As the New Year gets off to a start, I’m thinking about ways to invigorate myself and my business. Aren’t you? We all know that we probably should have done some planning for the New Year, right? Did you? Or are you, like so many others, trying to read the tea leaves of the economy and the world? Doing discovery work on your clients’ or customers’ needs? Trying to reach more people with fewer dollars, less energy, and less staff? And how’s that going for you?
I love that new FedEx commercial…the one where ‘Dave’ walks in to his office and everyone else there is also ‘Dave’, and they’re all looking for ‘Dave’. And ‘Dave’ is the small business owner. That’s the way it is when we run our own enterprise. While ‘Dave’ strides into his office smiling, we know that sometimes when we need to add some oomph to our days it can be a struggle. So how do we do that? How do we pump up the volume in our daily business dance to invigorate ourselves and our business for this new year? Here are some tips I’ve come up with that have helped me:
1. Take a walk with a friend, or alone.
I know, sounds a little silly. But our brains need oxygen to come up with new ideas that energize us. We need to unplug from everything to see what else is happening in the world around us. If you find yourself pushing your brain to get the next thing done, and your brain is like a puppy on a leash, let go and let the puppy lead for a little while. I guarantee that you’ll come back to work with fresh eyes and some happy puppy energy.
You may have done this already, but often I find that most people, even sharp business people like you, let their ideas roam around in their brain…and they get lost, edited, and stale this way! Instead, take out the proverbial paper napkin and write everything down.
The paper napkin idea somehow sounds sexier than any document I can think of. Make a diagram of what will happen if you do what you want to do. Oh, and did I say want to do? Yes. What do you want to do? Our passion can generate more enthusiasm and interest in our business than anything else, so lead with your passionate ideas. If you don’t have any passion coming forth, you might need another walk.
3. Enlist an accountability pal or coach to hold you to the new (or old) work you want to get done.
If you’re stuck or know what you need to do but are having a hard time with the stretch into new territory, there’s nothing like being accountable to someone else to be sure you do it, even if you’re a bit terrified or scattered. Both of these are normal, healthy responses to new territory. But don’t let this get in your way for long. Find the people and energy that you need to get out there and make a difference in the world.
Now have some fun doing what you do best!
Image Credits: istockphoto.com