a touchdown every day but for our career, our personal goals, and for our mental attitude, it’s really important to accomplish at least one valuable ball-advancing advancing action each day. It’s very important for the psyche.
Stand out by adding content.
I tell my marketing students (business owners learning how to market their business online) to add content to their website regularly. Each piece of content in the form of a blog post, article or new web page they create adds up to building a bigger, better online presence. They can be repurposed for their social media and other marketing efforts. One piece of content generated per week can yield a couple hundred individual marketing actions and touch potentially thousands of people (prospective customers). At the very minimum, adding one piece of content to a website each week ads 52 additional website pages per year. If you’re website grows by 52 pages per year and your competitors website does not grow at all this is a great advantage. If those 52 pages per year are repurposed for other marketing actions then the advantage is multiplied.
Creating “ball-advancing” content even if you don’t have a website.
You don’t have to be a business owner with a website to take advantage of this strategy. You can write articles on article sites such as ezinearticles.com. You can write blog posts on LinkedIn. You can create a YouTube channel or even a podcast. There are all kinds of platforms for you to showcase your smarts, your talents, your products, your services, and your value to the marketplace.
Sometimes, plays designed for short gains break wide open and the gains are much larger than expected and can even result in a score.
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Andrew Mazer, Founder of Mazer Wholesale, Inc. established since 1986. In 1996, I began marketing my wholesale business online. In 2009, I began helping other business owners market THEIR business online. I am the author of The Business Owner's Guide to Marketing Online, The Groupon Solution, and The One Good Idea Newsletter. Contact me at Andrew@smallbusinessu.org