Do you know where you are going? From a business standpoint do you know what you want? Do you have CLARITY?
Many times in coaching business owners I find they are building a road south when they really want to head north. They are working on things that are not building towards their end goal. They climb the ladder of success only to find it’s leaning against the wrong building. They wake up in the wrong place doing the wrong thing. They lose their passion and end up feeling trapped by the very business they created.
The First Time I Headed South
I remember the first time I built a road south. I had just graduated college and started working for Hewlett Packard in California. I moved from New Jersey across the country to start my first post-college job. I was excited for a few weeks. Then I realized that there wasn’t any career path that I wanted there. I was in technical support and didn’t like it. I knew I wanted to be in the business world rather than the technical world. I got clear on what I wanted and began to reach out to connections I had in the business world. Within a few months, I had secured a job in downtown Chicago with Citicorp and off I went, back to heading north.
What Are the Signs You’re Headed South?
What are the signs that you might be heading in the wrong direction in your business? That you are heading south. Can you relate to any of these?
- You don’t enjoy working your business
- You’re not attracting quality customers
- You feel buried by the business
- You don’t remember why you even started the business
- All you see are obstacles
- You’re working hard but not making any progress
If you have some of these feelings don’t worry, you are not alone. Many business owners drift south.
What To Do When You’re Heading South
What do you do when you’re heading south? First, you realize it and acknowledge it. You need to be checking in with how you feel about your business and its direction. You decide on how you are going to learn from your current situation and how you can turn around and get back on course. The faster you realize you are heading south the shorter the path back!
The first two things you need to do – you can do immediately. The first is to STOP. Get your bearings, where are you right now? Take a break to clear your head and assess where you are. The second is to TURN back north – towards the end goal for your business. You can do both immediately. Then put a plan into action that begins to move you in that direction – toward your end goal.
Be sure to listen to your inner voice. It can be a quiet voice so you might have to slow down a little bit to hear it. Ask yourself “What’s my true end goal for my business?” Is it to build it up and sell it? Is it to put the systems in place so that it runs itself? Is it to attain a certain level of monthly profit?
The Key Is Clarity
The faster you realize you’re heading south the better. The key is to gain clarity with yourself often. I like to take a few minutes each day to make sure I’m working on the right stuff and headed in the right direction. Then at the end of the week, I like to take 30 to 60 minutes to check in with myself and my direction. I have my end goal written down on my weekly planning sheet so I’m reminded of where north is as much as possible. Once a month I like to dedicate an afternoon to being clear – gaining clarity. Then once a year I like to take a few days to really set the course for the coming year. How often do you check in with yourself and gain clarity? How often do you spend quality time thinking about what your end goal is for your business? This is some of the most important time of your life.
Continually ask yourself – why build a road south when you’re headed north? Know your north – keep moving toward it – check in with yourself regularly. Clarity is key, your success depends on it.
All the best – until next time – take control and make it a great day!
Blaine Oelkers is a lifetime entrepreneur, a graduate of Purdue University and Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship program. He’s achieved over 100 Million dollars in sales and coached 1000’s of people. He’s currently President of the Arizona Marketing Association and a company called Selfluence. He helps business owners with their Personal Implementation Plans (PIPs) to take control and make it a great day. He can be reached at Blaine@ForcedClarity.com