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6 Professional 'Zones of Activities'

6 Professional ‘Zones of Activities’

January 13, 2024
Assalamualaikum!

For an impact-driven professional like you, today is the best time to start your digital career and legacy. In other words, your online knowledge [coaching, course, creator] business.

Your digital career and legacy can be illustrated briefly in this framework:

digital career and legacy framework
But what will it take? What kind of work would you have to do long term to bring your vision for a digital career and legacy to life?

Fair questions.

A lot of entrepreneurs and CEOs talk about what type of activities they do in their day.

Most of their high level advice doesn’t apply to new entrepreneurs, course creators, and coaches.

It is too advanced, and can be tiresome for a new entrepreneur/ coach to “personalize” that advice to your situation. Only to redo again after discovering you did it wrong.

In my experience coaching Muslim entrepreneurs in their early years, I’ve discovered that there are 6 different ‘Professional zones of activities’ that will make up your digital career and legacy.

 

6 ‘Professional Zones of Activities’ that make or break your Digital Career + Legacy

 

I gave each of these a name starting from ‘C’ to make it easy to remember. 😉

  1. Consumption: Learning via listening to podcasts, reading books + articles, taking courses, video training, coaching, note-taking.
  2. Contemplation: Brainstorming, doodling, deep thinking, journaling, reviewing
  3. Creation: Writing, recording content, creative synthesis from notes/ information
  4. Connections: Social media Engagement and reach Outs [comments, DMs, reposts and shares etc.]
  5. Conversations: Assessment calls, Onboarding calls, coaching conversations
  6. Control: Organising notes, Designing systems, Delegating tasks, Progress reviews, Creating SOPs, Meeting reminders/ scheduling, admin tasks etc.

 

5 Tips for Starting your Business on the Side of 9-5 in a Balanced way

 

1. Spend less time on ‘Consumption’

Spend more time on ‘Creation’, ‘Connections’, ‘Contemplation’ and ‘Conversations’ than ‘Consumption’.

A lot of new entrepreneurs will just learn, read, watch, study…but never create anything. They will never share the information in their head from fear, overwhelm, or confusion.

Creation is what will build the assets for your digital career and legacy.
For example; these newsletters are my ‘Creation’ today and will become my intellectual assets tomorrow.

Connections are what will grow your online network and will create a WIDE impact of your work. For example; I would try to reply to every email and DM personally in the first 2 years of my business journey and to reach out to every single person in my network. This is easily doable as everyone’s network in the beginning is small. I have always struggled with this but it’s important to keep at it.

Conversations are what will create a DEEP impact on people you can actually help. For example; you would invite people from your network and where they’re hanging out on social media to have a conversation with you. There’s an ethical, genuine and exciting way to do this.

2. Make 5-10 new connections per week (1-3 per day)

To reach more people with your work, you can start by just connecting with 1-3 new people per day on any platform of your choice.

You can just reach out like you would to a stranger in a coffee shop (if you’re thinking ‘Oh I never do that’, maybe you can start now ;)). It’s much less scary than meeting in person. The internet makes it easy for us introverts 😉

 

3. Have One Powerful Conversation per day

To impact others with your coaching and work, you must be open to having conversations during the week. You don’t have to sell. You don’t have to pitch. You can just start by coaching people who can benefit from what you have to offer.

Once you’re in the habit of adding value to one person’s life per day through a powerful coaching conversation…

…You can then transition into working with clients who are excited to pay you to continue serving them beyond 1 conversation.

Eventually, people will start coming to you.

 

4. Batch all activities in ‘Control’ and delegate as much as possible

Create a concrete time block to batch all the activities under the Control zone. You can set two 30-min blocks in the day, one in the AM and one in PM.

It’s important not to let emails, organization, admin tasks, delegating tasks, etc. take over your whole day.

That’s a guaranteed way to make no real progress in building your digital career + legacy.

Delegate as much as you can. You don’t have to do these especially if you’re busy with a full-time job. VAs can do these activities and it’s not hard to find them. You can hire on Upwork, or Fiverr.

 

5. Creation before Consumption

If you want to stay authentic and original in your voice and content, don’t consume content from other people first thing in the morning.

First act of the day: consume the Quran and Hadith.

That will keep your thoughts original and aligned with Allah SWT ‘s advice.

Let your original thoughts and ideas simmer and sizzle in your mind. Use them to create a short piece of content. Anything you like. Video – audio – written post – story reel – anything. You’re just starting – so there’s no wrong or right. There’s just doing.

You’ll discover more about what you love from DOING than consuming. Then we can strategize on which platform and content format to stick with.

You can always carve out some downtime on a daily basis (while commuting, walking, cooking, etc.) and 2 hours of focused time over the weekends for consumption.

And immediately after or during Consumption, spend a few minutes taking and organizing your notes.

 

Do this 2-3 days a week and your knowledge base will grow to incredible depth, you’ll remember things you learn, and you’ll synthesize new interesting ideas.

 

Not many people will do this. You will have an edge over others and stand out fast if you do this.

 

How to use this to design your week:

 

BLUE: Consumption

YELLOW: Contemplation 

GREEN: Creation

RED: Control 

ORANGE: Connections

PURPLE: Conversations

This can be your COLOR KEY.

 

  1. In your weekly calendar, Block your job hours and mandatory family responsibilities.
  2. Find and create empty pockets of time outside of the non-negotiables. You can find these by time-tracking. This will show you empty time blocks that you will give to your business.
  3. Every week – Start on Sunday. Organize your week before the start of the next week by Blocking the 6 Zones in your calendar using the 5 principles I shared above.
  4. Every week – Review on Sunday to see how the colors are coming together in your calendar. Color your calendar to notice how much time you’ve been spending in each of the 6 Professional zones of activities. That will perfectly illustrate where your time is going and what you need to adjust.
  5. For each block, honor that time for what it’s designated. Don’t do other things at that time, no multi-tasting.

 

Here’s an example of how to do this:

I hope this gives you a clear idea of what you need to do to build your digital career and helps you with creating discipline and balance in your days, and weeks.

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