We often struggle taking ownership in business because it is typically harder. However, when we take ownership in business and our career we yield better results.
Today during CoCoffee, I was able to chat with an old friend, Bill. He joined me, and we chatted about the importance of educating your clients and customers. In experiences, we have shared together and also in our own ventures, we have often struggled retaining clients because of the lack of clear expectations. Let’s face it, things change, and things come up.
The takeaway and learning from the day was to drive the direction with your clients and customers. Set the expectations and move things forward. If you do not own your plan, you are going to be at the mercy of your client or customer. This devalues your product or service.
Whatever profession you are in, marketing, accounting, consulting, whatever, you are the expert. You need to drive the conversation forward, not the other way around. Own what you do and do it to the best of your ability. You would never give the plumber advice on fixing your clogged sink.
Taking Ownership of Your Outcome
As I walked away from CoCoffee, the theme was very clear. Take ownership of your outcome if you want to be successful. But how do we get there? How do we become the go-getter, direction maker, owner of our own destiny? Here are a few things that I have done to drive the business forward.
Write Down Your Plan
One of the biggest reasons we write down our plan is because it will gain alignment and clarity between all parties. If there is no plan in place, it becomes a free for all. Writing down your plan makes you more likely to succeed. According to HBR, entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than the otherwise identical non-planning entrepreneurs.
Now, do you need a 20-page business plan with all the bells and whistles? No, you just need to know what is expected over the next 6 – 12 months. This will help you and your team continue to move to the same beat and increase the changes you are going to be successful.
Okay, this is one of my biggest pet peeves in business and yes, I am guilty. If you need something to get done, place a deadline to it. Placing deadlines on your projects will:
- Hold you accountable to get things done. We all have those teammates that work at their own pace, deadlines will hold the entire team accountable to get things done.
- Keep the ball rolling. Deadlines keep momentum and movement. Be honest, the closer a deadline, the more likely you are to accomplish the task. Yes, I am guilty too.
- Prioritize your day. I hate to admit it, but many of my daily tasks are dictated by how close a deadline is. These closer the deadline, the more urgent the task. Again, not ideal, but it is what it is.
Deadlines will help you and your team stick to the plan and get more done. This will, in turn, help you take ownership of your day and projects.
Know Your End Goal
In order to take control of your life, your work, or whatever, you need to know what you are trying to accomplish. What is your end goal? What is the ideal state to get where you are going?
You really can’t take ownership of anything if you do not know where you are going. It is better to pick an end goal and fail, then to never pick an end goal at all. So, sit down and determine where you are going in your business. This will give you the ability to take ownership and move forward.
Do the Work
Last but not least. Do the work people. We all try to hide behind meetings, planning, and strategy to avoid doing real work. However, if you really want to take ownership of your future and your business, you need to put your head down and get to work.
Conclusion, Take Ownership of Your Outcome
Over the years the one thing that has always gotten me in trouble is the lack of ownership. When I take control and push the agenda forward, things tend to work out better than sitting back and waiting. At least there is no regret when you take ownership. This goes for client work, household chores, and even picking dinner on date night.
I get it, there are a lot of people out there that are saying,” that is not my job.” That might be true and that might also be why you are falling behind, going out of business, just floating by, or working in a job you hate. We know that business is hard.
Roll up your sleeves, get to work, and take ownership of your outcome.