David Newman

By David Newman

Erase It

Erase It 150 150 David Newman

You should have been here – in my office – 5 minutes ago.

This whiteboard was FULL – and I mean jam-packed – with ideas, notes, bullets, to-dos, action items, brainstorms, and some jottings about the “next big thing” for our professional speaking and inbound marketing firm.

Perhaps you have a similar whiteboard in your office. Or a wall filled with post-it notes. Or plaques and awards on your bookcase. Or other visual reminders of where your company has been and all that you have accomplished.

Tremendously exciting. Truly.

The only problem: it was tremendously exciting in your past. Every day, every week, every month – hell, every hour – that you do not ACT on those ideas, they start to turn on you.

They are no longer motivators – they are pacifiers that remind you how great you WERE. What you imagined would BE. And what – for better or worse – didn’t quite turn out the way you envisioned last week, last month or last year.

In my case, my office whiteboard was holding onto ideas and initiatives from 6 months ago. Yikes! Totally useless to me today. EXCEPT it made me feel good about how gosh darn smart I am and what big plans I have/had (NOT!)

When Steve Jobs came back as interim CEO of Apple in 1997, he had every award, plaque, and completed project plan removed from the walls and hallways of Apple. He did not want any visual reminders of the past. All he wanted his teams to see was their future.

NEW plans, CURRENT prototypes, and UPCOMING projects were all over Apple’s hallways, offices, and conference rooms. Everything was future-focused and kept rigorously up to date.

What do you need to erase from your whiteboard? Which awards should you put away? Which of your accolades are keeping you stuck in the past?

Put that stuff away.

Look to your CURRENT future. In the words of Steve Jobs – it will help you “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” And it will help you achieve your NEXT level of “insanely great.”