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?”
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.