May 2018 - Kara Lambert

Monthly Archives: May 2018

Stay true to your passion

I didn’t start out this business as a business coach. In fact I started out as a proof reader and website auditor. How I got here is a story for another day but there was a point, not unlike where I’m at now, where I pivoted. I decided that I was more interested in coaching in the psychology beneath your business and your social media. Psychology was my true passion.

So in the early days in proof reading & auditing, like any business, clients were few and far between so I relied on a fair amount of free advice. One of them said to me not to use the term ‘psychology’ because it was confusing to people. They also suggested focusing on social media as that was popular and I was good at it, so an easy win. (but not true to my passion)

So I did that and I had some success but I still felt torn. I kept blogging about the psychology behind social media because it was my passion but I never spoke about it. I didn’t promote it. If I did it was haphazard and somewhat apologetic. I was divorced from my true passion.

I kept on working, more and more in Facebook and kept trying to grow the business coaching. All the while I was slowly and subtly bringing in psychology. I was having some introductory (free) calls for Facebook coaching and all I could see was overwhelm as business owners were disconnected from their audience and their ideal business. They had come to me for social media help but needed my true passion.

You could say that the Facebook changes on 11/1/18 gave me the chance to talk more on the psychology but that was only Facebook, it still didn’t consider the psychology in business. I was getting closer to my true passion.

I still felt lost and I knew I wanted to do more. I had to do more. I couldn’t leave these business owners and their clients disconnected. Social media was only a method to connect it wasn’t the basis of how connections are built, developed and maintained. I wanted business owners to have that sense of satisfaction I had seen in the coaching clients I had. They were building the business they dreamed of, they were getting the lifestyle they loved, they were flourishing financially. All because we had worked on the connections in their business. Between themselves and their business, themselves and their staff, their staff and the business, and the business and the client. This was my true passion & incidentally I had written it on a lanyard in 2015 for the local TEDx conference.

So what’s my advice. Stay true to your passion. It will stay true to you if you want it to or not. It will stay with you through thick and thin and when you need it it will be there. Stay true to your passion, it will help you find the right words to say. Stay true to your passion, it will not confuse others as you will speak clearly on it. Stay true to your passion.

Binary beliefs and business

Over the last week I have seen many conversations, and been in arguments, where people were so bent that their opinion/belief was right and the other person was wrong. It’s made me wonder what has happened to make us so binary in our beliefs. And what has happened to us that we think it’s ok?

While this is mostly a personal issue, it’s noteworthy to consider binary beliefs when it comes to customer service in business. This is where it’s going to cause the biggest problem. The next issue I see is when dealing with staff and then suppliers.

So what do I mean by binary beliefs?

Let’s start with “I’m right & you’re wrong”, that’s what sparked this. (Generally followed up with, “Let’s agree to disagree”.) We are starting to understand that sexuality and gender aren’t binary (male/female, gay/straight). Why is it that we think beliefs are binary?

Ok, so I suppose that my belief is mine and yours is your own, the classic ‘them and us’ scenario. And that in essence makes them binary, what I’m looking for is a discussion on understanding and tolerance. Or even some perspective taking. There’s benefit to both parties if they are willing and want to learn.

When I teach motivators, I use the definition of a belief as assumptions we hold to be true. Beliefs are contextual: they come from learned experiences, from the cultural and environmental situations we face.

Here’s the thing, we forget that beliefs aren’t actually truths; because we hold them as true, it doesn’t mean they are. While they might be true for us, they are not always someone else’s truth. Beliefs draw on our experience, including our culture.

The thing about beliefs is that not all our experiences become beliefs. Generally they have to align with other beliefs we hold before they are adopted. Then, the other issue with beliefs is that we search out information etc to reinforce our beliefs. (Attenuation Bias)

So how is this binary belief a problem for business?

Well if you’re aware of it, this is the first step in changing. Then the next is taking action when you’re aware that you are falling into this binary belief scenario.

Don’t get me wrong (pun intended), there are times where standing by your beliefs is necessary, this isn’t about that. But what happens when you’re faced with a customer who you can’t agree with?

What I’m suggesting is that businesses look at their own beliefs and check in with how beliefs form . Perhaps, it’s that this person has a different lived experience and so their beliefs differ. That doesn’t make them wrong, but different. (And I hope today we are better at embracing differences)

How do you feel when instead of hearing how wrong you are, according to someone's beliefs, they took time to listen to you. I can tell you from dealing with hostile clients, feeling listened to is enough to calm a customer down. We all want to be heard.

So you’ve heard what they have to say, now what?

Most people would react by telling them how they’re wrong or going back and reinforcing their belief. But this takes us back to the binary belief problem. So what to do?

You reinforce that you’ve heard & understood what they’ve said by repeating it back to them and then you look for common ground. Again, beliefs can change and we are hard-wired for connection. Finding common ground puts you in a position of peacemaker rather than dictator. In business I’d rather have a win for both than one or none.

The beauty of beliefs is that they come from our lived experience. Moving from a binary belief set and having experiences to challenge our beliefs allows us and our beliefs to grow. And I’m all for personal and business growth.

Making the most of the spare time

It’s no secret that I was not happy about being flat out crazy busy during school holidays. I wish I could say it was because I was out having fun with my kids – but it wasn’t. Now they’re back and it’s quiet. Not the, thank goodness I can do what I want quiet, but the where have all the customers gone quiet.

Ok, so the customers haven’t dried up. I still have all the same customers. I’ve also negotiated and outsourced some work I would normally do myself – and it’s all with the contractors at the moment.

But I look down at my plan of what I am doing this week, I think back to what I did last week, and I look up at what I have planned for the quarter… and I scratch my head.

Where has all this spare time come from?

I know, I know, I should be enjoying it – and I am. I am also a little wary of the quietness. The other day I spoke with a girlfriend who has a highpower corporate position and I mentioned the quiet time and she reminded me of something:

“Kara, make the most of it!”

 

I had forgotten this. In my corporate days I knew there would be times where all my own work was in hand and other work was out with other people & I was waiting for it to come back. I used to tell myself the same thing. Make the most of it.

So what do you do when you find spare time on your hands, more than a spare hour or two? How do you constructively fill a few days when you’re waiting on things?

This is where I use my planning tools, in all honesty. What are my aims for this month, quarter, year? I will work my way up to the highest level goals to see what I can be doing in this time to achieve these goals. These quieter times are great to get stuck into a meatier piece of this work.

Re-evaluate

Take some time out to have a look at your numbers. How have you gone? Is there something which could/should be performing better than it is? What can you do about that? Is there something you’ve been repeatedly putting off and this time could be used to tackling it once and for all? Or, do you actually need to do it at all and save yourself some more time?

Tackle an idea

Do you have an ideas jar? You know, somewhere to capture those brilliant ideas that you can do when you get-a-round-to-it? Pull one at random  and tackle that sucker.

Plan

Seems a bit counter-intuitive but big blocks of space and time are perfect times to plan for the time ahead!

Create

Create some content. Create some videos. Schedule some social media. Learn a new skill to help you create. Do those things which keep your business ticking but you tend to run out of time to do. Make the most of it.

Chill

Take some time out for you. While many might think that this should be the first & I have to say that after a busy period it is my go-to option, make sure you take some time out for yourself.

It can be a bit odd when you suddenly find yourself with spare time on your hands, but it doesn’t mean that the world is falling down. This breathing space, when put to best use can catapult you further than your busyness ever could.

Make the most of it!

 

PS. If you're wondering what I'm doing with my spare time... I will be creating - writing more of my book and I am allowing myself the time to let some ideas come to me and re-evaluating & taking action on them. I'm looking forward to showing you what comes of it..

 

Slow down

Slow down! Don’t push! Don’t hurry! Stop hustling! There’s plenty of time and we deserve your best work.

I’m seeing a number of people talking about burn out. People worrying about deadlines. Business owners lost in comparison with their competitors. And I want to scream, “STOP! ENOUGH!”

Recently my kids were on their 2 week Autumn school holidays and normally I will move work to the evenings and work half-days so that we can have time together. Instead, I had pressing deadlines, clients with work which couldn’t be moved, and events that had zero flexibility. I pushed and hustled and pushed some more. Just to get through. And I hated it. All I wanted to do is slow down.

Contrast that with how I feel on my morning walks. After the holidays I made a commitment to a 45 minute walk, alone, before I start work. I even decided that I will start work at 9.30 on those days, sorry clients – I’m on a late start. No hustle, no grind, just at peace with my thoughts. And you know what happens. The ideas rush at me. I don’t have to push. I can slow down and just be and they will come because my mind is still and I am not forcing anything.

Last year a friend suggested that I run a livestreaming challenge. “Too easy”, I thought. I’d been livestreaming for years and had some great hints for how to improve livestreams and get people using the medium. I thought I could have it up in 2-3 weeks. That was enough time right? Oh how wrong I was. It took me 3 months to get the first round out. Why? Because I knew this was a needed and powerful tool and deserved to be done properly. I had to slow down to do it properly.

Too often I see business owners overwhelmed because they had a certain date set in place to deliver a new product or service or something by. They see it looming and they start to stress out.  I want to remind you of a few things:

It’s your business.
You set the timing.

We survived without this new marvellous creation, we can wait. We deserve your best work, not a rush job. We deserve you at your best, not a stressed out and worn out shell of yourself.

Here’s the other thing… creating for your business should not feel rushed, hustled, a chore, or something you need to churn out or through. Slow down. Savour the process. Delay. Refine. Enjoy. We all deserve it.

Whose opinion matters to your business?

So the other week I went and had new branding photos taken. It had been 4 years since my last ones were done, I was still happy with them, they matched my colours, I was still using them, but I had the redone all the same. Why?

I went to a coffee meet up and a number of the women there, who I had never met before in person, said they didn’t recognise me from my photos. That’s odd, I hadn’t changed, my hair was only a slightly different cut but not colour. Why didn’t they recognise me?

So I stopped and asked my friends, had I changed or did I look any different? They all said I looked the same and these other women didn’t know what they were talking about. Now I could have taken my friend’s advice but I stopped for a second.

In business, whose opinion matters most? My friends who know me, trust me, and recommend me regardless. Or someone I don’t know, who I am starting to build a relationship with, who I need to develop that trust with. If they don’t recognise me from my picture, is there a problem.

You bet there is!

I could have stuck with the feedback which confirmed my belief, that I wasn’t that different from my photos, or I could look at it from my audience’s perspective and have new photos which reflected what I look like now, regardless of how small the change is.

Here’s the thing, we are all built with a perception bias. We will all seek to reaffirm our beliefs. However it’s when we want to do something different or move somewhere new or become someone bigger than who we are that we need to change what we do.

We can not expect different results from doing the same things.

When it comes to business, we need someone who will challenge us and not always tell us what we want to hear, rather they tell us what we need to hear. They hold a mirror to ourselves and make us see things differently. They challenge us and guide us through new things so we can have different results. Even when we want to stay doing the same things and those closest to us are reaffirming that.