Breaking Through – 3 Questions to Ask

by Sonja van den Bosch

Breaking Through – 3 Questions to Ask

They often say that a break-down leads to a break-through. Why is that? When things start to fall apart and crumble, we get motivated to change, to look at things from a different perspective and to step out of our comfort zone.

Normally this happens on an individual or sometimes group level, however this year we’ve gone through this on a global scale, as the human collective. There is not one person on this earth, no matter what age or where they live, who hasn’t been affected by what is happening in the world.

A curse, or unexpected gift?

Have we been blaming the global break-down and the things that might have happened or not happened in our lives? Do we play the role of the victim ‘why is this always happening to me?’ Are we immersed in fear? Or are we using this as a great opportunity, an unexpected gift to learn, grow and break through old barriers and to listen to our own inner wisdom?

The choice is ours!

I believe that now is a great time to think about your life and business strategy for the next 6-12 months. It is the start of the new financial year in Australia and if you are anywhere else in the world, it is such a potent time to re-imagine and recreate.

Normally, when I work with clients through their strategic planning, I start with the current and future state, setting goals, and creating clarity around opportunities and challenges.

This time, I’ve added 3 simple, yet profound questions that I would like to share with you. These questions will help you dig deep and set you and your business up for the most positive, energised and directed approach yet.  

Question 1: What is truly important?

The other week I was talking to my previous boss/mentor Frank van de Ven, Vice President International for Life Fitness, who I was lucky enough to work with in Europe early on in my career. Frank set me up for life and I still get inspired by his expansive positive energy. He asked me a deep question: ‘Sonja, what gives you energy these days?’

That question was spot on. It made me realise that the things that are truly important also give us the most energy. They make us forget the time and feel completely in the flow.

For me it boils down to health & vitality, meaningful relationships and making a difference by uplifting others.

Health & vitality

When we have a healthy body, mind & soul, we can contribute more and enjoy fully everything that life has to offer. The same counts for a business. A healthy business focuses on positive growth and constant improvements and most importantly enriches lives…the lives of staff members, customers, and everyone else they touch.

Meaningful relationships

This automatically leads into meaningful relationships, where everyone is respected, empowered and listened to. There is a natural giving and taking and a growing together. I am so grateful for my close family, friends and our loyal clients, who have been such a joy to be around and share with, sometimes from a distance. It’s in times like this that we get closer and more connected.  

Making a difference

The other week, I started an online Travel Industry Strategy & Marketing group with 10 amazing travel businesses.
I told them straight up: ‘I’ve never done this before, so we’ll see how we go.’ I immediately got the most beautiful response from the group: ‘Sonja, we neither, so we’ll figure it out together. One thing is certain we really do need your energy right now.’ That was a defining moment. It put a big smile on my face, and I am so excited about making a real  difference for these incredible positive travel professionals.

Want to figure out what is truly important for you, ask yourself the following questions:

What are the things that give your life colour?
What makes you feel on top of world?
What lets you be completely in flow, immersed in the moment?
What gives you real fulfilment & energy?

Question 2: What can you let go of?

Every new beginning needs an ending. As humans we are often better with beginnings than with endings. Sometimes, though, we have no choice, as a world situation or nature helps us along. Especially if we can’t control it, there is a great opportunity to let go.

Less is more – always

I am really enjoying less driving, less running around and less consuming. Instead, I enjoy more being, especially being in nature and spending quality time with family and close friends. Less is definitely more. It gives more space to be creative and do quality work.

Quality over quantity

From a business perspective, I’ve always focused on quality over quantity. Quality has more depth and brings better results. It helps make better decisions and constantly forces you to raise your standards. It also ensures that your relationships are in-depth.

To work out what you can let go of, ask yourself the following questions:

What is not serving any longer?
What are you holding on to that doesn’t provide any more value?

Question 3: What will you do differently?

This question opens up the path for continuous improvements. As we all know lots of small positive changes all the time will have a dramatic impact over the longer-term. It’s even better to consider different approaches before you embark on a certain direction.

In my role as advisory board member for Luxperia, we’ve taken this time as an opportunity to be innovative and change the traditional DMC (destination management company model) of opening more offices in different countries to setting up a collective of already established DMC’s throughout Asia and the world. This ultimately creates a win all around for travellers, agents and tour operators, the local DMC’s and for Luxperia.

This question also helps you bring your ideas into an action plan. How can you ensure you do more of what is really important, and do less of what doesn’t serve anymore?

To open up your mind to do things differently, ask yourself the following questions:

Is there a better, smarter way to get to the same result or even better result?
Knowing what you know now, what will you do differently next time?

Having regular sessions to think about your direction & strategic planning is really helpful, as it forces you to pause, analyse and think differently. It helps you become pro-active, instead of reactive. It gives you focus and it helps you make wise decisions. When you involve your team, it creates buy-in, alignment and empowerment, which makes it even more powerful.

I love strategic planning and the benefits it brings. I experience this over and over again first-hand with our clients and with my own business. Hopefully, these questions have given you a bit of a kick-start.

If you would like any support with your strategic planning or have any further questions, please feel free to get in contact.

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Inspirational marketing is about being true to yourself, being aligned with your core values and doing something you truly believe in and are passionate about. It is about creating meaningful relationships with everyone you encounter. It is about thoughts from the heart.

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