The times they are a changin’…
Do you look at shifts in your market, innovations in the building industry and developments in the wider economy, and get a little concerned at the way things are moving? Don’t panic – here’s how you can make the most of it!
Change is probably the only constant in today’s world and mastering it is important for ongoing business success. The ability to change doesn’t actually lie with the business, but with the owner(s).
A business can adapt – but only as fast as the owner is able. Some people love change and others find it challenging. Whatever your personal orientation, the truth is you can’t stop it taking place – it’s happening whether we like it or not. However, anything is possible once we overcome our innate resistance.
It’s a little like an America’s Cup catamaran. When the hulls are in the water, the water’s resistance limits the boat’s maximum speed. Yet when the foils lift the hulls clear of the water and overcome the resistance, the boat flies!
So how can you get the lift you need to overcome your innate resistance to change?
Clarify your vision
When did you last take an hour out from your busy schedule and rough out your vision for your business on paper?
Ask yourself, “where do I want to go?” and “what do I want my business to look like in 12 months’ time?” Going hard at your business without a clear vision is like keeping the hulls in the water. You can have heaps of power in the sails, but little forward motion.
When you set a clear picture of the future for your business, or for that matter your life, and aim for it, it greatly lifts the chances of you getting there.
Draw an organisational chart for your business, as you want it to be, and include job titles. Describe the clients you will be servicing and the nature of the work you will be doing. ‘Guestimate’ the revenues and calculate your income. Even find some pictures that look like your business at that stage and attach them to your chart.
Identify your dissatisfactions
It’s instinctive to move away from difficult situations, we do it naturally, but unless there is a decent amount of dissatisfaction, there is little motivation to move to a different situation, even if it is better.
You need to unleash the power of dissatisfaction, as it helps overcome resistance to change. Don’t be unnecessarily hard on yourself, but do note down your three biggest dissatisfactions around your business, the work you do and even your own skillset.
Social scientists tell us that dissatisfaction is a bigger driver than vision, so spend time here. The more you dislike your current situation, the stronger your motivation to do something about it.
Identify your first actions
Vision and dissatisfaction provide the motivation for change, but will never lead to success unless they’re converted into action. Good intentions by themselves amount to nothing.
Write down a short list of the first actions you will take to move you away from your dissatisfactions and toward your vision.
For example, if you need more business in the door and you have a natural aversion to doing marketing (your resistance to change), you need to:
- Highlight the dismal future if this situation continues (your dissatisfaction).
- Build a picture of yourself marketing your business with a great marketing plan (your vision).
- Identify (and take) the first steps to start that plan.
If there is genuine dissatisfaction, a good enough plan and some well-chosen first actions, then you will overcome your natural resistance to marketing and your business will begin to benefit.
Your first action might be to make a list of previous clients and send them an email with a special offer or voucher. It may be to check out some companies that can help you build a focused website, select one and start creating the content that will be needed.
While the action itself is important, taking it is equally so. To help you stay focused here is the above summarised as a simple formula:
Vision x Dissatisfaction x First actions > Resistance to change
If you put together your vision, dissatisfaction and first actions, you can overcome any resistance to change and start heading towards your vision.
Graeme Owen, based in Auckland, is a builders’ business coach. Since 2006, he has helped builders throughout New Zealand get off the tools, make decent money, and free up time for family, fishing, and enjoying sports. www.thesuccessfulbuilder.com