As I sit on the sofa at home, I use this time to reflect on what I have achieved and not achieved in the past year, areas of improvement and what I need to do to change for the year ahead of me. I’ve come to realise even with experience and success in business…
… you can still feel overwhelmed, frustrated, fearful, self-doubt and a lack of clarity. (Even though you know what must be done)
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As a former elite athlete that studied and trained with Olympic athletes, I thought that I was invincible until I realised that actually we all have limiting beliefs and sometimes we are just so incredibly hard on ourselves.
When I think of myself, I’m the biggest critic. I put all this pressure on myself of running a business (or three) balancing work and family life and setting myself high standards.
All this pressure can somewhat paralyse our thinking and reduce our peripheral awareness.
When I think of my position, I came to realise that there are many others that are actually in a similar position. We all get stuck and it doesn’t feel good.
So, the million dollar question is…
How will you ensure your business is more productive in 2020?
Here is my “15-step checklist”
1. Create a VISION
Your vision needs to start with what impact do you want to leave the world, in 100 years how will you be remembered and what legacy do you want to leave?
Yes these are all big questions, Don’t get overwhelmed!
If you have created a why, goals, dream or purpose in the past that you have not achieved, it’s likely that something didn’t feel right, you were disconnected and you were destined for something bigger than who you actually are.
We all have a purpose in life, use a quiet space or use meditation tools to help find some clarity allowing you to tap into what you really want. It will also help you eliminate distractions, ego and low self worth.
2. ACTION PLAN
One of the first things I teach my clients is creating a business blueprint! The blueprint needs to emulate according to your vision, this will help you become more focused. On one page, I start with my exit strategy (If you don’t want to exit that’s fine too, you may want to create a business where you have more of a behind the scenes role).
In 3-5 bullet points, I write out what I need in place to make my exit strategy happen this varies from business to business. Here are some ideas: What positions do you need to have filled? What new products/ services do you want to have developed, what systems do you need in place? What countries do you want to expand to? Try to be as specific as possible.
A 12 month plan
A 6 month plan
A 3 month plan
One month from today
You will want to update your one page blueprint every month as your business adapts and progresses.
3. Don’t be afraid to fail
I have seen a common attribute in most entrepreneurs that I believe is our downfall, failure. I never see failure as a bad thing, I see it as a blessing. Failure is a way that has not worked it doesn’t mean it will never work. Did Thomas Edison have that mindset when he created the lightbulb? No he just found 10,000 ways of how a lightbulb didn’t work. Does a baby give up that easily when they are learning to walk? No, they keep going until they figure it out.
Accept It’s ok to make mistakes.
Don’t think your going to fail after
– One speaking gig
– One webinar
– One high-ticketed offer
– One course launched
– One Facebook ad
– One event
4. Plan the day before
This is a must do if you want to kickstart everyday with intention! Always plan you day the day before and split the day into thirty minute segments. This is one of the key skills you need to develop to become more self disciplined and focused.
5. Manage your energy
If you want productivity then you have to start managing your energy more efficiently. That means taking regular breaks every 2 hours, eating a healthy balanced diet and staying in good physical shape too.
I encourage my clients to set themselves a fitness goal for example one of my clients decided to pursue the challenge of running the great wall of China half marathon. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as that just something that will take you out of your comfort zone.
6. Speed is the new currency
I’ve come across many companies that have spent years plateauing, losing money and profits because they’re stuck. The story of Blockbuster Video failing in the face of innovation to Netflix is a common one. We see the same thing that happened to Toys-R-Us going into administration because they failed to identify the changing shopping habits of their customers, failed to embrace a digital platform, and failed to adapt to the new market.
Slow-moving firms have no future. The world is continuously evolving. Big players like Amazon, Apple, Whole foods and Nike are beginning to swallow up the markets. These companies are making customers’ experiences quicker, easier and more convenient. And because companies like Blockbuster Video and Toys-R-Us got complacent, they’re out of business.
To me, success is all about speed. I actually don’t care about anything else. Speed, both in people skills and hard work, will crush anything. How quickly you implement certain ideas, adapt to the market and stay ahead of your competition will make all the difference in your business.
As a former elite athlete, speed was so important, especially when it came to making a decision on when we needed to step up a gear, when we were going to overcome the competition, when we’d win the race.
It’s the same thing in business – you have two choices: hustle hard or get crushed by the competition.
7. No such thing as perfectionism
Many business owners wait to make sure everything is perfect. It’s important to realise that perfectionism is BS and that you don’t have to get everything 100% right all the time. There will never be the perfect time, place, situation or circumstance just be happy with 80% and then move on.
“It’s not about perfection, but just getting things done really quickly”
8. Measure everything
As an athlete we measured everything, it was key to track our progress that ultimately gave us results.
If you want to improve you need to know where you were (past), where you are currently (present) and where you’re heading (future).
Do more of what works and stop what does not work.
As an example I use a system called ‘LAPS’ enabling me to measure my leads, appointments, presentations and sales.
9. Stop doing list
We all have an endless to do lists but one thing I teach my clients is to figure out their stop doing list. To do this you must….
Evaluate what business skills you have and rate yourself on key areas such as sales, marketing, pitching, networking, branding, finances and operations.
Delegate as much as you can enabling you to focus on the activities you enjoy and that you are good at.
I’m not particularly great with numbers therefore I delegate that activity out to my finance team. What activities/ tasks can you list that you need to stop doing and how much will it cost you to give that activity/ task to someone else?
10. Know your value!
When I sat down with one of my clients ‘Richard’ he was stuck, frustrated and struggling to manage his time efficiently, he was stressed out not able to see his family and working in a business that was essentially him! I found that was trying to do everything (he was the bottleneck).
Wether that be working on his website, scrolling through his social media feed, checking his email, or creating a logo. He was essentially doing tasks for little or no money. When he realised this, we used productivity hacks and a created a small team of contractors (these we sourced on places such as upwork.com, fiver.com or 99designs.com).
He discovered all these activities are transactional. Transactional tasks do not add revenue to your bottom line.
During the day, you need to focus on revenue generating activities that grow your business enabling you to delegate more tasks out.
11. Systemise everything!
One of the biggest things I have really been focused on this year is creating more of an online business. We live in a digital world and you can create so much more impact by reaching out to clients that you can help in other places in the world. To move to the next level and be successful you need to develop and create systems and processes that support a new way of life.
The purpose of any business is to have a commercial and profitable organisation that works without you. If your business depends on you or the knowledge is locked into your head begin to document everything and use the relevant systems to do the work.
12. Condition yourself
This is one of the key foundations you need to develop from the start. It doesn’t matter about a strategy or success formula without conditioning your mindset first, you will fail. For thirty minutes a day (ideally in the morning) read, watch or listen to positive material that will energise, encourage you and will help you overcome self doubt.
13. Surround yourself with the right people
Take yourself out of surroundings that make you feel like crap and plan time in places that uplift you! Spend less time with energy vampires and toxic people. These are the typical types of people that have limiting beliefs and want to put their s**t on you, or the ones that tell you your not good enough, or offer unsolicited advice on your expertise with what you do, or those that just whine and moan about life and really do nothing to changing their own.
Unfortunately, reality is they can be an employee, a friend/ family member or worst of all your spouse. Choose positive people that uplift you and think like you. Create your own circle of associations that have a growth mindset, those that share the same success principals and values as yours, empathy, integrity and kindness.
14. Believe in yourself
If you don’t belief in yourself there will be no shadow of doubt that you are going to struggle! One of my clients ‘James’ didn’t believe in himself this created self doubt and fear of rejection. He didn’t want to pick up the phone to follow up with clients after interacting with them. After revisiting his vision and understanding his clients pain points he became motivated and believed that he could really help his clients find a solution.
15. Get a coach or mentor
From a very young age I was exposed to coaching early on in my athletic career. Honestly, if I didn’t have a coach or mentor there is no way I wouldn’t of had the success I had if it wasn’t for him.
If you look at Olympic athletes, celebrities or successful entrepreneurs they have all had coaches and mentors.
For most of you coaches/ mentors can come from books, audios, you tube videos, Instagram stories or just following successful entrepreneurs. If you want a short cut to success then go and get a real coach or mentor, one that you invest time and money with.
They will save you the most valuable asset ‘TIME’ which is something you can never replace!
A great coach or mentor should encourage you, hold you accountable and be honest be with you!
When you work in the trenches its hard to get a bird eye viewpoint of what’s really holding you back and how to fix your bottlenecks. It is critical to get some advice and have someone to turn to that will help you get to the next level (a place where you may have never been before!) It can be lonely running a business (trust me I know I own three). Don’t assume you know everything, be coachable. I teach this when I work with my own clients.
If its good enough me it must be good enough for you too!
If you’ve read to the end, I’m sure there has been some points raised that have resonated with you.
I wanted to share some insights into my life, my business and what you can do in yours.
Business is not easy (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) I’ve seen so many business owners and entrepreneurs fall down the rabbit hole and its tough to get out!
The key is to spend more time working on your business not just in your business, and you need to learn how to work smarter not harder.
The truth is… you can patch some things together from this article and try to achieve success but both you and I know that’s the slow way. If you to build a successful business that gives you what you want out of life get a successful “mentor” or “coach” that can make it easier for you giving you a competitive advantage.
And that’s why I’m here to help…
As a Business Results Strategist.
I want to show you the right way to achieve faster results, create clarity and grow and scale your business.
So you can work less, make more and serve your clients to a higher level.
If you’re set on making 2020 a year of lasting change and achieving faster results.
Message me and we can arrange a convenient date and time to speak.
And if I can help you with your desired outcome.
We can discuss a tailor made package that we can create to ensure your success.