Now, I should probably contextualize this next blog by saying that it’s as much advice for myself as it is for you guys!   One of the things I find hardest about running my own business is this concept of a business being a marathon and not a sprint. I really believe in making long term plans but setting short term goals and growing businesses through action. This strategy usually results in getting lots done and getting a lot of compelling traction. It can be a very motivating way to work but unchecked it can also be a danger zone of being hyper-proactive!

I can often be in such a hurry to get to my big end goal that I sprint my way through growing my business.   Usually the result of that hurrying is I get sick, tired, irritable and my life gets out of balance. I realize I haven’t been connecting with my kids and partner, my guitar is gathering serious dust or my joyful and spontaneous creating becomes stifled. Before I know it I’m missing the whole point of why I started my businesses in the first place. I forget my core vision to support my creativity in a professional way and give my family and I the kind of lifestyle we dream of, whilst using my talents and my skills sharing what I know best with the world.

It is very hard when you are an excited, passionate and visionary person to slow it down. But sometimes you need to. Rushing ahead in some situations can be putting your business and creativity at long term risk. Here are 3 of the key dangers of racing ahead and how you can remedy them.


Problem – Ever Moving Goal Posts


Ticking off your short term goals and then moving the goal posts immediately to the next set of goals leaves precious little time for review and evaluation. When you charge on to the next set of goals and strategies without taking a breath, you don’t give yourself a chance to work out what is working and what needs tweaking, changing or ditching all together. You run the risk of working in a way that doesn’t actually serve your dream creative life or business in the best possible way. Charging ahead also deprives you of the happy bio-feedback of recognising and celebrating what you have achieved. Staying permanantly forward focussed can be exhausting if you don’t give yourself a reprieve to acknowledge how far you’ve already come.


Take time out to constantly evaluate and re-evalute core business priorities. Check out what is working in your business and what isn’t. Check that the goals you are meeting are actually having the desired results and driving you towards your life and business vision. Give yourself permission to change how you are working, to shift to a different pathway or to even let some activities go. Celebrate what you have achieved, breath in the successes and admire your progress.


Problem – Non Strategic Action


When you’re jumping from one exciting idea to the next without taking time to reflect you can become non-strategic in the way you’re working. Recognising unexpected and time sensitive opportunities and embracing them when they arise can catapault your traction. It can also make you distracted and pull your focus and attention away from what you really passionately want to be doing with your life. You can end up rushing from one urgent and compelling opportunity to the next and chewing up much time and energy on all consuming non-core business. A sure ticket to burn out in you and confusion in your customers.  


Check in with your central life and business vision and make sure you aren’t going down a rabbit hole of distraction. Is the opportunity really an opportunity you are looking for?


Problem – Peaking before you’re ready


It’s true that we are all of us learning as we go and it’s common to feel un-ready for each new stage of our business. But sometimes we really do need to wait for the ideal timing or you might end up somewhere you’re not actually ready to be at and that might end up shooting you in the foot. I have a long time goal to play at a particular music festival. For years I have imagined performing there and it is a total musical bucket list thing for me. I recently started playing with a band that is hugely, hands-down, the best band I have ever played with and the most aligned to how I want my music to sound and how I want it to feel when I’m playing music. In my excitement to get out there and share what we’re doing, I suggested that we apply for this particular festival. As it turns out we didn’t and maybe a week after the discussion around applying for this festival was done, we played a gig and the fact is we were a little shaky. Even though I’ve been in working in this industry for a long time playing my music and writing my songs and our collective experience is pretty vast, we haven’t been playing together long enough to fully develop consistency in what we do and make sure that we always nail it to a certain standard every single time. It hasn’t become automated yet. So in reality, while I may have pulled us across the line to get into this festival, it probably wouldn’t have been in our best interest. Sometimes we race to an end game and we get there without being actually ready to implement. By peaking too early we can risk missing out on future opportunities that would have been ours had we just waited a little longer until we had everything in place that we needed.


Without creating unneccessary road blocks or falling pray to procrastination do check in if your product is market ready. While we are always improving and developing what we do as we go, it’s worth making sure that the fundamentals are in place and that there are no fatal flaws in your product that will damage your brand. Everything in its time.


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