Psychologist Graham W Price details how to take your business forward by improving and using your will power.
You know what you need to do to take your business forward but despite your best intentions you’re just not doing it. Chartered psychologist Graham W Price, chief executive of Abicord, details how to remedy the situation.
Entrepreneurs are generally known for their determination and will power, but even they will sometimes make excuses to themselves for not doing things that deep down, they know are necessary. If you’ve ever told yourself ‘there wasn’t enough time’, or ‘other things got in the way’, you’ll know what I mean.
In my experience there are ten tried and tested ways to carry through those intentions that are going to make a real difference to your business and help move it to the next level.
First, set goals, write them down and make sure they’re SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable and time-based). Ensure that you write down a time by which you plan to achieve each goal.
Secondly, write down the benefits of each goal and visualise the goal as being achieved, making it a clear, strong and vivid visualisation.
Spot any unhelpful when-then games you may be playing, such as saying ‘when we have the deal then I’ll take action’ or ‘when I’m 100 per cent sure of success then I’ll start’. Drop them now and start taking action.
If the goal is important and challenging, make a commitment, a promise to yourself and maybe your staff, that you’ll do whatever it takes to achieve it.
Think of someone you admire who’s achieved the same goal or something similar, or who could easily achieve it, and act how they would act. Ask yourself what they’d be doing in your situation, then do it.
In the same way, if a lack of self-belief or any other limiting belief is holding you back, ask yourself what you’d be doing if you had more faith in yourself or your business.
Take bold action if a one-step-at-a-time approach isn’t working: do something courageous or imaginative.
Also, if it’s a big important goal, set some time aside every day to move it forward, irrespective of any short-term priorities that may be competing for your time. Make a clear decision to drop tasks that don’t need to be done and won’t contribute significant benefits.
If uncomfortable feelings get in the way, accept them and tell yourself they’re just feelings that needn’t stop you and won’t do you any harm. Then do whatever you’d be doing if you didn’t have those feelings. Doing this repeatedly will unwind the unconscious beliefs that are driving the feelings. If you’re fearful or anxious, and you know your reticence isn’t justified by any real danger, accept the feeling and do whatever it is that’s making you anxious.
If you’re stuck on a goal, ask yourself whether it’s because you’re just focusing on your own needs, wants and perceived limitations. If so, try rephrasing the goal in terms of what it will do for others. This takes the focus away from your own so-called limitations and gives a new impetus to the goal.
Finally, take control. Identify anything that’s mediocre in your life and take steps to eliminate it. Get fit, spend more time with the kids, eat healthily, create a sensible work-life balance, keep the desk tidy or quit smoking. Use the nine tips above to make it happen.
These tools aren’t meant to be universal. Some ‘when-then’ games may be sensibly cautious. Taking some bold actions might be unduly risky.
However, whether you want to expand your business or consolidate its current position, utilising these tools appropriately will give you the will power to achieve any goal you set yourself.