You are your business and your business is you. But, the real question is – Is that a good thing? Trust me; you need to know the answer to this question – now.
Let’s look at some indicators that will help you answer the question. If you answer “yes” to at least two of these questions, then you can describe your professional life (and maybe even your personal life) in the following way – “the bad news is you’re lost but the worse news is you’re making great time”.
Okay, you know the drill – answer the question based on reality, not what you might “hope” it would or could be.
Do you find that during any particular week you waste time and money and still miss opportunities?
What you should be thinking about – If you answered yes, you need to have a vision (3 years out) for your business or career. Without a specific vision, there is no way that you can set realistic goals to move forward. Without specific goals, there is no way you can measure progress. Finally, without daily planning and following a 90 day plan, you will continue to waste time and money until both are gone!
Do you find yourself involved in a fair amount of “fire-fighting” and moving from crisis to crisis?
What you should be thinking about – Here clarity of roles and expectations is key if you want any chance of succeeding. Have a daily plan, outlining what the top 1 to 3 things are that you need to accomplish that day. In developing this daily plan, also try to identify what barriers might stop you from completing these key tasks. Try to have ready a contingency if you get stalled.
Are you very busy, running from task to task and meeting to meeting but still see no measurable progress being made?
What you should be thinking about – You’re letting the day, week or month control you as opposed to you taking charge. You may be finding that nothing gets done, unless you do it. Are you delegating? Look at the skills of your team and “fix” why others can’t do the work that you are doing. Is it a training need? Whatever it is, fix it. It will stifle all growth in your business. Want to know how to effectively delegate? Read online: “Lessons in Leadership: Do You Delegate (Or, Do You Collect Other People’s Problems)?
Are you pulled in multiple directions at the same time with little or no time for you?
What you should be thinking about – One of the best things you can do for yourself is to schedule an actual appointment with yourself. Put on your calendar and in your outlook – set it up as a recurring event on the same day at the same time, every week. You have to fight for your time like you would for your life. It’s that important. During this scheduled appointment, work on you and then some strategic issue that will move your business or your career one step closer to your goals. You can find out more about how to do this by reading my blog post online “Put Yourself in Time Out”.
Do your employees require constant follow-up; do what they want, when they want regardless of what you want them to do?
What you should be thinking about – make sure your team understands their roles; why they do what they do and how it fits into what the overall goals are. This applies to everyone – from the mailroom to the board room. No exceptions. Once they understand their roles make sure they bare proficient in all of their tasks. With that behind you, set performance expectations for them and make certain all understand what constitutes satisfactory or better performance. Last but not least, hold everyone accountable to meet (or exceed) your stated expectations.
Do you, today, still have the same passion about what you do as when you first started?
What you should be thinking about – look, you have lost your way. It’s not unusual. You have gotten so caught up in managing the fires and dealing with clutter and distractions that you no longer know why you do what you do and where it is all taking you. It’s like trying to light a fire with damp wood; it flickers and then it goes out. So, first; get away from the day to day; next validate why you do what you do – i.e. your long term goals; now re-create your vision so as to define what you want your business or career to look like in 3 years and how that will satisfy your “why”; then set some goals for the next 12 months broken down into 90 day increments and finally get to work.
You are at a critical crossroads and you can’t stand there too long trying to determine which way to go. The choices are clear – accept the status quo, curl up into a complacent ball and accept the fact that you will forever be a victim of the circumstances you created. That’s right, you created! The other choice is too change the status quo and create a “new” reality and start down that road of becoming a “master” of the circumstances (and opportunities) that you create. That’s right you create!
You’re the only one who can make this decision. To help you, let’s get some brilliant advice from the wisest man I know – Yogi Berra. One of Yogi’s most famous statements is, “when you come to a fork in the road, take it”. Here’s what Yogi meant by this brilliant tidbit of advice. According to Yogi (from his book with the same title) “people are always afraid of making the wrong choice. But no matter what decision you make…you shouldn’t look back. Trust your instincts”. Yogi went on to say, “Make a firm decision. Make sure it feels right…don’t second guess yourself. But on big life decisions, get advice if you can”.
Bottom line; accept responsibility for your business or career (and life). If you don’t like where you are, then do something about it, now. Determine where you want to be; create your plan and take action and implement it, one step at a time.
Chris Ruisi is an experienced executive/business coach as well as accomplished leadership/business motivational speaker. Through this work, he has created a community of entrepreneurs, executives, and business leaders who understand the importance of Being Fearless; Stepping Up, and Playing Big. To learn more about Chris visit www.TheCoachszone.com or email Chris at Chris@TheCoachsZone.com.