Without Follow Through You Wasted Your Time

Mar 5, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

It is Friday afternoon and I am pretty much finished with work for the week.  It is a beautiful day and relaxing in the sun, I am thinking back about what an accomplished business week it has been for me personally and for several of my clients.  I have one client, and hopefully she will read this and know I am talking about her, who has had such a stellar week.  Why?  She has executed on the plans she has developed.  She is getting after it and making things happen.  She is following through and following-up.  There are activities she has crossed that have been outside of her comfort zone, but she has held her breath and jumped in to the deep-end.

She is in the initial stages of building a business, but I feel so strongly that if she maintains her focus and momentum she will create results.  I wrote a post last week, A Simple Lesson About Growing Sales, and am beginning to see that the conclusion to a very successful week is the same as the lesson about sales success – enthusiastic follow-through.  We just have to stay focused.

My week was similar.  I was able to double my blog readership two weeks in a row by diligently writing and posting.  Just as copyblogger and Penelope Trunk have both suggested in their materials the past couple of weeks.  I launched a new business coaching group.  I was concerned that I waited too close to the start date to announce the group, but, because people don’t commit to things until the last minute anyway, I think it is working out.  I also received 4 new clients from referrals and follow-up on my part this week.  And I finished a final draft of my coaching manifesto that hopefully will be ready for free download next week!  This was on top of my normal client appointments.

The difference for me, besides that I just feel 100% more energetic finally getting rid of what I think was a year long sinus infection, was consistency and follow- through.  I was excited about my new blog design and it motivated me to continue creating the products and services I have planned for this year.  Just like the post on sales growth I really believe that some of the secrets of success are simple.

  1. Focus on a few key strategies that will make the biggest impact in your business in the next 90 days. This assumes you have a vision and mission for your business already in place.  Even with the foundational direction in place, most people start to execute in too many directions. They can’t keep up with it all.  The result ends up being that we move many initiatives forward…a little bit.  But we don’t finish anything to the point that it achieves any real results.  If you have a huge “to do” list, stop now and prioritize it.  Determine the top 3-5 strategies, initiatives, or actions that will make the biggest difference and make sure that nothing keeps you from fully executing these to completion.  You can say that you have to do everything, but in actuality, it won’t happen.  So evidently you didn’t have to do everything because there is no possible way to get 50 things done.  The results is your business suffers.  Oh and you’re close to burn-out.  If you focus and get the most important things done well, you will be moving your business in a positive direction.  Really!
  2. Attack these top priorities with passion, fervor and unabashed enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is contagious.  Even if it is your own.  Others will absolutely respond better to you. You will be happier being around you. Don’t you hate being around yourself when you lack energy and enthusiasm.  I think this is a choice.  Just do it!
  3. Keep going.  How many times do you get this little manic burst of energy and embrace 1. and 2. above only to peter out, get distracted, or get discouraged.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to give you the fruit of self-discipline and fight through it.  If you keep going, like my client who embraced some traditional networking that made her uncomfortable, you will find it isn’t nearly as bad as our mind creates.  It is never as bad and many times you actually produce results to move your project, business or initiative to the next step.
  4. Post op your progress. Everyday if necessary.  Every week at a minimum.  Look back over the week and see if you stayed focused on the top priorities.  Did you gain momentum because you were passionate and enthusiastic or did you only give it a half-hearted effort?  What were the results?  Are you moving towards your goals?

It is so crazy to me to ask someone’s advice, get accountability or even to personally put the time in to create a plan and then to not review results.  Maybe you delegated out a few tasks, gave some marching orders, and now you are on to a new thing.  That is a waste of your time and effort.  Review your results each week.  Fine-tune strategies and plans for next week.  Follow-through!

What is your experience when you go after your plans and keep at it until you have fully executed?  What challenges do you face in executing consistently?

Reader Interactions


  1. Jimbo says

    I have found great benefit is developing and maintaining a “scorecard” for key objectives. Updating the scorecard naturally prompts follow up and keeps you looking at the initiatives you started with in your business plans.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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