It's Monday again.
You might be excited for the week to start. Or maybe you're worried about the scary economic forecasts and the future of your consulting practice. Here's what I bet though - your mind is either focusing on the past ("did I make the right choices?") or the future ("what will I do if X happens?").
I want to propose you a change. Think about the present. What are you going to work on now?
You are a free person. You can do whatever you want, however you want it. Don't forget, however, that there are universal laws governing our world - and the law of cause and effect is one of those.
Every single action in the universe produces a reaction no matter what. If you made poor choices in the past, your consulting practice is probably facing a number of negative side-effects now (empty pipeline, bad clients, low cash balance). Similarly, if you want to reach your business goals certain actions will likely produce those desired outcomes.
This is painfully obvious. But why do we become so overwhelmed with our business then? Why do we multitask and jump from activity to activity? Why do we increase working hours, when it's clear that doing more of the wrong things won't help?
For me, this is due to a lack of clarity - when we're lost in our thoughts, it's impossible to see how our past actions created the situation we're in, and what we need to avoid doing now to reach our future goals. Hell, you can't even clearly define what those goals are. Or how bad or promising your current situation really is.
The fastest solution to this is simple. What's the one thing that is universally clear in this world? Numbers.
So here's my question for you: Do you know your numbers?
- Do you know what are your monthly revenue and costs? How much of it is recurring or fixed? How much is one-off or variable?
- Do you know your marketing and sales numbers? How many leads, appointments, presentations, and proposals have you had this year?
- Do you know how many key relationships haven't heard from you in a while? How many of them you can realistically nurture every month?
Your goals should be quantified. Your KPIs should be quantified. You and everyone in your team should find a way to turn tasks (action) and desired outcomes (reaction) into numbers.
This might sound cold and robotic. But the effect is always the opposite. The more clarity you create around those things, the better you will perform.
You'll stop working on things that don't move the needle and do more of what matters. You'll measure and track success, spotting problems along the way. You'll make time to prioritize and strengthen your most important relationships.
Intuition has its place and time. But if you really want to reduce overwhelm and increase effectiveness, you need to study the numbers required to grow your business.