What are the main reasons you went into business in the first place?
Welcome to the last 100 days of 2009.
You may have just completed a delightfully refreshing break on your holdidays – and have just returned to work feeling ferociously motivated to get the rest this year right!
You may have resolved to do all sorts of things – from dropping a few kilos and rediscovering your sexy washboard abs to getting your business “sorted out”.
Some of you may have invested some of your break in giving your environment a good “tidy-up” – and knocked off a few of the things you have meant to do for “ages”.
Annoying Business Coach in your ear?
Yet another group of you will be thinking – why is this irritating business coach talking about holidays, when I have not had a proper holiday since we started our “business”?
The answer would obviously be that this is exactly what business coaches (especially the better ones) do. I have been thinking a great deal about roles – because that is what I do a lot of. Let me share a little about roles in business.
What is your main role as business owner?
This is not a trick question. The answer I like best “to set and achieve business goals”.
There are lots of others relating to making profits, leading the team, meeting people’s needs and wants, and so on.
It is easy to see this in businesses listed on the Stock Exchange. The management team of the corporation sets a target of x% ROI, or x cents dividend, or a % of capital growth. Depending on the targets for capital growth or returns the team then determines the strategies that need to be followed to beat these targets. They may be steady and safe, or they may be super aggressive. Shareholders [owners] study the targets and strategies of these companies and determine if it is a match for their own circumstances – if it is they buy the shares. If it isn’t –they sell them.
Here is your money question
Here is the money question for you. If your business was listed on the stock exchange – then after considering your needs for your life – would you be buying or selling?
Is Your Business Giving You What You Were Looking For When You Went Into It?
Think about the reasons you did it. It may have been about values like freedom, or doing it better, or building a great lifestyle, or building an asset or wealth to serve you later or some other reasons.
Whatever it was – just for a moment take off your manager hat – and put on your shareholder or business owner hat. Now look again at your business. Is it giving you what you want from your shareholding?
Big Fat Juicy Bonus
If yes – well done. Congratulate the management team [you] and give them a big, fat juicy bonus.
If no – you have some choices. The first choice to have a general meeting with the management team [which is probably you], and kick their butts. Get them aligned with what the goals of the business [from above], make them determine strategies that will improve their performance – and be looking for a major improvement before the next shareholder meeting.
Give Yourself a Written Warning
Another choice is to sack the management team. [ie you]. This is pretty severe – and best done when there is someone there to replace you. Ask yourself, as the business owner employing yourself as the manager – on the basis of your success in reaching the goals [see above] – should you be putting yourself on notice?
Some Basic Coaching Questions
So, now that you remember what made you go into business in the first place, what has to change for your business to be able to give that to you?
What will happen if those things happen?
What will happen if they don’t?
What won’t happen if those things happen?
What won’t happen if those things don’t happen?[This is called a “cartesian” pattern after a famous mathematician – and you can apply it to any decision process – including discussing chores with teenagers.]
When you have answered these questions about the changes that need to happen for your business to reach its goals – only then are you ready to decide HOW and WHEN to make them happen – ie the strategies and shedule. Or you may decide not to do it and continue on as before.
There is no right or wrong or good or bad – there is only if you are getting what you want – or not.
Yada yada yada…
OK. Your role as business owner is to set and achieve business goals. Right now every guru under the sun is hammering at us – set your goals, failing to plan is planning to fail, you get what you ask for, aim for the stars and at least you will hit the moon, you must have goals, must have a plan … yada yada yada.
People say this, experts say that, this book, that book, and so on. The pressure to get the goal setting done can be vast – and can push you around.
Me – I hate being pushed around. I resist. I am getting better at not resisting – and the better I get – the easier everything gets.
Try this: Think about having to set business goals and bring up all the resistance you can. As you think about that resistance focus on this dot • and aim all of your resistance into it. Keep putting more and more resistance into that dot. Now – let it go. Think about having to set goals again. You will feel a little different – a little lighter.
Do it twice. Notice your resistance to setting business goals has reduced?
You will be assimilated –Resistance is futile!
In Star Trek – there is a race of “the Borg” [robotic creatures that are focused solely on expansion and “assimilating” all life forms into their collective] – oops sorry – I slipped into nerdism for a moment – anyway – their motto is “Resistance is futile.”
Everyone who knows that setting goals would make their lives better in some way – and who has not done it – is resisting. Again – this is not good or bad.
What would make us resist? Great question James. It may be something very logical at a subconscious level. Eg in the past I set a goal, and then I failed to reach it. This gave me feelings like – lack of approval, lack of control or lack of security. Then I bravely had another go – set some powerful goals.
And failed again – giving me those awful lack feelings again.
So then I decided not to consciously set any more goals – perfectly logical, low risk and very easy. The only trouble is that if we take this strategy into business – it becomes impossible to make good [or any] decisions. [A good decision is one that takes us toward our goals.]
Here is a secret…..
Listen closely. Are you ready? OK. “Setting and achieving goals is like learning to play the piano – it takes practice for most people – and at first it will sound awful.” Got it? If you have had a “not great” experience with goal setting in the past – remember it is a learned skill and have fun having another go.
This means that you have permission to set goals and not achieve them perfectly at first. It does not mean that we can just “give up” after setting a goal. It may mean that we have to change strategies or schedules.
The Worst Thing You Can Do
One of the worst things we can do for our personal power of intent is to make a commitment to do something – and then not do it. By this I mean that it is important to take this process very seriously. If you do not fully intend to complete the action – do not agree to it or make it a goal. The more we make ourselves do what we commit to – the more potent is our power of intention [or “will”].
The Power Of Will
This is a little hocus-pocussy, but take it as a rule not to commit or agree to something unless you WILL do it. Similarly once committed, let nothing stop you.
The better you get at setting and achieving goals in your business – the more your business will give you exactly what you want.
When is it time to get a coach
Another valuable tip in getting what you want from your business – is to get someone to coach you. It might be family, a friend – or a business coach. There a more and more of us out there – perhaps not all as fabulous as me – but they are there. Various bodies also have “mentoring” programs available.
Townsville Business Womens Association has a program – and Dept of State Development also offers different service periodically.
What if you knew there was no option but to succeed?
If you were visited by an powerful wizard who told you to be a professional golfer within 12 months or be turned into a cane toad – what would be first thing you would do [after seeing a psychiatrist]? Um… Get the best golf coach I could find?
What if your doctor told you to get your body fat to 12% within a year or die a nasty and painful certain death – what would I do? Yep – Personal trainer/coach [plus any other advisors you could find.]
What if the business owner [you] where you work gave you a written warning saying you must achieve the starting goals of the business within a year or you’d have to get a “real” job?
Is it time to get serious about getting your business right? You may as well – it does not take any more work. And you might even get a few more “real holidays”?
Get your world rocking now!
Townsville based James Hooper: The term “rainmaker” is becoming regularly used in business context as someone whose role is to ‘make rain’ or ‘create growth’ in your business. In some senses the term ‘business coach’ is limiting as it is primarily about optimizing the effectiveness of the owner/operator. Sometimes the leverage is in the business systems rather than in the operator – and focus on that produces the preferred outcomes.
Business is a game, a puzzle, a tool to get you what you want in life. Call me for a second opinion (other than yours) on how to make your business give you what you want it to.