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A New Entreperneur's Motto: Try to Win Each Day

October 5th, 2010 | Featured,Online & Small Business Resources,Small Business,Small Business Tips | No Comments »

Marty Schotenheimer giving small businesses and startups inspiration

So as many of you may know, I am from the Cleveland/Akron area and a lifelong Browns fan.  Yes, I am celebrating Sunday’s first victory of the season, but that is another story.  My point is the great former Browns coach Marty Schottenheimer used to tell his team – “Try to win every play.” I believe his thinking was, forget the first half or second half or all 60 minutes of the game.  Break the game of football down to the smallest element and that is each play.  Win each play, and you increase your chances of winning the game.  It really is a good way of looking at the game of football.

The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: This got me to thinking about the overwhelming odds that most entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses face.  We are up against larger companies, better funded competitors, new products being launched every day and the challenge of just trying to get our names out and keeping our customers happy.  These and the many additional challenges that entrepreneurs face every day can be overwhelming.   They often drown even the strongest and most driven people who take the entrepreneurship plunge.

Just one of these challenges is entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses are faced with being pulled in every direction.   The job of focusing is so difficult (as we discussed previously).  How many of you can not even send an email out or quickly resolve a customer inquiry without being interrupted a hundred times?  We get half way through a three line email and it takes us two hours to get the rest of the email completed and by the time we are done we do not remember what we were responding to in the first place.

A New Approach? So taking Schottenheimer’s football quote, lets try to apply it to our small businesses and startups.  How do you win each play as an entrepreneur?  Here are some tips for us to try:

1) What do you control? Refocus your lens on the issues, tasks, projects and deliverables that are under your control. Forget the rest or at least do not spend a lot of time on items that are outside of your control for your business.

2) What can you attack? Make a daily list of these issues, tasks, projects and deliverables that are under your control and attack them in bite sized pieces.

3) What small steps can I take? The reminder is do not focus on trying to get everything accomplished at one time.  That approach will get you overwhelmed. Instead, take small steps each day and the snowballing effect of this forward motion will eventually help you make progress on your list.

4) What is my daily plan? Take time for an “internal huddle” each morning to plan out your day and what items you want to accomplish for your business.  Even if it is just you taking 5 minutes, it will be worth it.  The alternative is just jumping into the day and letting your emails, telephone calls and employees dictate what you do.  Fight that urge.  The huddle helps you assert some degree of control of your day as Inc Magazine discussed here.

5) How can I give 110%? By concentrating on these smaller steps and items that you control, that should help you really focus your efforts and energy on particular tasks.  That then helps you concentrate your efforts so you can do the best job possible on that task.  This is much better than being distracted and trying to still make progress on these tasks.

6) What is my daily progress? Repeat, repeat and repeat.  And oh yeah, also measure your progress too by giving yourself a scorecard of what you get done.  That way you can track how well you are doing.

Because I am such a huge Browns fan (and I also want us all to succeed at KikScore!), I am going to commit myself to taking these steps to see if I truly can win each day.  I will let you know what progress I make.

Please let us know how you “win each day!”

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