How to Trump-proof Your Life and Business, Both Today and in the Future
Whether you’re a fan of the 45th President of the United States, or think that Trump represents a dangerous demagogue, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind about one truth: he’s hard to ignore.
As Arianna Huffington put it, “Trump has brought many new things to our lives. And one of them is this state of perpetual outrage (Trumprage? Trumpdignation?) provoked in reaction to the state of perpetual chaos his administration seems to generate on a daily, even hourly basis.”
And for those that support his actions, there’s just as much fervor and activity.
But regardless of your perspective, no matter what side of the aisle you lean toward, there comes a point where our fascination and obsession with the new American President begins to take a toll.
Our social feeds are filled to the brim with posts from friends and foes alike, espousing the latest news and response from the other side. Kevin Baker refers to this as the, “universal, ubiquitous, hyper-polarized communications that social media now provides.”
Maybe you just want to check some notifications, but the latest trending story catches your eye and it’s too enticing not to click and learn more.
Two hours later, while we may suddenly know all there is to know about how an FBI Director is appointed and subsequently terminated, what have we really accomplished?
In a word, nothing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for anyone to completely ignore the news or issues for which they feel strongly, but jumping up and down (whether in joy or in anger) after every single tweet is exactly what Donald Trump wants you to do.
And exactly what you should not be doing.
As we like to point out regularly on the Solo Build It! blog, a solopreneur’s greatest asset is time. Those hours you spent reading or watching the news may have been compelling and convicting, but it did nothing to further your personal or business goals.
And we all should know by now what a fruitless exercise it is to try to persuade someone on social media of your opinion.
So if we’re not supposed to get too worked up about what’s going on in Washington D.C., what are we supposed to do instead?
This is where I thought Arianna offered incredibly salient advice:
“The only way to affect outcomes and thrive in our lives, is to find the eye in the hurricane, and act from that place of inner strength.” — Arianna Huffington
Certainly, if you feel passionately about one issue or another, there are incredibly productive ways and places you can channel that emotion (far more effective than any Facebook argument, I assure you).
But more important than that, to the solopreneur, is finding a way to recapture our time and make sure that we continue to stay focused on doing what we need to do to achieve success for ourselves, and for our families.
Put Political Rumblings in Their Place and Focus on Your Goals
If I can steal one more line from Arianna, it’s this: “As they say on airplanes, put your own oxygen mask on first. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.” This applies equally to your business, passions and interests.
If your business is struggling or not growing at the rate you want, you’ll have precious little time or opportunity to make a difference in the world. So that’s where your continued focus needs to be.
From a practical perspective, here’s how to do it.
Schedule Social Media / News — To help keep time spent on these activities at a minimum, and avoid getting distracted when you should be focused elsewhere, set aside a specific time of day to browse and leave it at that. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked in any other time of day!
For actual business-building activities, like monitoring comments or posting updates, it’s better to use a social media management tool, like AgoraPulse, which will insulate you from the network’s feed.
Eliminate Notifications — Phone and desktop notifications are the bane of productivity. Each and every notification rips our attention away from the things that matter, disrupting valuable thought processes. And each notification, if humored, has the potential to suck away our time.
Give careful consideration to each and every type of notification that you allow, giving highest priority to those that have a direct impact on your business (or personal life). I obviously don’t want to miss important Skype notifications from colleagues, nor would I dare to ignore a text message from my wife. But I don’t need Yahoo! News to push a notice to my phone every time Congress goes nuts over something.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize — To help keep your focus on what matters, try using an app to help you. One that I’ve been using recently is called Momentum, a Chrome browser extension.
Every time I open a new tab, I’m reminded of what my goal was for that day (as well as other options you can choose to display), along with the time and temp on a beautiful image.
See to Your Health — it may sound cliche, but diet and exercise really do matter — even more so when we’re experiencing stress!
If the political in-fighting is causing you emotional turmoil, 30 minutes on the treadmill won’t make it go away, but it will burn calories and release endorphins that will make you feel better.
Take Action — this is a two-part response to what’s happening that will help you on multiple levels.
First, come up with very specific and actionable things that you can do to improve your business, and work on those tasks.
This might include adding new pages or content to your site, developing a new marketing strategy, or improving your sales process. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that you can set aside time to work on as part of your daily routine.
Not only will this result in tangible improvements to your business, it also gives you additional, completable tasks with which to occupy your time.
Second, identify a passion or interest that’s relevant to the national discourse and find out how you can help.
Can you make donations? Volunteer your time? Make phone calls?
More than just debating on Facebook, this level of activity gets you involved and puts you on the front lines of making a difference. It would provide a creative, fulfilling outlet for your concerns.
At the end of the day, if you work on all of these recommendations, you will have avoided unnecessary conflict, focused on your business, and found more meaningful ways to express your opinions and ideals.
Mike Allton is an award-winning blogger and author at The Social Media Hat, as well as the CMO for SiteSell. As a Content Marketing Practitioner, Mike enjoys experimenting with social media and blogging techniques, and then sharing his wild successes and tremendous failures with his audience. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.