Let’s face a fact; as entrepreneurs, we are all afraid of discipline. The kind that gets us these days isn’t the “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” sort of discipline meted out by our parents and teachers and bosses. I’m talking about the discipline of routine that makes sure we get things done.
Let’s take this out of the business environment for a moment first and talk about swimming.
Swimming is the main thing I do to stay in shape and keep my weight down. Once I get in the pool, I love it. I was born to swim. I’m a fish. Knowing the discipline of a regular swim workout is good for me, I have to admit that I feel better and have more energy when I swim regularly and often. You probably have some sort of exercise that works for you like swimming does for me.
Yet, at the same time, I hate being disciplined about getting up in the morning and knocking out my swim workout. I’ll delay it, postpone it, do something else. Regularly, I’ll decide I’ve done good with it and don’t need to do it for a few days. It’s like I’ve got this licked and don’t need it anymore.
Take that picture, and apply it to your work as an entrepreneur. Do you act the same way about key activities you need to be doing to lead your business?
For example, I have a number of clients who struggle with maintaining the discipline of weekly and daily meeting rhythms. They know, intuitively and by practice, that this discipline improves their personal performance and their company’s performance dramatically. But, they still find excuses to let it fall by the wayside. “It hinders my creativity” –wrongo bongo. It enhances creativity and collaboration. “I already meet with everybody individually so I don’t have to…” –wrongo bongo again. It eliminates the need for those meetings and frees up time for other creative activity. “I already know about what we need to focus on” –again wrongo bongo. The problems and opportunities come faster to you so you can creatively and collaboratively act on them sooner and more effectively.
This example applies to so many other disciplines that will make you better and greater. Yet, we avoid them.
When we accept that a particular discipline is good for us, we have to take the “Nike” attitude toward it. “Just Do It.” Discipline will make us and our teams better.
Which reminds me, I bailed on my swim workout this morning for a pretty stupid reason. Talked my way out of it. So, I will be getting back to the pool this afternoon. It’s good to get back on track.
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