Doing Things Differently: The Power of Average
Founder of Beauty Kitchen, Jo Chidley on setting your own goals and what’s great about having an average day...
In the business world, the word ‘average’ isn’t seen as the most positive. You wouldn’t exactly see it splashed across one of those motivational bald eagle posters on office walls. However, there’s a lot more to average than you might think.
Not long ago, I went to an amazing event by Scale Up Scotland where long distance Scottish cyclist, Mark Beaumont told us the story of his record breaking trip around the world. Before taking on the challenge, Mark and his team looked at the previous record of 144 days (as most people looking to take on a challenge tend to do).
However, instead of using the previous record as a target to beat, they made a plan of what record
they could achieve. Taking everything into consideration, including terrain, logistics, sleep and nutrition, they discovered that if Mark was able to cycle an average of 240 miles for 16 hours per day, he could make it around the world in just 80 days.
So what can we, as business owners, learn from Mark’s journey?
Set Your Own World Records
It’s really easy to look at what everyone else is doing and say ‘one day, I want to be as successful as X’
I’ve done it myself! We look to other businesses and people that we admire and strive for what they’ve been able to achieve. However, everyone’s circumstances, team and goals are totally different, which makes that level of goal setting almost impossible to reach. Just like Mark and his team, you can flip traditional goal-setting on its head. Instead of setting a goal and working backwards, you set a goal based on what you can achieve on average per day.
Set Sustainable Averages
I want Beauty Kitchen to be the most sustainable beauty brand in the world. That’s my main aim, because I believe that by doing what we do every day, we can achieve that. By really considering what I can do each day, I give myself something tangible to tick off my list that over time, will build up to something much bigger. The main thing here is to be honest with yourself and with your team because if you’ve overpromised, it won’t be sustainable.
Consider the Terrain
There are so many different things that can affect what those sustainable daily averages can be, from
holidays and travelling to lack of sleep or simply being under a lot of pressure. When you’re setting those targets, it’s important to consider everything that could potentially have an effect on those daily averages.
Invest in Testing
In total, Mark and his team spent around three years creating a plan before they set out on their trip. Even though it might not take up to three years, the thing that takes the most time with this approach towards working is figuring out what those averages really are. In a business sense, it would be great to say ‘yes, we could definitely achieve this’ - but in reality, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg scenario. The only way to really know what those daily averages are, is by trying to achieve those daily averages for a consistent amount of time. This way, you can adjust and move things around based on what’s actually achievable.
There’s a Team Behind Every Individual
There are some days that are more difficult than others and achieving those daily averages feels more like uni-cycling uphill on rocky terrain than a smooth ride along a coastal road - and that’s when we all need support. As a team, it’s our role to get the cyclist back on their bike and encourage them to keep going. The thing is, the business owner isn’t the only person with a bike - every single member of the team is trying to achieve their sustainable daily average and when everyone’s making those targets, that’s when things really start to happen.
As entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get obsessed with the big picture and what we ultimately want to achieve for our businesses, but by becoming obsessed with the averages, those bigger goals get closer and closer to reality.
Jo Chidley is the founder of award-winning Beauty Kitchen and a WES Ambassador