Recently, I was so proud of one of my clients that I wanted to share his accomplishment with you (he gave me full permission to share his name and story).
I’m not young enough to know everything, as J.N. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, was known to say. But one thing I do know is that if we never take time to stop and think about our business, we will miss out on a huge amount of success and fulfillment.
I work with many of my clients, often using Jim Horan’s One Page Business Plan, to do good planning about their business. Keep in mind, it is the thinking that benefits you, as much as the final document. Few people take the time to get away and really think about their business and plan for their continued success.
We have to physically get away from our business and take time to reflect. Not only do we need to think rationally about our business, we also need to get into a non-rational or intuitive place and let ideas and experiences, opportunities and problems all blend together in order to experience a breakthrough that pure rational thought alone cannot bring. “The ultimate solutions to problems are rational; the process of finding them is not.” wrote W. Gordon
My small business coaching client Ron Zasadzinski, owner of the web design firm, codegeek.net , based in Fort Collins, Colorado, took this advice and booked two nights at a nice hotel in Boulder, an hour away from his business. He booked two nights so his one day retreat would be a WHOLE, uninterrupted day. Ron said it was one of best things he’s done for his business and plans to make this at least a quarterly practice.
His fiancée was concerned that he’d spent too much money on a nice hotel for this retreat, but Ron and I agreed that it was the deal of the century given the clarity he got. He sent me his two page write up and it was very exciting to me because it laid out the path for the success he intends to create over the next five years.
You won’t be surprised to learn that Ron’s business has previously had solid success and is very well-regarded in his (highly competitive) field. With the retreats he is now taking, I believe he will be able to take it to that next level that he has been aspiring toward.
Henry Ford said, “The more you think, the more time you have.” Business success is definitely not all about just working hard. We know where that leads all too often: burn out. And sometimes total breakdown and failure.
Taking time to reflect about your business will actually free up time because you’ll come up with ways to be more authentic and more efficient, ways to get more done by using your company resources effectively, etc. You’ll create more time because you’ll find the courage to let go of the products or services or customers that are not really right for your business, and you’ll have the insight to take on ones that will take you to the next level.
Let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes, from George Bernard Shaw, one of the most famous writers of his time:
“Few people think more than two or three times a year. I’ve made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.”