Creating a successful business is a journey and it is a journey to be enjoyed that’s for sure. We learn and we grow as we go along the journey but the bottom line is that it is all about getting from A to B.

A is where you are now and B is where you want to eventually get to, and how you want your business to look at the end of the day. I will talk a lot more about B in my next article, but for today I want to talk about A, the starting point for you, where are you starting from?

It is important to know this because obviously you can’t plan a journey unless you know both the starting point and the end point, otherwise all directions take you to the wrong place don’t they?

So we know it’s important to know where A is, and that’s the easy bit right? Surely we know exactly where A is. Well you would think it would be obvious, but you know very often it isn’t. When I work with my clients I realise that they are not fully appreciating where A is, that they are not fully appreciating themselves or what they have already achieved, how far they have come already on the journey. They don’t realise that their vision or their goals, ie their point B, might have changed from when they originally started out, or that it may now be a lot closer than they thought.

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So today I want you to take some time out for yourself and just get very clear on where A is for you now. So, if you are just starting out it is important to recognise what your strengths are at this point, what you have to offer and the value that you bring to other people. To help you to establish where you are, you might just want to consider these questions like:

  • Why do you want to do what you do?
  • What appeals to you about it?
  • What led you to want to start your business in the first place?
  • What are your business strengths?
  • What skills do you have?
  • What experience do you have from previous roles?
  • What expertise do you have in other areas?
  • What are your personal strengths?

These things are really important in a business where we are working people to people.

Are you motivated and determined?

Do you find it easy to get people on board with your ideas?

It is also important for you to be thinking what your weaknesses are. The things that might hold you back from achieving your goals. Not so that you can beat yourself around the head with it, but so that you can understand where you need to be watching out for yourself, where you might be sabotaging yourself, what else you might need to learn to help you to where you want to be.

What is your current situation? Be realistic here. It is easy to build up big dreams and big goals for your business, but if your situation at the moment is that you are just starting out and have a full time job, and you are trying to build your business in your spare time, then it is going to be a bit tricky for you to hand in your notice maybe next month knowing that you have enough money coming in from your business to replace your salary. There is nothing to say that you can’t do that but it is going to probably take you longer than 4 or 5 weeks to do it.

Where might you hold yourself back from achieving your goals?

What additional skills do you need to acquire?

This is a very common one and I find this a lot with new coaches especially. They have learnt how to be a good coach but they don’t know anything yet about how to market themselves and how to actually attract new clients. Maybe there are skills that you need to learn.

Getting back to your current situation:

How much time can you devote to your business?

Do you have other demands on your time and energy which may take you away from working on your business? Very often we have family commitments of one kind or another that stop us from spending the time that we might want to spend. Bearing that in mind, how can you organise yourself to devote the time and energy to finding and working with your clients?

What are your personal challenges?’

What beliefs do you hold that don’t serve you?’ I come across this one so often with new coaches especially, they have beliefs around money and marketing and selling that really don’t help them at all.

What habits do you have that might have a negative effect on your business that you are going to need to change?’

If you have been in business for a while it is important to look back on your past performance and assess realistically what you have achieved, what has worked and what hasn’t, and how you can do more of the good stuff. So for you it might be a case of looking back and asking yourself some of these questions:

Looking back over the last 12 months or however long it is since you have been in business, what have you accomplished so far?

  • Where are you now compared to where you were this time last year?
  • What things have you been doing that really worked for you?
  • What have you tried that really hasn’t worked? What did you learn from it?
  • What were the best decisions that you made?
  • What have your learned about yourself during the course of being in business?
  • What have your learned about your clients and how they engage you?

What could you have done differently?

If you want to take your business forward onto newer and better levels of success, then there will be some things that need to change and some things that need to be done differently moving forward and it is important to identify them.

If you have been in business for a little while now, there’s a good chance that your starting point today is considerably different to when you first started out, and it is important now that you recognise that, and that you plan your route from today’s A to your B point.

Adjust your business plans and goals moving forward to take into account what you have learned, in light of the good and bad decisions that you have made, the things that worked well and the things that didn’t work well.

Implement what you have learned and use your new knowledge more constructively and more effectively to help you to grow your business to new levels.

Next week we’ll take a more in-depth look at clearly defining the vision of your business and why you want it

In the meantime, if you could use a little more help establishing just exactly where you are, and some encouragement to appreciate you fabulous talents, then come and join us in The Coaches’ Zone Facebook Group

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