Coaching people in their entrepreneurial businesses can be trying from time to time but this simple concept of focusing on Process versus Results tends to get a lot of pushback. It never should! Why? That is perhaps why you are reading this blog: because becoming great at the “Process” will produce incredible results without primarily focusing on them.
What is Process? You could describe it as “How do I get from A to B.” It is a step-by-step action plan that will take you from A to B if you really focus on the specific actions laid out. The planning and the discipline to “stick to a plan” comes from a convicted mindset to “keep the focus.” Many young entrepreneurs start on a path to the desired result with no plan. That is a failing proposition as it is merely based on luck. I am almost sure you have heard the statement “Failure to plan is a plan to fail!” If you feel lucky, have at it. If you prefer to create results, then spend time and energy planning as well as dedicate yourself to obtain some great advice from those who have “broken that ground” ahead of you, and you have just significantly increased your effectiveness and efficiency in achieving the goal.
I like to present analogies as they perhaps paint a clearer picture of what we are suggesting. For instance, if someone wanted to get from Milwaukee (I grew up there) to Dallas (where I currently reside), do they use a roadmap or just drive south? Most of us would have no trouble answering (and most today would use their Maps app on their phone)! Oh, how times have changed! But take notice: the same increased efficiencies are available to us on a trek to creating a successful business. Where might you find such a treasure trove?
- There is a huge content vault of valuable information to be found on the internet. Yes, you need to be selective in what you choose but that is where step 2) comes in.
- Unless you are building a new business that has never been done before (or there is not a “like” business out there), then you surely can find a structured approach to such a business somewhere online. Connect with those who have “gone before you” as most entrepreneurs enjoy the process of sharing their insights to support others to have success as well.
As Jim Rohn once said, “You will become the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” How many of us need to rethink where and with whom we are spending our time?
- Instead of working harder, work smarter. Sometimes when we get stuck in a step we just work harder at it with perhaps no increased results. Surround yourself with talented people/advisors who can help you breakthrough without extending your struggles for days, weeks, and months.
Just remember this: You will never reach a destination without a “roadmap!”
Perhaps the biggest issue has more to do with Focus. What happens to most entrepreneurs as they attempt to start a new business, is they still are mindful of another opportunity that they also considered and perhaps struck some interest in their mind and heart but was not “the winner.” Every time something sidetracks the new project or a “road bump” is hit, the thought enters the entrepreneur’s head: “maybe I chose the wrong business; I can still shift back to that other one.” Wow, is that terribly defeating! Once you divert attention to another “shiny object” you are automatically undercutting your progress and effectiveness in your commitment. I refer to it as prematurely throwing in the towel. So, very little is more defeating in a new business launch than taking your eyes off the prize!
Finally, “check-in and check back” is critically important. Set up an automatic review process that will allow you a point of ensuring the train is going down the right track. Course correction almost invariably takes place in every start-up business, some more than others. But if there is one bit of advice so freely given it is the sooner you make the “course correct,” the less time is wasted heading in the wrong direction. Understand, however, that sometimes those “bunny trails” are terrifically interspersed in our journeys as they add some insight we never would have gotten. So, notwithstanding that some time is lost in the “wrong directions” we may have in life whether productive or not, they always are learning experiences if we look to view them properly. Beating ourselves up for “mistakes” is way too costly as it results in programming ourselves as “failures.” How do you suspect that will play out in the future? Exactly, you will fail over and over again, fulfilling the self-proclaimed identity of “I am a failure.” Keeping a positive outlook on our future requires us to see every misstep not as a failure but rather a lesson: “what did I learn from it?”
Success is in your reach…how badly do you want it? Your results: “Sometimes harsh, always fair.” What have you learned? Apply that and more to the next steps! The results are just around that next corner…but they require your focus to be on the process!