Often when we work with horses or in the equine industry our time gets spent working in our business; riding, training or at the stables. Instead we should invest more time working on our business; marketing, sales, outlining processes and procedures etc.
I remember vividly the first few years I spent on my farm here in South Africa. Looking back, with of course the 20:20 hindsight vision, I see that I was regularly losing days and sometimes weeks at a time, where I just ambled along, not really motivated and focused on what I should have been doing to grow my business.
The reasons were twofold; firstly I was basically alone with no real support system in place and no other business owners to speak with about problems I was having and secondly, I had no daily schedule set up that prioritized what I needed to do on a daily, monthly, quarterly and yearly basis.
Luckily I realized this sooner rather than later and began implementing a few principles that helped immensely with my daily productivity and as a result, allowed me to grow my business more easily.
1. Schedule whats important
We have all heard that what is scheduled gets done. This is true, however the getting done part depends on whether or not you stick to your schedule! Many of us create a schedule for the day, but come 6 pm, when we look back over that day, did you actually stick to it? This week begin creating a schedule that suits you and that you can work in. Firstly, add all the non-negotiable items such as lessons, training, schooling and the regular health-care and horsey things that just have to be done. Then begin to look at the time that you have open… It is this time that you can really knuckle down and get the important things done that will push your business forward to the next level.
2. Write down your top 3 priorities for that day
So simple and yet so powerful! Every evening before you hit the pillow, or before you leave the barn write down the three most important things you must do the following day. Now, what is important to note here is that these things are not the mundane things that come with having an equestrian business, such as teaching, mucking out, schooling etc. They should be five items that involve you taking action in growing your business… Making a call to a potential new boarding client, setting up a new Facebook ad campaign to attract new customers… Things that will move the ball down the field for you.
Movement creates momentum… Any movement! When we are at the barn we think we are working out and yes, lifting bales, grooming horses, riding, teaching all involve you to exert yourself, however not in a manner that is focused and beneficial to your longterm physical and emotional health. I suggest that, starting today, you begin including a daily workout or walk / jog into your schedule. It is amazing the ideas that will begin to flood your mind during this time, how productive you will be when you get back and how you will begin to enjoy your work more because you are getting out of the yard and looking after yourself better. A win – win for you :-)
4. Take time to motivate & inspire yourself daily
Working alone was one of my biggest challenges in the early days of having the equestrian center and farm. I was out in the bush and my daily interactions focused mostly around my clients. Now while this is not, in itself, a bad thing, I began feeling unmotivated and driving my business forward became more and more difficult… Enter the Internet! What a game changer it was, I was now able to connect with like-minded people about actual business ‘stuff’ (we use the big terms around here) and not just my family members who, for all their love and support, hadn’t a cooking clue what I really should be doing or how to do it. I began watching YouTube videos, signed up for a FEI TV membership, read blogs, went on forums…. I now make a point of watching, listening or reading something educational or inspiring every day, to help keep my personal tank full and ready to run with my business.
5. Find an Accountability Partner
When you work alone, it is easier to put things off for another time due to ‘circumstances’. The problem is that most of those ‘circumstances’ are really excuses we have created in our minds to put off doing something we don’t enjoy or find unpleasant. With an accountability partner, using those same reasons and excuses becomes much more difficult to justify because, well quite frankly, your accountability partner doesn’t care about the situation.. They just care that you have followed through and done what you said you would do. Most people try to find an accountability partner that they don’t really know… Someone who it becomes uncomfortable to make your excuses to and who doesn’t know the ins and outs of your personal life. Begin looking for someone today. You can always drop me a line [email protected] and I can perhaps help you find someone.
6. Join a Mastermind group
A mastermind group is basically a group of your peers, 4 to 7 of you usually, who get together, either in person or on-line at a scheduled time and discuss your particular business, both successes and challenges. As I mentioned earlier, it is often difficult to see the forest for the trees when you are working alone in your business, so your mastermind group members are there to bounce ideas off, to give their opinion, to support you and to all help uplift each other to get your business to the next level. The trick is finding the right mastermind group for you… One that you can contribute to and also learn from. I would suggest finding a group that is slightly diverse… perhaps slightly different focus in the industry or even different industries all together. People who are in a different boat will give you a different perspective, and sometimes that is all you need to get you on the right path.
7. Apply the 1% a Day Rule
And lastly… This little gem is such a super way to move you forward in a way that inspires you to take more action, day after day after day. Basically you are breaking things down to the small and often seemingly insignificant, but by taking daily action, the bigger goals begin to look after themselves. Each day, set a task that will improve your business by 1%. Just 1%, nothing more, nothing less… Whether that be planing fresh flowers in the hanging baskets at the stables, or harrowing the arena, or changing a page on your website that is not converting well… Whatever it is, this 1% a day will help to motivate you because the results are instantly visible to you. I personally use this from an aesthetic point of view, improving how things look, improving my customers experience and impressions, however you can use this as you want. Whether it be setting up an email in an auto-responder sequence, or installing a new payment method, or learning about a new technique for grooming… It is powerful and will help keep you motivated on a daily basis.
[wp-tiles post_type=”post” orderby=”date” order=”DESC” grids=”Simple”]