Written By: Andy Ogg – Editor for Travel Professional NEWS
Here we are. We are in 2018 and with the new year comes new opportunity. This year will be a big year for our business and as we approach the beginning of it, I’ve been working on not only preparation for the growth but also working on myself to better handle the additional workload and stresses.
When you are an entrepreneur, you are directly tied to your business and vice versa. A bad day at work comes home with you because it’s yours. A bad day in your personal life comes to work because, like myself, many of you work from your home and sometimes that separation is near impossible to achieve. The struggle is real and no matter what you do, bad days will happen, it’s about minimizing the damage of the situation and handling it in the best way possible.
In this two part series, we are going to dive into 6 steps you can put into motion that will not only better your business, but better yourself as well. With a better you, your business will better as well. Let’s dive into the first 3 steps that will help you make 2018 the best year that it can be!
Step 1 – Motivation
It’s a cruel joke to put this as the first step because this undoubtedly will be the hardest part of your journey to a better business and a better you. Whether it’s time management, sales growth, a better work/life balance or simply to streamline your business, motivation is the key needed to accomplish any task in your dreams for 2018. Pushing yourself that extra 10% each and every day to accomplish your goals is not an easy task and without it, your goals will stay that, just goals.
One of the best ways to actively motivate yourself each and every day is to have your goals in front of you all day long. Some accomplish this with a white board or pin board, others set themselves reminders throughout the day to re-focus their attention to the priority tasks as hand. What method is best? Well, that answer is 100% up to you.
Motivation for me is my family and my wall above my desk is covered with photos, artwork, cards and memories of the amazing times that I have the ability to share with my beautiful wife and daughter. When I find myself hitting the wall through the day, I simply look up. It causes me to grab the next gear, dive in and get progressively moving forward to my next goal. Everyone’s motivation is different so if you don’t know what motivates you, you need to find that. Maybe it’s a luxurious river cruise down the Rhine River or a week of sitting on the beach at an exotic All Inclusive resort. Maybe it’s the bigger home you’ve been watching on the market or that new car that has been taunting you as you drive by the dealership. Whatever it is, put it in front of you and work for it.
Each and every goal has multiple steps. Recently, my wife and I learned that we have conceived and are expecting our next child, with that comes a monumental list of things to do, prepare for and work toward. My first project was to turn a once empty room in our home to my daughters first “big girl” room. We had a great idea of what we wanted to do but getting started sure did take some time. I made a deadline for Thanksgiving weekend and stuck to it. We started the process of getting the materials including paint and decor and got to it. Merely a week after we painted the room, it’s 90% done and Peyton, our 3 1/2 year old daughter, absolutely loves it. She doesn’t want to sleep in her old room anymore and as we watch her blossom into an absolutely amazing human, this goal has provided more personal satisfaction than I could have ever imagined. All we had to do was find the motivation and start.
Step 2 – Action
If you have the motivation in place, this step should be a breeze, well maybe. Taking action on your goals for 2018 is an important part of not only bettering your business but you as well. No matter your plan or goal, take a day and break down the process that will be needed to make it reality. Using the above example of my daughters room, here is a list I created to help us get from a plain white room to a beautiful “beach garden” oasis:
- Purchase paint and all tools needed
- Tape off the trim / doors and windows
- Paint it!
- Hang curtain rods and shelfs
- Purchase furniture
- Sell old furniture
- Arrange room
- Decorations and mount all wall hanging decorations
- Build closet organization and paint when complete
- Make Peyton the happiest girl in the world!
Of course this is a rough breakdown of the many steps that went into this project but as you can see, a complete room makeover can be a bit daunting but when it’s broken down into a manageable list, it’s really not that bad. Take the first step and use that motivation you found in Step 1 to keep at it!
One of the most important facts about the Action step is to have a method to the madness. Make use of the list you create for each step to attain your goal and eventually, most likely before you know it, you will be that much closer to making 2018 your year.
Step 3 – Prioritization and Focus
Do you ever find yourself so submersed into a project or task that everything else falls by the wayside? Phone calls go to voicemail, texts go unread and your email inbox grows to a frighteningly high number?
I do and it happens a lot.
Being able to prioritize your tasks into an attainable schedule will help you not only reach your goals, but ultimately assist you in managing your time, tasks and goals in both business and personal. Unfortunately this is a lot easier said than done and even as I compose this, with a quick glance to my email box, I can tell you wholeheartedly that I am not multi tasking right now.
Now, taking an hour to compose an article and having a year plan for your business are two very different things so the point that I would like to deliver is that, to make sure you stay focused on your goals but don’t let the rest of your life and business fall by the wayside. Scheduling time for projects, like this article, are what have helped me find the best balance for completion of tasks.
A lot of this step is time management. If you are working a full 50 hour week and want to expand sales by 100% for 2018, it is pretty safe to say that you either need to A) hire help or B) be prepared to work a whole lot more. Making sure that your goals are in the right place in terms of their priority is a huge part of their accomplishment. If your goal for 2018 is to streamline your business, I would suggest starting with the goal of spending 5 hours a week on it. During those 5 hours, everything else is on hold and your focus is 100% devoted to the task at hand. This focus will not only help you in time management as a positive byproduct but also in ensuring that you work positively toward your 2018 goal.
Make sure to additionally track your progress as you move toward your goal ensuring that you aren’t diverting from your goals. If you were hoping to add 50 new clients this year, make sure you aim to hit at least 5 a month to accomplish it. This will not only give you a little “breathing room” on your goals but also allow you to take a much smaller bite of the big goal.
Until next month where we will cover the remaining 3 steps, I wish you the happiest of New Years and hope that your 2018 is already off to a fantastic start! See you next month in our February issue of Travel Professional NEWS!