After reading the article by Jim Taylor, Ph.D., in Psychology Today, I couldn't help but wonder if his tips for mental preparation for endurance athletes wouldn't somehow translate into business and communication. I think they do.
Seven Mental Tips For Business Professionals.
1. Endurance. In business, passion tends to dissipate while working on a long-haul project. You can remain passionate if you avoid short-term sprints and continually freshen the project with new people (readers and colleagues) and ideas (from anywhere).
2. Preparation. While many business leaders consider research (and measurement) the heaviest lifting, it's essential to creating better products or crafting better messages. You also have to understand the outcomes and adjust.
3. Contingency. While intuition can help leaders turn companies and industries in a dramatic direction, the better course is a solid strategy with contingency models that allow for spontaneity at key points during a project.
4. Fulfillment. Intrinsic motivation (cash rewards or fame) doesn't hold as much value as some people think. It's also the most common reason people fail (in social media, they disappear from social media or abandon blogs). When doing isn't a reward in and of itself, you're already heading toward failure.
5. Coping. Business is loaded with adversity. So when products fail to catch interest or a message fails to resonate, people tend to stress themselves out of success. Always keep in mind that few failures (unless intentionally unethical) kill companies or communication plans. Over time, repeated exposure to adversity usually reduces the impact of stressful situations.
6. Self-Reflection. Most strong emotions are hardwired into our brains, which means the reaction we have during any given situation could be based more on past experience than present circumstances. When you feel strong emotions, it's time to step back and objectively review the situation.
7. Balance. Many people burn out in business. They try to reach some goal that isn't tangible because unlike a race, there is no real end. Make time for your physical health, life balance, spiritual fulfillment, and happiness. Balanced people never have to put as much effort into success.
These seven tips don't only apply to small business owners, professionals, or executives. You can easily apply them to communication and social media. Instead of businesses, communicators run long-haul plans or campaigns. Bloggers, more or less, are creating a long-haul project.
Ever wonder why so many blogs are abandoned or cut back to once a week? Reread the tips. One of those is the most likely answer despite whatever excuses they cook up. If they truly had a passion for content creation, they wouldn't have any other choice but to carry on with a project. Much like anything.