Steer issue 24 July 2019 - Page 6



ACCOUNTABILITY
Stripes
in my lawn!
I was cutting my lawn recently and I noticed that the stripes
that I had worked so hard to keep straight had a bend in
them! As I was going up and down the lawn focusing all of
my efforts into making sure that the front wheel of my mower
was adhering to the wheel mark from the cut coming down
the other way I hadn’t noticed that the stripes were gradually
going off piste! The front wheel base being narrower than
the rear wheel base meant that I wasn’t actually following a
straight line but a slightly off centre curve!
Now this got me thinking about a solution to the problem
of a lawn that wasn’t looking nice, stripy and perfectly square.
(I hear you say sad bastard!) The answer was quite easy
when I thought about it! It was to look at the end of the line I
wanted to go along and not focus so close to the end of the
bonnet so to speak!
By looking further ahead I was more aware of what was
happening all around me and had a much clearer view of
what needed to happen to keep the lines straight. I then
thought that this was a lot like business and confirmed what I
find all of the time that most small business owners don’t look
far enough ahead. They seem to be too busy being busy and
not planning anything for their business or life going forward.
We’ve all heard the expression too busy working IN the
business to work ON the business. You may ask why is it that
we spend all our time looking at things right under our nose
but not seeing the big picture?
Here are a few tips that will help you improve your business
and life by changing your focal point;
6 STEER YOUR BUSINESS
1. Set some goals… Even if it’s only small ones to start. At the
end of every year I plan my next year with absolute precision
breaking it down into quarters then months then weeks
then days. Ok, it might not be precise at the end of that
year, however I’m always a lot further ahead than if I hadn’t
planned anything. After all, if you go into a railway station and
ask for a ticket the first thing the ticket clerk will say is “Where
to?” If you don’t plan it, it’s very unlikely to happen!
2. Put it in your diary… If it’s in your diary it’s more likely to
happen. The amount of small business owners I meet that
don’t keep a diary is astounding and they wonder why they
haven’t got any money or their business isn’t growing. Putting
things in your diary for the year is a great way to make
sure that things start to happen, like HOLIDAYS! Part of my
planning is six weeks work then a week’s holiday throughout
the year. My wife and I plan the holidays, diarise them and
then book with the holiday company, that way there’s no
going back. I then work out the budget for them and that
goes on the plan of what I need to earn that year.
3. Say what you do and do what you say… If you’ve booked
it and you say you are going to do it, then make sure you do
it. There are too many flaky business people out there that
book things then don’t turn up because they’ve had a better
offer. This behaviour destroys trust and says more about your
integrity than anything else. If you only have this one rule in
your life it will make a massive difference to the amount of

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