How An Open Loop Holds You Back
Are you dealing with an open loop? Maybe it’s unfinished business, postponed decisions or waiting for an answer. Your business becomes sluggish when the undecided pile grows too high. That’s when things feel tough, as if you’re up against a steep wall which you can’t scale.
Ideally, you’re waiting for the right time to make a decision. The perfect moment, however, fails to arrive. Now what?
Your accounting firm needs you to be decisive. Decisions – right or wrong- move your firm forward. Whereas, postponing a decision keeps you stuck. It’s like one part of you is ready to move forward while another part refuses to budge.
When you avoid closing a loop, making a decision, two things happen. First, nothing can happen without a decision. And, second, you know you’re avoiding something. That awareness interferes with other aspects of your firm. Your focus becomes distracted.
The Indecision Loop
Indecisiveness places you in limbo. As an accounting professional, you are responsible for each aspect of your business. It’s easy to avoid a decision and remain busy with other tasks.
Your open loop wants your attention. List all the decisions, big and small, which need to be made. Then highlight which are out of your comfort zone.
- Is it time to delegate cleanup projects to someone?
- Do you need to free up your time?
- Are you concerned that you’ll lose control?
- Is there a task you don’t enjoy so you procrastinate doing that thing?
The longer you delay those decisions, the longer you’ll remain in limbo. The solutions to those things already exist.The longer you delay a decision, the longer you’ll remain in limbo. The solutions to your #smallbusiness challenges already exist. #growyourbusiness Click To Tweet
The things you don’t enjoy doing can be outsourced, like hiring a bookkeeper instead of spending countless hours in Quickbooks. A skilled salesperson who would happily take sales off your hands. Agencies which can handle your payroll so you don’t have to.
My clients realize how an open loop hurts their firm. So a forthright discussion uncovers why they’re avoiding a particular decision. Something specific always causes the resistance. Once we uncover that part, then we can close the loop. It’s basically a matter of turning a negative into a positive.
Open Loop Setbacks
Open loops fall into five common categories. Free up even one of them to turn the tide within your accounting firm so it’s no longer stuck.
Start with a decision. Choose a relatively small decision, or open loop, which you’ve been postponing. This is like cleaning house. Sometimes you simply need to identify the issue, acknowledge the resistance and then do it anyway. You’ll be amazed at how liberating this will be.
Most open loops involve other people. Maybe you’ve been harboring resentment, avoiding a difficult conversation or tolerating a dissatisfying relationship. The conversation can be uncomfortable at the moment.
My clients usually claim, Loren, it wasn’t as bad as I imagined it to be. Actually, they took it quite well. You’ll be free of that I need to talk to Jim chatter in your head.
Sometimes an outside opinion helps, but you don’t have a trusted resource. The people closest to you may be biased. Friends, family and other team members can add to the confusion.
That’s when you need an outside person to act as a sounding board. Talking with someone you trust will clarify your thoughts. You’ll find yourself thinking I hadn’t thought of it that way or Put that way, I definitely don’t want to do this.
Challenging situations will arise. Those things don’t quietly go away. The longer you wait, the worse it gets. Don’t let these challenges to get out of hand. This is a great opportunity to make a decision.
As you continue to close loops, you’ll get better. It’s a skill which you develop. Over time you’ll notice how unexpected circumstances become easier to deal with.
The Non-Ideal People
Many start-up accounting firms decide to work with everyone, since they need the money. Don’t make the mistake of holding onto non-ideal clients. As your firm grows, start letting go of headache clients who don’t value your service or the ones who constantly ask you to make exceptions for them.
Be selective about who you want to work. Not everyone who reaches out to you deserves to work with you. Headache clients are costly.
Eventually you’ll reach a point in your firm where you can decide to cherry pick your clients. From experience, you’ll discover who is ideal for your particular accounting firm. If someone’s not ideal, then don’t take her on. It’s easier for a non-ideal client to move on before you start working with her.
Personal Time Sacrifice
Accounting professionals are notorious for sacrificing personal time to keep the firm running.
You deserve to carve out time for yourself. Organize your time however you want – small chunks or large time slots – but carve out time on your calendar for yourself. Exercise, socializing, hanging out with family all contribute to your overall well-being. You are in this for the long haul. Nourish your emotional and physical health. It will pay huge dividends, personally and professionally.
Your Loop-Closing Activities
Start to close the loop on all those decisions left open. Your firm depends on it. As you get things done, you have more energy available for the strategic moves which really matter.
Stay aware and in the present moment. Don’t allow unresolved issues to distract you. They pop up at the most inconvenient time. Past concerns and future worries will sidetrack you from the things which require your immediate attention. Your best work occurs when you’re focused on the here and now.Your best work occurs when you’re focused on the here and now. #getpaidwhatyoureworth Click To Tweet
Make a Decision
Carrying around all the postponed decisions in your head will cause overwhelm. Write them down. Then set time aside to resolve the issues one-by-one. Finally resolving tasks that you’ve been avoiding will relieve your worry and overwhelm.
Research the Options
As you know, large, complicated decisions require more energy than simple decisions. Determine the top options. Too many choices, however, adds to the confusion.
Figure out the steps you take when making important decisions. Next, determine where you typically get hung up. A trusted source can guide you through that part of the process. This way you’re more likely to follow through instead of remaining stalled.
Choose Your Best Next Move
Once you have researched and considered your options, it’s time to choose. Does one option stand out? Sometimes you’ll experience a gut feeling about a choice, although it’s not the most logical one. Instead of ignoring that feeling, pay attention to it.
Get Into Action
You’ve decided. Now get into action to close the loop. You may feel uncomfortable. Don’t cave in to your self-imposed pressure. Implement your plan despite any internal conversation telling you all the reasons why you’re wrong.
Every Closed Loop is a Step Forward
Make the decision to make decisions. Every moment counts. Each loop you close frees up time and energy. Your business will become more successful because you now make decisions.
Your mindset affects your business. Follow these recommendations to identify your open loops and free yourself of hidden doubts. Right NOW claim your FREE RESOURCE to increase your revenues while lightening your workload.