How we get lost in business and what to do to get on track again

When I first start working with a new client, I position my “time vs how the watch works” concept.


Quite simply put, when I ask a question in one of our sessions, I am looking for the direct answer, not the story that sometimes shows up when people can’t directly answer the question. (i.e. they are deflecting because they don’t have an answer).


Often, the person doesn’t even know they have launched into a story and have completely forgotten the question, let alone considered giving an answer.


It’s a bit like when you ask someone the time, all you are interested in is the answer to your question, what time is it (fact), not how the watch works (story).


This happens so often in business; owners get so wrapped up in stories they lose focus on what is the most important things.


Why do we do this?


There are 2 reasons.


Firstly, we are not exactly clear on where we are going, what is the measurable outcome that we are seeking. We have a set of vague, wishy-washy goals that cant be measured by either a number or a binary condition (eg, yes/no or on/off or complete/incomplete).

E.g. Grow our leads through improved marketing.


Secondly, we don’t know where we are now, a measurable position, let alone where we are with reference to an outcome, (which is not set clearly in the first place see above).


So, in a situation like this, I would ask a question like “How many new leads did we generate last month?” The client responds with a long-winded story about tweaking their website and the branding consistency and blah blah blah (insert head exploding emoji here LOL).


At which point I will gently bring them back to the question, which the answer will inevitably be “I don’t know”, which is totally fine, as now we know what to work on, measure that number and compare it to our desired outcome.


The question for you is, “how often are you telling stories as opposed to knowing facts?”


Good business is boring, it follows this simple pattern.


1. Know your clearly defined and measurable outcome

2. Know exactly where you are now, with the above outcome in mind.

3. Test something related to getting closer to our outcome, if we got closer to it, do it again. If we got further away from it, try something else.

4. Repeat until the outcome is achieved or get help if going nowhere or backward.


If you need help book in for a quick chat by clicking here.

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