We all know bad singing when we hear it. Without proper melody and pitch, the song simply doesn’t work.
A distinct beat, hypnotic timing and a synchronized pattern — that’s what works. A well-executed rhythm serves as the base and backdrop, the foundation of good music. It pulls us in and leaves us wanting more.
There’s a similar rhythm to successful, happy businesses. But it’s one too many of us are trying to sing without.
As entrepreneurs, we sometimes push beyond our capabilities. In the drive to achieve certain goals, we make commitments that tend to overwhelm our available resources. We go too fast, say yes too often and pull too many over-nighters. Then, before we know it, we’ve dulled our creativity, compromised our health and possibly even damaged our finances.
How do we get back in harmony? We reset our rhythm.
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Here are four essential rhythms — strong patterns not hardline rules — that if repeated regularly and consistently, will help our businesses flow better.
If you’ve been feeling out of sync, maybe you’re lacking the peace of mind that comes from living out your core values.
Determine, in advance, what matters most and you can stop white-knuckling your way through both little and big decisions. As you consider these values, don’t just throw together some cute phrase that looks good hanging on your wall. Take the necessary time to examine your inner fundamental beliefs.
What meaningful principles will serve you and keep you peacefully centered? What determines success for you? Use these answers as cornerstones, or markers to monitor your progress, so you can determine when you’re getting out of step.
Sometimes we dive so deep into building the business, we forget who we are and what we really want. But when your core beliefs and standards serve as your guide, you will remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how you’re going to do it.
To consistently experience peace and purpose in your business, align every decision you make beneath these values. Make moves that lead you to the life you want to live.
In that same vein of alignment, perhaps you also need to take a realistic look at the performance of your company promise.
Are you delivering on your promise? Are people having the outcome you desire after engaging with you? From customers to employees to suppliers, what type of influence or lasting impression do you want with others?
Dissect your capabilities. With blunt honesty, determine what you can successfully execute within your current parameters. What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Your skillset? How do you align these so they respect your core values?
Mindfully establish your promise. Then activate this promise with the necessary words and actions. As you learn to integrate who you are with the skills you’ve mastered, you’ll begin to block any unrealistic expectations that might try to knock you out of rhythm.
Your performance is a vital rhythm that directly impacts the speed of your growth. Keep it in line.
Related: The Dangers of Overpromising and Underdelivering
To get back in sync, sometimes you have to change the pace. While a speedy, efficient response is worthy and admirable, a constant, fast-moving sense of urgency can kill your happiness.
Reframe your thinking around what matters most.
How do you make your business work for you? Examine your processes. Are your workflows efficient? Is your control center optimized for peak performance? Analyze the commitments you’re making. What things can be delegated? Deleted, even?
Audit your time. Are you allowing distractions to rob you? Does your expenditure of energy reflect wise investments? If not, what needs to change? As an entrepreneur, you have the autonomy of living life on your own terms—renegotiate those terms as necessary.
Our priorities shape our choices, but not everything is a priority. To assign an equal level of importance to everything creates unnecessary anxiety. Sometimes, in order to focus on true opportunities, the things left over at the end of the day can afford to be leftover.
Related: How to Prioritize When Everything Is a Priority
Something dangerous happens when we get so out of step that we’re no longer willing to take chances: We stop thinking about growth. The need for security starts to bully our boldness.
Too often the demands of running our business rob us of the creativity that originally led us here. Don’t stop creating. Don’t stop risking. Continue to ask questions. Experiment with new ideas and possibilities. Each day should contain multiple “What if …?” scenarios.
The ability and willingness to take healthy risks is a distinct, critical rhythm for an entrepreneur. It takes a lot of courage and resilience to try something new, to develop a new product or unique service and to launch it into new or foreign markets.
If you can’t remember the last time you took a risk, you could be offbeat. I’m not saying you have to take every chance, but this rhythm is necessary for success.
If you want to stop singing out of tune in your business, make it your mission to establish and practice these rhythms until they become habits. Live out of your core values. Establish and activate your promise with excellence. Maintain a healthy pace in your business. And don’t stop taking risks. Because these habits are the rhythmic foundation that can lead you to a healthier, happier business.
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