We often see super smart business clients who feel like they are running in circles. They have great intentions and heaps of clever ideas but somehow they can’t seem to get off that hamster wheel and turn their dreams into reality.
If you have great ideas but don’t seem to be getting anywhere, then here are five things you might want to consider changing.
Stop just figuring it out as you go
You’ve heard it before…every business needs a business plan. You might think that’s just in case you need to apply for a bank loan. But the simple fact is that a plan is what stops businesses and business owners running in circles.
If you spend every day figuring it out as you go along then your path will change with every bright idea, every minor crisis and even the shifts in your mood. A plan that sets out your goals and how you intend to achieve those goals is what keeps you moving forward.
If you don’t think you have time to write a business plan then start by identifying your top three goals for this year and some steps to get you there. Come back to this document for 15 minutes every week to track how you are progressing.
Stop letting your fears decide
It’s basic human nature to fall prey to fear of failure, or of looking like a fool. Once you are gripped by those fears it becomes easy to rationalise a “do nothing” strategy. Your head gives you plenty of reasons why it’s smarter to stay in the box and not venture too far out on a limb.
When you start to feel this way, make a list of all the successes you have achieved. Then list all the valid reasons for expecting success. How does this list stack up against your rationale for failure?
Get comfortable with uncertainty
Uncertainty is a fact of life. It’s not possible to know for certain how well a new product will sell or whether a new idea is going to actually get off the ground. If you wait for certainty, all your ideas are doomed to rot on the vine.
Yes, you should gather your facts before making a major decision. Yes, you need to assess those facts and weigh up the likelihood of success. But then decide! You are more likely to regret the decisions you never made, than the ones that didn’t turn out quite the way you planned.
Be willing to listen to your gut
If you ask any entrepreneur about the decision they most regret, they will usually tell you about the time they “had a feeling” that they were making a wrong choice but did it anyway because the evidence pointed that way.
As a businessperson you have to trust your gut. That little voice inside your head has been informed by the sum total of all your life and business experiences. Chances are it’s smarter than you think.
Find a mentor or a coach
All of this advice sounds good, but making (and sticking to) plans, overcoming your fears, getting comfortable with uncertainty and learning to trust your gut can be very difficult on your own. Sometimes you just need a sounding board to share your fears, a champion to build your confidence or someone to hold you accountable to those well-laid plans.
We strongly recommend that every business owner have a mentor or coach. Look for someone with business experience. Make sure they share your values and have a good ear for listening. Find someone who is tough enough to keep you on track.