Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Overcoming Your Next Self-Induced Slump

Growing a business is too often a cyclical event instead of what we all know intuitively would work better – persistent, consistent, everyday progress. But we’re all human and we have good days and off-days. That just means we have to overcome the human tendency to spin down into a self-induced slump. That’s where a set of best practices can come into play … so we can keep business growth a simpler task that grows the business and assures better compensation for the effort.

Dave Lakhani is what he calls a “business acceleration strategist” and his credibility rides on a career of positive results – with strategies that have achieved record breaking growth for over 500 businesses in the past ten years. Dave shares a seminar he recently delivered to a client on how to get out of a sales slump at his website where you can get a copy or where you can listen to the seminar.

Some key comments from Dave:

“Sales slumps are caused because we decide to not focus on accomplishment, but rather we focus more on doing something completely unrelated.” In other words, we allow distractions to divert us from the prime task.

His main recommendation: The one tactic that works best is to focus for one hour each day where you do non-stop something that will move your business forward – no interruptions, no mental lapses. Total focus.

Here’s what Dave wants you to do right now. “Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down the three most important things you need to accomplish for your business in the next thirty days. Next, schedule an hour tomorrow where you can work on the first item on your list. At the appointed hour, get busy. I mean it. Close your door, turn off all your phones and don’t check email even once. NOTHING will happen that is so important it can’t go without your attention.

Let me add a few thoughts of my own to Dave's. I used a similar technique when I was running sales for my promotion agency. I kept a large framed sign on my office wall: Dale, what have you done today to move one step forward?

And as to keeping focused on the right things, here's what I did:

If you don’t have three activities that scream at you, I suggest tackling one that most of us have difficulty with – focusing on the focus of your business. You cannot be all things to all people. Where should you concentrate your time and resources to assure business success. Take the first hour to develop the list of potential opportunities. Take the second hour to winnow. Take the third hour to validate. Take the fourth hour to develop a strategy. Take the fifth hour to communicate this business focus. In one week, you will be amazed at how far you have energized yourself and those colleagues from whom you need help in delivering on your business focus.

Keep the one-hour appointments with yourself for 30 days.

Then shift to a new business opportunity that needs the same level of intense focus.


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