I love strategy just as much as the next management consultant, but as a business owner, I’ve got to say, there are 3 business success factors, and strategy is just one of them. The other two are action and mindset. And more than ever, when you’re starting/running your own business, you’ll notice the (negative) effects when you’re focused on only one or two of these areas. They may not all need equal amounts of your time, but they do all need your attention.
Why these three factors?
How did we get here? What makes these three things the areas that everything else falls into? Well… it’s quite simple really:
Strategy keeps you moving in the right direction.
Mindset ensures you’re removing your own blocks and moving forward in a way that feels good.
And action keeps you moving.
Lack of Strategy
Most of my clients come to me for strategy. And that’s totally understandable. Strategy is deciding where you want to be, how you want to position yourself and mapping out a roadmap to get there. It covers your overall business strategy, brand strategy and all the pieces that fit into them, such as your marketing strategy, your sales strategy and your customer strategy.
When you have a gap in this particular business success factor, you’ll find that you’re either lost, not taking any steps forward because you just don’t know what to do or you’ll find yourself jumping from one strategy to another. You’ll likely also be listening to multiple people, maybe multiple mentors or business coaches, and consuming all their free content. Piecing all this free content together to form a strategy is near impossible. Why? Because each piece is part of a different strategy.
Instead, what you need to do if this sounds like the situation you’re in is to commit to one strategy. One way of making money, of selling, of marketing, of moving people through your customer journey. Define that one way and then map out how you’re going to get there. Commit to that. And stop listening to and being swayed by other strategies. The truth is, many strategies will work. The trick is to find the one that suits you and your strengths the most.
Lack of Action
It goes without saying that not taking action is going to result in not getting anywhere, right? Logically, this makes sense. But many of us (myself included, once upon a time!) love the strategy and mindset elements and just end up spending most of our time there. Action is moving your business along the roadmap that you’ve created from your strategy work. It’s moving the needle every day, taking action, implementing a part of your strategy.
When you have a gap in this business success factor, you’ll notice that you have lots of great ideas, an incredibly well defined strategy, but nothing that others can see. It’s all virtual, or in documents, but nothing has been implemented. To be honest, I’ve seen a lot of strategy work end without any action being taken. And the truth is, no amount of strategy work is going to helpful if you don’t take the required action.
So if you find that you’re the type of business owner who loves to spend time in strategy mode and not enough time implementing, here are my three recommendations:
- Take small action. Any action is better than no action. So break things down into bite-sized chunks and do a small bit every day.
- Reward yourself for completing your action. Save that piece of chocolate until after you’ve completed your task.
- Remind yourself how far you’ve come and put things into perspective. It wasn’t as difficult as you imagined it would be, right? And the benefits of taking action far outweigh the benefits of not taking action. Read that again if you need to.
Lack of Mindset
Ah, mindset. The one thing no one thinks they need until they realize they need it. Personally, I try to impact mindset through sharing my positivity, my energy and my way of thinking with my clients. But that’s not enough. Mindset includes figuring out why you are resisting certain things that you know you should be doing, and then working through those reasons.
When you have a mindset block, you’ll most likely be living out one (or a few) limiting beliefs. Perhaps you don’t believe you’re ready to take action. Or you don’t think you deserve to make money. Or you think sales is icky. These beliefs then drive your subconscious and you’ll live them out without realizing it. You’ll give a less-than-stellar strategy call or pitch. You’ll be too busy to do any marketing. Or you’ll spend minimal amount of time, if at all, “selling”.
Watch out for your thoughts. What do you tell yourself frequently? “I am terrible at marketing”? “I don’t want to be that type of sales person”? “Sure, she’s making $50k a month, but I could never”? Your thoughts drive your beliefs which drive your actions. If you think you can’t, if you think you shouldn’t, if you think you don’t deserve it, etc, you won’t do it or get it. You might not realize it, or see it happening, but your thoughts literally drive everything you do – in life and in business.
Now you know the 3 business success factors. What’s next?
Now that you know what the 3 business success factors are, I challenge you to take the time to really watch yourself. Find out where you’re falling short. And then use the tips above to fill in that gap. When you do, you’ll see the changes start to unfold right in front of your eyes. These 3 factors literally drive the success of your business. You’ve got this!
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