by Mimi Bishop
You are a new entrepreneur and loving the flexibility, answering to yourself and being able to work at 2am, which happens to be your peak productivity time. Really, you’d be hard pressed to find these perks in a corporate office. But corporate does have it’s own set of perks, including knowing the exact amount that will be deposited into your checking account on Friday and having a good sense of if you are working hard enough.
When I first left my corporate job and started my own business there was a ton to do and even though I worked (work!) almost every day, I had this nagging feeling that I wasn’t working hard enough. After more than two decades of working in corporate and delivering on management’s objectives, working with tight deadlines and looming performance reviews, I had a good sense of what needed to get done to be considered a good day’s work. As an entrepreneur, I suddenly had a mile-long to-do list—where everything felt urgent. No more direct deposit on Fridays made me feel like I had to keep hustling as fast as I could to get the money flowing!
After a few months of this I realized it was not about always working super hard, or how quickly I checked things off the to-do list. It was about working hard on the right things—the things that would actually bring me results.
So how do you know if you are working hard enough?
1: You are super clear on the results you want and the order you need to achieve them.
* Result 1: Adding 250 subscribers to your email list in the second quarter.
* Result 2: A program launch with 50 buyers.
* Result 3: Consistent $5,000 months.
Knowing what needs to get done and most importantly, the priority in which it needs to get done, allows for focus on the most important task at hand.
2: You are clear on the steps you need to take to get results. Adding 250 subscribers is your result but how will you get there? When you are focused on one result at a time, it frees you up to think clearly about every step you need to take. It also allows for the course correction and tweaks that you will inevitably have to make along the way.
3: You have a tracking system in place. Along the way you check in to see how you are tracking against your results. Need to add 250 subscribers within the next 3 months? How many subscribers do you need to add each month? Each week? Each day? Keeping track throughout the process will give you the critical insights on your day-to-day. An added bonus is you can apply those insights as you move forward with future goals.
Clarity on what’s mission critical for your business today gets you focused on what really has to happen and eliminates the fear that you should be working on something else. This kind of consistent focus is what starts to give you momentum in reaching your goals. Remember, it’s not necessarily about working harder; it’s about working on the right things.
What results are you going to focus on right now? And what are the steps you need to take to achieve them? Tell me in the comments!
Mimi Bishop is a time-management coach who works with busy, ambitious women who feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done. Mimi helps them get organized, set clear goals, prioritize and create a solid plan of action. She is passionate about laughing as much as possible, chocolate, having great adventures (Paris!, Skydiving!) and helping women live full and fun lives. She can be found at www.mimibishop.com.