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The Marshall Plan: Mid-Year Check-In

(June/July 2018) posted on Tue Jul 24, 2018

Time to sit back, take stock, and apply three simple principles to make the second half of the year more productive.

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By Marshall Atkinson

I don’t know about you, but for me, the first half of 2018 blew by at Mach 4 speed. A snap of the fingers, click, and it was over.

But that leaves the rest of the year in front of us. It’s an uncharted horizon, and it’s a good time to take a step back from your business and look at how to improve things over the remainder of the year.

Got any plans? If you don’t, I want to run three ideas past you that could make a difference to your shop. They are fairly simple concepts, but sometimes difficult to execute. I’ll break each idea down to help you determine whether it could have a significant impact in how you run your business.

1. Discipline = Freedom
I’m borrowing this concept from my favorite book that I read last year, Jocko Willink’s Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALS Lead and Win. He wrote extensively about this principle in the book, and the concept is so simple that once I explain it, I bet you’ll be nodding your head in agreement – even though the two words may seem as though they are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Freedom is probably why you started your business in the first place. You wanted to be your own boss and run your company the way you want to: the choices you make, the customers you serve, the employees you hire. You’re an entrepreneur; you want autonomy.

However, the only way you get that freedom is by taking a professional, disciplined approach to things. If you want more financial freedom, then you need strong financial discipline. If you want loyal customers, then you must have the discipline to consistently serve them well. If you want fantastic employees, you need the discipline to train them well and treat them right. The word is almost a zen-like mantra that extends through everything you do.

But there is one area of your business that probably deserves to have this idea pushed to the front and center – time management and scheduling.


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