What happens when the thought of change scares you so much that you can’t take action on your goals?
Change is not easy and it can be painful.
I know this for a fact because that was my life until I learnt to anticipate change and welcome it, despite my fears.
Fear is a major reason why people don’t go for their dreams. It’s such a huge threat that the first chapter of my book 12 Weeks to Startup addresses fear.
Last week during a coaching session, I received a challenge from my client.
She noted that my book and current coaching programs are more focused on startups and people who want to start businesses.
So while she appreciated the information, she needed a book that would help her move beyond startup.
Her recommendations were that I add something in my work for existing businesses and create my next book for existing businesses, and especially family-owned businesses.
For the first time in many years, I was happy to receive such a challenge.
Because I had seen it coming last year and had already started working on it.
So my client’s challenge was an affirmation that I was on the right track.
However, if she had done this a year or two ago, most probably I would have come up with a number of excuses and put her views on the shelf – to be checked out in November as I do my planning for the next year.
For today, I want to share simple steps that you too can take within the next week, or possibly this month, to anticipate change and growth in your life and/or business.
4 Ways to Anticipate Change and Growth
1. Do a SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Conduct a SWOT each year so that you:
- have an idea of where you stand in the market;
- know the potential you have for growth (opportunities);
- identify potential pitfalls you may encounter (threats).
2. Listen to the people around you
People are always telling you what they need from you and from your type of business (like my client did last week).
So it makes sense to listen to your customers, prospects, employees, and your close contacts.
If many people ask for something, then it’s time for you to think of expanding your business in that area.
Your business SWOT will also help to identify if this area is an opportunity in the making.
Your employees are an amazing source of information if you allow them to. They work in the business, but are not as emotionally invested in the business as you are.
They could also be receiving a lot of feedback from your customers, but may not be passing on this information to you.
Allow your employees to voice their concerns, ideas, and observations and involve them in planning and brainstorming as much as you can, even as you make the final decisions about your business.
3. For both business and personal change and growth
Actively seek growth on an yearly basis. Commit to Constant and Never-Ending Improvement (CANI) so that you make massive change in at least one area of your life or business each year.
Allow yourself to venture into areas that scare you. Be willing to not know how everything will pan out as you grow.
Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Explore life beyond your comfort zone and possibly fail because failure is one of the fastest learning tools on earth.
I’ve changed from looking at failure as a bad thing to taking the lessons I gain in the process and turning them into learning experiences.
4. Have long term plans and update them each year
One of the things that has helped me actively seek growth and change is working with a 7-year masterplan.
I learnt how to create masterplans from Michael Masterson’s book, The Pledge: Your Masterplan for an Abundant Life.
In this book, Masterson recommends that you work with 7-year plans as this is a long-enough period to achieve any large goal.
He notes that in 7 years, you can:
- Start and develop and multi-million dollar (or shilling) business.
- Master any language.
- Become a black belt in almost any martial art.
- Get healthy.
- Get wise.
If you’re looking at career or professional growth, 7 years is a good enough time to become an expert and achieve your dreams.
When it comes to relationships, you can meet and marry your ideal partner, and start your family (possibly having 2-4 children…) within that time.
When I created my first 7-year masterplan in 2011, I wanted to start a coaching business (by 2012), write a book (by July 2017), and get international certification as a coach (by December 2017).
This what I’ve achieved so far:
- Received international certification in Neuro-Linguistics Programming (NLP) in 2011.
- Finished my first book and started selling it in December 2014 (with the edited version selling from May 2015).
- Currently undergoing advanced coach training and will receive the accreditation by December 2016.
- Started writing my second book this year.
In the process of working on the 7-year goals, I’ve also become a blogger, improved my coaching skills, and I’m now working with the kind of clients I expected to have 3-5 years in the future.
Masterplans are powerful tools and they provide immense value for change and growth.
How about you?
Looking at your life today, what will you do to anticipate change and growth this year?
Which of these tips will you implement actively, starting today?
If you already have a business, will you take time to conduct a thorough SWOT analysis so that you can improve on your market positioning?
Think about it, make the first step, and take control of your life and business.