By Dawn Shuler
When you’re working in your business (as opposed to working “on”), you’re mired deeply, head down, focused on the minute details and plans. It’s as if you’re looking through a microscope.
And that level of attention and focus is good and definitely needed at times. The problem can be when you stay in that mode and feel you have to do everything to the nth degree, or do everything to the nth degree yourself.
Imagine what that actually looks like… you’re sitting at your desk in front of your computer or on your couch with your laptop. Your eyes are metaphorically inches from the screen. You’re working a pretty intricate plan with dates and details and to-do’s. You never look up.
How much can you see what’s going on around you?
Not much, and that can cause problems.
If something needs to change, can you even step back far enough to see how that change needs to be integrated into the existing plan? Without panicking, that is?
That’s why it’s necessary to step back regularly and widen your view. Sometimes, you’re looking at things with just your eyes. Other times, you need binoculars or a telescope to see a little farther.
Here are four different views you need to run your business.
Microscope View: This is the lens you need when you’re creating or launching something. Think of this is as the rubber-meets-the-road. You have to plan the launch, the dates you send out the promotional emails, what those promotional emails will say, how you’ll deliver the program or product. It’s the nitty-gritty, get-stuff-done part of your business.
Normal View: This is the lens where you’re planning more short-term, like when you plan out the week on Monday. You know what you need to do for the week, and you have somewhat of an idea of how your tasks this week fits with your bigger goals. An example is planning out your editorial calendar to integrate with your promotional calendar so that you’re writing articles that fit into your product/program launch.
Binocular View: This is when you’re looking ahead with a much more long-term vision. This comes into play when you plan out the next eight to twelve months. Maybe there’s a program you run two or three times a year, or an annual retreat or live event you hold.
Telescope View: This big cahuna is your five- or ten-year plan. This might include merging, acquisition, hiring, expanding, selling, incorporating, going public, getting investors, starting a foundation. It’s far enough away that you can’t reach it yet, but you know you’re going in that direction.
Many entrepreneurs stay in Microscope View most of the time. That means they’re usually reacting instead of being proactive. Or if they do decide to do some long-term planning, “long-term” usually ends up being two months away, and then everything feels immediate and “must be done now” because there’s been no planning about how it all fits together.
Pick your head up from your desk and look around. What do you see? And if you extend that viewpoint, what needs to change?
Don’t be afraid… that bigger view can actually be exciting and full of potential. Don’t automatically pull back in. Stay in that bigger view for a while and see what comes up.
It might just be magical.