Do You Really Need A Bigger Boat?Jan 05, 2021
By Dino Tartaglia.
In the gripping 1975 film Jaws (well, it was gripping if you were a teen in 1975 ), there’s a scene where Chief Brody, played by Roy Scheider, is rocked by the sheer size of the eponymous great white shark which is chasing the Orca, the boat he’s in, together with Hooper and Quint.
In arguably THE most quoted line from the film, he says to Quint, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat.’
In the film, that was pretty much on the money, but the version of this that plays out in the online space is far less accurate, or helpful. Often, we think that bigger or ‘more’ is the solution to our problems. You started a business to get MORE freedom, to have MORE choice, to live life on your terms, ultimately, to get What Matters Most to you - which meant building a business around being brilliant at what you do, right?
And yet, here you are, hammering away, trying your level best to figure it all out, working harder than ever and not really getting closer to What Matters Most. The ‘bigger boat’, the 7-figure business/large team/hundreds of customers/humongous tribes - none of that really appeals. But there’s a more insidious trap, and it’s this…
The ‘bigger boat’ idea also includes the idea of chasing ‘more’:
And, whilst none of that is wrong in and of itself, it’s not the optimal way of planning and building a business that truly reflects your brilliance AND gets you closer to What Matters Most.
‘More’ is rarely ‘better’, particularly when we’re trying to solve the bigger questions and meet the actual challenges that you must handle as a small business owner; whether you’re a coach, consultant, creative or another professional service provider.
A DIFFERENT APPROACH
Over Q1 2021, throughout January, February and March, I’ll be sharing a 3-part process that has stood the test of time and has helped our clients go from frustrated, overworked, stressed and stretched to calm, assured and in flow, loving the clients they work with and building businesses that thrive.
In truth, there’s no magic here, but there WILL be one heck of a lot of things that are ‘obvious’ once highlighted - what I call The Elusive Obvious - and many ideas that are less so. Above all, there will be a clear and solid path to help you travel from where you are to where you want to be, in other words, a roadmap. Or, if we stick with the nautical angle afforded us by the Jaws reference at the start of this article, a ‘voyage’ with your specific nautical chart; your way to sail across vast oceans, rough seas and calmer waters towards What Matters Most to you.
I’m a BIG fan of simplicity. Complexity is the enemy. It leads to chaos and a feeling of being overwhelmed...and a LOT of wasted effort and life. So, unsurprisingly, the process we’re going to walk through is super simple.
It’s actually just 3 steps:
1. Get Clarity
2. Get a Plan
3. Get to Work.
Additional ‘wraparound’ elements are needed, of course, like Accountability, Coaching and Course Correction, but these are the glue, not the substance, that holds the process together.
For January, we’re going to tackle the small matter of ‘Getting Clarity’, i.e., figuring out where (and who) we are, what we want and where we truly want to go. Getting Clarity is something that I suspect you feel that you have, but inherently know that you don’t. (By the way, that describes ALL of us at various points on our voyage, including me).
This is SUCH a big topic, that I’m going to make this a 2-parter, with the second piece in February.
Then, in March, we’ll pick up the core ‘Plan’ that enables us to use that clarity to build out our chart, the thing that will lay out a course to get us closer to What Matters Most, and the basics of how we can give ourselves the best chance of success by making our ‘vessel’ (our business model and approach) as seaworthy as we can, capable of handling the roughest of seas, if needs be.
The ‘Get to Work’ piece requires one heck of a lot of focus too, so the chances are I’ll break that into key things over a couple of articles in Q2 - quick wins, if you will - that you can act on; ideas and actions you can take to execute the Plan, to shift, tweak, double-down or simply cut the things that you’re doing to ensure that your focus and effort is on what works, and what takes you closer to What Matters Most, not sailing around in ever-decreasing circles.
If you can’t wait for that, just post in TFCEO and tag me, catch me on the ‘Clarity over Cocktails’ FB Live sessions and/or come join us in Success Unlocked to get more of this and move faster towards what you want.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES - FINDING YOUR TRUE NORTH
Last month, in my Christmas article based on the quite wonderful story from the original Miracle on 34th Street film, I said that if you understand both yourself AND your customer and you do what feels right, it’s a stone-cold certainty that some good will come of that.
And, as helpful and true as that is, it’s not a defined strategy, nor does it give you the kind of focused direction you’ll need to move towards what you want with clarity and certainty.
On this point, I use the terms ‘strategy’, ‘strategic thinking’ and ‘strategic action’ - being strategic - in a lot of my writing and coaching. But what IS ‘strategy’ and what does ‘being strategic’ mean? Being more strategic in our businesses simply means having a ‘True North’; a guiding set of principles, standards, vision, desires and understanding that give us direction - a way to connect where we are (our Point A) with where we want to go (our Point X). I call these things that enable us to identify our True North as ‘What Matters Most’.
And, because business IS a theory, because nothing is guaranteed, it is critical that we know:
-Where we’re headed
-What we want (What Matters Most to us)
-What problem we solve/need we fulfil
-Why that matters deeply to us
-Why that really matters to our prospective client/our market.
From a ‘not wasting time, focus and energy’ perspective, a) and b) are super important. This sets our initial bearing for our ‘voyage’ - our business journey. It’s the basis of how we find our True North, and how we then use this to direct our efforts so that we don’t fall prey to ‘busywork’ and diffusion of energy and resources, as in Fig. 1. This, by the way, is a graphical illustration of the difference between moving at speed by being busy and moving with velocity (moving towards our True North with speed AND direction).
Point e) is critical if we want to build a business on a solid commercial basis, and for it to have legs (to last). Points c) and d) become relevant if we want to have a real impact, get paid AND stay the course when the going gets tough, as it always will.
From all the understanding and work that we’ve done over the 50+ years that Simon and I have been working with Elite Athletes, Elite Businesses, Globals and kitchen-table entrepreneurs alike, one thing above all that stands out in all world-class people. This especially shows up in our 5 Characteristics (Traits) of Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs, something we’ve observed that ALL long-term successful entrepreneurs - to a man and a woman - do.
They align their passion with a big (valuable) problem that they solve.
Simply, they direct their curiosity and their skill to creating a solution for something that has value to a lot of people. They get passionate about a problem that a lot of people have, and the task of solving that and having that impact, and/or enabling others to have impact (which can be just as rewarding).
-Follow their passion
-Monetise their skills
-Try to ‘sell what they make’ (rather than make what sells).
Most critically, they don’t try to ‘find their passion’, because passion ‘shows up’; it isn’t something you find.
They get passionate about serving a specific market with a specific problem or challenge and solving that problem/fulfilling that need (solving a problem and meeting a need are two sides of the same coin). And, inevitably, some spark of curiosity, some burning need to be and do more, comes out of that process.
So, Step 1 in our 3-Step process is Get Clarity, and the first baby step is to identify each of the 5 sub-steps.
Answer - really think about and answer - these questions:
-What do I want - what matters - really matters to me?
-What matters to the people I want to serve?
-What problem(s) do they have that I can help with and that matter deeply to me?
UNEARTHING YOUR PURPOSE
There are a raft of ways to do this, and it may well be that you have some handle on this, have it dialled in or are re-evaluating what it is.
Because mostly everything on your voyage is fluid, it never hurts to weigh anchor every so often and sense-check or revisit things we figured out earlier in your journey. Unsurprisingly, who you are and What Matters Most to you will shift and alter as you travel. Your risk appetite will change. Your desires and goals will morph and move. And much more will shift that you can’t possibly yet know (but can anticipate). This is the nature of things and is to be embraced (and factored in).
Next month, we’ll dig into your purpose to get complete Clarity, as it’s the keystone for your entire business model and, thus, your success in the task of building a joyful, dependable business around being brilliant at what you do.
Until then, have a cracking month!
Dino Tartaglia is a former Electronics Engineer, now a businessman, mentor, coach and troubleshooter working to help you, if you’re a coach, consultant, creative or service provider, to Build a Joyful, Dependable Business around Being Brilliant at What You Do.
In his own coaching, and together with world-class coach Simon Hartley, the other half of Success Engineers (their joint business), he helps you to improve your thinking to ask better questions, so that you solve the right problems in your business at the right time, develop your own personal performance as a business owner and get closer to What Matters Most.
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