Know where you are going. What is your destination? Many of the professionals we meet give very little, or no thought to the future. It is important to have a 3-5 year vision that really excites and motivates you. Spend some time considering the legacy and reputation you desire, and what you want from your personal and professional life.
The single largest factor determining your level of success in business, or your personal life, is your ability to overcome the obstacles, fears, and negativity inside your own mind. Therefore, you must actively challenge fears, limiting beliefs, assumptions, and everything else holding you back. Work to be more positive, grateful, result oriented and achievement focused. Read, study, use a journal, make a vision board, create daily affirmations, surround yourself with positive people, find a mentor, or join a mastermind.
Being an effective and inspiring leader is important whether you are at the helm of a large team or a solo entrepreneur. Everyone needs to lead. Everyone should work to improve his or her leadership skills. Whether you recognize it, or not, you are a leader. Are you leading effectively? Learn or hone leadership skills to inspire, motivate, influence, and mentor others to their success, and ultimately yours.
Setting goals is crucial. What are the milestones to your ultimate vision? Goals assist with accountability and measurement. Set SMART Goals and plan both the projects and action items required to achieve the goal. So many of the folks we meet set goals they do not really desire, or have goals set for them by their company. Your success will be in direct proportion to your desire. Only set goals your truly care to achieve.
Strategy / Planning
Planning is important. You need a plan, a strategy, a map or compass to reach your destination. When planning, be honest with yourself. Where are you in relationship to your vision? Face reality and set out to break down progress into manageable and logical steps for yourself and your team. Spend time planning every Quarter. Spend some time planning your week, and days. Understand that your plan will never be perfect and do not let your planning hold you back from action.
Execute. Fail. Win. Fall down. Get up. Restart. Succeed. Win. You MUST take action on your vision and plans. You must take massive, daily, determined, action. You must be relentless. Can you course correct? Sure. Can you pause to improve? Yes. But you cannot pause, stop, give up, or plan to perfection indefinitely. Make progress. Be an action taker. You will never reach your destination if you fail to take the first, or any subsequent steps necessary to arrive.
We are all so busy being busy that we often fail to address those most critical items necessary to achieve our desire. The important “to do” list is the easiest to put off. “I’ll get started on Monday” is a lie you have probably told yourself. Setting priorities and addressing the highest value items is a necessary part of planning, action, and your ultimate success. You are super busy. I get it. But don’t be so busy “working” that you delay or deny your dreams. Setting priorities should absolutely be part of your plan.
Who holds you accountable? If you own your business, the answer may be “nobody”. You must be accountable. Accountable to your vision, plan, priorities, action items, and everything else. When you’re not accountable, your team (if you have one) will not believe you or follow you in the future. Moreover, when you are not accountable, your results will suffer. Share your plan with your mentor, your team, your supportive family, with other professionals; and ask them to hold you accountable by checking in on progress. Check your plan and goals daily. Take action every day.
With the advancement of technology there is literally zero reason for a lack of organization. Use a time management system, a CRM, a task list, etc. Hire an assistant or a virtual assistant to help you. If you face physical clutter, hire a professional organizer and get the jump-start you need to be organized along with the training to stay organized. A lack of organization will affect your ability to stay on track. Get organized right away.
The ability to manage your time effectively will determine how efficiently and successfully you complete priorities. To effectively manage your time you must first know how you currently spend time. Keep a time log for a week. Determine low value “clutter” clogging up your day and delegate or delay those activities. Manage each day: set high value action items to check off as complete FIRST. Incorporate your goals and action items into your calendar or day planner. Utilize your team, or look to outsource items that are not critical to success.