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Feel the burn, move the microbusiness

Feel the burn, move the microbusiness

Published: December 24, 2009

If you are a fitness aficionado (or if you aren’t but wish you were), then perhaps you have noticed the way that doing exercises changes the way you move.

Dancing does the same thing but I figure there are probably fewer ballerinas out there than there are microbusiness owners trying to avoid becoming mouse potatoes. Besides, for some of us, (aerobic) dance is our favorite form of exercise.

See, you can think about improving your posture. You can spend a small fortune getting yourself adjusted while enduring lectures from your chiropractor about the peculiar contortions your spinal cord has gotten itself into.

You can think about sucking in your gut as you walk down the street. You might even be able to keep that up for a few minutes, until something happens (like you have to stop walking to talk to a neighbor) to make you forget.

No matter what your opinion might be of your posture or your gait or your body in general, all that stuff changes when you exercise — whether any actual poundage comes off or not. You don’t even have to think about it. Tighten some muscles, stretch out some others, get your form right so you don’t get one of those nasty sports injuries …

When you move your body, it changes the way your body moves.

Your business is the same way, believe it or not. That’s why you need to write things down.

I’ve sometimes had some conversations with microbusiness owners who have ideas about what they want to do to increase their revenues or tap a new market or launch a new product. They’ll tell me about their ideas with a great deal of enthusiasm and energy.

Then I ask them if they have a plan.

They’ll tell me that they do (’I was just telling you about it!’ some will say indignantly) but they don’t really. Microbusiness owners are famous for not planning much of anything.

You might think you have a plan but if you don’t have it written down someplace, then all you have are a bunch of ideas swirling around in the sort of mental chaos that happens when you run a business where you have to wear six different hats at the same time.

Having a plan means that you have a goal that is some sort of a number ($X in sales per month, X new newsletter subscribers, $X in ad revenue per month). It needs to be that specific and concrete, or how will you know you’ve gotten there?

It also means that you have specific, actionable steps that you believe will get you to that goal. That’s the essence of a plan, isn’t it? You are at point A. You want to get to point M. These are the steps you need to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

When you just think of all that stuff, it’s pretty hard to feel very organized about any of it and it’s too easy for your goals to jump around all over the place. So, you have to write it down.

And then, watch. Just writing it down changes the way you think.

That may sound rather mystical to you but it’s not. It has to do with the way you have to think things through in order to write them down. It has to do with setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-based) that commit you to getting certain very specific things done by a certain time. All of that will change the things you do with your business and it will change how you do them.

Think of planning as exercise for your business. You might as well; it works the same way. When you start to move your business, you change the way your business moves.

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