Master Your Business Instead of Your Tools

At a recent presentation, I was considering doing a “Ten Tech Tools in Twenty Minutes” style of presentation. When I first started to prep for the presentation I had 15 tools I wanted to showcase, which I could never accomplish in my allotted 20 minute time frame. I sat back and analyzed the fifteen tools on the list in an attempt to cut them down and realized that I didn’t personally use all fifteen tools I planned to teach. As a matter of fact, I only used five of them. My presentation was starting to look like “Twenty Tech Tools to Overwhelm Your Audience and Lose Business. ”

We have tools for everything. I just reorganized my iPad apps and discovered I have 7 different applications to take notes in. They are all perfectly good applications but six of them are unnecessary. Shiny tools are being put in our face every day. Oh, cool! Another photo application for my iPhone, it’s only $0.99! The application we were using last month has quickly been replaced by something shiny, often before we have developed mastery of the previous tool.

This creates a vicious cycle that can eventually lead to what I will call “Traumatic Tool Syndrome“. We have applications to help us manage our applications to manage our other applications because we are buying tools for the sake of having the latest shiny object without understanding how that tool is going to help us do what we want to do. I am guilty as charged.

“I don’t have enough time”
Well, that is because we are trying to use seven different tools just for the sake of using the tools. At the end of the day, we need to identify what our business goal is, then figure out a tool that we can use to accomplish that. For that presentation I was giving, I ended up revising it completely, focusing only on 5 simple tools that could be used to reach the goal of the audience.

Simply put, a tool is a just a tool. For the majority of people I meet, reviewing tools is not going to get them paid. Doing their business well is. Identify what you need to accomplish, who you need to reach and consider simplifying your systems down so that you focus on mastering your business instead of your tools.