As the late and great Stephen Covey would say, it is key to “Start with the End in Mind” if you want to build a prosperous, joyous business. If you don’t know the outcome you want to create, you will meander on your journey, making decisions based on the opportunities that present themselves. This can lead to some good things and even some great things, but ultimately you are allowing the journey to lead you versus the other way around. I have met many business owners who have frustratingly told me “how did I get here?” because they let the opportunities dictate their choices instead of allowing their clarity of vision to direct their entrepreneurial path. When you are clear about your vision and the outcome you want to create in your business, you can create a strategy that supports that outcome, and implement tactics that help optimize and actualize that strategy. In this scenario, you create your opportunities versus waiting for them to show up – and if an opportunity does present itself along the way, you can discern whether it fits your strategy and, if it does, reap the benefits, and if it doesn’t, say “no” without being torn.
When making this distinction, I often use a metaphor of a sailboat vs. a speedboat. There is often more challenge in captaining a sailboat, because much more depends on the conditions, the wind, and other elements to get to your destination – most of which are out of your control – and it simply takes a lot longer to get there. Versus a speedboat which can get you to your destination with much faster speed and much fewer variables. Are you running your business like a sailboat or a speedboat?
I, for one, enjoying sailing (mind you, when weather and wind cooperate). It can be fun to adapt to the changing wind; to work with a team to insure the tacking of the sailboat goes smoothly; and to experience the challenge of being fully in the moment and following my instincts. My values of Excitement and Challenge really get lit up. But, admittedly, in the early years of my business when I was running it like a sailboat, it got really exhausting. Sailing may be fun for an afternoon, but day in and day out? It was increasingly more draining. Can any of you relate?
Interestingly, I was never particularly attracted to speedboats in my teens and twenties. I felt that sailors needed more talent to perform well and that it was an art form. Speedboats were for the folks who wanted the easy ride. But now that I’m in my forties, I am “kind of over” sailing and love getting in a speedboat, getting to the destination and enjoying sitting back with my feet up with a cold drink. There is an elegance to that simplicity that I greatly appreciate now, just like I appreciate the simple, elegant business I have created using my speedboat approach. I work a lot smarter than I did in the past and I’m able to get much more accomplished with much better results by being so mindful and intentional about my approach.
Are you ready for the speedboat approach for your business? What would need to shift to make that happen for you?
Here are some simple strategies to help you motor up your speedboat
1) Get CRYSTAL CLEAR on who your Divine Ideal Client is and what they are craving from you. They are the center of the bullseye on the dartboard and where you should be aiming at all the time with your darts.
2) Go deep with 3 major marketing and business development strategies/tactics and take them to the nth degree rather than trying to spread yourself too thin. If you still have time/money/energy to spare, then consider doing more.
3) Leverage what works (again and again) and let go of what doesn’t. And make sure you learn from both as they have equally as much to teach you.
4) Get support from experienced captains. Don’t try to learn and do it all on your own. There is an opportunity cost to not getting the right support that will impact your bottom line.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and feedback!