So, however 2010 turned out for you, now that the tinsel is packed away, and the fridge is full of green healthy food, its time to turn our attention to 2011. As Einstein (or Franklin, depending on who you believe) wrote, “if you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same result “ he also put some insanity in the answer, but it’s the new year, so we’re going to keep things a bit more positive here.
So the big question is what are you going to do this year to get a different result ?
Well firstly, start from the assumption that you’re probably the worlds worst boss ? Yes, you ! Even if you’re not self-employed, your boss is you. You manage your thoughts, your responses, your to do list and your career success. So, have you been doing a good job ?
There are few good books on being a good manager. Fewer still on managing yourself. But in these tumultuous times, it’s hard to think of a more essential skillset to learn, or a more essential person to invest in !
Looking back even 10 years, retailing was easy. There wasn’t too much competition, people actually came into town then, (they also had some money here and there) as long as you put up a sign, and had some stock, you were pretty much guaranteed to make some money, but it’s just not that easy anymore. Now, you need to be an accountant, a stylist, a merchandiser, you need to have strong leadership skills, be an astute buyer and negotiator, technologically proficient and with a penchant for hard work.
Now, along with the skill mix of a chameleon, you also need to be communicating your vision, marketing like crazy and in constant communication with your customers and potential customers, using all methods open to you, that’s facebook, twitter and blogging (among other things)
If anyone out there is thinking to themselves – I seem to be working harder and harder and doing more and more for less and less, then you are not crazy, that is indeed what is going on here.
Time management and personal effectiveness has been sideswiped by new media. In a world where we can all be plugged in all of the time, the old principles for success are getting a beating.
But if small business owners and entrepreneurs started businesses to have more time with their family, and enjoy the time here on planet earth, so how come we’re all blogging, tweeting and liking peoples facebook pages all day and night, how do we get back on track with our goals?
Since we all have the same time allotted to us, its got to be down to how we use it … makes logical sense huh ? So what can we do about it?
Well, the nice, simple answer is to stop. Focus some attention on these time management principles and re-adjust.
Stephen Covey, in his best selling book, the 7 habits of highly effective people, stated the importance of putting first things first. ie, plan, prioritise and complete your weekly to do list based on importance rather than urgency !
Pareto’s principle (aka the 80/20 rule)is widely quoted, but not so widely applied. Its a generalisation, of course, but the point is that only a couple of the tasks on your to do list are really going to make a difference to your business…. and you know which ones they are !
Meanwhile, Parkinson’s Law states that “a task will swell in perceived importance and complexity in relation to the time allotted for its completion”
So, the lesson here is that good enough is often good enoug ! It doesn’t have to be perfect – use the time you free up on not achieving perfection to do something that’ll really help your business.
So with all the free time you’re going to have with your new effective ways of working, here’s a couple of thoughts to swill around for 2011….
Most businesses look like other businesses,( it makes it easy for our brains to categorise them), so one coffee shop for example looks pretty much like another, but here’s the contraditiction – You can’t stand out if you fit in!
So therefore the decision about which part of your business isn’t going to fit in is probably the most important and innovative one you can make !