It feels like it has been dreary in New England for months, but every now and then I glimpse a tiny spot of sunshine. That sunshine feels like a huge break. How is it possible that 5 minutes of bright, clear sky can change your whole outlook? Business development is not much different. It takes months, many times much longer, to build relationships that will bring future business. Then all of a sudden one day, you get your break and some work comes in. That win feels so good. During those long stretches, how can we stay focused on our goals? Try these few tips:
- Write down some well defined goals. Take time to think through your goals, write them down and keep them accessible. When you feel that you are wavering, take a few minutes to review those goals. Make sure they are still pertinent and then assess how far you have come in your progress. Identify the next step you need to take to get there.
- Break down the goals into small, attainable steps. High-level goals can seem unattainable unless you have actionable steps to reach it. Feeling bogged down one day– choose one, small step to accomplish. We are talking one phone call to a targeted person or posting a Linked In status. Don’t expect yourself to write a multi-page business plan in one morning. Keep it small and reasonable.
- Track your progress routinely. By tracking progress, you will have a clear picture of what you have done and what is left to do.
- Reward yourself. When you reach specific milestones, sit back and bask in your success. Collect a personal reward that is meaningful to you. That may mean taking a full lunch hour to yourself, grabbing that fancy latte or picking up the latest best selling book. Don’t feel guilty– it is good to recognize work well done.
If you repeat this process, over time you will see that you create a positive business development habit. It is hard work, but it does pay off in the long run.