Seven Ways To Get On With It

Seven Ways To Get On With It

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” – Thomas Edison.

I am a great believer in systems.

I say that because I consider systems can drive significant productivity while at the same time, get you closer to your dreams, aspirations and the type of life style you may possibly be seeking.

Big statement I know, so let me explain…

Systems are basically a way to introduce routines into your life. If we use a technology metaphor, systems are like mini programs that once you design them and test them a couple of times, they start running in the background almost on auto pilot.

Still too esoteric for you? Let me share you my story then…

I have a lot of things to be done. It’s not that I am overworked or anything like that, it is just that I have some really big goals at present that are really driving me. So that’s my first tip, what’s your “why”? You need to have a big one to get yourself, off your… couch.

Next, you need to make sure you keep at it.

What I discovered is you need to find out what motivates you – pain or pleasure?

Probably a little bit of both, but for me, I discovered it was often the thought of “pain” that kept me going when it was easy to give up. When I decided a few years back I was going to do some doctoral research, it was tough, but I had told so many people I was doing it, the very thought of them potentially thinking that I was giving up drove me to keep going. Crazy I know, but basically I made up a story in my mind which I kept re-playing every time I thought of giving up!

What are the stories that you re-playing in your head – are they helping you or hindering you from achieving the life you want?

Now of course having the big why and giving myself jolts of pain to push me along is one thing, but I also had to figure out that when I did stuff, it was the right stuff to be working on at the right time – in other words I prepared a very clear execution plan which continues today. High level the further out the timeline is, but down to daily activities or tasks that need to be completed and are mapped out over the next 90 days.

Also be aware that often a list of “things to do” can often be overwhelming. Like there is so may things to do you start making up new stories again – this time about not being able to do what you want to do. To prevent this, you need a circuit breaker – for me it is to ensure I can easily chunk up or chunk down my things to do, and I do this by using buckets and categories. For example, more broadly speaking I have these four big buckets…

  • Emotional Mastery
  • Relationship Mastery
  • Physical Mastery
  • Wealth Mastery

Under Wealth Mastery, I have various investment categories of which “Business” is one and under that, I have the five business challenges that I teach my students at The Startup Business School of…

  • Strategy
  • Sales
  • Solutions
  • Support
  • Systems

Everything has a place, every place has a purpose and every purpose is connected to my ultimate vision. It takes time to put this together. A lot of soul searching and self-reflection, but I know if you invest them time then you can do this to.

If you are thinking however this guy is a bit intense, when does he every sleep?

Well I will tell you, I just woke up from my regular afternoon nap. Very refreshing I must say and now I am sitting down to write productively for the next hour. I will then be spending time on some other tasks – some of which will be learning new skills I need to master for my business.

You should try taking naps too – but of course your boss will not let you will they!

Well perhaps you should introduce your boss to some of the latest research around how our brains work – if that still doesn’t change your boss’s mind, then you become a boss OK (and I can help you with that!).

The other thing I am doing is that I am working at improving my brain function. I am certainly no expert in this field, but I am reading as much as I can to learn what things can I do.

For example, I subscribe to the online tool Lumosity. I have been using it on average 6 times a week for approximately 30 minutes a day. Based on Lumosity’s data – I am in the top 8% for my age category now – considering I started under the average. Can I see a difference yet? Well I think so – I think I am handling multiple activities more effectively now. Perhaps it will help you.

Next, I have finally come to terms with the reality, that for too many years I wish to remember, I have had a weight problem.

In fact, using measures such as the BMI or body mass indicator, I was classed as obese.

I am happy to say that I am not classed as obese any more – only over weight. I have reduced my weight by 16 kilograms and by the end of the year, I will be back to a healthy weight range. I will be writing about this in more detail in the future on what I have been doing and how this time, it has been so easy for me – no special exercise and no special diet and no boot camp or instructor!

I am telling you this because along with working on my brain I had to work on my body – this may be something you have to do as well. Make no excuses, if you are carrying excessive weight, it is holding back your productivity and likely to be impacting on your life aspirations, at lest options.

For me, the metaphor I would use in the changes I have embraced is a “house renovation”. Rather than the renovation thought, I have done the complete “knock down” and am now re-building from the ground up.

Perhaps your “house” is also beyond renovation like mine was – if it is, I hope you have dreams of building something extraordinary!

So let me recap on how you can get closer to your dreams, aspirations and the type of life style you may possibly be seeking by increasing your productivity 10X…

  • You need a huge “why”
  • Know what motivates you – pain or pleasure and use it to your advantage
  • Create a clear execution plan or road map
  • Chunk up or chunk down to avoid overwhelm
  • Take afternoon naps
  • Get your brain working
  • Get your body functioning

It has taken me many years to get to where I am today and I am only just starting off – there is a long journey ahead of me. So my hope for you is a simple one, you take less time than me to come to this realisation as to what is possible for you.

But if for some reason this will not be the case, then I wish at least for you to still come to this belief no matter how much time it may take you.

Live a large life!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson

How To Align Your Actions To Your Vision?

How To Align Your Actions To Your Vision?

“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble at his door.” Confucius

Over the years, when it comes to business planning, I have found people (or businesses) generally fall within one of six groups…

The Sceptics – these people just do not buy into the whole idea of business planning and they wonder why the world is going past them.

The Un-Initiated – these people are just starting off with their business and are yet to understand that this is a critical aspect of having a business, but they would be open to it with the right support.

The Battlers – these people do not quite understand the importance of business planning, but are prepared to have a go.

The Theorists – these people know the importance of business planning but never do it.

The Apprentices – these people know the importance of business planning, but are not good at it.

The Master Practitioners – these people know the importance of business planning and execute it with precision.

Which group do you or your business, fall in to?

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

So why is it that for many, business planning seems to be quite abstract and not valued for them?

Possibly a reason for this is that the whole strategic business planning process can appear to be quite complex with a lot of terminology being used and many concepts overlapping with each other or come after or before each other, or are even contradictory.

For example, Vision versus Mission.

My preference is that Vision comes first as the ultimate “why” and the Mission the sets out to achieve the Vision. However sometimes when we are on a journey, we just don’t know what we are seeking, hence the Mission may precede the Vision.

“As for the future, your task is not to foresee it, but to enable it.” Antoine de Saint Exupery

Another factor for this perception of business planning not being valued, is that strategic business planning tends to suggest you need assistance, maybe a consultant.

Well there is certainly value in having an independent third party to assist you in your planning, but if we recognise that strategic planning is a process with clear steps, then perhaps you can do it yourself – in fact I recommend that.

That’s why I have put together a 10 Step Strategic Business Planning Process to provide structure, as well as to align daily and weekly actions to your longer term goals and strategic vision.

I illustrate the ten steps in a way to create alignment all the way between Vision at the top, to Measurement at the bottom. That is, if you read it from top to bottom, each step provides the “how” in achieving the pre-ceding step. For example, “how are we going to achieve our Goals & Objectives is with our Strategies”. Also from bottom to top we can clarify the “why”. For example, “why are we doing these Tactics, Actions and Tasks is because we have these Strategies”. 

10 Step Strategic Business Planning Process

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” Alan Lakein

So let us now expand on the 10 Step Strategic Business Planning Process

Vision is the “what I see”.

Mission is “what I do”.

Values are “who I am and what I stand for”.

SWOT defines your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and the outputs provide insights for you to develop your Goals & Objectives.

Your Goals & Objectives are about the “what” and can be over a 3 to 10 year or more, time frame.

Strategies are about the “how” and focuses on the next 12 months and support your Goals & Objectives.

Tactics, Actions & Tasks is what you need to do on a quarterly, monthly and weekly basis to achieve your Strategies.

Execution Plan pulls altogether in one location visually, showing the journey or road map.

Measure is the monthly progress check points, the quarterly reviews and annual strategic planning session to re-set the plan commencing with the SWOT Analysis and repeating all the steps again.

Systems are about putting in place mechanisms, process, tools and technologies to embed the planning process into your business – it could be as simple as blocking time in your calendar for the next twelve months with all the key planning and review meetings.

“If you are failing to plan, you are planning to fail.” Tariq Siddique 

But of course the last word must be left to the business management guru himself…

“Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.” Peter Drucker

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