“What would it take to make you happy?”

postive thinking

Norman Vincent Peale

Happiness. Chased forever by so many people, but why is happiness so elusive? What would it take to make you happy? Many of us would list “success” in one form or another as the method to achieve happiness. Shawn Achor says that “Happiness is achieved first, then success will come.” Norman Vincent Peale’s quote above gives us the instant power to choose happiness each day.

Three steps to happiness.
1. Don’t wait for it. You might as well choose to be happy now because you’ll never have enough money to be happy. Studies have shown that at ANY income level, the interviewed people believed that true wealth and happiness was double their current income. It didn’t matter if you were making $40,000 or $400,000 dollars, happiness lay just beyond your reach.
2. Don’t discount the power of choice. As trap in your circumstances as you believe you are, you always have a choice. Our lives are so comfortable that we strive to eliminate all pain from our lives. I believe people have become so incredibly weak spirited because they are not forced to experience pain as often as they should. Eric Thomas says, “Pain is temporary. You ain’t gonna die because you experience a little pain. On the other side of pain is success.” Your choices might cause a little pain, but you always have a choice.
3. Don’t overlook your joy. The older my kids get the more I realize that I don’t need to go anywhere special, buy anything expensive, eat fancy food, sell 10 more attractions; I just want to get home earlier and read a book about clay dragons coming to life with my son or play my trumpet with my daughter playing her clarinet. Are you overlooking joy that is already in your life?
What if it’s not as complicated as we make it out to be? What if happiness is closer than we ever imagined? What if it’s already inside us just waiting to be unleashed into the rest of our lives?
Here’s your challenge of the week: As you plant that tree, sell that flower, plow that field, make that sale, I challenge you to take a few seconds to live in that moment of joy, of victory, of happiness and really enjoy it. You can then get back to work, but don’t let the chance to enjoy that little slice of happiness slip away.
Have a great week,
Hugh
PS It was in about 9th grade when I found a personal development tape set in my mom’s personal library of tapes from Norman Vincent Peale’s Power of Positive Thinking called “Which face will you put on today?” My 2nd challenge for you is, Can you get something like this into the hands of a teenager or young person? It literally changed my life for the better and you better believe that my kids are going to hear it, too.

Down The Rabbit Hole.

Alice-in-front-of-rabbit-hole

 

All I need to do is get these three things done. OK item one: Send that package. OK to do that I need to gather everything up. OK to do that I need print that out. OK well, that really needs to be edited. OK to really edit it I need to re-read it and get out my red pen. OK I need to print it. OK I need to get more ink for the printer. OK I need to get on Amazon to get the ink, OK Hey, that looks neat I’ll get one of those while I’m on here and save time. OK but I better check reviews on this 2nd item. OK and on and on and on… then 2 hours later… Hey, what was I working on? Oh, crap I missed sending that package!

Ever have this happen? This is going “Down the rabbit hole.”
The Task Dominos. I find a good way to think of things is in a hierarchy of Vision, MIssion, Objective, Project, Task. 

Here’s a VERY basic example: 
Vision: To make the agriculture entertainment world so fun people would rather visit farms than theme parks. 
Mission: Build up our attraction clients into profitable, fun destinations. 
Objective: Create incredibly fun attractions. 
Project: Develop & perfect the Barnyard Board Game attraction. 
Task: Choose the best paint colors for the blocks.

Mostly we find ourselves in realm of tasks because, quite frankly, things need to get done. Tasks are the lowest level of operating, however, which can create those days in which you do a loot of things and never get anything done. You actually did get tasks done, but you feel frustrated because you didn’t move any of your Objectives or Missions forward. You wake up dreaming about your vision, but the task dominos start falling and you struggle to keep your head above water. You struggle to stay out of the rabbit hole.
Projects. The next layer we often reach is the project level. You want to install a new attraction. You want to renovate your web site. You want to serve fried food. This is a very useful, practical level. My trick is to organize my projects by file folders. I do this to keep things off my desk, collect a to-do list of tasks, and especially to allow me to collect information in a safe place and keep myself from working on the project until I have time for it. I find a new web site or brochure that I need for the fried food project, but I’m working on our marketing plan – throw it in the folder for later.

Technology aside: I also use Evernote to scan and store information I might need in the future, but don’t want to clutter up amy desk with a hard copy. It’s free at Evernote.com. The scanner is about $400. The key is that I’m clearing my mind and desk, because I know I can get it instantly with a search in Evernote. I don’t need to remember the details.

Target your Objectives. We’re only going as high as Objectives today, because if you can master this level, you’ll have plenty of time to work on the next two, Mission and Vision. You Objective level is: Increase the food & beverage revenue and enjoyment at our farm. OR Decrease marketing costs by 10% while growing social media engagement by 50%.

You can see how each of these would have multiple projects, large and small, beneath it. Each project would then have a series of tasks. You can also see how keeping all of this straight is nearly impossible. It’s probably becoming obvious that you could run down the rabbit hole on any of these objectives, projects or task lists.

What to do about it.
Name your nemesis. In Harry Potter, the nemesis of our hero Harry is Voldemort. He inspires such incredible fear in the land that people call him “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named” because saying his name, eventually (spoiler alert) reveals the location of rebellious people. Harry persists in using Voldemort’s name throughout the series as a direct form of rebellion. Naming the problem reduces it’s power over you.

Writing is better than thinking. Not only should you write and name your tasks and problems and challenges and opportunities, you must take it a step further. You must write down every single task, activity, process, script, video, brochure, person, action necessary to wipe this project off you list.
Writing it all down is giving the project or problem a “Name” so it’s not floating around in your mind. It becomes concrete and workable. It’s just hard to get in the habit of writing things down.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Don’t Write Things Down:
  1. It’s all in my head. I know what I’m doing. Bulls**t. I’m just calling b******t on this one and you can’t dispute it. At one time or another “it’s all in your head”, but it isn’t right now or you’d be done with the project and laughing at me instead of desperately reading this for a solution. Did you know that cognitive research has determined that humans can barely capture, contain and control seven individual directives or channels in our minds at once? How many of you have more than seven projects underway right now? How many of those projects have more than seven tasks yet to complete? Right. It physiologically can’t be all in your head, so don’t put it there. Write it down. All of it.
  2. If I sat down and wrote it all out, I’d never get anything done! Picture in your mind one of those days when you ran at full speed all day only to realize that you got nothing accomplished. You and I waste so much time each and everyday putting out fires, checking email, starting and stopping projects and racing down the rabbit hole that we actually HAVE the time to do the planning!
  3. Reacting feels like action. The biggest problem in my work world is that reacting feels like action. You know the feeling: An email comes in with a guest or customer order or complaint. You jump in as the hero and solve the problem! Great! Then, you check you other email and off you go down the rabbit hole until another emergency arises! You swoop in to save the day! By the end of the day, you’ve moved NONE of your projects forward and you wonder why you feel lousy.
  4. Someone might hold you accountable, maybe even you. Let’s be honest: You don’t want to be criticized. If you write an objective down and you don’t achieve it on time, someone could call you on it and you certainly will know you didn’t do it. Even the fear of self-criticism prevents us from writing things down.
  5. Writing things down makes them real and stifles my creative thinking. I must be free! Sometimes I have to writing the stuff that goes through my head down just to laugh at how stupid it really is. I used to say this to myself! I’m an idea guy I can’t be constrained by lists, man. What a bunch of crap. Writing things down keeps you from believing this stuff your brain makes up to try to avoid accountability. I routinely have to pull myself back from the land of make-believe, because we live in the real world. One of my favorite quotes is: “You’ll deal with reality sooner or later, so you might as well deal with it now on your own terms.” – Todd Bieler.
How to try it out, the easy way.
I know this sounds like a big deal and huge time drain, so to make it accessible for you to try out, to sample. I suggest you do these 3 Steps for just ONE Project. If you like it, repeat the process for your other projects, just do it ONE AT A TIME to keep it light and easy.
  1. Get a file folder and label it for your project. (Ex: Build a Corn Box).
  2. Place all the pictures, brochures, web sites and information you’ve ever collected on Corn Boxes into the folder.
  3. Use a BLANK sheet of paper to brainstorm for 5-10 minutes all the tasks, items, materials, costs, procedures, people, other operators to call, EVERYTHING you can think of that you might have to do to build this box – just write in down in any order as fast and free as you can. (This is a good time to involve your staff in the process if they will be a part of it.
  4. Use a 2nd BLANK sheet and organize the tasks neatly by kind (i.e. Construction, Staffing, Equipment, Financial, Location etc.)
  5. Type (preferred) or use a BLANK a lined pice of paper to organize the tasks by the order you THINK they should be done or MUST be done down to the most minute detail. (NOT “order materials”, BUT “draw plans, count 2x4s, count 4x4s, measure cubic ft for concrete, estimate shingles, choose paint color, etc.)
Sound like a lot of work? It’s not because once you do this for maybe 1 hour, you NEVER HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT AGAIN. You just have to do the things on the list and you’ll have a Corn Box.

That’s the magic. That’s why it works. Your brain is free to think about the next project because this one is off the table. It’s planned. It’s done. No longer will you chase this project down the rabbit hole because you’ll know exactly what to do.

I want so desperately for you to be successful that I took my time to share this with you. Let me know if you do this on just one project and it helps. Let me know how it feels when your first folder is done. Try it. I dare you. You’re brain will thank you 🙂
Have a great week,
Hugh

Find Hugh at:

www.cornmaze.com

www.mazecatalog.com

www.mazefunpark.com

Twitter: @themazemaster

Communicating your core. Are you neglecting your center?

Sun_diagram_chandra

Behaviors are surface. So much of what we do deals with behaviors. We want behavior modification for our employees. We try to incentivize the right behaviors. You have good behavior. I have bad behavior. The trouble with behavior is that, by the time you see a behavior you don’t like, things have been changing for that person long ago and deep within themselves. Behaviors sit on the surface.

Values are core. Behaviors are like solar winds. They are the last things thrown off by the nuclear reaction in a star. In that star’s core is the reaction that generates the heat, the gravity, the energy the light. So what’s at your core? What generates the heat and light in your life that radiates into the world around you?

Finding your core. Go somewhere quietly and write down why you are in business.The easiest way to keep digging is to keep asking yourself “Why?”

Why am I in business? To make money.
Why do I want to make money? To get a great car.
Why do I want a great car? Because it makes me feel good.
Why does the great car make me feel good? Because people notice me.
Why do I want people to notice me? Because I like the attention.
Why do I like the attention? Because it makes me feel valuable.
Why do I need to feel valuable? Because I want my life to matter.
Why do should my life matter? Because…

See how you get to some interesting places? It works on business initiatives, too. Just substitute “How?” for “Why?”

Why are we in business? To make money.
How do you make money? We sell apples.
How do you make money selling apples? We charge more than it costs to grow them.
How do you get to charge more? We sell direct to the customers who visit.
How do you get customers to visit? We advertise, promote in the media, and post social media to convince customers to visit.
How do you convince them? We offer a premium product.
How do you prove it’s premium? We…..

See how using this strategy allows you to blast some assumptions? This leads you past “we always have done it”, “people have just been coming for years”, “Word of mouth is all that works”, “Everyone knows that we (fill in the blank)” – insert any assumption you are making and eventually you’ll work your way to the core of the problem which is, What is your core?

I can’t answer this for you. It’s your core. You alone can plumb the depths of your being to determine the value, the purpose you bring to the world each and every day. I can tell you it is likely that not enough people know your core and your business’ core. I’m sure you don’t communicate it often enough.

Why it matters. Neglecting your core has a number of unintended consequences.

For you. Neglecting your core leads to frustrating days when you are really busy and don’t feel like you’ve gotten anything done. (Ever have one of those?!) When this happens to me, typically, I was not focusing on the right activities, even though I was doing tasks. I wasn’t moving forward the greater purpose of my life. Even accounting (the bane of my existence), has meaning when framed in the purpose of providing for my family, our family of operators and caring for guests.

For your employees. You job is to be successful in your business so the bills get paid, employees payroll checks clear and the business moves forward to a happy future. When you start neglecting your core, a number of things start going wrong. You start doing jobs you shouldn’t be doing. Are you doing minimum wage jobs? Jobs teenagers can do? You are stealing from the company and you’ll start getting frustrated because, the bathroom needs cleaned, but that’s not your core responsibility. You have to stop and look around, metaphorically, to see if you are really focusing on the core of the business.

For your guests. No one can care for your guests like you do. One of your core values likely is (approximately) providing an environment of wonder for your guests so they can’t help but talk about your business. If you drift from this core value, your guests will notice. Make sure you are on the front line, not necessarily the front register, of greeting and ensuring your guests are well cared for.

At the Fun Park, our core is a mantra: Make people happy. Three little words my teenagers have memorized before orientation is over, yet everything they do, we do, we train them to do gets filtered through it. It is our core.

What’s at your core? Take some time to thoughtfully consider it between now and the new year. You’ll find a whole lot more motivation in this one exercise then in a thousand New Year’s Resolutions.

Resolutions typically have to do with behaviors, but behaviors are just on the surface.What matters more, what motivates more is what’s in the center.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a great week.
Hugh

See Maize Quest’s attractions for entertainment farms at:

www.MazeCatalog.com

Communicating your core. Are you neglecting your center?

Sun_diagram_chandra

Behaviors are surface. So much of what we do deals with behaviors. We want behavior modification for our employees. We try to incentivize the right behaviors. You have good behavior. I have bad behavior. The trouble with behavior is that, by the time you see a behavior you don’t like, things have been changing for that person long ago and deep within themselves. Behaviors sit on the surface.

Values are core. Behaviors are like solar winds. They are the last things thrown off by the nuclear reaction in a star. In that star’s core is the reaction that generates the heat, the gravity, the energy the light. So what’s at your core? What generates the heat and light in your life that radiates into the world around you?

Finding your core. Go somewhere quietly and write down why you are in business.The easiest way to keep digging is to keep asking yourself “Why?”

Why am I in business? To make money.
Why do I want to make money? To get a great car.
Why do I want a great car? Because it makes me feel good.
Why does the great car make me feel good? Because people notice me.
Why do I want people to notice me? Because I like the attention.
Why do I like the attention? Because it makes me feel valuable.
Why do I need to feel valuable? Because I want my life to matter.
Why do should my life matter? Because…

See how you get to some interesting places? It works on business initiatives, too. Just substitute “How?” for “Why?”

Why are we in business? To make money.
How do you make money? We sell apples.
How do you make money selling apples? We charge more than it costs to grow them.
How do you get to charge more? We sell direct to the customers who visit.
How do you get customers to visit? We advertise, promote in the media, and post social media to convince customers to visit.
How do you convince them? We offer a premium product.
How do you prove it’s premium? We…..

See how using this strategy allows you to blast some assumptions? This leads you past “we always have done it”, “people have just been coming for years”, “Word of mouth is all that works”, “Everyone knows that we (fill in the blank)” – insert any assumption you are making and eventually you’ll work your way to the core of the problem which is, What is your core?

I can’t answer this for you. It’s your core. You alone can plumb the depths of your being to determine the value, the purpose you bring to the world each and every day. I can tell you it is likely that not enough people know your core and your business’ core. I’m sure you don’t communicate it often enough.

Why it matters. Neglecting your core has a number of unintended consequences.

For you. Neglecting your core leads to frustrating days when you are really busy and don’t feel like you’ve gotten anything done. (Ever have one of those?!) When this happens to me, typically, I was not focusing on the right activities, even though I was doing tasks. I wasn’t moving forward the greater purpose of my life. Even accounting (the bane of my existence), has meaning when framed in the purpose of providing for my family, our family of operators and caring for guests.

For your employees. You job is to be successful in your business so the bills get paid, employees payroll checks clear and the business moves forward to a happy future. When you start neglecting your core, a number of things start going wrong. You start doing jobs you shouldn’t be doing. Are you doing minimum wage jobs? Jobs teenagers can do? You are stealing from the company and you’ll start getting frustrated because, the bathroom needs cleaned, but that’s not your core responsibility. You have to stop and look around, metaphorically, to see if you are really focusing on the core of the business.

For your guests. No one can care for your guests like you do. One of your core values likely is (approximately) providing an environment of wonder for your guests so they can’t help but talk about your business. If you drift from this core value, your guests will notice. Make sure you are on the front line, not necessarily the front register, of greeting and ensuring your guests are well cared for.

At the Fun Park, our core is a mantra: Make people happy. Three little words my teenagers have memorized before orientation is over, yet everything they do, we do, we train them to do gets filtered through it. It is our core.

What’s at your core? Take some time to thoughtfully consider it between now and the new year. You’ll find a whole lot more motivation in this one exercise then in a thousand New Year’s Resolutions.

Resolutions typically have to do with behaviors, but behaviors are just on the surface.What matters more, what motivates more is what’s in the center.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a great week.
Hugh

See Maize Quest’s attractions for entertainment farms at:

www.MazeCatalog.com

What I learned from Anthony Mechiorri of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible.

On sales, advertising and marketing:

“If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying

‘Circus Coming to the Fairground Saturday,’

that’s advertising.

If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion.

If the elephant walks through the Mayor’s flower bed,

that’s publicity.

And if you get the Mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations.

If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions, and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus,

that’s sales.

And, if you planned the whole thing,

that’s marketing!”

Unknown

From his website: http://www.argeohospitality.com

 

Vulnerability makes a stronger connection, than strength.

[[posterous-content:yesoCDgvembGtByxchqq]]


Vulnerability makes a stronger connection, than strength. A different thought is circulating in the marketing world, but one you might have noticed some in the local food movement already use: Marketing your vulnerability. I see this as an offshoot of marketing with authenticity, or just being authentic; just being yourself. (This was inspired by an article I could not find again, but this article is a good connection to vulnerability marketing connections.) Spotlighting your vulnerabilities takes courage,but there are a few specific reasons why it can be effective for small business owners like us. 

You are authentically are vulnerable. The most important thing to remember is that you are vulnerable. No business is a fortress. No business can exist without customers. Mother nature can turn on a dime and leave successful operators wondering what happened. 

Empathy builder. Sharing your honest concerns for your crops with your customers, all in good measure, helps them relate to you. It connects them to you and activates empathy within them. That empathy, a very regular human emotion, is not accessed by “We’re the best!” marketing messages. It’s a personal connection through pictures of frost-bitten blossoms and apples fallen to the ground.

It’s hard to be Superman and everyone knows you’re Clark. I know this because for years I was on the by-the-book, everything’s-great-here, we’re-the-best-all-the-time-at-everything marketing plan. It’s so hard to keep trolling out the superlatives, awesome, great, something for everyone, best-ever-and-ever-and-ever again(!). Seriously, nobody’s buying it. They all know your secret identity as a real person. 

Social media allows you to tell your story.Social media also encourages it. The people who “Like” your business have asked for a closer look into your business. They can hear your ad on the radio, but they connected to hear your story. Facebook & Twitter are built to allow you to share pictures, joys, disasters, worries, successes all with a click of your smartphone. The platform s there. You just have to commit to using it to connect. 

How to appropriately connect. You can take this too far. No one is interested in your bad-mouthing the weather, complaining about every circumstance or belittling troublesome employees.(If that’s really a rut you get into, please adjust your “authentic self” for the sake of your business and lighten up.) 

Go for balance. Stay positive 13/16ths of the time and add in a real, true vulnerable moment. 

Use pictures. Don’t complain about the weather, show the snow and explain what it means, good or bad, for the crop. 

Education & empathy. Use the posts to tell the story of the plant, the crop, the people. In short, educate your customers with these authentic moments in farming. 

What a relief. Isn’t it nice to know that you don’t have to be perfect any more? It was such a relief to me because I was failing miserably at perfection. The world ain’t perfect. Your customers ain’t perfect and, thankfully, you don’t have to be. You have to be positive, but not perfect. 

Share your vulnerabilities every now a then and let people know the real you and the real story of your family’s farm. People are desperate for something real in an age of posers and politicians. 

Have a great week,
Hugh

PS Registration is open for NAFDMA (North American Farmers Direct Marketing) Conference! This has been my favorite place to meet folks doing pick-your-own, pumpkin patches, corn mazes just generally fun folks who do what we do. It’s Feb 1-6, 2013 in Portland, OR. I’m leading one of the Bus Tours, the “TechnoBus”– it”s a workshop on wheels where we explore the world of social media and technology in a quest for customer connections. You can see the Bus Tour destinations here.

 

1-866-935-6738 ext 102

Vulnerability makes a stronger connection, than strength.

[[posterous-content:yesoCDgvembGtByxchqq]]


Vulnerability makes a stronger connection, than strength. A different thought is circulating in the marketing world, but one you might have noticed some in the local food movement already use: Marketing your vulnerability. I see this as an offshoot of marketing with authenticity, or just being authentic; just being yourself. (This was inspired by an article I could not find again, but this article is a good connection to vulnerability marketing connections.) Spotlighting your vulnerabilities takes courage,but there are a few specific reasons why it can be effective for small business owners like us. 

You are authentically are vulnerable. The most important thing to remember is that you are vulnerable. No business is a fortress. No business can exist without customers. Mother nature can turn on a dime and leave successful operators wondering what happened. 

Empathy builder. Sharing your honest concerns for your crops with your customers, all in good measure, helps them relate to you. It connects them to you and activates empathy within them. That empathy, a very regular human emotion, is not accessed by “We’re the best!” marketing messages. It’s a personal connection through pictures of frost-bitten blossoms and apples fallen to the ground.

It’s hard to be Superman and everyone knows you’re Clark. I know this because for years I was on the by-the-book, everything’s-great-here, we’re-the-best-all-the-time-at-everything marketing plan. It’s so hard to keep trolling out the superlatives, awesome, great, something for everyone, best-ever-and-ever-and-ever again(!). Seriously, nobody’s buying it. They all know your secret identity as a real person. 

Social media allows you to tell your story.Social media also encourages it. The people who “Like” your business have asked for a closer look into your business. They can hear your ad on the radio, but they connected to hear your story. Facebook & Twitter are built to allow you to share pictures, joys, disasters, worries, successes all with a click of your smartphone. The platform s there. You just have to commit to using it to connect. 

How to appropriately connect. You can take this too far. No one is interested in your bad-mouthing the weather, complaining about every circumstance or belittling troublesome employees.(If that’s really a rut you get into, please adjust your “authentic self” for the sake of your business and lighten up.) 

Go for balance. Stay positive 13/16ths of the time and add in a real, true vulnerable moment. 

Use pictures. Don’t complain about the weather, show the snow and explain what it means, good or bad, for the crop. 

Education & empathy. Use the posts to tell the story of the plant, the crop, the people. In short, educate your customers with these authentic moments in farming. 

What a relief. Isn’t it nice to know that you don’t have to be perfect any more? It was such a relief to me because I was failing miserably at perfection. The world ain’t perfect. Your customers ain’t perfect and, thankfully, you don’t have to be. You have to be positive, but not perfect. 

Share your vulnerabilities every now a then and let people know the real you and the real story of your family’s farm. People are desperate for something real in an age of posers and politicians. 

Have a great week,
Hugh

PS Registration is open for NAFDMA (North American Farmers Direct Marketing) Conference! This has been my favorite place to meet folks doing pick-your-own, pumpkin patches, corn mazes just generally fun folks who do what we do. It’s Feb 1-6, 2013 in Portland, OR. I’m leading one of the Bus Tours, the “TechnoBus”– it”s a workshop on wheels where we explore the world of social media and technology in a quest for customer connections. You can see the Bus Tour destinations here.

 

1-866-935-6738 ext 102

Activation Energy. What do you want to activate?

Actvationenergy

One of the most important ideas in “The Happiness Advantage” is the idea of Activation Energy. The goal is to reduce the amount of energy it takes to do the right thing and increase the amount of energy it takes to do the wrong thing. Simple as that, but how do you really do it?

Choose what you want to do. The key to developing any change or progress is to identify the thing you want; the way you want things to be. Write down you goal. It might be to quit smoking, make more sales calls or follow a stricter spray schedule and reporting plan. Whatever it is, write down the ultimate goal.

Example: I want to have easy reporting with my fruit buyers by having all my spray schedules up to date right when I need them. 

Choose what you no longer wish to do. Write down what you reject. I hate having my spray schedules and information missing, incomplete or disorganized. It makes me so mad I could spit!

Change the activation energy for your goal. You need to purposely reduce the energy it takes to do the right thing. Often this is as simple as developing a system that can basically run itself. You could printout the most likely sprays you will apply with blanks below so all you have to do is fill in the date you apply them. Make it as easy as circling what you applied and writing the date. Then, add a clipboard with a compartment to your spray shed to hold all the information. Add one day on your calendar per month where you do nothing but spray schedule organization from 3pm-5pm on a Thursday afternoon.

Increase the energy it takes to do things wrong. Label the loading dock and tractor cab with a P-Touch machine reminding you to fill in the paperwork. Ask your field consultant to check your docs when they arrive, so you will be letting someone else down if you fail to do your organizing.

Do you see the structure? What could you reorganize to reduce the activation energy for good?

Practical examples:
Want to give up your Crackberry? Plug it in to charge in your car, locked in the garage at 6PM when you get home.

Want to workout in the morning? Set out your shoes, preload the DVD and fill a water bottle.

Want to make more calls? Take a morning to organize your list, set up your post voicemail emails, script what you want to say, so you can just fire away without thinking.

Want to get to the farmer’s market earlier? Preload the truck the night before, or at least preload the pallet, so you roll in and roll out without a hassle.

How about on the negative side? How can you increase the effort to make the wrong moves during your day?

Want to lose weight? Pack a lunch and elimate unhealthy snacks in the office – pack a water bottle!

Want to quit smoking? Stop hanging out with smokers (and utilize other more medical means as directed by your doctor to replace the social and phsyical responses to “smoke time”)

Want to avoid distractions? Make your email check for new messages only once an hour.  Put your phone on Do Not Disturb for 2 hours while you work on an important project. 

Want to stop thinking so hard when you go to the store? Make a shopping list of your most often purchased 40 items, by aisle, and hit “PRINT”. Don’t even waste your brain on the things that don’t take brain power. 

Did you know that making lists is the original activation energy technique? If you write out what you have to do you don’t have to keep thinking to remember it. It’s very easy to get started.

The question is what do you want to activate? What do you want to suppress?

Think about it and have a great week.
Hugh

Activation Energy. What do you want to activate?

Actvationenergy

Activation energy. One of the most important ideas in “The Happiness Advantage” is the idea of Activation Energy. The goal is to reduce the amount of energy it takes to do the right thing and increase the amount of energy it takes to do the wrong thing. Simple as that, but how do you really do it?

 

Choose what you want to do. The key to developing any change or progress is to identify the thing you want; the way you want things to be. Write down you goal. It might be to quit smoking, make more sales calls or follow a stricter spray schedule and reporting plan. Whatever it is, write down the ultimate goal.

Example: I want to have easy reporting with my fruit buyers by having all my spray schedules up to date right when I need them. 

Choose what you no longer wish to do. Write down what you reject. I hate having my spray schedules and information missing, incomplete or disorganized. It makes me so mad I could spit!

Change the activation energy for your goal. You need to purposely reduce the energy it takes to do the right thing. Often this is as simple as developing a system that can basically run itself. You could printout the most likely sprays you will apply with blanks below so all you have to do is fill in the date you apply them. Make it as easy as circling what you applied and writing the date. Then, add a clipboard with a compartment to your spray shed to hold all the information. Add one day on your calendar per month where you do nothing but spray schedule organization from 3pm-5pm on a Thursday afternoon.

Increase the energy it takes to do things wrong. Label the loading dock and tractor cab with a P-Touch machine reminding you to fill in the paperwork. Ask your field consultant to check your docs when they arrive, so you will be letting someone else down if you fail to do your organizing.

Do you see the structure? What could you reorganize to reduce the activation energy for good?

Practical examples:
Want to give up your Crackberry/iPhone? Plug it in to charge in your car, locked in the garage at 6PM when you get home.

Want to workout in the morning? Set out your shoes, preload the DVD and fill a water bottle.

Want to make more calls? Take a morning to organize your list, set up your post voicemail emails, script what you want to say, so you can just fire away without thinking.

Want to get to the farmer’s market earlier? Preload the truck the night before, or at least preload the pallet, so you roll in and roll out without a hassle.

How about on the negative side? How can you increase the effort to make the wrong moves during your day?

Want to lose weight? Pack a lunch and elimate unhealthy snacks in the office – pack a water bottle!

Want to quit smoking? Stop hanging out with smokers (and utilize other more medical means as directed by your doctor to replace the social and phsyical responses to “smoke time”)

Want to avoid distractions? Make your email check for new messages only once an hour.  Put your phone on Do Not Disturb for 2 hours while you work on an important project. 

Want to stop thinking so hard when you go to the store? Make a shopping list of your most often purchased 40 items, by aisle, and hit “PRINT”. Don’t even waste your brain on the things that don’t take brain power. 

Did you know that making lists is the original activation energy technique? If you write out what you have to do you don’t have to keep thinking to remember it. It’s very easy to get started.

The question is what do you want to activate? What do you want to suppress?

Think about it and have a great week.
Hugh

 

Business Model Challenge for Farmers

 

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