A seemingly simple sentence, but one that holds great weight. Can one small decision really turn your failing business around?
Actually, yes. It can.
Making a decision to do differently is the start. Making the decision to commit to doing differently is actually what turns your organization around. This is where small business owners, entrepreneurs, and creatives have the tendency to get stuck. In reality, we all make tons of decisions everyday.
Should I take this route or that one?
Answer this call or decline it?
Text this person back or ignore them?
This small combination of choices we make daily are often ones we make with ease. They come naturally to us, and even though they may have a significant impact on our day (because taking the wrong route can land you in heavy traffic and result in a bad attitude), we make these decisions with less stress because they seem of less consequence.
However, when it comes to small decisions with great business impact, the decision-making process becomes much more challenging, almost muddled. Should I go to the networking event or use the time to update my website? Will I make time for this important business project even though I have back to back meetings all day and exhausted doesn't even begin to adequately explain how I feel? What efforts can I decrease so that I can increase resources for my business?
Answering those questions and making the decisions to commit to them, to put action behind them can truly make a significant impact in the trajectory of your company. Ask yourself how bad do you want it? Be honest with yourself! Sometimes we think we want it, but when it comes time to do the work we find numerous convenient excuses that would indicate otherwise. If you really want it (whatever "it" is), commit to it longterm. Commit past the excitement. Commit past the self-doubt. Commit past the naysayers.
But how, Sway? Here are a five ways to maintain your decision to be committed:
1. Keep your actions consistent when it gets tough. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everything was always smooth and easy? However, unfortunately, in business, you will experience numerous obstacles. There will be challenges you never expected that come your way. However, if you truly want your business to thrive, you have to be able to stay committed to your work through these difficulties. Take time to identify what actions are most valuable to your business and do them consistently, even things seem almost unbearable.
2. Hold yourself accountable. It is incredibly easy to attribute poor traction on the new Instagram algorithm or to blame lack of visibility on a potentially smaller budget than your competitor, but at some point you have to acknowledge your role in what's going on in your business. What are you doing that works well? What are you doing that can be improved upon? Are you doing something that's been beneficial, but you could be more efficient at? Commit to being accountable in all your actions, those aiding your business and those that have been detrimental to it. Identify the areas where you can be better. You are central to your business; any betterment in you is betterment to your business.
3. Keep the goal in front of you. For some, staying committed means having to literally see the goal EVERYDAY. Whether you sit down and do a vision board specifically for your business or you write the number one overarching goal for your business on your mirror, keep that goal front and center so that you can actively keep working towards it. This means when you have the desire to slack, you'll be reminded of it and you can make a conscious decision to do so or not. This doesn't mean that you'll always decide to push through in that moment, but you will be more intentional about your actions related to your business.
4. Break it down... Alllllllllll the way down. Big goals can seem insurmountable, but when broken down into mini-goals it becomes much easier to tackle. Say you want your business to gross $60k in the first year - this would be an aggressive goal, but it's not totally unheard of - you would want to break it down by month, then by week, then by day. This means you would have a monthly goal of $5k, a weekly goal of $1250, and a daily goal of about $167. Making $167/day seems much more manageable than looking at the larger goal of $60k/year. Whether you are breaking down financial goals or other projects you are tackling, know that your commitment to them will truly change the trajectory of your business.
5. Read (or listen to) something related to your industry daily. Take thirty minutes and dedicate it to continuing education. Not only will this increase your industry-related knowledge, but it will also actively keep engaged with your business and committed to it. Again, you are central to your business; the more knowledge you have about the ins and outs of your industry, the more credible and valuable you become to your audience and clients.
By truly deciding to be committed to your business, and implementing these strategies, you can begin to watch your business trajectory change in the manner in which you desire. No one wants to fail at anything, but particularly at business. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, but by staying the course you can attain your version of success!
Yours in business,