A while back I wrote about the power of running your business by using 90-Day Blocks of time- Sprints. The structure and focus they provide allows businesses grow rapidly.
However, some folk have been in touch saying that if you set a few goals for 90 days, complete them, draw breath and plan the next and then rinse and repeat over a year then you end up being in ‘sprint’ mode for all but 5 or 6 days of the year.
90-Day Sprints work like this: you set an overarching goal that will move your business along, break what it takes to accomplish it over 90-days into smaller 30-day sub-goals; and these into 4-weekly ones – you get the idea. It is the perfect method to drive your business forward whilst maintaining focus and momentum.
It is the business version of the 200 metres sprint.
Or is it?
So I got to thinking about how to make this work better.
Frankly, doing this 360-days a year for more than a year can end up being more like a jog than a sprint, and lead to the business version of an athlete ‘overtraining’.
How you ‘sprint’ really depends upon the stage your business is in…just starting out or need to grow cash flow and profits quickly? Then 4 x 90-Day sprints are the way to go.
But if your business is established then you can play around with your sprints.
Here’s the trick. Like a runner or a boxer, you need a break between rounds. It may be a week or 2 but never more than 4 or you risk losing momentum and momentum breed results. Sprint, jog, sprint, jog – repeat.
SO HERE ARE FOUR VIABLE ALTERNATIVES:
- Firstly, you can commit to doing 3 x 90 Day Sprints in a year with a break in between each one;
- You can do two 90 Day Sprints, have a break and do 2 more making your ‘runs’ longer than a calendar year.
- You can commit to two larger 100 day Sprints per year and perhaps a couple of really short focussed ones of 30-Days each.
- Lastly you can plan and do 3 x 100 Day Sprints.
To stay with the sporting analogy – a 30-day is like a 100 metre dash; 90-Days is like the 200 Metre Sprint and 100-Days is the 400 metres. They all meet different needs; require different energy levels, training and rest but they will use the same track and to get you where you need to go.
I’m playing around with a 100-day sprint at the moment – to get my IP online ready, build some courses and be ready to scale come 2017 – so by the end of November I’ll be ready for a break.
That will be from mid-December until mid-January during which time I will plan out 2017 and the types of sprints I will use to grow what will be essentially a new business.
At this stage, I’m thinking of using 2 x 90-Day Sprints from February, 2 weeks in August down time and then another 100-Day Sprint to the end of November. This way I will get a good mix of Family / Me time as well as be developing my business.
If my business were in an earlier stage I might do 4 x 90-Day Sprints; in a more developed stage I might do 3 x 100-Day ones but I find that I sort of like the 2 x 90-Day followed by a ‘back end of the year’ 100-day set up.
The same process applies – select and set a few overarching goals; break the down into smaller ones, plan weekly and execute daily. In the case of the 100-Day ones I like the symmetry of breaking the overall goal into 10 smaller 10 day ones.
The reason this ‘sprint’ approach works is that it avoids overwhelm (though smaller goals, chunked down to bite sized pieces) and enables you to stay focussed and motivated.
So I think that Gary Vee may be wrong – maybe it is not about the hustle – it is all about the sprint.
Let me know which sprint you prefer to do.