You do have options. No matter where you are in the process or how much you feel like you are trapped. Much of this is because of the two dimensions that exist: the business and the personal. Immediately, you have two ways of viewing any situation and it could be that by focusing on the personal side more options open up. It is human nature to focus on a problem close up and forget everything around it. By stepping back and looking at the bigger picture or getting another person’s point of view, it is not unusual to discover an alternative route. Sometimes we just lack the knowledge or awareness of what we can do. We relish the comfort of the familiar and find it difficult to step out of our comfort zone.
It is often said if we do the same things, we get the same outcome. Consequently, if you discover you’re heading in the wrong direction, then you have to make a change by taking charge through these 3 actions.
1. What’s important to you?
Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle of it. Spend time thinking of all the things that are important to you. As they come to you, write them on the left hand side. Don’t worry about order or level of importance just yet. Think about why you do what you do. Who are you doing it for? Project yourself to an ideal future, 30 years from now. Where are you? What are you doing? Who is with you? Who do you still see socially? What hobbies do you have? What charity work do you do? Anything that you feel is important, put it on the list. Keep going until you can’t think of any more.
Look at each entry on the list and give it a mark out of 10 as to how important they are to you, with 10 being essential. Make sure that you are marking the thing itself and not what that gets you. So if you give “Money” a mark out of 10 because you need it to pay off the mortgage, then you need to add “Debt free house” on the list and reassess.
Your mark for “Money” should be for the actual ownership of coins, notes or a decent bank balance. Where money is just a means to something else, then put that something else down. Review the list and, if you have any items scoring 5 or lower, cross them out. Once you’ve done that, transfer the list to the right hand side, but this time, in order of importance with the most important ones at the top. If you have several entries with the same score, prioritise appropriately.
3. Introduce a different measure
Now, go down this re-ordered list and give the entries a new mark out of 10. This one represents how much attention you are currently giving to each entry. So, if you are giving everything you possibly can to that entry, then give it a 10. If you are completely ignoring it and spending no time at all in pursuit of it, then it’s a 0.
If you work through these three steps you should have a better understanding of your priorities, and an idea as to which areas to re-divert some of your energies into. You can now develop some definitive action steps to help you move forward and reduce the risk of business failure.
Andrew R Miller
Andrew has over 16 years experience working in insolvency and turnaround for one of the big four global accountancy firms. He is a qualified chartered accountant and qualified business coach. In 2011 he set up his own coaching business; ARM Coaching Services and developed the concept of a Turnaround Coach, a confidential and independent service to help directors at a personal level. His book can be found at http://www.hopewontpaythewages.co.uk/ his coaching website www.armcoaching.com.
Tip image: drewleavy