Podcast

THE IMPORTANCE OF CLARITY IN BUSINESS SUCCESS

EPISODE 87

About The Show

Clarity in your business is the centrepiece to achieving the success you are seeking. Without clarity, you could be focusing on the totally wrong things, that aren’t going to give you the life you are seeking.
It’s so incredibly easy to be busy and distracted with the wrong things and without clarity, there is nothing to bring you back to focus on what truly is are the most important priorities to be focused on.
We often speak of time management, prioritising our time and even trying to find more time. Without clarity and absolute direction it doesn’t matter how much team we each have as we will end up missing what we are aiming for.

What You'll Learn!

  • What exactly is clarity in business and in life, what does it mean.
  • Why clarity is important in your business and in life
  • How to pinpoint clarity
  • How Clarity will help you stay away from distractions and help you better manage your time.
  • How clarity will help you fast track the success you are seeking by helping you to focus on what’s truly important

Links Mentioned

START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way — and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.

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Full Episode Transcript

Good day, good day and welcome to the Business Made Easy podcast where we make business easy. Jason Skinner, your host here for another week of the podcast. It is all about growing your business, growing your bottom line profit and giving you a better life as a result. Thank you so much for joining me.

If you’re new to the show, welcome. I’m glad you found us, wherever you are, however you found us, I’m glad you’re here with us. Don’t forget to hit that Subscribe button and that will make sure that you get each week’s episode, it drops each Friday and those of you returning, the regular listeners, thank you also for turning up again. I’m glad you’re here.

Whatever you are doing in the world right now, I hope it’s something you’re enjoying and I really do appreciate you turning up each week. And particularly, those of you who have left me a review on your relative listening platform, thank you so much for that whether it’s Spotify or iTunes, we are on Spotify now which is a great platform to listen to podcasts. But those reviews really do mean a lot to me because I do read every single one of them and I do value every single one of them because it tells me that people are listening and people are getting results and achieving things, much like Phil Lichtenburg who was on last week’s show, episode 86. Phil is one of our regular listeners and in Episode 86, coached Phil through– he had some problems that he was having with his business.

He had some questions and we were able to talk through some solutions which he’s now going to put in place and he’s messaged me over the course of the week and said that he’s actually getting results already from just in for meeting some of the things that we talked about and that’s just fantastic. That lights me up to know that the show is making a difference to people and able to help you in your business, whatever it is that you’re doing or whatever it is that you’re struggling with or wherever you need, just a bit of eye, or the ear, or guidance with.

And if you do have something for me– if you do have something, uhm, specific that you wanna ask a question around, I’m always here for you. You can just drop me a line at [email protected] so it’s [email protected] or go over to the website, there’s a record button there. You can record your question if it’s too much to type out or you’d prefer to just record it in audio format. Hit the red record button on the website and uhm, and you can ask a question away there and I’d love to answer it for you and help you as much as possible, ’cause that’s what we’re here for, a community of people helping people in business and uh, and that’s what it’s all about.

Alrighty, let’s get into the day’s episode. Now, one of the most common problems I see business owners are dealing with on a day-to-day basis is a lack of clarity. And today I wanna talk about clarity with you and what that means and what it means and why it’s important in your business. It’s actually one of the most important things, I think, uh, that we can have in our business and in our personal lives as well, not just talk– when we talk about clarity, we’re not just talking about your business life.

We’re also talking about your uhm, your personal life as well. Now, I’m sure you’ll agree to me, we– agree with me that there is no end to the listing of things we can spend our time on. Uhm, you know, don’t do this, you might be driving but I’m sure if I ask everyone that’s listening to put up their hand, whether or not they’re uhm, they’ve always got an abundance of things they could be doing or want to do or should be doing. There’s ne– There’s never a shortage of things that we can spend our time on. And anyone I speak within business is always time-poor so we got lots of things that we could do, lots of uhm, activities and- and things we want to do, should do, have to do, need to do, all those things. And then if I say, have you got time to do them all? Usually the next question is, no, I’m time-poor. We don’t have enough time. And next, cash flow, a lack of cash flow, cash flow issues. Time management is usually one of the– one of the next ones that the most popular ones that arise. And time management is it’s something what we’ve spoken about time in many previous episodes of interviewed guest they set their own time and you can go back through the back catalog for those. I haven’t got a list of them so I’m very sorry ’cause I was like when I started going through this, there’s actually quite a few there that– that we have actually done. So we have done a lot of work in ti– uh, talk on time and such in business.

But what I’m talking about here when we talk about clarity and time management is that we just get busier and busier with things. We’re just getting busier and busier with things to do. There’s a lot, you know, I know and this is what I’ve been saying to my wife, Melissa, last night. I don’t know what it is but I can sit down and have a full plate of stuff to do by the end of the day, even though I get all those things off my list, there’s another full plate there to do. And I don’t know whether you’ve ever felt like that. You’re on that treadmill of uhm, it’s just like this constant mass load or hands to wheel, treadmill, you’re running and running, getting all these things done but– but really, where are you running to?

And that’s my question for you and around clarity. It’s one thing to get things done but the things we’re getting done, are they actually moving us closer to our end goal or are we just getting things done? Are we just running from thing to thing that needs doing, putting out fires here. Yeah, we might get some things done, some good things done. We might have uhm, you know one of our goals for instance might be to achieve, I don’t know, let’s say it’s uhm, build a website or something like that. But is that actually going to move us clearer to our end goal and our end purpose? And that’s what we need to foc– that’s what we need to get clear about.

We need clarity around what are the things that we need to be doing to move us towards our goal, not oh, I’ll get this done, and then it’ll be done and I’ll achieve something for the day. What are the sum of those achievements are actually moving you closer to. That’s what I wanna talk about today with– with clarity because without clarity, we can fill a whole year with things. And I’m sure you’ll all agree, we can move– we can move mountains with all the things we’d get done. But are they the right mountains and the right direction that we’re actually moving, you know.

Well, I’ve seen so many business owners for many many years, toil away at their businesses and build their businesses up and really successful businesses from the outside perspective. You know I’ve seen, you know, small trucking companies start with one or two trucks and next thing, they’ve got a fleeted trucks, et cetera. But– but really, yes that looks successful from the outside but has it been successful for the actual owners of the business?

Has it actually moved them from where they are, where they were to where they actually wanted to be and that’s the cre– that’s the key thing. Yes, it’s moved them somewhere. It’s moved them to a bigger business with more staff and more hours and more stress. But what if their– what if their actual original clarity, their actual original purpose and why was to build a business that they can go and lay on the beach 12 months of the year. But now, they’ve actually built a business that they’re working in 7 days a week with 400 staff and trucks and stress and you know, all these things going wrong. And this is– this is my point around clarity. We can be busy doing things, we can be busy doing all these– all these stuff, I call it stuff. Staffing issues, looking for new staff. Alright, do we need new staff? Is our new staff gonna actually drive us closer to what it is that we want in our life and what our– what our core goal and purpose is.

That’s what clarity is. It’s when you know clearly that the things you’re working on are moving you closer to your end goal and your core purpose and your why. You know, Simon Snick would mention this before. Simon’s an expert, wrote this in his book. Start with why. Start with what is, get clear, clarity around what it is that you want to achieve with your business. And look, I’d love this to be a one of incident but there is so many business owners that I talk to on a day-to-day basis in a coaching role and this is where we start in the coaching process by the way. I always start and we get clear about what it is on the table that we need to be achieving together as a team. What is it that we need to be working towards together. It’s not where I want you to work on. It’s not what you should be working on. It’s actually getting clearer about what it is that you want in your life and in your business goals and et cetera.

When you have that clarity and it’s lucky to– when I say clarity, I’m not saying, I’m not saying some fluffy stuff like uhm, oh, you know, I would like to just not go to work each day or I’d like to just have a free life, you know? Uhm, that’s fluffy because it’s no– there’s nothing specific. But when you’re clear on how you see your life in the future, yes, it’s– this is tied in with vision. But when you’re clear that you are– you are going from this point here. So you– are you clear about your current position? So, you’re clear, absolutely clear about what your life is now, where you are, what you stand for, whatever it is. And then, Point B is clear about where you want to go and when you want to be there and how you want to be, what’s it look like, uhm, what time frames? We get very very clear about it. We put– we put uhm, parameters around it. So hard wired premise around I am currently in this situation, earning this much money with these assets, with this net wealth, uh, my life looks like this. I’m this kind of person, my health is this, my, you know, all these things.

And then we move it. We then say okay, what is the time frame and then what is the goal for the future. What do you want that to look like? And that is clarity. That is what I mean by clarity. It’s about putting firm parameters around that and I’m going to give you a bit of a– a mind exercise in the moment. Just sort of take you through so you can see this in perspective.

If you’re driving the car, it will be easier than me drawing it on a whiteboard for you. I don’t expect you to pull over and get a piece of paper out or anything like that. But the idea of this exercise and I’ll take you through in a second is really about getting– getting and understanding of all these and how it fits together in your business and in your life. Uhm, so, a way to look at clarity, uhm, and the way I kind of look at clarity when I think of clarity, it’s really like a lighthouse in my business. Uhm, you know, a lighthouse sits on a– on a– the head land of the ocean and it keeps bringing you back to a reference point. You know, it doesn’t matter what storms come up in the ocean and the darkness and the fog and the whatever it is. But the person steering the ship can constantly be on the right, heading back, pulling back to the right direction no matter where the waves are washing their ship or the like. A year ago, one of my analogy as a kid, I apologize but the waves can be keep– keep pulling you back but that lighthouse keeps the captain of the ship focused on that point, and we’re going over here. This is our– this is our clarity, purpose over here, our lighthouse is over– over in this direction. And that’s what we need to do as business owners, you know. I’m sure you’ve had days like this, I do it every– I’m sure I have it everyday but I’m sure you’ve had days like this where you’re going to the office or the business or whatever it is that you’re doing and you’ve got the best intentions and you’ve sent emails, sat down all weekend and got clear about what it is that you wanna get done this week. And uhm, you go in with the best in– you got your task list and you’re go– you’re gonna get it all done and you might get some things done. But then, something will happen. A problem will present itself. A new opportunity will present itself. Someone will ring in and say, “Hey. I’m from XYZ and I’d love to have coffee with you to talk about why.”

And I get that all the time. A lot of people like you know, people that are trying to introduce their business to you like to sell you things or sell their services to you. And if I’m not– If I don’t have clarity about where I am going with my business and my life, I would be number one, a caffeine addict, uhm, sitting there and having coffee all the time with anyone. But I’d get nothing done in my day. I would be running around from shiny thing to shiny thing trying to get, you know, looking at everything all the time, not, you know, assessing and wondering whether not it’s good or bad or whatever. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to keep your eyes open but with clarity, when you have clarity about where it is that you are going in the next 5 years, uh, of your business and your life, then it becomes very very easy to apply a filter over all that noise that’s coming through to you. And you can– you can block out a lot of stuff.

And the same when staffing issues arise, you know. If staff aren’t performing to the way that you expect it again, you’re going to take your business to that– to that clarity point or the lighthouse. You steer the ship and you think of the– you think of the, all the– the staff on your business being on your ship, you know, rocking it around and moving it in other directions and not running the engine correctly, et cetera.

If you’re trying to go to a particular point in your business, then that clarity point, without it, you’re gonna be floating all over the ocean wherever you’re going. And that’s uhm, that’s what I mean by how important this clarity is. If you don’t have it and I know most businesses don’t have it, to be honest. A well-documented clarity plan or clarity statement as I call it. Uhm, you– you don’t know where you’re going. You’re going to be– you’re gonna be going everywhere. I think uhm, Jim Collins, uhm, Jim Collins spoke about this really well in his book, uh, Good To Great. It’s a great book if you haven’t uhm, great book, Good To Great. Uh, obviously, it goes without saying, doesn’t it? Good To Great, he– he spoke about this in his book where he said you first of all got to work out where you want your bus to go. Uhm, and I’m paraphrasing here but you first of all, got to work out where you want your bus to go. That’s clarity around the destination of where you want that bus to go. Map out the road, get clear about it. And then you work out what people to put on the bus to go on that journey with you. What most people do is they– they end up with a big bus and they go alright, I gotta fill it. So they fill it and then they get everybody on there, uh, with no clarity. And then they have to actually– then they say alright, where are we all gonna go? And you know, maybe that’s not in the direction the driver wants to go. So, that’s you. You gotta– you gotta have clarity around, uhm, what it is that you’re– or where it is that you’re, uhm, you’re going.

So, to define clarity, I mean, I just– there’s probably different definitions of it out there and all different sorts of uhm, versions of it. But for me, and– and the way I look at clarity, it’s– it’s I’m totally clear about where I am here at Point A. And as I said, that means everything. That’s not just oh, yeah, look, I’m a bit overworked today and I wanna be underworked tomorrow. Clarity is about clear– very clear. I am very clear about today, where I am. I– I know I have this net, uh, worth in assets. I know I have this, uh, these liabilities. I know I have these relationships. I know I am this kind of person. Uh, I’m self aware of who I am at the present time. Uhm, I am clear about my health in my current situation here at Point A. So I’m clear about all those things. That’s one thing. The first point of working out your clarity point. But Point B is where do I want to be at Point B? And in what time frame? So then I get clear about all that. Where do or what assets do I want to have in 5 years time. What– do I want my debt situation be at in 5 years time? What do I want my lifestyle to be in 5 years time? What do I want my health to be in 5 years time? My relationships. Who’s the person I want to be in 5 years time? Now, you have to get very very clear about that because 5 years goes like– like no time at all. And with the distractions that we have with social media and technology and staff and business– like just the normal business environment. It’s a noisy place and it’s a distracting place and it’s very very easy as I’m sure you’ll agree with me, to get sucked in to different things and lose a week or a month even, or even worse, a year.

You know, I’ve had years go by in the past where I just wake up and you go, hang on, what happened to the last 12 months? And you have to sit back and look at what it is that you’ve actually done in that– with your time in that last 12 months. And you can’t get that time back. That’s the point. It’s– you can’t get that time back once it’s blown.

But if you’ve got clarity about, and I’m saying the word clarity a lot [chuckles] this episode sorry because this is what it’s about. But when you’ve got clarity about where you want to go and what it is that you have to and– clarity and everything, then that is your force field. That’s your magnetic, uh, compass back to– to where you have to go. And that’s how you can filter out noise and you can filter out distractions and you can filter out but because it’s not in your clarity plan at all and it’s not gonna add value or uhm, or take you to where you need to go. So, I wanna– I wanna talk about this concept.

A way to picture it for you, I’ve kind of described what I see clarity as and I’ve described why it’s important. But I wanna sort of– I wanna sort of take you through a sort of a process of thinking in your business about clarity for you, and what that actually could look like in a practical sense. ‘Cause, you know, we can say oh, Jason wants us to be clear about where we wanna go, blah blah blah. But I want you to see it like– like something for me.

I want you to picture your business as a big funnel. And we all know what a funnel looks like. You’ve all seen a funnel. There’s marketing funnel we’ve all seen or this you know, the picture of a funnel which is basically got a really big, broad opening right at the very top and it comes, tapers down to a very narrow, uh, opening right at the very bottom in that funnel. Now, I hope you’re all with me, got that– got that funnel. I don’t expect you to draw it if you’re driving. But if you think about your funnel, think– think about your business in a funnel-like shape. And at the very very top of that funnel is Point A that I was just talking about.

We’re right at the very top at Point A. Now, the opening of the funnel at Point A is very broad. It’s uhm, anything really can fall into it, you know. As I said, you know, distractions, uhm, issues with staff, issues within supplies, and you know uhm, opportunities and new– new opportunities and new products, new services. It can all come into that funnel. And if we’re up there, and we’re in amongst all that up there by the way at Point A. So we’re all up there and we’re floating around and we’re doing these things. They’re coming in, we’re dealing with them. We’re clearing out our inbox, we’re deleting emails. You know, we’re just going about our day. Uh, what are you are signing up for this new subscription offer or whatever it is that we’re doing.

Now, uh, if we have no clarity, we’re gonna stay at that very top point. We’re just gonna stay around in that funnel. We might get things done and they might leave the funnel and we might make our way down a little bit. But we’re typically gonna float around at the top there and really, you know, we might– might still be making money at that point. We might be, you know, doing okay and– and the like. But is it really what it is that we’re trying to achieve? Is it really, are we really on the track to what it is that we want for our life and our business and our family and our health and our friends and our ourselves. And this is where clarity comes in, right down the very very bottom of the funnel.

I want you to Point B, the very very small opening at the bottom of the funnel. I want you to put Point B. Now when we sit down into a clarity plan and we get clear about where it is that we want to go, that’s Point B. And it connects right up to the top of Point A. And we get focused on that point that’s gonna pull us down and we’re gonna get closer and closer and as we work and– and remove the distractions form the top of the funnel that aren’t related or aren’t gonna move us down that line to Point B of the funnel through the center, then what we’re going to have is uhm, we’re gonna have less things. We’ll basically be focused on the core things that are gonna drive us down. So, all those so powerful things, they’re not gonna fit in the funnel anymore. Their kinda like just moving down so there’s only enough room now for what it is that we actually need to do or things that are, activities that are going to drive us down to that core purpose at the bottom of the funnel at Point B.

I hope that makes sense. It’s kind of like as you– as you do the right things and focus and keep focused on that. ‘Cause with clarity comes focus then. Once you’ve got clarity, then you can focus on– on that point like the lighthouse, you can keep moving down. And bit by bit, there’s only enough room when you get– when you get down to the– to the point at the end of the tunnel, closer to the point near end, there’s only so much that you can actually fit in there. So it needs to be exactly what it is that’s gonna keep you and drive you to the next stage and to the next stage and to the next stage. So it’s a great way to think about it and it’s a way that helps me to process it when I’m thinking about it. I usually draw it around a white board and then show people.

But having that clarity, uhm, is like being and your– your business is like in that funnel and it’s a very very laser focused and very very specific. You’re doing specific things. Now, disclaimer on that. You’re not saying no to everything. You’re not being nice and everything. But what you do now is have a core purpose and you have a core– core focus. So, uhm, you– you really– you can say a lot no to a lot more and– and lot more distraction. And that way, you’re day early becomes about doing the things that you need to do to drive you to that next point in your– in your laser focused on to your clarity. So, that’s how– that’s how I look at– look at clarity.

So, focus does come from having clarity. You can’t focus on stuff, uh, you can. You can focus on stuff but you don’t know whether or not that’s the right stuff. And that’s what– that’s what I want you to take away from today is that clarity guide you to your end goal. Uhm, and where it is that you need to go. Now, when you get there, it’s not all over. It’s not an end point. It is– it is a point. It’s a milestone but your life in that 5-year time frame will be totally different, I assure you, than– than if you don’t do that exercise. And you will have achieved so much more with your time and achieve so much more success with your business. And uhm, and at that point, you know, it’s a never-moving target. You keep that clarity, keep that focus ’cause we do evolve, you know, as we get more success, as more things happen in our business. We have different priorities. We’re gonna set different, you know, different problems arise and those sorts of things. So, you need to– need to keep– keep re uhm, I guess reassessing where it is in your clarity plan. So the way I approach this is I do an actual clarity plan. It’s a way, it’s a process, I sit down and go through with my clients to actually put that in place. Uhm, it’s an exercise you can do on your own. Uhm, it’s– but it is better if you do do it with somebody.

So if you’ve got a peer or a mentor or somebody that you can uhm, rely on and trust, then I would encourage you to sit with them and have a session just on clarity and just get clear about what it is that you want to achieve and– and you can basically end up with a clarity statement saying that uhm, my name is Jason and I’m currently at this point here, blah blah blah blah blah. List it all down and in the next 5 years, I’m going to be here XYZ and this is how I’m going to do it and you’ve got clarity as I said. There’s that word again, the c word. [chuckles]

Alrighty. So, uhm, as I said, sit with somebody that you know and trust and– and do this. Uhm, I’m always available for you if you– if you ever want hand– a hand with– with this work. Just let me know. I can certainly help you. Just drop me an email at [email protected] More than happy to help you, guide you through this process. It is a– it is a very, very powerful process. I know uhm, the clients that I’ve been throughout with the difference in their thinking between when they uhm, when they come into a clarity session to and when they leave is just absolute black and white. You know, there’s– they come in with a lot of noise and ideas and things like that and they leave with a lot of– a lot of purpose and direction. So, uhm, yeah, it really is a powerful powerful topic. And I wanted to share it with you today because I — as I said we’ve spoken a lot about time management. We spoke a lot about productivity and you have this marketing and new customers and those sorts of things. But they really mean nothing if we don’t actually– we don’t actually uhm, have– have purpose and know why– why it is that we’re doing what we’re doing. So we just get up and jump on that hamster wheel and I don’t want that for you.

Alrighty. So, I hope you found that valuable. Uhm, as I said if you’ve got any questions, you just drop me a line at [email protected] and I’m more than happy to help you and point you in the right direction with getting clarity in your business. But until next week, I am going to hand you over to Mia and she’s gonna take you out and I wish you all the best for your week. Here’s to your success. Take us out, Mia.

Mia: You’ve been listening to the Business Made Easy podcast where we make business easy.

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