During the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980, I listened to an expert describe why being a hostage for a short period of time was exponentially worse then being sentenced to prison for many years.
A hostage lives without clear rules, never knowing what each day might bring – anything from death to freedom, from promises for release to wondering if they will ever be free. The most damaging thing is the lack of a definitive ending date – it could go on forever. A prisoner on the other hand, knows very clearly what the rules are for daily living, and most importantly, there is a clear end date leading to freedom.
When you know the daily rules and there is a clock leading to freedom, it’s immeasurably easier to stay encouraged and work toward that end date.
If you don’t have a clear Strategic Plan, or a Business Maturity Date for when you’re business will make money without you being around, you are a hostage of your business; no clear rules, no end in site. Thoreau said “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Is it any wonder why we feel we’re on a “quiet desperation” treadmill? We’re so busy making money that it never dawns on us to do the things that will help us build a business that makes money.
I’m no longer a hostage to my business. I have clear daily rules (my 12-month rolling Strategic Plan) and a clear end in site (My Business Maturity Date: Friday, February 18, 2011, 10:00am). It makes the journey itself a whole lot more exciting and meaningful. And as a result, quiet desperation has become quiet resolve.
Are you a hostage to your business, experiencing quiet desperation on the treadmill? Or do you have a Strategic Plan that runs your business, and a Business Maturity Date? Get off the treadmill and get back to the passion that brought you into business in the first place.
Get a clear Business Maturity Date (the day your business will start making money when you’renot around) and a clear Strategic Plan for getting there. You’ll make more money in less time.