Many business owners get to the point in their business and their life where things just stop improving. They reach a comfortable level that many call a plateau, where things are good but not great, and the majority of their previous level of dissatisfaction is now eliminated. While this may sound like a nice place to be, it is also a dangerous place to be. Staying at this plateau can led to complacency, and when you least expect it, it slowly takes you right back where you were without you ever realizing it.
Around this time every year, we all know that it’s time to start planning for the next year. We do New Year’s Resolutions that we never stick to, we make Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) that we never reach, and in general we do things like budget and set modest goals that we sometimes kinda use. And every year we forget 90% of this by the middle of February, and we end up wherever we end up. What if there was a simple 3.5 Step process for Goal Setting and Achieving that actually worked?
Do you ever get tired of correcting your team (or spouse or kids)? Well, if you’ve ever read the book “Whale Done”, you know that trainers figured out early on that you can’t “Correct” a killer whale, but you can “Re-Direct” it instead to accomplish the same thing! While your team members are certainly not the same as a pod of killer whales (I hope), they probably prefer the same approach to helping them choose better actions when they need help doing so. So what does Re-Direction look like in the workplace?
I’ve been doing a lot of networking lately and I see a lot of business owners who don’t actually own a business, they just own a JOB! And worse, their job and their employees actually own them! I started talking to a few of them, and the theme that jumped out of every conversation is that when things got tough – usually too busy due to not enough team or didn’t trust the team – they simply put their head down, dug in, and didn’t look back up until it was too late.
There are 3 Keys to Building the Value of Your Business. If you’re like most business owners, a lot of your retirement wealth is tied up in your business, and you need to successfully sell or transition your business to somebody else so that you can exit gracefully and go live the life you want to live. Even if you’re not thinking about that now, using these keys will help you build value and build a business that works without you, so you can enjoy life now without needing to retire.
In my coaching sessions so far this week, the topic of Setting Expectations has come up several times. It usually starts with, “So-and-so didn’t do what I expected again.” My first question is almost always, “Are you sure he/she knew what you expected?” The typical answer is “I think so…I told him/her a couple times.” Does this pattern sound or look familiar to you? Are you getting tired of this conversation yet?
When we are not achieving the success we want in our lives, too often we look outside of ourselves instead of inside. The observable parts of our success – our actions, behaviors and results – are what we spend too much time focusing on, and the hidden aspects of ourselves often remain out of view, like an iceberg. While it is true that our results are directly related to our actions and behaviors, we need to dig deeply into our personal icebergs to learn how to take new and better actions and learn new success behaviors. We call this personal iceberg the Identity Iceberg, and it has 4 Layers.
If you’ve tried to hire anybody in the last 12 months, then you have most likely experienced what most business owners and recruiters have found – there isn’t anyone! Well, let’s clarify that a little bit, in that there are people still unemployed, it’s just that most of them probably are not going to be a good fit for your business. If you want a good employee at this point, you will have to steal them from someone else. Oh, and while you are looking to steal someone away from someone else, guess who else is being heavily recruited … your best employees!
I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say I never thought I’d call myself a runner. Thirteen months ago my personal trainer asked a group of us if we wanted to participate in a local Thanksgiving Day race, and with a lot of trepidation in my mind I agreed to register. I had never run a race over 5 kilometers before and the race I’d just agreed to run was twice that distance. After giving me a few minutes to process the decision I’d made, my trainer laid out the training plan to make sure all of us would complete the goal of running the race. The process she outlined for us was simple and effective and consisted of the following steps:
The power of goal setting is well documented, and there are hundreds if not thousands of books and articles out there on the topic, so I’m not going to try to convince you here if you still need that. What I want to do now is share some of my Top Tips for creating a great plan that you can actually accomplish. First and foremost, make sure that your goal-setting and planning includes both business and personal items. As a business owner, you need to be planning for balance in your life, so I would suggest starting with your personal goals.
Let’s face it, every business out there needs customers to survive. When I sit down with business owners and ask them what they’re focusing on, a large majority say, “Trying to get new customers.” When I follow up with, “What does your marketing plan look like?”, they answer, “I don’t really have one.” And if they do have one, it often hasn’t been fully thought out, or they’re trying anything and everything to get new customers. But the number 1 mistake I see most business owners make in their marketing is – Wrong Target Audience.
For many of us, this phrase is a reminder of that classic movie Karate Kid, and brings up images of Daniel-san painting the fence and waxing the car. For me the images are more recent and personal, and I now add an addition to the end of the phrase – “and Live”. Too many of us are living to work, living to be the best, to win the game, and we sometimes forget to look up and around and simply take a deep breath and enjoy life.