I often talk about the benefits of high quality content over a high quantity of content.
But what we don’t always talk about is the time it can take to craft high quality content.
And I’m actually not even talking about the time to write the blog post, record the podcast, shoot the video, or take the perfect IG selfie.
Because of course you can outsource the actual content creation with a service like ours — but the reality is that if you’re truly creating leadership marketing content, you still have to generate the ideas.
But when you’re busy working in your business…
When you’re busy with client work…
When your business is booming…
What can often happen is that we start to get disconnected from our role as the visionary of our business.
We’re so focused on the how, we forget the why
It’s a serious problem. Entrepreneur hustle culture puts such a focus on SALES as the desirable end result of every action we do, and when we buy into that mentality, it’s easy to discount or forget that visionary work after the initial startup phase of our business.
As we start to scale, it’s easy to get caught up in the HOW of our business:
- how do I market this?
- how do I attract the right leads?
- how do I scale up MORE leads?
- how do I grow my team to deliver on more sales?
- how do I hire the right people?
And so on.
And all that thinking about the HOW can crowd out the WHY.
I was chatting with a friend recently about this. We’ve both been in periods of intense growth and scale over the last year or so, and she said,
“All I want to talk about lately is what I’m doing in my business — hiring, managing a team, systems — and it makes me feel really disconnected from my audience.”
I went through the same thing last year; I was so deep in the weeds figuring out the HOW of that stage my business that I felt really drained and burned out trying to figure out what to talk about.
I felt burned out on blogging (yes! me!) and didn’t feel inspired to create new content.
We’re lacking quality of thought
Since then, I’ve self-diagnosed and realized:
The problem is that we’re not giving ourselves the time and space for high quality thought.
And it’s a systemic problem.
We’re living in the fast-paced, 24-hour news cycle, Twitter feed world. Our attention spans are shrinking in general.
And I think it’s even worse for many business owners, because we’re already trying to cram 12-hours of work into an 8-hour work day.
Our brains are fully engaged solving the HOW problems of our business — and of our lives.
We’re scarfing down junk food content 24/7 and somehow expecting our brains to turn it into a gourmet meal.
(Look, I enjoyed Bridgerton as much as the next girl — but it also didn’t exactly inspire me to do much more than let Netflix autoplay the next episode!)
In addition, we don’t have any SILENCE or SPACE in our lives to let those deep thoughts percolate through. Cal Newport points this out in Digital Minimalism: many of us don’t have ANY time during our days when we don’t have input.
We listen to the radio or music or podcasts on our commutes. We check our phones while we stand in line or wait in a waiting room. Some people even listen to things while they’re in the shower or doing chores around the house.
And because of this, we’re not making time for deep thinking.
(Somebody’s going to read this and think: But I do my best thinking when I’m listening to music/podcasts/whatever! And if that’s you, that’s awesome! But the point stands: you’re probably not doing deep thinking when you’re scrolling Instagram or binge watching Netflix.)
There has to be a balance between input and output, between consumption and creation — and most of us spend most of our days consuming without questioning the value (or volume) of it. But you know what they say: garbage in, garbage out.
In essence, if the goal is high quality, valuable content for our leadership marketing strategy, but we’re not feeding ourselves similar high quality, valuable content and giving ourselves the space and time to digest it…
Is it any wonder we’re struggling?
Better quality of thought leads to better quality content
So how do we fix this problem?
At first, I think it has to be SUPER intentional. Because we’re never going to “find” the time to do deep thinking.
Believe me — I’ve had “THINKING TIME” blocked out in my calendar on Fridays for more than a year, and I’m not sure I’ve EVER actually used that time for thinking! Because there was always the siren song of something easier calling to me.
A quick dopamine hit from Facebook or Instagram. The long relaxing dive into a Netflix binge because I felt like I “deserved” it after a long week. Or just catching up on work that didn’t get completely finished during the week.
Part of the problem is that “THINKING TIME” is to vague — there’s no goal or outcome associated with it.
Plus, it’s too encapsulated. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to say to myself, “OK! Turn on those genius ideas now!” just because I have a two hour block scheduled in my calendar.
And I wasn’t doing anything the rest of the week to feed my brain and fertilize those ideas.
I’m starting to realize that there’s a lot more that goes into cultivating a mindset, and ecosystem, and a lifestyle that will not just support but encourage the kind of deep, visionary thinking I need to be doing if I want to keep moving my business forward.
Because here’s the truth:
Every HOW business problem I come up against has an answer.
But without a living, breathing, thriving, visionary WHY behind it all…
It’s just work.
And that’s not all I came here to do.