In the beginning stages of a new company one entrepreneur or a small group of partner entrepreneurs (the founders) often find themselves wearing many hats; taking on the roles of multiple management positions they have yet to fill.
Entrepreneurs who start a business this way eventually fall right into the typical entrepreneurship cycle if the company sees some success and starts to grow. Usually overwhelmed by this point, burn out starts to set in and it becomes less and less likely that the self-employed, sweat equity, approach to running a business will be sustainable. Not all entrepreneurs make it past this point.
The ones who keep going and over time transition into a more process driven business generally learn to shed some of their workload, adding leadership to the organization; C-suite executives and department heads. They also typically add more staff and outsourced resources to help ease the burdens of some of the repetitive day-to-day tasks they had initially been handling themselves because they thought it made sense or they couldn’t afford to hire these tasks out.
With added leadership and staff the founding entrepreneur’s day-to-day role almost immediately begins to change to less of a worker bee and more of a boss, largely out of necessity. For an entrepreneur who has been stuck for some period of time in the proverbial hamster wheel of work, work, work, there is a good chance this was the first time they got a taste of what it would be like to have some of their time back. This feeling could be best described as a breath of fresh air.
In addition to the changing role for the founding entrepreneur under this new model, the leadership in the company also begins to take on the characteristics of an entrepreneur; organizing, managing and assuming the risks of the business. Depending on the structure of the company this leadership could include positions like the CEO, COO, CFO, CMO and CTO, as well as division and department heads such as accounting, marketing and human resources for example.
If you are someone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise then by definition, you are an entrepreneur. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
As one might expect, the cycle continues over time and the time demands increase on the leadership, similarly to how they increased on the founding entrepreneur in the earlier stages of the business. At this point in the company’s tenure, one, a few, several, or in extreme cases all of the leadership could begin to feel overwhelmed, leading to an organizational breakdown starting at the top and trickling downhill.
Inevitably, at this point the time and energy commitment these leaders make to the business have crossed a boundary and begun impacting their own personal wellbeing and success as well; in some cases adding additional strains to life at home, inhibiting their social life and even making it difficult to find time for practicing good habits of taking care of themselves. As leaders, the key players also will begin to stress that their own personal reputation in the professional world is now resting on the shoulders of their company’s success (or lack thereof); which can cause them to work even more, complicating their work-life balance further.
The good news is that this constant feeling of overwhelm can become a thing of the past for entrepreneurs willing to commit to following a process and implementing a series of strategies designed to promote a process driven business geared towards creating a healthier work-life balance; Balancing Entrepreneurship.
In 2020, an eight person expert panel of entrepreneurs put together a list of eight strategies for business leaders to avoid feeling overwhelmed (Source: Forbes Magazine, March 5, 2020, How To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed: Eight Effective Strategies For Business Leaders, Expert Panel, Young Entrepreneur Council)
1. Use Your Time Outside Of Work Wisely
2. Change Your Attitude Toward Stress
3. Learn How To Delegate
4. Fine-Tune Digital Notification Settings
5. Create More Time And Focus
6. Tackle The Biggest Hurdle First
7. Get An Executive Accountability Partner
8. Manage Your Deadlines
The great thing is that every item on the list can be addressed with goal setting.
Why Goal Setting
Years ago one of the panel speakers at a seminar I attended made an analogy that really struck a chord with me. I had heard the two words he spoke of, rich and wealthy, used interchangeably quite often but had never really thought about the difference between the two.
To get our attention the speaker started by telling a short fictional story about someone laying on their deathbed and how unlikely it would be to hear them say something like, I wish I had bought that expensive car I always wanted. After a pause for effect, the speaker continued with you would be more likely to hear the dying person say something like, I wish I had spent more time with my kids or visited my parents more often.
Quickly getting to his point, he explained that from his point of view, if you are rich then you have plenty of money to spend but if you are wealthy you not only have money but also have time to enjoy it. Comparison made, he went on to say that although he had amassed plenty of money and could pretty much buy whatever he wanted materially, without the time and relationships he had been able to nurture along the way, all the money and possessions in the world would not be worth it for him. Whether someone agrees or disagrees with this logic there is some rationale to it and there is definitely a difference between having lots of money in relation to having lots of money and plenty of time.
As humans we only get 168 hours in a week. For most people, adding up the hours it takes to do those things they have to do in order to survive leaves little time to spend doing what they really enjoy; one of which is probably spending quality time with the people whom they most prefer to spend it with or hobbies or the like. The funny thing is if you talk to ten people who have jobs and engage in deep conversation you will often find that some of them think entrepreneurs have all the time in the world. Their opinions couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Entrepreneurs, as a whole, tend to work more than employees and this isn’t a new problem. According to a poll of readers of the New York Enterprise Report conducted in 2006, 33% of small-business owners worked more than 50 hours a week and another 25% logged more than 60 hours weekly. On top of that, working a weekend regularly was the norm for 70%. (Source: Inc. Magazine, April 13, 2006, Business Owners Work Twice as Much as Employees, Survey Finds, Ted Callahan)
The constant feeling of not having enough time adds frustration and stress. This in turn triggers all kinds of emotions and inevitably an entrepreneur in this predicament eventually becomes overwhelmed and starts losing control, meaning they don’t know what to do minute-to-minute; much less day-to-day.
As the 2006 poll suggests, some entrepreneurs accept the lack of time as it is, and either continue to work randomly or freeze up and do nothing; basically grinding away daily for survival. In addition to feeling miserable and overwhelmed, doing nothing to get out of the rut like these entrepreneurs choose to do can actually make the problem worse over time because in entrepreneurship standing still typically means you are actually regressing and going backwards.
If you don’t know what to do minute-to-minute; much less day to day then where do you start to remove the randomness and stop wasting so much of your valuable time?
The answer is you start with goal setting, which is why the first workshop is dedicated to Goal Establishment.
As famous entrepreneur, Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying,
“Setting clear goals and finding measures that will mark progress toward them can improve the human condition.”
These days in society everything is rush, rush, rush. After all, it is completely normal to be overbooked and in many work settings if you aren’t absolutely slammed then it can be construed that you are lazy or a slacker.
The question you should be asking is;
Are all of these people really that busy?
Did you know the automatic scheduling calendar applications have modules built in to make it look like someone is busy. If you don’t believe this check it out for yourself. You can absolutely set a scheduling calendar to randomly block off free time so that when someone books time on the calendar it looks like you are jam packed with meetings already.
The answer is, yes, people as a whole in modern society tend to overextend. Why wouldn’t they? Technology makes it easy. Like it or not, the digital age has put a damper on effective planning because everything is liquid with nothing set in stone anymore. If someone is running late to a meeting they just send a quick text assuming since they let the other person know it was no big deal.
Making changes on the fly has become normal in homelife and in the business world. The problem with this thinking and these habits is that the impacts of these changes filter down much farther into the day-to-day lives of society in regards to how they act or feel.
Take running late to the meeting for example. If two people are meeting and one of them is late, the meeting will more than likely run past the allotted time. This means both meeting attendees are now behind on their next task. Just like that, efficiency is literally out the window.
So what does being slammed really mean? It means people are tracking hours logged instead of tracking results.
The studies already show that entrepreneurs’ employees are not productive. As published in Inc. Magazine, a study of full-time office workers revealed that the average productivity in the office among the respondents was 2 hours and 53 minutes. The study, conducted by www.vouchercloud.com, polled 1,989 UK office workers all aged over 18 as part of research into the online habits and productivity of workers across the nation.
According to the study here is where employees are spending their time.
(Source: Inc. Magazine, July 21, 2016, In an 8-Hour Day, the Average Worker Is Productive for This Many Hours, Melanie Curtin)
It begs to differ that if you conducted the same study among entrepreneurs feeling overwhelmed, the results would be similar which would mean entrepreneurs might think they are really busy; but are they?
Taking it one step further, are overwhelmed entrepreneurs logging hours or focusing on results?
I have to admit I drank the kool-aid for years and bought into the whole, you have to be busy to be successful and you have to outwork your competition to really thrive and reach your potential. For me this worked for years, right up until the time when my life started to change.
Sometimes I think back to what my days looked like before and compare them to what they are like now and I just shake my head. As a young, single, employee out of college work always took priority.
– If I had to get in early to wrap something up; no problem.
– When the boss invited us to a group happy hour I was there.
– Late nights in the office; the norm.
– Covering weekends; sure whatever it takes.
Then, several years later after I had resigned from my job and started a business my life began to change. In my case I had already settled down but was just starting to grow a family with kids. At this point, saying yes to everything work related became more of a decision; and a decision with consequences at that.
For the first time in my life I began to really experience the stresses of trying to maintain a work-life balance. I can tell you this unequivocally – I didn’t like how it felt one bit.
I can also tell you that the stresses of an unhealthy work-life balance took a toll not only at home but also with my business. No matter what anyone tells you it is very difficult, if not impossible, to completely separate your work life from your personal life; especially when you are an entrepreneur.
Looking back, one of the most important steps I made in my own journey to create a healthier work-life balance was to slow down. I remember vividly when I was completely overwhelmed and on the verge of exhaustion yet I carved out some quiet time to reflect back.
It didn’t take me very long reflecting to see the connection between the times when I was crazy busy and felt overwhelmed but had somehow managed to eventually get my head above water. Dating all the way back to my corporate days I realized that each time I had reached this point I had done the same thing; I had done less.
This doesn’t mean that I quit when times got tough. In fact I never threw in the towel and gave up. Instead I managed each time to put in the effort to offload tasks that I knew someone else could handle.
The problem in my case was that I had let myself get so busy that I wasn’t allowing time to develop a repeatable process, train someone on that process, make them responsible for it, and create a follow up process to make sure the process was getting done correctly.
Reality is in each case the process was already built and tested; in my head.
The magic was in slowing down and taking the time to get the process out of my head and down on paper. Once the process had been taught and delegated my role minimized to oversight and periodic follow ups.
Getting back to the 168 hours in a week the question you should be asking is;
Where am I spending my time?
How you get started is figuring out where you are currently in relation to where you want to be.
This leads into effective short-term and long-term goal setting to define the unique path it will take to connect the dots and cross the bridge between now and then.
Setting the Ultimate Baseline
In goal setting the baseline, sometimes called a datum, defines the starting point. When entrepreneurs set goals, establishing a clear starting point is imperative for the goal setting process to be effective. This is because without first defining the baseline it would be impossible to accurately measure goal progress.
Since the baseline anchors one end of the spectrum and the result, or goal achievement, anchors the opposite end, the distance between these two anchors can be referred to as the bridge. In this case the bridge represents the path between where an entrepreneur is currently and where they want to be.
The single bridge would suffice, and it does at a macro level, to define the ultimate goal. In terms of an entrepreneur working towards the ultimate goal of a more process driven business model with a healthier work-life balance it is logical that in order to achieve the ultimate goal will also require the achievement of a series of smaller goals along the way. Therefore ultimate goal achievement would represent the collective achievement of several smaller goals; interim goals if you will.
The delineation between the ultimate and interim goals is not intended to minimize the importance of setting the ultimate goal first before subsequently diving into setting and prioritizing the short-term micro goals. To the contrary, setting goals in this order helps alleviate the likely consequence of setting several random goals without boundaries; a series of unrelated goals that although achieved individually do not result in the achievement of the ultimate goal.
In their article, How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective, the authors write,
“Multiple intermediate goals across different behavioral contexts in turn help achieve goals even higher up in the hierarchy—that is, superordinate goals. For example, the intermediate goals to ‘be in good physical shape’, ‘get enough sleep’, ‘avoid stress’, and ‘eat a healthy diet‘ all contribute to the superordinate goal to ‘be healthy’.” (Source: frontiersin.org, October 2, 2018, How Focusing on Superordinate Goals Motivates Broad, Long-Term Goal Pursuit: A Theoretical Perspective, Bettina Höchli, Adrian Brügger and Claude Messner; Department of Consumer Behavior, Institute of Marketing and Management, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland)
Keeping this in mind entrepreneurs will utilize the SMART goal setting methodology, to first establish an ultimate goal with baseline and desired result, followed by a series of interim or intermediate goals needed to achieve the ultimate goal. When utilizing the SMART method, each goal set will meet five criteria.
The five necessary criteria for each goal set are the goals must be,
● Time Sensitive
Using this methodology together with the data generated by the entrepreneur in the first workshop will provide the entrepreneur with the information needed to develop a personalized goal tracking log that will be utilized and fine tuned throughout the program. In addition to the baseline for the ultimate goal, the log will also include the unique baselines for each interim goal established.
For entrepreneurs results matter and in goal setting the result defines the end point, also called the finish line. Similarly to the baseline, when entrepreneurs set goals, establishing a clear result is imperative for the goal setting process to be effective.
Specifically, the desired ultimate result will be different and unique to each entrepreneur although generally it can be construed to mean, where the entrepreneur really wants to be. To help get their arms around where they really want to be a series of steps are followed to facilitate deep thinking, first at a gut level and then at a validation level.
This deep thinking starts with a self-assessment mindset analysis to zero in on and define values, expertise and passions while also acknowledging the entrepreneur’s mindset type. This analysis leads into a three step analysis geared towards establishing the entrepreneur’s ultimate desired result at a gut level before validating that gut and reaffirming commitment to put in the work.
During the Ten-Second Test the entrepreneur will identify their unique dream at a gut level. Subsequently, step two is designed to facilitate the entrepreneur getting their thoughts out of their head and onto paper; a necessary step before validating the dream. In step three the entrepreneur will use a looking back reflection concept to test confidence and clarity which are both integral parts of a healthy mindset.
At the conclusion of the three step process the entrepreneur will be able to define their desired ultimate result while satisfying each of the five criteria in the SMART goal setting methodology. At this point the unique ultimate goal for the program is established which enables the entrepreneur to begin figuring out and defining the interim goals they will need to achieve in their quest to get from where they are now to where they want to be.
Connecting the Dots
Defining the ultimate goal using SMART goal setting methodology and taking the extra step to put that goal down on paper should feel like a WIN for any entrepreneur. A study of 149 participants conducted by Psychologist, Dr. Gail Matthews shows, those who make the effort to write their goals down are 1-½ times more likely to accomplish their goals than those who just set goals.
With the ultimate goal established and written down on paper the entrepreneur can go to work establishing the interim goals required to connect the dots. Transparency and accountability are critical at this juncture because any known constraints, issues and variables that are ignored will render the analysis and subsequent goal setting process inaccurate.
The process begins with the entrepreneur methodically sifting through and evaluating several criteria at their departmental level. Under the presumption that each criteria evaluated will need work for the entrepreneur to achieve their ultimate goal, they will assess and analyze both their own personal standing as well as the positioning, work-life balance, habits, culture and niche of their business.
Once interpreted, the generated data will provide the necessary information to begin development of the unique, interim goals for the program with each goal again satisfying the SMART goal setting criteria. Although it makes sense for each entrepreneur and/or department to work on this analysis independently it is recommended they circle back around and conduct an interdepartmental survey to ensure continuity, unity and collaboration is present between the major departments and divisions of the organization.
It is important at this stage for the entrepreneur to validate the generated data and remove as many known variables as possible while identifying anything they are aware of that could create a problem or inhibit achievement of a goal. It is not realistic for the entrepreneur to expect that all of the problems will be solved at this point although it can be anticipated that many of the developed goals will require just that; solving known problems.
In fact, the entrepreneur should expect (and welcome) additional challenges to surface later. The objective at hand is to validate the data with the best known information at the time to make sure it represents an accurate assessment. The analysis and deep thinking performed at this stage will provide the springboard for the entrepreneur to evaluate the feasibility and establish goal parameters leading up to the development of the goal tracking log which will mark the completion of this workshop.
The goals will start to take form once validated although they will not yet satisfy all of the SMART goal setting criteria. This criteria won’t be met until time constraints have been applied to each goal. It would not help to apply time constraints at this point without first prioritizing the goals to follow a logical sequence and flow.
After the goals have been prioritized the entrepreneur will assign each item to either a short-term goal or a long-term goal. The short-term goals will then be broken down further into six-month and one-year goals. Similarly the long-term goals will be broken down into two-year, five-year and ten-year goals.
Entrepreneurs moving forward are constantly testing, learning and adapting so the idea is not to get everything perfect but instead to use the best available resources to be as accurate as possible. It is important to understand that the goal tracking log is meant to be a tool so updating the log throughout the program is anticipated and encouraged.
A side note – Don’t forget that billionaire and entrepreneur, Bill Gates is famously quoted as saying, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
For a goal to be feasible means that it is capable of being done or carried out. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
The main reason to perform a feasibility analysis prior to implementing and taking action on a goal is to make sure the anticipated action will render the desired outcome. Once completed the analysis also confirms another criteria in the SMART goal setting process; achievable.
Confirming feasibility marks an integral part of overall success in goal setting. The goal tracking log will comprise six-month, one-year, two-year, five-year and ten-year goals each follow-on goal will be dependent on the success of preceding goal results.
Acknowledging that ultimate success depends on the interim successes along the way, it is worth the effort to invest time thinking about the adverse effects if one or two in a series of multiple goals working together in harmony wasn’t feasible from the beginning and ultimately failed. Breaking this down further, the ultimate goal baseline is set in stone, representing a snapshot of the entrepreneur’s starting point in the program.
In order to achieve the ultimate goal result at the end of the program, and beyond, will require the accomplishment of a series of interim goals along the way. Because it would not be realistic to solve every problem or start taking action on every goal immediately, each interim goal will in effect have its own unique baseline. As a result many of these interim goal baselines will be dependent on the success of preceding actions and anticipated results.
Therefore, implementing irresponsible action on an unfeasible goal would inevitably lead to the failure to achieve the desired outcome. This failure would likely in turn create a snowball effect with follow on goals, rendering these goals unrealistic or unachievable as well. Utilizing accurate daya and meeting the SMART criteria will eliminate this from the equation but it is worth mentioning to highlight its importance.
In general, entrepreneurs are highly motivated, however when it comes to goal setting commitment and drive are not enough and details matter. Before jumping in with both feet it is important to take the time to get an initial handle on things like money, risk, income potential and available resources. Also an entrepreneur should always consider the consequences of committing to a particular goal in terms of whether the actions required aligns with core values and the perceived impacts on work-life balance.
In goal setting, parameters define the limits or boundaries. For the entrepreneur this means setting criteria to define how far they are willing to go and what they are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve the desired result.
The reason parameters are not set until after the feasibility analysis is because for the entrepreneur the parameters are largely personal. At this point they should already be confident that each goal they intend to add to their goal tracking log has met the four of the five criteria of the SMART goal setting process; specific, measurable, achievable and time bound.
The entrepreneur should already be confident that each intended goal has been scrutinized and determined to be feasible; meaning they believe the anticipated action will render the desired outcome. This feasibility analysis further addressed the achievable and realistic criteria.
The only remaining criteria to confirm is whether or not the goal is realistic. Whether or not an intended goal is realistic becomes an objective call for the entrepreneur depending on what parameters they set and how these parameters impact the chances of achieving (or not achieving) the desired result.
When setting parameters the main objective for the entrepreneur is to analyze the anticipated action that was tested during the feasibility analysis. In layman’s terms the anticipated action required could be construed to mean, at what cost.
In this case, anticipated action or cost doesn’t necessarily refer only to money.
For example, even if outsourced there will generally be some in-house involvement at an oversight level in which case the anticipated action or cost also refers to any added commitment and strain on the entrepreneur’s time; and that of their staff. On a case-by-case basis the entrepreneur decides whether these impacts to work-life balance are acceptable or not.
To that end, if accomplishing the goal will require outsourcing with an existing outsource partner, the entrepreneur analyzes the consequences of adding to the partner’s workload. If the additional workload will impact other tasks the partner is already responsible for, the entrepreneur can set boundaries which could mean altering the goal accordingly or in extreme cases, abandoning it altogether.
Referring back to work-life balance again, the entrepreneur can set parameters to limit or minimize short-term and long-term sacrifices it will take to achieve the goal. This may include things like reprioritizing and reallocating their time and that of their staff temporarily or putting other projects and tasks on hold. It could also mean deciding if they want to contribute extra hours and effort in the short-term to reap long-term benefits.
In terms of existing clients and potential new clients in the pipeline, the entrepreneur may choose to be transparent with clients about upcoming changes in the organization that will be apparent in the short-term but benefit clients in the long-term. Or the entrepreneur might decide to set limits and keep the changes off the radar to clients and in some cases to staff. Regardless of which route the entrepreneurs go when setting parameters, each of these decisions come with different consequences.
Lastly, the entrepreneur has the ability to set parameters when it comes to maintaining core values and upholding corporate culture. In some cases this will require an if-then type approach. For example, if it turns out that to achieve goal A we have to sacrifice our core values then we will abandon it immediately and transition to goal B.
In summary, the Parameters portion of the workshop is the last building block leading up to goal establishment. It is designed specifically for the entrepreneur to take randomness out of the equation and set goals based on logic instead of short-term emotions; all while keeping the balance between personal and professional at the forefront.
Entrepreneurs should be aware that no matter how well they prepare, there will be times they will be very busy and even on occasion overwhelmed. Yet, once the right systems and processes are in place, even though these times can be trying, they will be temporary.
The development and implementation of the goal tracking log will mark the culmination of the hard work put forth by the entrepreneur in the first workshop; Goal Establishment. Once built the log will be a working tool for the entrepreneur, providing the framework to create a more process driven business model while simultaneously improving on and creating a healthier work-life balance.
There is no doubt that the feeling of not having enough time adds frustration and stress. When this feeling of overwhelm becomes normal to anyone who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business they can easily lose control, not knowing what to do minute-to-minute; much less day to day.
The good news is that this constant feeling of overwhelm can become a thing of the past for entrepreneurs willing to commit to following a process and implementing a series of strategies designed to promote a process driven business geared towards creating a healthier work-life balance; Balancing Entrepreneurship.
For entrepreneurs, effective goal setting is one of the first steps to begin removing randomness from the equation enabling them to accomplish things like using their time wisely, better managing stress, delegating, creating more available time and focusing on what matters most; all of which contribute to a healthier work-life balance.
The first part of the workshop will focus on the Entrepreneurship Cycle.
How it Starts
Many people with aspirations to become an entrepreneur never make it past the Dream Stage. This is when someone spends much of their time dreaming and trying to come up with their widget; the huge money making idea. Some of these dreamers will make it to the Idea Stage and begin spending time coming up with ideas hoping to turn them into something tangible. As they let their mind dive into uncharted territory, the new ideas flood in but they typically are just ideas and lack true clarity.
It isn’t until the next stage called, The Plan, that a person really begins their transformation, potentially becoming an entrepreneur. As they begin planning how to turn their idea into a real business the planning can go on for days, months and even years, usually dying before going any further.
Prospective entrepreneurs who have pushed past this stage and started to Develop their idea before eventually taking the leap of faith can have you on the edge of your seat for hours listening to the steps they went through in the early stages. Taking the jump from planning to developing is huge, taking the prospective entrepreneur to the verge of making their dream a reality.
Taking the Leap
Many entrepreneurs who eventually make the decision to take the Leap of Faith have some initial success and make some money until Reality starts to set in. This doesn’t necessarily mean the business has gone bankrupt but it probably does mean that the work-life balance is out of whack. and the daily grind of the business may have led to stress and burnout in the entrepreneur.
If not addressed this stress and burnout works its way into the other entrepreneurs and leaders in the organization, the employees, and even the clientele; wreaking havoc on the corporate culture and business reputation the entrepreneur worked so passionately to establish. Most successful entrepreneurs will tell you they faced Failure and overcame it along their journey, recognizing the definition of failure, just like success, is different for everyone.
Failure for an entrepreneur could simply mean not being where they want to be personally, professionally, or both; or it could mean something much different.
Putting it All Together
During the next four stages of the entrepreneurship cycle the entrepreneurs who develop systems and processes can take a business to the next level while simultaneously creating a healthier work-life balance.
This starts with Assessing the Damage to establish a baseline and prepare to build on what is already going well. For this assessment to work, it is important to get a handle on everything – the good and the bad. That is the only way to make educated decisions and begin Taking Control to work towards optimizing the business.
Climbing Out is a step-by-step process that will not happen overnight. But it is 100% realistic with commitment. The goal is to optimize the basics; then exploit the differences to stand out from the competition.
Phasing in many changes one-by-one over months is called Executing with the result being a more process driven and better positioned business, requiring less of the entrepreneur’s personal time at work. This transformation in effect leaves more time home promoting a healthier work-life balance.
The Mindset portion of the workshop focuses on performing the first steps needed to begin zeroing in on absolute clarity and increasing confidence.
The reason to delve into mindset type at this early stage of the program is twofold. First, it is important in goal setting to understand and compensate accordingly for either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Second, it is a common misconception that mindset cannot be changed, however the reality is some people are trained to have a fixed mindset from an early age then are retrained later in life. Understanding this ability to retrain is very important because a person operating under a growth mindset believes success is not predetermined, nor is it capped. The sky’s the limit so to speak.
Mindset identification leads into self-identification of key strengths and biggest weaknesses before testing this identification against a peer analysis. This is followed by identification of the inner circle; personal and professional relationships who have the most influence. Recognizing the effects of influence, the mindset types of these key influencers will be identified at a precursory level.
When it comes to mindset, self-assessment is very important which is why the next step is to define values, expertise, and passions. When compared against the preliminary goal setting and current circle of influence analysis this work often proves very enlightening for entrepreneurs trying to gain clarity and understand limiting factors are impeding their quest to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Before completing the mindset portion of the workshop a confidence check is performed to test the commitment of doing what it will take to reposition and best leverage expertise and passion.
A second confidence check in the ability to drive revenue and continue making money while weathering the short-term inconveniences of transitioning to a more process driven business model is performed as well.
In general terms this means committing to trusting the program and being coachable.
The Deep Thinking portion of the workshop focuses on developing a gut level assessment of ultimate goals both personally and professionally and then validating the gut.
The first part of the self-assessment process begins with a short and concise statement called the Ten-Second Test to begin establishing the baseline needed for self-testing and validation of goals. The result of this test will be the identification of a dream unique to the individual.
The second part of the self-assessment process is designed to help the entrepreneur get the thoughts from their head onto paper on a gut or conceptual level. The result of this test will be the precursor for focusing more on the details and validating the gut.
Lastly, the Reflection Statement uses a looking back concept to improve mindset both from a confidence and from a clarity perspective. The first objective will be to figure out if current dreams align with past dreams then to identify what has changed, or has not changed, and why. Once the variables are identified, intentional actions to get back on track can begin.
Goal Statement & Action List
The product of the three assessments will provide the information needed to first define what a goal means and to identify a desired result. This leads into the development of a goal statement and customized list of action items. The action items will represent five immediate steps to start eliminating or correcting unnecessary obstacles. The idea is to begin taking these action steps immediately; not to wait until the next workshop.
The Positioning portion of the workshop focuses on assessing and analyzing the present state of the business’s positioning.
Entrepreneur’s often become aware during the positioning analysis that the image and branding they project to current customers, potential customers, and even to employees and between departments, does not clearly identify expertise and is in effect driving the business farther and farther away from its long-term goals.
Although it can initially be frustrating for business owners, C-suite executives and department heads to realize that branding needs some work, they typically soon understand the positives outweigh the negatives. Identifying the current state of operations at this juncture in the program enables the entrepreneur to establish a realistic baseline for goal setting and affords ample time to reverse engineer each succeeding program step.
Marketing and Sales
Without brand awareness business won’t survive very long. After all, if nobody knows a business service or product exists then who is going to hire the services or buy the products. In terms of positioning, the best return on investment will be streamlining the efforts to position a brand where your ideal clients will find it.
With many moving parts and pieces that need to integrate and work seamlessly together for consistency and efficiency, a well-thought out and process driven sales process from lead generation all the way through the agreement and then job set up and onboarding can pay huge dividends towards positioning the company for sustained success.
Although it is easy for most people to talk about what they are good at, coming to grips with what they aren’t so good at is sometimes easier said than done. Entrepreneurs working through the program will continue to implement the theme of doubling down on strengths and delegating weaknesses.
The Balance portion of the workshop focuses on assessing and analyzing the present state of work-life balance.
In a very general sense work-life balance is the ratio of your time spent working in relation to personal life. When the ratio, or balance, is out of whack the mental and physical tolls the lack of balance takes on an entrepreneur over time can be catastrophic on many levels. Creating a healthier work-life balance does not happen by accident and many factors play into each unique situation and what is considered a healthy balance.
Setting the Terms
A person’s values will be tested over and over again both in life and business. It is critical to always keep core values at the forefront of decision making when planning, developing and implementing changes during the program, and beyond.
With values in mind, when setting the terms for a healthy work-life balance it helps to think in terms of capitalizing on strengths and compensating for weaknesses while taking into account likes and dislikes.
Taking it a step further, it would not be fair to talk about work-life balance in a bubble without accounting for those things in life, both personally and professionally, that are non-negotiables. These non-negotiables are not necessarily permanent and they will likely be a combination of self-induced non-negotiables and ones that cannot be controlled.
Personal and Professional Goals
There is a difference between goal setting and effective goal setting. It is important to prioritize goals and include well thought out and realistic parameters to maximize results. Goals will continue to be adjusted and reprioritized throughout the program.
The Habits portion of the workshop focuses on developing and maintaining good habits.
Self-Motivation and Consistency
Each top entrepreneur and successful person in general is unique and they have all developed their own tricks and rituals to stay motivated. It would be rare to find two people who follow the exact same process day and night, but there is a common theme. The best-of-the-best have figured out and mastered what works for them. They have succeeded long-term by practicing the rituals and routines that work best for them. The consistency is what’s important; not the exact process.
Mornings and Evenings
Super productive mornings aren’t a necessity although most (not all) top achievers and entrepreneurs will swear to