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It’s TIME!

Just the other day we had Y2K and the change of the millennium and at the end of this year we’ll already be into 2020. Time flies, whether you’re having fun… or not. It’s the “not” that I’d like to focus on, though.

Every year it’s the same routine. We picked up some weight over the festive period and we now need to lose those kilos as well as all their excess friends accumulated over the past few years. We decide we need to save and invest more money, spend more quality time with our families, travel more, finally ‘fix’ our business, repair our relationships, etc. Many of those ideals are no different to what we had at the start of 2018 or even 2017, and in fact for many years before that. Our New Year’s resolutions generally last until about the third week of the month, if we’re lucky, and we then simply get back onto the autopilot treadmill we were on last year.

That’s NOT fun. I don’t believe it’s our purpose here as human beings, either. So, what’s lacking? Information? Well, a little website called Google has every answer currently known to humankind. Perhaps we don’t understand how to implement that information? Fortunately the same company also owns a website called YouTube. Here there’s an instructional video, in many cases thousands per search item, that explains how to implement everything humankind currently knows in a step-by-step, easy-to-follow, tutorial. So, what’s lacking?

For me it boils down to 5 key areas that you need to focus on:

  1. The reason why
    You need to have a really compelling reason to bring about change and it needs to become all consuming. Think of an athlete wanting to get a gold medal at the next Olympics – clear, concise and all-consuming for at least 4 years. What’s your gold medal and why do you want it? Be absolutely clear and write it down.
  2. Daily action
    If there’s not a daily focus with deliberate and consistent action you’re simply not going to get there. Small, incremental daily steps taken every single day will get you there. Even the rest day for an athlete is intentional and has, with it, specific actions. Take action every single day.
  3. External accountability
    Sadly, human beings are lazy and will always try to find the easy way out. Your own internal desire will often not be enough and you need to find external accountability. Pay a coach, commit to your family, agree to penalties or consequences but don’t rely on your own inner strength. There’s a reason all professional athletes have a coach. It’s primarily the external accountability.
  4. Leverage
    I know you think you’re a super human but you cannot do it on your own. All of us need help and people can provide that additional leverage you need. Lean on those around you. Ask for support. Inspire others to walk the path with you. If you’re on a mission to achieve something great, people will generally want to support where they can. With leverage through people, one plus one becomes three, four or even five.
  5. Repeat
    Anything worth going for is going to be hard. It’s supposed to be. No-one ever achieved any level of greatness and said the journey was easy. Go back to step 1 and repeat all the steps over and over until you succeed. Do not stop. Do not get distracted. Definitely don’t try something else. Keep the singular focus until you succeed and then move onto something else.

I firmly believe 2019 is going to be a great year for South Africa and for South African business in general. We’ll obviously have the usual turmoil and distractions before the elections, but fundamentally I think we’re heading in the right direction. The key to your success, though, is to make sure you set course in the right direction for you and your business. Once you’ve got that clarity make sure you follow each of the 5 steps above and don’t stop until you reach your desired destination.

It’s TIME. Make 2019 your best ever.

To support business owners with the important task of business planning, Sanlam gives you free access to the book Your Annual Business Game Plan for Success, which provides an easy and straight forward framework needed to draft a well-crafted game plan that will create the positive change and growth necessary for business success. To download your free copy, visit the Sanlam Game Plan website

This article was written by business coach, Harry Welby-Cooke. See for more information



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