Where would your business be today if you’d implemented even half your bright ideas over the years?

Let’s be real—it’s probably good that a bunch of your ideas never came to fruition. It’s not unusual that when you work through the logistics and reality of a new idea with objectivity, some of them are best to be dropped. But of those that could have made an impact on your firm, imagine if you’d implemented even half of them.

Rather than waste time lamenting the past, let’s look forward. Imagine if you get to implement even half the brilliant ideas that will come to you in the future. What will your business and life look like then? What about all those other lives you’ll positively impact?

How do you make this happen?

By a long shot, the biggest reason people share that they don’t implement the changes and ideas they’d like to, is lack of time. While lack of time tends to be the default answer, most people know the real truth. The real truth is not that they didn’t have the time… it’s that they didn’t dedicate the time. We all have the same hours in the day – so what’s the difference between the wildly successful advisory firms and those still working on getting there? Every wildly successful business was once where you’re at. They simply chose to use their time and resources differently.

“But you don’t get it, Sue, I literally do not have any spare time—I’m over capacity right now.” Okay, so how is that ever going to change if you don’t dedicate brain space and time to change it?

Four things required to turn your ideas into action:

  1. Dedicate the time – in a disciplined way. Book it in your diary and treat it like a client appointment that cannot be cancelled. Even one hour a week of structured time dedicated to working on your business will get you in a better place than just ad hoc thinking* when you get a free moment.
  2. Use the time wisely—Follow a structured framework to organise your thoughts and decision-making so that you don’t waste the time you dedicate.
  3. Put ideas into action – Again, use a structured framework to implement your decisions, get the team on board, and effect the changes required to achieve what you want.
  4. Have a Brains Trust you can rely onOdds are that while this might be the first time you’ve ever had to deal with this particular idea or decision, there are others who have done it before you. Why take the risk (AND waste more time) in trial and error, when you could learn from others’ mistakes and triumphs? This is just as relevant for:
    1. The small tasks like creating a ‘balanced scorecard’ for your team, or setting up a skills matrix to guide the training and development for each team member;
    2. The medium-sized activities, like transitioning long-term clients from senior advisers to others in the team to free up capacity; or
    3. The big decisions, like mergers and acquisitions, or rebuilding your management framework.

Thinking strategically about your business and achieving greater things should not be on the shoulders of the owner alone. As soon as you’re big enough to have leaders in your business, especially operational managers, they too should be trained and empowered to implement these disciplines in order to have a significant impact on the success of the business.

*Note: We now know that ‘daydreaming’ is in fact powerful for creative thought and manifestation, not to mention managing stress. We encourage having unstructured thinking time, especially if you can do it while getting fresh air or moving your body. Sometimes sitting in conferences and PD days can be thought of as this free-thinking time. The problem is when you only daydream about what or how you can improve, and you don’t combine it with the disciplined decision and action-taking activities I’ve outlined here!

Sue Viskovic heads up Elixir, a specialist consulting division of Vital Business Partners with a team of experienced coaches located around Australia.