I’ve recently spent hours at work evaluating my department’s Q2 performance. My hate for Powerpoint grows, I’m ready to erase “KPI” from business language, and I’ve already accepted the bending of all charts and data to fit the narrative of each presenter.
As a marketing leader, this is what I’ve signed up for. It’s my job to report on click-through rates, form fills, goal completions, and more.
But ironically, as the CEO of my life (so cheesy, I know), I’ve spent no time reviewing the second quarter, or preparing for the rest of the year.
So I’ve been thinking about it…
My strategic plans for the second half of the year are as follows:
I spend a lot of time talking. Too much time talking. I spend so much time talking that I’ve started to recognize a few patterns in my speech. Vocal ticks, if you will. Not just “um” and “uh.” But, I say “again” a lot. And it’s bothering the shit out of me. Yes, I repeat myself so often, that I’m recognizing that I say “again,” as a means of summarizing and repeating something I previously said.
I’ve been self-conscious about it for the last month or so, but I haven’t spent a ton of time implementing any change.
You see….I think talking a lot got me noticed at first. In my brief professional career, being confident enough to stand up, speak my mind, and share thoughts and ideas pushed me ahead. I’m now in a position where my voice is required from time to time. I’m no longer just the guy off to the side who might have an idea.
But…just because I’m asked to speak more regularly, doesn’t mean I need to say as much.
A few recent things have me thinking about this more.
Talk Less. Smile More.
I’m Hamilton obsessed. In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton (please watch it), Aaron Burr’s first advice to Alexander Hamilton is “talk less, smile more.” He goes on, “fools who run their mouths off wind up dead.”
I’m not concerned for my life in this example, but I’d like to talk less and open the floor to those around me more frequently.
Naval Ravikant with Joe Rogan
Naval says this really well.
“I always wanted to be the smartest kid in the room.”
Ding, ding, ding. I’ve always been confident that I could compete with anyone, in anything. I think my ideas are just as good as those around me, I’d like to be heard.
Well…this is the thing that’s had me talking so much. Reading, regurgitating, and then probably making up the rest and having it sound good.
Feeling the need to talk less will keep me from spouting off when it’s not my place. I’m trying to say “I don’t know” more regularly, and leave it at that.
Ask More Questions
Not only do I want to talk less, but I want to listen more as well. It’s likely the case that those around me have purposefully (or unfortunately, been forced) spoken less often given my propensity for hogging the conversation. To listen more, and to listen better, it is my hope to ask more quality, thought-provoking, questions.
What do you think? Ha.
Focus on Habit Creation
I’m re-reading Atomic Habits, by James Clear. It’s a masterpiece. The most actionable book I’ve ever stumbled across.
I’ve been tweeting some of the things that have hit me through the second read. You can see those notes here.
The first time I read the book, I feel like I just nodded along at some of the things I was already aware of. Small habits, compounding returns, big benefits, long-time horizons. Yeah, I knew all this stuff, and wow, look how impactful it can be. But I didn’t put anything into action.
For the rest of the year, I’m focusing on creating good habits for the “identities” I’d like to create.
My ideal identity is healthier (mentally and physically), wealthier, and wise.
The habits I’m working on creating to back these identities:
- Meditate Daily
- Exercise Daily (100 pushup minimum)
- Don’t spend frivolously 1
- Read Daily
- Write Daily (minimum morning pages/journal)
Ending the year with each of these baked into my day will be a major victory.
Make Some Money Online
As someone that prides themselves on the ability to creatively solve problems, I’m discouraged that nearing the age of 27, I’ve been unable to create any sort of monetization engine online. Whether it be through Writer’s Bloc, Narrative and Numbers, or some other venture that strikes me along the way, it’s my goal to start to make a dollar or two online.
Inspired by Cullin McGrath’s Playbook, I’ve written it down…and now I need to stop talking, and start doing.