You've got clients to satisfy. Some of them are great, right? But some are incredibly picky. They take way more time than they should. And even the great ones need care and feeding.
You've got employees to manage. Some of them are great, right? But no employee is great 100% of the time. They all need nurturing and coaching and care and feeding.
And you've got work to supervise. Not every project that comes out of your firm sets the standard for excellence, eh? Some projects are easier than others. Some are more invigorating, some a more interesting challenge. But whether it's the implementation of the simplest tactic or setting strategy for a huge client, all that work needs supervision; it needs care and feeding.
And you've got new clients to land. Some prospects are great; they just about sell themselves. But others take months or years. The whole sales effort requires attention; it needs care and feeding.
And then there are the bills: health insurance, overhead which keeps the roof overhead, the rent, the electric company, internet service, payroll, taxes, employee development, new computers, bonuses. All of this screams for attention, for care and feeding.
So maybe your firm is big enough that you've delegated some of these responsibilities. Maybe you've given away the human resources concerns, or the client management, or the finance, or even the sales.
But in the end, you're responsible. When the poop hits the prop, when the tough decisions have to get made, they come to you, don't they? “Hey, boss, what should we do here?” In the end, it's on your shoulders.
All of these concerns—the clients, the employees, the work, the new sales, the bills, and all the issues I haven’t mentioned—all of this is like gravity. It pulls your attention down, down to your feet, down to the place you're standing right now, down to the stones under your shoes, down to the tiniest details, down to the cracks in those stones. If you look at them long enough these cracks consume your attention, they grow until they fill your vision. If you let this gravity do it's work for weeks and months and years, all these concerns dragging at you, pulling at you, you'll end up stooped under the weight.
You won't be able to lift your head, even if you wanted to. You'll be hunched over, scrabbling among the stones, patching the cracks.
But lifting your head, that's your job. You know this is true. Your head needs to be up, not down. You need to be looking out at the horizon, choosing the direction for your firm, aligning your team, making sure there are the skills and the desire to run towards the best future you can see.
You've got choices to make. The future is coming at you fast, bearing down. If you spend all your time with your head being pulled down, the future is going to catch you standing still. It will rock you back on your heels. You will end up sprawling, stunned, wondering what just happened.
You've got to find the time. You've got to make the time to lift your head, look to the horizon and divine the future. But there's this gravity, pulling, pulling, dragging your attention back to the details of the past, of the now.
It takes courage and discipline to lift your head. It takes a plan. You need time to think. If you're not used to it, the horizon looks out of focus, shrouded in fog. But still, you need to look up, out into the future, out to the horizon—and beyond. You know this is true.
The Win Without Pitching program is full of people who are “heads-up,” who are looking at the horizon, who are spying their future, who have chosen, who refuse to submit to the relentless, steady, inexorable pull of this gravity. I identify with these people because, in addition to being a coach in the WWP program, I run my own firm. I feel this constant pull. Look down. Down at the cracks. Down at the dust beneath my feet. Believe me, I’ve got intimate knowledge of the constant battle with gravity. Gravity won, for years.
Until I found the courage to make the right decisions.
I’m still fighting this gravity, but now I know where my focus should be—on the horizon, the future. My gaze still gets pulled down from time to time—when the unexpected or undesirable happens—but the normal focus of my gaze is the horizon. Isn’t this where it should be? If I don’t look out, peering into the future, who else in my firm will do that?
Isn’t this where your gaze should be? If not you, who else will do this?