Print Business Results with the Domino Theory

Print Business Results with the Domino TheoryBy Bill Prettyman

Are you reaching the goals you desire in your job or for your print business?

The key to achieving the results you want is to focus on your purpose and your priorities. When we know what these are and can allocate more and more time to these priorities then we will achieve more print business results.

I recently listened to The One Thing by Gary Keller, co-founder of Keller Williams, the largest real estate sales company in the world. Here are some great ideas I learned on how we can accomplish more print business results on purpose:

Ask the Focusing Question for Your Print Business

The focusing question is: “What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else becomes easier and unnecessary.”

The goal is to create a domino run—when I focus on the first thing, all the other dominoes (goals, projects, actions) begin to fall.

When we decide which priority has the most leverage to accomplish the greatest results in our print business, we move closer to our purpose.

Go Small 

If we want extraordinary results we have to narrow our focus to what really matters and what will make the greatest difference in producing results. Therefore, go small and focus on the vital few rather than the trivial many. Line up your priorities every day and push on that lead domino until it falls over.

Plan Your Print Business Domino Run

Line up all the dominoes. Consider which domino will start the sequence of all the other dominoes falling. When we prioritize based on which action will start the domino sequence we visualize what it is we need to do to produce the results we desire. This will make it easier for us to continually refocus on the lead domino.

Keep after the lead domino until it falls

Allocate a Disproportionate Amount of Time to the Lead Domino

 If we want extraordinary results we must allocate a disproportionate amount of time to our most important priorities. The most difficult part of this action is knowing we will leave many things undone—things which might never get done.

Make your peace with the understanding you sacrifice work on the small things to focus on the one thing which will start the domino run in order to get the big results you desire in your print business.

Create Your Timeblock

The concept of timeblocking allows you to allocate time on your calendar to work on your most important priorities.

The key to success is to protect your timeblock at all costs. Most people are most creative and effective in the mornings. If you fall into that camp carve out one or two hours to start, and work your way up to four hours/day timeblocks in which you workon your most important priority.

This might feel impossible, but it isn’t.

Simply start with a small timeblock and slowly expand it.

Evaluate the effectiveness of your work. For example you if you working on too many details which do not matter? If that is the case then ask your supervisor if they can be delegated or eliminated. , if you can delegate them and if you can schedule them at a different time.

You may consider waking up earlier to work on your most important priority before the normal work day begins. Whatever the best method is for you, a timeblock is your best vehicle to knock down the lead domino.

Success happens when we focus on our most important priority to the exclusion of all others.

What ideas have you found work for you in accomplishing your most important priority?

Prune Your Print Business for Better Efficiencies

Prune Your LifeWhen was the last time you pruned your print business? Or your time and activities? Or your focus?

Pruning may be one of the most important activities you can spend your time on in order to accelerate your progress toward your goals.

As we prune away those items that do not bear fruit, we have the opportunity to re-allocate and re-focus our time and effort on items that really make a difference in reaching the vision and goals we have for our print business.

Here are several ideas and ways to prune your print business or your own activities:

  • Review Your Vision and Goals. When we do this, we refocus our minds on what we desire to achieve. This creates a better alignment between what we want to achieve and the activities we spend our time on daily.
  • Define Your “Why. Once we have an understanding of our vision and goals, it is important to define the why—the reason we want to reach our vision and goals. The “why” or the purpose provides the fuel and motivation to keep going when progress becomes challenging. Knowing our purpose will aid us in figuring out what activities we want to spend our time on daily.
  • Conduct a Time Inventory. Go online and find a weekly time inventory sheet or use an Excel file that is broken into 15 minute increments. Take the time to record what you are working on during that week. If we are going to spend more time on what matters, we first have to know where we are spending our time so we can prune what does not help us reach our goals from our schedule and activities.
  • Review the Time Inventory. Examine the time inventory and highlight those activities that are not contributing to the vision and goals you have for your print business. This will give you a sense of what you can prune.
  • Delegate or Eliminate. Create a list of those activities that you want to stop doing. Next, decide whether the activity is even worth being done by you or someone else in your company. If the activity is not worth doing in the sense that it does not take you or your print business where you want to go and there are no negative consequences of not doing it then eliminate it. Next, review all the remaining activities and decide how you can possibly delegate it to someone else and delegate it. If you need additional support for the important activities, consider contacting a company that you can contract for a part-time person such as eaHelp.

Read more

Improve Productivity in the Print Industry

Have you often thought about how to improve productivity in the print industry?

Of course you have.

If we want to get better at what we do we need to find ways to continuously improve productivity. There are probably many ways and ideas to get this done.

For the purposes of creating a method to continuously improve productivity, I have suggested a process for you to follow.

Decide on Your Goal

First, we have to identify what our goal is. Do we want to increase our print revenue by 10% this year or add 10 new customers that provide at least $10,000 in new revenue or something else?

Once we have decided on our goal then we can proceed to the next step. Read more

When Complexity Reigns … Stop, Simplify, Refocus


Have you ever been overwhelmed by complexity or by having too many items on your project or to do list in the printing industry?

The feeling you get when you think you have to do it all can make your life seem very complex, and you know the next item added to your list just might drive you through the roof.

There is a way to regain that sense of clarity and simplicity that allows you to refocus your efforts.

Here is a process for regaining the level of simplicity that allows you to accomplish your most important goals:

Read more

Five Ways to Avoid the Comparison Trap


Have you ever thought about how comparison can trap you in the print industry? When we compare ourselves to others, we put ourselves in a trap of thinking “I am not good enough” or “I am not making enough progress.” Instead, we need to avoid the comparison trap to maintain a state of contentment with ourselves.

I am not saying that we should stay away from healthy comparison by looking at what others are achieving as a benchmark or a learning opportunity. However, to use others as a measure of your own self-worth can not only deal your self-esteem a blow, but can also keep you from setting a unique course that makes you different from others.

Here are five ways to help you avoid the comparison trap in the print industry:

Read more

Accomplish More by Doing Less in Your Print Business

accomplish more doing less

Are you frustrated at times with your progress in your printing industry job or print business? I know I am at times, and when this happens I have to remind myself that I am probably trying to do too much.

At these times, I need to take the time to re-examine what my most important projects are and to discard the rest of the items to be accomplished some other day.

When I take the time to do this, I almost always have a sense of relief that I have let myself off the hook. Shortly thereafter, I feel a sense of accomplishment as my progress gets back on track again.

Here are a few ideas to help you accomplish more by doing less:

Read more