Many years ago, when I started my career in Commercial Radio, I was given some advice that I’ve never forgotten. It was suggested that if anyone asked me to do something that wasn’t going to contribute to me hitting my target, I should think carefully before I agreed to doing it.
This advice stood me in good stead over the years and continues to do so today.
You see, keeping focused on the things we need to do for us to achieve our long-term goals is fundamental to our success.
Of course, we all have different ideas of what we want from our businesses but whatever it is, we are unlikely to get it if we are not focusing on the things that will give it to us.
What do I mean by this?
Well, using the example of a recent client of mine, a graphic designer, she wants a business that doesn’t need her there to run it. She wants time to spend with her family, a nice house in which to live, holidays when she wants them and to the places they really want to go.
For her to do this, she needed to think about when she wanted this by (in this case three years) and the steps she needed to take to get there.
We started with what the business would look like in three years, its structure, the systems and processes that would need to be in place for it to run efficiently and the level of income that would be required to fund this.
We then thought about where she would need to be in a year for her to have a great chance of achieving her three-year goal. We needed to have two of her team recruited and needed to generate an extra £100,000 in revenue to fund these posts.
We then agreed the goals we would set her for each ninety-day cycle. The first cycle focused on getting two new clients spending £15,000 per year, creating the Position Agreement for the first new member of the team and writing out every step of the role they would be required to fulfil – in the way she currently does it.
By focusing on each goal, ninety days at a time, she was able to secure eleven new clients generating a little of £200,000 in revenue and recruited her first two employees who each had a full description of how they are expected to complete their duties and knew the result they needed to achieve through their role.
My view has always been that our businesses should give us the lives we want, but this rarely happens overnight.
In starting with the vision, we have for our business allows us to plot the route we want to take to get us there. Contrary to the popular myth “Every journey starts with the first step”, every journey actually starts with the destination and that is our vision – it’s what our business will look like when its ‘finished’.
There are some great books out there that will take you through the process, ‘The 12 Week Year’ and ‘Simple, Logical, Repeatable’ are two that spring to mind.
Key to our success however (unless our own self-discipline is off the scale) is having someone there by our side, holding us to account for what we’ve said we’re going to do and keeping us focussed on the end goal. This could be a colleague, a family member, or a coach (I have a coach myself for this reason).
Whatever you do though – make sure that you carry out the tasks necessary to achieve your goals. Only by doing this will you move toward your vision.