Sometime ago I was asked about the five things I do every day to be successful. About three of the five I quoted still hold good. A couple have slipped out of my top five and been replaced with others. If I am 100% honest, I might confess that my business is missing those two and maybe my list should now be seven items long, but here are those things I do which I feel are of most value to my business right now.
Managing Cash Flow
Keeping an eye on the sums, particularly cash flow, is what keeps a business alive. Keeping the cash flowing inwards is keeping the wolf from the door too. I can see where my cash flow is coming from currently for about two months into the future and I would like it to be longer than that, but nothing is certain and nothing is forever and living with uncertainty is part of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. That leads me niftily onto the next one of my five a day.
This is a perpetual challenge for most small business people I meet. For those of us who love marketing, that challenge is a good thing which we enjoy and by which we grow. For some I know it feels like drudgery and very definitely not what you were put on this earth for. How can you find a way to love marketing? My favourite ways pretty much all involve the written word, blogging, newsletters, offers to my list and social media. I also love to be an expert on other people’s audio platforms and I love to give free advice, lots and lots of free advice, until such a time as my wannabe clients are ready to invest in themselves. It’s not a formula which works overnight, but it does work and I do love it.
My choice is to give 100% percent to my clients, there’s nothing more important than that. When I am with them I am devoted to them and their best outcomes and I take the time to think about them before the time I spend with them and afterwards too. I love my clients and I want them to know that, as I feel it is the best growth medium I can offer, like good nurturing to a plant – fertile soil, plenty of sunshine and water. Think of me like a window box full of compost!
I keep my eyes on my own prize. I work out what I want for my business and my life and ways in which those two can elegantly collide. This is something which keeps moving as my needs and wants change. I take the temperature of my business activities to make sure they are bringing me the best return on my time in terms of money and joy, joy and money, and tweak constantly.
I am fascinated by the fact that nothing stays the same: what we offer to our clients, our clients themselves, our routes to market, financial and trading conditions. Everything is in motion all the time and change can be unsettling and often stressful, so it’s important to make sure we look to our own goals and intentions and our various needs and that our business meets these subtly shifting factors.
I still favour a good list of things to help keep me on track too. I believe that writing it down makes it happen, especially when I am busy.
My Own Mindset
I do a lot of work on this to keep myself in the right place to do all of the above. I do as much inspirational reading as time permits and I make time for that most days. I have a spiritual practice which includes journaling, writing and meditating. Some sort of relaxation and fun is also vital. I look forward to films at weekends, for example. And a good laugh with a client, colleague or friend is good for the health too. Last week I even had a mutual moan-in with a virtual pal and we both reported that we felt better the next day. So while generally I don’t go in for moaning, there was an example where it helped us both. [I’ve no plans to make moaning my sixth thing though!]
What are the 5 things you do every day to be successful?