Re-write your future.
We waste a lot of time and money trying to fix our problems. Working on your problems is generally a bad idea if you want to be successful.
It’s counter-intuitive, but you’ll fix more problems by focusing on solving where you’re going, not on what you’re experiencing.
The best way to stay stuck is to work really hard on the problems in your business and invest a lot of time and energy in how hard those problems are.
Re-describe or re-write your future.
Instead of focusing on the problems you’re experiencing, get a clear picture of where you are going and when you want to be there. Three years out, 12 months out, 3 months out, the end of this month. Do it backwards like that (start with the three-year end in mind) and focus on re-describing the future without the problems you’re experiencing today.
I use our 2pg. Strategic Plan process to do this. Having a clear picture of where you want to be 12 months, three months, and one month from now focuses you on WHERE YOU ARE GOING, instead of on WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN.
Working on Problems is Working on Your Past
The best way to become an alcoholic is to focus all your time and energy on not being like that person in your life who was an alcoholic. All your focus is on the very thing you don’t want to happen, which makes it much more likely to happen.
Why do some business owners seem to have problems all the time? Too often it’s because they are focused on problems instead of on getting somewhere successful.
Get a Second Planet!
If there were only one planet in the universe and you used a powerful rocket to get 10 million light years away from it and ran out of fuel, what would happen? You would get sucked back in – it’s the only center of gravity in your universe.
But if there was just one other planet in the universe, 20 million light years away, and your rocket got you 10 million light years and one inch away from the planet behind you, what would happen? You would have all the momentum you need to get to the next planet.
When we try to move away from things, they eventually suck us back in. When we have somewhere big we need to get to, we are much more likely to be successful.
Stop focusing on your problems. They keep you tied to your past. Instead, focus all your time and energy on where you want your business to be in three years, 12 months, 3 months and next month, and focus all of your “solving” skills on that, not on your present problems.
We’ll All Be Killed
In one day last week we unexpectedly lost all our office and meeting space, and our weekly Business Leaders Insight lunch site. We were homeless as a business.
We only had two weeks to replace it all, including Christmas and New Years. Instead of focusing on this “problem”, we focused on what situation would best help us get where we’re going, and assumed right away that the change would be better for us and our clients.
Within four business days Krista Valentine, our Chief Results Officer had found new office and meeting space that is a big upgrade from what we had and a weekly lunch place for our BLI lunches that everyone is gaga over – it’s better than any we’ve had in the five years we’ve been doing this weekly event, and for less money than people have paid in a few years.
This isn’t surprising. First, Krista rocks. Second, we weren’t focused on our problem [Problem – we don’t have a place to call home or to hold our biggest weekly public event anymore]. Instead we were focused on re-writing our future; creating a new narrative for what we were doing going forward [Future – what a great opportunity to upgrade both to better match our brand!].
We have places we want to be three years from now, 12 months from now, three months from now. And because of that, we were focused on creating success this month that helps us build that future success.
Focusing on problems is a focus on your past, even if they are in the present. Focus instead on what your future looks like without them, then build that future. You’ll be surprised how many “problems” become opportunities.
Every day we are faced with opportunities cleverly disguised as obstacles. Life and business is 10% what happens to us and 90% what we make happen.
Redescribe your future (next week/month/year) and run toward it with everything you have. Run toward something, not away from something. You’re much more likely to get there.