Tag Archives: Future

Want To Have a Powerful 2016? Do This First.

1.6.16All the resolutions, intentions, goals, and planning for your business will be diluted until you take the time to complete your 2015 business year.  This is serious.  You will suffer from a syndrome called: Rehearsal Exhaustion.  What is that you may be asking?  According to changingminds.org, Rehearsal Exhaustion is “constantly referring back to our past to make sure we don’t forget it, and to predict possible future outcomes.  As more and more things are left incomplete, we are more and more distracted and exhausted by the ever-increasing rehearsal.”

Yes, that’s right, without completing your 2015 business you will be destined to replay it and the more you do that, the more dispirited you will become about creating newly in 2016.

So what is the process of completion?  It is the conscious act of reviewing what we did or didn’t accomplish in 2015.  Declaring that it was in the past, that you are okay with what happened, and can give up the right to beat yourself up about it in the present.  By doing that, we are freed up to create a new future which is not bogged down by the past.

It makes sense, doesn’t it?  If something is incomplete, we do continue referring back to it to make sure we don’t forget it.  So to avoid that state of mind, let’s just complete 2015 and then be ready to move on to 2016.  This isn’t hard.  It does require some time and thought.  What are the working parts of your business that you may want to complete?  Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself.  This list certainly is not exhaustive so please add to it.

Regarding your Business in 2015:

  • Who were you being?
  • What did you accomplish?
  • What did you learn?
  • What do you need to improve?
  • What challenges did you have?
  • How were your relationships with your staff? Clients? Contractors?  What could change?
  • What new products did you offer?
  • How well did your marketing work?  What worked best about your marketing?
  • What new marketing ventures did you try?  How did they work?
  • What product did you sell the most?  The least?
  • What was your gross profit, expenses, net profit?
  • Overall what was the best thing about your business in 2015?
  • What was the worst thing about your business in 2015? What would you do differently if you could?

If you get stuck on doing this completion process alone, please contact me.  I am here for you.


What’s In Your Future?

11.18.15This time of the year many entrepreneurs are in a conundrum about working: When should I work? How much should I work? Should I offer that new service during this time of the year?  After all, entrepreneurs are not immune to the enticement of having fun during the holidays and putting away their entrepreneurial concerns until next year.

It is tempting, isn’t it?  Just let everything go and have fun?  And I say you should have it, but do this one big thing first—plan for next year now.  If you make your business plan now, you will not waste the first quarter of 2016 creating a plan to implement.  You will already have it—ready to go.

You can design a simple business plan by thinking about 2016 as if it is already finished and it was the greatest year ever for you in your business and in your life.

Ask yourself the following questions about your business in 2016:

  • How would you describe your business?
  • What was your mission and vision?
  • What were your financial goals?
  • How did you accomplish them?
  • What new services did you create?
  • How much money did they make?
  • What challenges did you overcome?
  • How did you overcome them?
  • How many new customers did you add to your customer list?
  • What did you do to add new customers?
  • What systems did you add to your infrastructure to make managing your business easier?
  • How is your relationship with your vendors?
  • Are they a referral source for you?

As you develop the answers to the above questions, write down the actions you will take make them happen.  This is what I call, planning the future from the future.

You may want to add or subtract from this list of questions.  Each business is different and has different needs.  The point of this blog is to encourage you to plan now from the future for a brilliant 2016.  You will be ready to go in January with a plan that is solid, and you will know the actions to take to make it happen just as you said it would.

If you get stuck or want to brainstorm, please call me.  I am here for you.


What’s Your Plan?

121014Plan“If you don’t know where you are going,
you’ll end up someplace else.”
Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra makes sense.  And yet, although we all know it is essential to make a plan for our business, we hesitate to do it.  Or we do it haphazardly at best.  So what is your plan for 2015?  If that question seems a little too intimidating to you and you are frankly left speechless, let’s begin with an easier question.

What do you want to contribute to your clients in 2015?  Surprised?  It’s not the typical question about how much money do you want to make in 2015.  That question is useless unless you think of your clients first.  To enlarge on the question about contribution to your clients, first you have to trust that if you make a contribution to them, you will be fairly compensated for the contribution.  This is not some airy-fairy “build a field and they will come” type of thinking.  It is solid in that people are willing to pay for what they want.  It is up to you as a business person to provide the answer to a problem that a client has.  You already know how to make a contribution to clients, if you didn’t you wouldn’t be in business.

Doing some thinking about what problems clients have is a very valuable use of your time.  It’s useful to brainstorm about what problems you solved for your clients this year.  Write them down and then project into the future about, what is the next predictable problem the client will have upon solving the present problem?  This is called “getting out ahead” of a problem.  You are presenting a solution to the problem that the client doesn’t yet know he will have.

Of course, to solve the next, yet to be presented problem, will take planning on your part.  You can’t solve all of their problems, and you can solve some of them.  Pick 3 problems that are predictable for your clients.  When you list 3 major problems that your client will have, and that you can solve, that will become the foundation of your plan for that client for next year.

In the comment section below, please tell me about 3 problems that your clients have that you plan to solve in 2015.  As always, I look forward the hearing from you.


Next Year Will Be Great! Won’t It?

11.12.14“Next year” is such a comfortable phrase.  It promises hope, new adventures, a renewed entrepreneurial spirit and the future of producing new results.  ”Next year” means putting away past disappointments and failure—a new beginning filled with creation and light. 

We feel good when we say it.  It’s like a universal pass to productivity and success for “not now” but “Next Year”.  With all of its possibility and light, we need to be cautious about that phrase and know what we are saying and what we mean when we say it.  It gets us off the hook for what we can do now and lulls business people into thinking they are being productive when actually they are putting something off instead. 

Unless the phrase and your mindset has been conditioned it can derail you and cripple your progress as you build your business success.  What conditioned means in this sense is to adapt the phrase in such a way that it means something active and conscious as in pinning it down with a “by when date”, with specific actions and expected results.

Without proper conditioning the phrase “next year” becomes something that gets you off the hook for now but will actually cripple your success for the time the real next year rolls along.  Here are some things that clients have said recently that they are doing “next year”: build a new web site, re-write their sales proposition, re-write their business plan, develop a contact management system, and add a new currently undeveloped offering to their clients.  

It all sounds so good on this side of Next Year.  But is it really going to happen?  Doubtful without intentional, truthful conditioning.

This is the time, now, right now, to write down all the things that you are going to do next year and with a 2015 Calendar condition each item with a “by when date”, expected actions and results.  The conditioned list is your pathway to your future that you are creating now.  With a pathway that is clearly marked with dates and actions, you will be way ahead of the business people who are letting themselves relax right now and who are promising themselves that they really are going to do “that thing” next year. 

Let’s start now, in the space provided below, share what you will do Next Year and say by when you will do it as well as what the expected result will be.  I look forward to hearing from you.


What Is Your Vision For Your Business?

Stitched PanoramaWhat is the vision you hold for your work in the next 10 years?

-Pamela Slim, Author: Body of Work and Escape From Cubicle Nation

We often have tunnel vision in our work.  We diligently focus on and take actions toward achieving our daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals.  What if we take a different approach as is suggested by Pamela Slim?

Slim suggests that we look at the “vision you hold for your work in the next 10 years”.  Note that she uses the word Vision as opposed to what actions are you going to take.

Let’s consider the definition of the word Vision.  Vision: the act or power of imagination (1): mode of seeing or conceiving (2): unusual discernment or foresight (Merriam-Webster)

When looking from the place of imagination, conception and foresight, how do you see your work in the next 10 years?  Another way to say it is: how would like your work to be seen in the next 10 years?

This inquiry gives you some space to play, to create something extraordinary, something stimulating and motivating, rather than a bunch of “have to’s”.  You can develop steps that are fun and rewarding.

It is also important to share your vision with people who are committed to you and to your success.  This will expand your vision.  Those people will be there for you, cheering you on from the spectator stands.  In fact, they may be inspired to develop and share their own vision.  When that happens, you will have a marvelous game to play together.

Now, that we have explored a way to answer the question with the emphasis on vision, please use the space below to answer the question: What vision do you hold for your business in the next 10 years?  And what step should you take right now to realize that vision?

I look forward to hearing from you.


Banish Your Predictable Future – Try This!

Blog2.1914_1280Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

Henry Adams

As you look forward to the future of your business, is it ho-hum or exciting?  Does it bore you?  Does it energize you?  Does it make you want to go to work, as opposed to having to go to work?

If thinking of the future makes you uneasy or bored; if it is something you have to do instead of something you want to do, I assert that your future has become predictable.

Predictable futures are good in some instances:  For instance, you can predict that the newspaper will be delivered in the morning and that you will receive an electric bill at a certain time of the month.  That type of predictable event provides a stability that enables you to live without sweating the small stuff.  Predictability also gives you a certain rhythm and comfort in life.  Predictability is generally a good thing as it pertains to life’s necessities; however when your future becomes predictable, then you get bored, tired, cranky, listless.  Where did the excitement go?  The looking forward to life?

Has predictability taken the joy out of your business future?  If so, try taking these actions:

  • Make a list of 3-5 business results you are committed to accomplish by the end of this year.
  • Condition the end results: Conditioning is looking at what elements need to be present to have the results occur.  Include any costs or expertise of other professionals.
  • Define the qualities you want the results to have.
  • Determine the actions you need to take.
  • Put a “by when date” next to the actions.
  • Schedule the actions and the “by when dates”, and put them on your calendar.
  • Begin implementing your plan which is already a success – you planned it from the future.

Please let me know what it is that you are going to do to stir up an unpredictable future.  I am here to support you in causing a hoo-hah of unpredictability in your business.