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Home » Random

Plan for the things you can control, don’t worry about the things you can’t

Last week I had the bloggers nightmare. No internet at home. No usable internet connection whilst away on business. I worried about this for a few minutes. I worried about the effect it would have on my site traffic. I worried about the impact on sales and the impact on comments.

Then I realised that there was nothing I could do about it. My website was still up and ready for business. I was still receiving emails on my iPhone and my PayPal account was receiving income.

It wasn’t as if my business had closed down.

In reality all that had really happened was that I couldn’t update my website. I didn’t have a product launch or anything that had an immediate need to be released to the site, so it didn’t really matter.

It was like being off work sick. You don’t want to be off, but then you can’t do anything about it.

Sometimes sh!t happens.

As it happened I managed to get a weak signal in a hotel corridor and managed to write Wednesday Wisdom. Although it took me a very slow 2 hours to complete, but it was the only article I managed to post all week so I spent the rest of the time exploring blog development ideas and contacting potential guest posters to move the blog forward.

With this lack of blogging activity I expected to find the following:

  • I expected a (hopefully temporary) fall in my Alexa rankings.
  • I expected a fall in site traffic due to lack of posting frequency
  • I expected a drop in comments and re-tweets

Instead the opposite happened.

There was a small improvement in Alexa ranking

Traffic was actually marginally up on the previous week.

It was a record week for newsletter / email sign ups

Increased Facebook ‘Fans’ + Increased number of visits to my Facebook Page

RSS Subscribers increased

Services sold

All in all, not a bad week at all.

So, what have I learnt from this, maybe  I don’t need to post as often as I think I do…Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your business and the assumptions you have made about what you need to do to make it successful?

How to overcome problems

When you can’t do anything about the problem you’re facing, there’s no point worrying about it. It’s a waste of time and a waste of energy. Focus on what you can control.

Which reminds me of one of my clients. He worried about everything. He worried about how many calls he missed when he was not in the office. He worried about items getting lost in the post.  He worried about not getting stock in time for Christmas.  He worried about loss of business when he went on holiday.

Now can he do anything about each of these problems? No he can’t.

But what he could do:

is hire a receptionist or use a virtual assistant or forward his calls to his mobile when he goes out.  He could use a courier and track his parcels when they’re sent.  He could use alternative suppliers for his products and to ensure service whether he is the country or not, he could use a drop shipper.

So, if you have a problem, then rather than focusing on the problem, focus on the outcome that you want to achieve.

Then when you find solutions or alternatives outcomes,  you can eliminate the problem.

Have you had any experience of worrying about a problem, when focusing on the solution would have served you better?