What do you think of when I say ‘Road Trip’?
Kansas City, MO was our destination and Charlotte, NC was our launch point for the road trip I recently did with a friend. The Chiefs were playing at home against the Colts in the divisional round playoff game. The allure of the home field playoff game and the idea of tailgating were exciting, but we didn’t white-knuckle, pedal to the medal 1000 miles all the way to KC. Fried chicken in Nashville, a mutton sandwich in Kentucky, a blues bar and the Gateway Arch in St. Louis; we set out to enjoy the journey along the way. Kansas City won that game, but as you know, lost the next. Either way the trip was worth it. As a business owner, are you so head down into the daily grind that you aren’t enjoying your journey along the way? What will change the direction of your business life?
Maybe the shocking numbers are due to work/life imbalance. I am sure you have heard these statistics. Only 50% of businesses survive to their 5th birthday and 3/10 get to 10 years. To avoid being a 70% fatal statistic, you have to approach your business life differently. We were intentional to enjoy the journey. Here are a few ideas that may synergize your business demands with your need to stay fresh.
Pry yourself away from the daily grind and network with some local business owners. Join your Chamber of Commerce, a trade association, a civic club or an entrepreneurs’ organization. You will learn from each other as you share war stories; build relationships that can be mutually beneficial; discover prospects who need your services (or knows someone who knows someone who does) and maybe, just maybe, you will enjoy yourself. It may be the reinvigorating spark you need. But be strategic as suggested by the Forbes author in “The Networking Advice No One Tells You”.
Write It Up
Start the practice of journaling-put your thoughts in black and white. You have a lot going on in your head and some of it is noise. This CNBC article, “3 ways journaling is key to success (and how to do it)“ , tells how many successful business people credit journaling as their reasons for success. If you want to be successful in your business life, do what successful people do. The article also provides a few writing prompts if the idea of writing has already given you writer’s block. Prompts such as “explore problems and potential solutions”, “examine your favorite businesses and how you would improve upon them”, and “imagine your business has become successful and consider three ways you could expand once it is self-sustaining” are just a few ideas to get your pencil moving.
Tell Your Story
Stories captivate our hearts and minds. They motivate and inspire us. If you’ve reached a measure of success in your business life, people would love to hear how you did it. What is your background? How did you decide to start your business? What hurdles did you leap over and how? What lessons have you learned? As you selflessly share your story to help other aspiring entrepreneurs, you may discover that the exercise benefits you the most. It may rekindle the fire that you once had and the reflection might trigger great new ideas. So get that blog site or book started. An e-book is okay, too. If your company has a website, start a blog there. You’ll thank me later.
Hit The Highway
Shake things up. Get a change of scenery. When was the last time you left town for something you wanted to do? This is not book a flight, fight your way through the airport and jet off to a tropical destination with your earbuds blaring Jimmy Buffet the whole time. While that’s a superb thing to do, a road trip is different. Pack a few things in a bag, fill up the car with gas and just go. Hey, rent a convertible and put the top down! Maybe you have a loose idea of a target location, but plan to stop along the way in the little towns and eat at the local dives and talk to the townsfolks. Walk around the town. Notice things. Try to see the world through a different lens. New perspectives may ignite fresh creativity and knock the cobwebs off of your dreams. Also, be sure to enjoy time on a park bench journaling about your adventures.
We love business owners. We created our clock in, clock out system over 20 years ago because of our passion to help you thrive. We want you to be in the 30% that see your 10th birthday and beyond. While the suggestions made here are not mainstream, success doesn’t usually come to those who float downstream. Maybe a Road Trip is in order to change the direction of your business life.
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