Telling the truth about SME life today

A roadmap to entrepreneurial freedom

After around three years of running your own business, entrepreneurs often find that no matter how hard they work, or how many hours they put in, their company growth, achievements and personal income seems to plateau. I call this phenomenon “The ceiling of complexity”, and it seems to affect 95 per cent of small to medium sized business owners, often keeping them stuck below a personal income of £100k per year. 

This is an extremely common problem for established business owners and entrepreneurs; you simply don’t know how, or don’t have the time and resource to take full advantage of the multiple opportunities currently available to you.

And that’s what the following articles are designed to help with; they will provide practical tips and strategies business owners can immediately put to use to get their business growing whilst improving their lives.

Strategic Coach will also be discussing many of these break-through strategies in more detail at a live event in London on March 6th. Real Business readers can get complementary tickets here.

Strategy one: Focus on vision and direction; always make your future bigger than your past

It starts with a compelling and exciting vision of your future; vision eliminates confusion because there’s always a bigger, more exciting future that acts as a guiding light. If you’re wondering how to think about what your future might look like, a question is a good place to start. At Strategic Coach we suggest you ask yourself: If I were sitting here three years from today, looking back on today, what would have to have happened in that time for me to be happy with my progress?

Envision what you want your life to look like and it will dictate the goals and improvements you need to establish and support that vision. Entrepreneurs with a clear, well-articulated picture of the future have a distinct advantage so begin by developing a comprehensive road map to achieving these goals. At Strategic Coach we try to refine that vision by establishing benchmarks and deadlines to ensure that you’re always making progress towards achieving the bigger picture, so be clear on the specifics of your ultimate vision, your big picture.

Our clients typically get very excited at the completion of this stage because it’s often the first time they’ve had a clear and well-defined idea of exactly where they want to go. This in turn creates a strong sense of direction and confidence while eliminating cluttered thinking and confusion.

The next step is to begin eliminating what’s standing in the way of reaching that vision?

Strategy two: Focus on overcoming your obstacles and multiplying your progress

One of the biggest reasons why you may feel you’re not moving forward is because of your inability to define and tackle obstacles. Many clients come to me saying that they feel “stuck”; they’ve got an idea of where they want to get to, but feel like they’re spinning their wheels. Many of them aren?t doing badly, they?re just not growing as quickly as they would like, and they don’t know what to do about it.

The human brain has a difficult time dealing with abstract concepts, which is exactly what your vision is! This can lead to incredible frustration, a tendency to run off in many directions, chasing different ideas down blind alleys, thus exacerbating this general mood of stagnation and paralysis. But there is a way through this.

First of all, you need greater clarity on your vision, as per strategy one. Creating goals for yourself automatically takes you out of the past and creates a bigger future. If you’re having trouble coming up with meaningful goals, a good way to start is to write down five or ten of your accomplishments from the past year and then think about what would represent a further achievement in each area. 

Then you need to ask yourself the right questions, and the next big question is: What exactly is standing in your way?

By outlining the obstacles that are acting as stumbling blocks, you can achieve your goals using an implementation plan carried out by people with defined responsibilities, specific actions and deadlines.

This is how you begin to eliminate the obstacles blocking you from achieving your vision. What’s more, you begin to realise that all those things you saw as obstacles, through working out how to overcome them, are actually the raw material needed to create a strategy to achieve your goals.

Of course developing this kind of a game plan requires time. This is where the next strategy comes in, which we ll pick up in the next article.

Dan Sullivan is founder and president of entrepreneurial coaching company Strategic Coach.

Real Business readers can visit the Strategic Coach website to see case studies of some top performing clients, learn more about how the programme works and how you can apply for complementary tickets to their upcoming event in London on March 6th.


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