One of my goals in moving to Greece for 6 months was to learn how to create optimum Digital Nomad productivity versus learning how to properly do nothing.
To stop working so much or, as is often the case, to just stop sitting in front of either a computer or TV screen for so many hours a day so that when I travel and work, as opposed to living in Greece and working, I’ll be able to actually enjoy my days.
I had this fond idea that I’d be able to learn how to actually properly “do nothing” like my Own It podcast co-host Judith seems to be able to effortless do so well.
To this end, moving to a country with much better weather overall seemed like a good idea, because in England, the only places you can go to get away from a computer or TV screen in England in the winter are pubs, restaurants, other people’s houses and places like beauty salons and gyms.
So I set up my diary so that most of my “real” work – diary limited or time-bound work – could be done on a Wednesday, with the rest being either very flexible or taken up by online automation like Infusionsoft or MeetEdgar or human intervention like my lovely VA, Patricia.
My overall goal is to get healthier and move more by focusing on just ONE THING a day and then to get out of the house. Walking down to the village to sit by the sea having coffee, or exploring the area a bit like we did the other day, even just going to the supermarket is an adventure here.
We have deliberately chosen not to try and do a deal with a rent-a-car place yet, to force us to walk more. Sarah, to be fair, has always walked more than me, she actually walks for fun at home in the UK. I get bored very quickly, unless I’m listening to something educational but for some reason, not so much here. Looking at the lovely view seems to quiet my mind.
It’s working, I’ve gone from an average of 2000 steps a day to 6000 with our most energetic day topping 10,000! That did involve going uphill away from the village before heading down again, but it was a nice walk and we were able to rubberneck at some surprisingly nice holiday villas hidden in the olive groves.
As well as just ONE THING a day, I want just ONE BUSINESS.
I want to force myself to decide about amalgamating my current three separate but related businesses, ClicksAndLeads.com (Facebook Ads), wheelhouse.marketing (Sales Funnels & Conversions) and NicolaCairncross.com (Internet Marketing Mentoring) into just ONE BUSINESS but I’m not quite there yet.
Well, I’m pretty much there, mentally, but I haven’t decided if I want to use one of the above or perhaps a new, separate brand yet, or just lose the first two and put everything under NicolaCairncross.com. If I do the latter, that will mean I can’t sell any part of it later, but really, will I want to?
It would make sense to set it up so it could be kept or sold, especially if I’m building a membership site that could be part of my estate, with the ability to be passed on to my kids (with a CEO running things and internet marketing coaches delivering the actual support).
But I can’t decide yet, so (as we discussed on this week’s podcast) I’m doing nothing right now, I’m sitting with it.
Now, the sky has cleared and the sun’s come out and the view from my balcony over to the other peninsula tells me that it might be an awesomely sunny day, so I’d better crack on with this blog post so I can get out of the house when it’s done!
What ONE THING am I concentrating on each day?
I’m working through a course called “Spirit Business” with Mike Hill and Kylie Slavic and at first I wasn’t sure as many of my co-students are in the more woo-woo space and very vocal with that. As a confirmed atheist over the last few years, that’s grating a bit.
But I trust Mike (he’s one of the greatest traffic & conversion guys around right now, albeit it very under the radar) so I’m pushing through and trying to take what I need from it while not getting too exasperated by the output of the other students.
So my ONE THING today is to write this blog post, then ideally listen to the latest tuition recording (which I can do on the move or in a kafeneío gazing at the sea if I download it).
Now that might look like two things, but it’s not, as only one is OUTPUT while one is INPUT.
I only count OUTPUT as a ONE THING.
You don’t make money with INPUT, only with OUTPUT.
Output is either creating traffic to build subscribers and customers or creating educational content (or the platforms for that content) for your customers to buy, while input are the things you learn or absorb to become a better online entrepreneur.
Lots of people mistake input with output. They think that by reading something, or thinking about something, or buying something, they are actually doing something, but that’s their brain tricking them because their brain (or ego) wants them to stay still and safe and conserve energy.
Creating output, which is an income producing activity, takes thinking, bravery and energy. I have trained myself to create output so regularly, that it feels odd or wrong if I don’t create some kind of output every day, even if that’s only to share some existing content on one social media platform.
But I digress.
I can’t do the homework from Spirit Business Modules 1-3 yet, as I’m waiting for my new printer to arrive (via Katerina’s Supermarket natch) as I need to print off the PDF’s and take them away from the computer to work on.
I just can’t do homework looking at the screen all the time, even if I wrote the answers in my journal for example. I’ll get distracted by Facebook or Facebook Ads Reports or Skype or Messenger….when really concentrating on something I need to get right away from a screen. All my best planning / thinking happens traditionally on paper at a table somewhere.
I’m also really enjoying reading a book recommended by Mike and Kylie “Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future” by Jonah Sachs, but I’m not counting reading books – even business books – as one of the ONE THING’s, as it’s just more input, reading.
Yesterday was Wednesday so it was Membership Mentoring Calls and Podcast Day. We recorded Episode 105 of “Own It!” and I edited it, uploaded it and chose the picture while my co-host Judith wrote the show notes. She then wrote her version of our Client Challenge of the Week for her blog.
While not as good as video, which creates three kinds of output, video, audio and written, a podcast is very, very efficient as an output machine, if you can get some clear and relevant topics going in each episode. You can use the content externally as a traffic driver, or internally as content for your Membership site.
You can keep it and turn it into a book, or series of books even, which is what we are planning with this blog eventually. Daphne Kapsali did that very successfully with her marvellous “100 Days Of Solitude” and she managed to write a novel too!
It’s easy and fun for a start! As well as appearing on other people’s podcasts (like the one for Athony Tilley’s “Solopreneur Show” last week) Judith and I get together online once a week to record “Own It!”, gas about various topics around our respective businesses.
This creates audio content for the podcast blog, my blog and her blog. It can also be automatically syndicated onto other platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, Libsyn and YouTube (we are working on this last one now). Coming soon is Google Play but it’s not in the UK yet.
The best bit is that all of that output can be outsourced apart from the initial creation (aka the fun chat bit!). Even the social media sharing is largely automated, taking content from the feeds of the blogs and sharing the content regularly across all other social media platforms. Instagram being the one exception and I’m trying to outsource that to Phoebe although she’s a bit reluctant to be a gun for hire at the moment, concentrating as she is on her own YouTube activities.
So while I feel like I’m only doing ONE THING every day, there’s actually quite a lot going on behind the scenes every day, to create output on my behalf. My digital nomad productivity is invisible but active.
I have to keep reminding myself of that or I just feel lazy and unproductive, like I’m letting the days, weeks slip away.
I have to keep reminding me that it’s ok to be the swan, sailing serenely around Stoupa, knowing that other legs, human and machine, are paddling madly under the surface on my behalf.
My role is not to work all the hours I can, but to heal from the loss of Steve, and focus on the creative output, the bits that only I can do.
Those bits are blogging on SwaggerAndSoul.com, recording podcasts, working through this course and working on my re-write of “The Science Of Getting Rich Online” while possibly starting on my memoirs (just in case!).
Oh and making a decision about the blooming branding issue. But that can wait till next week.