You may have noticed already. In case you haven't... I'm here to tell you that January is over! We are now in the second month of the year. New Year's Eve was FIVE weeks ago. If you haven't started to implement your 2011 business plans... you're late.
This month's article is meant to give all of you entrepreneurs out there a bit of a kick in the pants... and a bit of specific advice. Just like our clients who come out of the gate with great intentions and then fall off of the exercise/nutrition wagon around the third week of January, it's easy to be supercharged about your business heading into the new year. It's not so easy to start implementing your great ideas and plans when faced with the day to day business of your daily business. This is a classic example of working IN your business instead of working ON your business.
I encourage my clients to be unrealistic and not set SMART goals. Nothing is more boring than a realistic, "smart" goal. To keep going, it's got to be exciting, thrilling and almost beyond belief. Do the same with your business. Where do you want to be in 12 months from now? Make it exciting. Want to gross $500 000? Train local celebrities? Write a column for your daily newspaper? Decide. And then plan how to get there.
I am a firm believer in brainstorming. To get to your exciting 12 month outcome, you need to come up with the steps to take you there. Don't overanalyze things. Think in terms of constant motion and "betterment." You will be amazed at how far you can go when you stack a whole bunch of little things together. Take your brainstorming list and come up with one, single thing that you can apply every week. Then get really protective of your time and your energy.
Having an end in place and a list of "things" that will move you towards that end is great. But, it's useless if you never apply them. In February, practice making your focus and your discipline better. Set aside two or three hours every week where you do not answer (or even look at) email, your cell phone is turned off and NOTHING exists except you and your list of "things to get done to move you towards your end." This could be writing, it could be phoning contacts or it could be working on Search Engine Optimization. Whatever you decide needs to happen, make it happen.
Here's a tip! To be more efficient and to make the best use of your time, batch tasks together that will allow you more "free" time to work on your business. Never look at one email at a time or make one phone call at a time or pay one bill at a time. Looking at "just one" email is like trying to eat "just one" potato chip. Not gonna happen! Batch these things together for a predetermined time and you will be blown away at how you suddenly have all kinds of time to do the things that actually move you forward.
So... here is your kick in the pants. If you have been procrastinating in getting your big plans for 2011 in place, wake up! It's February. An entire month has gone by. Get going.
Ernie Schramayr is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of All Canadian Fitness, a private training studio in Hamilton, Ontario (www.allcanadianfitness.com).