The success of any business depends on many factors. All the usual suspects are there: cash flow, growth strategies, staff, marketing, culture… All those things are vitally important, but for me, one vital ingredient trumps all others. Without this, none of those other things are possible. Or sustainable.
So what is it?
The clear head, the mental clarity, of the owner or leader of the business.
Without clarity of vision, how can you know what goals you are striving for? Without a deep understanding of what drives you, you will be lost the minute things get tough. Without self-awareness, you will never understand where you should focus your time and effort, and will therefore never be able make your highest level of contribution. Without being certain of what’s most important, you will never be able to say “no” and will therefore continue to be at the mercy of the ‘non-essential’. Whilst all of these points can and do apply to us as individuals, I have been specifically mulling over this topic in the context of how I can help small business owners achieve their goals and dreams.
The same need to have clarity of vision and purpose, and the ability to set goals and execute them, are no less critical for leaders or managers in big business. The difference is that there are more resources, teams, systems and ‘fat’ in larger businesses that act as a buffer or indeed conceal issues for longer. Whilst this is still a big problem for larger organisations, the fact is that unlike in small business, success or failure is usually not dependent on the state of mind of one person (or maybe two). In a small business environment, when the buck stops with you, if you can’t get your head straight, it will hugely impact your ability to be successful — whatever that means to you.
Many business owners or even coaches, ignore these human traits and just focus on the ‘mechanics’ of the business. The absolute flaw in this approach is that a business with the best processes in the world will ultimately flounder when it’s leader loses their way or isn’t clear on the destination to begin with.
Clarity is the key to everything. When you aren’t clear on your goals, and how to achieve them, you become vulnerable to feeling overwhelmed and falling victim to self-doubt. When you have a well defined goal, and a clear plan to achieve it, there there is no room for self doubt or being overwhelmed. Why? Because you will be so clear on where you are going, and how you will get there, that before you know it, you will have arrived. If you can set yourself up like this, you will never miss a goal again, or fail to be successful.
Contemplate whether you have absolute clarity. Why you are doing this? What are you striving to achieve? What is your plan to get there?
Is your plan broken down into bite sized chunks that you can do every day? If the answer to any of these questions is anything other than a resounding “YES” then now might be the time to invest in getting really clear.