In the next three weeks, my 4 kids will be going back to school. They will get a fresh set of supplies, get a new teacher, a new classroom, and new gear like clothes, shoes, and lunchboxes. Some will get new backpacks if theirs are too small or worn out.

They are excited, and so am I. It’s a time for renewal of their academic life, reconnecting with old friends, and making new ones. It’s also a time for a new set of benchmarks, expectations, and acquiring new skills and building on established ones.

This got me thinking about you.

And how this could be a time for you to do something similar.

back to school print media centr

Here are a few things you could do to put yourself in the best possible position to end this year strong and have a super productive 2019:

  1. Start fresh with your desk – clear it off and toss what you don’t need and keep it minimal going forward. File stuff away. And only keep what you absolutely must lay hands on in the future. Resolve to get better about electronic file management and organization.
  2. Treat yourself to some new supplies. Hit an office store late in the evening and grab a few things that you think will motivate you, make you enjoy your space more, and help you feel more productive
  3. Go buy some new duds. A fresh look with some clothes that fit well and make you feel confident will do wonders for your performance.
  4. Set a meeting with your direct boss and ask him/her. “What do I have to do to get an ‘A’ from you by the start of next summer?” Get solid action points and deliverables that you clearly understand and that you agree on. These could include a number of new accounts, sales volume, new prospects in the pipeline, and even social media usage. You could agree that the company needs to start a blog and that you will help contribute content. Ask for a regular report card to make sure you are hitting your benchmarks and performing according to expectations.
  5. Establish a new schedule in which you commit to doing certain activities at certain times each day. Here’s what a sample schedule might look like.
    1. 8:30 – coffee and social – go on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and check in on your clients and prospects and find a couple of articles worth re-sharing to your audiences.
    2. 9:00 – prospecting research. Identify new prospects and do a deep dive on-line to learn as much as you can before you engage
    3. 10:00 – calls, emails, engagement
    4. 11-3 – appointments, visits, further engagement
    5. 4:00 – wrap up and plan/strategize for tomorrow
  6. Set a goal to acquire a new skill or take your knowledge to the next level. This could be understanding more about augmented reality, 3D printing, or mastering a new piece of equipment you’ve just added to the floor.
  7. Take a field trip – Plan to visit a bindery, paper mill, or another factory that you use or that your clients use on a regular basis so that you can more intelligently understand your clients’ supply chain and future.

If you are a manager or owner, consider offering a grant to each employee to spend on “back-to-school” supplies with the guidance that it can go for clothes, books, or supplies to help make them more productive. Make it fun!

I am excited about the start of the school year and given that my youngest 2 will be going to school full time starting on August 30th, I am completely committed to building my business and taking my practice to the next level. This will be the first time in nine years that I can be more fully focused on my career and you’d better believe I am going to make the most of it.

See more posts from Kelly

Listen to Kelly’s Podcast From The Printerverse: Strategies for Sales Success with Bill Farquharson and Kelly Mallozzi

Kelly Mallozzi.2018_print media centrAs a sales and marketing coach and consultant at Success In Print, Kelly Mallozzi advocates for graphic arts companies to start a revolution and fight to keep print relevant.  She may be irreverent, but what she lacks in convention, she makes up for in smart-assery.

Connect With Kelly: Twitter @SuccessInPrint and check out her weekly blog on Printing Impressions.

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