You have declared that you are ready to be in business on your own. No more bosses. No more relying on other people to do it their way. You have known how to do it for a long time and are finally ready to commit yourself to just that. Financially you have designed a situation that will enable you to begin and through lengthy planning, you have created a situation that seems like it works, at least on paper. But what will it take to get to the next level? To create a business that will be as successful on paper, as it is in reality.
Create a system that is realistic and allows some time for you.
Write down exactly what you want each day to look like. Be specific. How many hours do you want to work? How many hours are you willing to work? How long can you work on certain tasks for a sustained period of time?
In other words, if on paper, you are planning to make 100 cold calls a day, but know that after an hour in one place, you get stir-crazy, then you will not be effective with this design.
In order to be truly successful, you need to work within your own boundaries. Create a system that works with your strengths, not against it.
As a business owner, there will be jobs you have to do that do not fall into your comfort zone. It helps to create a list of tasks that are challenging and ones that are easy. Then create a balance of the two so that you can be effective on any particular day. For instance, if you know you can only sit for an hour, write that in your schedule and reward yourself with the task that comes more naturally to you, right after that. It will not only keep you in motion, but you will be less inclined to procrastinate on the jobs that are more challenging.
Creating a way to hold yourself accountable.
The best part of being your own boss is that you are in charge and no one is checking up on you. The hardest part is that you are in charge and no one is checking up on you. Yes, it is bitter sweet. While it is nice to be able to design your day the way you want it, it is just as easy to let the day get away from you without doing what you needed to do. After all, who will know?
To avoid hours or days going by without forward movement, you will need to hold yourself accountable. The best way to do that is to write the tasks that need to be done in your day timer as if they are scheduled appointments that can't be cancelled. Be specific about what needs to be done and how long it will take for it to be accomplished.
Taking it to the next level.
So now you have a routine that works, scheduled appointments and a path to follow. Now how do you get to that next level that actually will make the difference of just making it, to real success? Here is where you will have to challenge yourself a little by creating a game of it. Look carefully at the to-do list you have set for the day. Task by task, rate the level of difficulty, giving a 10 to tasks that are really challenging, and a 1 to the ones that are simple. Now circle all the ones that fall into 5 or below and ask yourself how you could make them higher on the scale.
For instance: Let's say that the task today is to email 10 prospective clients. Since it is relatively a passive task, you may have rated it pretty low. What would it take to be more of a challenge? Could you also set the objective of all of them being followed up with a phone call? Perhaps an even bigger challenge would be to commit yourself to actually speaking with 5 prospective clients and then turning one of them into a new client. More challenging? Definitely, but that is what you will need to do to reach the next level of success.
If you want to make it even more successful, recruit someone to hold you accountable for the goals that you set. There is nothing like the action you will create when you know that someone will be checking in on you. Even if it just a friend doing you a favor.
If you truly want to become a risk-taker, though, hire a Business Coach. You will be amazed at how often you are in action and making things happen!
Lesley Geller is a Business Coach. She helps successful professionals exceed their expectations of growth. She works with small business owners, as well as individuals in large corporations looking to reach the next level. Lesley graduated from the University of Maryland is certified as a Coach through the Coach Training Alliance, which is recognized by the International Coach Federation. She is also a Freelance Writer and co-author of: 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. For more information about how to reach the potential you're capable of, visit her website at http://www.LesleyGeller.com or e-mail her at Lesley@LesleyGeller.com