The 9 Hour Small Business Tune-Up
We are driven by our emotions and can intensify the action we take by controlling the way we think.
Aren’t you driven towards feelings of desire, love, comfort, happiness, excitement, and satisfaction? In the same way, aren’t you driven away from feelings of fear, panic, pain, unhappiness, and aggravation?
If you want to complete a job that you hate doing then you need to alter your thinking about it. Think of all the benefits that will result from completing it. Remember all the undesirable consequences of not completing it. Keep in mind, by exaggerating and intensifying your feelings you can make your actions stronger and more effective.
Consider the following statements, representing how intensifying our emotions can have a proportionate effect on the actions we take:
If I have just one more cigarette I will have a heart attack and die. My children will grow up without a father; they will have no one to care and guide them. Their lives will be drastically hampered and it will be my selfishness that caused it.
I should quit smoking because it’s bad for my health.
Can you see how Statement One would be more effective in helping a smoker quit than Statement Two would?
Below is another example of how you can alter your thinking to do something you really don’t want to do:
I hate learning new business techniques. It’s difficult, boring and exhausting!
Relating to a bad outcome:
If I don’t learn new techniques in my business then…
My competition could put me out of business, and I won’t even see it coming.
I won’t have a business and I’ll have look for a job.
I’ll be out of business and my family and friends will know that I have failed.
My customers will leave and I’ll have look for new ones. It will take thousands of dollars and years of my life to rebuild the business.
Without my business, I’ll never have a satisfying income. I won’t be able to pay my bills or do the things I want.
Relating to a Good Outcome:
If I learn new techniques in my business then…
The more techniques I learn and apply to my business, the closer I am to becoming an expert.
I’ll stay sharp, and keep learning new things.
I will be able to make more money with less work.
I will have more options for choosing the direction of my life.
I will harness my good ideas and get rich from them.
Exercise 1: Using Emotions to Intensify Your Actions:
Using the examples above, create your own list of good and bad outcomes related to a job you hate doing. By using this exercise to associate strong emotions with the job, you will be able to feel differently the next time you perform the job.
Setting Your Work Pace:
Some people get bored by working on one task at a time and can’t stay focused. They prefer to work on many things at once. Others work better by concentrating on only one job. They like to set aside everything else until the current job is completed.
How do you best perform? Take a minute to think back to previous jobs. Did you perform better juggling many tasks at once or just working on one thing at a time?
Exercise 2: Determining Your Work Pace:
List the most productive projects you have ever completed.
How did you complete the above projects?
1. I focused solely on that project. 2. I worked on that project in conjunction with several other projects.
If You Selected Number 1:
You work best when doing one task at a time. You should set up your work so you’re able to fully concentrate and avoid distractions. Clear your workspace of anything that may distract you.
If possible, take the phone off the hook or route all your calls to voicemail. Don’t think about anything but the job at hand. Allow yourself a specific amount of time to work on the project and do nothing else until the job is complete.
Sometimes you might encounter jobs that take days, months or even years to complete. Since it is not possible to put everything else aside and concentrate on a job of this length, divide the tasks into manageable steps. Complete each step before moving to something else.
If You Selected Number 2:
You work better with many jobs going on at once. You can get bored working on one project at a time. Perhaps all the different things you have to think about help to fuel your creativity. Always plan to work on several projects at once. You may do one job for 20 minutes, move on to the next, and come back to the first one later on.
Exercise 3: Balancing Work and Play:
Use your work pace to achieve maximum productivity. Now that you understand your work pace, set out how you will handle your next day at work. List all the jobs that need to be done and how you will pace them.
In order to achieve and maintain a successful business, you must balance your personal and business life. Success at the expense of your friends, spouse, children, health, and ethics isn’t really success. Neither is a pleasant social life but a failing business. Achieve balance between work and play and you will find yourself happier and more productive.
Priorities are important to managing our daily lives. Even time spent achieving something can be a loss if it means failing to do something more important. We know how important priorities are but how do you find out what’s important to you? You have to know your goal.
The following exercise will help you realize what is really important to you so that you can set your priorities.
Exercise 4: Setting Priorities:
Close your eyes and consider yourself having to quit your business right now. That it’s all over. As you are ready to leave your office you take a few minutes to reflect on the time you spent here, from the first day you created the idea until this very last minute?
Do you remember your successes and failures?
Now answer the following questions:
1. What have you neglected in your business?
2. Did you run things as you wanted? If you did proceed to question Number 3
2a. Why not?
2b. What’s been the one most important thing that held you back?
2c. What could you have done to overcome this obstacle?
3. What contributions have you made or would you have liked to make in your industry that others can benefit from?
4. With all the time and effort you put into your business, what was the number one benefit you received? Was it worth it?
5. What have you missed out on in your life because of the time, effort, and financial investments you made in your business?
6. If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently? Take as much time as you need and create a detailed plan.
Completing this exercise should reveal to you your feelings towards your business, as well as what you think you did right and wrong. It should also clarify what you really want in your business and how you want your business and life to balance. Use this exercise as a map and refer to it whenever you feel your off track.