Where did our dreams go?

Dream big, surround yourselves with great people and don’t be scared to ask for help.

To my children: dream big, surround yourselves with great people and don’t be scared to ask for help.

This is part of the dedication at the front of my first book, The Numbers Business; how to grow a successful cloud accountancy practice. I read it today as I was looking through the book to check some information for a new talk that I’m writing.

When my kids were little they were full of ideas. Their imaginations were limitless. Now they’re teenagers and their dreams are, to me, quite ordinary and definitely small. They’re mainly focused on their everyday lives at school. Where did their dreams go?

As adults many of us are the same. The minutiae of life has left us no time for dreaming. When did you last take some time to assess the ‘big picture’ of your life? What makes you happy? And are you doing enough of your happy thing? This is what led me to sell my successful accountancy practice to focus on the coaching side business that I love.

When you know what you want to achieve you can set the detailed action plan and add some costs and timescales to it. A business plan, but for your life.

Sometime in the next month book a day just to dream. Start with the big, no holds barred ideas. Work out what you really want from life and write this down. Then book a second ‘reality’ day to work out what you can do to achieve this or something similar enough to be satisfying. How do you get from here to there and what help do you need along the way.

To all of you out there: Don’t be afraid to dream big

Is your business a little drunk?

You’ve probably seen a few in your time. The drunk falling out of the pub, absolutely intent on getting to his destination if only he could remember where he was going and how to get there.

Ask him his name and he can hopefully recall this but ask anything else about him (or her) and you may struggle for a coherent response. An incredible amount of energy put into going nowhere.

Too many businesses also seem to be reeling about with no idea of where they’re heading (stop reading now if you’re feeling in control) or how they’re going to get there. In this case it isn’t alcohol but just everyday busyness, firefighting and minor crises.

Take a moment and consider:

  1. What do you, the business owner, want out of life? (your life goals)
  2. What do you need from your business in order to achieve this? (your business goals)
  3. What does this look like financially? (your budget)
  4. How are you going to achieve this? (your action plan)
  5. What will this cost? (revise budget)
  6. Are there any financial or time constraints on the actions you can afford to take? (revise action plan)
  7. Does this still give you what you want? (check life/business goals and adjust budget/actions)
  8. Start driving
  9. Check that you are on the right track (management accounts and non-financial KPIs)
  10. Adjust course accordingly to take account of diversions (coaching satnav) or blockages (specific business advice or consultancy)
  11. Repeat until you reach your planned destination

If you need a hand then we can help with strategic planning days, budget days and/or regular coaching sessions or ad hoc advice to keep you on track.

Business is tougher when you go it alone.