Tale of the Two Lumberjacks

Too Busy?

Have you heard about the two lumberjacks? One was continuously swinging his axe chopping wood, the other took frequent breaks throughout the day. At the end of their session the one who took time out had a larger pile of chopped wood. This continued day in day out, week in week out, and eventually the lumberjack who spent his whole day chopping asked how comes you consistently have more wood chopped then me when you spend so much time having breaks. The other replied I was not taking breaks I was sharpening my axe. He was spending time on his  business which meant he was more productive not just working in his business swinging the axe.

We see many business owners, who work tirelessly in their businesses and are excellent at what they do, neglect their strategy and execution plans. It’s the old adage: I’m too busy working in my business to work on it.

Whilst we’re here to support you when unexpected hiccups occur, we can do so more effectively if we help you get ahead of risks and opportunities in your business.

Time spent working - is not created equal

There’s a misconception that being busy is automatically being effective.

Some hours are highly productive… which is great… provided we’re being productive on the right things, i.e. not fighting avoidable fires, dealing with HR issues or performing avoidable rework (etc. etc.).

Planning helps us put out fires before they cause damage while capitalising on the opportunities that we can only see when we look up. In other words, sharpening the axe before cutting the tree will make for a much easier task. Cutting the right tree helps too.

Time spent refining your strategy and planning your execution will pay back massively when you execute your plans operationally in your business. Popping up for regular planning helps keep your business calibrated.

So, how much time should you spend finetuning your strategy and execution?

We believe best practice for business starts with us providing a 60-minute complimentary meeting.

Then, we can support you to create your annual Business Plan and undertake annual forecasting – two critical services to capture and support the achievement of effective and realistic goals.

Lastly, we recommend ongoing check-ins with us (at least quarterly) to report back and ensure accountability across achieving your 90-day goals and actions, as well as to recalibrate and set new ones. These recurring services are highly effective for our business clients.

This commitment is roughly a total of 20 hours per year (including travel, if any) or just 1% of your working time, assuming the average business owner works 2,000 hours a year in their business.


 Best Practice (strategy planning)Time Investment (incl. travel)
Complimentary Meeting2 hours
Annual Business Plan6 hours
4 x Quarterly Check-ins*8 hours
Annual Forecast4 hours
* Minimum frequency20 hours (1% of 2,000)

So, where will you find the time?

Planning supports efficiency. Efficiency might come in the form of less rework, less ‘paperwork’, less friction in your team, or simply more focus and higher productivity.

Putting the time in upfront for planning and strategy will give you time back and improve your bottom line in the future. It’s also about helping you define what you want from your business in general. More time with family? More time for golf? A broader product offering? To learn life-long lessons that pay off in all facets of your life? To pump business value up for your succession?

It’s not easy work. It’s challenging… and enlightening, passion-igniting, and rewarding (for both us and our clients). We’re committed to supporting our clients to make their businesses more sustainable and scalable.

So which lumberjack do you want to be?

Get in touch if you’d like a 60-minute complimentary meeting.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” — Jim Rohn


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