• Blake Finley

Grind vs. Grinding

I never thought of 'grind' as a favorable word, especially after my one and only lesson learning how to drive a manual transmission car. Not a good day for my friend's clutch or gears (or nerves!) ... which is why I still (only) drive an automatic vehicle as of this day.

Nowadays, the world Grind has become a word to describe the act

of working hard, as in folks saying, "back to the grind" ... or, "I will grind away at it," which, in my opinion, stills sounds terrible unless it can be thought of in a more productive light.

Today, let us shine that light.

Although I will tell you I worked today ... and even though my husband will ask me, "how was work today?" to be honest, what I do rarely feels like work. In fact, most days it feels like I am saturated in my most beloved hobby of all time and have financial perks and accolades tossed my way here and there to fuel my passion with a dose of appreciation.

Now, don't roll your eyes just yet ... I'm about to sound even cheesier.

The time I spend on developing websites, crafting logos, designing custom print media concepts and promotional items is measured more by cups of coffee than it is by hours. The same can be said for when my fingers are deep in the typing management and scheduling of social media posts and engagement. Without exaggeration, I lose track of time and when I tell you my first cup of coffee is at 6:00am and my last cup is usually around 8:00pm, you can quickly do the math to calculate my average work-day to be around 14 hours ... or so ... sometimes less if I am traveling, but often more when I am grinding.

Today has been one of those days.

To me, grinding, is more about learning than it is about doing. Even the sharpest professionals need to grind themselves on the stone once in a while, and with today's technology, not even COVID-19 can stop us from keeping the pro in professional! In everything you do, there is always more to be learned about how to get it done ... sounds a bit cliche ... but I firmly believe every professional has room for improvement and growth, even if that means only tapping into a free online class, reading an industry related study/article, or watching a video tutorial.

Today, I submerged myself in materials and tutorials on maximizing website loading speeds, enhancing meta-descriptions for optimal value, and efficient methods for running health checks on all of the websites I currently manage and have in production. The fun part has been running tests on some of the content I put together and finding news ways to make it pop in the world of online marketing and algorithms ... and perhaps that sounds boring to you ... but tonight when my husband asks about work, I'll just smile and let him know what number coffee I am holding in my hand.

So, let me ask you this ... what does your grinding look like? Is it a daunting task, like work, or is it something you enjoy doing in order to sharpen your professional skills and insight?

Here are some ideas worth sharing for maximizing your grind and

keep skills on point with grinding!

  1. Dedicate a portion of time each week to learning, relearning, and / or exploring new skills, studies, ideas, and methods for enhancing your professional life. This can be 1 hour a day or 1 hour a week ... add this to your weekly schedule however is best to suit your schedule; however, once you make this appointment with yourself, be sure to keep it!

  2. Join a fee online hub of courses, such as HubSpot, to participate in an automated online course that can be started and paused according to your availability.

  1. Dedicate a notebook or digital method for taking notes, storing strategies, logging Q&A, and keeping track of online tools, websites, and strategies.

  2. In addition to taking a course online, try your hand at becoming an instructor! Research shows that one of the most effective way to learn, is to teach! By designing and teaching a course around an component of your profession, you are encouraging your mind to apply skills on a higher level of learning, known as evaluating, synthesizing, and creating.

  3. Small doses! Do not overwhelm yourself ... give yourself permission to put in just an hour here or an hour there ... remember, progress is progress, no matter how small ... or what number of coffees it takes you!

Got something to add? Share your ideas and resources in the comments!

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