Machen MacDonald: Horizon of success | TheUnion.com

Machen MacDonald: Horizon of success

Machen MacDonald
Columnist

Have you ever tried to navigate your car while only looking in the rear view mirror from the back seat with a scared kid screaming at the top of their lungs holding onto the steering wheel, and the GPS providing inaccurate directions? Hopefully not. However, I see plenty of business owners operating their business in a very similar way.

Business owners that are stressed or struggling are focused on the potholes of the past not looking where they are headed.

They give up their power to things out of their control like the economy, the administration, or even their clients, competitors and employees. They give way to the inner critic in their head that searches for evidence they are not enough or going to screw it up so why bother. They don't properly assess where they actually are and think they should be further along than they are, so they in essence put the wrong information into the GPS and then wonder why they are getting directions that are sending them in circles.

First off, notice that the windshield of a car is many times larger than the rear-view mirrors. The reason is so you can see clearly where you are headed with a small reference of where you have been and to avoid any dangers that may be near you or closing in on you.

Business is no different. We must create a clear vision of where we are headed with an understanding of where we have been and where we are.

When we look forward to what's possible we are filled with hope. When we look at what we leave behind we may feel hopeless.

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There will be times we encounter weather and rough conditions making it difficult to see. That's the time to perhaps slow down and use the wipers to clear the way.

In business, that's the time to update the plan. Look for and limit or eliminate waste in the areas of spending too much money, time or energy on things that don't move the business forward.

For a smooth ride our car needs to be balanced and aligned. In business we need a healthy balance of the right activities such as marketing, customer service, operations, and training. We need alignment of our people in becoming a united front and clear on where we are all headed and why.

If an employee or department is headed in a different direction even just a little bit, it creates drag and a rough ride. It wears out resources quicker than normal. Just like a misaligned car will wear out tires faster and consume more resources faster.

Take back the steering wheel of your business. Get your inner voice in check. Be clear on where you are headed and use your GPS.

Get the data and feedback you need to make your journey. Make the adjustments needed to stay on track and remember your GPS won't help you navigate if you stay parked. You have to move in order to get what you need to navigate.

Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!

#1 bestselling author Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC, CCSC is a certified life and business coach with ProBrilliance Leadership Institute in Grass Valley. He helps business people gain more confidence and clarity to live their ideal life. He can be reached at coach@probrilliance.com and 530-273-8000.

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