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What have tomato plants and corporate or business environments got in common?

It can take ONE thing to increase productivity and healthy growth, the trick is finding that ONE thing and then applying some positive action on a consistent basis.

A healthy plant/organisation versus on struggling to survive!

When I first learned to grow tomatoes I learned ONE thing, just ONE, that made a huge difference in me producing edible delicious cherry tomatoes.

Pruning the laterals!

Laterals: Nice leafy green bits of the plant that grow fast and in abundance but produce NO fruit!

When you don’t prune them……they end up choking the fruit producing parts of the plant, blocking sunlight, taking nutrients, sucking the LIFE out of the branches that need all that good stuff to be productive.

Once I learned this ONE thing, and watered my plant, I grew great tomatoes.

I have found this when working with large corporate organisations through to small and medium businesses, in these environments the laterals can represent many things that distract from or prevent healthy productivity and growth.

Laterals in an organisation:

Cluttered systems, outdated processes, people in poorly matched roles, culture and environment, double handling, micro managing and the list can go on…. Don’t just look at the ‘who’ but also the ‘what’ these things can be about people but also about systems and processes.

Until these things that clutter a person’s space, mind, and process of working are pruned the real fruit cannot thrive and reach its potential and like our tomato plant the fruit can rot and go mouldy when laterals are left to run wild.

When managers, leaders and business owners are trapped into ‘putting out the fires’ that these ‘laterals’ produce often daily, they cannot possibly focus on things that will gain a better long-term productivity profile.

The business or organisation goes into ‘survival mode’ and everyone just scrambles to get work off their desk, mostly feeling a sinking sense of overwhelm and claustrophobia that consumes any creativity or clarity to function well.

When we do prune the ‘laterals’:

  • Light gets in to the things that need it the most
  • Nutrients get to the branches that matter
  • There is room to grow, strong and healthy
  • The plant is productive and successful in producing fruit

What to do:

  1. Take a day out to examine and reflect, use a coach or mentor, the purpose is to see what laterals need ‘pruning’ to allow more light in, more nutrients in and encourage better productivity.
  2. Put a timeline in place with actions that will implement the changes
  3. Focus on what CAN be done right away, it is sometimes the smallest things that make the biggest difference.
  4. Prune regularly, schedule it in, with the tomato if I forget to do this for a few weeks, things get choked up again fast. It easier to prune a few a week rather than let it get overrun and take double the time to clear things again.

Happy pruning

Jen

www.jentyson.co.nz

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Think Like A Watch Maker – Create Healthy Teams

NO people are not steel parts, rigid and disposable, but I believe we can learn a lot from looking at the inner workings of a clock or watch and apply some of these basic principals in order to grow or manage high functioning, healthy and productive teams in both small businesses or large organisations. The principals are the same, the application is variable based on size and level of dysfunction.

If we all thought and behaved the same, the world would not only be boring but almost unable to function.

We are all meant to be different, be able to see things differently, to have different natural talents, skills and abilities. This is the necessity of a functioning or even semi functioning world.

Think of an old-fashioned watch or clock, with all its bits and pieces, different sizes, different purposes. Each piece relying on another piece to function.

When I am working with clients who have small or medium business’s or even larger teams, most of the internal struggles they have with the people resource factor, is about people getting frustrated with another person, personality clashes, poor communication, differing opinions and views, un-fulfilled expectations. These are the core issues in most cases, the initial verbalised frustration will be something more minor, but if you dig deeper any or all of these things are usually at the core.

Sometimes driven by motives based on power, control, greed, pride or ego, lack of trust, or by someone lacking the skills to be in a particular role.

Even though a manager or a leader may be frustrated with a team’s inability to function in a healthy and productive manner, it is essential that the solutions begin at the top and filter down.

Liken a leader or manager to a watch maker – To become a watch maker is a skill, it takes a certain kind of patience, thinking, planning, skill set and practice.

I believe excellent management and leadership is a similar skill and some of the same principals apply when putting together a high functioning, healthy and productive team

Lets look at why the wrist watch functions the way it does:

Every part has its place:

It stays there, I can’t move except in the direction it is supposed to (unless it breaks). It is placed in there by a machine or human hand that knows exactly where that part needs to be in order to support its neighboring parts.

KEY POINT for human teams: Each person has a primary focus or function in a team, when a role is vacant and another person is trying to ‘juggle’ roles, you may see signs of overload, overwhelm and poor productivity. While this is sometimes necessary in transition, it should never be left un-attended or be seen as a long term solution, it is not sustainable.

Every part has its purpose:

Some parts are large and obvious, some are small. Some are support parts like screws and stays, others are functioning parts like wheels that rely on other wheels. Many parts are needed to make the watch work. Even the casing, that protects and keeps everything in place.

KEY POINT for human teams: Each person in a team is important to the overall purpose of the business or organisation, no matter how ‘front line’ or ‘back of house’ that role is, everything effects everything when it comes to a well-oiled and high functioning team. From the tiniest role to the leaders and managers.

Every part is needed:

In this illustration when one part breaks the whole watch stops, in an organisation or team this isn’t always the case with a human absence or malfunction, but there is no doubt that, depending on what that person’s function is in the team, there are ripple effects for others.

KEY POINT for human teams: The ripple effect, although variable, is real. When one person in an organisation is unhappy, under-skilled, under equipped, or over worked, there will be a negative ripple effect, it cannot be avoided, and the longer this is allowed to carry on, the bigger the impact will be.

Every part must work:

Each part of the watch must work, or it will have to be repaired or replaced, the watchmaker knows that if something is not working the watch stops working. With teams this can happen over time, and in subtle ways, slowly eroding a culture, relationships, productivity and ‘bottom lines’.

KEY POINT: Dealing with small issues early will prevent large more costly issues arising. Having a healthy transparent process for conflict resolution will avoid bigger issues. Creating a high trust, environment backed by clear processes for issues will empower and enable people to deal with situations as and when they arise.

Notes for existing teams:

  • There is always a solution and a path through
  • The time needed to clean up a dysfunctional team will depend on how long it has been left un attended

Back to the watch for a moment: If you have ever owned one this will make sense, if a bit of water gets in a watch that is not dive resistant, the watch is taken apart or dried somehow quickly the watch will most likely get working again without a further hitch.

IF the water is left in the watch and NOT cleaned up, the watch will rust, part by part, until the whole thing just stops working and becomes beyond repair.

  • Always be prepared to start at the top down, with management, leadership. If that is you then be prepared and open to some self-awareness and learning. Don’t spend money ‘fixing’ your team if you are not prepared to get your hands dirty too.
  • If the roles are clear, defined, filled with the right people working in their strengths, there is a clear, transparent process for dealing with conflicts as they arise, and healthy communication internally and externally – teams can become a high performing, high producing machines.

Notes for creating a new team in a growing organisation or business:

  • Think like the watch maker, plan the roles ahead of time, know what you need each part to do, what skills they need, get the right people in from the start. If this is not your skill set INVEST in help, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune but it will be a great investment long term
  • Outline and plan the culture you want to create by looking at your core values, company direction and long-term goals.

Final note for all, where there are people there will be conflict even in a healthy team, there is such a thing as HEALTHY conflict, and processes for dealing with it in a healthy way.

A conflict free zone is not possible in a high functioning team. The difference is made in how the conflicts arise and are faced, NOT avoided.

Avoiding or trying to avoid conflict almost never works. Its time to make friends with it, shake hands with it, and find out how to have a healthy relationship with it for the sake of the relationships in your world.

Go the watch maker!

Jen

www.jentyson.co.nz


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Multitasking – When it’s useful and when it’s not!

A peak into my world and 5 tips for singular focus when it counts

I was in my kitchen today after a full on day working, from my home office, the house was a buzz with activity, I had already dropped miss 8 at her dance lesson and offered to watch my 12-week old granddaughter while her mum ran an errand. It was 5pm….I was running bath for miss 7, had mister 14 playing with miss 12 weeks while I turned the sausages, boiled the pasta, put mountains of washing away….as I paused to turn another sausage It occurred to me that in this situation MULTITASKING is a skill to die for, one I am proud of, a skill that is USEFUL….as long as I stay focused….boy was I focussed.

PHEW are you exhausted just reading this!? In my domestic life multitasking is useful in most cases, I can get a lot done in a short period of time and usually without dropping ‘any balls’ from my juggle, possibly because many of the tasks are routine, don’t require much detailed thinking or focus. I can even add in a conversation with a husband or a child to the above and be quite engaged.

When multitasking is NOT useful – when tasks require more focus, more concentration and detail.

I learned a long time ago, multitasking like this doesn’t belong at work….almost EVER. In the work I do I have multiple roles, many ‘seasons’ in any one day, things are complex, strategic, and involve singular focus.

I have learned the importance of planning my work time, having lists, prioritising those lists, using ONE diary system that works well for me on all levels, and working in SPRINTS. My sustained sprint time is around 45 – 60 mins. If a task will take longer than that I will sometimes extend this time but usually will come back to the task after a break.

I  get up…. stop what I am doing get a drink and move my body. Then I can re focus again.

Working like this I get very productive, less stuff falls through cracks. Jobs get finished

I call this sharpening my AXE, a woodcutter will be more successful if he stops to sharpen his axe than the one who keeps hacking away with a blunt tool. Based on an old story I heard years ago.

My tips for singular focus and single tasking at work

  1. Plan your day – know what tasks, calls and emails you HAVE to get done that day, everything else is a bonus, if you have work that you get interrupted by phone calls, take small phone breaks where you put it on silent, switch if off or leave it in another room for a short period, NO ONE WILL DIE if they can’t get hold of you in a particular moment.
  2. Use time chunking, chunk blocks of time in your diary to do a task or a bunch of tasks.
  3. Work in healthy sprints, set a timer and focus on that ONE task for that time period when the timer goes off you stand up, walk away even just for 5 mins, get a drink, some food if you need and then come back re set the timer again.
  4. Plan NOT to multi-task, this means having only relevant tabs open, leaving social media, emails or other distracting tabs closed and notifications OFF
  5. Learn to be assertive (this is not the same as aggressive) try to say things like “sorry I will have to get back to you I am in the middle of something” and do just that, don’t allow people to steal your time with their emergencies unless you are completely responsible or someone will be injured. Find your own nice way to stay assertive

Either you run your day or your day runs you, is a favourite quote of mine and also is true for people and time – either you manage your time or have other people manage it according to their needs.

By all means be flexible when needed, but set boundaries, set work time, be assertive and learn to know when multitasking is useful and when it’s not.

Here’s to your singular focus

Jen

www.jentyson.co.nz


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Embrace CHANGE – 5 things you can do

“ If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always got”

A powerful quote we all hear, or see time and time again, and often nod, agree, and make private or spoken recognition of the change needed in our own lives at some level.

To get from where we are today, to where we want to be in the future, either long term or shorter term, there is a BRIDGE – That bridge is called CHANGE.
In business, this is just as true as in life. If we want to succeed in business we must learn to better embrace change.

Some are more comfortable and able to embrace change more than others, but even those who shout ‘Change? BRING it on!’ have a tipping point, a limit to where their avoidance of change would turn up.

change

On that bridge called change, there can be discomfort and for some this may mean PAIN, as human’s when faced with a choice to face discomfort or pain we can experience FEAR, or apprehension, especially if we cannot see an end ‘date’ or time frame, or even at times a perfect outcome. Which then can lead to avoidance.
At times, we have ventured courageously onto the bridge, but when it got too ‘hot’ – too uncomfortable, we turned back, retreating into old habits, and the comfort of what we knew.
An interesting observation I have made about the space called ‘where you are now’ – even if that space is not pleasant for many reasons and we KNOW we need to change, the FEAR of crossing that bridge is greater than the pain of staying where we are, the old saying “Better the devil you know, than the one you don’t” seems to fit well here.
We are HUMAN, and humans like comfort – no one likes to be uncomfortable for long, especially the concept of being uncomfortable for a period of time that seems to have no end in sight.
Going to the dentist, having a medical procedure, squishing into a small car for a short trip, standing on a bus to give someone your seat, are some examples of being uncomfortable for a short period of time where we see an end, we know it will be over in a set amount of time and so we tend to carry that off.
5 things you can do to embrace the changes needed to get to where you want to be:
1. Acknowledge where you are with a trusted mentor or coach, if you are really stuck to a good old fashioned ‘pros and cons’ list for staying there.
2. Make your goal, where you want to be, written and clear following the SMART model or something like that, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound – WRITTEN goals are 100 times more likely to become a reality, especially if shared with someone you trust who will keep you accountable and encourage you.
3. If the main goal or where you want to be is BIG and long term, then you need to get smaller shorter term goals, 6-12 months, that are milestones and pointing you in the direction of the bigger goal. For each of those you then need some ACTION steps to make sure you are doing something every month in the direction of where you want to be
4. NOW would be a good time to acknowledge any ‘failed attempts’ of crossing this bridge in the past and to notice the thoughts and beliefs you may have collected from that experience, these need to be dealt with in order to move forward – you may have got half way across and something happened, you made it mean something, retreated and made your mind up about the situation, the BEST way I know is to write down that thought, ask yourself “ is this useful to me crossing the bridge?” If not then you are at choice, you can re write this – BE your OWN COACH in your mind. Cheer yourself on with positive statements as you would if you were helping another.
5. CHANGE your mind about CHANGE – within in change there is incredible growth, with growth comes strength and sometimes new opportunities and confidence – your comfort zone expands, CHANGE is a good thing, and necessary in business and LIFE unless you want to stay in one place for the rest of your days.

‘LIFE and BUSINESS, is 10% about what happens to me, and around me, and 90% how I respond to it’
This is one of my favorite quotes of all time, it has inspired me over the years to look at how I am thinking about something and to make a positive change or keep on putting one foot in front of the other on that bridge.

Oh and what is with the other arrow going up half way across the bridge? This arrow shows that sometimes we have got half way across the bridge, things got painful, we got disillusioned and instead of retreating to where we were, we take a detour! Go down another path, because it seemed more comfortable, easier, but because that is a detour off our path of purpose, our bridge to OUR goal or future that burned in our belly, this other path often leads to its own set of discomfort and in fact can be a lot hard to come back onto the bridge from.

Now go cross that bridge!

To your beautiful journey of change

Jen
http://www.jentyson.co.nz


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Overwhelmed? Come up for air and breathe!

5 things you can do to get out from under the pile of ‘overwhelm’ – come up for air and breathe

The dictionary says this about the word ‘overwhelm’:

To bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something, especially water.

What to do when everything closes in – the dark place of ‘overwhelm

For some, this is a familiar place on a way too frequent basis, usually the symptom of entrepreneurs or working parents, but many others also suffer this unproductive and uncomfortable state, too often.

If you have ever felt confused, weighed down, stressed and grumpy by a never ending list of things to do, swimming around in your foggy head, chances are you have experienced what many call ‘overwhelm’.

For me and those around me this is not a good place for me to be in, mentally or physically. I forget things, don’t sleep well past 4am, find myself snappy and irritable, and in a constant state of stress. This space is usually very un-productive.

Here are 5 things I have found that can lift the fog and help re focus energy and time:

  1. TIME OUT: Take a morning off, ASAP, as soon as you recognise you are here, go for a walk, then sit down and make a massive list, categorise if you must but make a list of everything you need to do, everything that is in your head.
  •  Make sub lists from this list and put in categories of priority, personal, work and  other. Just this task of getting out of my head and on paper splits the stress literally in HALF, because now I can’t forget anything, it is all on paper.
  1. GET ‘YOU’ IN THE PICTURE: Re look at your diary, your schedule,  remove some things to make some space for you, and the things that ‘feed’ your mind, body and soul… At least 3-4 times a week. SMALL things count – I used to think I needed to get to a yoga class for 90 mins (plus travel) or the gym for an hour for it to count….then it just wouldn’t happen, when I discovered the scientific fact that 10 mins of walking somewhere pretty can change your brain chemistry completely, I started looking at this time differently. I make time 3-4 mornings a week to walk my dog, just 30 mins in our local park, I dance once a week, and I train in martial arts (my favourite sport) 1-2 times depending but a minimum of once. The park walks serve a few things, I love nature and how it soothes my soul, reminds me of my place on this earth, connects me to creation and also gives my body the movement it needs, it clears my mind, I solve problems among the trees.

NOTE: I used the words ‘make time’ ? We can all find time to fit in what we deem to be important, I realised that I am important, so cleared some things off my plate.

  1. TIME CHUNKING: Look at the way you schedule things in your diary, if you are self-employed you CAN choose your hours, set them on a calendar, and then schedule in what you do in that time, this is a discipline that takes time to implement if you have been a little loose on this. I use TIME CHUNKING, I put things in blocks of time I think they will take, for things like my walk, they REPEAT every week, on the odd occasion I have to move them but it is a choice and usually only once in any one week.
  1. SAY NO nicely: Learn to say no, if you have so much on your plate there is no room for you, look at what you can possibly take off. Ask yourself these questions on each thing that takes up your time. These are for things you have on your plate that you want to check in about:
  • Why am I involved in this?
  • Why did I say Yes?
  • Is this part of my overall purpose in life?
  • Does this energise me or drain me?
  • Why am I holding on to it?
  • If you choose to let it go, plan how you will say ‘no nicely’

What to consider BEFORE saying YES to new things:

What REAL time is involved in this? Do I have the time easily available? What will have to move off my diary in order to fit this in? (NOTE If is YOU time that needs to move, seriously consider saying NO) What is my motive for saying yes?

ALWAYS say you want to think about it, so you have time to process taking on new things, even this will give you freedom and less pressure. If they can’t give you time, then perhaps you just say NO right away.

  1. ASK for help: Or Delegate. What can someone else be doing for you? Giving jobs that don’t light you up, or asking others for help with children, chores or tasks can give others the opportunity to do something nice for you OR something they love doing! Instead of seeing it as weakness, see it as allowing others to work in their strengths.
  • You can pay people, barter time or ask a favour, depending on what it is there is always a way to get some help with the things that are on your plate that you can’t get rid of.
  • This frees you up to get on with the things that energise you and are part of your overall purpose in life.
  • I don’t like housework, I like getting help with this on a regular basis and giving chores to my kids, does this mean I never do it? NO, It all just doesn’t land on me and that feels good.

Final note: YOU are important, that is why they say in the flight emergency briefing put YOUR OWN oxygen mask on first before attending to children, WHY? Because if you stop breathing you are NO good to anyone.

You have stuff to do in this world that only you can do, and when you are living in balance to the best of your ability most of the time you are WAY more effective, productive, have better health, relationships and enjoy life rather than just get through each day.

Yours in freedom

Jen

www.jentyson.co.nz


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Business lessons from the dojo #2

Lifelong learning, be open and willing.

Opportunities for growth in performance, through teaching and in conflict (combat)

“I never lose; I only win or I learn” Anon

There are many Kata (detailed choreographed patterns of combat movements practiced and performed either solo or in pairs) in our style and other styles that have a ‘saying’ attached or a quiet understanding about them that you will never perfect them, you will always be learning at another level, sometimes sensei will say “It takes your whole life to perfect this Kata”

It is about being and becoming your ‘best self’

You may find this idea or belief daunting, especially as our body gets older, stiffer, and less resilient to injury and fatigue. I have begun to understand this as more of a concept than a fact, it is more about mind-set and attitude, which I spoke about in my last blog, than it is about the technical facts.

If we accept the belief that perfection is a ‘lifelong’ pursuit then what we are open to is growth and learning. We are teachable, we come to the training session understanding that we will learn something new about ourselves that day, sometimes the learning is painful and requires discomfort, other times is a liberating and more like a breakthrough we have been working on getting for a while.

This acceptance serves our practice best when we are open to correction, coaching and change.

Business is the same, sometimes this is referred to as a growth mind set or weather someone is ‘teachable’ or ‘coachable’ or not.

I believe if we are always open to learning and growth ourselves then our businesses can’t help but grow, and like training in martial arts, some of this growth is challenging, uncomfortable and a little painful.

In martial arts as in business there are many components that lead to success, here are some of the ways I have found opportunities to grow:

  1. Performance of Kata, technically you can be on the button, get every move right, directions, hand positions, leg positions, even timing, but the head instructor may say your energy was low or poor, therefore leaving your performance lacking.

In business this could be a sales call or presentation that your next client was coming from, you could get the technicalities right, you could nail the details, the product or service knowledge was sound and on the button, but if the engagement or energy isn’t’ right you can lose the sale.

This can also come in the form customer or client feedback, all feedback is good! Even if it is an unhappy customer or worse, a complaint. Feedback gives us the opportunity to learn, change and grow.

  1. Teaching other students in the dojo can provide BIG learning opportunities, because everyone learns differently, there are different ages and fitness levels, so many factors come into play when we are trying to pass on knowledge and experience. We have to learn to adapt and re frame where needed to improve understanding. There is also an unwritten rule in martial arts, your students’ progress is a reflection of your ability to teach. I also find that I learn more about my own practice when I have to teach it, because I have to answer questions and remember the details on how to get from one point to the next, sometimes after many years of practice things become automatic and it is good to go back and break it down for someone else to learn.

Many businesses have staff, employees or contractors, where they are required to pass on information, knowledge and training. Then there are businesses like mine, where I spend 80% of my team coaching, teaching and training others in skills around running businesses. The same challenges and rules apply here, different ‘filters’ create different beliefs and experiences create understandings. I can have a room with 12 business owners in it, and everyone in that room has a different style of learning, different abilities, strengths etc… My challenge is to always be adaptable and open to learning various ways of saying the same thing, to facilitate the change they are looking for.

  1. Sparring (fighting) for points, is a minefield of learning opportunities, learning a about your strengths and how to maximise those, how to out-think your opponent, thinking on your feet, expecting the unexpected, being in the moment (Focus), being aware of your surroundings, adaptable. Taking a HIT, you have two choices to call the fight and get out or choose to regroup, re focus and learn how to move quicker, block faster. I am short and small, I have learned that can be in my favor, speed will win over strength 90% of the time, so my practice has always been about getting faster, and smarter, this is still a work in progress always, but as long as I stay open to learning in this arena I will improve and get better.

The business parallel to this is conflict, in a growing business it is inevitable, if you are not experiencing it you probably are not growing much. Hiring staff and contractors provide incredible opportunities to grow in this area, you are in the best place to practice some of those things mentioned above, learning about maximising your strengths, expecting the unexpected, as in karate sparring, with staff and contractors you have the involvement of another human being who you can’t control or sometimes predict their actions or responses, so staying alert, being adaptable, and learning to improve every time.

Some business owners avoid conflict the like plague, if you avoid something that makes you uncomfortable, for whatever reason, you will remain uncomfortable with it.

It is not just as a manager of people you will find opportunities for growth here, also with client relationships, networking, anything that involves communicating and relating to others.

It is entirely possible to have a conflict situation and to come out at the end still in good relationship with that person or group, IF it is handled well.

Sparring is the same, you can have a really good ‘fight’ with an opponent in a controlled environment and even if there is a winner, both can come out feeling that it was a good match, fair, well controlled and well managed.

Closing Tips:

In every situation ask yourself, “What can I learn about myself in this moment or today that will improve me for next time?”

Be open to feedback, coaching, and growth always

Here is to your growth and pursuit of your ‘best self’

Jen

My website: www.jentyson.co.nz 


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Why plan now for 2016 or at all?

Business planning – A VITAL ingredient to your unique recipe for success

I learned years ago that one of the biggest secrets to success is to find someone who is where you want to be and do what they did to get there. I found out that smart business owners have their plans for the following year, down on paper well before the Silly Season really sweeps them up. They can then rest up well and then HIT the ground RUNNING in the direction they want to go!

No matter which article you read on the ‘top reasons for business failure’, lack of planning is right up there in the top 3. Yes there are other factors involved of course, but surely if we know that this is something that can have a significant impact on our success we would make time to do it and do it with expert help….wouldn’t we?

I heard this quote for the first time around 13 years ago. “If you fail to plan you plan to fail” by Jim Rohn. I remember thinking, “wow that is harsh, who would actually plan to fail?” It took a while for this to make real sense for me, probably after a few attempts to just ‘go do’ my business. Being the sort of person who just loves to get involved, boots and all, learning this lesson was not instant or overnight. Learning to LOVE applying this planning process in my business has made a significant difference in my success, in creating a business that allows me to outwork my purpose and love what I do every day.

For a long time now I have been working one on one with clients, and group mentoring programs teaching exactly that, how to set up a workable business plan, put it into motion and follow it through. What I find fascinating is the number of people I come across in business who are just out there doing ‘it’ every day without a plan, whilst they are amazing at the service they provide, here are just some of the results I see:

  • Lack of clear direction, causing stress and confusion
  • Lack of control over time and finances, causing stress and overwhelm
  • Limited ability to measure growth, without that written benchmark
  • Not loving what they are creating, just on a treadmill of trading time for money
  • And sometimes lacking confidence and understanding in business basics

Business planning has been given a bit of a bad rap, sometimes it is associated with some giant, complex and tedious document you have to prepare for the bank to get money, leading people to think this is the only time you HAVE to…. or SHOULD do it.

In other cases people have paid a business coach, mentor or gone to a workshop to help them put down their goals, even creating a vision board, but with no clear, breakdown of ACTIONS to get from where they are to the bigger goals, so they shy away from the whole process thinking ‘it doesn’t work’.

My experience has shown me that the more we learn to embrace the planning side of our business, the more we can enjoy it. After all you are creating the business of your dreams. The more we see the results of that plan, feel the positive impact on our health, happiness and finances, we begin to understand that planning is not a necessary evil, it is a VITAL ingredient in the unique recipe that will make your business uniquely yours!

  • For 2016, get it done in November. Make it a habit each year to plan not only for the Dec/Jan period but also for what you want to achieve the next year.
  • Invest time and perhaps some money into it, and at least until you become comfortable with how to see a whole plan through. Get some expert help, find a business coach who you like, and trust (Going to a mentor because they are free or cheap doesn’t always mean they are they right person to help you) or join a solid/trusted business training program that has planning tools with education and mentoring.
  • Once you learn the skill, have the tools, schedule time in every month, quarter and year to revisit your plan, just to check in that you are heading in the direction you want to go, it is much easier to correct your direction if you have only been off track for a short time.

There are many different types of plans out there, I find simpler ones with the main components in them are easier to pick up, read, tweak and keep a part of my business evolution.

A good business plan doesn’t have to be LONG or overwhelming, it just needs to be a living document that guides your business decisions and becomes a measuring platform to keep you on the track you want to be on.

Here is to you creating your own amazing year in 2016.

Jen.

http://www.jentyson.co.nz/