Yet another year is nearing its end and many of us make mindless resolutions for the new year, so let’s change things up a bit and spend a moment digging deeper. “What is success to me, when I block out the opinions and expectations of others?”
Turning Off Autopilot
When surfing the wave of social media it is easy to absorb ideas of others and unfortunately we can end up working towards people, things and experiences that are in alignment with someone else’s values only.
Some questions you can ask at this point to warm up your brain and mind:
- If I’m honest with myself, do I enjoy the vibe that the accounts I follow put out there?
- Do I appreciate their views on external and internal success?
- Do their daily activities align with what I think is the road to where I want to be in a year as well?
Autopilote mode engages when we keep going without much reflection of any type in our everyday lives. Parents, kids, pets, homes and leisure happen in addition to work, and somewhere down that road we may get a bit lost. The first step is to take note, turn off that pesky autopilot, and simply sit with our thoughts for a while. It can be something as mundane as when riding an elevator, waiting for the kids to show up at the car, or my personal favourite when showering. A short moment of clarity, a pause.
Maybe you used to meditate, but got off track for some reason? Now is a good time to reintroduce your practice step by step. Start small, build momentum.
Corral Existing Resources
What business resources have you already created? I am thinking of strategic documents such as vision, mission, values, business plan, current and possibly archived business models, strategic plan, marketing strategy and marketing plan among others. And how about a personal brand?
If any of these are available, gather them together so you can get a nice overview of where you were when they were put together, compared to where you are today. Does some of it need an update? Schedule a meeting with yourself and/or others to get it done.
If you have yet to create some of the above mentioned resources, you are one step closer to getting to know your business better. Take note of the missing links now.
Delicious questions to ask:
- Why did I start a firm in the first place?
- Is running a firm still my thing?
- Do I experience joy in my work often enough?
- What works right now?
- What things should end in my firm, either immediately or soon?
- Where is room for improvement in processes, team structure and products/services?
- Am I chasing the latest fads instead of looking at my numbers, paying attention to what already works, deepening the relationship to existing customers, and trusting my instincts?
Perhaps success as a concept is more nuanced than expected?
Personal Meets Professional
Most people want more money to have fewer worries and more options, whether it concerns for example their health, home, wardrobe, hobbies or people they engage with. The disconnect can surprisingly happen when a personal vision is missing as motivator of working hours.
Interesting questions to ask:
- How do I work more efficiently without increasing weekly hours, but by possibly decreasing them?
- How do I do “all the things”?
- Is it relevant to do “everything” or would it serve me better to make a serious overhaul of some sort?
- If I am dreaming of retiring early, how could I go about it?
It can be near impossible to create major change at work without the proper reasons. Clarity and focus happens only when there is less frantic busy work, which in turn happens only when we are good at blocking out external noise.
Maybe you are noticing now the importance of checking in regularly with yourself? When the situation becomes fuzzy and overwhelming, one culprit can be an overflowing calendar of unnecessary meetings, low-priority tasks and stuff others delegate to you when they don’t feel like doing their own job.
Every situation is unique, but a typical issue among solopreneurs is that the decision to hire help is long overdue. Again, be respectfully honest with yourself. The only one, who knows what you need is you.
A first step in this latter case is to get your business foundation in order, because if it is a mess, there is no way you will be able to add others to the team in a sustainable way. If you can’t explain your firm to yourself, how can you explain it to an outsider? In order to build for success, you must first strengthen the parts that your firm is leaning upon, and only then add to the team. We are here for that process.
Success is personal, an inside job. This concerns both the definition of it as well as its creation. There can be strength in numbers, but likewise you may find a one-person show the leanest option, at least for the time being.
Remember not to put all eggs in one basket, but to diversify streams of income. Dig deeper so you can question whether parallel entrepreneurship is for you. Working on more than one brand is quite a time suck, something that takes getting used to, but it would also be a shame not to learn from past mistakes and make better decisions, if you do have it in you to build a new brand, slowly but surely, as long as you still recall lessons learned. If you need sparring help for topics concerning parallel entrepreneurship in particular, I am here for you. Don’t hesitate to send me a message through our Contact page, because we definitely want those dreams turned into goals! And there is no better time for it than today.
Whether you for religious reasons believe in reincarnation or not, fact is we have only this one life as us and we have no idea of when it ends. For this reason I warmly encourage you to think of success both as a long-term and short-term concept. While you may work towards something huge, a big success if you will, life can end before you achieve it, but in everyday life you may still experience an enormous number of small successes—as long as you choose to notice them.
I wish you a wonderful 2022 full of fantastic experiences, but do start today rather than next year, stay away from meaningless resolutions, and surround yourself with people, who dare to dream big yet practice gratitude and notice the small beauties of life!
Photo credit: Jonas Kaiser.