by Diana Noble |
At the end of each year, as many people do, I develop a list of ways to improve my life in the year ahead. Some people call these “New Year’s Resolutions,” but I prefer to think of them as strategic goals. I’ve learned over the years not to set myself up for failure by setting unrealistic expectations and instead only focusing on tangible results that align with my deeper self. That wasn’t always the case, though.
Taking on too much is a recipe for failure
A few years ago, while perusing through memories in the form of cards, photos and letters, I came across a list of New Year’s Resolutions I had written on the back of an envelope in 2007. I’ve always been someone who seeks to improve my situation, but in my early 20s, I lacked the wherewithal to set myself up for success that I’ve learned since then. Instead of choosing just one thing to focus on, I had an extensive list that included drinking a glass of milk every day, taking vitamins, paying off debt, saving money, doing 20 sit-ups per day, and the list went on and on. I’ll give you one guess as to how any of that worked out! Spoiler alert: it didn’t! Not only do I recall my failure to track the outcomes of those resolutions, but it’s also clear that I was over-complicating my desire for positive change by attempting to take on too much at the same time.
Like my 21-year-old self, many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of trying to do too much all at once, resulting in a lack of focus and, to the extreme, sabotaging their efforts to date. Many businesses fail for this very reason; because they don’t stay true to one direction to see it through before taking on something else. Without clear direction that makes sense in terms of timing and available resources, it’s a recipe for disaster.
Setting priorities is the key
The other day I met with a business coaching client of mine who I have watched grow their business from a solopreneur set up six years ago to the point where they were able to quit their 6-figure day job this past year to pursue their business full-time. As a new full-time business owner, we were discussing their main focus right now to make enough money to supplement the $10k monthly income lifestyle they’re accustomed to. When I asked about the tangible milestones they hope to achieve by the end of this year, several items were listed, including a passion project that just “has to get done.”
There’s a famous quote by Tony Robbins that I found myself reciting to my client:
“We overestimate what we can do in a year and underestimate what we can do in a decade.”
It should come as no surprise that most entrepreneurs have an incredible passion for their businesses. Still, too much passion in too many areas can be detrimental if we don’t learn how to prioritize our focus. The mind of a true entrepreneur is constantly spinning with creative ideas, possibilities, and ways to improve our craft. As someone who owns four businesses herself, I’m the last person that would ever suggest someone can’t accomplish greatness in a multitude of areas – but prioritizing time, resources and focus are the ultimate keys to success.
One step at a time
Tiny improvements and small changes, over time, lead to big results. You don’t have to tackle everything you want to do in your business all at once. First and foremost, you need to make sure your business systems are in check, and secondly, all it takes to move forward is a manageable step at a time. It’s kind of like building a house – you don’t build the main floor before laying the foundation, and the final product isn’t finished overnight. Eventually, though, one strategic step at a time leads to an accomplishment you can celebrate.
Diana Noble is an Associate Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF) and a John Maxwell Certified Coach, her multi-faceted approach to business and leadership leaves her clients feeling like they can take on the world!
For more information, visit her website at: www.noblechoicecoaching.com