This past weekend, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the World Domination Summit, hosted by Chris Guillebeau in Portland, Oregon.

While there were many powerful lessons that ran as themes throughout the weekend, one that stood out was the need to take action.

Many of the keynote speakers had amazing stories to share, simply because they had decided to take action on a dream or goal. J.D. Roth explained it best, describing how he used to talk about exercising regularly, but never did it.

If you want to be something, you have to do that thing.

You don't need to do much else. As one panelist joked, “the verb that you have to do is usually right there in the thing that you want to be”. If you want to be a writer, than write.

But more than just taking action and focusing on the thing you want, you have to minimize the things that you don't want.

As I was reminded at a meetup with Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus of The Minimalists, Minimalism involves getting rid of things: sacraficing what is less important to you in order to have more of what is.

For those of us who are new website owners, blog writers, and business owners, it's extremely difficult to stay focused on the technology that is most important.

There are so many clever websites and services. Plugins and extensions for WordPress. Analytics, split testing, and click tracking. Niche pieces of compelling advice about sales, conversion rates, marketing, and psychology.

These all have their time and place in the progression of your business, but if you're just in the beginning stages, you need to become minimalist.

When you're first starting to blog and establish yourself online, your job is to consistently add value.

And you add value by writing inspiring, helpful, thought provoking things. You add value by giving great advice, by offering your expertise to those around you, and by joining the conversation.

If you're in an early stage of the business life-cycle, you shouldn't be spending your time learning about sales pages, SEO, figuring out the perfect plugin to integrate facebook on your site, or agonizing over WordPress themes.

You SHOULD be learning how to add value. That's it.

This got me thinking about what core pieces of technology are at the heart of your business, and what you can save for later. Aside from learning how to add value, here are the three pieces of technology that you should (MUST) be focusing on in your business.

Three pieces of technology that are crucial for your business

1. WordPress, or whatever platform your website is built on.

  • You need to know how to create new posts, and pages.
  • You need to know how to add an email signup form to your side-bar.
  • You need to be able to effectively use your website to broadcast your message. Or you need to be able to pay someone who can.

2. Aweber, Mailchimp, Get Response, or another reputable email list provider.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: Your email list is the most important asset you have beyond your website. It is where you find your fans, friends, and future customers.

  • You need to be able to configure and create a new list, create a signup form, and embed it on your website.
  • You need to know how to schedule and send an email to your list, and to find out how many people opened it.

3. Twitter and/or Facebook and/or another social platform of your choice
You could be writing the most earth shattering content that no one has ever heard of. Remember how I said you need to join the conversation? You'll find that conversation on a social network. If you don't find the conversation in progress, start it.

  • You need to know how to find that conversation, and how to engage.
  • You need to know what the social norms of the platform are- how do people communicate there?

These three things: Webite, Email List, and Social Media are the three pillars that hold up your business.

Technology distractions

Here are things that you DO NOT need to concern yourself with until you have figured out how to add value AND gotten the core pieces of technology figured out:

  • WordPress Membership Plugins
  • Analytics
  • Split Testing
  • Social Integrations
  • Mobile Version of your Site
  • Video Production
  • Website Caching Plugins
  • Sales Pages
  • Font Customization
  • Time Management and Productivity Systems
  • Advanced Marketing and Psychology Techniques

While these are all important things in online business, they are secondary to the three core things above. They are distractions that steal your focus from adding value.

One of my favorite songs by Cat Stevens is from the movie Harold and Maude.

If you want to sing out, sing out. And if you want to be free, be free. Cause there's a million things to be, you know that there are.

I want you to take that advice to heart in your business and in life. By focusing and acting on the thing you want to be, you will become it.

Technology can be like lighter fluid on a charcoal grill, or it can bog you down like a sled getting stuck in deep snow. (tweet this)

Focus just on the crucial technology to achieve the former. Forget the fluff until your training wheels come off.

I want to hear from you

What's something you've focused heavily on that turned out to be a distraction from what you were really seeking? Is there anything you'd add to the list of crucial technology tools?

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