I’m sure you have vivid memories from your childhood of lining up for a race with your friends.
In my case, my earliest friends were my cousins.
We would line up and someone would yell, “Ready… Steady… GO!”. Off we’d dash to determine who really was the fastest of us all. Unfortunately, I had some long-legged and more naturally physically capable cousins, and I never was awarded first place.
At school this simple race changed to be a teacher with a starting gun.
“On your marks… Get set…”
The tension mounted in each of us until…
And we were off!
The “on your marks” was the signal to us all to get into our place in the starting line. “Get set” attuned our thoughts and attention for the bang. The bang of the gun was the stimulus for us to get into action.
Every morning of our life-time race, we are given a new opportunity to get on our marks, get set and get going for that day. One of the strongest messages I have taken from COVID-19 is that today, this moment, is all we have.
As I share with my clients, every moment we have is the opportunity for us to get into our place, attune our thoughts and attention and get into action.
The buds of “normalcy” are starting to open.
As a business owner today, are you ready, are you steady to go?
As a business owner, what is our place? Our place, from my perspective is:
1. The leader of the vehicle (our business) to meet the needs of our marketplace
If there is no need for our business in the marketplace, we will not be in business for very long. There are many examples, in recent history, thanks to disrupters, of this happening. Look at what UBER did to the taxi industry, look at what digital cameras did to the KODAK, look at what iTunes did to the record industry and the list goes on.
In the last couple of months, not only have we needed to become more aware of the disrupters to our industry, we have needed to become more aware of the COVID-19 disrupter in our marketplace.
As a business owners, our place in the line is to be the strategic thinker who is continually scanning our environment to develop strategies to make the most of the opportunities and minimize the threats as we become aware of them.
In previous blogs, I have spoken about the opportunities that abound in times like now.
More millionaires are born in this economy than in any other.
Many of our clients have taken the opportunity and acted strategically. As a result, many have recorded their best months ever in terms of quoting for and gaining work and revenue and profit levels. Many have taken the opportunity to streamline their team and to make sure how they meet the needs of their marketplace is also honed and streamlined.
2. The leader of the people we have engaged to help us meet the need of the marketplace
In previous blogs, I’ve spoken about how more than ever, our team are looking to us to be the lighthouse in the darkness. COVID-19 has created an immense amount of fear, anxiety and uncertainty in many people’s lives.
Our place in the line is to be the leader, despite having moments of the same emotions, to provide guidance, hope and clarity to our people.
Being the strategic thinker also requires us to be absolutely certain that the people we have on our team ARE, in fact, the right people to help us meet the need of our marketplace. We need to be sure of this before we “Go”. If they are not, we need to be honest and be a leader who is prepared to take a stand. We are not only doing ourselves a favour when we move underperforming employees on, we are doing them one too. They are not happy either!!! Deep down, they know that don’t have the capability to do the job you require. Over the years we have had previous employees come back and thank us for making them get off their backside to go and find the work they really love to do!!
3. As a result of 1 and 2, we are then the recipient of the lifestyle we rightly deserve
Running a profitable business is actually the result of fulfilling your ‘why’. Your ‘why’ is both our personal lifestyle goals and drivers in addition to the purpose our marketplace gives us and the opportunity to reap the rewards from adding value and providing a service to our marketplace.
However, the majority of business owners believe, mistakenly, that a profitable business is achieved by focusing only on the results.
Wait a minute, why am I telling you it’s a mistake to focus on the result???
Because your results are only indicative of what you HAVE done. If, every day you are reviewing you bank account, your cashflow forecast or your profit and loss statement – and only focusing on how much profit did I make; how much money do I have in the bank? Then your focus on the results is sapping you of the energy and attention you need to in order to focus on the areas of your business that will change the results.
As a business owner, our place in the line is to have a clearly documented plan which sets out the lifestyle we rightfully deserve from our efforts of owning a business. That plan clearly shows us the ‘finish line’ and from that, the strategies and activity we need to do in order to reach our destination.
Your ‘why’ is your driver. A strong, clear ‘why’ excites you and has you jumping out of bed, full of energy for the day ahead.
Our place in the line is to be a business owner who is customer centric, looking at how we can add more value through the product/service our business provides to meet their needs.
Are you ready? Are you in your place in the line? If not, Rob and I can help you to do so. If you are, you’re ready to get set!
As a business owner, what thoughts and attention do we need to have before we begin the race? For me the best way to get my thoughts and attention prepared for the starting gun, is to have a daily routine.
Over the years I’ve read many books that set out the author’s daily routine. They have found what works for them and are sharing their process with others. I’m thankful for the ideas those people have given me.
What I have learned though is this… what is right for them isn’t necessarily right for me.
I’m an individual who thinks and acts differently to them. Not to say that I’m right and they’re wrong or vice versa. Just that, we are all different and we need to take the time to find out what does work for us.
I’m grateful that a couple of years ago my coach forbade me, for a period, from reading books and attending courses. She worked with me to begin the journey of listening to my own wisdom. This involved simply being quiet in order to listen to my soul and to listen to my own body needs.
This is an ongoing journey for me and regularly I’m honing my routine.
For example, I’ve always considered myself to be a healthy eater. What I’ve discovered in recent times though is that it’s not what I’m eating but when I’m eating it that is impacting my body. My most recent routine is the old adage, eat a breakfast fit for a king, eat lunch for a queen and eat a dinner of a pauper. In the main I’m sleeping so much better at night because my body is not having to process a large meal. I also have much more energy and I’m more mentally alert.
Do you have a daily routine? Is it working for you? If not get one that is right for you. Stop beating yourself up for not doing what someone else tells you should do. Maybe it’s not working because it’s not right for you. On the other side of the coin though, maybe you need to acquire the discipline to develop and stick to a routine.
Are you set? Great, then let’s go!
The ‘Go!’ is now the easy part of the race.
You’ve set yourself in the line.
You know your destination and why you’re going there.
You are a strategic thinker, you are a strong leader providing guidance, hope and clarity to your team and, if needed, showing tough love.
You are armed with a routine that works for you that helps you to be physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally ready to run your own race.
So, run and run hard.
Do the best you can. Follow your plan, but be ready to change lanes if that’s what the race requires you to do. Keep heading toward your destination.
Don’t worry if your racing competitors are doing things differently or doing something you think is “better” than you. That’s their race towards their own destination – not yours.
Don’t second guess yourself. Keep running your race and you will “win”.
So, what stage is your business at right now?
One of the things I am most grateful for in my journey is having had some great mentors and coaches to help me uncover my place (Get Ready) and my routine (Get Set).
Rob and I are both incredibly passionate about working with business owners so they finally achieve the life they deserve for themselves and their families. If you’d like to know more about how we can help you create a business that works hard for you (rather than you working hard for it), then reach out. It costs nothing to have a chat, but if business isn’t where you thought it would be by now, then it could be very costly not to.
Download your copy of Post-COVID19 Business Strategy Checklist.
What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.