10 Steps To Reclaim Your Business

4 MIN READ

Quite some years ago you started out in your business, brimming with positive expectations dreams that you were going to make come true. You were excited about what your big idea could lead you to, and your passion carried you through your first few years. You didn’t know what you didn’t know and this ignorance was bliss. You took big risks and giant strides into the future that you were intent on making.

Now you are tied to it like a concrete block. You’re working far too hard and you don’t have enough to show for it. Yes, you do have sales, cashflow, leads and a robust client base, but you feel like you’re dying under the workload of serving it all. The love you used to have for your work is slowly suffocating at the hands of endless admin, frantic jobs, an uncontrollable inbox and relentless customers that always seem to want more than you can give. Lately you have become increasingly tempted to get a haircut and a real job. You started this business to follow your passion, and now it is literally pushing you to the brink.

The passion you had for your business can be rekindled with a specific plan to get you back there

What Did I Want? – Re-ignite Passion

The first step to reclaiming what you feel that your business has stolen from you is to remember what you started it all for in the first place. Once upon a time you loved your core business offering and you wanted to tell the world about it. You were dedicated to making it work and you envisioned where it would take you. Reignite the passion you once had for this work. It’s still in there and it can be rekindled to give you the resurgence of ambition you need to make things better.

What Do I Want Now? – Goal

With your first love reignited, it’s time to be honest, and ask yourself what you really want now. Your blissful ignorance is long gone, and now you know that the journey of getting your life back will be epic. You’re not in the same starting position you were in back then, so take a look at your new landscape. What has changed? What remains? What are your ideal outcomes from this point forward. Clarify these to create a realistic new benchmark for yourself.

What Could It Become? – Vision

Exchanging those old naive ideals for more realistic goals will help lighten the load, but don’t go so far as to lose the entrepreneurial spirit of the starry eyed adventurer. As you conceive these new pathways forward, allow yourself to imagine wild outcomes. In the best case scenario, what might still be possible from here? How far could you reach? How powerful could your impact be? The limitless possibilities make this process all worth it. Keep stoking the fire of your wildest new dreams.

What If? – Benefits

With your head somewhere between your realistic goals and those entrepreneurial visions, connect yourself to the benefits of continuing the pursuit. How does this business still serve you, and what could you gain from making it stronger? Is it the income that drives you? The lifestyle for you and your family? The difference you make? The autonomy? Or other perks along the way? We all have different sources of ambition and reward, but tapping into what you get out of this business will keep you hungry for more.

What If I Don’t? – Motivation

Similarly, acknowledging the potential costs of not pushing through will help you stay on the front foot of your motivation. There’s nothing like measuring the opportunity cost to get us really going. It’s one thing to chase the promise of reward, but truly another to be propelled to action by realising that without this surge, you may very well put your business, your family, your financial security or even your sense of identity at risk. A healthy balance of “What If I Do?” and “What If I Don’t?” will keep you on the right track.

What Do I Have? – Inventory

Now that you have your head in the game it’s time to get down to business and take an audit of what you already have to get this show on the road. You have physical resources like computers, phones, cars, shopfronts, stock, and office equipment that can be put to use straight away to begin reclaiming your business. When you combine these resources with the people in your circle, your years of professional experience, and the natural strengths you bring to the table, you’ll see there’s a lot you can do to create change now.

What Do I Do? – Strategy

This evaluation process may have inspired some strokes of genius about moving forward. To create real change, these ideas need to become specific action steps. It’s not enough to write down your general direction or ideal outcome. Reclaiming your business can only be guaranteed when you have a step by step plan to follow. Ambiguity makes positive change fall victim to tiredness, confusion, dismay, frustration, or the next urgent crisis. Writing down every single step of the strategy puts this change into autopilot.

What Do I Need? – Resources

There will be some steps that you won’t be able to take without acquiring some new things. You might need to buy new equipment or upgrade what you have now. It might be as simple as installing new apps or software, or subscribing to a new service. You could enrol in a short course to expand your knowledge or do some online training … If you are really committed to making this new mission stick, you might invest in some new social connections, and dare I say it, redefine some of your less beneficial relationships.

What Do I Do Now? – Schedule

Now you have everything you need to reclaim your business … The only thing separating you from change is your planning. Your business will return to you when you turn your strategy into a schedule in your calendar. Timeframes, appointments and deadlines will let you draw a line in the sand. To keep you and your staff on the straight and narrow, document everything to make that autopilot work for you. Checklists, diagrams, instructions and procedures will take the gamble and guess work out of this transformation.

What Have I Achieved? – Evaluate

No transformation is complete without evidence … even if it were, how could you truly know that you made it? The most vital part of the business reclaim journey is to measure your progress. Your measurements will reflect your initial goals. Were you seeking more time? Revenue? Profit? Sales? Clients? The list of areas you could have targeted in your business reclaim is endless, but across every area is the need for data to prove your progress and inform future steps. Evaluation is the lifeblood of every healthy business, and when these processes become central to your operation, you’ll find that your business can never hold you hostage again.

Ignite Purpose Or Burn Out

3 MIN READ

Burn out is something that many of us have encountered. We all work extremely hard at meeting conflicting needs and urgent pressures, and often there is no room left for the purpose that once ignited our hearts. Tiredness and despondence is a natural, understandable reaction to days that are filled with rolling compromises, unrewarding efforts, confused ambition, and the relentless pressure of external priorities. The problem is that striving leads to ineffectiveness and exhaustion because we are missing the essential ingredient of purpose. The risk is that when push comes to shove, we sell out on the things that make us uniquely valuable, deeply content, vibrantly alive! We all need a fulfilling, custom-made intention that pulls us through seasons of listless disillusionment into driving conviction. We need to make a stand to establish, defend and advance our purpose in any and every situation.

When I lost my voice it took me nearly two years to realise that what I had actually lost was a deep, defining connection to my purpose. Even though I was passionate about all of the things I had built my life upon, it dawned on me that somewhere along the way I had become disconnected from myself. I loved the things that filled my life, but somehow these things had become little more than mechanical operations.

We comprehend the defining Purpose of our Infinite Self by expanding our awareness of our Original, one-of-a-kind inner person

The source of my mistake was thinking that my actions defined my identity, and assuming that my life would never change. As I worked through my recovery I realised that life’s different roles and structures can only serve us if they are flexible to evolve. At the heart of the perfect life is the realisation that our humanity demands growth, and this growth relies on change. Our Infinite Self thrives when we understand that we exist to pursue a cause that sets us on fire, and that this cause can only be enlivened through change. In hindsight, I needed to learn that living a life fuelled by passion for my purpose relied on me embracing my need to continuously grow in myself.

We are all made to grow

From a biological point of view, growth is something we have in common with other living things, and it is simply an increase in measurable size. This is distinct from the development of the living thing, which involves the transformation that takes place while undergoing growth. In some living things growth can lead to dramatic transformation, as in the case of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, a tadpole becoming a frog, or a small seed growing into a large tree. All living things grow, and for complex animals such as human beings, this growth provides the vehicle for development and transformation. We simply can’t enjoy the fullness of our Infinite Self if we don’t champion our need for growth, and this growth comes from strategically responding to change.

Finding your purpose

When we watch ourselves acting powerfully in the world we begin to realise that we each have a unique reason for living that suits us down to the ground, and that this purpose will take us on a journey of unearthing our greatest assets. In real terms, knowing your purpose will highlight what you want in life, and also what you are willing to give up to get it. In coming to know your price like this, you will fortify yourself against compromise so that you no longer back down on things that are important to your identity. Knowing your purpose will also mean that you learn to choose your battles, because you will only want to engage with challenges that allow you to fulfil your reason for living. You might even see that you have been spending far too much time and energy on meaningless drama and useless activity that brings no reward whatsoever. Finally, knowing your purpose will mean that you are able to find the work that energises you. The work that you will do with passion and flow will be the work that targets your purpose and allows you to shine in the fullness of your strengths.

As I recovered my sense of purpose, I unearthed the deepest parts of my identity, and this allowed me to recover my voice. Tightness in my throat was replaced with the liberty of free-flowing wholeness. Disillusionment and despair gave way to direction and strategic action. Mundane activity was replaced with work that set my heart on fire and my imagination racing with possibilities. These are the three things that I learned about growth as I emerged from the trauma of the voice strain injury:

GROWTH IS CONTINUOUS:

There is a valuable opportunity tucked away in every situation, and knowing our purpose will highlight specific ways that we can exploit every single situation for our greater cause

GROWTH IS DRIVEN BY PURPOSE:

We each have unique superpowers, and when we establish what they are and operate in them, we can live for our purpose without ever stopping.

GROWTH ALWAYS WANTS MORE:

This sort of life inspires an insatiable desire for expansion, and as we extend into living our purpose we find that our capacity for life, love and wholeness is perpetually enlarged.