Today I went to see a business coach. I've never had a coach before (outside of sport that is) and I have to admit that it was a very useful experience, despite my initial scepticism.
You see, I'm very good at being organised, I work well when I know what I have to get done. I write comprehensive to-do lists and usually get things crossed off quite successfully.
My biggest business (and arguably personal) challenge has always been the lack of a longer term picture, a wider view.
So the crux of my business coaching session today was to begin to think on what my next year (2012) is going to look like. This was in terms of income targets, level and size of business activity, number of new clients, types of business activity, and also some personal aims as well.
We then looked at areas where I could set some shorter term targets that would contribute to this 14 month plan. This was all about getting the ball rolling and getting into some new habits, such as blog writing more consistently and frequently.
And then to complete this I was encouraged to set out an action plan for achieving these targets. These are specific things to do (along with expected completion dates) that will help to ensure that the long-term aims are achieved.
Now, those who know will simply call this stuff 'goal setting' and they'd be right. The thing is, from my point of view, I've never really taken uninterrupted time out to do this stuff.
Despite knowing that it's important, I've never taken some time out to work 'on' my business rather than simply work 'in' it. On the drive back home I was mentally kicking myself for not taking this notion more seriously much sooner.
So what's the upshot really, what has this goal setting / business coaching session achieved?
Well, for the first time in quite a while I have a reasonable idea of the things I will be doing in the coming months to develop my business and personal life. I have some targets and some actions to get me there.
I also have a renewed mind, to some extent. I am now, more than ever, able to think more clearly about my to do lists and ensure that they contain actions that are taking me where I want to go, since I now have a better idea of where I want to go.
And finally, I'm going to make sure that I take a a couple of hours away from my desk each month to ensure that I'm working on my action plan and that I'm still doing the things that take me in my desired direction.
So many thanks to Karen Chambers of KC Coaching (http://kccoaching.co.uk) for getting the ball rolling.