I was in Phoenix, AZ on a short business trip when my email started going crazy. I literally had dozens of messages from people all over the country asking me a variety of questions. I could barely keep up because I had just finished a three part webinar with my friend Chris Lambrinides about how to automate, grow and eventually sell your small business.
I don’t do much one-on-one business consulting anymore because I honestly don’t have the extra time. I still value date night with my wife more than business consulting. But, since I was out of town, I decided to help a guy out who wanted to meet me face-to-face.
It was strange meeting a guy I didn’t know at a local Chik-Fil-A restaurant. It reminded me how much I really love helping others see their business from new perspectives. It's so easy for us to become numb to our own businesses. For some reason, we all see our own personal situations through cloudy lenses (even when we think we are seeing things clearly), including me, to this very day!
Sometimes just a small change in perspective can flip everything upside down - and that's what I helped this particular gentleman do that afternoon.
Our conversation started like most of my consulting sessions start, with a series of simple questions….
“What are you trying to do here?”
"What do you want to happen?”
“If I had a magic wand and could use it on your business, what would change?”
“What is your why?”
It is so refreshing to actually think about that question on a personal level. Why do you get up every day and go do all of the stuff you do? Seriously, for 60 seconds, stop reading this and ask yourself that question. Make sure you answer this with detailed specifics (and in fact, the more specific the better).
Its easy to drift away from the original reason we jumped into the treacherous waters of self-employment, so let's take a moment to revisit that reason and revisit your why.
This is always step one.
Only from this place of clarity can we even begin to think about building a plan for your company. Without a thoroughly defined end point, you have an unfinished roadmap and no way to the end goal.
The next step is where it gets fun. It involves building a roadmap. A roadmap is like a skeleton outline, the bones, of what your business will need to have in place for you to achieve what it is that you are setting out to do. After doing that, you can start setting milestone goals and building the basic “architecture” that you need to establish your business journey.
This process is not something that is particularly fun for most people. Which is why it is so critical that you have a solid why firmly planted deep in the back of your mind. Your why is the fuel that you are going to need to have in place in order to thrust across the finish line when things get hard... and trust me… they always get hard.
Being relentless and doing hard things on your entrepreneurial journey is always so much easier when you remember what the final destination is going to be like.
Spend time dreaming about your future. After all, your future has not been written and is a blank canvas. Also, spend time seeing the end result of all of your hard work in your mind's eye, because this is a powerful tool to keep you on track.
Your subconscious cannot tell the difference between a vividly clear imagination and actual reality. So make sure to invest some time in making your dream a reality by doing what many call visualization.
If you're stuck, reach out.
If you're down, reach out.
If you're tired, reach out.
Sometimes the smartest thing you can do is simply chat with someone else about where your business is today to finally get the clarity you need for your next steps forward.
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