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Business Series Installment 3
Many middle-market businesses are just plain stuck. Good businesses that grow to a point and slow down or stop growing altogether. What to do? What are the opportunities to break through and move forward? Ways to create further success from what you have already achieved?
The answers lie in the information. They come to life as we ask the right questions. The challenge is that you are too close. You are too busy doing what you do. You are harassed and don’t need anything more on your plate.
The net result is that you have a good business, with lots of opportunity to go to the next level. Yet, you’re stuck. Even if the business is growing, you may still be stuck in something that isn’t really what you want or what could be.
I have only seen this about a hundred times. In my experience, the business owner ends up agreeing there is a lot to tackle. And, that the payoff can be expected to be multiples of the time, money, and energy invested.
Finding the motivation is the proper quest. The motivation to step back. And, then to break through. Here is exactly what you should do. “Hit pause” and step out of your world, into mine. Look at the bigger picture.
In my process, we do a serious evaluation of your “now”. Without judging anything as wrong, second guessing, lamenting past decisions that didn’t work, or any of that. It is what it is. What are the facts as they exist now?
What we don’t do next is start try to fix it or change it. We aren’t ready to get into those next steps yet. This is where it breaks down and people fail. So, hit pause and don’t even think about the specific changes you want to make in your operations or other aspects of your business.
Instead, focus on the picture of the life you truly want. This includes the business, of course. How much income will you have? How much wealth? But, it is much bigger. What do you want your life to be? Working? A little? A lot? None? Where do you want to be? How do you want to spend your “second half”? What will bring you joy and fulfillment?
When we talk about stepping back to break through, it really means getting out of your day-to-day world. Then, becoming really clear on the life you want to create now. From that clarity, you will see how the business fits in and what needs to be accomplished.
You see, we tend to do it backwards. We start with where we are and then try to figure out next steps. We have some notion of where we are going, but not really. So, you head down a path, probably the path you are already on, without being truly thoughtful and clear on where that path is taking you. Rather than steps first and end game second, switch it around. If you can get really clear on the life you want to create from here, it’s all downhill. You want X amount of money, peace, more time with the kids, travel, fulfilling philanthropic activities – whatever it is. Then, from that place, the steps will start to fall out.
From that place, it is highly likely the motivation will appear. Get excited about the life you want to create now. See how the business fits in. Find motivation not in “If we start doing X in the business it will be more efficient and add $250,000 to the bottom line”. Rather, “I am over the top excited about creating the life of my dreams – my second half”. I see how the business fits in. Now, I see the true purpose of the review this guy is talking about. I am motivated to get unstuck in my business, because I am most definitely unstuck in my life!
Recommendation #1: Ponder these questions: If you could create the life you truly want, what would that look like? How passionate are you about that picture?
Recommendation #2: And, these: How would your business fit in? Where does your business need to go to create that life?
Recommendation #3: And finally: Is it worth it? Can I become passionately committed to creating this life picture? That means inside the business and outside. (If not, you drew the wrong picture! Dream bigger!)
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