4 Ways to Energize Yourself and Your Business

At the start of this decade no one was waiting around the office at midnight dreading to see if the electric grid crashed, if computer-based machinery stopped, or society fell into chaos due to Y2K as we did ten years ago. Yet, I still witnessed people dreading returning from their four day weekend to the daily grind that chewed up many businesses and their leaders last year.

To revitalize a company the leader must first be revitalized. How can you revitalize yourself when the economy is still down, people still seem to be in a negative mindset, and the future is quite unclear? With these four action items you can re-energize your vitality as a leader and once again set a positive tone for your staff to follow and vicariously become more energized themselves.

1. Get a reality check

I’ve heard it said many times; things are never as good as they seem and never as bad as they seem. 2009 seemed to be a pretty bad year for most organizations. Many executives just gave up in the fourth quarter and started focusing on 2010. In retrospect, 2009 was filled with lessons. Step back from the pain and frustration of 2009 and make a list of lessons learned that can help you in the future. We all learned last year, in some cases it could be what not to do. However, aren’t those some of the best lessons to have?

2. Make a plan

Free-wheeling is no longer an option for leadership; nor is sticking directly on a plan. Flexibility within a plan is different than free-wheeling in that you have a clear understanding of destination and the ability to make adjustments. Do you have a written plan for this year? Do you have a written plan for your personal life? I’m not being pollyanna here, I know you don’t suddenly wake up one day and life is all rosy. The business side of life is still going to be a climb up the mountain, but your personal life can be a great source of energy fueling that climb. Have a personal plan as well as a business plan.

3. Find inspiration in your personal life

People are still going to reject some of your sales efforts, companies are still tight with budgets, and the country still has a ways to go before we are into positive growth. In other words, business is still going to be a challenging environment. That is why I set 50 personal goals for the year (to go with my 50 professional goals for the year) because I know I get inspired in my personal life. Who inspires you? What inspirational friends do you need to spend more time with? What friends do you need to avoid/drop/move on from? If you aren’t being positively impacted by your friends, you are losing energy that is needed to fight the business battle. Find inspiration.

4. Try something completely different

How many times last year, did you ask people to give you more, hammer them for not doing their jobs correctly, and generally focused on the negative aspects of the business. Try something different this year. Become solution-focused instead of blame-focused. Be proactive instead of reactive. Look for innovative approaches instead of cutting budgets and doing less of the same that wasn’t working in the first place!!!

Pushing an elevator button repeatedly does not make the elevator arrive any quicker. I think we fall into this type of behavior frequently when times are tough. Get real about the positives, find solutions for the negatives and get energized to lead. Because it is the beginning of a new year, now is a great opportunity to refocus, reinvent, and reenergize yourself and your staff. Get pumped to make a difference this year.

Exclusive Business Strategies – Your Business Battle Plan

WRITING A BUSINESS BATTLE PLAN

Your business battle plan is one of the most important documents you will ever create as an entrepreneur. It will guide the direction of your company and also give potential investors a blueprint of the company’s structure, commitments, daily operations, and future objectives.

There are entire books-LONG books-about how to write a business plan. Reading a few of them is a great way to educate you. But meanwhile, let’s focus on the basics. What you really need here and now in the trenches is a simple plan that starts with where you are and what you’ve got and gives you a clear direction about what to do next.

The consultants and fancy graphics and appendices may or may not come later, but the kind of plan I’m talking about right here, right now, is one that covers the basics, one that you will understand and USE as a day-to-day action plan.

• Start by writing a detailed description of the business and the nature of the product or service you are offering.

• What is the purpose of the business and why does it exist? What drives the passion that made you start this business? These answers will become your mission statement.

• Make a list of competitors who offer the same product or service and point out how yours will be different and/or better. Dissect your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses as compared to yours.

• Who are your customers? How will they find you or how will you find them? This is the raw beginning of your marketing strategy.

• What are your revenue goals per month? Per quarter? Per year?

• What systems have you put in place to produce and deliver your product or service? To reach customers? To collect payment? To provide customer service and follow up? Think of all the steps in your process and the systems that will support them.

• How will you track all your actions and results?

• Write a 60-day action plan.

• Write a daily action plan for the next seven days.

Voluntary Business Blindness Is Just Dumb!

In simple terms, in order for you to have more business freedom, your business needs to be

Profitable

Predictable

Expandable

Able to operated without you

It may or may not surprise you to learn that many – if not most – businesses do not meet ALL of these criteria.

Why not?

Well, it’s not necessarily because they are bad businesses. And it’s not usually because the owners of the businesses are bad business people.

From my experience, it is because the businesses have not been developed or structured to meet these criteria. But sometimes “Business Blindness” gets in the way.

Starting, owning and running a business takes passion and commitment and persistence. And courage. Guts.

Often in the middle of the passion, the commitment and the persistence, we business owners become blind to what is actually happening in the business. We become blind to what we need to do to improve, change or re-structure the business to give us what we want. It’s Business Blindness!

The business needs to give us more of what we want – and less of what we don’t want. But in the heat of business battles, when the very survival of the business can be on the line, we sometimes forget what we really wanted when we started the business. We get caught up in “the business” – and often keep going doing stuff that doesn’t make a lot of sense – in the name of persistence, commitment and passion. That takes courage – but it’s just dumb.

Business Blindness is Dumb.

Blind passion is dumb. Blind commitment is dumb. Blind persistence is dumb. And having the courage to continue to do dumb things – is just dumb.

Staying on the business owner’s treadmill with no business freedom is just dumb too.

But, Business Blindness is voluntary. It’s our choice. Or generally, more correctly, it’s when we abandon our right and responsibility to make uncomfortable choices. Sticking our head in the sand of our own business also leads to blindness…

We don’t have to be blind in our own business, but we do need to remember to open our eyes. And we do need to make better choices – and take responsibility for our choices.

It’s time to open our eyes and re-look at our own business. We need to take more time out of working IN the business and start working more cleverly ON the business.

Most business owners don’t make enough time to work ON their business. Generally, it’s not because they don’t want to, but because they get so caught up in the “doing” of their business that they have no time or energy left to figure out what needs to be done to extract themselves from their own business.

But that is just continuing the Business Blindness – and continuing life on the treadmill!

One definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”. To get Business Freedom, you don’t want to be doing the same things over and over again – if they are not working for you. You will need to be doing things differently. And you’ll probably need to be doing different things.

It’s important to realize you can change. Things can change. You can change the things you do.

Some Big Questions for you…

  1. Do you want your Business Freedom?
  2. What type of Business Freedom do you want?
  3. To get that type of Business Freedom, what needs to change? and then…
  4. How do you do it?