Are You Embracing The Four Words That Define Your Success?

You’re in business – hurrah!

You want to be successful – double hurrah!

But what’s it going to take and how are you going to get there?

Well there are endless gurus, books, podcasts, webcasts, videos, webinars… In summary the whole world and his dog are desperate to offer you their take on the secret sauce that will help you achieve success.

But in the end all the advice in the world will boil down to 4 main factors – namely

  1. Clarity
  2. Planning
  3. Focus
  4. Action.

Get those sorted and you will have a framework around which the rest can fall into place.

The top 3 in the list are all inter-related and really merit a decent amount of your attention. Paying lip-service here just won’t cut it.

Action is obviously hugely important but without goals and planning coming from clarity, chances are you will waste huge amounts of time and energy and even opportunities, and never get to where you hoped you would be.

Define your goals

So – firstly you need to set some time aside and decide what the long-term goals are for your business (these may be the ones you wish to achieve over the next year, or maybe just over a few months). Secondly identify the short-term projects or ventures required to support them.

Write them down, those goals of yours. That will make all the difference between achieving them and not.

Business goals are often financial. And that’s useful because it’s easy to see clearly whether you have achieved them – or not. But be careful as to how you define them. Be specific. Are you talking about turnover or profit? And over what timescale? …

Identify what drives you

Some will say it’s not about the money, but very often, that’s exactly what it’s about.

That’s because those wanting to be able to spend more time with their family, for example, usually need to be making more money in less time to ensure this happens. Or maybe you’d like to be able to provide a service to those who really can’t afford to pay. You can’t do that unless you earn enough from fee-paying clients to cover the basics.

1.  Get clarity

And clarity?

That comes from having your business goals clearly defined.

Clarity gives you your direction. But there’s more to it than that. What’s your reason for doing what you do? Often there will be something that drives you that you don’t necessarily want to advertise to your prospects and customers, such as a deep desire to provide adequately for children or wider family.

But you will also have a reason for doing what you do that’s around helping people.

This drives you in your day to day actions and attitudes. In the corporate world we have mission and vision statements. We don’t need those, but we do need to remind ourselves of why we do what we do. What do we passionately want to achieve through our business endeavours? This will come shining through in how we interact and deal with people every day and also in our business communications. It will also remind you of your goals and why you need to stick to them , so very useful when you are wavering or dithering or have a decision to make,

2.  Set a timescale for delivery

Then don’t forget to add in deadlines.

Without deadlines and timescales, attached to your goals, the plans and actions that stack behind them will be a lot less effective than they might otherwise be. Make sure you schedule in the actions required to achieve your goals. Don’t just leave it to luck or chance that the tasks that are vital to your success get done.

You know how you wouldn’t let a piece of work for a customer run over-schedule? Well, if you’re equally fierce with yourself over deadlines around actions to meet your goals, then you will go places – fast.

3.  Avoid distraction

Once you have clarity and direction, remember to ask yourself regularly the question that Entrepreneur’s Circle founder Nigel Botterill recommends –

“Is what I’m doing right now, this minute, helping move my business towards where I want it to be?”.

If you have strayed off course, even for half an hour, this will get you right back on track.

Alternatively, if you choose to stay doing a less than “A-list task”, this question will allow you to acknowledge you’re wasting an opportunity to move your business on.

4.  Take action and monitor your direction

Regularly monitor how you are doing with respect to your goals and plans so you can choose to change course if required.

When you have clarity about where you’re going it’s then very easy, when you meet a new opportunity, to decide whether or not it’s for you. You’ll be able to see whether it aligns with where you’re headed or not.

In summary:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Write your plans
  3. Focus on achieving them within a certain time
  4. Don’t let yourself get distracted by the fluffy stuff that looks great …. But ultimately is a distraction.

Do this and you’ll be so far in front – the rest of your sector won’t see you for dust!

micro business actionToday’s Micro Action

Write down Nigel’s question and pin it somewhere near your workspace. Here it is again…

“Is what I’m doing right now, this minute, helping move my business towards where I want it to be?”.

Make it a habit to check in periodically during your working day to assess if you’re on track. If not, change your focus.

Julia Bramble

Julia is on a mission to help businesses grow with the dynamite combo of results- centred social media and Nigel Botterill’s Entrepreneur’s Circle – WOW! She’ll help you talk in the right way to the right people to get the right results. Simples. Have you been BrambleBuzzed yet?

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  1. As a fellow member of Nigel Botterills Entrepreneurs Circle and a coach myself this is a message I am continually shouting to anyone who will listen.
    Once you become clear on your goals and feed them focus they begin to take flight, the key is then action, action, action… this will deliver the results in the timelines you set… Why? because you have made it happen 🙂

    • Thanks Beverley. This really is the key to achieving the success you want – in anything, but especially in business. We are very good at doing the easy stuff, the stuff we like, but in order to get things moving we have to get on and crack the hard and difficult stuff too. That’s the real test!

  2. I’m quite new to the Entrepreneur’s Circle but have got loads of value from it too. I love Nigel’s quote about avoiding distractions and staying focused. There are some days when time seems to run away with me but I’m beginning to realise that if I take more accountability for what I do, and keep my work time more structured it keeps me on track. I know what I’d like to achieve and I guess it’s all down to me to make it happen.
    Georgina El Morshdy recently posted..Do You Make These Four Mistakes With Your Business Website?My Profile

    • Yes Georgina, it is absolutely down to our own accountability. As Nigel would say ‘if it’s to be it’s up to me’ or alternatively ‘it’s all your fault’ and it is. It’s not down to the economy, government, time of year, competition, or anything else…. but us!
      The 2 key factors in really helping you drive forwards are your clearly-defined goals and your reason why. If that reason why is strong enough, it will really support you through getting the hard stuff done.
      Julia Bramble recently posted..How can the Olympics inspire us in business?My Profile

  3. A great article Julia.
    I’ve just finished working with a client who has learned to focus on what she wants – and then questions everything she does, or plans to do, as to whether it will move her towards or away from that goal. If your focus is clear, then it’s so much easier to judge whether or not you’re heading towards it!
    Susan Ritchie recently posted..Comment on Why your bum looks big in this & other lessons in success by coachsueMy Profile

    • Thanks Sue – appreciated. I agree that having clear goals can really help you tell whether you’re moving towards or away from them, but the driver that will help give you the energy, or the push you may need to get the difficult stuff done to move forwards will come from your reason why. A strong ‘why’ with emotion attached really is the key, I believe, to taking action. The goals are there to direct the action. We have been discussing this topic very recently at our local Entrepreneur’s Circle meetings, so I know it’s one that small business owners can really wrestle with. But once it’s cracked, and you start to get the feel-good factor from doing the stuff and the results from doing the right things start happening too, then you’ve got a great incentive to power on!

  4. It is all about the financial. That doesn’t mean money is what everything else revolves around but it’s how our society lives – money for things instead of each person growing/making everything themselves.

    That’s why I have confidence building and mentoring as part of my services as well as the usual tax returns. As micro businesses, it’s about our lives as individuals, partners, parents, daughters and sons. There is nothing like having a mess of your accounts, not getting paid, not enough cash flow or being stressed and afraid of the tax return to make just getting on with your business start becoming completely overwhelming. Which is no fun at all.

    It really is about the support which is why I am such a fan of what you’re saying here, Julia. Giving ourselves permission to have that clarity and direction and say ‘This Is Important’ doesn’t mean we’re selfish and ruthless, it means we know what’s important in our lives and what we need to do to have it happen. That makes such a difference.
    Rosie Slosek recently posted..Do you want 1:1 help to stop your accounts being a procrastinating stress zone?My Profile

    • Thanks Rosie. Your points about the financials are so true and it’s one area we maybe don’t give as much attention as we should. However, it deserves as much focus as everything else for the reasons you have given.

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