Do What You Said You're Going To Do

Y’all. I’ve got to tell you. If you didn’t make it to our July event, “Do What You Say You’re Going To Do, When You Say You’re Going To Do It,” you missed a real treat. This was the first PHLbloggers event that we’ve had like this. One that didn’t specifically relate to blogging, but instead talking about the hustle of getting shit done, being productive, and staying in good spirits while you do it all. Our guest speaker, Matt Campana (@MattCampana), shared with us his five best tips for owning your work – and life – through some incredible stories.

You are what you say you are and you can learn anything.

Don’t say that you’re not something. For example, don’t say, “I’m not a designer,” because that means you’re automatically writing yourself out of that opportunity. If you want to learn something, find somebody who does it and ask them questions. Which questions?

·         What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned?

·         What are you learning now?

·         How has failure shaped your life?

·         Who do you know that I should know?

·         What have you read that I should read?

·         What have you done that I should do?

·         How can I add value to you?

Be persistent; good leaders as great questions. And if all else fails. Remember, “sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”  

Keep showing up, keep creating.

The first 50% is showing up, the second 50% is figuring it out. Be consistent. Try the line, “I’ve done this 1,000 times, this is just my first” to see how it impacts how you’re thinking about a new experience. Include yourself in the circle, because no one else is going to do that for you. And remember that if people are mean to you, you probably didn’t want to get to know that person anyway.

Under promise, over deliver.

Set the expectation. Say what you mean, change what you say. And remember that it’s okay to say no. Looking for a nice way to say no? Try, “I don’t know if I can do that, but I’ll let you know if it changes.” 

Do one thing at a time.

Ask yourself, “is it important?” and “is it urgent?” It’s incredible how those two questions can provide very different results. Think about what needs to be now and do it. And think about the best environment for you to work in. If you need a clean desk, clean it before you leave work in the evening so when you show up you don’t have any distractions. Turn off Facebook, turn off your phone, and just get shit done. 

Hustle by creating value.

And finally. Matt has a lot of passions, not the least of which is coffee. In fact, he owns a coffee company. And when he’s selling he would never think to say “come try my coffee,” because that doesn’t provide value (and remember from above, asking how you can add value to people is an important connecting point). Instead, he shares the story about how coffee is roasted and teaches his (potential) customers something and builds a connection with them. That way, they feel more invested in what you have to offer and can better understand your passion.

And then on top of all of that. I got one of the greatest answers to a personal question I had, which was “how do you keep showing up every day if it’s something that you don’t love doing?” To which I received one of these answers I have ever gotten. We’ve all been in that place where you have to keep doing your work, whether it’s to keep food on the table, keep paying the mortgage, or because you need insurance. It sucks. So what do you do? Focus on something else. Focus on how to make someone else’s day better while you’re doing this thing you don’t want to do. Sure, you don’t want to analyze those spreadsheets for one more day, but if you can teach somebody how to do a pivot table to make their day easier. Great. Sure, getting out of bed to go to a job you don’t really love isn’t great, but maybe if you pick up an extra cup of coffee for the admin who sits next to you to make her day just a little bit better it’ll give your morning a jump start. There are so many more people in the world than just you. Think about them for a change, and then maybe you won’t be so focused on your own “problems.”

Thanks again to Matt for coming to share with us some of his stories and lessons learned. It was a wonderful night of conversation and beer. Just the way we like it.

Chrystina Cappello