Are you doing the right things in your business?
Last year, I went on site to work with a business owner. I knew before I even got there that this was going to be a big project. During our consultation call, I usually ask the question, ” What’s causing you the most pain right now?”
Normally, I will hear 2-3 pain points during the conversation and that helps me better understand how I can help. But, during this call…I heard 15-20, and the alarm bells were going off in my head. I can immediately tell when my new clients have the ‘shiny object syndrome,’ because they want to try every new thing that comes out.
And, I almost always hear FOMO…you know…the fear of missing out?
“My friend says I need to be doing Podcasts, because she says that’s where I need to be…and everyone’s doing them now. So, I need to be in that space.”
“I need to update my website, because I watched this webinar, and I’m doing it all wrong…”
“I’m in a Mastermind group, and everyone is creating programs…I need to jump on that boat and build a program!”
Don’t get me wrong…none of these ideas are wrong. The bigger question is, are they right for your business, and what’s the strategy for doing them? If you want to start creating podcasts just because your friend is doing it and having success, that’s the wrong reason.
So, I ask my clients…are you doing the right things in your business?
Whenever I start working with a client, I start at the most basic level. I look at the product or service…what is it that they do? Then, my next question is…are they successful at it? Many times, business owners are focusing on all the wrong things and wondering why things aren’t happening in their business.
Here are a few of the areas where I’m successful in helping my clients see the big picture and start focusing on all the right things:
• Starting New Projects Before Finishing Current Ones
We’ve all been there…you come up with a new idea, program, service, etc. and are so motivated and inspired that you drop everything and start working on it. By the following week, something new has come along. Now, you’re busy working on that idea…and the idea you were working on before is in a pile on the corner of your desk.
My suggestion: Write your idea in your journal, and let it sit there for a few days. Re-visit the idea, and see if you are still as motivated and inspired by it. I come up with a ton of ideas, and there is no way I can act on all of them. I put them in my journal and continually review them. Some of them are sitting and waiting for implementation, and others have been crossed off and forgotten. They sounded amazing when the idea came into my mind, but now that I’ve had a few days or weeks to think about them…not so much!
Remember you can never get that time back once it’s gone. Use it wisely!
• Stop Asking for Everyone’s Opinion
Everyone has an opinion…if you listen to everyone, you will make yourself crazy. I can’t tell you how many times I start working with a client and half way through a project, I hear, ”I think we need to change this, because I was talking to John yesterday, and he thinks we should be doing it this way.”
Getting input from people who know what they’re talking about is good business sense. But changing an entire project, because your friend John (who has no clue who your customers are or how to talk to them) thinks you’re doing it all wrong, is not. I’ve seen business owners so stymied by so many opinions that they can’t make a decision, and the project stalls.
My suggestion: Surround yourself with a solid network of people who are successful and who understand business. When you ask for advice or an opinion, you will get good solid business advice. I work with a lot of business owners who have advisors or coaches, so when they discuss strategy with them, and they give alternate ideas or suggestions…we discuss it and decide what works best with the strategy. When necessary, we change courses.
Don’t solicit advice from people who don’t know your business or aren’t successful in the area you need help in.
• Being Everywhere BUT Working Your Business
Ask my friends Silvana and Jennifer, and they will tell you that they have to drag me to events. Networking is not my favorite thing to do. They know it, and yet, they continue to persuade me to attend events. (So bless them for not losing faith in me even when I blow them off, to work.)
I know it’s important, and it’s a must in meeting new people and building relationships. Trust me when I say that I am not bashing networking…but for me, networking is not always the best use of my time. I work with clients all over the US and Internationally, so the biggest majority of my clients are not local to Tampa. I have found ways to network online. I build relationships one-on-one. I would rather reach out to a business owner on LinkedIn and start a conversation to connect. I build relationships online…and the best part is meeting them in person. Because, yes…I call and request to get together when I’m in their area. Building connections this way is more powerful to me than meeting someone at a networking event one time.
My suggestion: Here’s the thing…if you live and work locally, then networking your business at events is a must. My message here is, don’t overload yourself with events and forget to take care of all the pieces of your business. Plan your networking effectively, and make sure you have time to sit down at your desk and take care of all the other pieces of your business.
Join a Mastermind or coaching group – use that time that you’re growing, to meet new people and build relationships. (I get 90% of my referrals from past clients and relationships I’ve built through coaching and groups I participate in.) These people get to know you, like you, and trust you. Trust me…they will refer you!
Pay attention to what’s happening in your industry, and know what’s going on around you. But stay focused, and keep your vision on-point. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by all the things happening around you. Keep your head in the game!
If you need help keeping your business on-point and handling multiple projects…it might be time to call your Chief Operating Officer!