Get Focused And Get Going
I used to give a talk titled, “10 Ways to Overcome Overwhelm in Business and In Life”. It was an excellent resource for getting into action and taking charge of your business. If you’d like a copy, just email me and I’ll send it to you. After I’d given this talk for awhile, I realized that getting out of overwhelm was even simpler. You don’t need 10 ideas. That’s overwhelming in itself. You just need one essential key. If you can master this one key, you can pretty much get whatever you want out of your business and your life. Here it is. Don’t blink or you’ll miss it. Focus.
That’s right, focus. When you are entirely focused on what you are doing in the moment, you don’t have any attention left for being in overwhelm. Focus and overwhelm are opposites. Think about it. You are overwhelmed because you are thinking about all the things you’ve got to get done today, tomorrow, and the day after. You aren’t solidly focused in the present moment doing what’s in front of you. But when you are stuck in overwhelm, it’s really hard to get focused. So what can you do?
It’s actually very simple. Get back to basics. Go back to your core values, your mission statement, your vision. Stop right now and think about the vision you had for your business when you first started it. What did you want to accomplish? Why did you want to do it? Were you looking for freedom? Did you have a better way of helping people? Completely let yourself be absorbed in the dream you had. Feel how it was when you started. Now you are focused. Take this vision and write it down again. Go into detail about what you really want to do with your business.
Now from this focused state, get into action. It should be much more clear to you now what the most important tasks are. Focus your energy on those and get going. Any time you start feeling overwhelmed, stop and go back to your dream, your vision. Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Really feel it and then start again. I guarantee you this will get you focused and get you out of overwhelm. Now you can get what you really wanted out of your business.
It’s All About You
Jeanna Pool from Catalyst Creative writes a great ezine on marketing each month. In January she shared 5 Great Marketing Tips for 2006. Number 1 was “Stop Focusing on You”. She declares 2006 the year of the client and exhorts you to focus totally on your clients and their needs. I think she’s right on. And I think she’s completely wrong. Why right and wrong?
Because if you’ve been in business for awhile and have great products and great services and aren’t getting the results you want, you may be too focused on your clients and not focused enough on yourself. Last week, I encouraged your to revisit your vision of your business and ask yourself why you started your business in the first place. Now I want you to focus even more on what you want. What exactly do you want out of your business? Do you want more money? If so, how much? Write down a number. Do you want more flexible hours? If so, write out exactly the schedule you’d like. Do you want to change the world? If so, write out specifically how that would look.
Why all this focus on you? Because if you aren’t absolutely clear on what you want, how are you going to know if you are successful? How are you going help your clients if you aren’t taking care of yourself as well. Maybe you need to be making $150,000 a year to provide your family with the life that you wanted. You want to send your kids to college. You want to retire while you are still in active and in good health. Or maybe you want to just make an extra $20,000 a year working part-time while you take care of your children until they are in school. Or perhaps your goal is to make a million dollars a year and live a really incredible life. Defining this is very important. Why?
Because what you want will shape your business. It will determine who your customers are and how you will help them. If you want $5,000,000 in sales, your products and methods are going to be a whole lot different than if you want $50,000 in sales. If you want to work only afternoons, that is going to shape your business as well. If you want to sell your business and retire in five years, that’s going to affect your decisions as well. So right now, get out a paper and pen and get ready to write.
Did you get your pen and paper out? Answer the question, “What do I want out of my business?” Write in as much detail exactly what you want your business to give you. Be as specific as possible. Write as much as you can. Think income, lifestyle, schedule, partners, travel, location, employees. What exactly do you want? Throughout the week, add to this and revise it. Compare where you are right now to what you really want.
Overwhelm – Get It Out of Your Head
If you are like most businesses owners, you’ve experienced overwhelm in your business at one time or another. Maybe you experience it regularly and for good reason. Hundreds of things are pulling at you at one time. You’ve got marketing going, production to oversee, calls to return, employees that need your advice. It’s never ending right? How do you possibly handle it all?
Most of the small business owners that I talk to keep almost all of these things in their head. I ask them where their business plan is. It’s in their head. I ask where their employee training manual is. It’s in their head. About the only thing that’s written down is their calendar of appointments. Even a lot of their to-dos are in their head. Here’s one simple and powerful way to get out of overwhelm—write it all down.
Your overwhelm is in your head because most of how you run your business is in your head. Start writing it down and you will start having less overwhelm. Start taking a little time each day to document your business processes. Make a list today of the processes that you haven’t recorded. Cover marketing, production, training, accounting, etc.
Then take one of these areas and document it in detail this week. Each week, for the next few weeks document another area. Within a fairly short period of time, you should have at least the basics of marketing procedures, production procedures, client follow up procedures, and employee training procedures in place. In other words, you’ve now got business processes. Processes that you can rely on. Processes you don’t have to think about. Processes that you will use to grow your business without all that overwhelm now that it’s not all in your head.
Related articles from around the web
- How To Write A Novel Outline (Like the Lady Boss You Are!) – She’s Novel(silverthreading.com)
- The Business Plan: How to Test Your Big Idea(alexandriasbdc.org)
- Stanford Ignite Powers Innovation And Entrepreneurship In London(londonist.com)
- The Importance of a Business Plan(proformablog.com)