What are you thinking about?

Catawba Sky

Bird in flight over Lake Norman


If you have ever heard the adage “You need to work on your business, not in your business, you may have immediately thought, “well how do I do that?”.

The answer to that question is “Think” While a picture may be worth a thousand words. As a business owner, a thought is often worth a million actions. We’ve all done it. We get up, we check email, we pull out our legal pad or favorite app and we work on the to-do list. All the actions that will consume our day, then week, then month and before we know it, those goals that you set foe yourself in January are no longer resolutions, they are reservations.

It’s not uncommon for Erika to look at me puzzled (like she did today) and wonder ‘why in the world did he decide to go to owes at 2pm on a Tuesday, when I know he has a to-do list that will keep him busy the rest of the week. Well, Lowes is one of my favorite places to think. You see, I am a multi processor. As such, I often intentionally disengage my mind to work through complex problems. But rather than sitting on the deck starring at the clouds, I find that I actually have more success when I do mundane tasks that are satisfying while I chunk and crunch complex issues. Today, it was how I am going to tackle expanding my virtual bench to add more creative subcontractors as I push deeper into the Marketing and Brand Strategy space. But that was just today. It’s not uncommon for me to wake up at 5 am thinking about some obscure problem. It’s both a curse and a gift. Harnessing it has been one of the secrets to my success.

So many of you are probably wondering, well, what if I am not a multi-processor? Well then the answer is to plan your thoughts? Wait, what? Yes, I literally mean that you should build thinking time into your schedule. Make an appointment with yourself to do something you enjoy and just think.

Think about goals, or problems, or opportunities. But think outside the box. Ask yourself, “what am I not thinking about?.” Or, how can I make this idea more of a win-win?’ Or maybe you need to ask yourself why you even want to do it. Or If you should even want to do it.

This whole process is called ideation. It’s one of my favorite things to do and I am blessed that I actually get paid to do it for many of my customers. Thanks to my recent very difficult decision to part ways with my business partner of 15 years, I have been doing a lot of ideation for myself. I am ashamed to admit that I had forgotten how rewarding it is when you stop and think and those thoughts start to move the ball in the right direction. It’s time for me to execute on the next phase of my life and on my lifestyle business. I am excited that the change will lead me to doing more ideation for both clients and my firm and that those ideas have the potential to change the world at least a little bit.

If you have gotten this far, do yourself a favor and stop right here. Right now. And schedule a meeting with yourself. Or if you still don’t get it, reach out and I would love to setup a strategy session to help you figure out your path.

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