While January 1 may be the official start of each new year, for many of us, September and Back-to-School is a time of fresh starts and new beginnings. How did your summer go? Did you have an opportunity to refresh and re-energize through vacations and time-off away from work?
Personally – I am excited to get back into the thick of things and am entering September filled with a lot of ideas for opportunities to optimize my business, develop new coaching tools and attract new clients. I have a lot of ideas to pursue – some of them fully formed and many, many of them just little seedlings popping up from my sometimes too fertile imagination.
So, even with all of my summer fueled energy – I can’t nor should I pursue all of the ideas that are rattling around in my head. How do I choose which ideas to fertilize and grow and which to set aside to lie fallow?
Of course, for a small business owner, aligning ideas with business plans and budgets is critical. But as a transformation and success coach, I also know that aligning opportunities with personal values and beliefs also is a key to success. As we put our all into building our businesses, careers and pursuing professional goals – we may begin to become disconnected from what is personally important to us beyond just the metrics of success.
So – as you consider which of those ideas you should invest your time, energy and money into, take a pause to purposefully reflect beyond the key performance indicators and reconnect with your inner drivers. Here are a few places to start:
1) Consider your personal values:
What values are non-negotiables for you? Take a look at this list of values and identify the five that are most important to you. How do each of your ideas align with your highest values? Ideas and opportunities that are most aligned with your values will be the ones that will bring you the most satisfaction as you bring them to life.
2) Tune into your energy meter:
Take some time and listen to your intuition. How much energy does the new idea give you? Is it an “absolutely, yes” I want to make this happen or is it feeling more like a “well, maybe” or “I should do”? Is it an idea that you can enthusiastically throw yourself and your resources into? Generally, the ideas that have the most energy are the ones that will attract your most creative thinking and that you are most likely to see through to implementation.
3) Consider your Defining Strengths and Capabilities:
What skills and personal traits do you have that define and differentiate you? There are likely many small business owners out there that do what you do - but by clarifying what makes you and your business unique, you can differentiate your business and your services in a way that stands out and captures attention from current and prospective customers. Is your new idea aligned with your unique strengths? Does it leverage your capabilities and allow them to shine?
4) What could get in the way of implementation:
Even if your new idea aligns with the filters above, there may still be something causing you to pause. Before you set the idea aside, take time to assess what could be holding you back. Some blocks may be driven by inner attitudes such as limiting beliefs, assumptions or your own inner critic (a real confidence killer). Others may be outer realities such as financial resources or professional knowledge. When you identify these blocks, ask yourself – is this thing that is holding you back really true, is there another way to think about it, is there a creative way to address that outer reality?
Once you’ve taken a little time to assess your ideas through the lens of self-awareness – don’t just admire them. Commit to them! Clarify what the goal of your new idea is and build a SMART project plan to make it happen. Lana has developed a great goal-setting template to get you started. And, as that small idea grows into a big, audacious one full of business building potential and impact, revisit your inner drivers every once-in-awhile to be sure you are still in alignment and adjust idea implementation as you go.
About Laurie, Collaborative Coach for Change and Transformation
Laurie builds collaborative coaching relationships with clients to explore transformation at the intersection of life and work. Her approach combines expertise developed through a successful 25-year corporate career in marketing and business strategy with the tools of coaching. Laurie has partnered with current and aspiring small business owners to develop business strategies that reflect personal values, move beyond the blocks that may be holding them back and formulate marketing approaches to start growing and transforming their businesses.
Learn more about Laurie and her services at LHScoaching.com. Set-up a free introductory session to dive deeper into the approaches she mentions above: Book with Laurie and check out her “Back-to-School, Back-to-You” group coaching program for parents starting at the end of September, Back-to-You Because – growth and transformation are not just for kids.