When I first talk to my clients, one of the things I ask are their goals. The one thing they say their goal is being driven. So I wanted to explore this a little more and look at what it means to be driven as a small business owner.
Being Driven and Achieving
This is probably what most of us think being driven is all about – getting things done. If only just being driven actually achieved anything! The beauty of it is that being driven does allow us to achieve things, if only we actually do the right things.
The most driven people I know understand exactly what it is they are trying to achieve. They are very clear. It doesn’t mean that they are rigid, because they also understand that there can be outside influences impacting on their achievements.
Driven people plan how and what they will do to achieve their goals. Some are prescriptive to a point and others prefer more loose planning, but that doesn’t mean laissez-faire. They know that the best way to achieve something is to plan for it and plan it out.
Once planned, driven small business owners will ensure that every step they take brings them closer to achieving. They also measure and manage these activities so that they know just how much time it has taken and if that time would be better spent elsewhere.
Finally, should it take too much time, or not be a worthwhile use of their time, driven business owners will outsource like a MOFO. They know what their time is worth and how much they will pay to outsource that time. It’s about managing their resource of time.
Driven Businesses are Owned by Self-motivated Business Owners
The next most common belief about being driven is that you need to be self-motivated. Well yes & no. You need to know where you’re going but you can do this by outsourcing motivating yourself to get you going – you still do need a degree of your own get up and go. I tend to find that with my clients who need me to either give them encouragement through to a kick up the bum, that over time they need me less and less. It’s because I ensure that they have the following skills.
Self-motivated and driven small business owners will know what drives them. This is key to motivating anyone. You need to know what gets them going, what keeps them going, and what their Achilles Heel is. Understanding these means that you have a toolbox of means to get people doing what you (or they) need them to do.
When you know how to get them working then you need to know how they best work. This could be location, time of day, environment, learning style. Understanding how you best work will help you get in the flow and keep on keeping on.
Distractions and procrastinating are probably my arch nemeses. Hello Facebook scroll! Driven small business owners understand that sometimes they get distracted and put in a number of techniques and tools to avoid them. Some don’t have certain apps on their phones, or keep to a daily time schedule. Some use pomodoro or time batching to keep them on track. The one thing they know is that they need to be accountable to themselves for their time. They also know that they need downtime and that is programmed in too.
Self-motivation is not beating yourself up to achieve. It requires us to actually ignore the negative self-talk and keep ourselves in the right frame of mind. When someone is trying to motivate us to work, them berating and belittling us doesn’t make us want to work – this is the same for our self-talk.
Overcoming Obstacles while Remaining Driven
Driven people understand that obstacles will occur but they also know that they have to have the skills to overcome them and continue on their way.
The first thing to overcoming obstacles is to actually be open-minded to them. I know that on first glance obstacles have seemed insurmountable and with some clever consideration actually don’t end up being too bad and sometimes are actually a blessing in disguise. Being open-minded about the obstacle is one thing but driven business owners are also open-minded about the solution. They do not believe that “we’ve always done it this way” is actually a good solution, in fact they can see it as an excuse or an obstacle in itself.
Driven business owners are forward-thinking. They want to see the opportunities in situations and will look at obstacles in the same way.
Again, obstacles can often bring a litany of negative self-talk about us always being a failure, unlucky, or the like. Driven businesses don’t buy into this negative talk and have often done a lot of self-work to subdue that noise once and for all.
I have to be honest, all of my clients are driven. They want to succeed. They just need a bit of guidance, especially with negative self-talk, to get them started. And boy how I love watching them succeed from there!