Making the moments, day and weeks matter rather than just drifting along reacting to the external world means prioritising time to work ON your business
Work On your Business
To run your business life on purpose requires you to leverage your time so you work “ON” your business. The dirt and grunge and boring consistent stuff you need to do here is create proceedures and systems for every part of your business so that is what your business runs on – think processes not personalities. Even if you are a solopreneur this is a great exercise to do to make you focus on growing your company and writing down your systems ready for your first new team member.
Stop Solving Everyones Problems
What you do have to do is identify the areas of the business that directly impact on your profit and look to spending quality time each week with the people that work in that area of the business (or just you) on that area. Your mission is to have the team take ownership of the processes and for you to learn to approach it from the mindset that stops you being the one to do “do everything”.
Identify the Main Areas of Impact
Whilst it is important for you to oversee and be involved in the decision making process you actually just need to chair and maybe bring a final judgement/delegation of tasks. Because you are aware of where systems and processes could improve an area of the business you don’t have to be the one that “creates” the system and imposes them down on others. Identify the areas of the business that directly impact your profit line and then follow these 10 steps for getting your business and team focused on these key areas:
1. Plan a 1 hour meeting for each area, every week
2. At the first meeting ask one of these questions to your team: “think about 3 examples of how to improve some aspect of this area” or “what are the main things standing in the way of this area being outstanding and us all being able to perform at our best.
3. Now brace yourself as they are going to tell you things you might not want to hear but this is the first stage of finding and fixing all the things that have been restricting you from moving forwards. Give them a few minutes as thinking brings better answers and by all means invite them to keep thinking up things and not to stop at 3!
4. After 5 minutes go around and ask for suggestions and write them down in a list ideally on a flipchart.
5. You will get to the point when you start getting repetitions so you can ask at that point for anything other suggestions than ones that have already been suggested. You will be amazed (and I hope warmed) by how many people want to give you their suggestions even though they have already been mentioned.
6. Now collate your list, some might be similar so when addressing one it would make sense to cover others that are linked.
7. At your weekly meetings your team start working through the issues on this list in a workshop way to create solutions – they are working this area everyday so they do know the problems and the solutions to fix them. Work your way through the list and deal with the issues problems suggestions. Some items will be easy to solve, others will take some longer thought and exploration and the relevant people can be tasked to working on this and bring it back to the next meeting.
8. As you accomplish each issue write down the agreed systems,policies procedures that you came up with to deal with the issue. As the leader after the workshop you will follow up with an email of what was agreed, for example the “procedure for sales follow up for xxxx” or “the 10 things to go through when a customer is unhappy“. You will also file these procedures to build up a manual of systems which will then be part of the training and induction for all new starters or people who come to work in that area of the business. Over time you review and improve the systems and the new ones are written up and replace the old ones.
9. How amazing would it be for your team to develop a whole new sales follow up procedure from the comment “our aftersales follow up is not consistent”.
10. Lots of the issues that come on that initial list will, I bet, be issues that you as the owner of the business end up dealing with 100s of times over a given year, How will it feel when you have resolved it for the last time by just having you in the room to address it with the team.
Finally, if or when (if you are working with me) you are implementing this diligent determined method to smoothing out all the areas of your business so it is operating on subconscious knowledge, you will really start to be able to realise you are looking upwards not downwards and living your life on purpose.
To declare that you want to Live Life on Purpose whilst sat on the sofa of life is one thing. To get out and live it, sweat it and breath it and make it actually happen is quite another – most leaps are made in the grunge and dirt and difficult bits and take a lot of unsexy work and consistently showing up to make things happen and change things for the better. How you deal in those moments of despair, angst and not feeling good enough is the key to how much purpose you can get into your life. Do you have the right support to get you through the dips to get to that level of living?
I am Jeff Shrimpton, and I work with progressive business owners, helping people make decisions to move forward in their lives. I have learned first hand from many of the best in business leadership including Brad Sugars, Clive Woodward, Marshall Goldsmith and Tony Robbins and have supported many business leaders to discover how to get the very best from their business to serve them so their lives are amazing!
Committing to coaching is not for the faint hearted, it is for those that want more and want to invite into their lives a supportive and challenging pain in the neck who pushes them to fulfil their potential so they create an awesome life for them and their loved ones.