How is your life and/or your business doing? Is it stagnating, boring, going nowhere? Have you become obsessed with meeting those loan repayments or trying to just survive until the next fistful of money comes in? Are you having trouble maintaining your positive expectancy about life and/or business?
Too many of us are living this way and it has to change! The Government won’t do it for us, nor will our family or friends. So what steps do we need to take to make life worth living and our businesses into exciting ventures?
The way to live satisfying lives is to simply dream up the things that we want to do and then make them happen. A simple statement but so few of us can put it into practice!
You can put it into practice if you take these steps NOW! First, find yourself a quiet, comfortable location where you will be free from disturbances. Ensure that you have paper and pen handy as you will need to write some things down.
Now, let’s do some brainstorming. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, write down all the things you’d like to do. A few rules for this exercise are in order. Don’t evaluate as you write! For example, if you’d like to go overseas on holidays for twelve months – don’t stop and think whether you can afford it. Just write it down. Evaluation can occur later. At this stage, write down all the things that you’d like to do assuming there was nothing that you couldn’t do.
When you have finished brainstorming, you will have a list of the things you would like to do – and hopefully it will be a long list! Your next step is to review your list and sort it into priority order. Again, do not evaluate any of these items as to feasibility, etc. while you are ranking them. At the top of a fresh sheet of paper, write the thing you would like to do most. Underneath that, write what you’d next like to do most. Continue doing this until you have sorted your list into order of most wanted to least want to do. Also, put beside each one when you would like to do it by.
Take a short break before proceeding to the next step.
Now, look at the top three items on your list and ask yourself the question: “What is stopping me from doing these things? It will help to clarify things if you write down these reasons. For example, if your number one choice is to go overseas for twelve months, your reasons for not being able to do so could be:
+ can’t afford it;
+ can’t leave my business unattended; and
+ afraid I won’t like it when I get there.
You’ve got to remember that you are looking at the three things you’d like to do most! So you’re not going to let reasons like that stop you from doing them, are you? Now spend some time thinking about what you can do to overcome these reasons. Again, brainstorming without evaluation can help. Write down all the things that come to mind that could overcome these obstacles. You might write down things like:
+ sell the business;
+ cut back on personal expenditure to save the money so can afford it;
+ get more information about where I want to go;
+ hire a manager to run my business while I’m away;
+ sell the house and use proceeds to pay for the trip;
+ increase my business so that I make more money; etc., etc.
Once you have a list of solutions (no matter how silly some may be), you can then evaluate them. Remember, sometimes it is the modification or extension of a silly idea that holds the solution. From this evaluation process, form a plan of how you could do what you most want to do.
Do a Plan of Action
Your final step in this process is to put your plan into action – and do it now! Don’t wait for a more opportune time – the best time is always NOW!
However, don’t let your big plans stop you from doing some of your smaller plans now. Pick a couple of activities you can do within the next month that won’t cost you money. DO THEM! You will feel like a different person for having done so.
Okay, but can you apply this process to your business? You surely can. Instead of asking yourself what you would like to do, instead ask what can you do that will make your business more attractive to your customers so they will do more business with you?
Again, use brainstorming to help you. Follow all the steps above and you will come up with some great ideas that will help you to revitalise your business. Also, don’t forget that the best source of ideas is from your customers. Ask them what they want – then give it to them provided you can do so at a profit. If you can’t do it at a profit, brainstorm ideas on how you can do it at a profit. Always aim for continuous and never-ending improvement in your service to your customers.
You will see the difference doing things can make to your life and business!