Question

What would you do?

QuestionHere’s the situation.

You’re new to the area and interested in networking with other business owners.

At an event you meet a new friendly face and she invites you to a group that she leads. It sounds like it’s a good fit.

A couple of weeks later you’ve found the event online and decide to attend.

As you drive there you’re nervous and picturing the group in your mind. You’ll see the person who invited you and a handful of other people enjoying breakfast and connecting with each other.

You’re also thinking about the things that aren’t getting done while you’re out networking.

Relax you tell yourself. Meeting new people is an important part of growing your business. And there’s probably at least one great connection at this group.

You walk in a couple minutes late and talk to the hostess. She isn’t sure there’s a group meeting, but points you in the direction of the room they’d be in if they are.

You walk through the door and initially see no one, and then you turn and see two other women – neither of them them the person that invited you. Hmm, not what you’re expecting.

You put on your warmest smile and walk in as the other women rise to great you.

As you talk, it quickly becomes apparent that the three of you will be the entire group, no one else is coming. And, while the other two ladies are nice, they’re neither potential referral partners or clients.

And you’re thinking about how much better your time could be spent whittling down your to-do list.

This isn’t a group for you and you decide to leave. You apologize to the others and walk out feeling a bit nervous but also relieved.

Question 1: Would you do anything differently?
Question 2: How do you think this was perceived by the two ladies remaining?
Question 3: Were there any missed opportunities here?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Next week we’ll dive a bit deeper.​

The Feel Good File

Young woman holding a fileHave you ever had days where you just wanted to sit on the couch under a warm blanket and watch TV (or YouTube) all day?

Okay, so maybe your do-nothing inclinations look different than mine, but you know what I mean.

I’m not talking about the days where you just need a break and some personal time to yourself.

I’m talking about the days where you just are tired and don’t want to do anything. Those days when your business just seems like so-much-WORK.

Now these days can be a result of any number of things. Being overtired, coming up against your comfort zone, or it can be you’ve just ran out of oomph.

What do you do on those days? How do you get your momentum going again?

There are any number of things you can do. I even wrote a blog post a while ago on throwing yourself a pity party and there are a couple of great ideas there.

However today, I’m proposing something else.

I’m proposing a “motivation file” or “feel good file.”

Did you do the exercise in early December about where you’ll be in a year? Make a copy of it and put it in the file. (If you haven’t done that exercise, take some time and do it! And feel free to send it to me.)

Have you ever gotten a thank you note from a client or prospective client? Or maybe an email? The unsolicited kind are great mood lifters.

However, those testimonials that you’ve asked for are pretty great too (if you don’t have any you should! That should be part of your system with your clients).

Take those notes, print out those testimonials and put them in that file.

Now, anytime you’re find yourself with no oomph and want some momentum, pull out that file, read through it and remember that you have some pretty great goals and do some pretty great work. And you get to work with some pretty great people and they’re grateful that you’re there doing your work.

Feeling good? Heck yeah!

What else will you put in your “feel good file”?

Perfection and Failure

bright doorway

The person out there doing things imperfectly is always making more progress (and money) than the person sitting at home waiting for things to be perfect. – Evie Burke

Things don’t always go the way we expect. Waiting for something to be perfect won’t change that.

Failure only means that we tried something and it didn’t work out the way we expected.

And that’s okay.

I’ll leave you with a quote I’ve shared before:

So fail.
Be bad at things.
Be embarrassed.
Be afraid.
Be vulnerable.

Go out on a limb or two or twelve, and you will fall and it’ll hurt. But the harder you fall, the farther you will rise. The louder you fall, the clearer your future becomes. Failure is a gift, welcome it.

There are people who spend their whole lives wondering how they became the people they became, how certain chances passed them by, why they didn’t take the road less traveled.

Those people aren’t you.

You have front row seats to your own transformation, and in transforming yourself, you might even transform the world. And it will be electric, and I promise you it will be terrifying.

Embrace that; embrace the new person you’re becoming.

This is your moment.

I promise you, it is now, now, not two minutes from now, not tomorrow, but really now. Own that; know that deep in your bones. And go to sleep every night knowing that, wake up every morning remembering that.

And then… keep going.

– Unknown (emphasis added)

Five Lies We Tell Ourselves To Stay Safe: Conclusion

Over the last 4 weeks we’ve covered five lies:
Lie #1: I don’t have time
Lie #2: I can’t afford it
Lie #3: It’s not in my budget
Lie #4: I need to think about it
Lie #5: I can do it myself

These lies keep us safe. They keep us places in places we’re familiar and comfortable with. Even if they’re frustrating places we know what to expect and changing something takes us to the unknown, which can be scary.

The first three lies are really choices about how to spend our time and money. Instead of saying I don’t have time, I can’t afford it or it’s not in my budget try on: I’m choosing to spend my time elsewhere, I’m choosing not to spend my time on that, I’m choosing not to spend the money on that, or I’m choosing not to budget money for that.

Choice is powerful. Take responsibility for your choices (and your time and money).

The last two lies are a bit trickier. Sometimes you legitimately do need to think about it or can do it yourself. I remember someone saying that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should be the one doing it.

The same thing can be said for making decisions sometimes. Yes, you can spend the extra time and energy weighing the pros and cons, but if you know the answer in your gut, then go with it. (yep, that can be scary!)

And many times the lies show up together.

For example, I want to say yes to something, but it’s pushing up against my comfort zone – so I tell them it’s not in my budget or I tell myself that I’ll figure it out on my own and save myself a little bit of money (and ignore the huge investment of time).

In the comments from the previous post Mary made an important point “We all have things we’re stubborn about.” I think that can be said for any of the “lies.”

Sometimes we’re stubborn about how we spend our time and money. Sometimes we’re stubborn about wanting to do it ourselves. And sometimes those things lead us to dig in our heals and want time to think about something we already know the answer to.

So, have any of these lies showed up for you over the past weeks? Or maybe you’ve seen them reflected in somewhere else?

Share your thoughts and observations in the comments here.

Five Lies We Tell Ourselves To Stay Safe: Lie #5

Business WomanThis week is Lie #5.
You can find the other “lies” in this series here:
Lie #1: I don’t have time
Lie #2: I can’t afford it
Lie #3: It’s not in my budget
Lie #4: I need to think about it
Lie #5: I can do it myself
Conclusion

Let’s review what I mean by “stay safe.”

Staying safe means not taking risks. Not doing things that stretch our comfort zone. It’s not making a phone call to a potential client because it’s uncomfortable. It’s staying home from that networking group because you don’t know anyone. It’s not working with someone that could help you move forward in your business because it’s different than what you’ve done. I’m sure you can add plenty of your own examples.

Lie #5: I can do it myself

This one has a different flavor than the other lies, doesn’t it?

This one is deciding that you don’t need help with something, in whatever form that help comes in, because you can do it yourself. And the truth is, maybe you can do it yourself. You might already be doing it yourself, but do you need, or want, to be?

Sometimes it shows up as “I’ll do it myself because they’ll do it wrong.”

In my life that showed up as refolding the towels because my husband didn’t fold them the right way. This just frustrated both of us. Until I let it go and decided that it being done at all was more important than it being done my way.

In my business that looked like trying to figure out marketing and messaging by myself. After all, I know my business better than anyone, right? I don’t need someone else to tell me what to do! Only, I realized that things moved faster when I had help (and accountability).

And I hear it from people all the time. I need to do x and this person could help me, but I can figure it out by myself. They might even go out and pick up a book on the subject or listen to a free teleclass. And six months later, they have the same problems or frustrations as before.

My favorite version of this is it’s faster if I just do it myself. And while it might initially take you more time, in the long run it will save you time.

Say it’s something that you do once a week that takes you a half hour. Maybe it will take you two hours to train someone and another hour to review their progress or work later. Yes, for a week or two it’s going to take you 3 hours instead of 30 minutes.

However, over the course of a year you’ll go from spending about 26 hours working on it to spending maybe 8 (figuring you’ll spend some time every week or so looking the work over fairly quickly). That’s a lot of time over the course of a year. Imagine how much time that would save you if it was something that took you a couple hours each week, or a half hour each day!

I’m sure you have plenty of examples in your own life and business, things that you’re struggling with but will figure out yourself.

So, when you hear yourself saying I can do it myself, ask yourself how much faster it will go if you asked someone (or paid someone) to help you with that.

Do you have any examples you’d like to share? I’d love to know about them! Share in the comments below.

Image courtesy of mrsiraphol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net