Stop, and Step Away from the Business!
By Laura Chiesman
(Ran 10/9/2017 on floridatoday.com)
Business owners, and other Type A leaders, tend to accumulate multiple areas of responsibility leading to high levels of activity. We are busy! I think this springs from our focus on growth, and vision of sharing our solutions and passions with more and more people. There’s also the momentum factor – activity begets more activity.
We have client, team, community and personal responsibilities and as we keep all those plates spinning, time zooms by, sometimes leaving us at the end the day with mixed feelings. I personally enjoy the thrill of all the action, I must, right? I get satisfaction and energy from checking actions off the list and seeing everyone get what they need. However, I would often wonder, what happened to my original plan for the day, or the week?
The solution I’ve found is to stop only working in the business, and start working on the business! There’s a strong gravitational pull towards “busyness”, and it takes planning and courage to step away. Business leaders need time to focus on big topics: growth, innovation, managing change and optimizing risk. It takes a plan and here’s how to break it down.
Annual Planning: Each year we have a professionally led strategic planning session. This involves pre-session work by the whole team and a day or so out of the office. We leave this session with clarity about our goals and a plan for the year. It breaks down pesky silos and creates unity, aligning and equipping us with strategies for success.
Quarterly Coaching: I attend quarterly entrepreneurial coaching dedicated to thinking about the big picture. After each workshop I meet with the team to share new tools, strategies and ideas and we set our goals for the next quarter.
Monthly Review: Every month we review the goals created at our annual strategic planning session. We celebrate our progress, find solutions for roadblocks, and plan our next 30 day actions. These meetings keep project momentum going and goals on track. We hold each other accountable and keep the lines of communication open, looking for ways we can help each other achieve and succeed as a team.
Weekly Planning: One morning a week we come together as a team and share our weekly wins and focus. Using our weekly planners, we write down 3 crucial results for that week. Once we have a good game plan we create actions to get us there.
Daily Wins: This one might be my favorite. I mean who doesn’t love winning? Daily wins are simply the act of writing down your completed mini goals from that day. Wins can be big or small – a new client, or drinking 8 glasses of water like you’ve been saying you would do since last January. These accomplishments just feel so good and give you energy to start the next day with gratitude and positive momentum. That is a pep in your step you should not miss out on.
As famously quoted by Michael Altshuler “the bad news is that time flies, the good news is that you’re the pilot!” So steer for sunnier skies and make a plan to start working on the business instead of just working in the business. Your future self will thank you for it!
Laura Chiesman, CFP is owner and president of FirstWave Financial. Laura is a charter member of The League of Extraordinary Women, in support of weVENTURE.
Columnist series are sponsored by weVENTURE at the Florida Institute of Technology College of Business. weVENTURE has locations in Melbourne and Rockledge. The Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information, visit weventure.org or call 321-674-7007.
Earlier this year, the AARP Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to weVENTURE to conduct Work for [email protected]+℠ workshops in Central Florida. This initiative is designed to help older adults assess opportunities for self-employment, build skills, and connect with resources that will enable them to create self-generated income. For more information, please visit aarpfoundation.org/workforyourself.