STEP Six: Mix it up, but most importantly, push yourself to do the thing you think is impossible.
If you’ve spent any time at all dieting or working out, you know your body will inevitably plateau. The exercises you are doing will become less effective, because your body will get used to them and adjust. You have to mix it up. You have to try different things, ask your body to move in different ways. This is the reason trainers change workout routines every few weeks. They are trying to fool your body and not let it get comfortable.
Your business will plateau as well, if you just do the same old thing. Your customers will get used to what you are doing and become bored. Your staff will become complacent and put forth less effort. You will start to put forth less effort to accomplish the same work. It’s just a reality of the human condition. You can change it though. You can keep it fresh.
Each month, pick one specific item that is fresh and new that you want to focus on and crush. Perhaps you want to learn about or gain a deeper understanding of the financial reports and how they can be used to make better business decisions. Maybe you want to explore new business development strategies to add to your arsenal. Whatever you decide, commit and stick with it, but SHAKE IT UP!
Here’s the bonus secret, so pay attention. When it comes to improving your body, your mind plays a HUGE role in the process. In fact, your mind can limit your progress. The reality is that your mind sets perceptions of limitations, regardless of whether those limitations are real. Here’s what it looks like:
If you’re like us, you like a defined number of repetitions when you work out – 6, 8, 10, 12, 15. You can wrap your head around the number and accomplish it. It has a start and end. Then one day, your trainer throws a wrench into the system. “I want you to do 200 triceps pushdowns.”
For a moment, you stare at the trainer, as though she has two heads and finally say, “Am I even capable of that?”
Your trainer nods affirmatively, and adjusts the weight on the machine, then says, “We’ll start in 3-2-1. Go.”
You begin doing the first reps, still trying to wrap your head around 200, and before you know it, you have completed 50 of them. You tell yourself it’s not so bad, but you better beware, because you know those last 100 are going to be harder than the first 100. Another 50 down. As you convince yourself you must have messed up when counting, because there was no way you could possible do 100 pushdowns, you realize you’re approaching 150, and then it happens. You realize you have it in you to do the last 50. You can actually accomplish the task. You are going to complete 200 tricep pushdowns, a fete you never thought possible.
Sometimes, you need to re-define your limits by doing the thing you thought you could never do.
Your business needs that too. Set a higher revenue goal (and stop calling it a stretch goal – that’s just an excuse you’re giving yourself in case you don’t hit the goal.) than you think you can hit. Attempt to cut 20% from your expenses without damaging quality or essentials support for your team and operations. You’re stronger than you think. You’re more capable, more flexible, more stable then you dreamed. You just don’t know it…until you know it.
There’s always a first time: the first time you rode a bike, your first kiss, your first sale. Each first sets a new expectation. Each first re-defines the possible. So get to it. Push yourself. Do something you didn’t believe you could do. Expand your possibilities. This is how you grow your business.