Take your business where you want it to go... and free up the time needed to make it happen
There can’t be many who haven’t reflected on the past couple of weeks and wondered if this is the direction they would continue on ‘when life returns to normal’.
The reality is, there isn’t likely to be a return to normal. Or at least not the normal we had before.
So, now is arguably a better time as any other to consider whether you should redefine your ‘normal’. What do you want ‘normal’ to look like?
Do you want more time at home? Or have the horrors of home-schooling shown that may not be the best use of your talents 😉
Has it shown that your business, whilst is day-to-day profitable, didn’t have the reserves you’d like to carry you comfortably through down periods?
Are you seeing a compassionate, empathetic side to businesses that you’d really like to ensure doesn’t slip away when the commercial prospects re-emerge?
So many questions... how do you prioritise? And then how do you actually get going?
We’ve created a 24-hour Goal Setting Tool to enable you to get some initial ambitions and plans down on paper so that you can start to plan your next moves. No-one is saying you need to commit a whole 24-hour period, that would surely interrupt the Netflix binge too much, but some focused effort and dedicated time will really help you to zone in on what matters to you.
First up, goal setting. Split into personal goals and business goals so that you can be really specific in your intentions. Ask yourself the big question – What do I want?
What would make you personally more happy?
- Do you want more time with the family?
- More income?
- Less travel?
What about from the business?
- More retained income?
- Longer contract lengths?
- Loans paid off?
- Occasional remote working?
- Rewarding your staff for their commitment?
Create these as SMART goals:
S - Specific (i.e. “retire with £300,000” instead of “retire with a lot of money”)
M - Measurable (i.e. “help all of my children to get a degree” instead of “good education”)
A - Awesome (i.e. it must fill you with excitement and inspiration, otherwise you won’t see it through)
R - Realistic (i.e. challenging goals are great, but don’t stray into cloud cuckoo land)
T - Timed (i.e. “retire by 2010” instead of “retire eventually”)
To really cement these goals, and take them from wishes to something you could action, you need to consider what would happen if you didn’t take these actions? How you’d feel if you carried on as you are now and didn’t make the changes. Imagine what kind of problems or concerns that would bring about.
Then think about the potential gains of such moves. You could feel happier, richer, kinder, more fulfilled. Seeing the opportunity that change could bring might give you the kick to make it happen.
Which takes us to the next point. Making it happen.
To make a change, you have to work out how you can change. What do you need to do to enable you to take up these opportunities?
Mostly it’ll be tied up in available time, so do you need to outsource tasks? When cashflows are tight it seems sensible to hold onto monies, but you should consider at what cost. One accepted business truth is that leaders should only do what only they can do – identify your true value to the business and then find others to pick up the other work. Utilise the focused skills of others to give you the time to put your focused skills to be best effect for your company.
Other things that you might need to change might be additional qualifications, growing your network, changing your working week. Acknowledging what needs to change is key, as without this nothing will happen.
A useful tool for this is the ‘First things first’ matrix first made famous by Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This helps you to get clarity on what’s really important, but also shows up where you are putting the majority of your efforts – making it clear if you’ve got the balance between urgent and important right, or wrong.
Finally – and most critically we’d argue – make an action list. Put dates on the actions. Give the list to someone else to hold you accountable.
If you’re looking to make some changes to your business, download our 24-hour Goal Setting Tool and start mapping out the next phase.