"Smoke 'em" Mentality: The Frame Of Mind You Need To Get 'Er Done

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Smoke ‘em

“I’ll smoke him,” is what I said to a friend after my friend told me that they had been talking to So-and-So, who told them that So-and-So was going to up his game in the website design space in a for-real way, rather than a side-gig way. I have occupied the website design space for more than fifteen years of my small business career, and I welcome anyone into that space, as it’s a fast and bumpy ride that needs really good management. Furthermore, there are a lot of fish in the sea, and website design shops with different specialties to accommodate different types and needs of clients.

But here’s the catch of this story. As So-and-So was telling my friend this information, he did so with an apology in his voice. Like: “Tell Katie I’m sorry, but I’m going to be doing websites in the neighborhood.” But because I understand my small business space, and my customer, I feel no fear of this competition. Normally I’d shrug this off, like: “Nice of him to show consideration, but he needn’t!”

But instead I said: “He needn’t be concerned! I’ll smoke him.”

I’m not normally that bold. But it felt good. I wanted to bottle it and use it again.

The core of this reaction happened because this newbie website designer had just crossed the Girlfriend Code Zone by doing something silly to one of my friends, so I was not in a sympathetic place with him. That feeling of utter confidence and clarity of his entering my competitive space was one I wanted to use again for a fight that really mattered.

The “Smoke ‘em” Mentality

The “Smoke ‘em” mentality gets us through a lot of scary things we need to succeed in. Could be a public policy shift. A public opinion shift. A real threat from a competitive business. Or even a threat from a client, or former client. A few years ago, I had a one-time advertising client tell me that if I wrote an article that showed him in a bad light, “You’ll lose me as an advertiser, m’dear.” Well, he wasn’t advertising at the time, so it was an empty threat, but veiled nonetheless. It left me speechless. Not that I cared for losing the business, but that I was spoken to so boldly.

There are other examples that the “I’ll Smoke Him Mentality” could apply to, in order to help someone handle a situation differently, with more effect. And it doesn’t only happen with men. Female business friends in my space who would be considered competition also make moves that are direct hits. You know my feelings now on being polite and apologizing. I’m over it.

The Huge Benefit Of Competition Moving In

There is a huge positive to competition moving in: whatever competition lights the fire under you, and whatever it is that you decide to do with that fire, is probably something you should have been doing anyway. You just had no motivation to do it. Or, you were so hypnotized by your day-to-day that the idea never occurred to you.

Let’s look at marketing strategies, for example. There are loads of different social media photos and videos you could be doing. Or much sharper pitches to the media that could land you a really cool feature. Or a blogging strategy you could start on your website in order to attract searches from Google. Sometimes this competition gives you clarity that was a long time coming.

Fire Lit

Now you see how the the “Smoke ‘em” mentality isn’t a malicious one. It is just a necessary one sometimes. You can be friends with someone, drink wine with them, enjoy their talents or sense of humor. But when you disagree on something, or a big shift needs to happen, you can summon your inner “Smoke ‘em” mentality to “get ‘er done.” Another one of my favorite phrases.

Re-Run of "This Day Will Not Take Me"

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Although we first ran this last Tuesday, because every day is different and your current Monday may be a little questionable, we’re going to spin this motivational message again:

Happy Monday!

You know how a Monday goes...You might have plans for it, but you never really know how it's going to turn out. It's definitely like riding a bucking bronco, and you're either in the rhythm, or you're not.

Last week we were pretty optimistic about the Monday, but got thrown off kilter with competing to-do list items. Which prompted this message to be created that following Tuesday: "This Day Will Not Take Me: fuel the focus."

Just in case you're having a questionable Monday, you can use this quote poster as a help to put you back on course.

If you're impacted by the weather, here in the northeast it's been a little chilly and overcast, as it is today. Sunshine always makes things better, and if it is instead cold, foggy and otherwise bone-chilling in the spring for you, know this:

Make your own sunshine.

Happy Tuesday: This Day Will Not Take Me

Yesterday was a tricky Monday. Filled with feelings of kicking booty butt, accompanied by all of the necessary visions for doing so, there were monkey wrenches about. Tuesday is a new day, often one that allows for a pulled focus on the top priorities left over from Monday.

As a business owner, you’re the only one making it happen. Meaning, there is no boss setting the rules for you. There is no formula you can step into. You are making the formula. Triggers can set this out of whack, and just know that you will bounce back.

Yesterday, despite feeling actually great, the childcare trigger tilted me. I made the choice to pull back on childcare, and it is currently smashing me. Yet I find hope in it. Yet it’s like water skiing, straddling the wake of each side instead of parallel skis.

It’s also tax season for some, those of us living in Extension Land. The last years I’d been an A student for this, but didn’t call my accountant for 2 things, and those things bit me (mistakenly taking out IRA contribution pre tax from paycheck, and not trusting Quickbooks automation for reconciling...instead opting to search for needles in haystacks...apparently their automation tool is good! So am getting a lesson in how to use it.).

But the silver lining is this: many are apparently getting audited this year, for expenses claims vs the new standard deduction. This gave us a chance to omit some personal expenses as freelance based people, to hopefully not trigger an audit. Nothing actually bad happened yesterday, and in fact good news was delivered, and problems solved. But the headspace of distraction tilted the day.

New day! Stay the course. Keep the focus. Go back to work. You know what you need to do. You’ve got this, Business Owner, Artist or Maker.

Pro Tip: Try filing. If you’ve got a buildup of papers not filed, take yourself to Target or your local paper or stationery store right now and buy some pretty file boxes (for the guys...whatever suits you). Buy yourself a pretty file cabinet from Pottery Barn if you need something sturdier. Start filing. This can trigger the completion energy in your brain, allowing you more fluidity in your thoughts to complete what you need to. Even folding and putting away laundry could have the same affect.