Updated: Jul 9
In a recent meeting I was talking with my interlocutor about coaching entrepreneurs, and he said something that resonated with me: "the problem with business owners is that they constantly run after the clock". I could not agree more. I see it with people around me and my clients all the time. In fact, one of the reasons my customers hire my services as a Business Coach is to force them to slow down and dedicate time to reflect. Business owners often have their heads stuck so much into day-to-day operations - where decisions are plenty and need to happen fast - that they are drown into it, like they would be drown into water. And they forget to come back to the surface and breath. Breathing is thinking. All business owners, regardless of how long they have had their businesses for, face that same challenge at one point. Thinking is part of your job, and you must make time for it: to design your business strategy, prepare ahead of specific situations, solve a problem, or simply meditate. A great method I found comes from Timothy Gallwey’s book The Inner Game of Work. Timothy is one of the founders of modern coaching. He has developed a very simple tool called S.T.O.P:
Organize your thoughts
This approach will help you remain conscious while working. When you increase your level of awareness by taking a step back and finding quietness, you can see through things more efficiently. One of the aspects of strategic thinking is to differentiate between what is urgent and what is a priority. What to-do and not to-do. There are other ways to force yourself into business strategy thinking:
Use the Pomodoro technique: 25mn on a timer, you vs. yourself, in an environment free of interruptions. Repeat as many times as you need.
Train yourself to empty your brain: go to the gym or simply for a walk (Steve Jobs' favorite). You'll be creating the right state of mind to think.
Block time in your calendar - for instance the lunch slot - that is dedicated to the S.T.O.P exercise.
Carry a pen & notebook with you at all times. Write down as soon as ideas come to your mind. The benefit is double: you won't forget your idea and you'll free up space in your brain.
Purchase my online training course The 5 Elements of An Efficient Business Strategy, which will provide you with a framework to design your business strategy.
Strategic thinking does not happen on its own. Make it a habit.