strategic thinking

By Malla Haridat 

I’ve been working like a crazy woman these past few months.  I’ve run 13 events (from marketing the registration to the final thank-yous), worked with two large clients on conferences or trainings, held strategy calls with clients, wrote for my blog and other blogs, and gone through an intense review and rehaul of my personal brand.

And that’s the short list! Whew. It’s been insane.

However, in the midst of everything, I’ve gained a powerful insight.

Your biggest enemy isn’t time. 

I always thought the biggest obstacle to business success was not having enough time to get things done.

Really, the problem is not having the “right” time – time when you as an entrepreneur can think creatively and work on strategy for your business and its future.  And it’s not just as simple as carving time out in your calendar–because can you really focus and come up with good insights with so much running around in your head?

Honestly, I don’t know the full answer to how you think creatively when all chaos is breaking loose. But I can share three things that I did during this time to maintain my sanity and stay focused on the big picture areas of my business.

1.  Plan a few 10-minute breaks during your day–no matter how busy you get.  I don’t care how you plan them.  (I found an alarm at random times was the best method for me). But you need to plan time away from the heavy thinking, crazy meeting schedules, and prepping for clients and find time to focus on you.

2. If you see a busy period coming up, schedule calls now with your coach, strategist or someone who will hold you accountable. How do high achievers get things done?  They put their butts on the line and figure out how to make it happen.  If you keep putting off  your marketing plan or keep ignoring your long-term strategy and what you need to do to position it to reach your goals (i.e., get out of the feast-or-famine cycle), you’ll never get there.  I know it’s hard. But the only way you’ll see the change and eventual growth is to do it.

You know the irony?  You’ll get more done.  Because when they give you assignments (yes, adding more to your list!), you won’t have time to mess around.  Plus your clients/customers are just waiting for you to test your ideas on. I don’t recommend keeping up this pace year-round, but if you can maintain it a few times a year, it can be a true boost to your business.

3. Stay committed to focusing on your two big goals.  (Check out my last Save your Sanity video for a refresher.) Usually, we just focus on what’s in front of us. That’s great for your current clients, but bad for your business.  So pick two goals and stay focused until you complete them.

Malla Haridat is an award-winning strategist for small business owners who are tired of being overwhelmed and want to see real results in their business.  Malla produced the  “Save Your Sanity” Small Business series and works with entrepreneurs who want to build a business that earns $100k with fewer headaches.