How often do you start the day full of enthusiasm and great ideas? You think about the day ahead, the items on your to-do-list. Like me, you probably sit down in front of your computer every morning, full of purpose and with every intention of crossing items off that to-do-list. Except hours later, you look up from the screen in a haze only to realize the day has passed by and your list has grown even longer. We have become so inundated with emails and notifications from every-known social media site that we spend little time on longer-term goals.
Small business leaders are no different. Caught up in the short-term and bogged down with the day-to-day, smaller firms focus on making it through one day so they can live for another. I am certainly not immune to this! I spend my days helping clients think about the big picture and developing long-term strategies. I work closely with them to build the right image, be it a social media presence or their website. But recently, I felt I wasn’t spending enough time on my own goals or my own image. Updating my website, developing my own marketing materials, really engaging via social media – all things that require constant attention, but somehow, always on the list for tomorrow.
When a CEO is an accountant, marketer, sales person, social media consultant, writer, among many others things, it can be hard to prioritize. We all read articles about how to be productive and effectively schedule the day. And we all know that implementation is always the hardest task. A simple step in the right direction goes a long way. I now force myself to spend one hour a day on longer-term goals. Is it enough? Probably not. Is it a start? Absolutely.
I’ve been contemplating these long-term goals for some time, and a few nights ago as I made my nightly cup of tea, I was inspired in the most surprising way – by a well-known quote on the tea bag.
Do not go where the path leads, go instead where there is no path and create a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are countless resources available to guide us on a productive, successful journey as small business owners. We are fully aware of what we should do. The difficulty lies in the reality of everyday demands placed upon us. Instead of forcing ourselves down a well-worn path, it might make more sense to explore our own paths. Seems intuitive, right? The reality is that we often bite off more than we can chew. Pushing ourselves to take on new projects or additional tasks. Working towards unrealistic expectations. Expectations that stem from believing the well worn path is the only option. Following intuition does not always happen, but it should. Make it a goal to be mindful of what works best for your organization. Pave your own path, one that helps you achieve your goals.
This blog is an attempt to travel down my own path. Each week, I would like to share my own experiences and work as well as the great things being done by my clients. I hope you’ll stay tuned as I share my story. And please share your own … maybe then we can find the right path that works! As we walk our own trails, our paths might actually cross!