I have fond memories of me as a child, laying dominoes on their ends in intricate patterns, just so I could take the pleasure from knocking them down again! Many hours were spent enjoying the click of each domino as it hit the next in line, with only the occasional frustration as one fell out of line, interrupting the flow so I had to start again…

Of course, looking back, I can see the lessons that simple game taught me, and I use those lessons to this day in my mentoring of other business entrepreneurs, as well as a reminder for my own resilience.

In business, when we feel we are flowing with energy and a clear goal, it can be incredibly frustrating when something occurs which interrupts that momentum. However, much like the domino rally that is interrupted, we can always take a step back, look at what caused the interruption and begin to restructure a plan for a successful outcome.

Was something out of place, missing, too closely packed or was the path the dominoes were supposed to follow somehow laid incorrectly? Being able to look at the big picture with perspective enables these interruptions to be identified. We learn from them and move on with greater understanding.

Piece by piece, step by step

Talking of big pictures, jigsaws were another toy that gave me pleasure to construct as a youngster – not least because people would always walk by and spend a while with me, helping me look for the pieces to complete a daunting section of the image on the box.

As an avid builder of jigsaws, I would find it terribly boring if I emptied the box, and the picture was fully formed as if by magic. Businesses are like jigsaws. In this analogy, it takes time, patience, guidance and help to find the perfect fit for each piece at the right time. To reach your end goal, you must first see the big picture – the vision of what you expect to build and continue with one piece at a time.

And if, as often happened with me, you find yourself alongside others who have a keen eye and interest in jigsaws too, then more power to you! What’s on the lid of your business jigsaw puzzle

Friends to play the game of business with

The people we choose to share our time with, even thinking back to childish games with friends, always bring us closer to the end goal. They are on our side, fortifying our cause and helping us to beat the competition.

In my view, a business mentor is not a coach who is employed to push you to be stronger, faster or bigger in order intimidate or physically beat another. They are the helping hand that points out the kinks in your domino rally before you push that first one down, they are the person alongside you at the table helping you decipher the many blue puzzle pieces until it makes one sky. Business mentors help you play to your existing strengths.

To the experienced mentor, building a business is like child’s play and they are ready to teach you the rules of play and count to a hundred if needed!

I talk more about achieving your big picture in my Step Change Podcast. Watch episode 26, Planning to Execute Your Vision, for advice on planning to ensure success, identify high pay-off activities to move you towards success and how to write a simple one-page plan.

And as ever, if you’d like someone to play business with, give me a call on 01235 614809 or message me via email.

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