Diversify, learn and engage.
For nearly three years I’ve been working on growing my business. There have been some fantastic moments and some heartache too. When I first started out, there were several business coaches I worked with. Usually I think I’m coach-able, this time I didn’t listen. My business coach said it would take 16 to 18 months to get traction on my business. I balked. It couldn’t take that long! Yep! He was right. I was so ready to throw in the towel and give up. Glad that I persevered. Here are some other mistakes I made.
I procrastinated. On lots of things that would help my business grow. My coach told me to get out there–Get some speaking under my belt. Make some coffee meetings with people. I did. Sort of. More than getting out there, I thought about getting out there. I created the forms, I did the research, I did everything but network. I was getting ready to get ready instead of just getting out there. It was a lot of afternoons with a laptop and my own busy work. While I still struggle with introversion, promoting myself and networking, I’ve gotten much better.
Here are some things that went well. Actions you can try.
I didn’t diversify. In hindsight, attending many networking groups would have served me well. I joined the local chamber straight away and met wonderful people. But it stopped there. It took me a while before I expanded my opportunities. Diversify who you talk to and where you go to network. Mix it up. Where can you go to meet new people?
I was able to learn new skills in my field. For over three years, I’ve honed my skills as a coach. Taking the time to better yourself and have the ability to better your customer experience is great. What skills do you need to provide better service, expand a service or grow your knowledge base?
I found my tribe. I sought out, not just acquaintances or colleagues but people that can be called friends. The people you can call on a bad day. The people you can share your successes and your fears. Who are those people for you?
I stopped fearing tweets and posts. I learned to engage with social media. The people that encouraged me to be actively blogging and posting said it would take a long time to get followers. They were right, sometimes it felt really slow. Was there anyone out there listening? The answer is yes, this year my blog was awarded the top ten productivity blog’s by Feedspot. Awards are great but what really matters is when I get a message from someone who says they read the blog, changed the way they do things and it made a difference. Where can you send your message so that it is a help to someone?
Don’t let fear stand in the way of your launch. I work with many serial entrepreneurs. It is the fear that gets in the way of what they want to accomplish. A great quote by William Hutchinson Murray is a wonderful motivator to living your dreams.
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
You too can go out and do great things. Move beyond your fear and make it happen.
A big shout out to the people who coached me along the way:
Kjell C Andreassen of Acceler8 http://acceler8.net/
Tracy Bullock of Sandler Training http://www.tbullock.sandler.com/
Denslow Brown of Coach Approach http://www.organizercoach.com/
Margo Crawford is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer with Wave Productivity. She works with entrepreneurs, small business owners and business professionals to help them get more focused, organized and productive in their workplace. She coaches nationally by phone and in person in Phoenix, Providence and Boston. If you want to get more organized in your office call 602-677-8275 or email [email protected]