I shared an idea recently with some entrepreneurs, which I think you may find useful. It’s a powerful, yet very simple difference in how the most successful business owners run their day. It’s about the need to plan your work and work your plan.
Note: I’ve also included a tip, which you can use to accelerate the growth of your business.
It starts with an observation I’ve made, time and time again, since starting my business in 1995. When I speak with business owners, who work hard for too little reward, they spend a lot of time reacting. Specifically, reacting to the demands of their clients / customers and colleagues. As such, they spend too little time developing their own business.
This scenario is most commonly expressed in that often-repeated business advice; “You need to spend more time working on your business and less time working in your business.”
Of course, every business owner needs to respond to the needs of their business. What I’ve discovered is that the most successful business owners respond differently from their average counterparts.
It looks like this.
The smartest business owners remain focussed on their plans. This means they do what’s required for their clients, colleagues etc., and then refocus like a laser on their own plans. They plan their work, and work their plan. As a result, each day brings progress. Some days more than others. The key thing is they move their business forward every single day.
The average business owner also has a plan or at least a to-do list. However, they find their plans are often derailed by the demands of others. This means that although they start their day correctly, their plans often go out the window. They work hard, but make little if any progress on their plans. Before they know it, a day of too little progress becomes a week of too little progress, a week becomes a month, a month becomes a year…
What’s the answer?
The short answer is that we need to plan our work and work our plan. It’s the second part that’s tricky. As I mentioned a moment ago, most business owners have a plan of some description.
The challenge is sticking with the plan, when the day-to-day needs of their business come along.
Here’s what worked for me: I used the following, simple approach, to ensure my focus returned to my plan for the day. I set a reminder on my phone, which went off every 3 hours during the work day. When the alarm went off, a message would appear on my phone, saying work your plan.
Did you notice how the previous paragraph is in the past tense?
That’s because after a couple of weeks, I didn’t need the alarm. I learned to automatically refocus on my plan for the day, as soon as I’d completed an off-plan activity. It’s hard to overstate what a huge, measurable improvement this has made to my business and the businesses of many I have shared the idea with.
So, plan your work and work your plan. Harder then it sounds, sure. However, it’s extremely valuable my friend.