How remembering your ‘why’ can help you plan for a new year
FREEDOM. It’s quite often the number one reason people go into business for themselves. In particular, they are looking for freedom in one or more of three areas:
While most people will say all three are important there is normally one was the key motivator for why they went into business. Identifying which area was key for you is critical for analysing your business – where you are now and where you want to be in the future.
The importance of these areas may change over time. For example, when you’re single, money might be the motivator; your business strategy then would focus on profitability, maximising wealth and working hard. Later in life, your motivator may change to time – and therefore your business strategy would change – to allow you to spend more time with your family.
Comparing your business to that of an owner with a different motivator can be misleading. If time was your motivator, comparing your business against another, where money was its owner’s motivator would give very different results and is not a true comparison.
With the busy-ness of life, we often forget our ‘why’. I have just met with someone who went into business just over a year ago – his motivator was time. He wanted to work less in order to spend more time with the family. A year on, business has been successful and, due to people wanting his services, he is now working longer hours than ever! His goal now is to re-address his business and work on strategies to enable him to live out that ‘why’. Does this scenario sound familiar?
You may have heard the saying “I come up with my best ideas in the shower”. It’s actually a scientific fact! [for an interesting read see https://www.businessinsider.com.au/why-people-get-their-best-ideas-in-the-shower-2016-1?r=US&IR=T]. During the Christmas period, as we unwind from the day to day, we have an opportunity to reflect on the year that has been and naturally the ideas start to flow. In this way, the Christmas break is like taking a shower … in that we switch off and let our minds wander. While we are unwinding, and without prompting, we will often come up with ideas that will make a difference to our business.
Last year while driving to Canberra, and during a quiet patch in the car, a few ideas came to mind on how to improve my business. Rather than putting them to the back of my mind, (my wife was driving at the time) I wrote a list of 17 items that, if implemented, would improve my business in the next 12 months. Some items were very simple … while others were major projects.
I am not saying that we should action our ideas over the break (I didn’t), but rather have a place to record them for later, so you don’t forget.
A recent review of my list revealed the following – of the 17 items:
- 10 were completed;
- 3 are currently being worked on (and need some more time and other people’s involvement);
- 2 were stated, but cancelled as they were not going to achieve the desired results; and
- 2 I have decided not to pursue.
Over the coming Christmas break make sure to have somewhere to jot down the great ideas that you come up with. That way, when you are back in the new year nice and refreshed, you are ready to make your business better to meet your motivator. Whether it be time, money or mind FREEDOM.
Just a reminder that I will be off coming up with brilliant ideas for my business and so our office will be closed from 12.00 Thursday 19 December to Monday 6 January.
See you with your list of ideas in 2020!