By Michelle Post
Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
~ John F. Kennedy
I am reading The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner and he relates a story about a swimmer trying to reach the other shore. For the swimmer to stay on course, he must find a point of reference on the other side to swim to. As he swims, he must look up to ensure he is on course because if he kept his head down the whole time, he would not know where he was going and he would run out of air.
Running a business is like this story. If we do not have a goal for which to aim, we will never know when we arrive, nor will we have a clear path to get there. It takes intentionality, focus, strategic planning and purpose to run a business. Don’t make the common mistake, “If I build it, they will buy it.” Instead, plan for success, learn from mistakes, surround yourself with smart people and believe in yourself.
If you do not know what you are doing with your business today, this week, this month, this quarter and this year, then it is time to quit running your business with your head down. When I am working with someone, I always ask the question, “Where are you going with your business, and when?” I am asked the same question from my coach too, and often. A business owner needs to set his or her eyes on a goal on the other side of the lake. Without a goal, a business owner risks treading water, and worse – going under.
Set your eyes on the goal and develop a laser-like focus to achieve it. Create a plan, know what you have, identify what you need, and move toward the goal. Set periodic course checks to ensure you are going in the right direction and remember to come up for air – often!