When we are starting up and running our own business there are extraordinary demands on our time. We need to spend time on getting our product right, finding customers, seeking finance, managing staff and dealing with the latest legislation, such as the new auto-enrolment pension laws.
With the sheer range of tasks and every day duties to tackle, we can all find that our business goals can get lost in the frenzy and the frustration of not meeting our aims can get us down.
To achieve long-term success we need stay focused on our goals. And to achieve those goals, we need to keep quite a degree of discipline to ensure that our time doesn’t get sucked away and evaporate like a puddle on a sunny day.
Achieving our business goals requires clarity, focus, deliberate action and a little sprinkling of neuroscience too.
When doggedly pursuing our goals and ambitions, it is essential to get our brain on side. I have seen this first hand, in the CEOs of some of the largest corporations on the planet and the ‘founder, coffee maker and chief bottle washers’ of some of the smallest start up businesses too.
Avoiding the common pitfalls and unlocking your full potential
Many fall at the first hurdle, simply because they get overexcited or allow the doubts to start messing things up for them. Because these pitfalls are so common, it is vital to set up a framework of actions that will lead to success and achieving your goals. It will also make it easier to get your brain to work with you rather than against you.
Creating a protective structure or routine for yourself, as you work on your foundations for your future, requires thought and discipline but it will also give you the clues and then the keys to unlocking your potential.
As you will most likely be aware, the brain is constantly making connections and firing synapses so that when we learn something for the first time, a new neural pathway is formed.
The repetition of doing something new reinforces the neural pathways correlated to the task, thought or activity, allowing for the eventual new mindset or skill to be acquired. In other words, the brain enables us to change and be more adaptive to changes in our world, and achieve those goals.
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable
One of the most important things that you need to do, is to get comfortable with discomfort. It is usually feeling uncomfortable (out of our comfort zone), that makes us metaphorically go back to a place where we feel ‘safe’, but while it may feel ‘safe’, it won’t be productive or cutting edge provocative, or whichever it needs to be for you to progress to your business goals.
Reaching your potential is about being in a constant state of discomfort. The only reason that we feel uncomfortable is because it is new – nothing more, nothing less.
If you can get really comfortable with the uncomfortable, you’ve set yourself the perfect foundation for breaking out of your comfort zone and getting into the exciting world of possibilities.
Generally when we feel uncomfortable, it is the brain alerting us that it needs new information in order that we can make a decision or judgment about something, or indeed just ‘feel’ okay about whatever it is.
Training yourself to ditch bad habits
The driving force to achieving your goals should be a conscious move away from your old, well-worn and very likely uninspiring habits. The world of the unexplored and of course your own untapped potential awaits!
Not only are successful people brave enough to get so comfortable with discomfort that they allow new possibilities into their life, but they are also very disciplined and determined in their approach to reaching goals.
Start by asking your brain the right question. i.e if your business goal is to uplift sales by 20% in the next year, the question you have to ask your brain must be in the here and now. It can’t process the future ‘what if’s’.
So, if the question you pose is ‘what can I do today in order to uplift sales by 20% in the next year?’ you are much more likely to get an interesting thought or inspiration. Now, if you also give your brain something new to consider as well (the brain thrives on the new and different), you will likely get an even better idea.
Take yourself to a different environment to think, go to a different coffee shop, eat something for lunch that you wouldn’t ordinarily. Do something that you’re not interested in, if football’s not your thing, go to a football match. Listen to opera, listen to reggae – if you’re a Times reader, read the Guardian.
You get my drift, it will power your ability to inspire your thinking, and hence the actions that will enable you to reach your goals, because your brain will have to work harder.
Answer the following questions;
Write down, draw or doodle on a piece of paper, your tablet or even in the sand on a beach, what you want to achieve?
Make it as vibrant and vivid as possible, who is there, what is going on, how is it going on, where is it, who knows about it…….
If you truly believed that you has the potential to do anything (if anything were possible) what would you do? These thoughts will signpost your goals.
What uncomfortable-making thing (for you), would you like to become more comfortable with? What can you do about that right now?
Who will you contact?
What is the bold move that some-one else might make but not you? What about if you did it? How could you start?
Is there anything that you have instantly dismissed as impossible? Is it really impossible? Really? Think again?
Now ask yourself, can I do that? (yes, you!).
How would you do it?
What would you do first?
Making it possible
Avoiding self-destruction and reaching your business goals and potential, is about being in a constant state of discomfort. The only reason that we feel uncomfortable is because it is new – nothing more, nothing less.
When we see glimpses of what might be possible through discipline, action, and embracing the new, it is a very exciting place to be! Enjoy and remember; everything was impossible until someone made it possible. That someone might just be you!
About the author
This guide has been written for ByteStart by Kate Tojeiro, a leading executive coach and facilitator and founder of leadership development firm, X fusion. She is the author of The Art of Possible, new habits, neuroscience and the power of deliberate action and is also a regular fixture on BBC radio and a voice in the media.
More help on achieving your goals and growing your business
You will find more help on growing a thriving business in some of ByteStart’s other popular guides;
- The 3 issues you’ll need to overcome if you want your start-up to reach £1m turnover
- Barriers to growth – how to identify them and how to overcome them
- How finding a great mentor could help you to grow, and your business to flourish
- How you can build your business in 90 minutes a day
- Increasing your personal efficiency – how to get more done in less time
- Why it’s important you plan your exit strategy before you start your business
And if you’re just starting out, these ByteStart guides will help you;
- 10 advantages running your business as a limited company has over being a sole trader
- How to choose the best online accounting software for your business
- What’s my business worth? How to value a small business
- How peer-to-peer lending offers start-ups and small businesses a new funding option
- Making your business a hit online – A Digital marketing guide for small business owners
- The start-up survival guide – 6 practical tips to help you get through the early years