You’ve got 6 shots – use them wisely!

photo by mikejmartelli

It’s the start of a new year and the possibilities are endless!  Although that sounds like a great situation, the problem is that the possibilities are endless, and if you’re like most business owners (or most people for that matter) it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have that many things you could focus on.

What tends to happen is you get distracted with all of those possibilities and you ultimately don’t make all that much progress.  Your efforts are diluted, you get distracted before things really get done and there’s not a serious push behind any one effort.

If you really want to hit what you’re aiming for in the long run, you will be a lot better off limiting the number of targets you have at any given time.  In fact I’d recommend thinking of it like an old fashioned revolver – you only get 6 bullets at any given time and you have to make it count!

Try this experiment

Take a few minutes and write down everything you’d like to get done in the next 3 to 12 months that’s not part of day to day operations of your business.  Here are some common examples:

  • Hire a new resource / salesperson, etc.
  • Learn more about Social Media
  • Develop a marketing plan
  • Implement a new marketing tactic (or two)
  • Do a competitive review on pricing and positioning
  • Update the website / build a website
  • Create new content that educates your prospects
  • Look into getting new hardware
  • Find someone to partner with for sales
  • Roll out a new product / service
  • Upgrade to a new accounting package
  • Plan a big event for later in the year
  • Refine your biggest and hairiest processes

What’s on your list?

The possibilities really are endless and as you spend time on any one of them, they could easily spawn more ideas and more things you could do.  On top of that, the day to day reality of work is constantly throwing all sorts of fire drills at you as well, so not only do you have a huge list of top priorities (which are all great ideas) but you also have a bunch of urgent operational issues that have to be fixed right now!

There’s a better way!

Going back to the example of a six shooter – look at your list of possible projects and pick out no more than 6 that would really benefit you if you could get them done in the next 90 days.  If you have stuff on the list that take more than 90 days, break it into logical phases that could be accomplished in 90 days.

The key to really making this work is to have the focus and the discipline to only work on day to day operational issues and your six bullets!  At the end of the 90 days, hopefully you will have successfully completed some really important projects and you can pick up to 6 more.

If you can really stick to this, I guarantee that you’ll find yourself getting more done and getting farther ahead than you ever have before.  The combination of intense focus on a small number of really important things make this a very powerful strategy.

What would you use your 6 bullets on for the 1st quarter of the year?  Is this an approach that would work for you?  Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.

Shawn Kinkade  Kansas City Business Coach