How to declutter your business to reignite growth and refind your mojo

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‘Such a brilliant start –  we wrapped up Friday feeling energised, confident, boosted and clear on our next steps – thank you’.

This was a lovely note to receive from new clients I began working with last week. They’ve been running their own consultancy business for five years. Yet despite working hard and receiving excellent client feedback, they were frustrated at their progress and worn down by constantly worrying about money.

Over a few hours we attacked the problem and came up with a plan. In essence my role was to help to create 1. Clarity, 2. Focus and 3. Momentum.

Here’s what we did


‘The problem with smart people is that they complicate the f**k out of everything’

(James Kemp)

I love this quote.

Ring a bell? It certainly did for my clients. Like so many of us, they had added program after program to their offering, responding to bespoke client requests (but not charging for the customisation), or falling under the siren spell of ‘build it and they will come’.

We’ve all done it. I’ve done it. I still do it! But it’s a massive waste of time, money and effort. We often know this, but persist – because we:

– think we are smarter

– believe our product/service is somehow better/different

– are in love with our own stuff (guilty as charged!)

We decluttered

We simply asked what is selling and what makes us money? Two things stood out, so we made a plan to focus on those. Everything else we put into two piles. KILL or LATER.

Just like that we knew what we are selling and why.

We got clear on who does what

Next we reviewed the roles. In this case, my clients have two very distinct and valuable skill sets. We divided tasks and made it crystal clear who is responsible for what (drawing on those strengths).

Again, not rocket science, but it’s amazing how assumption and habit can blur these lines resulting in both inefficient overlaps and scary (“I thought that was your job”) gaps.

We focused

Once we knew what we were selling, and who did what, we simply created a 90-day focus plan. This has targets (e.g. X number of meetings/calls to develop Y leads to deliver Z sales) and individual responsibilities.

We also identified distractions and procrastinations that had derailed past efforts. For example we had a discussion about not updating the website, because it is not critical to our sales right now and has the potential to become a giant, unproductive time suck.

This simple process created focus and removed the sources of inefficiency and default hiding places we go to to avoid doing the stuff we don’t like (usually sales!).

We built momentum

How did we do this in one day? By baking in metrics and accountabilty. My clients will be reporting in to me with a weekly 10-minute KPI progress update and we will meet every second week to monitor and evolve the plan.

As a result, they now have nowhere to hide! And that’s good. The best thing about running your own business is that you do not have a boss. But it’s also the worst thing.

Holding yourself accountable is incredibly difficult. If anything, most of my clients tend to be too hard on themselves, which undermines their confidence that, in turn, often leads to poor decisions (e.g. pricing too low).

It’s telling that the lovely note I started this piece with talks about feeling ‘confident’, ‘clear’, ‘energised’ – and ‘clear on our next steps’. This is what we lose in a sea of indecision and worry as business principals when it’s not going as we imagined.

My role

I add value in this story through my business and coaching expertise, my contacts, my encouragement and because I have seen this movie many times.

But my most important role is to hold these two very capable professionals to account. To do what we agreed and work the plan.

They have it in them to succeed. They always have. I simply create fresh perspective and accountability so they can see how far they have already come, where the prize is, and how to get it.


Need help with your business?

If this resonates with you and you are interested in a finding out how I can help you or your business to grow, book here and I will be in touch.

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