For many of us, 2020 is the year of disruption, and as a result, a time for re-evaluation from a business and personal perspective. Working with business owners on the Sunshine Coast, we are noticing business are at varying stages. Some businesses are operating as normal, whereas others are still restricted and may see a downturn in future as a result.
The Duck with a Human Mind
This story highlights the unique human ability to cling to the past by holding on to events or stories.
When two ducks fight, it never lasts long – they soon separate and fly off in opposite directions. The ducks will then flap their wings vigorously several times. This releases the excess energy built up from the fight. After they flap their wings, they fly on peacefully as if nothing had ever happened. If the duck had a human mind, the story would be different. The duck may fly away peacefully, for a moment, but he would not put the fight behind him. He would keep the fight alive in his mind and continue to think about it.
The duck’s thoughts would probably go something like this: “I can’t believe what he just did. He came within five inches of me. He has no consideration for my private space. He thinks he owns this pond. I will never trust him again”. In this way, the duck’s mind spins its tale, still thinking and talking about it, days, months, or even years later. He may never see his rival again, but that does not matter. The single incident has left an impression and now has a life of its own, deep within the duck’s mind.
As far as his body is concerned, the fight is still continuing, and the energy his body generates in response to the imaginary fight is emotion, which in turn generates more thinking. The emotions feed the story and the story feeds the emotions, endlessly. Unless the duck chooses to recognize that the fight is over, unless he drops the story, he will suffer from the endless cycle of his mind’s creation.
You can see how difficult the duck’s life would become if he had a human mind. But this is how most of us live all the time. For the average person, no situation or event is ever really over and done with. The mind and the mind-made story keep it going. Unlike the duck, we are a species that has the power to remember, which is both wonderful and problematic.
This story has an important lesson: Flap your wings, which means “let go of the story,” and live your life here and now, in the present moment.
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At present, when events happen, we need to make sure that we are flapping like the duck. We are seeing business owners preventing themselves from achieving their full potential, as they hold themselves back because of what may or may not happen. For example, this was evident with the recent lockdown in Victoria. Many thought they needed to abandon their goals because of this, even though it did not have an impact on their business.
It is important to be aware of external events and assess with the facts if we will be affected or not. It is not possible to control the external business environment, however there are a few key steps that business owners can undertake to ensure that the business has a great end to 2020…
Do Not Stop
When we get to November and the weather improves, we often see business owners get into holiday mode. The challenge with this is that if you become too relaxed now, you could lose 3 months of business activity (or ¼ of the year). It is important to set yourself small goals, to stay motivated between now and Christmas.
Plan Time Off
Many business owners are burnt out from the year that has been. Do you need to take a week off to recharge? Maybe allow yourself a long weekend. It is important that you are planning some breaks for the next 12 months, even if they are small.
Get To Know Your Numbers
As many of you know, our passion is educating clients on knowing their numbers and how this knowledge accelerates business success. Currently, we are working with several clients to implement budgets, to help the business adjust to our changing economy. The greatest benefit we see with clients through this process, is the ease it brings to businesses, as they have a clear plan of what actions and measures need to be undertaken. This also allows the owners to share the goals with their team and share the load to achieve the business’ goals.
The Power Of One
Currently, setting large growth goals is not possible at present for many businesses. Despite this, we are seeing great success with clients who are implementing strategies with the power of one. What this means, is that implementing small changes within the business can lead to increases in time off or increased in profit. For example, reviewing duplicates within a business. If you had five staff members and you could increase their efficiency by 1 hour per week (removing simple duplications or time spent on emails etc.), this would result in an additional $8,500 profit for the business within 12 months.
Revisit Your Goals
This year has created a need for many business owners to review what they are currently doing, what they would like to be doing and what possible changes can be made within the business. Now is the time to develop your business goals and identify what needs to be actioned to achieve them. Once you identify what processes you need to implement, the key is to break them down into smaller, more manageable actions that can fit within yourself and your team’s daily schedule. To remove the overwhelm that comes with this, we find many successful clients engage us for accountability meetings to take time out from the business. This allows them to reflect on what they have implemented and what they need to do next to achieve their goals.
Lastly, remember it is your race. Do not compare yourself to others around you, as you do not see what happens in their day to day, nor do you know their numbers. What may be success for you may not be success for someone else. So, tie up your laces and let’s get started as we race into the last 7 weeks of the year. Remember what you do today will set you up for 2021!