Sometimes people will ask the question:
I don’t really like that question. In fact, I don’t like it at all. Not even a little bit.
You wouldn’t ask:
What’s the one thing I need to know to fly a jet fighter?
Or something like:
What’s the one thing that makes you successful?
It’s never one thing.
Another question I saw recently was:
What’s the one decision that had the biggest impact on your business or professional life?
Not a bad question. I’m going to approach as if they asked:
What are the 10 decisions that had the biggest impact?
Here is what I came up with…
1. Blog Posts Only
Over the years we’ve been asked if we could write a lot of different types of content. And I have written many types of content and so have our writers.
- Website copy
- All kinds of stuff…
But pretty early on I decided that blogging was where my passion was. It was where I was personally pretty good and it’s where I thought we could be the best. I didn’t want to stretch ourselves. I wanted depth and not width and it’s been good.
Although this has led me to realize that we’re not just good at blog posts, but at regular, ongoing content that’s of medium length.
This might allow for some change in the future, but for now we have no plans outside of blogging.
I still have a problem with this, but a few years ago I realized that I needed to delegate. I guess in the early days it was delegating the blogging. That’s how the company went from me just freelancing to a small agency of writers.
And it also led me to hire an Account Manager. I couldn’t do it all. Delegating is something I know I need to continue doing in the future.
3. Not Having A Business Plan
I didn’t really have one. Still don’t have one. Maybe there is one in my mind, but it’s pretty much been just getting down to work. Getting in the dirt and occasionally coming up to think about the big picture.
Creating plans is a form of procrastination in my mind. I’ve always preferred to get to work and figure it out along the way.
You know the saying about how Abraham Lincoln would sharpen his axe for 50 minutes and chop the tree for 10 minutes or something like that?
I’d start chopping in minute one. If the axe was sharp I’d be done in 10 minutes. If not, then I’d sharpen.
4. Finding The Profit Per X
This has been a big one and I’m still working on it.
For us it’s been Profit Per Post. Not necessarily raising the price, but looking at how we can lower the price. How we can get more posts.
It might not be perfect just yet, but I’m always thinking about the economic engine or the economic denominator of our business.
You get what you emphasize and knowing what your Profit Per X is helps you find emphasis.
5. Regular Audits
I don’t even remember making this decision, but for years I’ve done regular audits.
Audits of the Ghost Blog Writers website.
Audits of what I spend my days and weeks doing.
Audits of what the Account Manager and the writers are doing.
Audits of our internal process and how we deliver to clients.
It’s been a great exercise.
6. Embracing Losses
I don’t know if I’ve always felt this way, but somewhere along the way with GBW I do remember changing my thinking with losses.
When customers decide not to go with us I still get bothered. But recently I’ve been embracing it. Trying to figure out why it happened. Then doing all I can to make sure we’re better in the future. Maybe just to land the next customer, but also a little bit to show the customer that passed that they made the wrong decision.
7. Saying “No” To Customers
This was a big one.
Early on we would take everybody on.
But that would lead to a lot of headaches.
I decided to start saying “no” to certain inquiries. A few even got angry. But it’s been a great decision for the long-term health of the company.
8. The Name
The name was a nice decision. It’s been good from an SEO standpoint although I think the next point is even more important…
And I do know that it’s limiting, but I think if we do venture into other types of regular, scheduled content that we can adapt the name accordingly.
9. Practicing What We Preach
We sell blogging services.
I’ve always believed that if we’re selling it then we should use it.
I’ve been blogging on the GBW website since Day 1.
It’s been a great driver for business. And not even in the ways you might think. I’ve seen improvement in our homepage rankings as a result of all the posts we’ve written. And each of those posts answer questions and that earns trust and people come back long-term and remember us.
Blogging is branding and branding is a great long-term strategy. And it’s one that not many are willing to invest in, but that’s where the opportunity is.
And building on that idea is the idea of patience.
I don’t know if it was a decision or more of something from my personality. But I like to be patient with the business. I never really set a big short-term goal.
I just got to work. I know the success will come, but I’m not necessarily in a hurry to get there. I like the work.
So it’s not just one decision that has gotten me to where I am and where GBW is today. Or where it’s going. It’s a collection of a lot of decisions. I could probably list even more, but that’s not a bad list.
Just a few things to consider when it comes to your career, your business and your future.