My school days are a distant memory but September still has that ‘start of term’ feeling for me. Does it for you?
The first few days can be a struggle after the freedom and fun of the summer and it can be hard to get motivated, but for me it’s the opportunity to start afresh with renewed enthusiasm.
At school, September would mean new shoes, a new uniform, new subjects, a new timetable, new teachers, new friends, new targets and, most importantly, a new notebook and pencil case!
It may sound bizarre at first, but I think many of these can be translated into our business lives.
Stiff, tight, uncomfortable to start with but once you wear them in they are fine. In business how often do you break out of your zone and do something you really don’t enjoy but you know it would be good for your business? Making that call? Asking a client for a referral? Speaking in public about your business? The more you do it the more comfortable it becomes.
As the seasons change so inevitably does your wardrobe. Think carefully about the image you want to portray and whether your clothes show that image. Also, think about the context, a full suit may not be necessary for a coffee and catch up with an old client!
I can’t get enough of self-help books about business. Currently I am reading the excellent, Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. Is there a gap in your knowledge? Are there new subjects you’ve always thought about studying?
Do you break your day up and give it structure? A common approach is to spend the first hour of the day responding to emails, followed by making calls, leaving the rest of the day for meetings and other projects. Make sure you factor in some time for learning and an hour for yourself, whether it’s to go for a walk, go to the gym or read up on that new subject, this is essential.
I like to spend the last 30 minutes of the day tidying up loose ends and making my to do list for the next day.
I wouldn’t be running my business today if it wasn’t for life coaches (Thank you Ginny and Sally Ann) and business coaches (thank you Richard A). Everyone needs support, encouragement and a different perspective sometimes. Think about areas where you are stuck or struggling – it might be useful to speak to someone looking from the outside in.
My version of making new friends is networking. People ‘do’ business with people they like and trust and who they know do a good job. Meeting new people every week or every month expands your network, giving you resources to call on as well as putting you in front of people who may need your products or services.
I am constantly writing down my goals. I am a great believer in ‘if you write it down it will happen’.
You need targets and plans on how to achieve those targets. It’s good to do a 10 year, 5 year, 1 year and 1 month target so you can see where you are going and how you are going to get there and focus on getting there.
My favourite quote this month is: ‘Energy flows where focus goes’.
New notebook and pencil case
I have always been a stationery freak; nothing gives me more pleasure than starting a new notebook.
I never understand why stationery has to be boring. Currently I love the designs by kikki.k they brighten up my desk.
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