If you haven’t read Gary Keller’s The One Thing, I highly suggest you add this to your reading list. It is probably one of my top 10 books and one I have re-visited a few times since 2013. So many lessons about life, work and finding purpose. As a real life example, it helped me when I became a Mom in February 2014. I used his insights as I figured out how to work a full-time job, give time to my husband and son and also take time for myself. Every 2-3 weeks, I took time to just figure out ONE thing and rather than create a to-do list, I created a success list. I lived by this quote: “Multitasking is merely the opportunity to screw up more than one thing at a time.” – Steve Uzzell

So how does this relate to your P2P event strategy for 2016 and beyond? I’m glad you asked! As we enter the year-end scramble of analysis and questions like:

  • What will we change next year?
  • What are chapters saying?
  • Did we make budget?
  • Do we need to add/remove an event?
  • Did enough people fundraise?
  • When will our website be responsive?
  • Are we under/above benchmark?

And so on and so on…I go back to Keller’s book and am reminded that extraordinary results are determined by how narrow you can make your focus. In other words, do fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects. I see this all the time with P2P, trying to change too much at one time that our events and even our staff become a ‘jack of all trades, master of none.’ So here is my challenge to you as the year ends and you start to look at how you will move the needle next year.

“Focus is a matter of deciding what things you’re NOT going to do.”

Yes, I am asking you to say “no” more. Let’s re-visit the thought of a success list–a list purposely designed around your highest leverage activities. So what are those handful of things that you can extract from your to-do list that would have the BIGGEST impact on your results? Figure out those high-leverage activities, and you’ve just turned your to-do list into a success list. I love the iceberg example below from Keller’s book. See how purpose is the foundation? It’s true that every P2P event is seeking profit and/or productivity. They are the results of an event being run by people who have a purpose and know the priority (or your success list).

one thing

Are you seeing how the ONE thing works here? Become clear on your Purpose and that leads to your highest Priority or your success list. Your success list makes your team/volunteers/fundraisers more Productive and then…look out for that Profit! (which of course cycles back to your Purpose, because then you have the means to fulfill your organization’s mission)

So how do you do all this without getting a headache? I’m glad you asked…let’s look at one example. I work with a large P2P walk event that has decided their entire focus for 2016 is bringing the event back to the locals. Does our content strategy let them know how funds are used locally? Is it easy for someone to register and find the most local event for them? When they donate to a year end campaign, can those funds be attributed locally via a custom donation form? This particular organization has chosen this ONE thing to drive all decisions for 2016.

After you look at participant numbers, message opens, google analytics, communications strategy, social media…I first challenge you to return to your Purpose. The funds that are raised at your P2P event, who and what do they impact? Then start making that success list, narrow your focus and watch what happens. We can’t be good at everything, all at once. Or as a mentor of mine used to say…“If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.”