Recently on my way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I got caught in a mass of slow traffic. Anyone from these parts knows we only have one way to reach the beach, and that’s using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis. Its two spans date to 1952 and 1973 and can’t handle today’s traffic. Slow-downs and waits are a normal occurrence, particularly during the summer, so I try to time my trip to avoid them. Despite my best efforts, I was stopped.
Because of the nature of the journey, my GPS isn’t of much use. It can’t re-route me across the water! As I edged along, I thought about the GPS you set for your business.
The beginning and end points
Your car’s GPS won’t work without a starting and ending point. It’s the same in your business. You need to know where you are now and where you want to go.If you don’t know, you have to take the time to figure it out. What is your goal, your end result?
You don’t have to know all the routes, just the starting and end points.
When you use the car’s GPS, you can get an overview of your trip. As you drive, you’ll only see the next few steps. In your business, you only need to know the end point and a few of the initial steps. You really aren’t ready for all the steps anyway.
You might think of the G in GPS as your goal.
There’s an old joke: “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer: “One bite at a time.” Don’t get overwhelmed by trying to eat the whole elephant.
Your GPS knows what success looks like. If you make a wrong turn, it tells you how to get back on the path to a successful journey.
In your business you need some sort of a system that tells you when you are off track. Examples might be tracking your sales growth or growth of your reach on social media. If you can recognize success, you can replicate it.
You might think of the P in GPS as your plan. Don’t rationalize or justify any gaps between your plan and your results.
Your car’s GPS can make strategy adjustments.
With that our drives and our businesses moved along smoothly! It just doesn’t happen that way.
What kind of plan B’s do you have in place? While you don’t have all the answers, you need to be prepared to make adjustments and have resources at the ready to help you.
You might think of the S in GPS as strategy.
Road conditions change. It’s easy to keep your GPS current or maintained. You either update your phone app or get an update from your car dealer.
Business conditions change, too. What got you here won’t necessarily get you where you eventually want to be. Maintain your business edge by taking courses and workshops; listening to podcasts; attending conferences; joining groups, such as ICAP’s Members’ Studio, and working with a coach.
It’s your turn!
Have you set a GPS for your business or life? How are you keeping it maintained?