In my line of work I have daily conversations with business owners and organization leaders around their need to streamline business processes, with a goal of helping them run their business more efficiently. We look for ways to free up time to focus on their most pressing business activities. It never ceases to amaze me how one little word can make someone really stop and think. That word is “why”.
I ask my clients why at least five times starting with something like: “Why are you doing this today?” and then drilling it down to questions such as: “Why...what are you trying to measure?” “Why... what are you trying to achieve?” Asking them why at least five times helps them get to the root of the process. What is the most common response I get? "I don't know why...we've just always done it that way". This is paralyzing.
Think about it: we’re so caught up in the day-to-day that we don't have time to sit back and question yourself - we just do what we’ve always done. When we don't have the luxury of an outside perspective asking us 'why' we just keep plugging away to try and keep things moving. We don't come up for air because we are wearing too many hats just trying to stay afloat. We’ve almost 'normalized' the rat race of running a business so that we don't question an over abundance of things on our to do list, we simply accept that this is just the way it is.
Success in your business is not just defined by your ability to generate revenue and pay your monthly bills. Real success is when you can do that and maintain a balance in your personal life and personal interests, fostering relationships and being able to spend time really working on your business versus only working in your business.
As we embark on what we like to refer to as the 'new business year', we challenge you. What process or activity could you let go of which would allow you to free up more time to work on your business, or to provide you with time for a day of personal leisure or time to connect with the other important areas of your life? Look at the things you do each day and then start by asking yourself WHY - at least five times. Decide if there is a better way to do this, or eliminate it all together.
One of our early BWC presenters said that success for her was feeling joyful. Ask yourself every day how joyful you feel and hopefully, if you can eliminate some of the stressors of that daily rat race, you will feel more joyful every day.