Time and time again, I see businesses struggle due to a lack of time, resources, or willingness to embrace new tools. Is this familiar to you?

  • Your to-do list seems endless.
  • Your focus is constantly being pulled in multiple directions.
  • You feel like you never have enough time or resources to get to everything.

You’re not alone. Small businesses often suffer from being overworked and underpaid because static drowns out high-impact, growth opportunities.

For the last 6 months, I’ve solved this by training my own personal assistant in the form of A.I. prompt protocols (for you Marvel fans, it feels like my very own Jarvis!).

In fact, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) has produced a significant number of benefits to my personal productivity and workflow. It has also exponentially widened the types of materials, guidance reports, checklists, and recommendations I can quickly and inexpensively provide to my clients. 

A recent article in TIME Magazine backs up my experience of using AI like ChatGPT as a cost-effective drafting engine.

“AI will not necessarily come up with our best ideas for us. But it will greatly reduce the cost—in time, money, and effort—of generating new ideas by instantaneously revealing untold options.” – Sheena Iyengar with TIME (full article)

The results have been so encouraging that I taught a workshop about AI enablement for small businesses for techfrederick’s Aspire program last week. Attendees represented many different industries including Healthcare, manufacturing, HR, marketing, and web development. Everyone learned a technique or perspective they could utilize to support their work.  

While I have been using OpenAI’s ChatGPT, I intentionally focused on methods that could be applied to any generative AI tool, such as Bard, Claude, Jasper, CoPilot and many others.  

Here are the Top 5 take-aways and “tricks” for AI enablement from My Workshop: 

  1. Think of AI like an intern or an apprentice that may be inexperienced but has exceptional research skills and unlimited hours. AI does it much faster than any intern or apprentice could possibly do it and never gets bored with repetitive tasks.
  2. Use your AI tool like your sidekick for everything. Begin even a basic search there instead of Google. Not only can AI reference enormous amounts of Internet available information, but summarize it for you in any format you describe. Need a set of SOPs, job descriptions, marketing copy, corporate communications, fundraising letters? With the right prompts, robust first drafts can be generated in seconds, ready for refinement and approval.
  3. The more specific you are with your request, the better the results will be. Want it to start the answer with an executive summary? Tell it to do so. Want it to create a three-column table? Include reference links and citations? Provide those instructions and insist that it take its time to complete your requirements.
  4. ChatGPT and many others allow you to customize your individual profile, describing the type of responses you prefer. This allows you to train your AI assistant’s writing tone to be professional, academic, casual, friendly, brief, detailed, or anything else that suits your needs. When you take time to provide these profile customizations, you are shaping the tool to serve you better.
  5. Iterate in small steps. Each conversation thread with AI builds on itself. Just like a conversation you come back to again and again with an apprentice, your chat stores the previously generated responses. Then it refers back to them, and utilizes previous feedback from you to shape the next answer. With patience, you can generate a rich and detailed response. 

One of my favorite techniques is to complete a series of instructions, shape the responses to finally get what I want, and then ask AI how we could have arrived at this place faster. This allows the tool to tell me an optimized instruction set that I can save and reuse for a similar task. 

We are slowly building a library of detailed prompts we call “protocols” to assist with our work and the materials we develop for clients. It’s been well worth the effort. Not only does it speed up our ability to draft materials, but it also helps our clients cost effectively meet their demanding timelines and rapidly changing needs. 

If you’d like assistance understanding how AI tools like ChatGPT can be leveraged to help grow your business while you outgrow your busy-ness, give us a call. Workshops, AI enablement training, and custom protocol engineering are available.

Master productive meetings!

Boost communication and productivity with Ready-to-Use Templates for all 5 of these meetings, part of the Operations Course from our buddies at "Business Made Simple."