It’s one of the questions I get all the time when I’m speaking with small business owners, “How do I get to the next level?” The ‘next level’ is a pretty vague statement, but let’s work with it a bit.
As an owner, there are thousands of thoughts clouding your head on a daily basis of what to do next. “Should I expand the warehouse, purchase a new facility, bring in another line of product, hire a marketing person,” etc…etc…
There is no wrong answer in this scenario, but whatever you choose to do, you have to do it full on, and be prepared for what happens if it fails.
One of the best ways to figure out what to do next is to do the ‘Force Field Analysis.’ Take a piece of paper, and draw a horizontal line. Mark it as “Day 1.” Then draw three arrows going up from that line, and draw another line. Label it “Today.” Then ask yourself, “What are three things that took me from Day 1 to where I am today?”
Then draw another horizontal line above the “Today” line, and label it “Next Level.” Draw three arrows down from this line, then ask yourself, “What are three things preventing me from getting to the next level?”
This will clear your mind, and allow you to focus in on what’s really important. Then circle one of those items, and devote your time to it. The ‘Force Field Analysis’ may not be the right thing for you, but I’ve found it to work time, and time again. Google ‘Force Field Analysis’ to see what I’m talking about. This is a great exercise to curb ‘analysis paralysis.’
If you’re still having a difficult time figuring out what to do next, ask an employee or someone who you trust to give you open, honest feedback.
If all else fails, you can always ask a mentor of yours (more on that here) or call up a business you respect, and ask them what they would do in your situation.
Or you could always shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I read every message, and I’d be happy to help, as long as you aren’t an asshole.
Jordan ‘The Guy with the Bow Tie’ Rycroft
PS. I think this post sets the record for most quotation marks in an article under 500 words.