Lots of the gurus talk about reaching our potential as if we all came out of the same baby factory, all the same to start with. But we didn’t. We are all unique and individual. We all have lives to lead, with different stresses, demands and needs and desires.
Not everyone wants to be a millionaire or to have 5 Ferraris or to travel First Class everywhere. One Ferrari and business class will do me just fine, thank you!
I take a slightly different view of potential, being an old bastard. I think that reaching your potential is actually all about what you do on any given day, and that it is the best that you can do on that day.
And the best that you can do, should be planned beforehand to make sure it is the right thing to be focused on.
So for me, reaching your potential as a business owner starts with what you define as your vision for yourself. This should be written down in lots of places, and especially in your business plan. You don’t have a business plan? See me after school.
Clarity of purpose is the key to reaching your potential. I know what I want to achieve in business and in my life, and I know what I need to do to get there. Notice I mentioned “life” as well as “business”.
To me, business is a part of my life and not the other way around. That’s why I talk about work-life balance.
I’ve reached my potential several times in my long life. Whether it was in my HR career, or running marathons I knew I had gone as far as I could go, and physics or seismic organisation convulsions made it impossible to go further. Plus my sense of the Law of Diminishing Returns.
So now, reaching my potential on one side is all about taking this ecommerce business and achieving things with it that I could never have dreamed of. And on the other side, its all about living a good, long and happy life and having loving relationships with the key people in my life.
One reinforces the other. The happier I am as a person, the more effective I am as an entrepreneur. The more effective I am as an entrepreneur through learning new things and applying them, the happier I am as a person because I’m using my brain, talents, massive energy and ridiculous levels of enthusiasm!
So, going back to the idea of taking a day at a time, I think there are five things you should be looking at every day and working on being the best that you can be in each one of them.
Against a target or a goal you have already set yourself, not some aimless drifty kind of thing.
I suggest you create a spreadsheet with the headings across five columns at the top and the dates dropping down in column A. So you can record what you have done against each heading every day, as you are building to your maximum potential.
Maximize My Earnings
Now maximise your earnings can come from making more sales or reducing your costs. Both work, but in different ways. But both require you to do something.
Maximise Impact of my Social Media
There are many ways you can do this. One thing I have learned is if you are not on top of this area every day, any gains you have made will disappear like water onto hot desert sands.
Maximize My Talents
This could be spending 30 minutes reading a business book, or listening to a podcast about some aspect of business
Maximize My Network
This is pretty obvious. This is all about building a bigger and bigger useful group of people who can bring you business. It’s not the number of people you play indoor soccer with.
Maximize New Leads
Our businesses thrive and survive on generating new leads, and it’s something we have to do every day.
So now you have your spreadsheet set up. On any given day, you will write in the appropriate cell what you have done against your target of maximising that particular element. If you haven’t done anything on that day against a Maximise target, leave it blank.
You know the old saying, “Silence is Golden”? Well the spreadsheet version of that is “Empty Maximise cells scream loudly at you!”
Here’s why we’re doing this.
Making changes takes constant effort. It also takes being reminded constantly of the changes we want to make. Thus and so, we are learning a new habit called writing down what we did today to maximise our potential.
And if we have a strong desire to maximise our potential, those empty cells will stick out like dogs balls and give us the heebie jeebies. So, we will do things to make sure they’re not empty. But not just frivolous shit. Will we not.
You are the commander of your own spaceship. Be honest with yourself. You will fool no one but yourself otherwise and that’s not the mark of someone striving to reach their potential.
So there we have it, stepping stones to maximising your potential as a business owner. If you find that this works for you, maybe you should do one for your personal life as well… Just sayin’.