Last Friday I went on my quarterly retreat for a well overdue day to reflect on the last few months and to plan the next quarter.
And as usual there was a LOT on both lists. I’m always surprised by how much stuff I get done, and of course there’s plenty on next quarter’s plan, especially now we’ve stepped up a gear on getting the Finance Academy ready for launch later this year.
But the next morning I was struck by this word Traction. I don’t know where it came from but clearly there was something I needed to pay attention to.
I had this feeling that although I was busy with lots of different things, I wasn’t making progress as quickly as I wanted to. And of all the things I make myself busy doing, how many of them were actually strengthening my business? Putting me in a better position? Making any difference to the long term?
Because I’m easily seduced and excited by new ideas, challenges and projects, and I get asked to do all sorts of things that I like to say yes to, I can end up with just too much on my plate. And the important things that would give me traction end up being side-lined.
So, I made a list of all the things I spend my time on, the stuff we do for clients, the events we run and all the projects I want to do.
It was quite challenging to take an objective view of all the projects I had on the go and see if they really fitted my vision of where I want to take my business. And to ask myself if they made any difference. Were they taking me closer to or further away from my vision.
And then I made myself ruthlessly decide if they could stay.
Or if they had to go.
I ended up with 5 things on my list that I knew I had to stop doing. Things that were going to cost me the business I want to create.
It was such a valuable exercise to do and I felt surprisingly good about letting go of those 5 things because I could see what time would be freed up, and what I could do with that time.
Having had that realisation I knew straight away that many of the businesses I meet have the same challenge; so busy being busy but their business never seems to get any stronger.
The same problems repeat with no time to fix them; sales are always a struggle because they’re too busy to create a marketing strategy, of they have a marketing strategy but they don’t have time to follow through consistently, they keep the wrong staff because they’re too busy to recruit and train someone new, they haven’t got time to put the controls they need in place so things keep going wrong, and they haven’t had time to think about where they want to go financially, so they keep repeating the same year over and over.
So, my challenge to you is, what do you need to let go of that isn’t giving you traction? What is keeping you so busy that you haven’t got time to work on the important things, you know the ones that actually would make a difference?
Have fun with that one!