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Success and struggle cannot coexist in your business. It’s one or the other, so pick one. I am going to share with you how to expand your capacity for success while eliminating the struggle. During a recent business summit, I heard some trite remarks like, “We’re not doing too bad, after all, ‘Flat is the new up,’” and “I’m working three times as much for a third of the income,” and “I’m selling a lot more … like my car, my furniture, my home….” All of these comments were followed by nervous laughter. The common theme was acceptance that times are tough.

The problem is that most people believe what they think to be true.. In fact, it’s not the economy, the markets, nor the current administration that is causing you uncertainty. The negative emotional spiral you are experiencing is simply evidence that your current business plan is not adequate for navigating the current economic environment. In fact, most businesses don’t have a real business plan. Or, if they do, it totally lacks alignment. Without alignment, your business plan will cause you to waste exorbitant amounts of time, energy and resources.

Here are the seven components you must align in order to get your business on track to succeed:

Have a clear compelling vision. Where are you headed over the next 3-5 years and what will it look like when you get there? Most business people can’t answer this with clarity or certainty. Successful business people have a clear idea of what business they are really in, how much revenue they will generate, what differentiates them from their competitors and who their ideal clients are.

Have a clear purpose. Assess your talents and strengths and understand how these translate over to your clients and customers. Be able to quantify the value of what you provide.

Identify and track your goals. Be very clear about the 4-6 measurable Key Performance Indicators you must execute over the next 12 months in order to achieve your overall vision. Track and measure relentlessly. Recalibrate your actions to intersect
with your desired goals.

Think strategically. Bring forth your best strategic thinking to formulate and effectively communicate how you will accomplish each of the above goals. As you move forward, the horizon will shift and detours will pop up. Be resilient and know you can adjust. Don’t let yourself become addicted to any one strategy.

Establish specific projects. As you flesh out your strategy, develop Tactical Action Projects that can be carried out with specific assignments of people, resources and dates. As with your Key Performance Indicators, the Tactical Action Projects must be kept in plain sight for all stake holders to see and must be revisited on a regularly scheduled basis.

Visualize your success. Focus on what the experience of success will be like. Avoid becoming mired in distractions that circumvent your vision. You are probably familiar with these first six components in some way, shape or form. They form the core of any strong business plan. What you may not be familiar with is the multi-faceted component that ties all of these together and provides the alignment.

Build empowering environments. This seventh element involves the establishment of Empowering Environments. Your environments are either contributing to your success or contaminating it. The first environment to consider is the physical one — your actual office space and all the things within it (computers, furniture, phones, etc.). If these are all functional and working well, they are contributing to your success. If not, they are contaminating your success.

Another environment to consider involves the types of people you have around you. When in the presence of people you either gain energy or become drained of energy. Perhaps the most influential environment is your own paradigm. Your thoughts, ideas and beliefs make up your business archetype. As Albert Einstein said, “Whatyou say to yourself before you look at something determines what you see.” Are your thoughts, ideas and beliefs contributing to your success?

The power of your focus to achieve your success is only as strong as your environments ability to keep you unencumbered of distractions, contaminations and tolerations. Combine and align the elements of empowering environments with a strong operational business plan and you will achieve far greater success than you ever have before.

Best-selling author, Machen P. MacDonald, CPCC,CCSC, is a certified business coach with ProAdvisor Coach and the Leadership Institute in Grass Valley, CA. He helps business professionals gain more clarity and confidence to perform more effectively in their zone of brilliance.

Copyright © 2013, Machen P. MacDonald