How do you make sure you invest your time where it gets the best return on your investment? Many entrepreneurs struggle to get everything done they need to do on a daily basis. Then they hire someone to help get things done and they’re surprised that even with two people they are still not getting things done. Over the years I’ve worked with many successful entrepreneurs and some that are not as successful.
They both have only 24 hours in a day and seven days in a week, but one gets everything they want done on time and in an exceptional way, while the other struggles. They struggle with the simple tasks and, many times, they are close to going over the edge. So what’s the difference between these two entrepreneurs? I find the least successful entrepreneurs have never clarified what is critical to their success. We entrepreneurs suffer from ADD as a group and on the individual level it’s what keeps their eyes off their ultimate target.
We have talked about values in the past but I think it bears repeating, values provide you a way of deciding in what you invest your time and energy. Successful entrepreneurs are very clear about what they value. I had a potential client tell me they had thirty key values they are working on today. I must tell you I was tired after just reading the list and I get by quite well on only a couple hours of sleep a night. I suggested that we try to narrow down their value list to between five and seven things they value most and they invest their time working on those things.
They asked me to help them choose the right values for what they wanted to accomplish. I suggested they think about what they want to accomplish and then choose the values they thought would help them get there. Values are the structure on which a successful life is built; they are unifying principles that allow you to achieve what you really want in life. So here are a couple of quick questions to consider as you begin to choose your values.
- What are do you value in others?
- What do you stand for?
- What are the key values you would like to run your life by?
- Is there anyone who has the life of your dreams?
- What values would you give up your life for?
Consider your answers to these questions. Take time to write out your answers. Then ask yourself one final question. How would you run your life if you were honoring these values in yourself and others? How much more respect would you have for yourself if you live your life aligned with your values?
I do significant work with clients around their values. It’s not easy work but it pays out incredible dividends to those who invest their time in understanding on what they place a high value. The clearer you become about what you value, the easier it is to decide where you should invest your time. You are able to get more done because you only do the things that align with your values and the way you want to live your life. I guarantee you the greater clarity you have about what you do and don’t value; the easier it is to decide how you invest your lives. So as we close today, consider how you might keep your eyes on the target of living an extraordinary life and what role values can play in helping you do it. See you Thursday.