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How A Bigger Purpose Takes Your Decision-Making To A Whole New Level
If you look at almost any entrepreneur — just starting out, successful, or somewhere in between — one thing they’ll all have in common is that they’ve battled or are currently battling complexity.
Complexity is an unyielding barrier to growth, both business and personal. And because complexity can be overwhelming, the smart decision-making needed to move you past any obstacles is compromised. This can even be game-ending.
Is this what being an entrepreneur is supposed to be like? In a word, no.
You need a strategy for dealing with complexity in order to continue growing in a simpler, more enjoyable, more rewarding way that’s also fun for everyone in your company, you included. Dan Sullivan sums it up like this: “To multiply, first you need to simplify.”
A winning strategy from a seasoned entrepreneur.
Lee Brower is one of our outstanding associate coaches, a 22-year participant in The Strategic Coach Program, and a successful entrepreneur in the Salt Lake City area.
Lee knows all about rapid growth and complexity, and the constant decision-making that still needs to happen. He uses a strategy that can instantly change the way you think about your bigger future as well as bring simplicity that you may never have thought possible to your life today.
Like Dan Sullivan, Lee believes in the power of a good question, and he adds a twist: Ask yourself a question you’ve never asked yourself before. It might sound too simplistic to have any possible effect on your future growth, but here’s what happens in your brain when you do that.
Suddenly, your thoughts have to rearrange themselves in response to a new question. It’s this rearranging process that benefits decision-making by producing new answers to old problems and moving you forward with each decision made.
Asking the questions that get results.
When Lee first started with Strategic Coach, he decided on an objective that got him in a questioning frame of mind. As he tells it, “Very early on in Coach, I decided that one of my objectives would be to leave each quarterly workshop asking a question that I’d never asked myself before. I wondered what the result of that would be.”
This practice soon became a crucial strategy in turning around a devastating business setback. Lee explains, “When I took a hit during the 2007 financial crisis, I could have said, ‘I have to do this, I need to do that, I’ve got to do something.’”
But rather than coming from that mindset of scarcity, which is almost always based on fear, Lee called up his practice of asking himself the right questions focused on his bigger purpose in life. This in turn made it clear what was most important to get started on right away. Achieving that kind of focused simplicity — focusing on one thing, solving that, and moving on to the next — is the key, and as a result, your mind is freed up to make the right decisions.
What’s the one question …
When it comes to one question people should ask themselves, Lee believes that there is no one specific question, but all the questions should have this in common: They’re questions you’ve never asked yourself before.
“This gives you answers you’ve never heard before, and believe me, your life will change,” he says.
Lee also gave this piece of advice to set up the conditions for smart decision-making. “First, make sure that you have a vision for a future that’s bigger than your current business — a bigger purpose. The reason is that when we try to make meaningful decisions in the present without knowing what our bigger purpose is, we’re not making a decision based on what is most important to us. Having a clear picture of your bigger purpose focuses you and helps you make those meaningful decisions in the present.
“Often, as entrepreneurs, our decisions come down to money, and that might not be the best decision in a lot of situations. When you have a bigger purpose, all you have to ask yourself is whether your decision is going to support your bigger purpose or not. You don’t have to ask what’s next or worry about it, so you’re always in motion.”
When you get clear on your bigger purpose, you get clear on what you have to do today.
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Keep in motion: Lee walks the talk.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll face a lot of tough decision-making and obstacles to growth. Lee has a strategy for asking himself the right questions to keep moving forward that might work for you too.
“Every time I hear myself say that I need to do something,” he says, “a statement that comes from a scarcity mindset rather than an abundance mindset, I turn it into a question: What small step can I take today that will provide more freedom in my life? What small step can I take that will give me more time off? Or, what small step can I take today that will open up more doors to opportunity? These small decisions add up.”
Lee’s “small-steps mindset” bears thinking about: “It’s all about keeping in motion. In life we create too many finish lines. When we set goals, we set finish lines. Why not set goals with key milestones? Why not be in progress all the time?”
Why not start right now?
Learn how the top coach to entrepreneurs achieves his most productive workday.
About the Author
Dan Sullivan is the world’s foremost expert on entrepreneurship in action. He is the founder of The Strategic Coach Inc. and creator of The Strategic Coach® Program. Visionary, creative, wise, playful, and generous, he is a true champion of entrepreneurs worldwide.Follow on Twitter More Content by Dan Sullivan