If you don’t spend any time thinking you are never going to grow your business.
I guess I can’t say never, but it’s going to be awfully darn hard because thinking allows you to take your business to the next level. And what I love about it is it doesn’t cost any money to think.
I find that in the noise and the clutter of the day, it’s hard for me to think. It’s hard for me to come with a great idea. So I created a daily discipline in the mornings when it’s nice and quiet and nobody’s up. I’ve got my thinking chair. I’ve got a spiral notebook there. I’ve got my dog. I’ve got my fireplace. I’ve got the perfect spot and this is where I just sit and I think. Sometimes when I meet business owners it seems like the only good idea they ever had was the one that they had when they started their business. There’s no innovation and nothing that’s taking the business any further.
I ask them what are they are excited about or working on. What are they passionate about right now? And they have no answer to that. Some of them just want to “get by”.
I don’t want to “get by”. I don’t want to “get by” in life and I don’t want to “get by” in business.
And I think one of the easiest ways to change that is to start spending time thinking. Just sitting a chair. Set your stopwatch for two minutes and try thinking for two minutes. Stay focused on one area of thought for two minutes.
A lot of people call this meditation. I have to think because if I just meditate and there’s nothing going on in my head, I’ll fall asleep.
I’m going to share with you how I do it because I think once you start this, it’s going to be revolutionary. If you don’t presently spend time actively, aggressively, and strategically thinking, your business is definitely not growing as it could.
How to Effectively Spend Time Thinking
The Big Domino
The first thing I started thinking about is, “What’s my big domino for the day?”
What’s the one thing that if I knock over that is going knock over all the other dominoes. Sometimes I have to think about this for thirty days to get it. This was an idea I got from Russell Brunson. He got it from Tim Ferris. This is where I find the one thing that if I knock it over it’s going to have the best domino effect. It will take care of a lot of small things that I’m not going to have to worry about. These are big initiatives. So I start thinking on what is my big domino. I may have six to ten of these a year.
My Big Dream
Next, I think about my big dream. What’s the one thing if I accomplish this, it’s my “a-ha” moment. This is the thing that I’m personally really working towards.
I spend some time thinking about current goals and putting one of them under a microscope. I think about what do I need to get done for a particular one. Or I put my focus on what’s currently irritating me or has my attention. It may be a problem or it may be an initiative. It’s just something that is grabbing my focus and I can’t get it out of my head.
So they’re kind of the everyday things I focus on. What’s the big domino? Which my big dream? What are my current goals? What am I currently being distracted by? What’s in my brain and I just can’t let go of it?
Focus On a Subject
Then I like to spend time focusing on a subject. This might be an area of growth that I’m working on: leadership, how to better sell things, whatever it may be. This could be when I read a book and I find something within a book, I’ll drill down on maybe a sentence that I’ve read or something that’s coming across to me. I like to spend focused thought on problems and their solutions. If there’s a problem I want to look and find the solution to that.
I worked for a guy I never forget. We’d have staff meetings. He was just a fantastic leader and he would say to me, “Don’t bring me a problem unless you have the solution.” Your ability to know a problem and have the solution is so valuable.
Focus On the Future
I want to spend time focusing on the future. I want to think, “Where do I want to be five years from now, ten years from now? Where do I want my companies to be five years from now, 10 years from now?”
I spend time reflecting typically if I have a failure or something that’s not working out the way I wanted to. I want to go back and look at why it didn’t work and how I would do it different.
I spend time strategizing, I do this when I have a new start-up that’s getting ready to be launched. I want to put together a strategy with my plan.
If there’s a company or something I want to improve, I spend time thinking about how to improve it and how can we get a better competitive advantage? Maybe I saw an ad or something where my competitors are doing something and it spurs a thought. Maybe they’re doing something that I like and I’ve got to strategically combat that or come up with something new.
How can I man maximize my assets? How can I leverage what I have within my businesses? What do I need to minimize or do I have so much clutter I am distracted? Where do I have too much going on?
The ability to think costs you nothing but a few minutes of your day. I keep a journal of all my ideas, so I know spending time thinking is worth it to me and has helped make my businesses very profitable.
I spoke recently at a college and this is one of the things I shared with them:
I told them, “You’re all trying to position yourself to make the most money possible. When you work with your boss, bring your boss solutions, not problems.”
- Don’t just share problems. If there’s a problem that your boss is sharing with you, bring him solutions, bring her solutions.
- Bring them options. Leaders love options.
- Share with them opportunities that you see that maybe they don’t see sometimes.
The worst-case scenario is they turn it down.
But! They love having a thinker. It’s going to position you so much further than anybody who works there, so don’t be afraid if you’re young and you’re within the organization to start being a thinker. Start bringing ideas and solutions to problems, options, and opportunities.
Begin the process of being a great thinker.