Last week I took off for a few days on a business retreat. You see, 2016 while earmarked as my growth year really wasn’t (and for good reason). So 2017 is my year for business growth and I had wanted to go on a business retreat for a while. I know it seems odd a business coach heading off for business coaching but this was more about giving myself clear space to work on my business.
So what do I mean by working on my business?
I suppose it will be easier to tell you what dedicating time to business growth is not:
- Paying bills
- Doing marketing, Facebook, answering emails
- Coffee chats with friends (sorry, it’s just not)
- Planning your coming week/month/year
These things are the nuts and bolts (well coffee dates are for me) of getting the daily grind done. Growing your business is at a ‘higher’ and more objective level.
What does working on your business look like?
Growing your business is that blue ocean, pie in the sky, if only thing where you look to where you want to be and you nut out what you need and how you’re going to get there. When I was driving a corporate desk we called it Strategic Planning and it used to elicit groans of dread and snores of boredom from around the room.
Why do people shy from business growth?
As growing businesses is what I do, it’s not something I shy from. In fact, I was the one who enjoyed the strategic planning, lining up goals through the levels of the Agency right the way down to what my staff were required to do. I loved writing papers on how to make the business unit more efficient, in fact I once wrote a paper on how they didn’t need my position and five years on the position is still vacant.
I admit, it takes a certain mindshift and mindset to move from the everyday nuts and bolts of getting the job done to the level of ‘where do I want this thing to head’. The other issue is that it can be draining to constantly think at that level over extended periods of time.
Our brains are hardwired to find solutions, so when you spend extended periods of time looking at the broader aims, direction, & objectives; our mind is tempted to keep coming back to trying to work out the ‘how’.
What gets in our way of business growth?
We do. That’s the reason why I had to go away for a few days. I will always put my clients’ needs first and so I had to make it clear that I was out of action for a few days so I could dedicate time to my business.
Did it work? Yes & no. I still took calls and checked emails, but in the main I achieved what I set out to.
Outside of our innate ability to think strategically, sorry some people just have it and others have to get support or work at it, the main issue I find its time. We just don’t make business growth a priority. How ironic! We want to grow our businesses but we just don’t make the act of sitting down to nut it out a priority.
How to grow your business
I give you permission to carve out time from your week to dedicate to business growth.
You read it right, sometimes we just need someone else to tell us it’s ok to do it. But here is a tip on it.
Get out of your usual working space to do it and leave social media and other distractions behind.
You can’t do something different by doing what you always do. Let’s face it, it might even be sitting in a different chair, going to a café, you don’t have to up and go halfway across the country like I did. Disrupt your normal working pattern and JFDI.
I admit that it was difficult, but I also left my phone in a different spot. My phone was not within arm’s reach of me while I was away. Why? I am easily distracted and if I am disengaged I will pick up my phone.
Get a buddy to strategise with. While I am available to mentor you through the process, I understand that that is not always feasible. However, see if you can pair up with a business buddy to work on your businesses together. It’s amazing how different someone else’s perspective can be. Sometimes you need someone else to show you the forest for the trees.
Remember that this is not a once off. Nor is it a set and forget. Like any good food, there is a recipe and procedure to get from the raw ingredients to the decadent meal. You will have to work at it. I for one have decided that I will set aside a day per week for working on my business and getting it t where I want it to be. You may or may not like that, all I can say is make an appointment in your diary & stick to it, but try to make it once a month.
So if you have no idea of where to start then I have a few tools on how to get you there: