Are you driving the bus or getting dragged behind it?

Focus and a clear direction will get you to your goals.When you’re a business owner, you want to be in the driver’s seat. After all, a big reason many people start a business is so they can be their own bosses.

The problem is that, if you’re not strategic, intentional, and even somewhat ruthless about your business-development activities, you’re less likely to be controlling your outcomes from behind the wheel, and much more likely to be at the mercy of your out-of-control, poorly thought-out Too Much To Do List.

So what can you do to ensure you’re driving the bus instead of getting dragged behind it?

If you don’t know what outcomes you want, how will you know when you achieve them?

“Get more clients” is not a specific outcome. “Bring in 4 new clients a month for my top-of-the-line package of services” is specific.  (Note that we’re talking outcomes here, not the “big why” of your business.)

Clarity + focus + intention + accountability = great outcomes.

Strategies focus on the big picture and address what you’re going to do to grow your business. Tactics, on the other hand, are the nuts and bolts of how you’re going to accomplish the strategies. You can’t afford to focus on either one to the exclusion of the other.

Here’s how I think of this tool: If you can’t clearly say what you’re going to gain by doing some task, don’t do it. You don’t have the time, energy, or money to run around like a headless chicken, bouncing from one activity to another in the hopes that something will pay off. Think, then act.

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What are some of your favorite tactics for staying in the driver’s seat and confidently moving toward your big goals? C’mon, give the rest of us a hand!

Or maybe you’re one of the many entrepreneurs who’s lost her grip on the wheel and is sliding out of control down the aisle, headed straight for the opening in the back of the bus and a hard landing on asphalt. If that rings any bells for you, maybe it’s time to explore the possibility that a business coach specializing in action planning and accountability – which I happen to be – could be just what you need to get a grip and start traveling down a less overwhelming road.

Sound like that’s worth scoping out? Then let’s arrange a no-charge, see-what-we-see, I-won’t-“sell”-you-anything, get-acquainted phone call.

(BTW, thanks to Les Chatfield for posting his image of the bus in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.)

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