I just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin (good book, fun to read, highly recommend). In short, Rubin is not unhappy but she wonders what she can do to be happier. (I like her already.) She spends a year on a quest to become happier, dedicating each month to a new area in her life (health, relationships, finances, etc.). When she looks back at her year she realizes that no one is perfect but she is, in fact, happier and the project worked.
Gretchen, you get me. We would get along well. Let’s grab a coffee and chat. I’m like you: taking things in bite-sized chunks. Admitting there is no such thing as perfection. Striving for the “er” and not the “est” in every situation to celebrate success and avoid disappointments.
I think this applies to both work and personal life. So many clients come to us and say “we want to have the largest market share in our industry” or “our goal is to be the biggest distributor of widgets”.
GREAT! That’s a wonderful goal!
But, let’s be honest here: it may take awhile to get there. I never want to be a bearer of bad news – in fact, I think I’m pretty positive and optimistic. So I try to rephrase the goal to something meaningful and measurable: “How about “we will grow our sales by 35% this year” or “we want to be in the top 5 manufacturers in North America”? That way your goal of “bigger” but not necessarily “biggest” is met – when the “est” might not be realistically achievable.
I want my clients to be happy. I want them to achieve their goals. I want them to be successful. I want to HELP them achieve their goals, and to do so I need to work my tail off (I do!), I need to motivate the Mainspire team to work their tails off on behalf of our clients (they do!) and I need to make sure those goals are realistic and attainable. I would be remiss to counsel any client to do something that was not in their best interest or outside their scope/reach, leading to disappointment. It’s just as hard to pull back the reins as it is to push.
So I am challenging you all (including myself!) to this: A Happiness Project for your business.
First, read the book. That will be July’s project.
Then, starting in August, pick a theme (any theme!) for the month and work on that area of your business. Put it on the calendar and keep a journal so you are accountable for what you want to achieve. Track goals and milestones. Record where you are on the first day of the month and determine what progress is made by the last day of the month. Maybe it isn’t happiness: maybe it’s success? Profit? Growth? Work/life balance? Organization? Define your “happy place” and work toward that goal. Try to stick with it as long as you can.
I’m even going to go so far as make us accountable for our goals: I’m starting a LinkedIn Group called “The Business Happiness Project.” I will make recommendations for themes and offer conversation starters. Join me to check in, report successes and discuss challenges, and maybe we can even get Gretchen to join us. That would be amazing…
Join The Business Happiness Project Group on LinkedIn by clicking our group logo below:
See you on the other side!