I took a look through my bookcase recently and could count on one hand the number of books I’ve read from start to finish. If you opened my upstairs linen cupboard, you’d probably be toppled over with an array of unfinished crafty-type projects (I’m still working on that half knitted blanket I started back in 2005. EEK!)
Recently, I heard something that resonated with me - a successful businesswoman proudly described herself as the ‘90% woman’. She wasn’t referring to her wage, her marks at university, or that she looked like or dressed like or talked like 90% of the population. Instead, she was advocating starting, and not finishing.
So, how does someone with such a deficit in keeping focused, run a business successfully?
For our own health and well-being our businesses need to excite us. As an added bonus, if we are operating out of excitement and passion, our dream clients are drawn to our business as they genuinely resonate with our message.
Through my own experiences, I have come to realise that when I don’t finish something, or I change my course, this is a great thing. I’ve come to realise that I’ve either found something that I know I don’t want to do, or I’ve completed something to the point where I’ve received all the excitement it had to give me.
Earlier this year, I undertook an overhaul of my business. I had to learn to let go of what I thought my business should look like, and what offerings I should be promoting. Instead, I cut back on the tasks and clients that weren’t adding to my excitement, and in return the universe sent me ones that were aligned with my vision.
For a long time now, I’ve had this belief:
“When you say no to the things that no longer serve you, you make room for more of what does.”
I want your business to thrive on your excitement, so I’m sharing with you the steps I took to change the course of my business to bring me more fulfillment.
Admit it’s just not working.
If you want to run your own business, whatever it may be, you’ve got to love it! If it doesn’t light you up, if you don’t find yourself wanting to talk about it at the drop of a hat, then it’s not for you. If marketing your business feels more like a constant struggle than an expression of your passion, then maybe your business is not your passion afterall.
Think about some of the tasks you do daily. Writing your to-do list, replying to emails, sitting through webinars. If these things feel more like shackles than the freedom that you left your high-paying corporate gig for, then admit it to yourself, your support networks and your client. Then move on, swiftly.
Do what excites you.
Take some time out of your day to sit and reflect on your life and business. Write a list of all the business tasks you need to get done and what needs doing in your daily life.
Now, get out a highlighter and highlight the ones that excite you and that you wish you could do more of.
If those tasks that are left un-highlighted don’t add to the progress or benefits of the highlighted ones, you need to re-organise your business. For some of you, this may mean altering the products and services you offer, to better cater to the types of clients you want to engage with. For others, this may mean an entire change in business.
If you’re un-highlighted tasks do contribute and advantage the un-highlighted – OUTSOURCE. You don’t have to do things that don’t excite you.
Stop the cycle. Create a new one.
“I’ll just see it through until…” “I can’t because of …” “It’ll get better once…”
Oh lady, is this one a constant learning curve for me!!! As women, we’re very good at telling ourselves these things, to try and convince ourselves things in our life and business are okay. There are a number of reasons why we tell ourselves these. For example:
· It’s easier to stay in what I know, then what I don’t
· I feel that I will let someone else down by changing the plan
Let’s go back to the list you made in the previous step. For each un-highlighted item, ask yourself “What would happen if I didn’t do these things?”
When we stop doing the things that don’t fulfill us, we create more time for the things that do. If you’re like me, and housecleaning bores you to tears, outsourcing it means you’ve created a few extra hours in your week to spend on your business, which can potentially bring you in more money than you paid for the cleaner. Or maybe for you it’s your invoicing. Or scheduling your social media posts. Or designing those Canva promotional posts.
Every time you catch yourself making an excuse as to why you can’t let go of something that’s not fulfilling you, ask yourself “What if I just did?” and then take action.
Don’t be attached to the end game.
It’s okay to change lanes mid-course.
Think of it this way:
If you were the pilot on a (passenger-less) plane from Cairns to Adelaide, and hit a little turbulence you might need to travel for a little while, slightly off course in order to get back on track to your destination.
But what if you changed your mind mid-flight, and ‘Adelaide’ is no longer where you want to go? Well guess what lady, you’re allowed to change the destination. You’re in the pilot seat here – there’s no air traffic controller telling you to get back to ‘Adelaide, because that’s where you said you were going.
As long as you’re clear on why you’re changing, and let those important people in your life and business know that you’re changing and why. Those aligned with your passion and excitement will follow, and those that don’t probably weren’t your dreamiest clients ever anyway!
I’ll keep on buying books that I probably won’t ever read the last page of, and I definitely won’t stop attempting new projects, knowing most of them won’t be finished. Why? Because my business is my passion, and if the things I engage with stop adding something to be able to drive my passion, they’ve served their purpose. I can let go of what no longer serves me, knowing that I’ve tried it, and am now ready to make room for more of does.