Let me make a promise to you: this is NOT going to be one of my inspiring speeches (even though I hope it inspires you).
I want this to be simple, actionable way to achieve your “impossible” goal. It’s going to take a…
Shifting of your mindset from problem-focused to opportunity-sighted.
Shifting how you spend three limited resources: time, money & energy (and not in that order)
Shifting into an implementation machine, rather than staying stuck and looking for another accountability partner.
There is one short story I want you to keep in mind.
Considered the greatest hockey player ever, a reporter was bold enough to approach Wayne Gretzky and ask this question (please note it’s paraphrased)
“How do you consistently lead the league in scoring? You aren’t the biggest…nor the strongest…you don’t have an incredible shot…and you aren’t even the fastest on the team. And yet, you always are the leagues point leader.”
Without hesitation, Wayne gave such a short…but profound statement…
“I know where the puck and defenders are going to be before they even know it.
Wow. Let that sink in for a minute.
Let’s get back to our world. Imagine if you knew before your competitors what direction your industry was heading and where it was going, how would that change your days? Weeks?
Imagine if you knew, before your clients even knew, what problems and pains they were going to face, how would that change your service/products? Marketing?
The key, as a leader, is to develop your visionary skills and structure.
Here is how:
Visionary Skills Must Be Practiced
Achieving the impossible goal is going to be impossible if you don’t have a vision. Let’s make sure we have a mutual understanding of what “vision” means.
Vision is a shared outlook of how the future will unfold. It’s not just yours. It’s also not just your clients or the industry’s.
With this established as the truth, then to develop your visionary skills takes 3 components:
1)Consistently monitoring the “now” to understand how that will change the future
2)Consistently monitoring innovations to understand how that will change the future
3)Being consistently preparing
The key? Consistency. We challenge our clients in the Vault Team to practice at least weekly what they expect will be needed at a minimum, 1 year from now. At worst, 90 days.
This consistent practice not only breeds creativity and enhances one’s knowledge, but it does something even MORE important.
It builds intuition. A gut instinct that as practiced, becomes mastered and in the end, your secret weapon.
Every leader that has ever approached me as had this to say:
“Alex, it would be great if I could start preparing my business for the future. However, I’ve got this marketing issue, I’ve got an employee morale problem…and if I can be candid, I’m just exhausted from putting out all these fires.”
I feel for this person. The reason? Because this leader, like you, wants to make a difference for people. He/She is sacrificing their time, money and energy and then bending over backwards to help their clients, team and whoever else is asking for help.
I also know the tough conversation that I’m about to have with them.
It goes like this:
“I’m sorry…I truly am. I know there are days that all we do is put fires out (and rightfully so)
But let’s stop the excuses and let’s be honest with each other.
You and I both know that it’s not the fires that’s the problem. The problem is you can’t even see what the future other than more of the same.
It’s not a them problem. It’s a us as leader problem. We need to prioritize our vision first. When we do, we’ll start talking about opportunities we see. We’ll start giving attention to what will help us leverage and capitalize our opportunities.
I assure you, you can do this! I know you can. But you have to start spending your time with intention on the opportunities you see for yourself in the future.”
They are tough conversations…but they are needed.
A simple starting point: Imagine what the business needs to look like 1 year from now. Then work your way backwards by quarters. Pick one area of focus for each quarter. Not two (trust me, one will be plenty).
Which leads me to the final point…
The 60% Rule
Now that you’ve established one focus for each quarter, let’s have another honest moment with each other.
How often do you backslide?
Trust me, I do! Heck, I promised myself no desserts for this week and there I was, enjoying another soft serve ice cream cone last night.
It happens. It’s ok! But we need to set ourselves up for success.
Which is where the 60% rule comes in.
While I know some of you work longer than 8-hour days, 5 days/week, let’s assume that is your schedule.
If we follow this rule…then…that means 24 hours per week are spent on your one focus (whichever you chose above), or 3 days. That means that to make this work, you need to finish any other work that you may have in the other 16 hours that week.
This is where you may look at me as if I’m crazy! Maybe…
But let’s look at the work you fill up your week with. How many of those tasks are nonessential? How many could be easily handed off to someone? How many times are we just procrastinating because we are in this monotonous cycle?
Now imagine if you truly gave the intention and attention to your focus that it deserves. How much closer would it put you to your “impossible” goal? How much more energized would you feel going into the work day? How many more times would you say “no” and feel great about it (yes, this does happen)?
The 60% rule wasn’t just picked out of thin air. It was established when we studied the Vault Team clients who grew the fastest (and quickly hit $20k/month and beyond) versus that individuals who grew, but not as rapidly.
The key: those who spent 60% of their time on the right things at the right time with the right people crushed it. Big time.
So where should you spend your time?
Honestly, I can’t tell you that without better understanding where your business is currently. As much as I would love to play like Gretzky, I first must learn how to ice skate.
If you’re ready to find out exactly where you need to spend your time and what are the right things to do now, my team and I are happy to hope on a free assessment with you.