Mind the gap
I work on my personal self development daily and I encourage you as entrepreneurs to continue to learn, develop and improve your game in a similar manner – because we are the tools of our business – and in order to make sure we are at our peak performance – like elite athletes or even racing cars – our performance can continue to be improved by new technology, new techniques and new knowledge. It’s a never-ending process of self-development that should continue throughout your life.
It’s also important to have plans, targets and metrics upon which to measure your progress. I don’t subscribe to the wondrous if not lassesz fair attitude of the ‘come what may’ business plan – I am a facts and figures girl and we have to, in our tight margin business, know what our forecasts look like for the purposes of funding and cash flow.
But like all of us our targets, forecast etc are best guessed to be frank. What we are doing is new, revenues aren’t that predictable regardless of what the pundits say and we set targets and mostly we make them but sometimes we fail. And that failure is what I focus on, which is really poor entrepreneurship. It’s called gap focus – focusing on the gaps – not necessarily in a constructive way – but in a manner, which may not be conducive to your future success.
Now I got a little bit fixated at the end of last year about the distance between where we are and where we should be based on my business plan in 2013. But to be frank the BP was based on sketchy facts and figures – we were going into a new realm of our business and could only guesstimate. And things happen which knocked our plans back by maybe a year. But what I needed to focus on was the wins – accepting the positives and building on those to establish a strong foundation of future growth. So I encourage you to do this too. How can you review your 2015 and plan 2016 with a positive reframe of your successes last year and use that as a foundation for your success moving forward. Negativity is contagious and unless you acknowledge some wins, the psychological impact of self flagellating about your less than perfect performances will be counter productive.
Now don’t go getting all laissez faire on me – I still believe that forecast, targets, growth rates etc are important – particularly when you are securing funding and its important to create forecast that can show both your worst case and best case scenarios (worst case limits profit and expenditure – best case squeezes cash flow). But I encourage you to pat yourself on the back occasionally – 90% of a target is still 100% better of the vast majority of business owners who don’t even set them. Focus on the gap in your performance to acknowledge how you need to improve and put hat action plan in place – but don’t fixate on your less than 100% performance – because you will be wasting valuable energy which could be feeding this years results. So bank the wins, acknowledge where improvements can be made – and mind that gap – but don’t fall down looking at it. Make sense? I do hope so.
As always if you have any burning issues that you need me to look into then please contact me at https://www.katelester.com/contact.