“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.”
If you were completely satisfied with your 2021 gross receipts, your 2021 net profit, your 2021 clientele, your 2021 hours worked… Then that’s great! Seriously, kudos to you. You found the formula that works for you, and you’re happy with it. That is legitimately amazing, so keep doing it.
If you’re not happy with any of those things, then you need to make changes. But changes take a while to implement, so you need to start implementing change right now if you want to see the impact of that change across the entirety of this year.
Many, many moons ago, I was provided free room and board on a luxurious ocean vessel called USS Theodore Roosevelt. A Nimitz-class aircraft carrier is a massive ship, weighing over 117,000 tons and 1,040 feet long at the waterline. Simply a gigantic structure to push through the water. And once it’s going in a certain direction, well, that’s where it will keep going.
One of my favorite actions of the ship were high speed turns. With reactors making max steam and rudders hard over, it was such a beautiful thing to behold. Whether I was down in engineering standing watch on the turbines, sitting in shaft alley watching the gigantic prop shafts turning, or — my absolute favorite — standing out on the fantail (back end of the ship) and watching the glorious arcing wake of our turn. It was just freakin’ awesome.
Heck, enjoy this YouTube video of sister ship CVN-72 doing these, filmed from a chopper –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN7BjeRad2I
These vessels are incredibly complex feats of engineering. Unbelievable time, talent, hours, and money went into building them.
Exhaustive training goes into teaching sailors how to operate them safely and with precision.
And a tremendous amount of energy is required to change direction that fast.
Your business is no different.
OK, sure, you’re not watching over two nuclear reactors. And maybe you don’t have 5500+ human lives in your hands.
But you do have your own livelihood. The livelihoods of your staff. The financial benefits that you deliver to all of your clients or customers.
You have your softwares, your systems, your files, your workflows.
You have tremendous momentum in how you already do things.
So if you want to change course, it’s going to take some time and energy for you to do so.
For an aircraft carrier to completely change direction, a 180-degree turn, requires over a mile of ocean to complete that turn. It takes a lot of space, a lot energy, and a fair amount of time.
Your business is similar.
It’s going to take you time to change workflows. Training staff to offer new service lines takes time, energy, money. Adopting new software takes time, energy, money. Implementing new marketing campaigns… Hiring new talent… Entering a new niche… It all takes time, energy, and money. None of this happens overnight.
So if you want to turn the ship around, you need to start that turn now.
The most businesses are making continuous improvements to their business, year-round. They never stop improving processes, marketing, staffing, training, etc. Business optimization is not seasonal.
So yes, I’m telling you to start making changes now. And continue to grow and develop your business, even during seasonal busy times. No time for it? Make time. Otherwise, at the end of the year, you’ll be exactly where you are now.
On board the Roosevelt, those of us in engineering had another saying: “The ocean doesn’t move us. We move the ocean.”
Is your business just drifting in the current, or are you plotting your own course?