Last week, we introducedThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in part 1 of our 3 part series on Stephen Covey's self-help masterpiece, translated for online marketers. We previewed the 7 habits and examined how they are much more of a set of guiding principles than a get-rich-quick system. This week, we'll take a look at the first three habits, the Private Victory, in much closer detail.
You have to crawl before you walk. Then you can run. The same is true with effectiveness. Before you can lead large online marketing initiatives, you first have to master you own devices. That's why the first three habits focus on only personal aspects over which only you have control:
- Be Proactive
- Begin With the End in Mind
- First Thing's First
Covey describes the first three habits as the Private Victory because they involve no one but yourself. Master these habits and see your individual productivity sky-rocket. It's as simple as that. Who wouldn't want that? Let's take a closer look at what constitutes the Private Victory for online marketers.
Habit #1: Be Proactive
We spend way too much time putting out fires and settling for less-than-ideal outcomes in our day-to-day activities. We spend far less time figuring out how to keep the fires from happening in the first place or better yet, how to achieve perfection. To be proactive, by very definition, you must take action. Map out a better process and propose it to your team to remove inefficiencies. Read a book or blog (or both!) to gain insights on why everyone is leaving your home page in droves. Become personally responsible for making things better.
Being proactive is a choice, not an ability or personality type. It's a decision to acknowledge when something isn't perfect and then to take action to fix it. Measure, grow, improve, read, create, learn, test, play. These are tools of proactive online marketers.
Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind
Online marketing tools and channels are cheap. All too often we find ourselves creating presences in every social media channel or using every online marketing tool just because we can. We get excited because we have 400 likes, 5000 followers and 10,000 page views! But what about revenue? Profit? When you begin with the end in mind, you determine business objectives, create metrics, then set goals. Only then will you select the tactics necessary to move the needles you've selected.
You're saying, "What if I don't know how to set the objectives? What if I don't know what my goal should be?" See habit #1.
Habit # 3: First Thing's First
Not everything is going to get done at once. And there are many distractions along the way. First Thing's First is the habit of defining and prioritizing tasks for yourself along the way to meeting your business objectives. You want to spend your time on the activities with the highest value.
To embrace Habit #3, you must learn to understand and how to deal with both important and urgent tasks. Find time now for the mission-critical project that isn't due for three months. Tame the flood of constant-yet-unimportant daily emergencies by plugging efficiency leaks in your day. Be committed to knocking out the important milestones along your project's time line.
Win the Private Victory
By being proactive, beginning with the ending in mind and taking first thing's first, you'll achieve the private victory, meaning you have moved from being dependent to becoming independent along Covey's spectrum of effectiveness. Next week, we'll take a look at the remaining four habits that empower online marketers to unlock the Public Victory.
What do you do to improve your personal productivity?