A question to ask: what’s important?

We all have to make choices.

And I’m talking about choices that are bigger than choosing between having a tea or a coffee, between strawberry and vanilla or between low-fat and regular.

We have significant choices to make on a regular basis about the work that we do. Sometimes those choices seem quite straight-forward but often, they can be challenging.

When making those choices, it really helps if you’re clear on what’s important to you. When you know this, it’s almost like signposts will appear that will point in you in the right direction. If you’re not clear on this, then you’ll be crawling along in the fog, not able to see those signs.

Here’s the thing though. What is important to us tends to change. For some, it’s constantly changing and is a sign of progress. For others, it changes less often but requires regular review nonetheless.

Are you clear on what is important to you? Have you reflected on this recently? Maybe it has changed without your conscious acknowledgement.

To help you with this, here’s a list of four things that are important for me, at this moment in time.

1. Growing a delighted client base.
Peter Drucker maintained that the purpose of a business is to create a customer. No business can survive without an engaged client base. My focus is on steadily developing the scale and breadth of that client base, in a way that ensures that all active clients are delighted with the offerings.

Inevitably, some clients will move on. Some will do so because their needs have been met and they will turn to something else. Others will find that the offerings will evolve in a different direction to where they’re going. This is all healthy and natural.

2. Increasing the financial return of the business
If an established business isn’t profitable, then the end is in sight. My philosophy is simple here: create more value than we extract. When clients invest in Smarter Egg programmes, their return on that investment needs to be significant. As long as this is true, the profitability of the business is well-earned.

I’m not doing this kind of work to ‘make a buck’. There are easier ways to get rich, trust me. But it’s important that the business provides a living for my family as well as the families of those who work for the business.

3. Developing long-term sustainability
It’s easy to be drawn into activity that appears to be exciting or rewarding but ultimately, it may not be contributing to the sustainability of the business. Being unsustainable means that certain activities can only be pursued in the short-term, that certain behaviours can’t be maintained.

I’ve worked hard this year on designing the business to be more sustainable, to grow and evolve with the needs of the clients. Yes, this is a design challenge but it is also a mindset and a philosophy. Being sustainable doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll always be operating within capacity, doing more or less the same things. But it does mean that we will take a long-term view when making commitments.

4. My Mojo
Why do you work? Is it to make money? Is it to keep yourself occupied? Whatever your reason, the reality is that you have a choice about the kind of work that you do. No matter how tough the economic conditions, you can decide to change your job, or your profession.

I’ve made a number of changes in direction in my career and in doing so have realised how essential it is that I both enjoy and find meaning in the work. This is what Mojo is. It’s not about Austin Powers but is a concept introduced by Marshall Goldsmith. The two key elements are happiness and meaning. Without these, our Mojo will suffer. (We use Marshall’s books in Smarter Egg programmes, and I do recommend them).

Those four things guide me. Your list will be different. What’s important to you?


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