Raised by a Registered Nurse and nursing instructor, I became familiar with nursing terminology very early on in my childhood. As I observed my mother review students’ nursing portfolios, I consistently heard her discuss the need to conduct a thorough “head-to-toe” assessment for each patient.
“Why was this so important?,” I wondered. My mother explained that this assessment provided a complete review of a patient’s physical presentation and allowed the nurse to determine the patient’s health issues, as well as note existing strengths. Her explanation made perfect sense! How else could the nurse determine “next steps” in the patient’s medical care?
To this end, I ask you, the heart-centered entrepreneur, the same thing – how else can you determine your next steps in business without conducting a thorough head-to-toe assessment? You may want to launch a business idea, but feel uncertain about how to proceed. Or, you may wish to grow your business, ensuring that it reflects your core values and passions. Whatever the case, beginning with a thorough assessment is essential.
Now, you may be wondering what this head-to-toe evaluation actually looks like when applied to the business realm. Let’s take a closer look at this five-pronged assessment, as follows:
Your head, the “master planning center,” if you will, is filled with a barrage of exciting ideas and creative thoughts. As a result of this, you may be overwhelmed and become paralyzed to grow your business. In this initial segment of the assessment, the question you must ask yourself is: “What is the vision for my business?” Given the flood of ideas swirling around in your entrepreneurial mind, it is imperative to establish a clear and concise vision for your business venture.
Next, let’s explore your heart, the location of your deepest dreams and passions for your business. The central focus at this point in the assessment is to consider whether the “fruits” of your business actually align with your heart. If they do, fantastic! If not, it will be important to shift your day-to-day practices to ensure congruence with your dreams and passions.
Moving forward, you must assess your arms, the resources available to grow your business, that is. It makes no sense to create a clear vision that aligns with your passions, yet be unable to proceed due to resource limitations. The key during this step of the assessment process is to take stock of the financial and social capital, materials, and supplies available to you. This step is essential and may force you to re-assess your overarching business vision, a perfectly reasonable action for any mindful entrepreneur.
Likened to running a marathon, creating and growing a business requires energy and stamina; thus, you must assess your legs. Are you financially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually fit to keep pace as your business grows? If you are a solo entrepreneur, assessing this segment may warrant consideration of additional resources.
Finally, you must assess your feet, the time involved in creating or growing your business. As with any business endeavor, development and growth takes time. And, any entrepreneur who “walks the path” long enough must be sure that his/her feet are prepared to endure the long and sometimes, arduous, journey. You may discover that you need to shift your efforts to more manageable short-term outcomes, should you note challenges in this area.
So, I encourage you to take some time to explore each “system” and make the necessary mid-course corrections, as needed. As my mother explained to me, conducting a thorough “head-to-toe” assessment will not only afford you a comprehensive view of your business, but will also provide you with an opportunity to note its strengths. After all, how else can you determine “next steps” towards business growth?