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We all know bad singing when we hear it. Without the right melody and pitch, the song just won't work.
A strong beat, hypnotic timing, and a synchronized pattern – that's what works. A well executed rhythm serves as the basis and background, as the basis of good music. It attracts us and makes us want more.
Successful, happy companies have a similar rhythm. But it's one that too many of us try without singing.
As entrepreneurs, we sometimes go beyond our capabilities. To achieve certain goals, we make commitments that tend to overwhelm our available resources. We go too fast, say yes too often, and stay overnight. Before we know it, we've tarnished our creativity, compromised our health, and possibly even damaged our finances.
How do we get back into harmony? We reset our rhythm.
See also: CEO Survival Guide: Leading with Authenticity, Transparency and Trust
Here are four key rhythms – strong patterns, not hard rules – that, when repeated regularly and consistently, help our business do better.
If you haven't felt in sync, you may lack the security that comes from living out your core values.
Determine what will be important in advance and you will be able to stop struggling through small and big decisions. With these values in mind, don't just throw together a cute phrase that looks great on your wall. Take the time necessary to examine your core beliefs.
What meaningful principles will serve you and center you peacefully? What determines success for you? Use these answers as cornerstones or markers to monitor your progress so you can see when you are getting out of step.
Sometimes we dive so deep into building the business that we forget who we are and what we really want. However, if your core beliefs and standards serve as a guide, you will remember why you are doing what you are doing and how you are going to do it.
To always experience peace and purpose in your company, base every decision you make on these values. Make moves that will lead you to the life you want to live.
With that in mind, you may need to take a realistic look at how your company promise is performing as well.
Are you keeping your promise? Do people get the result they want after dealing with you? What kind of influence or lasting impression would you like to have on others, from customers to employees to suppliers?
Analyze your skills. With blunt honesty, determine what you can do successfully within your current parameters. What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Your skills How do you align them so that they respect your core values?
Make your promise mindfully. Then activate that promise with the required words and actions. As you learn to integrate who you are, you will begin to block unrealistic expectations that could try to throw you off your rhythm.
Your performance is an important rhythm that directly affects the speed of your growth. Keep it in line.
Related: The dangers of over-promising and under-delivering
Sometimes to get back in sync you need to change the tempo. While a quick, efficient response is worthy and admirable, a constant, quick sense of urgency can kill your happiness.
Update your thinking about what matters most.
How do you get your company to work for you? Examine your processes. Are your workflows efficient? Is your control center optimized for peak performance? Analyze the commitments you make. What things can be delegated? Also deleted?
Check your time. Do you allow distractions to rob you? Does your energy usage reflect smart investments? If not, what needs to be changed? As a business owner, you have the autonomy to live life on your own terms – renegotiate those terms as needed.
Our priorities shape our decisions, but not everything has priority. Making everything equally important creates unnecessary fear. Sometimes the things left at the end of the day can afford to be left over to focus on real opportunities.
Related topics: How to Prioritize When Everything Is Priority
Something dangerous happens when we get so out of step that we are no longer willing to take risks: we stop thinking about growth. The need for security begins to bully our audacity.
Too often, the demands of running our business rob us of the creativity that originally brought us here. Don't stop creating. Don't stop taking risks. Keep asking questions. Experiment with new ideas and opportunities. Every day should have several "What if …?" Scenarios.
The ability and willingness to take healthy risks is a clear, critical rhythm for an entrepreneur. It takes a lot of courage and resilience to try something new, to develop a new product or a unique service and to launch it in new or foreign markets.
If you can't remember the last time you took a risk, you may be unconventional. I'm not saying you have to take every chance, but that rhythm is necessary for success.
If you want to stop singing out of tune in your business, make it your business to establish these rhythms and practice them until they become habits. Live by your core values. Make your promise of excellence and activate it. Maintain a healthy pace in your company. And don't stop taking risks. Because these habits are the rhythmic foundation that can lead you to a healthier, happier business.