Last week, my team and I sat down to discuss goals that we wanted to set for the company over the next 90 days, but before we started talking about company goals, we first looked at what our own personal goals were. It was a great exercise because it allowed us to see how we could align our personal goals with the goals for the business, and how one set really affected the other, you guys know that I have bunion problems but that hasn’t stopped me, I actually got these running shoes for bunions so I can exercise with no problem.
The biggest takeaway from the exercise was that each one of us felt that we needed to take more control over our lives before we could ever hope to accomplish the lofty goals we set for our business. For example, I realized that a lot of my lifestyle choices were negatively affecting the growth of my business. As a writer and creative personality, my most natural productive hours are late at night (a lot of creative people are night owls – I think it is because 3 am has very few distractions). But staying up to all hours of the night gave me two options for the next day: sleep in and miss productive daylight hours when the rest of the world is up, or walk around all day drowsy and only halfway alert. Getting four to five hours of sleep every night also caused my exhausted body to get sick all the time, preventing me from much-needed exercise and causing some unfortunate weight gain that hurts my confidence, making me a less effective leader and further reducing my health and productivity.
I realized, as did my team in similar ways, that we had to change ourselves before we could change and grow our business. So I committed to my team that I would work on going to bed a little earlier, would work on getting healthy, and losing 30 pounds or so in the next 90 days (of course, what I did not tell them was that I am counting the 10lb I have already lost, that can be our secret). Now, don’t hear me wrong: I am not saying that you need to lose weight and get more sleep to grow your business. That is just my personal example of saying I am going to take back some control of my life in an area where I feel I have lost that control.
The point is that if we are not in control of our own lives, how do we ever expect to be in control of our business? Most of us, myself included, are too busy and the first thing we give up is ourselves to make room for everything else in our lives. But, we have to take care of ourselves, we have to have confidence, health, and stamina in order to lead our business into a productive future. Each one of us needs to take a step back and examine the things in our own personal lives that hold us back, long before we can fix things in our business or build steps to grow and prosper our companies.
For some people, it may be self doubt; for others, it may be unrealistic expectations and pressures that we put on ourselves, or for others, it may be a direct lifestyle choice that we make that can sabotage our productivity and effectiveness. Whatever the case may be for you, your business will suffer as you suffer. If you are sick, your business will be sick; if you are tired, your business will be tired, but on the flip side, if you have energy, momentum, and passion, so will your business.
What things hold you back and what can you do starting today to change yourself so that you can grow your business? I encourage you to do the same exercise we did. But the key is to do it with your team, or if you’re a one-person band, find others that you can work with. Goals are never met if there is no accountability.