20 Apr Practice What I Preach
IT’S BEEN A WHILE
It’s been a while since I have posted anything, which makes me somewhat of a hypocrite. I help businesses everyday think about and plan for the future, however I haven’t been doing the same for my own business. Goes with the old adage “the plumber is always the one with the leaking pipes.” Well it’s what my mom always said when dad, the plumber, was off helping others – so it must be true – Right?
I have been blessed to be in my fourth year of business and to have met so many wonderful people during this time. Like other business owners, not everything works out as planned, and you get ‘schooled’ by the unexpected. This is when I take the time to ‘refresh and reinvent’ my business.
As I make the time to reflect on the past, present, and future it reminds me of an exercise I do with some of my clients. I ask my clients to pick up a mirror, look themselves in the eye, and ask themselves – “Am I really doing everything possible to make my business successful?” So last week I picked up the mirror and asked myself the same question, you guessed it the answer was a big fat NO!
Did your inner voice start yelling at you? Mine did. I realized I hadn’t given my inner voice a chance to be heard, because I wasn’t allowing, or I should say making the time in my schedule to STOP and LISTEN to it.
Hmm – imagine that – I’m guilty of being a business owner: someone more concerned about others people’s success before focusing on my own business success. Now don’t get me wrong, my business is pretty successful, the point is to be as, or more, successful than I planned.
BE HONEST WITH MYSELF
So I’ve taken a good look in the mirror. I must confess I haven’t done everything in my power to help my business grow as fast as I had planned when I launched it back in 2016.
I can’t help other business owners if I don’t work on my own. Yes I’ve probably made this statement before, and I’ll probably do it again, and again, because it’s important and necessary to remind myself about the value I can provide myself and others.
As I was looking at my reflection, I received my website analytics report. Great news clicks were at an all-time high, frequency and length of visits were also very high and it told me about the most visited articles. This prompted me to take a look at my website, which I must confess was doing its job: informing visitors about my services and having them contact me. However the more insightful realization was, one of the first things I did when I started my business was to create articles/blogs on to share with my visitors.
Yikes! I hadn’t posted anything in over a year. Plus people are actually still reading my blogs, and commenting on them, despite the date I wrote them. Bigger YIKES! Why haven’t I taken the time to communicate and share with the very people I promised to help?
You’re probably saying, “why would I hire this person to help me then?” Only you can answer that question, however I can assure you this is a normal small business owner behavior. It’s this behavior I help my clients with all the time. What kind of consultant would I be if I wasn’t consistently learning and experiencing what my clients are experiencing? The very fact that I share this insight with you helps you realize you are not alone. I too need a network of trusted professionals to help me grow my business. Business owners fail forward most of their business careers.
Selfishly, as I work through these exercises myself, I thought it would be helpful to others to use the thinking and tools I’ll be using to plan for recovery. Therefore, over the next several weeks I will be posting a series of articles to help myself and other business owners plan for recovery. Many of the tools and techniques can be used in an ‘everyday’ capacity, however some of the articles will focus specifically on what you may want to do specific to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I look forward to your visits and comments as you take part in these exercises on my website www.leadgingtounlock.com. The first lesson will be posted on April 21, 2020.