Have you ever looked way into the future? I am talking about the end of the life of your business. To the point: how will your business obituary read?
OK, this is not meant to be a macabre suggestion but writing your business obituary is a very powerful tool. Recently I shared this exercise with my master mind group; a group that is comprised of small business owners. The outcome was somewhat otherworldly. In fact I and they were amazed at the outcome.
Why a business obituary you say? Here's the deal, the business obituary is your concept of where your business will be when the time comes to move on or shutter the doors. It takes into account how you hope to be perceived at this crucial interval as much as what you aspire to have accomplished. Looking ahead to this time, you have done all that you intended (or hoped) to do. The hard work is behind you; you are now left to bask in the glow as it were.
In the present moment you might be inclined to think IN THE MOMENT. Sure, you've got plans and goals but the myriad of speed bumps, road blocks and challenges (both good and bad) can cloud that vision. By stepping outside the moment, you are afforded the opportunity to appreciate what this is all about. In the short term perhaps the goal is to increase sales by a margin of 10% for each year. Now, look to the end of the line- if you plan on staying in business for let's say 20 years, your short term goal extrapolates to a 200% increase in sales over time (it's only an example- the goals are yours to design). OK, well that is part of it. But what about the things people will be saying- E & D Associates, WOW, they really understood and made a tremendous difference in the lives of so many small businesses. Think of what you want to be feeling- in 2028 I passed the reins of my successful practice to my trusted employees, knowing that they would keep this legacy alive.
Yes, the obituary is as much about a dream as it is a goal to strive for. The process takes you beyond the daily menagerie of short term goals and allows you to glimpse at what the whole process means. In short, it heightens your awareness of what "it can be", it lends substance to what the journey means to you and rather than pushing you along, as short term goals tend to do, it draws you to the place where you hope to be.
A business obituary? A lot more than the end of the line if you ask me.