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Slow Down to Speed Up

Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”


We’ve all heard this quote before…and probably thought yeah that makes a lot of sense, but it’s never been more true than it is today (especially in the world of entrepreneurship and eCom).


We’re bombarded with distractions on a daily basis (social media, emails, texts…..everything draining our attention).


On top of that, I’ve always been an entrepreneur that prides himself on the jump out of the nest and learn to fly on the way down approach. I’ve always taught learn by doing.


And I agree with that approach MOST of the time. But I want to take a second to remind you that sometimes it’s better to sharpen your axe first.


Here’s a prime example from my own eCom business…


Recently, I’ve been trying to find a better way to systematize Etsy Print on Demand.


Creating designs myself is time consuming and outsourcing them is costly.


Usually, this is where I would put in the headphones, crank up some music, and get to work. But then I'm always the bottleneck.


Instead, the other night I stopped for a second and thought “there’s got to be a better way to do this”. Maybe one exists already that I don’t know about? Or maybe one doesn’t, but I can come up with one somehow?”


That sent me down a rabbit whole trying to reverse engineer how graphic designers got so good at it. Were there tools they had access to I wasn’t aware of?


After a few hours I finally stumbled on the tool Vectorizer IO and realized that I didn’t need to spend 15 minutes every time turning intricate designs into png cutouts that could be uploaded easily on to t-shirts. And NOW I didn’t need to pay any graphic designers to do it for me either.


This tool BLEW MY MIND. It literally did all that FOR ME automatically by scanning the image, identifying all the colors within it, and then allowing you to hide specific colors if you want to.


…which achieved the EXACT result I was looking for.


And now I can create Etsy designs myself 10 times faster than I was able to before without spending any money outsourcing it.


GAME CHANGER! But I wouldn’t have discovered that if I dove head first into the work and tried to kill my competitor with effort alone.


Yet another example from my personal life would be our hot tub.


It’s cold today (like 10 degrees outside). And for some reason our hot tub hasn’t been heating up.


Normally this wouldn’t be that big of deal, but since pipes can freeze and lead to other major issues this became a BIG DEAL fast.


I had to get it fixed, but I wasn’t sure what the issue was. And obviously I know NOTHING about fixing or troubleshooting hot tubs.


I’d tried a bunch of different things the past few days, but all with no success.


So annoyed, I’d all but accepted that I’d have to get it fixed (which looked like I’d be a multi-thousand dollar repair).


BUT remembering this lesson, I thought…I’ll give it one last shot.


I did a deep dive into online forums and tutorial videos on related hot tubs and eventually found out that there was a secret “rest” setting we had turned on accidentally (which was why it seemed like it wasn’t working).


So instead of wasting thousands of dollars having to get a technician to repair it, I was able to fix it myself all because I spent more time “sharping my axe.”


I constantly try to remind myself not to always jump head first into work work work mode.


Sometimes it’s better to slow down, NOT jump right out of the nest immediately.... and instead calculate the wind a bit first.


Chances are there’s a better more optimal way to achieve the result you want.


And if you’re anything like me….this might help you too!

Bryan




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29 mar
Valutazione 5 stelle su 5.

Yep, I get so excited when I have a new idea that I jump in without checking out the fine print. Sometimes it is better to take a breath, slow down, and just make sure I have everything I need to be successful, efficiently. Good read

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