As a lifelong learner and the mother of a seven year old, I recognize that wisdom can come from just about anywhere. The secret is being able to recognize it and grab onto the bits that are most relevant to you.
In honor of Pathfinder Strategies 2nd year in business (2nd birthday woo hoo!)we’ve amassed several pointers that have helped us stay on course and continue working toward our goals. These are helpful, whether you have just started your business or you have been successfully running a corporation for years and years.
Your most precious resource:
Your time is, of course, your most precious resource. Make sure that you are working the clock and not the other way around. Start by identifying the highest and best use of your time. What is the most valuable asset you bring to your business? Are you spending your time doing that? If your passion and biggest contribution to your business is estimating work in the field, why are you stuck at a desk answering emails? By being at a desk you are missing the opportunity to do the work you love, and the work that brings revenue to the business.
Next, document exactly how you’re spending your time. I know this sounds tedious, but this exercise helps you determine what tasks you can delegate. Track your time for at least two weeks and include everything – how much time is spent driving, on conference calls, working on bids, attending networking events, etc. At the end of this exercise you will have a clearer picture of the tasks you regularly perform. You can use this as a starting point in deciding which of those tasks can be delegated. This of course frees up your time to pursue those things that are the highest and best use of your time.
It’s no secret that the only thing that remains constant is change itself. The business world continues to evolve in new and unexpected ways. Ten years ago most of us hadn’t even heard of “social media.” Now we embrace and leverage it in both our professional and personal lives.
Early on, my mentor told me that the business I had on Day 1 would not be the same in three years’ time, and she was right. Since launching, we have rebranded, narrowed our services and added several value-add tools to further meet the needs of our clients. We did these things so we could continue to grow and offer our clients exceptional services and solutions. Had we stayed where we were at launch, we’d probably be out of business.
How do you continue to adapt and innovate with your business? Are you staying current in your industry? Do you collect regular feedback from your team members and your customers? Are you using technology to help you communicate and stay productive?
One of the coolest things about being a business owner is that you have the power to adapt and innovate in interesting and creative ways. Your business, team members and clients will thank you for it.
Don’t lose sight of your why – the reason you got started in business in the first place. Stay in touch with your “why” because it’s the place from which your passion flows. It’s what everything in your business – from your team members to your marketing strategy – is built on.
It’s important to not only understand fully your why; you must also know how to articulate your why in a way that your clients can understand.
Give yourself a reality check periodically to make sure that what you’re doing in business is still connected to your “why.” Make sure that your team and your clients understand it and see the connection too. If you haven’t seen Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on this topic, check it out here.