AVOIDING SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME AND BALANCING WORK AND LIFE
In Part 4 of our discussion with Jared Elvidge, he talked a lot about visualization and how it helps him plan a realistic life and business plan that is not only achievable, but that resonates with him and his family.
By now, you can probably see why I consider Jared one of today’s true entrepreneurial success stories! His entrepreneurial strategies are not rocket science – but they ARE steeped in common sense and consistency. Here, we conclude our interview with a few more efficiency tips and a glimpse into how Jared creates that all-important balance between his work and his personal life.
KATHY: In one of your videos (in Jared’s old Random Acts of Internet Marketing Kindness site which is no longer live), your advice to keep our eye on our goal by avoiding “shiny object syndrome” struck a chord with me – as I’m sure it will others as well! I have already unsubscribed from various “newsletters” that are nothing more than commercials trying to sell me the “next best loaf of sliced bread” (as John calls it!) What have YOU done personally to avoid “shiny object syndrome” in your own work?
JARED: First, I have unsubscribed from a lot of the email lists and newsletter subscriptions that seem to offer nothing more than constant pitches sent to my inbox. I am still subscribed to a bunch of quality lists/newsletters though, way more in fact than I want to read regularly. If the copy and content is consistently good in a newsletter I subscribe to, I simply forward those emails automatically to a special folder in my inbox that I don’t check very often. (Currently there are 12,728 unread messages in that folder.) However when it comes time to put together some good sales copy or I’m interested in learning about a specific topic, it’s always nice to have access to those emails still, instead of just having unsubscribed.
KATHY: I, too, have decreased the number of emails I receive, especially sales pitches. It’s too easy to get caught up in looking at the latest pitch. As you mentioned earlier, it’s important that we master one step or one task before taking on another.
JARED: Also, a big one for me has been adopting more of a “content creator” mentality than a “content absorber” mentality. Don’t get me wrong, I’m big on always learning, and love to review solid content put out by experienced marketers. But I’ve chosen just a few people to follow for now and then have set a goal to create some sort of content of my own each day. Sometimes that’s a blog post, sometimes it’s a video. But that consistency of constantly searching for what people in my niche want to accomplish, and then working to create content that will help them achieve those things, has somehow kept me out of the cycle of looking at and purchasing every shiny object that gets released.
KATHY: I’m guessing that we are fans of some of the same people! 🙂
Jared, your family is the most important thing in your world. How do you manage to balance all the projects you are working on while still finding time to spend with your wife and children?
JARED: Well, to be perfectly honest this is a really difficult thing for me. There are only so many hours in a day, and there is always something else that needs to be done in your business. I’m not currently the perfect role model for spending a balanced amount of time with my family, as due to the current projects I’ve taken on I find myself in front of the computer about 12-14 hours a day.
However here are a couple of things that I do. Sundays, I rarely sit down to the computer. That’s my day to spend with my family and I really enjoy those days. We go to church, go for drives, and just spend time together. My boys go to bed at about 7pm, so on week days I come out of the home office at about 5 and then spend time with them having dinner and playing until 7 when I do Sammy’s bed time routine with him and my wife does Brock’s with him.
Tuesday nights are my date night with my wife. Every Tuesday we have a baby sitter come after 7 and stay with the boys while Cory and I go out and spend some time together.
With those few things scheduled in, even when I’m working really long days like I am lately, at least I know I’ll spend some quality time with my family each day.
KATHY: As you know from speaking with hundreds of individuals who have the dream of working from home, What advice do you have, or what practices can you recommend to people who don’t quite know how to tackle the problem of planning or scheduling their work when it comes to working from home?
JARED: I’ve found the key to balancing your time when you work from home is definitely to schedule your start and end times for work in advance. Like I said earlier, lately I’m not the best example of how this is to be done, but in the past this has really helped. Without a predetermined end time I’ll always find more “stuff” that needs to get done in my business. Also, getting to bed early and then getting an early start to the day seems to help too (again not something I’m currently doing very well at myself with the long hours I’m working).
It’s also important that others who are home when you’re working from home understand that work time is work time. They’ll have an easier time with that if you also respect that non-work time is non-work time. I like the saying “always be 100% present.” If you’re at work, focus 100% on work. And when you’re with your family, focus 100% on them.
KATHY: Finally, let’s leave work for a few minutes, Jared! I love good food – and I even write a little about some of my favorites. What are your favorite foods?
JARED: Kathy, I looooove good food! Some of my favorites are eggs benedict, steak (filet cooked medium, served oscar style from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse), Ribs (Gale Street Inn, Chicago), Pineapple Curry with Chicken, Chicken Marsala, Most fruits, Fruit juices (Guanabana juice, made with milk, Passion Fruit juice), the Billy club sandwich from Jimmy Johns, garden salads with thousand island dressing, Tri Tip on the grill, and Bratwurst on the grill.
KATHY: Now you’re making me hungry! 🙂 Other than working, which you seem to do endlessly, what other activities do you enjoy?
I’m also a big sports fan – especially grid iron football. I love firing up the grill on saturdays during football season, cooking up some brats or burgers, and watching college football on tv with the family. It’s become somewhat of a tradition at our house, and even my wife has gotten into it.
KATHY: If you could travel anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you visit and why?
JARED: That’s a tough one for me – there are so many places I’d like to visit. Most of my top 10 list would be made up of tropical locations with clear water and awesome beaches. I love the ocean and could be perfectly happy spending all my vacations on the beach. My wife and I plan to take the kids to Hawaii when they’re a little bit older. I also think a European tour would be a lot of fun. Most of the world traveling I’ve done was for internet marketing workshops so I hardly had any time to see the sights (the inside of conference rooms look the same no matter what country you’re in). It would be fun to go visit some of the same places I’ve been, but as a tourist instead of on a tight work schedule. Australia would be included on that list. I really enjoyed the Gold Coast when I was there.
KATHY: Jared, you have been extremely kind to let us “into your life” this way. I cannot thank you enough. You have offered some extremely doable steps to becoming a more productive and value-driven person for both work and day-to-day life. This has inspired me to take even more focused action in my own life and business. It is my hope that people who read this interview will come away from it with a fresh perspective that really can only come from interacting with “real people” who are true entrepreneurial success stories and have made self development practices work for them. And you are clearly one of these people.
Attention Readers! If any of you happen to be interested in internet marketing or otherwise learning good entrepreneurial strategies, I encourage you to visit Jared’s and Jo’s site and sign up for The Social Networking Academy. And for those of you who are not involved in marketing, it is my sincere hope that you will be able to incorporate some of Jared’s personal effectiveness tips wherever they fit best in your own lives.
Thank you so much for reading! I’d love your feedback, and hope you’ll post a comment below!