If you are just starting out or have been in business for a while, you need to do some basic things to improve your business. Like any process, if you start out with junk information, the results will be bad. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out”. Starting from the right place will ensure you optimize your business results.
I’ve whittled this down to five tasks that you should accomplish to get to the next level. These tasks are vital for any entrepreneur or business owner. Do these fives things to attract the right customers, enjoy what you do, and stay motivated throughout your journey.
Improve Your Self Awareness
Becoming self aware is a hard process. Usually, you don’t realize how unaware of yourself you are until you make a change that causes you to be more aware.
Becoming self aware takes enormous personal responsibility. I think that the only way to start the process is to begin with the assumption that you don’t know as much as you think you know. Your reality may be wrong.
How you see yourself, your experiences, and your relationships are all affected by your point of view. Stepping outside of that is critical to becoming more self aware. In my free download, I have some questions and exercises that can help you with this process for yourself and your business.
Be prepared to hear things you may not like. Be open to feedback. I take other companies through a similar process to help determine their brand image. It really does work.
Find Your Motivation
Simon Sinek calls it your “Why”. I believe that we all have to find the real reason we are in business to ensure that we stay motivated to continue in the toughest of times. It’s that perfect combination of skills, enjoyment, and burning desire. When you are truly inspired by your mission, you feel unstoppable. If you are not true to yourself, resistance will feel exhausting to overcome.
I’ve prepared a few exercises to help you begin finding your motivation.
Layout a Realistic Timeline
Laying out a timeline provides a benchmark to measure your progress. I like to look forward six months. I find a year to be too long. I then break it down to months, weeks, then into daily activities to accomplish my weekly goals.
If it is unrealistic, you will find that even your daily goals are unattainable. You will avoid your activities or get burned out. The key is to push yourself without going so far that you’re exhausted.
I really wish I had done this early in my business. A big roadblock for me was family members. Early on, I was always hearing, “Maybe you should get a job at a company.” They were well meaning comments but very detrimental to my attitude. Had I identified this as a roadblock early, I would have prepared a way to respond that both stated by intentions to persist clearly without getting upset over it.
Roadblocks come in many forms… family members and friends (as mentioned above), peer influence, financial limitations, time, personal ability, knowledge, doubts, and more. I hope that this website can help with some of these going forward but, some of these are going to require a lot of effort. Sometimes, just pushing forward is the best solution.
Identify Your Value Proposition
Why is someone going to select you to solve their problem over any other company? You and your company have to speak to people in a way that nobody else can. Part of this comes from your “why”. If you take the time to become more self aware and find your motivation, identifying your value proposition is that much easier.
Your value proposition should be authentic to your business. It should relate to your story and capitalize on your skills. You need to make it part of your brand and you need to shout it to the world every day. Let your company’s identity shine and attract others that like what you have to offer. Focus on giving them value and you will find success.
Putting it All Together
I’ll go deeper into these topics an more in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, download the free exercise that I’ve prepared for this week. It will walk you through these topics to help you better figure out your starting point.
Remember one thing… none of this is set in stone. Your motivation may change as your experiences change. As you grow in self awareness, you may identify new roadblocks. You may find you don’t enjoy what you thought you would. All of that is OK. Success happens daily. It’s the constant process to improve that is the goal. There is no end.