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Memo: Sustaining Growth in Your Business

What gets measured gets done.

How do you keep your business growing? How do you ensure the health of your business and your personal income against threats from competition, market cycles, commission payout changes, regulation of all kinds, and the human threat of complacency?

The answer isn't to run faster on the same treadmill. The laws of physics say you can maintain a steady speed and still accelerate by changing direction. Since you're already traveling at top speed in your business and personal life, you can get the acceleration you need by making small changes in the direction you're taking. It's hard to foresee what those changes will be, but they will reveal themselves if you regularly devote some time to thinking and working on your business, not just in your business. A professional is constantly learning and improving through reading, professional education (an annual requirement in some professions), research etc. Coaching is a very personal and effective means of keeping a perspective on what's happening and "noodling" with someone else what your growth options are. Without a second perspective you sometimes "can't see the forest for the trees." The top professionals in sports and business have a coach or mentor they trust to help them improve their game.

I use a simple set of questions with my clients. These questions focus attention on the gap between what clients know and what they do. Whether my coaching is only once a month or as often as once a week, these questions apply. Try them yourself -- or with a coach -- to see their power.

Self-Coaching Questions

Begin by writing the completion of these "Sustainment Statements" every week. I recommend a weekly period to give them urgency and to help maintain your momentum. Feedback on a weekly basis is more effective than it is over a longer period of time.

Sustainment Statements

For the next week I will ?? (be very specific)

So that ?.. (what is the outcome and benefit?)

The results will look like this ?.. (if you can't describe it, how will you know it happened?)

After the first week you ask, "What have I done to make progress in ?"

How well or how much did I do (rate yourself 1-5)

What will I do next? __________ (pick your next step toward a certain goal or direction)

So that ?

The results will look like this ?

Next, find someone to "check your homework." Who is going to keep you on track? I began offering a tickler service to clients who want to do self-coaching in addition to using my regular coaching services. Repeating this questioning process weekly will make weekly improvements to your business. If you want to make regular progress, get someone or something you are accountable to weekly.

Bob Lodie is a speaker, business strategy coach and consultant to financial advisors. He is author of Three Steps to Million Dollar Production and Personal Success from the Inside Out. He can be reached bob@boblodie.com or direct at 310-552-6064

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