Don’t let hiccups knock you down

Resilience

I know from experience how wonderful business highs can be, but how dreadful business lows can make me feel.  Over the years I have learnt one critical thing however – the highs and the lows will come; they are both inevitable; that’s life!  Business, like life, will sometimes throw you a curve ball.  What I now try and remember when my curve balls come is that it is not the curve ball that creates the problem, it is how I react to the curve ball that creates the problem.

Like life, dealing with the happy times when everything is going well, is easy.  We don’t even need to try, do we?  But, having the self-awareness, strategies and strength to deal with the bad times can me much harder.  It is the same in business.  It is easy to deal with the good stuff, getting new clients, doubling your turnover, running a successful marketing campaign etc.  But it is how we deal with the bad stuff that makes or breaks both us as business owners and our business itself.  We need to be resilient.  We need what I call ‘bouncebackability’.

I am currently writing about what I have learned about resilience over the years that I have been in business.  I would love to know what you think creates resilience in you? How do you cope with your business lows?  What resilience strategies do you use?

Is perfectionism hobbling your business growth?

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When is good good enough for you? What holds up your projects? Do you hang onto pieces of work because they’re ‘not quite there yet’?

I heard a piece of advice recently, which was useful, if a little bit hard to swallow for a perfectionist like me: it’s ok to be ‘good enough’.

Moving your business forward requires agility, courage and the ability to launch your projects and ventures when the time is right – not when everything has been perfected.

The truth, painful as it is for perfectionists, is that you can’t be perfect. You can’t. Impossible. Sorry. In fact, if you’re doing something for the first time, which means you’re taking a leap into the unknown, your best efforts might not be that great at all. How could they be, when you don’t have any experience of what a success might even look like?

True innovation means you give your projects your best shot, and accept that until you release them into the wild (because that’s how it feels sometimes!) and see how they fare, you’re in the dark. And if the results are less than perfect, you don’t waste time beating yourself up. Just accept that you are where you’re at, you’re doing your best and you’re learning all the time – which means you’re now in a position to keep improving.

When you’re running a micro business you can’t be an expert in everything, and you probably can’t afford to hire experts to do everything either, so you’re on a learning curve.

So get on with that learning, and let go of the idea that you have to be great at everything the first time round. You can’t afford to hold up your business progress by holding off on progress until you think your projects are ‘perfect’.

I would love to hear your thoughts on how to overcome perfectionism…..

Making a good first impression

making a good first impression

I am enjoying a great day today writing about building your reputation as a micro business owner, and I am focusing on what impression you leave people with when you meet them.

We are always taught that first impressions count.  But does it always matter what someone’s first impression is of you?  Should you care as long as you are being true to yourself?  Is it easy to make it right afterwards if you don’t make a good impression?

In my opinion, the impression you leave people with will stay with them.  So make sure it’s a great one!  That doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your own personal values and beliefs.  It just means you have to respect the personal values and beliefs of others.

I would really value your thoughts on this so feel free to get in touch whatever your opinion.

The 3 wise words – serenity, courage and wisdom

god-grant-me-the-serenity-to-accept-the-things-i-cannot-change-the-courage-to-change-the-things-i-can-and-the-wisdom-to-know-the-difference17

I came upon a Facebook post last week showing a picture of a circle of influence, and it made me really think about what I spend my time focusing on.

Many years ago I used to keep a diary, and written on the very last page was the quote from Reinhold Niebuhr as follows:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

I used to read it often and reflect on how acceptance of things that are out of my control would bring me happiness.  To be honest, I now often forget that fact, and I spend far too much time worrying and ruminating on things that I have no influence over.

The circle of influence takes Niebuhr’s quotation one step further by giving you the tool with which to actively consider the specifics of what is and what is not within your control.

An good example of a simple circle of influence is as follows:

stephencoveycircle

The inner circle of influence covers things such as: The words I use; my attitude; the type of clients I work with; the exercise I do; the friends I have.  In other words things that are fully within your control.  This is where you need to focus your time and energy.

The outer circle of concern focuses on things that are out of your control i.e. the attitude of others, the weather, international politics etc.  Spending time and energy trying to change these things is fruitless.

This simplistic model can be developed to suit whatever you want.  You could decide to do a separate circle for each area of your life i.e. personal and business, or you could merge them to create a more complex integration.  Whatever works for you is fine.

From my own perspective, it has been a really useful exercise to reflect once again on Niebuhr’s wise words.  I have now produced my own circle of influence which has given me focus and clarity on how I want to move forward with my book, my business and with life in general.

I am hopeful that this may prove useful to you too, and I would love to hear your thoughts…..

Team vs Time Machine

time-machine

 

Having just started writing my chapter on building your team around you, I was sat at my desk trying to find a good analagy to use and an image of a time machine popped into my head. Wowser! What a revelation!

As a micro business owner  wouldn’t it be wonderful if you owned a time machine? You could work for a client all day and then go back and do it all over again for another client, then again, and again, until your productivity and earning potential reached your wildest dreams? You would be exhausted of course, and nothing much else would be happening in your life, but your bank balance would look extremely healthy.

Or, you could build a team around you that would effectively do the same thing with a lot less effort from you. In a way your team is your time machine. Taking the time and making the effort to effectively recruit new team members will reap the same rewards.

Sounds good doesn’t it? Your very own time machine without all of the travelling backwards and forwards in time stuff. You would be a Thousandaire in no time at all!

Assuming you don’t want to time travel that is? 😀

So what is a Thousandaire?

Come on now it must be real! I am one! How can such an important step in becoming a millionaire and achieving world domination not exist? How many of us can go from totally broke to millionaire in one step? There is a natural progression which most people seem to ignore.

Making your first £1000 as a micro business owner is a real milestone. But where do you go from there? Things can sometimes come unstuck when you reach workload capacity – after all you only have one pair of hands.

My book will provide realistic first steps to world domination for micro business owners. It will expel the myth that micro business owners need to work 24/7 to earn the right to financial freedom. I will use examples from my own business, case studies, testimonials and templates etc. to allow you to choose what to change in your business so that you too can be a Thousandaire.

Watch this space for a publication date…..