As I was driving home from the gym this morning I heard Pause for Thought on the radio.
For those unfamiliar with Radio 2, this is a regular feature where a variety of people offer a reflection for the day. Most, but not all, presenters base their ‘Thought’ on their faith. This morning it was Father Brian’s turn. He was speaking in anticipation of the approaching Christian period of Lent.
Christians are often encouraged to give something up for Lent, but Father Brian took a different approach. He explained that:
Lent is an old English word for Spring
We can all see Spring as a time for new beginnings. You don’t have to be a practising Christian to embrace this.
Father Brian plans to use the time to reflect on what he wants to change in our lives. He will ask himself a different question each week for the next six weeks. His six questions start with:
“How do I describe where my life is now, and what words describe the vision of life that I’d like to have.”
Listening to this, I was struck by how easily it could be applied to our business lives. As small business owners, it’s so easy to get caught up in day-to-day activity. We rarely, if ever, pause to reflect on how things are going. We don’t ask whether we are happy with the current state of our business or the direction in which we are heading. Often we make compromises without realising it. We choose to focus on one activity rather than another. Or we devote too much time to work and not enough to family or personal life.
As I pondered this, I came up with the idea for a six week challenge. Each week I will pose a question. Then over the following week I’ll reflect daily on that question, and see what comes up. I’m calling it a business-fit challenge, because I’ll be looking at the current and future state of my business, and how that fits with everything else in my life.
Will you join me on the 6 week business-fit challenge?
I’d love you to do the challenge with me, and to share any insights or comments.
The weekly questions are below.
I recommend that you set a specific time aside each day to do the challenge, maybe first thing in the morning or last thing at night, whichever works best for you. Allow yourself 10 minutes or so (more if you like) to just sit with the question and ponder it. You may surprise yourself with what comes up.
I’m excited about this challenge. I’m looking forward to having new insights and discovering more about myself and where my business sits in the overall pattern of my life. I want to get business-fit for the rest of the year, and ensure I’m also taking care of my work/life balance.
Here’s the question for week 1
“What words do I use to describe my business as it is now, and what words would I use to describe the business I want to have?”
And here are the questions for the remaining weeks:
Week 2: “What’s important to me about the way I run my business and how can I make sure I keep and build on it this year?”
Week 3: “What strengths do I have that I’m not using to their full extent – and how can I use them more?”
Week 4: “How do I handle crises in my business – flight, fight or freeze?”
Week 5: “What do you take for granted?”
Week 6: “What practical steps can you take to move forward in your business?”
Father Brian says this in his Pause for Thought.
“ If I don’t change the direction of my life soon, I’m likely to end up in the direction I’m heading!”
Now if you’re happy with that direction, then great, but let’s make sure we are ALL heading in the direction we want to end up in.
(If the sayings of Father Brian resonate with you, you may like to listen to the full Pause for Thought.)