You must progress to get better. It’s the nature of business and life. Being better does not happen without progress. You can expect to get better, when you are doing nothing to get there.
Sometimes as entrepreneurs we get stuck, complacent, and don’t always see the value of extending and expanding-especially when things are “going well.” But is that all there is to it? Growth is challenging. It pushes and prods us to do more. Ask any pregnant woman-she will tell you that growth and expansion is difficult-but the payoff is worth it.
One way to promote growth and to level up is to make a contract with yourself using a punch list. Punch lists are used in construction to indicate things that need to be done/completed in order for the final payment to be received. You can use a punch list both personally and professionally to get yourself to the next level. Creating a punch list helps you figure out what you have left to do before leveling up. As you close in on your next level, there are things (usually a lot of things) to work on and prepare. It could be things like:
- Daily disciplines
- Attendance and punctuality
- Communication skills
- Sales ability
- Product info and knowledge
- Networking skills
Remember, new levels require higher levels of thinking and functionality. There will be things that you will have to commit to improving in order to handle the next level that’s coming. This will require you to have a nice little meeting with yourself, where you take a hard look at what you are doing now and what needs to be done in order to achieve your goals.
So how do you create your punch list? Let’s do it based on the next 90 days. Make a list of everything that needs to be done to “finish up” what you’ve got going with the idea of preparation for the next level. Remember, an honest outlook is a necessity. You want to take into account your personal/professional growth and development. What do YOU need to do to be ready for the next level?
After you have made your list, you are going to divide those items into 3 categories
- Emergent-things that need to be handled immediately
- Urgent-things that need to be handled soon, but are not emergencies
- Non-Urgent-things that can be handled as you go, but are not priority
Ask yourself, “What is left to do to get me where I want to go?” Things like looking at your pricing, bookkeeping, credit improvement, paying down debt. These things need to go on the punch list. Decide which things need to be handled right now and then go down from there.
You have to look at your whole picture. If your funnel has holes, then you have leaks and areas of weakness and it stunts your growth. Those things keep you from going to the next level. Use your punch list to keep you accountable and focused. Don’t stray from it until you reach your next goal. Then make a new punch list, and set a new goal.