I’ve been pondering this question lately as my business has been growing, and I find that the normally tight control I keep over things has been slipping. Emails pile up longer than before. My blogs remain un-updated for more days at a time. I have recently hired a new assistant, but I’ve lost a few hours a week training her. So the drive to grow bigger also means that some adjustments have to be made.
I wonder if you ever struggle with this too. Do you ever look through your “to-do” list, and wonder, “Hey… if I get all this done, is that enough?”… which, of course, leads you to think, “What is enough, anyway?” But, not to go too existential on you or anything, one way of thinking about ‘enough’ is in terms of income generated- do you know, absolutely, how much money you’d like to make this year? Are your actions keeping you on target in this regard?
Another way to think about enough is in terms of trusting your marketing plan. If you set up a marketing plan, and do the actions on it, these should be ‘enough’ to get you where you want to go. Sometimes, though, when things are breaking down, it’s hard to remember that a breakthrough may be just around the corner.
Every time you change or shift, internally, your business will reflect this. If you have any confusion or feel unclear, your business will reflect this. Our businesses become very clear mirrors for our own internal struggles and limitations. This is why owning your own business can be so frustrating at times.
So what resources am I using now, to help me navigate the space between where I was and where I’m going? There are three:
- Focusing just on today. I’ve stopped making to-do lists for weeks at a time. I focus now on just a to-do list for today.
- Going home when my to-do list is done. I stop working whenever my to-do list is done. Sometimes that’s a few hours later, sometimes it’s twelve hours later. When I have done everything important I can think of doing, I stop for the day.
- Trying to find better and faster ways to accomplish much the same results. I keep looking for ways to leverage my time, energy, and resources to get more done with less effort. Some of this is about training my assistant, but, too, some of it is internal work, like getting much clearer on what I’m good at and what I like to do, and letting other people do the rest.
You can apply much the same principles in your business and life. If you are feeling unproductive or unclear about what to do next, write down the three most important things you can think of accomplishing, today. Do them, and then go home.
Sounds counterintuitive, but it’s a good way to figure out how much is enough.
I wanted to make you aware of a new book by a recent acquaintance of mine, Ben Mack. Ben’s new book, “Think Two Products Ahead” launches today, and I wanted to offer my strong recommendation that you get this book and read it.
I met Ben on a small teleconference about two months ago, and he was generous enough to share a prepublication copy of this book with me. It’s fantastic- covering useful information about marketing, strategy, and thinking two products ahead. To be as successful in business as you can be, you always have to be thinking about where your target market is going- not where they are. It’s like what hockey great Wayne Gretzky once said, “… I never skate to where the puck is. I always skate to where it’s going…”– this book will be your compass for determining where your business should be going to find that sweet spot of maximum service plus maximum profitability.
Please do check it out if you want to expand your business- and your mind- this year.