People tend to start a business because they are really good at something, or have a passion. If that describes you, wonderful! For some business owners, the purpose or vision may not be lined up with their current reality and the journey they are taking. The challenge is to stay on track, on purpose, as we discussed last week in my article What is Your ‘Why’?To get back on track doing what you do best and working towards your goals, you have to pause and ask yourself one thing – what is your current reality?
Your current reality is all about where you are, right now. Once you understand and respect your purpose, it is time to take a hard look at where you are right now.
Knowing, understanding, and accepting where you are right now allows us to work together to help you get to where you want to be – and that’s to your purpose, your very clear vision of the future – your goals. Understanding your current reality is the same thing as knowing your coordinates on a map. Once you understand where you are going, you really should not start driving until you know where you are, and, for example, how much gas you have. Understanding where you are and all of its nuances will help you determine the best route to take you to your destination.
Here are some questions to consider as you think about what your current reality is today:
- What do you have in place right now for client follow-ups? Do you really know who your clients are and what they need and normally how often? How are those client relationships and how do you know the answer to this question?
- What do you have in place right now for email strategy? Do you have an e-mail strategy? Are you sure? How do you manage e-mail coming into your business and leaving your business?
- What do you have in place right now for marketing plans? Who are you targeting and do you know why or how these plans will work?
- What are your plans for the next year? Next three years? What are the hurdles you will have to jump in the next year (or three years) to make sure these plans work? Do you know when you will approach the first hurdle?
- As a small business owner, one big worry you may have is about cash and so, do you know how much cash you have today, exactly (yes, to the penny!)? Will you have enough cash for the next year to support your marketing and other business plans?
- How big is the gap between what you have now and what you need for systems to support good management of your business and good decision making? As you consider this, ask yourself what your office environment looks like right now. Is it a bit of a chaotic mess with everything in a bit of disarray? Or is it organized and presentable enough for the Queen?
- What does your employee structure look like right now? Are skills and talents matched well to what needs to get done and what you want to get done?
- What other agreements or responsibilities do you have, with yourself and with others? Think about the commitments you have made for the next three to six months. What do they look like? Even if they are not business related, consider them. What impacts you will impact your business so these other commitments are part of your current reality.
- Finally, do you believe that you can be successful, profitable, and have the freedom that you want? Do you know what is holding you back or causing you to pause?
All of these questions can wrap into a simple question. What do you have in place right now for systems? Are they working for you? Are they really working for you the way you want them to? Or do they make you want to pull your hair out?
Your current reality is today. It is the first day of your future. With a clear purpose and vision in mind, take a hard look at where you are today. Your current reality is the starting pin in the map. Your purpose is the ending pin in the map. Once you know where these two pins are, you can start considering routes and options that will take you to where you want to be, at the speed you want, with the right systems in place to support your journey.