Thinking is an integral part of growing a small business.
Do we take the time to slow down and think?
To set this up, I have not read Grow or Die: The Unifying Principle of Transformation by George Land and none of this is meant in direct correlation. Transformation theory, in a nut shell, is based on the idea that if we are not growing, we are dying. It is true in many cases in nature, life, and business. I will simply say that when it comes to business, growing and having a plan to grow is not only necessary, it’s fun!
Dr. John C. Maxwell, leadership guru and author of over Sixty books on Leadership has said he does five things every day, one of which is Thinking. He even has a designated Thinking Chair! I heard once that he gets $90,000 for an hour speaking engagement…even if the number is off a mite, it sounds like he’s doing it right! Now I’m not one that has an undying thirst for more money. I was once told by a multi-millionaire that beds only get so soft, steaks only so thick, cars only so fast, and beaches only so…who am I kidding, I live in Minnesota, I threw the B.S. flag when he said that beaches weren’t that big of a deal. Anyway, other than that, it’s a good point. As far as business goes, if it’s all about the money…You already stopped reading! So now that it’s just us serious business owners…we all know those people that haven’t grown in years, right? How would it be to work for them? Can you imagine not getting a raise for several years!?
As a business owner, what do we really want?
What’s the point? It’s an often asked question here at Monkey Pickles; We’re all about Community! Too often, as business owners, we focus on the day-to-day rather than what we need to do in order to grow. Do we all take the time to have goals, plans, etc.? Nope! But why not? I’m the type of person that has to have a goal to focus on. So what is it? For me, it always comes back to why I started my own business. I won’t take the time to unpackage that here…buy me a coffee and I’ll open like a bank vault on a timer! As a consultant I often did exercises to bring fellow business owners back to their original purpose and apply it to the current year in planning.
At one time or another we all need to be brought back to our primary focus. Isn’t our primary focus used to help develop our goals? So then ask yourself if your goals are getting you closer to your primary purpose in the time frame you want. I recently sat down with a gentleman who helps business owners plan for life after business…I’m told there is such a magical land…It may look like Candy Mountain for some people though… Anyway, he brought up several good points to me. If I want to sell my business and retire at $200k per year for twenty years…It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out that I have to sell my business for more than $2 million!
So back to the point…kind of. So what are your goals for this year? What were they last year and the year before? Did you hit those goals? Are you on pace for your long term goals?
You’ve thought that far out…Right…?
I love to ask people what their competition is doing. What are their goals, are they growing by the same pace you’re hoping for this year? Are you losing market share? Knowing that I don’t have all the answers it is often more fun to learn from other people and their experiences. Many of those that I have had the pleasure of working with over the past ten years or so have been encouraged by the hard questions, myself included.
By the numbers: If inflation is 10% or so, my competition is growing at 15-20%, and I’m not really on pace for my end game goals…Now may be the time for that Thinking Chair.