I was recently talking with a business owner who had a long list of things that she's going to start doing in 2022. She plans on starting a new referral program to increase sales, starting an employee incentive campaign to help with employee retention, and more. After listening to all that she wants to add to her agenda for the upcoming year, I stopped her and asked a question.
What are you going to stop doing this year?
She paused for a moment and was taken aback. It never occurred to her that one of the best things she could do for her business was to start editing the things that she focused her attention on. That, maybe, the best course of action would be to do less--not more.
If you were going to do something similar and stop spending time on unhelpful tasks in the new year, here is where I would start.
Stop Trying to Take Control
Entrepreneurs love to take control. They like to have their hands in everything and try to shape the outcome of every project that comes across their desk. This behavior, while common, can lead to a lot of problems down the line. Not only does it severely limit the focus and attention you have for high-value projects, but it can cause you to lose good team members along the way. No one likes to be micromanaged.
So this year, I want you to stop trying to take control. Instead, set up systems and processes that can guide and keep your company moving without you having to be directly involved in every single aspect of the business. Not only will this give your staff room to shine, but it will allow you to spend your time growing your business, instead of simply working in your business.
Stop Being Anxious All The Time
Imagine what you could get done if you spent less time worrying and more time doing. What if you looked at every decision and put it through a filter: What matters most? For the sake of what? How much is enough? If you answer those three questions, you can rest at night knowing that you did your absolute best with the information that you had at the time.
It's easy to stay up at night being anxious about the decisions that you made that day at the office, but give yourself a little credit. Being anxious won't make your business grow any faster. Focus your time and attention on the things that matter most, and leave the anxiety back in 2021.
Stop Being Fearful of the Future
As an entrepreneur, there is a lot riding on your decisions. Each and every thing you do for the business, both good and bad, will have an affect on the business, your family and the lives of those that you employ. So, the fear of letting down your team is another common concern and one that can consume a lot of your time.
Instead of being held back in an anxiety and fear loop, you can ask yourself the one important question and face it head on: Is it reversible?
It's a scary question, but 90 percent of the time the answer is yes, no matter if you're buying a piece of real estate, or hiring a new manager, or taking on a new product line or pursuing a new client. If it doesn't work out, you can always course correct. Once you know that little bit of information, it makes your day to day business decisions a little less scary and a lot more achievable.
So plan for a great 2022. Create a business plan that makes you excited for the future and leave the control, anxiety and fear in the past.