One of the greatest challenges in life and business is staying focused and moving your enterprise forward. With the whirlwind of invoices, booking agreements, payroll, supply, and other everyday essentials, maintaining momentum and growth remains a constant challenge.
Over time, all systems lose energy and break down. Think about it. Your computer needs to reboot. Your router needs to restart. Your car needs a tune-up. The most common solution to IT issues? “Turn it off and back on again.”
Reality demands that you strike a balance between maintenance and momentum. Most business owners create great ideas and innovations to improve the substance and systems of their business, but the truly successful entrepreneurs master how to execute those ideas. Everyone dreams, but few accomplish.
Here are a few suggestions, adapted from the book The Four Disciplines of Execution, that will get you unstuck, on track, and moving forward.
Focus on What Needs Energy
Many business leaders make the mistake of thinking every change that needs to be made must be treated with the same attention and energy. This is a classic mistake. Successful businesses don’t focus on every change. Instead, they focus on the changes that will produce the most momentum. Did you know that a domino can knock down another domino 50% larger than itself? And after the momentum builds, that creates enough energy to knock down a domino the size of the Empire State building? It’s true!
As an exercise, think about the one or two things that make the biggest difference in your act or business and focus your time, budget, and energy towards those. Set what Jim Collins calls a big, hairy, audacious goal. It could be something like:
- 200 gigs this year
- Become debt-free
- Hire 3 new employees
Make it clear, specific, bold, and attainable. Write it down, post it where you can see it every day, and get to work.
Develop a Relentless Bias Towards Action
Once you’ve set the goal, act on it. Every day. Develop what Scott Belsky refers to as, “a relentless bias towards action.” A good rule of thumb is to dedicate 20% of energy to momentum and 80% towards maintenance. Imagine what giving yourself permission to dedicate one hour a day to improving your act, researching better practices, or listening to great coaching would do. Think about the impact and improvement created over time.
When in doubt, do something that injects energy or momentum into your business. It may not seem like much, but over time, the dominoes will start to fall.
Track the Momentum
Develop a scoreboard that lets you know how you’re doing. It could be a goal of time spent rehearsing, or clients called each day, or social media posts. If you want to know you’re winning, keep score.
Developing the right metrics allows you to see your progress, discover challenges, and see if changes need to be made.
Create a Culture of Accountability
The final ingredient to the momentum mix is accountability. Great leaders are not afraid to say their dreams out loud and invite people to help accomplish them. A culture of accountability, whether in life or business, keeps you encouraged, challenged, and progressing.
Develop a 360-circle of accountability with:
- Trusted employees. Ask your employees to assist with practical plans and what their hope for the business is.
- Colleagues, peers, and partners. These are the people who are at your level in business. Invite them to share their experiences and help you stay on track.
- Coaches, mentors, investors, and bosses. Find people farther down the road in business and ask for their input.
The difference between luck and success is the ability to get things done. Developing a plan, staying the course, and meeting your goals all create the pathway to success and fulfillment in your business. As you keep your eyes on your goals and dedicate your time to get them, that’s when success is found.