Your business is several plus years old; things are going well and you’re coasting along. But watch out, the “Middle Mile” is approaching. According to Dan Steenerson, the real work on your business is just ahead.
The Middle Mile is where businesses burn the most energy overcoming setbacks, dealing with cash flow shortages while trying not to burn out. “During the middle mile there’s a huge temptation to quit,” Steenerson says. “That’s why such a huge percentage of businesses fail in the first five years. Poor management and lack of capital are the two main reasons, but from my standpoint, the real culprit is losing sight of the finish line.”
Here are tips for mastering the middle mile.
Constantly visualize the finish line. Some businesses reach a certain level of success and then settle. Good becomes the enemy of great. The bad stuff isn’t what keeps you from succeeding, the good stuff is, because it allows you to settle.
Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Stay disciplined. Focus on accomplishing something every day. Then measure the success of your activities. The time and energy you invest will pay off.
Believe the surge will come. Rarely does progress come at a predictable pace. You work incredibly hard for years and suddenly there’s a big surge – then growth levels off. Another surge will come if you work hard. Stay motivated.
Simplify. Simplify. Simplify. Whenever you can take the complexity out of a task or process you can accomplish more. The same applies to training your staff.
Embrace discomfort. If you’re willing to put yourself in a position of discomfort, you can learn anything. Having attained a modicum of success can make people comfortable and that’s where they stay. In order to gain something new you have to risk something – usually it’s comfort.
Hold yourself accountable. Develop healthy relationships, both inside and outside your business. Work with our management team and staff to stay focused on goals. Having an inner circle (Jim Collins) or executive roundtable is a great way to continue growing your company and balancing your life.
The road is easier together,