I really think it comes down to a very simple thing, at least in my nature, my observations of my own personality when I turn them out onto the world, what I see is that people love sports because there are winners and losers. The way that we get to that is that we keep score.
In fact, that whole thing, that we keep score and we decide whether we’re winning or losing, or whether our team is winning or losing, comes from the fact that there is a score to each and every game. If somebody asks you about last weekend’s Dallas Cowboys game, the thing they really want to know is what the score was.
It is a fundamental piece of our educational system, because that’s based on score, of the sports that we play, of the elections that we have, everybody is always interested in the score. Wall Street, of course that’s ground zero for scores; everybody is scored on their profit and loss, on their future sales projections, on how they’re doing in the marketplace. The stock market is basically one big score.
Our whole life revolves around these ideas of winning and losing and what is the score. Our whole life revolves around that, but the question is if I asked you what your score was for your life, what would you tell me?
Probably, if you’re like me, you would say something about how your life is going, that you’re generally doing well. Maybe you might tell me that you’re doing great because you have a certain amount of money, you’ve boiled the score for your life down to a financial scorecard. Maybe you would tell me that your score has something to do with your health, maybe you’re keeping score with your blood pressure or your weight. Maybe it’s the number of followers that you have on social media, maybe that’s how you keep score in your life.
It turns out that you might not even realize that you’re keeping these scoreboard tallies in your life that give you a feeling for whether you’re winning or losing at life. I would submit to you something that I’ve been doing for the last couple of years is trying to understand what the score is for my life.
Right now there is a free tool available that is offered by Michael Hyatt that does just that. It’s the LifeScore Tool. You may have seen him talking about it recently. This is one of the free tools that he offers around the time that he starts talking about his very famous goal setting package that he offers every year called Best Year Ever.
The premise of this idea of scoring your life is if you don’t really understand where you’re being successful in your life, if you haven’t broken down and analyzed where you are in your life, what’s working for you, what’s not working for you, where are you doing well and where do you really need to work, it’s really difficult to set really good goals for yourself.
At the end of this I’m going to encourage you to go take advantage of this free tool that Michael offers. If it’s still up and running you’ll find it at LateNightIM.com/lifescore.
I think it’s a great tool, but even without this tool I think we can kind of talk through the ideas. I think what we want to avoid as entrepreneurs, and as just people on planet Earth, is these situations where we get locked up and focused on one particular part of our score.
For us – for you, me, and everyone listening to this podcast – you may be locked up around some of the scores that have to do with your internet business. Things like how much money did you make last month, or how many email subscribers do you have, or how many Twitter followers do you have, how many copies of your course did you sell last month, or something like that.
If that’s your only score, if that’s the thing that you’re completely focused on and obsessing over, what does that mean about some of your other scores? Like your health, your weight, the amount of sleep that you’re getting, the amount of time that you’re investing with your spouse, with your kids, your spiritual condition, your church or whatever it is that you do around spirituality, your finances? What is your total score?
What Michael proposes, and I think this is a really intelligent thing, is that there are some zones in your life that you can look at and try and understand what your score is. Let’s just take a few of them. I’m not going to break down Michael’s entire tool. If you want to see the whole thing that Michael has worked so hard on, you can go to the LifeScore tool. Let’s just think about a couple of things that probably make sense for you.
The first thing is how are things going in your business? After all, this is Late Night Internet Marketing and we’re talking about business. I think you can make an assessment of whether your business is sort of where you want to be, nowhere near where you want it to be, or you’re just over the moon and thrilled with your business.
If you’re not quite where you want to be or you’re way off track from where you think you need to be, I think the next logical step for you in the end of 2017 and start of 2018 is to set some goals around your business and go try to achieve them in 2018. Have those goals be appropriate for your score in your business, however it is that you’re deciding to keep that score.
Maybe the way you keep score in your business – and it’s one of the things that I like to loosely keep score on – is how many people did you help in your business this month. I think most of us are probably thinking about that magical $10,000 per month or $100,000 per month, or wherever you are with your business, you’re thinking about that in those terms. If you’re not where you want to be, there are reasons for that and there are actions that you can try to take in 2018 to try to make that happen.
The trap is if that’s the only thing that you’re focused on, what does that say about other things that may be very important to you?
For example, your marital situation. If you aren’t where you want to be in your business and you start pounding away or maybe you have been pounding away at that goal with a maniacal focus, has that meant that you have been neglecting your marriage during that time?
If you have, how would you know that? As far as I’m concerned, the only way to know that is trying to assess whether your marriage is sort of the kind of rich marriage that you once envisioned, or if it way exceeds your expectations and it’s the most fantastic marriage you could possibly ever hope to have and maybe even the envy of all your other married friends, or whether your marriage is really in trouble because you haven’t been paying the right amount of attention to it.
Same thing goes for your health. What is your personal situation with your health? Is your weight where it needs to be? Are you getting the right amount of sleep and exercise? Have you been ignoring those things? Let’s not judge it, let’s not say that you’re too focused, but that you’ve had your focus elsewhere. If your mental energy has not been around healthy eating and having a healthy lifestyle, maybe that score over there with your physique is not exactly where it needs to be.
I think there are some other things that are related. Are you growing your mind? Are you investing in yourself? As Stephen Covey would say, are you sharpening the saw? You probably have had visions of being a person that reads a certain number of books every year. Are you really getting that done and are you growing yourself as a person in the way that you envision?
Michael identifies 10 of these focus areas, these zones that you want to assess and try to understand what is your score and what should you do about it. I want to encourage you to do a couple of things.
The first thing that I want to encourage you to do is to spend some time thinking about where you are in the various domains of your life that you operate in. The spiritual domains, financial domains, the domains where you’re trying to accomplish things, are you investing in your friends, these kinds of things, how is your marriage, how are your kids, are you spending the right amount of time with your kids and helping them grow and develop in a way that you can be proud of, or are some of those things lacking?
Try to give yourself a score there. If you need some help doing that, you can find the free tool over at Michael Hyatt’s blog for his LifeScore. Not only will he give you the simple assessment, it only takes about 10 minutes to do this, he will help you to interpret the results.
I think the important thing is you need to really have some context about where your life is headed, where the big picture is headed, so that when you go to set your goals for 2018 you can protect yourself against these being too myopic, looking only at one area, which might be your tendency because that’s the thing that you’re thinking about and neglecting some of these other important things.
There is no way for you to get where you’re going if you don’t know where you are. The first thing that you have to do when you go to try to read a map, whether it’s a map or a building, my favorite one is a map in the shopping mall, you have to find that little red dot that says, “You are here.” You are here. Where you are is whatever your score is.
How you get from where you are to where you want to be depends entirely on where you’re starting from. If you’re too far north, then you have to go south. If you’re too far east, then you have to go west. If you don’t know where you are, it’s really hard for you to set the kind of goals that are going to leave you three, four, five and 10 years down the road feeling like you’ve really got it all together.
Let’s recap. The action for this podcast episode is to go to the show notes or just go directly to the LifeScore tool, take the assessment, spend some time thinking about where you are. In next week’s episode we’ll start talking a little bit about how you can start to form some goals that will really help you crush it in 2018.
Late Night Tech Tip: Blogging Tools
I love these tech tips. We don’t do these nearly enough. I think we’re going to bring back the tech tip, because I love software and gadgets. I’m an electrical engineer, I love talking about this kind of stuff.
For the tech tip, I want to talk about some blogging tools.
I’m not a huge big fan of the WordPress interface for writing blog posts. It’s much better than it used to be years ago and it’s certainly possible to run your blog by typing directly into the back end of WordPress, but that has some requirements. It requires you to be online, you have to have access to the internet. It also requires a certain amount of stability, you can’t have the web browser crash and so forth. There’s all kinds of weird things that can happen when you’re logged into the back end of WordPress.
Like I said, it’s better than it used to be, but I still am more comfortable, when possible, writing blog posts on my Mac. Actually writing them on software that lives on my Mac and then pushing them up to WordPress.
Back in ancient times when I had a PC, there was a program that used to be available for Microsoft called LiveWriter. One of the cool things about LiveWriter was you had this Microsoft Word looking application and you could write your blog posts in this thing and then you could hit a button and magically that blog post would be transferred to WordPress.
For years there really hasn’t been a fantastic compliment for that on the Mac side. LiveWriter on the PC sort of went away and there really wasn’t an app on the Mac side. Now there are two really good choices, depending on the kind of application that you’re looking for, that are taking hold in blogging and I think they’re really worth a try. If you’re normally a person who writes in the back end of WordPress, I think you’re going to want to give these applications a try.
The first application is an application that I’ve been using on and off for almost a decade called MarsEdit. At least it feels like a decade. I mention MarsEdit and the reason this came up for this tech tip is because MarsEdit just released MarsEdit 4.0.
This is not an inexpensive app, it’s available in the Mac app store for $50, which is quite expensive for an application. But, if this is the kind of thing that you need, it is so well worth it. It allows you to edit locally on your machine, configure most everything that you need to configure for your WordPress blog post, and then when you’re satisfied with the way that it looks on your machine you hit a button and publish it to WordPress. It works in offline modes. If you’ve looked at MarsEdit before, version 4.0 is a major huge update.
The good news, my understanding is as you download this you can use it free for a couple of weeks before you make a decision about whether or not you want to pay the $50. For some of these app stores, that’s a little bit unusual and very nice that you can actually try it. You can download it and you can write a couple of blog posts and see if you like it. It’s a really cool application. The developer is a famous guy in the Mac community and this is a highly regarded application by people who have been blogging in and around Macs for a decade.
There’s a newcomer to the space that I think is worth looking at if you’re on the Mac, it’s called Blogo. Where MarsEdit has more of an old school traditional looking interface, Blogo has more of what I would call a web 2.0 looking application interface.
It has some interesting capabilities and it’s more of a WYSIWYG editing platform, what you see is what you get. It allows you to preview your blog post a little better and kind of see what’s going on. It has some other cool features, like it will help you find public domain or properly licensed images from within the app. It’s has some really neat features.
The challenge with Blogo that may set some people off is that it’s very inexpensive but it is a subscription model. I think it’s $3.00 a month right now. Blogo, which I think has a little bit sexier user interface, is a newcomer to the space and your mileage is going to vary a little bit with that. You’ll have to try that and see what you think about it. I think it also has a free and premium model, so you can download the app from the app store, I believe it’s free and then if you want it to be fully featured you have to pay for the subscription.
With both of these apps you can manage multiple blogs out of the same app.
One of the reasons that I like this kind of app is because it makes it really easy to write a blog post over multiple days. If you have some kind of daily writing habit where you’re writing 300 or 500 words a day and that’s turning into these longer blog posts, it makes it a lot better for that. I really like it for that reason.
Also, with these apps you get more of the sort of native keyboard behavior that you would expect when you’re writing in something like Microsoft Word or BBedit or some other application that was native to the Mac.
Wrapping Things Up…
That’s it for this episode. I want to encourage you to really take some time, even if you don’t go take the LifeScore assessment, just reflecting on your life. How are you doing? Where are you doing really well? Where are you doing not so well?
I can tell you that, just to give you an idea, my score for this assessment has increased. I think it was 62 last year, I need to go back and look, to 75 this year. I attribute that to an actual focus on some of the things where I was weak last year. It’s neat, the LifeScore tool gives you this sort of spider plot, kind of radar screen looking thing, and it really shows you where you need to go work. I’ve been working on some of those areas and the scores are higher this year.
Like I was saying in the introduction to this episode, when you keep score you pay attention. We do better on things that we’re measuring, that’s part of human nature. I encourage you, however you decide to assess your situation in life, that you spend some time doing that this week. Then next week we’ll spend some time talking about how we might go and improve that stuff in 2018.
Until next time, I hope you have an absolutely fantastic week.