You wake up early and start working. Yet, by the end of the day- you have no idea what you’ve achieved or accomplished. You feel overworked, overwhelmed, and unclear.
You’re in reactivity mode.
Don’t feel bad, it happens to most of us online entrepreneurs at one time or another. We keep pursuing new ideas, new projects, new connections- and, pretty soon, we’re running really, really fast, and hardly keeping up.
What are signs you’re running in business reactivity mode? I have noted 5 of them:
- You’ve lost track of what you have purchased and many things go unused. The biggest offenders in this category tend to be domain names and information products. Left unchecked, you could be spending hundreds or thousands of dollars that you don’t get value from. Or, in some cases, you end up buying the same product twice!
- You don’t have time or energy to update or follow up on content, processes, or systems that need it. You are so busy with new things that there begin to be cracks in your business foundation. Examples of this would be not billing your clients in a timely manner, wanting to update your website but never getting around to it, or, taking a profitable product off the market because you don’t have time to refresh the information- and won’t sell it until you do.
- You have little or no idea what you’ll be doing tomorrow because today is so over-full. Yes, of course, sometimes we all have deadlines, or our workload is more than we can do. Yet if you constantly work with your head down, never looking ahead, it means that you are probably missing out on the bigger picture of your business.
- You invest in hiring help that you never use. Outsourcing is one of the first places entrepreneurs look to grow their business- and I think this is fantastic IF you are organized enough to hand off projects and information to the people waiting to help you. In many cases, entrepreneurs invest in retainer hours but never actually use this. This is a waste of time, energy, and money.
- You’re no longer sure of your goals for the future. You’ve probably heard about the term working ON your business, rather than IN your business? This is crucial if you want to stay in touch with your vision and your goals for your business in the long run. Yet this type of business development and focus is one of the first things to go when we enter reactivity mode.
So let’s say you’ve identified yourself in one or more of these signs. (Or all of them!)
What do you do now?
Well, I’d say, you start from the bottom of the list and work backwards. So that means that you first take some time to think and plan. Then you get organized and hand off projects to your team. Then you start planning for at least a few days at a time. Then you start working on clearing out the back-log of items needing your attention. After all that, you sort and make a plan to use anything you’ve purchased.
Being an entrepreneur is exciting and challenging. It will test your skills and planning and drive and creativity and ambition. By having good self management, and knowing how to stay out of reactive mode (or even just get yourself out once you’ve fallen in), you’ll be in a better position to move your business ahead on plan and on purpose.