This week I completed a two-day business planning retreat called 2020 Vision.  One outcome of the retreat was to set my business goals and targets for the coming year and identify ten ‘Big Rock’ projects to complete during the year.  This was such a worthwhile investment of my time, and gives me clarity and confidence about 2020.

I had many insights during this retreat, some of which I’m still processing.  I’m sure these will fuel a number of Daily Dispatches.

The first that I’d like to share relates to mindset.  Intentionally setting my mindset early in the retreat made some important decisions simpler.

Participants were asked some set-up questions early on day one.  Two critical ones, and my responses to them, were:

Q:  What outcome would most excite you from these two days?

A:  To lift my vision, to think and act bigger, and to have a plan to execute on this.

Q:  What mindset will serve you best during these two days?

A:  Expansive 

You can see how nicely the second question builds on the first.  I’d written ‘Expansive’ on a post-it note and stuck it on the front of my workbook.

The value of intentionally choosing this mindset struck me as I returned from morning tea.   Just prior to this break I was looking at the range of services offered by my business:

1.   Capability building

2.  Organisational learning strategy

3.  Individual professional development mentoring

At times my business capacity feels stretched thin across these three services.  I often mentor in the evenings or on Saturday morning.  It is the least profitable of my services.  However …  it brings me tremendous joy and a deep sense of meaning and contribution to work one-on-one with people, supporting their development and career aspirations.  I’ve been wondering whether I should continue to offer the mentoring service.  My logic was telling me to step back from it.  It sat uneasily churning around in my mind over morning tea.

When I returned to my seat I looked down at my retreat workbook.  The word ‘Expansive’ almost jumped off the fluoro green post-it note.

In that instant my decision was made.  An activity that brings me joy and creates new opportunities for others feels expansive.*  Not only is mentoring remaining as a business service, I’ll be leaning into it. One of my first 2020 Big Rock projects is ‘Mentoring Magic.’  My aim is to create a higher value product with streamlined delivery – increasing quality, client outcomes and profitability.

I returned to mindset several times during the retreat to ask whether my choices and plans were ‘expansive.’  It became a principle to guide decisions.

*Of course, I could have made a case for it being expansive to stop mentoring.  It would allow me to put more time and effort into growing sales of services that are currently more profitable.  However, intuitively and emotionally my choice to continue and reshape mentoring simply felt right.

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