“Do the work,” they say.

I thought I knew what that meant. But do I? Do I really?

I thought I did.

Get busy.


And there’s so much conflicting advice out there. 

The paradox of business advice

Build a brand as you but don’t build a brand as you because then you’ll have no exit strategy when you want to sell. 

Be authentic but don’t overshare.

Be on all the social media channels but only those I can do well.

Make and share quality videos because video is so hot right now but don’t worry about quality, just get started.

Spending all your time pump out great content but spend more time marketing content than writing.

Join Facebook Groups. Comment, like and share in there but don’t waste time on social media. Hang out on LinkedIn. Comment, like and share on there, too, but again, don’t waste your time. Rinse and repeat.

Build an email list as fast as you can but only sign up people in your ‘tribe’.

Don’t bother with keyword research and write only what you love but optimise your posts to get the Google grease.

Work on client projects but don’t trade dollars for time – make passive income instead. 


And I feel like I’ve been doing all the work but most of the times my wheels are churning and I’m not moving forward. 

Is any of this the right work?

I find it so hard to objectively look at my own business and know what needs to be done. It’s like I ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ when it comes to my business. 

I let my heart overrule my head. I’m impulsive and drop things at the sight of a shiny new object faster than you can say ‘Let’s build a site about mason jar salads.’ (Cos yes, embarrassingly, that’s a shiny object I once chased!)

Focus only on what matters

Gary Vee knows all about doing the work. He documents and shares everything about his day. He’s prolific. He’s driven. He is a success. 

I watched a keynote Gary Vee delivered and it changed the way I view doing the work.

While his talk and the Q&A that followed was entertaining and engaging, it was one off-the-cuff comment that stuck with me.

To paraphrase, Gary Vee said that of the people at the Business Squared event, even though they were feeling inspired in the moment, 95% would take no action.

And I know he’s right. I’ve been to conferences before (I’m looking at you ProBlogger) where I’ve been so inspired in the moment but I’ve allowed life to get in the way of putting into action what I learned. Or fear, perhaps?

I don’t want to be in the 95%. I want to be in the other 5%. I want to be one of the people who do the work.

But it has to be the RIGHT work. And this is what I’m trying to figure out. 

Be the 5%

This is my new motto, my new pep talk. 

At the Great Melbourne Blog-In, an event I recently hosted during my trip to Australia, I was lucky to have Sharon Gourlay from Digital Nomad Wannabe as one my guest speakers. I talked about the impact Gary Vee’s keynote had on me and I introduced Sharon as one of those people firmly in the 5%, or even in the 1%.

Sharon focuses on doing only the things that will move her closer to her goals. Everything else is unimportant and does not steal her time.

Sharon is the right kind of busy. And her success in just a few years proves that focusing only on what serves your goals is the right way to work. 

I want to be more like Sharon!

Work the right way

Not only am I looking at focusing only on doing the right kind of work to propel me towards my goals, I’m looking at doing the right kind of work the right way. 

And by that, I mean not doing things half-hearted. I mean doing the tedious and mundane tasks and doing them well if they serve my goal. 

I recently wrote a post called If you don’t build it, they won’t come. I described my small epiphany that no one is reading the content I haven’t written, no one is buying the products I haven’t added to my online store and no one is clicking the affiliate links I haven’t yet added to the content I haven’t written. 

This epiphany has allowed me to refocus on doing the right work that will serve my goals – to earn residual income alongside my client work.

And my 5% motto is steering me to do things fully and doing them well. No corners cut. No ‘near enough is good enough’. 

So, do you think you are doing the right kind of work? Are you in the 5%.


    6 replies to "Are you doing the right work?"

    • Sam Winch

      Ahhh… great post.

      Am I doing the right work? No, not always… but sometimes.

      Can I improve? Hell yeah.

      Great reminder… thank you.

      • Sandra

        Yeah, I can improve, too. Sometimes you need a break from the tedium of doing the right work the right way, right?

    • Bianca

      Great post! Right now I’m not doing any of it after being on mat leave, so I’m in the ‘if you don’t build it’ camp but I’ll get back to it. Thanks for the great reminder!

      • Sandra

        It’s such an obvious epiphany that I was almost too embarrassed to admit I had it.

    • Bec Waterhouse

      I’m thinking of giving up on Instagram for business. I spend so much time crafting content for it and I’ve literally had two website clicks from it and no sales. It was reading Sharon Gourlay’s advice about doing only what worked that made me realise, Instagram isn’t.

      • Sandra

        Instagram is hard for drumming up work for service-based businesses. If it’s not working for you and you don’t enjoy it, I’d say ditch it. If you still enjoy it, then keep at it but ditch the expectations.

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