Imagine a mosaic.
A mosaic is a picture or pattern that is built, piece by piece, from small broken pieces of material like glass or tile which are set in mortar. Historical records and restored ancient architecture usually show mosaics were mainly used in decorating walls, floors, and ceilings — although mosaics today aren’t just restricted to those areas, or those materials.
Now, what do mosaics have to do with running a business?
Continue reading Breaking Down Your Big Picture
In a recent article, we touched on what you can do to make the most of your goals for this year. The sum of it, roughly speaking, was this: Specificity and clarity — applied to means and methods — practically guarantee a smoother journey.
You break down an over-arcing goal in stages to make it more specific and time-bound, and then break those stages apart in smaller steps. This helps guide you to make consistent, sustainable, and steady progress, and is also great help for when you feel the monotony wearing you thin.
- You feel lost? Refer to your project ‘map’ to re-orient and guide you.
- You can’t quite focus or decide on what to do? Just look at the next step to take.
- You feel down? Look at the work you’ve already put in towards your goal. You are working on your dreams. Keep going!
Essentially, with this system you’ll be setting yourself up to win. Regularly, and in small ways.
Let’s say you want to do a better job — how do you plan on going about it? You want to keep your skills updated and sharp — how are you going to do that?
It’s like using the method, “Don’t break the chain.” Come up with a clear, specific goal and work it backwards. You write all the steps down, and every day you take a step. Just one.
We also touched on other things like: Focus your energies on what would simply not happen without you. Find sources you can trust, find mentors, find or create a focus group. Test things out by making small bets. Test, try, work at it. You can only go so far with theoreticals. You have to do the actual work to learn first-hand. Broaden your experience, and keep learning to think for yourself.
Continue reading Stay On Target: Planning For Business Growth
Here are a few questions for you:
- Did you make decisions about what exactly are your hard targets to accomplish this year in advance, or do you often resort to planning on the fly?
- Do you go through how a plan — in its entirety, stage by stage– will align with your goals before you push through with it?
- Do you track the results of your plans, whether they’re marketing campaigns or productivity schedules?
- Do you track any changes you make to your plans when you encounter issues that make these changes necessary?
- Over the course of the past year, did you feel that you were getting better at looking ahead (forecasting) and mentally preparing (visualizing) for the things coming your way?
- How good would you say you are at visualizing and preparing for execution and assessment?
The popular advice when it comes to executing plans is, “Ready, fire, aim.”
The belief behind this advice says that speed is essential, time is precious, and each miss gets you closer to the goal. The caveat asks you to dig deeper at the supporting structure behind this set-up and see how it applies to you in the field, not in theory.
There are tons of advice out there for entrepreneurs. But you need to be sharp about which advice is reliably useful to you and the issues you encounter. Personalization, in this case, also applies to you, and not just your customers: Take what you can use and leave the rest.
“Ready, fire, aim,” may not fit the way you choose to work. It can conflict with your personality, or your chosen methods, and there’s nothing wrong with that. What works for you, works. As long as you focus on staying on-target, you’ll be good.
What is your budget, say, for ‘misses’? Not just in financial terms, but in labor and time, too? How close do you need to be to the goal to count the attempt as a hit or a miss?
A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Continue reading Rethinking “Ready, Fire, Aim.”