We always ask everyone we meet who has been in the military the same two questions…
- Was basic training as hard as everyone makes it out? (to which the answer has always been, ‘yes, extremely hard, probably the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life!’
- Was it stressful? (to which the answer has always been – after a sometimes long pause….’no actually, in fact probably the least stressed I’ve ever been in my life’.
And yet all around us we see successful business owners citing all the work they have to do as stressing them out. What they seem to not be realizing is the idea illustrated in the questions and answers above: workload does not cause stress, DECISION load does.
The main reason why there is no stress in the basic training is there is nearly zero decision to be made – as one fellow recounted, ‘you know, I never asked myself why it was so un-stressful, I guess it was just because we had our marching orders given to us for every second of every day.’ Now, the thing about having your own business is that you don’t have anyone handing you YOUR marching orders, you have the privilege/burden of creating those yourself, or you can just go hour to hour, day to day, week to week making up decisions on the fly without ever really developing your ‘orders’ as such, or rather – your plan.
Sometimes we encounter 60 year old folks with the energy and enthusiasm of people in their 20’s; and very often we meet people in their 20’s with the energy of a corpse. Hours working per week is not the issue. The people full of energy are trusting themselves and executing their plan, the tired and those paralyzed by overwhelming stress are second guessing themselves, and their strategy, and their unique selling proposition, and their….well you get the point.
Not saying you can eliminate on the fly decisions completely when running a business – they come with the territory, and are in fact part of the excitement and freedom of being in business. However, you surely can take steps to drastically cutting down on your decision load, and creating more of a proactive plan. Perhaps the best habit to form in this regard is to do 90 day plans EVERY 90 days – fanatically, to the point where you wouldn’t dare miss one. Set out the priorities for your business, yourself, your staff, and then just take the next 3 months and focus all your energy on executing , and not thinking.
This idea of doing all the heavy lifting (the thinking) one full day every quarter is habit embraced by over 10,000 business owners around the world who have attending our 90 day planning sessions. Check our events calendar to register for the next one.
Create your own marching orders and be more excited than worried, be more energetic than tired, and back yourself and work your plan.