The Importance of Setting The Direction

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Since 2012, I've made it my business to be at the forefront of what is happening inside the industry I love. I've studied people, processes, and systems to help draw out the very best from both individuals and their teams inside their fitness businesses.

By far, the most important (yet often most forgotten or neglected) is setting the direction of the business.

See, what I've found from working with people from all different niches inside the fitness industry, is things to start often happen by chance. From there, as you continue to get better at what you do, you start to realise you actually like this coaching thing and start to get busier.

The challenge comes when the pace quickens. At that point, it's easy to get stuck on the hamster wheel of business, and neglect taking the time to set (and reset) the direction of the business moving forward.

What I've learned is great businesses are built by choice, not by chance. Which means if you want to continue to grow, you'll need to get clear about where you are going, and exactly what that looks like.

Let me suggest a couple of ways we can go about doing this:

1. What is it you want?
I'm not one to tout on about setting a 5-year plan. Like Mike Tyson said: everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. However, I am a believer that if you don't stop and think about what it is you want, then you'll never get there.

A great first step is to define how many clients you'll help this year, how much money you want in your savings account, what courses you want to develop yourself in, and who you want to work with (both clients and coaches).

Next, reverse engineer each of those things to help set some really clear goals about your future moving forward.

Instead of the 5-year plan, I coach my clients to work in 100-day blocks. It helps keep the energy high and the inspiration flowing. Maybe it's time you did the same.

2. What is out of bounds?
Having a business is just like being the president of your own little country. You'll get to set the rules of how people go about working with you, and also what happens when they don't.

If you want a business you love, it's best to work out what that does and doesn't look like. How will clients be treated? How you be treated by clients? What are your working hours? How long will it take you to get back to emails? How often will clients see you? Do you have any time off? Who will they contact while you're away?

Write them all down and put them into a document on your computer. This is soon going become your bible (the more we add to it).

3. Who will be on this journey with you?
I can't remember who, but a famous author once wrote a book called: "No man is an island". It was true then, and it's true now. Inside your business, because you've always worked by yourself, you might think that's how it always has to be. As a result, you're a gun at doing EVERYTHING yourself (plus that way you know it's done right).

I agree that only you will care as much about your business as you, but if you want to grow, you've got to learn to let go. Helping others become good at the things you think only you can do, is simply about working from great systems.

If you want inspiration, watch the movie: The Founder. It's the story of a guy called Ray Kroc who found two brothers making burgers in California. He made it his business to systemise their entire business so it could be run by 15-year-olds. That business today turns over $27b, has nearly 37,000 locations and goes by the name of McDonald's.

4. Take it one step at a time.
I know it can be overwhelming at times. On one hand you want to help more people, but on the other hand, sometimes it just feels like you can barely keep your head above water with this whole running of the business thing. I get it. (I've been in business since 2013). 

What I've come to realise is this entire thing, is a process. There is nothing that will prepare you for what it's like to run a business. I've got a bachelor of business from a major university, and half a decade of experience. And still, nearly every day I learn something new about how to successfully run a business.

My advice is to take things one day at a time. Business is an evolution. Who you were 12 months ago is dramatically different from today. Which is also going to be dramatically different to who you become over the next 3, 6 and 12 months.

If you feel like you could use a hand setting the direction of your business, and want a professional, objective opinion, then perhaps it's time we spoke?

Business is hard, but it doesn't have to be lonely. Reach out and let's make sure you're on the right path to success.

Hayden