The one question that all business solopreneurs want to ask themselves on a daily basis – (What action will give me the highest return?) is key to staying focused on results.
Too often I see clients get caught up in a tailspin trying to stay ahead of their schedule or to ensure that they are being productive, only to find they are missing things along the way. This is very prominent with executives and solopreneurs. Why? Because 1) they are trying to handle too much of the load to work effectively and 2) they are often working in isolation and that keeps them bound to what they say their schedule is, objective for the day is and bottom-line is. Instead they would likely benefit from drawing on the strengths of others and having a reality check frequently to ensure they are on the right track.
When working with my clients as an Executive Coach we complete 6 questions upfront to get them clear on the direction they are wanting to go, and the potential obstacles in their path. As we further co-create the plan of action they will take to achieving (x) then we begin to design language and behavior modifications that support their goal. During that process, I introduce the question on highest return, and every time I am intrigued by the pause or complacent stare that I get in return. (One of my clients has this clearing of the voice thing he does and even while coaching across the country on a phone line, I can pick up right away when he is unsure of something or stuck.) When those moments happen, it is an opportunity to dig deeper into that stopping point. More often than not the stop is around the notion that they have to pick one action. It doesn’t matter that the one action is key to the rest of their day. It doesn’t mean they only work one action a day. It doesn’t mean they are over simplifying their day either. What it does mean is that we are staying focused together on our agreements made around goals and objectives, and for them it is often focused on the bottom-line.
What I enjoy about the coach/client relationship when it comes to this and so many more powerful questions, I get to witness the breakdown on the way to breakthrough that can be life (and business) altering. When busy, successful, stressed out, overworked, highly valued (or whatever hat they wear for the day) people come to coaching to forward their action in the world, they don’t come because something is wrong, they show up because they acknowledge needing support to get to where they envision they are going. What keeps them on track when not working with their coach is in the question. When one has clarity around what they are wanting to produce and how they will have the most success getting there, the action will inevitably follow.
So, as you ponder what your schedule looks like today, as coach I encourage you to ask yourself…What action will give you the highest return? Start your day there and everything else will fall into place.
Executive Coach and Business Growth Strategist