Fall is a profound time of year for me. While the leaves of the trees are dying, in reality I know that it is simply preparing itself for renewal. I find the falling leaves a comforting and productive movement. It feels right to clean out the cobwebs and clutter of our lives and thoughts and shed the old as we get ready for growth.
So, if it feels like fall is here and you are ready for something new, but aren’t quite sure where to find it, I collected and put together these guiding principles to help you with your endeavors. These will guarantee you make the most of September through November, traditionally a very productive time period, before enjoying the holidays. I strongly recommend you take advantage of this advice, or before you know it, Christmas and then the New Year will be here (…I mean didn’t summer just fly by? And here it is mid-September already).
Take just a few minutes and review these tips and then answer each ‘biz question,’ as honestly as possible and apply the principles directly to your business. I am quite sure many or all of them will hit a nerve and create a new connection.
- Attitude is everything. – Your frame of mind affects every action (and inaction). Don’t let you’re your moods control your life, or you will be overtaken by the current and forced down stream to a destination you never intended. Only your inner force and self-determination can keep you on track and get you to your ultimate goals.
Biz question: Is there anything I need to change about my attitude, perspective or life to improve my business? If so, what?
- Stay focused on your goals. – It takes belief and a strong desire to concentrate on the changes necessary to achieve success. If your goals are clear, then it is easier to stay focused. So begin by clarifying your goals before you get so frustrated you can’t or won’t take action. If you are unsure of the process, or the next steps required, then seek the advice you need.
Biz question: Do you have clear and measurable goals for your business and specifically for this fall time frame?
- Spend time wisely. – Time, unlike money, is something that you can’t get back. So every day you want to be as fully present as possible in each task you do, as well as choose those activities with care. Make sure your time and efforts are contributing to the wonderful aspects of your life, relationships and business endeavors. The worst thing you can do is to spend your time on auto-pilot. There is very little joy (or productivity, for that matter) in it.
Biz question: How can I spend my time right now to get the best results for my business, both now and in the future?
- Be open-minded. – You never know where the next inspiration, great idea or deal will come from. To be open-minded you need to find ways to stay mindful and aware. Take the time to explore new activities and people and be open to new influences and experiences. A closed mind, frankly, has nowhere to go.
Biz question: Are you open-minded to the fact that you might not know where the next awesome idea, opportunity or contribution to your business may come from?
- Pick a path. – There are many pathways leading to your ultimate goals. But to get anywhere you need to pick one and stick with it long enough to get there. Then along that path, there will be many obstacles of varying degrees and nature which require decisions. One time you may feel that breaking that obstacle down, bit-by-bit, is the right answer. In another case, going around it works fine. And sometimes you even have to find a new path. My father used to jokingly say, “You can’t get there from here, you have to start someplace else.” And often that’s true. If the path dead ends or goes off course, then you MUST find a new way to achieve your goals.
Biz question: What’s keeping you from achieving your goals? Can you identify the top five reasons in priority order?
- Read between the lines. – Whether you are enjoying this blog, having coffee with friends or meeting with business professionals, reading between the lines is an imperative skill. Always go deeper than the surface. What do you need to learn, know or understand about what’s happening to get the most from the experience? Everything is happening for a reason and seeking the essence and purpose of the moment may be exactly what you should be doing to find the wisdom you need.
Biz question: Can you look beyond the obvious tasks throughout your day and find the non-apparent insights that provide guidance for your business?
- Never lose hope. – Hope is the energy that drives all ambition and motivation. It is an essential element in all our endeavors and losing hope is like losing your engine. You must constantly be on guard against the negative emotions that deplete hope and eventually will prevent you from succeeding. No matter what the challenge; don’t give up.
Biz question: Can you identify your hope and how it powers your progress in business? If hope is waning, what can you do to refuel?
- Create awesome habits. – What you do today and every day will become the habits of tomorrow. It’s important to choose actions that create the right habits. Discipline yourself to create the specific habits that you need to grow.
Biz question: What business habits would you like to create or improve upon that will help achieve your goals? (You might want to read or revisit my blog titled: “An Art Licensor’s Continuing Education” to help you think about the wide variety of topics and skills needed to build a licensing business.)