Have you ever looked up from the day-to-day and realized how far you’ve drifted from where you intended to go in your business?
I sure have.
*Flashback to 2010*
I started my first business, a teaching art studio, mostly because I wasn’t cut-out for a “traditional job”. But also because I had art training (hello, BFA) and had dipped my toe in operations roles for art businesses prior. Overall, my business model was similar to one that shaped my creativity and pursuit of art early-on.
Primarily, I taught group art classes to kids after-school and adults mornings and evenings. But my favorite was the group of teen girls ,because for me, it was the time art transitioned from an after school activity into building skills and talent.
Things were off to a good start, business was growing.
I added Summer Camps into the mix to help get through the slow Summer months.
It was exhausting, I came up with a million activities to fill the day, and I gave a peanut allergy child a snickers bar- luckily, she was fine and I somehow didn’t get sued.
It was brutal, but I persisted.
Then, a 10 year olds parent asked if I could host a kid’s birthday party on a Saturday.
I saw dollar signs and said, “Of course!”.
Two hours, I can handle it.
During that birthday party, among the sugar-charged mayhem- I had an out-of-body experience and completely questioned everything.
No, but really.
Not that hosting a kid’s birthday party was a bad thing… for anyone else.
Not that it wasn’t the most profitable (it was).
I had drifted too far. Way too far.
S.O.S.- Wave the white flag.
Have you ever had a snap-to moment like this? Where you were so tied up working in your business you just kept “doing”?
That’s- The Drift.
The Drift is when all your attention is directed toward working IN your business, that you drop the ball (as the owner) to steer your business in the right direction.
The (slow + steady, sneak up on you while you’re focused on something else) drift. It gently pulls you away from your long term goal while you’re distracted with the day-to-day.
Even if, (especially if) you’re a business of ONE.
It’s easy for small business owners that double as a main member of the team to get so caught up in “doing” that they forget to lead the business and their teams towards the big picture goals.
Playing both roles and balancing the two is challenging, even a little meta.
But, if you’re not leading your business with intention, someone or something else will.
So, how do you avoid The Drift?
The key is to stay true to the mission and values of your business by checking-in regularly, even when all the plates are spinning. Step away from the day-to-day, reconnect with those big picture goals, and find the bridge between the two.
I know, I know it’s hard to find the time. The intention is there, but something more urgent always comes up.
That’s why I recommend checking-in at least every 90 days.
One day for a quick review of your numbers, assessing where you are, and setting a few attainable quarterly goals so you can confidently lead in the right direction.
It helps to keep those guard-rails up to stay the course.
Think about it like this:
It’s a hot sunny day, and your friends invited you over to her clear, blue pool.
You just bought the perfect float––you know, the kind that has a great pillow that doesn’t get your hair wet and a cup-holder in just the right spot.
Grab your shades, hit the pool and doze off to the sound of trickling water.
Then imagine that same scenario, but in the ocean.
When you wake up after having dozed off for what seemed like two minutes has carried you halfway down the beach.
Argh! How will I ever find my umbrella?
In your business, when you set aside time to regularly check-in, you won’t be able to drift too far away before you can course-correct.
It’s like dozing off in the pool rather than the ocean.
You’re tethered to a clear direction without wasting the time and resources of straying too far away.
If you’re ready to assess your business focus on what works–– I have a free workbook for you.
Finding Your Business Sweet Spot
Guides you through 3 quick exercises to take you from guessing what’s next– to a surefire game plan to maximize your efforts. Click here to get the workbook!