Your business is a journey. And it should be an enjoyable one. Too many people create businesses that take them on a path of worry, stress and duty, with promises of enjoyment once they ’arrive’ – not even knowing what arriving looks like or how to get there.
I’ve owned businesses for over 30 years and right now, I have a business that rewards me more than ever. Every step I take has purpose and is chosen consciously. I can see the big picture and I’m enjoying the route.
I don’t know exactly how it’s going to turn out, but I have some very clear intentions on how I want my life to be, what to choose and what to say no to. I can tell you it feels amazing. It feels liberating and it’s exciting.
And I know that you can create a business like that too.
Let’s look at how are you choosing your business journey. Have you taken the time to gather the right tools to help you on your way? Do you know where it’s taking you?
I love to travel. Ever since I took off with three friends in my teens and backpacked around Europe, I take every opportunity I can to take off and explore somewhere new. I’ve learnt a thing or two on my travels.
When I was younger, I used to love just getting up and going, without a plan, or at least it felt like I didn’t have a plan – but looking back, even then I had a plan of sorts… I knew which countries I was going to and roughly how to get there. I had a train ticket that would take me to all the countries I wanted to go to. I had my essential travel items (no mobile phone back then though!)
Try looking at your business like it’s an adventure – surely if you’re going to spend so much time doing something, you want it to be fun and rewarding, right?
How to Plan Your Business Journey
Here are five essential strategies to plan a successful and rewarding business journey:
- Plan ahead, get a map and plan your route
- Source a reliable mentor or coach
- Make sure you’re setting off on the right path
- Be prepared for the ups and downs and the unexpected
- Take it steady – enjoy the journey
1. Plan ahead, get a map and plan your route
Every journey needs a map. Even the most avid adventurer would never leave home without one. A map gives you a big picture of where you’re going, what’s possible and a safety net to make sure you don’t get lost.
On a business journey, having a clear vision of where you’re going means you can make better decisions when you get to crossroads, and more incentive to keep going when things get a little tough. Seeing the whole journey takes away the fear of the unknown, you’re more confident because you’ve some idea of what to expect.
2. Source a reliable mentor or coach
If you’re going somewhere new, it’s a great idea to talk to someone who’s been there and can tell you what to expect, what to avoid, what to enjoy. Your business is no different. Engaging consultants and guides are an essential part of business, but choosing the right ones can sometimes be a challenge. If there’s one rule to follow – choose a guide that’s been there before.
On my recent trek through Nepal, I was comforted by the fact that my guide had walked this track many times before, so whilst it was new and exciting for me, it was also familiar and safe to him.
I’ve walked every step of my Big Vision Baby Steps journey guide and supported many others through it with me. I’ve learned what to avoid, what to focus on and where to be vigilant. I’ve taken the long road, so you can take the more enjoyable one.
3. Make sure you’re setting off on the right path
This one sounds obvious right? Well, maybe not. I still talk to people today who are blindly and doggedly trudging down a path that feels wrong to them. They know it’s wrong, it’s not enjoyable, it’s worrying and yet they still keep walking!
Why? Because they’ve started and they want to finish, because they don’t want to turn back, because they’re lost on the path and don’t know how to get on to another one, because they stubbornly want to finish what they’ve started… or because someone told them to go on it and doesn’t want them to leave it.
How do you choose a path that’s right for you? Get a big picture perspective on the whole journey so you can craft a journey that works for you. By learning to feel your way and follow your own instincts so you stay on your own true path and make clear and confident decisions that work for YOU and your business.
4. Be prepared for the ups and downs and the unexpected
Ever stepped out on a new path with fresh vigour and taken it a bit too fast? The first few steps are often the most fun, turning the first corner, then the next. Soon a hill appears and it’s a wee bit heavy going and we think about turning back. Being prepared for the road ahead means knowing and expecting some challenges. Choosing the path knowingly means you can handle them when they arise.
5. Take it steady – enjoy the journey
A business is not something that is necessarily ‘done’, it’s a living, breathing creation that requires constant care and attention and you need to make sure you are spending time that best fits you – doing what you want to do. Going into it with your eyes open means being aware of what you choose and what it means for you and your lifestyle.
If you’re on a journey, remember that it’s the journey that is the fun part, not just the getting there. Sure, the getting there is rewarding, too but not at the expense of missing the beautiful views and amazing nature along the way.
Your business journey should bear fruit at all stages, and if you choose the right one, it will.
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