Life happens. As much control as we like to think we have, we often have no control over what occurs on a day-to-day basis in our personal lives. Whether it is children mishaps, extended family challenges or automobile troubles, we have to learn to respond effectively as obstacles or roadblocks present themselves.
We usually have a bit more control over our business and career. We can decide where to apply, when to quit and the best time to open our dream business. We even do a better job of predicting sales cycles and economic downturns.
You may be at a point in your business or career when it makes sense to go in a different direction. As practical as it may seem, this is never a smooth process and will require some effort, planning and skill. However, let me address the elephant in the room rather quickly – the older we get, changes can become more and more difficult, especially if they are thrust upon us. This is due to the fact that change requires a great level of energy, effort and mostly, a change in our mindset. It is important to train your mind to be adaptable to change. Think of how easy it is for a child to learn a new language when they have exposed to it. Similarly, we must shift our mindset to embrace change.
In order to make the changes in our business or career as smooth as possible, it is important for us to train our brains that change is a continuous process. As an example, organizations cannot be successful today if they do not stay ahead or on top of change. Think Circuit City versus Best Buy.
With this in mind, here are seven areas in which you should focus as you contemplate a change in your business or career:
- A shift in mindset. This will require a certain level of self-reflection because there is a psychological and spiritual discomfort associated with change. Train your mind to embrace change – then when it is unexpected, it will not shake you.
- Your inner circle. The truth of the matter is that we should not embark on these changes alone. Sure, we could succeed on our own, but the process becomes smoother when you include advisors or trusted friends. Remember that “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with!” ~Jim Rohn
- Your outer circle. Your team or advisors are only the beginning. In order to make this really stick, consider getting a Coach, Mentor, or Pastor to confide in. These individuals will help to propel you to the next level.
- Your plan or strategy. Once you have a solid circle of advisors, don’t set out on this change without a solid plan. “A vision without a plan is just a hallucination.” ~Thomas Edison
- Distractions. Today’s distractions are legendary: Netflix, social media, friends, family. Plan each day (all seven) effectively and efficiently.
- Execution. Once you have a good one, it is time to execute it. A plan with no execution is just fiction.
- Patience, humility and focus. This is probably the hardest area as we look for results to happen instantaneously. They rarely do. There is no such thing as an overnight success.
Change is inevitable. Let’s not look at it with fret and dismay. Instead, prepare yourself mentally for the pain and discomfort that awaits knowing the success that presents itself on the other side. The great Indian politician, Mamata Banerjee, states it best: “Change is a continuous process. You cannot assess it with the static yardstick of a limited time frame. When a seed is sown into the ground, you cannot immediately see the plant. You have to be patient. With time, it grows into a large tree. And then the flowers bloom, and only then can the fruits be plucked.”