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ARTICLE 1 — Introduction/Why I Wrote This Book

Ever get an idea but didn’t follow through with it? Yes, I have done the same. But lucky for my readers, when the idea for my book captured my attention, I made a note in my journal and stated to flesh out the chapters over the ensuing weeks and months. I realized that I needed to complete the book not only for myself, but for the readers who need this book as much as I did so many years ago. As I state in the introduction:

I wish I had my book when I had my first business.

I was just like the myriad business owners out there: working many hard hours to make things work out of sheer effort. I had some good success along with the failures, but what if I had done things differently? How much more money, time and freedom could I have had if I had a plan like the one I have outlined in my book?

“Do the hard jobs first. The easy jobs will take care of themselves.” — Dale Carnegie

Much has been written on doing the hard jobs first thing in the morning, so why do we procrastinate by doing the easy jobs first only to realize at the end of the day that we did not take care of the hard jobs?
As Stephen Covey points out in The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, many of us tend to get caught up in doing the easy jobs and our attention is always called away by the tyranny of the urgent activities, some important, some not. Our attention to the “Not Urgent but Important” tasks is overpowered by “Urgent Important and Not Important” tasks.
That’s where I was — I was taking care of the Urgent instead of the Not Urgent. Part of the problem was that I didn’t know what some of the Not Urgent but Important things that I should have been doing. This is where education comes in. Things started to turn around when I started taking more business classes and talking with other business owners.

I remember one of those business owners asking me, “What is your break-even cost?”
And I asked, “What is that?”

It was then that I began to track some vital numbers. I had a good business but not a great one. I received some good education that helped, but what I needed was a book like this one to really put me over the top.

In coaching other businesses, I came to realize something about myself and many other business owners: Most of us struggle with the idea of starting with the hard jobs first because of one simple letter.

Hard JobS. Yes, that “S” on the end.

“I am rather like a mosquito in a nudist camp; I know what I want to do, but I don’t know where to begin.” — David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity
It’s a killer because I was starting with too many jobs in my business and years later, I was asking my coaching clients to do the same.
For me, that moment was one of the few times I’d say, “Dale Carnegie was wrong.” You do only one hard job first. One at a time.
And that is the secret, the essence to why the book works:
a focus on one big thing at a time — 1 Week 1 Thing. It doesn’t get any simpler.

Over the next 10 weeks, I’m going to be sharing excerpts and stories from my book, 1 Week 1 Thing, in this article series.


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