Our theme around Paired recently has been “be intentional.” It’s what we’re saying to our clients and making sure to do ourselves. But what does it really mean to “be intentional” and why is it so critical?
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
It’s as simple as that. As a businessman, a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, a student, and artist, and athlete, a manager, a mother, you make choices. And the question is: Why are you doing what you’re doing?
If the answer is “I don’t know.” Then you aren’t being intentional.
Being intentional is about understanding the reasoning behind your choices whether it is with hiring a new employee, redecorating a store front, putting money into savings, or ordering marketing flyers. And the reasoning can’t just be “to get more business” you have to understand why your specific course of action accomplishes that.
If you understand why you are doing what you are doing—really understand, then you raise yourself to the level of a professional.
Consider professional fitness trainers—they understand what workouts target which specific muscles and know what to do in order to obtain a specific result depending on your body type.
The different between professional hair stylists and me trying to cut my sister’s hair in college are that professional stylists understand face shape, angles, and how an individual’s hair lays. They take this all into account and are intentional about how to go about the haircut.
Professional stock traders understand the optimal times to buy and sell and what makes things rise and fall when all we see are little numbers floating on a screen.
A physician takes time to diagnose a specific problem and intentionally selects the best method of treatment.
Teachers who are serious and passionate about what they do choose books and methods that fit with their students and are very intentional about when and how to go about certain lessons as well as why it is essential for students to grasp.
And intention extends to the realm of creativity too.
Professional artists understand their tools, they understand techniques, and they foresee a desired outcome. They are very intentional with how they go about the process even if their conscious decision is to produce something very sporadic. Visit the modern art section in a museum and read the story behind the pieces if you ever have any doubt as to whether something so “wild” can indeed be intentional as well.
Intention is what separates those who are just along for the ride from those who are going places. And intention is what is going to bring your business into the big leagues.
It’s not just about setting goals, but understanding how you are going to get there and why that is the best path.
So, ask yourself, “What are you wanting to do?” (Seriously, ask yourself that now. Whether it’s in your business or personal life—what is your goal?)
Now, what do you need to get there?
You want to grow your business, good! But instead of just swinging haphazardly at every ball that comes by (Facebook, Pinterest, Email Marketing, SEO, flyers, new branding, etc.) take time to figure out exactly what is going to be best for you. And why.
Once you understand that, you’ll hit a home run every time.