If you’ve been running your own business for a while, I’m sure you will know how easy it is to get sucked in to working IN your business rather then ON it. In other words, you’re so busy doing the do, that it’s hard to take a step back and take stock of the bigger picture. That’s what we’re looking at this week

Do you suffer from HCS?

Headless Chicken Syndrome (HCS) is a common affliction for most business owners. We run about here, there and everywhere, from meeting to meeting and project to project and it’s a draining, exhausting process. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve felt like I’m running at full speed just to stand still. In my experience, the worst thing about operating like this is the feeling of utter disconnectedness from my business. I have no idea of that month’s P&L and not a clue what my pipeline is. I lack a sense of the bigger picture – and it’s in those times that my business begins to suffer.

What’s the cure?

There are many ways to beat HCS… but let me share the three things that have worked (and continue to work) well for me.

1. Power Hours. Each day I set aside one hour to focus on a particular business activity: marketing, network development, accounts and invoicing, etc. I ring-fence these slots in my diary and it has to be a something critical that draws me away. This means that I am always in control, working on my business and have a good overview of what’s going on.
Do you set aside time to focus on important business activity? If not, why not and how can you build this time into your diary?

2. Time Out. Every three months I take a morning out of my business to get away from it all and go for a long walk with one of my business coaches and talk things through. As Stephan and I walk through the countryside we talk about the challenges we’re facing and I’m helped to think things through and plan my next steps. Each year I take a day out to really focus on the bigger picture and our ongoing marketing and business growth strategies.
Do you take regular time out of your business to re-envision, think things through and create the space to see the bigger picture? If not, then can I encourage you to book some time in now.

3. Accountability. I’ve built an elite team of people around me who hold me to account for the things I’m doing and the strategies I’m developing. Their advice, wisdom and tellings-off keep me on the straight-and-narrow, give me space for sanity checks and help me see what is really going on. I would be lost without their support, advice and friendship and the fact that we are celebrating out 5th birthday is, in many ways, down their input and hard work.
Who are you accountable to? Have you got a group to keep your feet on the ground and your eyes looking to the skies? Who do you know who could help your business grow and thrive?