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Goal gettingMindset Strategies

Let’s go back to the future

By February 28, 2019 6 Comments

I got an email last week that I thought you might be interested to read.

An absolute legend named Emma sent it in (she also gave me permission to share with you!).

In the interest of brevity, I’ve popped the most pertinent part of Emma’s email here:

I opened my own business about six years ago. It was a HUGE deal for me – a big dream I’d held for many years. In the first few years, the milestones and goals seemed obvious – become profitable, increase profits etc and I more or less managed to hit the targets I set. It’s not always easy for me to recognise my strengths but I am really proud of this. Now, six years on, the business is going, well, fine I guess. No major growth, nothing too exciting. I guess it’s just rolling along, and I don’t really know what direction to take with it next. I feel a bit lost about it to be honest. Is it OK that I’m just doing fine, or should I have new goals for my business and how do I know what those should be?”

My response?
Time travel.

Yep, time travel baby!

Should I give you more context?
OK, well, my first question for Emma was this:

How do you feel about your business? Does it energise you?

It may just be my take on your email, but you don’t sound particularly energetic and excited about your business right now. If that’s true, that’s OK by the way – we all have times where our business excites us, and times when it definitely does not!

And yes, if you know me, you know I’m big on having a goal to work towards, but knowing how you FEEL about your business will help you figure out which direction to take it in.

There’s an exercise I do to help me figure out how I feel about my business (and other areas of my life too!).

I call it the Pain Point Time Machine and while it may seem a bit dramatic and OTT, I think it can be a really powerful tool.

So, this is how it works:

The Pain-Point Time Machine

Imagine we’ve fast-tracked 5 years into the future. Nothing in your business has changed. You’re still serving the same customers in the same way, same model, same systems, same staff, same clients, same EVERYTHING.

How do you feel?

Now, fast track 10 years with the same conditions. Then 15 years, then 20 years, and finally 25 years.

Are you happy keeping everything exactly as it is? Or are there some areas you want to improve, opportunities you don’t want to miss out on, some risks you want to take, and some changes you want to make?

When I do this exercise with my business, it pretty quickly shows me where my current pain points are.

Now, if you go through that exercise, and you’re completely happy, AWESOME! That’s fantastic. But if it shows you certain areas you want to improve, use that as a guide for setting new goals.

So, dear reader, how do you feel about that exercise? Is this kind of time travel something you could try in an area of your life?

I find that this exercise always sheds a little light on opportunities I want to take, or create, and changes I want to make.

And like I said to Emma, if you go through this exercise and you’re happy with where you’re at and find no room for improvement – amazing! That’s bloody epic! But if you’re not completely stoked with your outcome or are waiting for a sign to make a change, let this letter be it!

I hope this helps you in some way, and if you do the exercise, I’d love to know what opportunities you want to create for yourself. Let me know in the comments below.

Turia x

6 Comments

  • Sonia says:

    This resinates with me a fair bit. I’ve been in online marketing for 2 years and not much has changed. I want huge growth in my business but I really struggle with setting goals and dreaming big. I always hear the voice in my head telling me it’s unachievable and I don’t deserve it. If I do have massive growth, how do I deal with that kind of success? Am I cut out to be a leader of a large team? Do I deserve a million dollar business???? Messes with my head. I really want the growth and my goal is to change my life as well as other people’s lives. It’s the HOW that I struggle with.

  • Nyleta Pascoe says:

    Hi Turia – I enjoyed reading the story from Emma and your response.
    I was recently at a function and a guy said, quite openly to the whole group of similar aged ladies – “do you realise we only have ten years left?”.
    We were flabbergasted! …..& responded….”hopefully a few more plus”
    to which he added “yeah, but the last five, you’ll probably be stuck in a Nursing Home and don’t know what day it is!”
    This is probably more true than we’d care to admit.
    Make the most of your time as positively and constructively as you can, whilst you are able to. (If you use this, could you take my name off, or substitute, as others will recognise the unusual spelling…..thx)

  • Mazzy says:

    While I don’t have a business, I’m a person with a lot of ideas and I don’t know how to bring them to fruition. Doing this excercise helped me reinforce my decision to go back to school so that I can branch out and spread my wings. I’’ve Been taking more changes with my decision making habits and have winged it to the point that I have travelled more frequently (a goal of mine) and met very cool people along the way. Those pain points were what pushed me out of my comfort zone albeit it took longer than I hoped for because I was stagnant or too scared to make moves. My problem was I couldn’t stick to a decision, there were so many options. Now at this point, as I think of my next goal, I’m a bit confused about what I want. I don’t want to be dominated by what other people are doing (people that I respect in my field or people who have taken chances that make me feel, damn I didn’t do that and always did), I want to pave my own path with confidence but how do you weed out the truth?

  • ElleBelle says:

    Funny I should read this now- im currently on maternity leave (first baby) and when I think about going back to work, im not excited, or particularly enthusiastic for that matter. I have always been the sort of person that believes you can work in a job and really enjoy it, possibly love it if your lucky. Its not the core of my job that’s leaving me feel this way, its a lot of things that surround being in that job. Obviously I need to go back to work- there are bills to pay and there is so much more on the job that I can learn. But I have lost that spark that I had in the job, and I know I need to get it back! So this exercise is actually perfect! I have already started to plan in my mind how I can change my situation to try and regain that spark, but this exercise will give a much clearer structure (im a person that needs structure). The other part of me has other dreams to, so we are presently still plugging away to gain what I feel I need to achieve this too. this exercise would make me commit to a timeline with this dream- probably the push I need! Thanks =D

  • Anne says:

    This is an awesome exercise, I need to give some thought to right away! I often find myself in limbo land, and I could immediately see, how thinking this way would help! Thank you, Turia!

  • This week I celebrate 20 years running my business, Sydney Stretch Therapy, in Pitt Street Sydney. When I first began I was keen to learn everything that interested me, leaping from one course to another. I have a fantastic mentor, Kit Laughlin, who I asked “What should I do next?” He replied “Go deeper,” and this was a powerful insight for me. Instead of having a shallow knowledge of many things I chose to specialize, enrich and deepen my understanding. This has set me apart from my peers. I can honestly say I am endlessly fascinated about other people and what I can do for them.

    Go deeper and you will find not just your pain points but weaknesses and strengths. Choose three things and do them one at a time.

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