Renew Your Love of Your Work by Achieving Flow

This is Part 3 of The Love What You Do Series. Find the links for parts 1 and 2 at the end of this post.

love what you do series achieve flow

Flow is a concept developed by positive psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and it’s defined as a state where you are completely immersed in the task at hand, where you are creative and productive, and where you forget about the world around you.

It’s basically the work version of reaching a state of zen.

Here’s how to reach a state of flow in your work:

 

  1. Do work that you love
    Whether it’s your industry, your role, or a specific project you are working on, it’s important to feel passionate about what you do. If you don’t feel like you currently love what you do, take some time to reflect on what you do like about your work. Because humans are such adaptive creatures, we tend to get used to our current situation fairly quickly and take things for granted.

Volunteer to lead projects that you are genuinely interested in, make career moves that align with your interests, and spend some time learning about various topics if you still aren’t sure what your purpose is.

2. Choose challenging work but nothing that is above your skill level
We get bored quickly when we perform tasks that are too easy for our skill level. Make sure you have a job where you feel challenged but not overwhelmed.

3. Stop multitasking and remove distractions
When it’s time to get to work, turn your phone off, place a “Do Not Disturb” sign on your office door, put on some noise cancelling earphones, and remove access to the internet.

You’ll never reach flow with the constant distractions that surround you between technology and co-workers.

4. Practice strengthening your attention span
When you sit down to work, commit to correcting yourself when you become distracted. After you’ve removed distractions (see above) you will still deal with the issue of mind wandering.

Accept that this is normal, but practice noticing the mind wandering as soon as it happens and refocusing on the work at hand. This is very similar to techniques that skilled meditators use and your attention span will improve over time if you practice this regularly.

 

Achieving flow at work is part of what makes life enjoyable. It can bring us joy and happiness in our careers, which makes us better at what we do and a more attractive person to be around. If you’d like to learn more about flow, you can find Csíkszentmihályi’s book, The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness, here.

 

PART 1: How to Find Your Purpose/Passion & Build a Clear Career Path
PART 2: How Human Centricity Can Create a Cycle of Success

 

How Human-Centricity Can Create a Virtuous Cycle of Success

This is Part 2 of The Love What You Do Series. Look for the rest of the series from now until Valentine’s Day.

Eazl human centricity main image

 

Human-Centricity isn’t just a term for marketers to use when their old campaign tactics stop working or the lesson that profit-maximizing businesses are getting because millennials are a different kind of market than their parents. It’s also something that individuals must learn in order to experience success and fulfillment in their personal lives and careers.

Human-Centricity on the individual level includes behavior like the following:

  • Helping others without expecting anything in return
  • Being compassionate for all (especially for people you disagree with or those you are in conflict with)
  • Making your work about the advancement of others/humanity vs. the advancement of the material self
  • Collaborating well with others to create value
  • Focusing on values and ethics when you choose to take an action in your work or personal life
  • Building intimate relationships with others

According to research performed by Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, two things that give us the most happiness and fulfillment are social connections and community. There are all kinds of features within our biology that make us wired to connect with each other, including the caretaking nerve called the vagus nerve. This nerve is unique to mammals and is interconnected with oxytocin networks as well as a determinant of the health of your heart and immune system. One emotion that causes strong vagus nerve response is compassion and those with strong vagus response (vagal tone) have more positive emotions on a daily basis.

We have scientific proof that focusing on the human aspects of life are good for our physical and mental well-being, in addition to the survival of our species, but what are the other positive impacts that come from being human-centric?

1. It Creates a Stronger Support Network
Every time you support others that need your help, it’s like putting a deposit in your own social network bank; you’re creating a stronger network of people who you can turn to when you are in a difficult situation or need someone to talk to. When you help someone, it’s an opportunity to build trust, intimacy, and memories with that individual.

Humans share resources with whom they share a close relationship. By focusing on strengthening your relationships, you also gain increased security.

2. It Helps Launch & Advance Careers
Having legitimate relationships with co-workers and business contacts will put you at the top of the list when opportunities that match your interests and skills arise. The more people who feel close to you or like they really know you, the more likely your name will come to mind when a skill is needed. Take the time to get to know people, think about how you can help someone, and make sure you do it BEFORE you are in dire need of help yourself.

If this sound inauthentic to you, remember that you should be building relationships with people you take a genuine interest in, where there is overlap of values, goals, ideas, etc.  

3. The Mushroom Effect
The great thing about choosing to focus on people is that it’s something that builds on itself once it gets going. The more quality people you have in your network, the easier it is to bring in MORE quality people who have genuine overlap and who you genuinely enjoy being around.

Learn about how to use social networks to build a sustainable network you can leverage in your job search and work life in this excerpt from our Career Hacking course:

4. Human Mirroring Behavior
Focusing on others is also good for your team, your community, and humanity as whole. It’s human instinct to mirror the behavior of others so, when you enter a relationship ready to learn and care about the other person and foster positive interactions with them, they are very likely to do the same with you and the people in their own networks. You’re contributing to the greater good.

 

Do you have any stories or examples to share about when you did something good for someone else and you saw positive impact on your own life from your actions? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or you can tweet at me.

 

ludell jones love what you do series

PART 1: How to Find Your Purpose/Passion & Build a Clear Career Path
PART 3: Renew Your Love of Your Work by Achieving Flow

How to Find Your Purpose/Passion & Build a Clear Career Path

This is Part 1 of The Love What You Do Series. Look for the rest of the series from now until Valentine’s Day.

find purpose love what you do

“I have no idea what I want to do and I’ve been floating around to different jobs for years.”

“I’m just starting my career and I have no idea what direction to go in. I feel like school didn’t prepare me.”

“I hate my current industry and I want to find something that I like more but I’m scared to make a change.”

“I don’t feel fulfilled by my work but I’ve only been working for a couple of years and I’m scared to make a big change.”

“I’m just not good at my job. I don’t think it’s the right fit for my personality and I’m miserable.”

“I kind of know what I want to do but I have no idea how to get there.”


Do any of these sound like you? If so, you might want to keep reading.

Through my work with the Career Hacking students in the Eazl community, I sometimes come across people who are confused about how to approach writing their resume because they aren’t sure what they want to do for work yet (definitely don’t spend time on your resume if your aren’t sure which direction you are moving towards!).

Some solve this problem with career coaching but we can’t all realistically afford this.

Some tend to go towards the career aptitude test solution, which I think are super lame and wouldn’t recommend. The answer of what you should be doing for a living lies within you, not at the end of an oversimplified 10 minute survey!

To get on the right career path, you need to find something to do that is a combination of these three pillars:

three pillars ludell jones

 

  1. Fulfilling a need that another person or entity has (what you do cannot be self-focused or all about your self-expression…people don’t pay others to do these things)
  2. Aligning with the skills you possess (be realistic and focus on skill building and strengthening)
  3. Something that you love to do

The best way to arrive at a career path that satisfies all three of these requirements, in my opinion, is with a series of self-exploratory exercises that get you thinking different and deeper about the macro (what is it that you want to do) and the micro (how you get there). You can think of this as self-coaching.

 

You can also refer to the Japanese Ikigai way of thinking, which breaks down the first column above into two separate elements. See the illustration of the affects of where you choose to focus below.

 

ikigai

 

I put together this practice (some of the elements came from my positive psychology research) and I urge you to not underestimate their power based on their “softness” as you go through it:

 

Part #1: Best Possible Self Exercise
This exercise was created by the team at UC Berkeley. It’s all about creating habits of optimism that motivate you towards building your desired future. The exercise can also help you put your dreams and priorities into perspective AND it’s backed by science.

You can find the general instructions for the exercise here and you should put it on your calendar to complete the 15 minute exercise every day for two weeks before moving on to the second part of the exercise (bookmark this page to revisit then). This might sound intense to you but it will be helpful in creating a positive attitude about your career search and help you spot inconsistencies in your goals.

Here are some tips that I would recommend considering reading through before you complete the Best Possible Self exercise to get you in the right state of mind (you might want to make some notes):

  • Be Pro-Social- considering how your career can help others in addition to yourself. Not only will this help satisfy the three columns, but it will also keep you from thinking in materialistic terms.
  • Think about what others tell you you’re good at. What kind of advice do others seek from you? Your natural talents might not spell out what profession you should pursue specifically but it can point to skill you’ll want to make sure you’re utilizing at work.
  • Focus on something that gives you meaning first and a paycheck second. You do need a paycheck but often the meaning is a path to the paycheck. Revisit the Ikigai image above to understand why putting salary first might not be a good idea if you want satisfaction from your work.
  • Internal motivation trumps external achievement. Think about what you could be happy waking up every day and doing.

You can also include some dreams for your personal life if you’d like and I even encourage it. Often what we want in our personal lives can impact our career and vice versa.

By spending some time to think about your Best Possible Self, you’ll learn more about yourself and what you want from life as well as arrive at the information you need to outline actions that will help you reach your goals.

 

Part #2: Alignment Exercise
Go through what you’ve written in the Best Possible Self exercise. Highlight or underline the keywords that implicate big goals that require some type of action to initiate.

For example, if you wrote something like, “I’d like to be working in Denver rather than Tuscon to be closer to family,” you’ll highlight “Denver” or, “I see myself in a high level position in marketing,” you’ll highlight both “high level position” and “marketing”.

If you wrote something like, “My Best Possible Self is self-employed with at least 4 employees,” you’ll highlight “self-employed” and “4 employees”.

You get the idea.

Now, we’ll take these keywords -you can put them in list form is that helps you feel more organized- and create a mind map. Each keyword goal will be one hub on your mind map.

You can draw your mindmap by hand, use a drawing software on an iPad, or download a free Mind Mapping software on your computer. I recommend one of the second two options because it’s nice to be able to move things around and adjust without erasing or crossing things out.

Each one of the keywords you’ve highlighted will represent a hub or spoke on your Mindmap.

For example, below is one of the bullet points I included on my list.

ludell jones find purpose

 

Realistically, this probably won’t be something that I achieve for a couple years or more but I’m never going to get there if I don’t assess the steps in between.

When I insert this point into my Mindmap, I’ll need to consider all of the steps required to make the main hub (Become Bestselling Author) a reality. These elements on your map will tend to represent actions points and areas of skill development.

The progression of my mind map development will look something like this:

ludell jones mind map

 

ludell jones mind map

 

ludell mindmap

 

Essentially, you’ll go through the process of building in the steps in between the steps to make your career trajectory more clear. I’ll keep going with my mind map so that all the details are covered for every single bullet point I included in my Best Possible Self exercise.

 

Part #3: Goal Setting Exercise
Now we’re going to take what we’ve mapped and create a plan for making all of these hubs and spokes happen. You’ll need to create a realistic timeline, schedule events on your calendar, and stick to the due dates. If you have issues sticking to a schedule, you might want to complete some training in this area or find an accountability partner to help keep you on track.

1. Create a timeline
Big career changes are not impossible but the transition can take time. It’s important to be patient and stick to the work you’ve done in the first two parts of this exercise.  This might mean staying at your current job until you complete some additional training or learn a new skill.

When I look at my mind map (the portion that I’ve shared with you above), I know that I can currently be working on all three secondary hubs: Continued Research & Education, Audience & Credibility Building, and Book Outline. There is nothing standing in between me and the ability to make progress on all three.

Beginning with Continued Research & Education, I’ll begin to connect actionables with dates in a text document.

ludell jones career

 

Don’t set dates too far in the future. If you are able to complete an action now, set the date in the near future.

I’ll work on developing these dates more by assigning due dates for specific readings, details about applied practices types, etc. 

2. Create a Calendar
Add each action with necessary details (including an exact time to sit down and work on your actionables) to your calendar app of choice. After seeing the dates you’ve set visually, you may see some changes you want to make. Keep your career planning calendar separate from your other to do items by keeping it under a different label.

This way, you’re making progress towards your career goal each week or every day. Every little step forward counts.

3. Be Accountable
Lately, I’ve been kicking the can down the road for a big project I’m working on, which includes me moving actions to later dates on my calendar constantly. Not only is this preventing me from making progress, it doesn’t feel very good to not uphold commitments I made to myself.

If you find yourself doing this, take a moment to assess whether the issue is that you haven’t been realistic with your due dates or you’re just procrastinating. If it’s that latter, you need to do something that spurs motivation.

Give yourself rewards for completing your actionable and don’t let yourself procrastinate. Set milestones to keep up your motivation.

I’m rewarding myself with the purchase of an expensive software I’d love to have if I’m able to commit and  set show results from the project I mentioned.

 

From here, there is no magic. You just need to commit to your plan.

Successful people aren’t successful because they are special. They just find something they are interested in and never stop creating or moving towards their goal; that’s all that sets them apart and you are capable of doing the same.

 

I’d love to hear from you if you try the practice! Reach out to me here.

 

love what you do

PART 1: How to Find Your Purpose/Passion & Build a Clear Career Path
PART 2: How Human Centricity Can Create a Cycle of Success
PART 3: Renew Your Love of Your Work by Achieving Flow

Twitter Ads: Eazl’s Twitter Advertising 2018 Certification Course (Trailer)

Find the full Eazl Twitter Ads course and a $10 coupon here.

Eazl’s complete Twitter Ads course!

Learn retargeting, Twitter advertising strategy, + more.  Earn your certificate FAST!

It seems that people are increasingly numb to advertising that tries to take you from a complete stranger to some company and turn you into a client right away. Today, people like to discover brands for themselves. Luckily, there’s a great network for that: Twitter.

Twitter is a network where users go to discover new things, see what peers and influencers are doing, and learn what’s happening. That’s why it’s a great place to advertise.

The Complete Twitter Advertising Package!
* Install the Twitter tracking pixel and use it for retargeting
* Deploy all of Twitter’s objective-driven ad campaigns
* Target Twitter users based on a variety of characteristics and behaviors
* Build and use Twitter’s custom creative formats like Twitter Cards
* Learn to analyze the success of campaigns using real data
* Earn your Eazl Twitter Ads 2018 Certificate

Joy Schoffler on Viral Marketing and Using the Media

🌱 This is the full, unedited interview that’s a part of Eazl’s Growth Hacking Certification Course 🌱

Enroll in the course:
• On Udemy: http://bit.ly/2zi4NXd
• On Eazl: http://bit.ly/2yB2q2c

Connect with Joy on LinkedIn® at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joyschoffler/

 

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

[Customer Service Training] The IPX System: How to Diagnose a Problem

This is an excerpt from our Customer Service 2.0 Certificate Course. Learn community-first customer service, social customer care, customer retention and loyalty + more.

Grab a $10 coupon for the course here: http://bit.ly/IPX10.

Video summary:
*The first step in solving a problem is diagnosing it. Sometimes customers aren’t able to clearly explain their issue and that’s normal.
*First gather information by asking questions, responding with short re-statements, and collecting internal information.
*Then, look for patterns. If you’ve seen this problem before then your team can probably diagnose the problem easily.
*If this is a new issue ask the customer to wait, exchange your experience with your colleagues, and decide what’s next.

 

Interact with the Eazl community:
Facebook
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View from the C-Suite: Interpreting World Events (Macroeconomics)

🌱 This interview with Brian Burwell, the CEO of a major management consulting firm, is one of a series that compliments Eazl’s Advanced Management Training program. For students enrolled in the course, each one of these interviews aligns with a section of your learning experience.

If you are interested in enrolling in the course, you can get 70% off of the retail price using this link 👉 http://bit.ly/eazlamt20🌱

This is Part 4 of a 6-part interview. View the rest of the series here:
Part 1: Talent Development
Part 2: Productivity, Passion, & Focus
Part 3: Levers of Influence

Key points from the video:
* One thing you’ll find if you have conversations with Chief Executives is how tuned in they are.
* I think that people who succeed in big jobs –big environments– are tuned in to [economics, politics, history, etc.]”
* You have to be realistic about your ability to forecast these kinds of things.
* Any smart person needs to be able to think through the implications of [macroeconomic storylines].”
* I think every business person owes it to themselves to read The Economist.

RE: New FB Numbers → Is Facebook on the Decline?

Eazl is looking hard at Twitter Advertising these days, so we created a course that will get you up to speed in under 2 hours.

Recently, Facebook revealed that users have spent millions of hours less on the platform in the final months of 2017 and that North American daily active users had declined for the first time ever.

The amount of time users spent on FB went down by ~50m hours each day over the last 3 months and Facebook revealed that the number of users in the US and Canada logging on each day went down by 700,000 during the same time.

Here are some interesting links related to this Brain Boost:
• Is Facebook blackmailing users? This Tweet revealed what one FB user experienced when they tried to deactivate their account.
• 427 Emails from FB in 90 Days: This user counted the number of emails that FB sent them when they didn’t use the network for 90 days and it was incredible… over 4 emails from Facebook EVERY DAY using every technique under the sun to get them back on the site.

What do you think? Is Facebook on the decline?

Interact with the Eazl community:
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What Full Funnel Optimization Actually Means in Growth Hacking [Case Study Included]

This is a guest post from Thomas Paris of MAD Kings, a Growth Hacking Agency based in Belgium. See his interview in our Growth Hacking 5 masterclass and learn how to connect with him at the end of this post.

thomas-paris-growth-hacking-mad-kings

 

The main difference between Growth Marketing and Digital Marketing lies in the obsession growth marketers have for the optimization of the customer experience all along the full customer journey.

growth hacking customer journey mad kings


Growth hackers use the AAARRR framework to describe and optimize each step of the conversion funnel towards a full customer journey. This is always done with regards to one key metric at a time. Think of your business as a bucket and your leads as water. If you start pouring down water into a leaky bucket, you’ll waste a lot of money. This is why growth teams care deeply about customer retention.

Remember the good old 4P’s in marketing? Product is one them. The challenge faced by marketers when promoting digital products is that they lose control over the product experience.

Indeed, after leads land on the landing page (awareness) and sign up (acquisition), the rest of the customer experience is usually handed over to the product team. Developers and designers are in charge of ensuring that users have a great first experience (activation), keep coming back (retention) and eventually pay to use  the product (revenue). The last step — referral — is usually underrated and often solely consists of organic word-of-mouth whereas it is key to create viral loops and increase the customer lifetime value (CLV).

The solution is not to give the power back to marketers but to involve them in the product development and optimization phases. That’s why the growth methodology is revolutionary…it allows organizations to create growth teams and silo focus on a key metric.

Growth teams are composed of technical marketers, UX/UI designers, full stack developers and data analysts. Together, they analyze the entire customer journey to identify bottlenecks in the conversion funnel. Then, they run data-driven experiments using the scrum methodology to improve a set of predefined key business metric(s). In order to achieve long-term sustainable growth, such teams focus on delivering delightful and personalized experiences at scale.

growth hacking north star metric mad kings

Digital marketers are being replaced by data-driven, technical marketers who dive deep into business analytics to find the holes in the funnel and test different creative solutions, finding a predictable, repeatable and scalable growth process.


Case Study: Formyfit
Formyfit is a mobile application that helps users achieve their running goals by providing them with a customized training plan based on personal information and an endurance test.

growth hacking formyfit mad kings
After analyzing data, we found that Formyfit’s biggest bottleneck in the customer journey was activation. Activation is when users have a great first experience with the app and have a “Wow Moment”. In this case, data showed that users having completed their endurance test were much more likely to become active users than the others. Indeed, after taking the endurance test, users receive a customized training plan and understand how Formyfit differs from other running apps.

  1. ACTIVATION – DELIVER A SUCCESSFUL FIRST EXPERIENCE
    We found that only 5% of users finished the onboarding, the key metric. As a consequence, activation became our primary focus. To better understand why users failed to complete the test, we interviewed customers and sent qualitative surveys. The answer became obvious: Formyfit was asking users to take the endurance test right after the onboarding and, therefore, also right after downloading the app. But, who is ready for a run when they download a new app? Users were probably in the tube, on their coach or… you know.

growth hacking onboarding

So, we changed the onboarding and set it up to ask users when they would be willing to take their endurance test.

growth hacking onboarding mad kings

Then, we ran events-based retargeting through email and Facebook to motivate them and remind them of the date.

growth hacking activation rate

BOOOM! Huge increase in activation rate, so we moved to awareness and acquisition. Remember: you should always improve the full funnel –or the full customer journey– one metric at a time.

2. AWARENESS – DRIVE TRAFFIC AND BRAND RECOGNITION
After running many tests using different channels, visuals and copywriting, we found our winning Facebook ads. The key was to target major running races across the world and adapt the copy, visuals and audiences accordingly. Racers were using the app to get a personal coach for a tenth of the normal price and kept using it after the race.


growth hacking brand recognition

  1. ACQUISITION – IDENTIFY LEADS AND START THE CONVERSATION
    Acquisition is the first non-financial transaction between a lead and a brand. In the acquisition phase, the lead agrees to give away some personal information –together with the right to be contacted– in exchange for value such as a high-value piece of content.

growth hacking identifying leads

We strongly believe that the first customer touchpoint should always be about giving value. This is why we created a whitepage/whitebook of the 10 best tips to train for a half marathon. Not only did we create trust by giving away relevant content for free, but we also collected data from qualified leads.

The key here is to build systems as shown in the visual, not campaigns. Once the system is in place, it can be replicated for the 5 km, 10km and marathon.

  1. RETENTION – CREATE A HABIT
    As Nir Eyal brilliantly explained in his book Hooked, if you want to improve your product retention, you have to create a habit.

growth hacking retention

External triggers must be linked to internal triggers, which usually take the form of negative emotions. In this case, ‘feeling fat and unhealthy’. As people experience that feeling more often it creates an opportunity for you to send external triggers in the form of push notifications and emails in order to get users back to the app.

Another way to increase retention is using the tactics engineered by the gaming industry, a process called gamification. By following their program, users of Formyfit are rewarded with ‘fits’. After a certain amount of fits, they unlock badges such as runner or athlete.

  1. REVENUE – DECREASE YOUR CAC AND INCREASE YOUR CLV
    Obviously, Revenue is a key stage of the customer journey. At this stage, users go through the checkout process and are later incentivized to buy a more advanced version of the product (up-selling) or other relevant products (cross-selling).

growth hacking CLV

It usually comes down to nailing the pricing strategy, reviewing the UX of the checkout process (example above), making sure you have your customers’ favorite payment methods available and understanding when users are psychologically ready to buy.

 

  1. REFERRAL – TURN LOYAL CUSTOMERS INTO AMBASSADORS
    The goal of this stage is to get happy customers to recommend the product to others so that you create viral loops. Increasing the CLV of these customers and can afford higher CAC to reach out to new audiences.
    growth hacking ambassadorsIn the mobile app industry, it’s crucial to have a ‘Ratings & Reviews’ score located between 4 to 4.8 out of 5. Below 4 or above 4.8, people won’t trust you.The key here is to understand when to ask for recommendations. After lots of testing and experimentation, we identified that the perfect moment was after the endurance test and 3 runs. The logical explanation is that users were unlocking their first badge and already experiencing improvements at this stage.

    RESULTS:

growth hacking results mad kings

Without a full funnel understanding of the customer journey, we would never have seen the huge bottleneck in the activation phase and we would have wasted a lot of money in advertising. The cost of customer acquisition would have been 10x higher than the customer lifetime value and the business would never have been viable.

You can only achieve growth by optimizing and automating the full customer journey, one metric at a time.

Need help to grow your business? Let’s talk => tp@madkings.com
Or join our Growth Hacking Workshop!