Here’s how you can tell!
When you play to win:
1. You are very clear about why you are in business. You know what you want in life and how your business will help you achieve it. For this reason, you are focused on your goals and have the machinery in place to help you overcome distractions.
2. You have a clearly written business plan showing how you will get from where you are now to where you want to be, for at least 5 years ahead. And you are constantly updating and following your plan. As a result, very little takes you by surprise and you are prepared for eventualities. You know that failing to plan is planning to fail and that is certainly not your modus operandi!
3. You know exactly who your ideal clients are, where to find them, how to reach them, their biggest challenges, how they want their solutions, where your competitors are failing to meet these needs and how you will meet them in your own distinct way. In other words, you have a sharp niche, clear differentiators and a compelling and recognizable brand!
4. You know full well that you cannot achieve your goals by yourself and so you have a support team in place to help you get there. This consists of those who work IN your business, such as your staff or virtual assistants and those who work with you ON your business, such as your coach, mentor or team of advisers.
5. You understand the importance of staying cutting edge and so you regularly invest in your own and your business’ growth and development. No matter how tight your finances, you know the importance of setting aside a budget for growth and development.
6. You are clear about your strengths and opportunities and take full advantage of them. You have a team to help you overcome your threats and weaknesses and so you are not hung up on them!
Let us call this list A.
On the other hand, you are in ‘struggle-not-to-lose’ mode if:
1. You show up every day to make money and pay the bills. You hope that life will be kind and allow your business to prosper. You spend a great deal of time following fads and “gurus,” in the hope that some new technique or shiny object will propel you forward.
2. You have an idea in your head about where you want your business to be this time next year, but you have no written plan. Aren’t those just for people who are applying for funding? And if you ever did write a plan, to qualify for a grant, you might never make use of it afterwards. You wouldn’t even know how! You are too busy grappling with your present challenges to look into the future. But you will give it a thought when your current challenges are all dealt with.
3. You need all the clients you can get, so you do not believe in “ideal clients” or a niche. Whatever problems your prospects show up with, you scramble to find a solution. As for where to find clients, you attend every event and have a profile on every social media platform. Isn’t that the way to get known by lots of people? And as for branding, that is something that the big companies do. When you grow bigger you will give it a thought.
4. You know full well that you cannot achieve your goals by yourself but you cannot afford any staff right now. So you work extra hours to keep the business afloat and are saving money to take on some help next year. In the mean time, you take advantage of all the free offers out there, such as ebooks and complimentary consultations. At least, a little knowledge is better than nothing at all. And once you are making a profit, you will try out the services of a business adviser.
5. You feel that you cannot afford to spend money on training and outside help. It is just too expensive. Your local networking group runs free workshops every now and then and you can always ask your friends for advice when you need it. Perhaps when your finances improve you will take a few online courses, but not now. You can’t afford it!
6. You lie awake at night, worrying about your weaknesses. And you dread reading the news about threatening changes. So you get together with a few friends in similar circumstances, just so you can encourage each other because there is strength in numbers.
Let us call this list B.
Did you recognise yourself in any of these lists?
I hope you saw yourself on the Playing-to-Win list! But if you are more of list B than list A, not to worry. What better time is there to begin making the necessary changes than today? Hopefully, these two lists will help you see where your business could do with some course-correcting and perhaps where you could do with a mindset change. It is possible to unlearn the “Struggle-not-to-Lose” attitudes and habits and learn those that will help you play to win. And victory starts with being ready to make that change. Are you game?
Why not share in the comments box below how you will be playing to win in 2013?