When Vicki started out as an entrepreneur more than 30 years ago she was becoming overwhelmed by the amount of tasks that she needed to complete. This was surprising because she was accustomed to many tasks as she worked in a back office for most of her career.
As the sole owner and only employee of a new business Vicki was responsible for selecting the right computer equipment, finding the best price, placing the order, and making sure it was set up properly with all the installed software… don’t forget the printer, paper and don’t ever let it run out of ink. This represented just a small fraction of the dozens of tasks that needed to be completed in addition to serving clients.
By applying simple business principles learned from her business coach, Vicki learned how to stay organized by:
Identifying her BHAG, the Big Hairy Audacious Goal. That is to say, she needed to identify her ultimate destination for her new small business. Without concrete goals, Vicki’s business would have been like a ship without a rudder… being blown by the wind and the waves of the business cycle and industry trends. The chances of making a safe port were unlikely.
Next, she identified and wrote down milestone goals. What did Vicki want to accomplish in the first three years and still be aligned with her BHAG? Further, where did Vicki want to be after one year that would set her up for her three-year target? For example, if Vicki’s BHAG was $2,000,000 in gross revenue in 10 years, then a 3-year revenue goal of just $250,000 was probably not going to set her up for success. In three years, Vicki expected to be on track for $500,000 – $900,000 in revenues. Similarly, Vicki took the time to imagine how many clients were on board, how many people were needed on her team, and what net profits were needed to fund the desired growth.
Vicki’s business coach helped her to get laser-focused again by committing to 3-7 Rocks (priorities) that need to be completed in each 90-day period to hit her goals. Now that Vicki established what she wanted to do, how did she do it?
She applied the Rocks Analogy from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Imagine a glass jar represents all the time Vicki has in a day to get things done. Next to the jar is a pile of Rocks representing her 90-day priorities. Next to the Rocks is a small pile of pebbles representing Vicki’s day-to-day duties just to keep the doors open. Finally, there’s a pile of sand that represents interruptions and all the other low priority tasks such as cleaning out her inbox.
If Vicki had put the sand in first, then the pebbles, she would have found there wasn’t any room for the Rocks (the 90-day priorities). Vicki was coached to put the Rocks in first, then put in the pebbles so they filled in around the Rocks, then put in the sand which filled in around the pebbles, so there was room for everything to get done in a day.
Without the supportive discipline of a business coach, Vicki would clean out her inbox every morning just to see what’s going on. Then the day-to-day duties was her next stop and before she knew it, she had to get home to her family and she didn’t work on her Rocks.
Below is Vicki’s timeline of tasks and the terminology that her business coach taught her:
- TO DOs: Tasks that need to be completed in one or two weeks
- ROCKS: Tasks with a due date in the next 90 days
- GOALS: Tasks that are more than 90 days for less than one year
So how does one develop the discipline to focus on the Rocks? Most successful business leaders have a coach or other business advisor. Like it says in Proverbs: ‘A wise woman has many advisors.’
Contact Me now to learn how to implement discipline in your growing business.