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Why you should believe your business will succeed

Why you should believe your business will succeed

So this isn’t your first rodeo. You’ve either been in business for a while, it’s not your first crack at running your own business, or you’ve spent time working/running a business for someone else and it’s time to make the break and go it alone. To be honest, I feel like I fit across all three. But there’s one thing that keeps you going and that’s the belief that your business will succeed.

If you’d read my article on having a clear direction in your business, you might have sensed that the thing which kept me going was a belief that this would work. Because I honestly do and I know that what I do has a profound impact on my clients. I’m sure you feel the same way about your business.

Business goals vs wanting to believe your business will succeed

If you’ve heard me talk about drivers or read my article on beliefs, you’d know that beliefs are incredibly powerful.

Believe you will succeed quote Theodore RooseveltWork outside of your belief structure and you feel like a fraud, fake, or phony. You’ll be gripped by dissonance, which has you feeling uncomfortable in your actions and doubting your moves.

On the flip side, if you behave in alignment with your beliefs you will be happy, calm, and you will achieve some incredible things. I often achieve more than I expect purely because I’m behaving in alignment with my belief structure.

So rather than the goal of having a successful business, your ability to believe your business will succeed is actually more important. Goals are great, but psychologists know that they are all poor drivers of behaviour (just look at how often New Year’s resolutions fail). However, our belief structure is at the core of driving our behaviour. So believe it can be done and it will.

 

Believing that your business will succeed when business is failing

When times are tough we often turn the spotlight in on ourselves. We chastise ourselves on the things we could have done differently. We rehash the mistakes we made. We generally get down on ourselves.

I have to be honest, when things go pear-shaped in my business, goals don’t help.

In fact, when I feel like a business failure, my goals are the first to go. They certainly don’t motivate me because it was my goals that I failed to achieve.

In the darkest of times, I’ve had to look very strategically at my business, and I don’t mean income and expenses or most profitable product. I mean where and how my business operates strategically. What is the why (some might call it a mission statement) of my business?

How believing your business will succeed works

Believe you will succeed quote Wayne DyerWhen my business has been failing, reconnecting to the core belief of my business (putting the person we need to take action at the hub of our actions) has been key and triggers these steps:
– This reconnection and reaffirming of my why then leads me to look at why my clients come to me.
– From here I can look at my offerings and how I am meeting my client needs
– Then I can add or pivot to meet their needs
– Finally, I again believe that my business will succeed

I’ve been through this process a number of times. Each time I’ve uncovered more about the audience I want to serve, but most importantly I’ve uncovered more about myself & particularly the story I tell myself about success (or failure).

It’s incredibly motivating, knowing more about my audience. It’s also empowering & healing by rewriting the story I tell myself about success/failure. Both of these changes prop me up a little more and prevent me from slipping backwards. It means that I grow in more ways than just achieving a goal would.

A little secret

I always knew that what I had to offer had merit. I always believed that people needed what I have to offer. I always believed that I had a uniqueness. I didn’t always want the success. In fact, I feared it. I feared what it would do to me & my family life.

It wasn’t until I got ok with being me, that the fear of success disappeared. It wasn’t until I addressed the crappy stories I told myself about success in general and my success in particular that I was able to stand and act firmly from my beliefs.

Fear has a nasty way of stopping us from achieving our goals. Acting in alignment with beliefs gets us through it when it strikes. Unpacking and healing the fear story gets rid of fear for good. That just leaves us to act from our beliefs and move forward, and not reacting to our fears.

So you need clear direction in your business

Need clear direction in business

Let me tell you a little story about needing a clear direction in my business. I swear mine are moveable goals more than anything. That with a bit of a laundry list of things I want to do, achieve and when I’m thinking might be a good idea to slot them in. All whilst I juggle family life, wife life, Mum life, building a house life, trying to be a good friend life. I’m sure you get the picture.

It’s no secret that through the years the clear direction in my business has gotten a little muddy, no a lot murky. Sadly, that has meant that my clients have little to no idea of what I do. Which is great for me because I’m not alone but not so great for my bank balance.

What starts a shift to a clear direction?

Needing a clear direction in business quote by B=Debbie FordMost of the time, my changes in direction have come as a result of meeting my clients’ needs. First, it was proofreading & copy editing. I can tell you that was not a popular option. Then it was website audits. Slightly more demand but still not a cash cow I hoped it would be. Then there was Facebook coach. Now that has proven popular with the clients but has personally put me in a pickle. (I’m one of what seems to be a bajillion of these) Then there’s business coach. Again a dime a dozen, plus fighting an industry rife with dodgy experiences. Finally, there’s fear & Imposter Syndrome coach. Good need, only for those who are deep in it and don’t suddenly get a quick flash of things being better before it all crashes down again.

So you can see that my “clear direction” for my business has been more like a meandering stream over rocky rapids than a straight trajectory to financial wealth.

And then there’s my biggest body of work to date, me! Some of you may know, as my fear coaching clients do, that any self-work is fraught with danger (and some intrigue). Which to be honest feels like a merry-go-round or ferris wheel. Something that seems like a good idea at the start, is a little scary at times when things start moving a bit too much, that you wonder when it will stop, that when it does stop you wonder if that’s all it was meant to be, but realistically just goes round and round in circles.

Can I be honest? It’s like anything. It’s generally not a problem until it’s a problem and then we wish we did something earlier! Working on me has been a constant. I may not be always right down in the deep of it all, sometimes it’s a constant chipping away and reminder of where I don’t want to be or want to have.

What continues a shift to a clear direction?

Quote about having clear direction in businessI think that’s the thing that many business coaches forget to tell us. What doctors forget when we make life changes. That this is a constant.

It takes work to change and shift direction, but like flying a plane or captaining a ship – it takes constant vigilance and incremental changes to remain on course.

Can I let you in on a secret?

That’s the hard work.
That’s the tiring work.

It’s the constant and consistent. It’s the assessment and reassessment. It’s the adjustment. It’s staying true to the vision but more so yourself when you’re not always certain of what that is or where it will take you. It’s ignoring distraction and temptation. It’s burying bad habits and thoughts and not unearthing them because they are comfortable and familiar.

This is the hard work my friends.

This is me.

This is worthwhile.

This will be better.

This will work.

Stay the course but moreover stay true to you and your clear direction.

And finally, I’m here & I’ve got you. x

Fear of wasting time and money

Fear of wasting time and money

When I talk to my coaching clients about what they fear in business, most of them say that they fear wasting time and/or money. I get it, we work hard for them and when we realise that we’ve wasted time or money it hurts. Imagine all the other things you could have done instead!

I’m not immune to this either. I think something is a great idea, I put resources into it and *poof* it’s not what I expected. I’ve done this with events. I’ve definitely done it with courses. I’ve done it with people. Heck, I’ve even done it looking back over my career!

So why is the fear of wasting time or money such a common thing? Is it that we are so cash or time poor? Is it that we hate missing out and do “all the things”? Is it that we fear regret or making the wrong decision?

Time & money as finite resources

People will say to me, “But there’s only 24 hours in a day” or “money doesn’t grow on trees”. Sure! I only have 5.5 hours in a day to do my work and I know what’s in my bank account and what’s coming in. (Hint: it could always be more) But at the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, that’s an incredibly closed mindset.

Fear of wasting time quoteBefore you yell that there is only 24 hours in a day, head over and read my article on time management and come back or watch these videos I’ve collated on time management. Sure, we have a set amount of time but the issue isn’t the amount of time most of us have – it’s how we waste it.

There’s two main ways I see people, including myself, wasting time. Firstly, procrastination. We just don’t do things because well, um, choose any excuse! Essentially, because we are busy getting in our own way. We procrastinate with money the same way, we get in our own way.

Secondly, we waste time with how we think about it. We waste money with how we think of it. What do I mean? We don’t value our time, we don’t prioritise our time. I don’t mean that we don’t schedule it, but if something really mattered – we MAKE time for it. We still have 24 hours. You might think that we then don’t do something else, but the thing is that if that too is a priority, we MAKE time for that too. Humans have an uncanny ability to fill time and make jobs take longer – just because we have time.

We waste money because we don’t value it. This doesn’t mean we don’t save it, but we don’t make it a priority. We don’t take care of it. I see so many people be so flippant with their money management. The same ones say to me, “Kara, you work so hard and deserve the things you have” as though they were somehow less deserving and less hard working. No, I just choose different priorities for my money.

This way of thinking around time and money is a closed mindset, it’s finite. As a parent, I want my children to have an open mindset. One of options and possibilities. We do not live the exact same day over and over, we do control our time and we do control our money. So why do we live as though we are passengers and they are in control? Neither time nor money are actually finite – they continue after we go.

Time and money as symptoms

Here’s another way of looking at it… what if the fear of wasting time or money is actually really a lack of trust in oneself? What if we use time & money like a drug to make ourselves feel better and in the end we just don’t trust ourselves to do better? What if it’s another version of “drowning our sorrows”?

Here’s the thing, if it is – and that’s a story you tell yourself. And you don’t want to do that any more. You can change. I promise it will take work. You will need to look deep to what story you tell yourself about money or your use of time. For me, it was that I had to work hard for money, that time is money, and that I didn’t deserve things unless I worked for them. How’s that for turning money away?!

Time well spent

Fear of wasting time and prioritizing quote Stephen CoveyI recently realized that while sometimes I don’t think I’ve made the best use of my time, that I haven’t prioritised things as I should but there’s a catch. Sometimes the best ideas come when I’m silent and still. Sometimes I need to step back from things to move forward. And all the time I can look back and learn.

You see, we often can’t see the lesson when we’re neck deep in it. It’s only when we step back that we can realise just how far we’ve come, what we’ve learnt and how what we did in the past wasn’t wasted but is applicable to the now.

So maybe some of us are too quick to judge or too harsh on ourselves when it comes to how we spend time or money. Perhaps it’s not that we are wasting time or money, perhaps we just haven’t realized the lesson we need to learn just yet.

Self-assurance as a business goal

So the conversation generally goes a little something like this… “Kara, I know I know my stuff but I don’t believe it. I want that confidence and self-assurance of believing that I know it.” Then I hear the song lyric, “Life is a rollercoaster, we’ve just got to ride it…”

Can I confess? I’m a work in progress. Even I get down on my abilities more than I should. Take for example, I’ve got a couple of speaking engagements at my old Uni, Flinders. Why is it that I’m doubting myself and believing that I’m still that 18 year old undergraduate who failed subjects vs that 30+ year old Masters student who got Distinctions. It’s the same person and I’m much more like my 30 year old self. But no, even I get those self-assurance speed wobbles.

So what is self-assurance? It’s confidence in yourself and your abilities. It’s not arrogance or being stuck up.

It’s trusting ourselves and trusting our abilities.

It’s having confidence in ourselves and our abilities.

And I think it’s these last two things people are really struggling with, self-trust & self-confidence. I know I do.

I think self-assurance, or more the lack of it, is often linked with Imposter Syndrome and waiting to be caught out.

Why is self-assurance important to business owners?

self-assurance quote by the Dalai LamaI can’t believe I actually asked that question, but hey I need headings for SEO at least! Anyways, we need it to feel good about ourselves because god knows we’re our own worst enemies but there are some days where we cut ourselves some slack.

We need self-assurance so that we know that at least one person has our back, even if it’s ourselves.

We need self-assurance because business life can be scary.

We need self-assurance because customers can be scary arses.

We need self-assurance because after a while pulling up the big girl panties leaves you with a mega-wedgie and no one wants that.

I needed self-assurance because I was honestly too damn old to rely on anyone else to hold me up and I needed to do it alone. I realized that if I didn’t have my own back, I was in a pretty sad state. Not to mention, sometimes I’m the only person I can trust. (Sad truth, I’m the one that has the best vision for my business)

Why is self-assurance a goal?

When I first meet with a new client we run through what drives their clients, their staff (if they have them), and finally what drives themselves. The very last thing we talk about is their personal goals for themselves – self-assurance is mentioned as a goal, never a need/belief/value.

Can I be honest, I find that pretty sad. It’s sad that having confidence in our abilities & knowledge is a goal to be attained, not something we need. So what is the difference?

Needs are fundamentals to what we have to do and are a basic driver, think along the lines of food/shelter/safety etc. Goals are nice to have and are not necessary.

So many of us see self-assurance and having confidence in our knowledge and ability as a goal and not something we need to have. That means we’re ok with living in a state of not trusting ourselves, self-doubt, and possibly not having our own backs when things get hard. No wonder when things go pear-shaped we can hit rock bottom really hard and we wonder if it’s all worthwhile.

Why do we put believing in ourselves last? Why does it have such a low priority? Why is it not necessary “self-care”? Are we all martyrs?

Fixing self-assurance

Beyonce self-assurance quoteI’d love to say that I had the perfect cure for self-assurance. To be honest, it looks different for everyone and the path to it is also as differing. But there’s one thing I know for certain…

Self-Assurance is necessary. We are deserving of self-assurance. Self-assurance should not be put off to be achieved “someday when everything else is in order”.

Self-assurance is one of the cornerstones we rely on to achieve the other goals, because if we don’t believe in ourselves and our abilities – how can we expect anyone else to believe in us?

Using facts in business

On facts and business

Can I share a little secret? I find great comfort in facts and figures, especially in business. And I have a sneaking suspicion that you prefer to know that the information you’re receiving in based in good, solid evidence. And I have to be honest, I feel that in the social media space especially – I’m kind of alone.

I see a number of people saying, “don’t share facts and figures on your business social media as your clients don’t like it”. You know, if my clients like to see facts and figures and it is reassuring to them – how is that a bad thing?

I totally understand that in this time of Fake News and disinformation that facts can be fudged – but then they are no longer facts. Surely in a time where people are questioning the truth of what they see that facts offer certainty.

The right facts

Facts quote by Aldous HuxleyI agree that there can be too much of a good thing – facts included. I have often dropped off while reading a book laden with facts and figures. We just can’t do that to each other in regular business – unless we’re in the business of writing textbooks.

There is value in a carefully constructed story with some poignant facts to bolster a point or position. For those of us with mortgages, consider if the news reported all the facts and figures that the Reserve Bank trawled through when reviewing the cash rate – we’d switch off in the first 10 seconds. In reality, all we want to know is up, down, same and how much. All facts and figures but all the right ones for the audience.

That’s my point, know your audience and what they want to hear from you and use that.

 

 

Facts and figure vs pontificating

I love a good opinion piece, I really do, especially when it challenges my way of thinking. The thing is that there needs to be (for me) a good smattering of facts and figures to help convince me to change my thinking.

The beauty of facts and figures, it can boost your credibility. You’re not just sprouting your opinion – you’ve actually cared enough to do some research and show us that there’s truth behind what you say. I think that’s key in this day & age, truth. We are told to be transparent but where is the truth? How do we know if we can’t check ourselves?

It actually makes good content

I’m a bit of a Pinterest fiend, ok a lot of one and I do love a good infographic. Facts and figures are the staples of a business infographic. They’re great usable content as the infographic distils all the points from an article and puts it in a nice wee image for us to digest. Not everyone likes to read their facts and figures, some people just want the key points (as I mentioned with the bank) pulled out for them and put into a simple diagram.

Facts and figures position us

Facts quote by Ricky GervaisIf your audience likes facts, then the use of them can improve your “position in their eyes”. People look to experts and in an uncertain world, their certainty can give us comfort. (I wish I had a reference to this, yes I get the irony)

In the end, using facts and figures comes down to if your business audience likes them, if they find comfort in them, if they look to you for that comfort, and if you’re happy positioning yourself there.

I admitted earlier that I like facts & figures, they’re comforting and familiar, I also enjoy finding them as they challenge me and it means I learn more about my industry. Now that’s something I’m always keen to do and think we should all be prepared to do – learn more & challenge ourselves.

6 tips to build self confidence for small business owners

6 tips to build self confidence for small business owners

“Kara, I just need more self-confidence”, “I need to get out of my own way”, “I need to stop holding myself back”. It’s generally what our conversations come down to, no matter what we start with. Generally, it starts with wanting to learn how to promote their small business on social media, then after a little while, the truth comes up. It’s really a lack of self-confidence that is stopping them progressing.

How can a lack of self-confidence show up?

Procrastination

Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can put off until next week. Amiright? You suddenly need to tidy your desk, do some washing, check your emails or social media. Anything. Anything rather than what you’re meant to be doing.

Finding a dozen different things to do rather than doing the one thing that needs doing is a common symptom of many things, including a lack of self-confidence.

Procrastination can also look like planning and perfectionism, but deep down these can both hide a lack of self-confidence.

I can honestly say that this article has taken me three-times longer to write than any other and the word count is the same. I’ve not gone off to do research, but boy have I procrastinated – so much so that I’ve deleted Facebook from my browser tabs.

Questioning or second-guessing

tips to build self confidence Michelle Obama quoteI know my self-confidence was beaten by a number of people questioning my ability. It got to the point that I questioned my own. You know that thing where you hear something often enough, you begin to believe it. It sucks!

To be honest, I’ve found the constant doubt is draining. Not only does it take a lot of internal dialogue, it takes a lot of energy, and it uses up a lot of time. All things I could be putting to better use elsewhere.

Perfectionism

I just need to do xyz. I just need to add ABC. It’s not quite right. It needs to be perfect.  Do I have all of them? (Geez, you’d think I was a perfectionist by that last question)

Perfectionism avoids criticism, rejection, shame, and just doing that thing. It takes time and every perfectionist I’ve met (I’m not one, and I feel like the antithesis at times) has said that it is utterly exhausting.

The constant judgement, comparison, and/or questioning means that nothing is ever achieved and that wins are never made and certainly not celebrated. Celebrations don’t occur because things are never good enough.

Perfectionism can be debilitating, depressing and extremely time-consuming.

Getting advice from others

There is a time and a place for everything and this is certainly one of them. Yes, I know that asking for advice in big Facebook Groups is a (marginally) covert way to draw attraction to your brand. It’s a way to create controversy. I’m not talking about this. When you can’t make a decision and you have to ask for advice from others, sometimes you truly don’t know and sometimes you truly don’t trust that you’re making the right decision. Or perhaps you’re always asking the one person for advice. (And it’s not someone on that list, see below)

Deferring to someone can hide a lack of trust in oneself. It can be a symptom of people-pleasing (raises hand here). Some people also do it so they have someone to blame (but that’s unlikely to be anyone reading this as they generally don’t like what I write).

The problem with this habit is that the turn around takes time and the vast majority of the people asked will not have or understand your business (or audience) as well as you. They may have more experience, but that’s the only place they can give advice from and their experiences may not be relevant to you, yours, or your business.

General low self-confidence

In general, low self-confidence can show up as fatigue, tasks taking longer, and a lot of internal dialogue (not a lot of it being constructive). It’s draining – I know because I still battle this. It takes courage and effort to overcome but I promise that each step you take releases you to be more of yourself and that feels incredible.

6 things to do to build self-confidence

First things first

The very first thing is to actually catch yourself doing it. This takes an ability to be mindful and questioning of your thoughts and actions. You may need to put a reminder somewhere that says something along the lines of, “Is this real or is it low confidence?”. Then you can try one, or all, of the following solutions.

Rip the bandage

If procrastination is your pet when it comes to testing your self-confidence then I suggest using Mel Robbin’s 5-second rule. Count to 5 and then start the task.

Pomodoro

tips to build self confidence for small business Samuel Johnson quoteNever heard of the Pomodoro technique? It’s where you spend a block of time working on a task, anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes, and then you do something you enjoy. The catch is that you must spend all of that active time on the task. Set a timer on your phone and stick to it.

Live in alignment with your beliefs and values

It’s hard to live in self-doubt when you are living in alignment with your beliefs and values. I promise it takes time and practice but when it comes down to it there are 3 things you need to be able to get yourself moving:

  1. Be mindful of what is driving your behaviour & ask yourself if you are acting from a place of self-doubt
  2. Remind yourself of what your core beliefs & values are
  3. Act from your core beliefs & values rather than reacting from a place of doubt or fear.

A person in your corner

Sometimes it’s easier if we know that someone has our back. Perhaps it’s a safety in numbers thing. I know I feel safer knowing that I have a handful, and I do mean just a few, people who believe in and support me – no matter what.

Who are they for you? Write down their names & keep the list close. When you are feeling uncertain, look at the list or have a chat with them. Most of all know that they believe in you, even when you’re uncertain of yourself.

Small wins

When we focus on the big goal it can seem insurmountable and we can lose confidence. While we can break a task down into more manageable chunks, we can also break them down into ones that we know we will succeed at. Having had some success at a task can give us the confidence to move forward and try more – to do more. This builds self-confidence. This is exactly why I celebrate the wins in my Facebook Group each Friday.

Get help

To overcome a lot of my self-confidence issues, I used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy under the guidance of a psychologist. From there I used the same techniques to uncover and work through further issues as they arose. Rebuilding self-confidence is a journey, most of us have lived with it for years and that takes time to sort through. I want you to know that I am here to help you unpack using the techniques I’ve learnt, tried, and tested. I’d love to help you be more self-confident & I encourage you to check this page out for more information.

 

What to do when you fear that things will never get better in your business

What to do when you fear that things will never get better

You wish it was ‘one of those days’, only because it’s been weeks and months of feeling like you’re going nowhere in your business. You feel like things will never get better. In fact, there are times you find yourself opening up the job websites and searching for a 9-5 because it will never get better.

I understand. I had big plans for 2016, it was going to be my year! I had had a run of successful workshops in 2015 and I was ready to go big. Except that before we even hit the end of January, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Bam! I thought, “My life will never get better”. In fact, I couldn’t even look for a job because I knew my parents needed me and I just had to tread water and do the best I could.

It may never get better

A new normal when things feel like they will never get better. Quote Robin SharmaHere’s the thing. My Dad did die. After 10 months and many admissions to hospital, cancer got the better of him and my life changed forever.

But that’s the thing. My life as I knew it never got better, it got different. There was now a new normal for my life.

Think of it this way, if you’re old enough. Remember borrowing a library book and grabbing the card, having it date stamped? Now we download books straight to our phone. Remember dial-up internet & waiting for someone to get off the phone or a phone call coming through and booting your connection? Now even our fridge is connected to the internet & phone calls only interrupt us if we’re live-streaming on our mobile phones. We have a new normal. And boy don’t we know it when it’s taken away. We thought it would never get better than dial-up & now we wait overnight for the latest phone.

You will adapt to this new normal, even though it may not get better per your ‘old’ normal or look like you’d planned.

What to do when you realise it may never get better

People say, “This too shall pass” and it does but how do you actually get through the passing time?

When it comes to business, while you do it for you, you also do it for others. So take some time and get off self. In business, your business is so much more about other people than it is yourself. Go volunteer. Go do something nice for a long-standing client. Turn your focus outwards. Did you know that it’s been shown that people who volunteer their time or do a good deed for someone will feel happy long after the overthinking is complete?

When we feel that things will never get better, we are looking inwards. Now there’s nothing wrong with a little internal navel-gazing so long as we are using it to move forward and grow. But that’s generally not the mindset we are in when we are wading through this space.

Turning your energy outwards is a pattern interrupt and it’s a 180 on your mindset. I’m all in favour of doing these things when you’re stuck.

Pattern interrupts, like Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule, can break a spiral and move us to a new place – fast. It also removes any thinking or overthinking, we might be doing. It cuts one thing off and replaces it with another.

Doing a 180, moving from self to others, is no normal distraction technique.

You can also do a 180 and write it all down. I’ve suggested taking a common practice or belief in your industry and writing something in direct opposition to it. This flipped thinking forces you to take a different perspective and gets you looking at a situation for a whole other viewpoint. (And sometimes we need to take a new perspective)

The final word when you think it’s never going to get better

A new normal when you feel that things will never get better Socrates QuoteIf you find that time is dragging on and you don’t feel any better. Please seek help.

Talk to your/an accountant to check your financials.
Talk to your/a lawyer about any legal complications.
Talk to a friend in business.
Talk to a friend who has your back.

Too often in business, especially in small, micro, or family businesses, we feel like we are all alone and we have to do it all. We’re not and we don’t.

When my Dad was sick, I saw a psychologist. When I was lost in my business last year, I spoke with a messaging expert. When I was ready to grow my business in 2017, I hired a business coach.

Gather people around you. The people who support you. The people who will hold your faith in you until you can do it alone. The people who will tell you the truth because you need to hear it and not because they need to feel good saying it. I know I now have a different type of better, one I never imagined, and it’s growing on me.

3 things to help things get better in business

It has to get better

So often in business, we sit, sometimes with our head in our hands, thinking that it has to get better. That business has to get better. That, this work-life balance has to get better. That life just has to get better. But it’s not all doom and gloom. I’ll let you in on a few secrets on how (business) life can get better.

You’ve hit the bottom and now you are hanging on to your belief that it has to get better. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps you’ve had a glimmer of hope through a great conversation, a fab sale, or it’s just that window through to the future where your goals do become your reality. Now what?

It has to get better when you’re clear on things

I don’t mean getting clear on goals. Goals are more like a carrot dangling in front of your nose, nice to lure you along but not so great on keeping you on the straight and narrow.

The biggest changes come in my clients, and myself, when laser-focused and totally in sync with values. Why? Values are our guiding principles, sort of like ethics. If we miss a goal or take a bit longer to achieve them, most of us will be ok. If we are out of sync with our values, we feel down, unmotivated, lost, agitated. Psychologists call it dissonance, but it’s essentially our head and our heart being out of alignment.

For things to get better – live in alignment

things have to get better quote Michael JordanSo how well are you in alignment with your values? Do you know what your guiding values are? That one thing that keeps you on track. That one principle you know will get you making the right decision & taking the right action – every time!

I use mine a lot. Ok, so my guiding value is courage. My guiding value has had me travel alone to the US multiple times. My guiding value of courage has had me speak at a social media conference, directly after Facebook. My guiding value of courage has me as a Mentor at my old University. My guiding value of courage is getting me to my goals, without it I’d be wishing for these goals rather than making it happen.

Learn more about discovering your guiding values in this free training.

 

 

It has to get better when you have time

One of the other things people say to me is that they don’t have enough time. Things will get better when you have more time. We seem to dream up all these business goals we’ll achieve when we have more time. As if it’s some golden bullet. As if it’s something someone will deliver to us. Do I have to be the bearer of bad tidings?

For things to get better – make the time

Bahahahaha, make the time she says! Like I can do that! What if I told you there are a few secrets you can use to make time.

For things to get better – change your thoughts on time

I’m for real & this is one of the biggest game-changers I’ve ever had. I changed my mindset about time. You would know that some times time seems to fly right by and other times it drags. When we feel like there’s never enough time, there isn’t.

Here’s the thing, when I changed my mindset to always believing that I had enough time & then working towards it – I did. Whenever I’m worried that I’ll be late, I take a deep breath and remind myself that I’ll have plenty of time – and I’m on time or early.

I’ve written about this a number of times and you can catch up on how I make it happen by clicking here.

It has to get better when you have someone to talk to

Running your own business can be lonely, especially when no one else in your friends or family run a business. They have no idea! They think that you’re not only raking it in but you’re the luckiest person in the world because you set your own hours and can take long lunches. Shame they don’t see the late nights, endless coffees, and the constant worry as to balancing the bills & the clients.

For things to get better – have someone in your corner

things get better quote for businessMy husband just couldn’t understand why I was constantly working at 2 am. He didn’t understand why I “put up with crap clients”. He didn’t understand why I needed to do a particular training. Why would he! He didn’t have or share my vision and he didn’t run a business. So I joined some free Facebook Groups, did you know I have one, and eventually I hired a business coach.

And there I found my tribe! I was no longer alone. In fact, I was surrounded by so many other business owners sick to the eye teeth of explaining why to their partners.

Be warned though, not all tribes are created equal. Some will last you to fill a reason (generally to fill a knowledge gap), some will last you a season (generally to fill some growing pains of your own or the business’), and then others will last you a lifetime.

You will learn quickly which ones will fill your cup, which ones will drain your pockets, which ones will steal your energy, and which ones will waste your time. And I do refer to groups and coaches with that.

Be ok with saying goodbye, knowing that their time has come and that you have acted in alignment with your values for your greater good.

Then you will know that it has gotten better.

When business is confusing and you feel overwhelmed you need to read this

When business feels confusing and you’re in overwhelm

Business is so confusing! You’re choked with overwhelm. What to promote and what to write on social media. How to manage staff & get them to do what you need them to do while keeping them & your customers happy & still turning a profit. Then there’s the laundry list of thoughts streaming through your head, pulling you in different directions. Throw in regular life and it’s no wonder small business owners feel utterly overwhelmed.

As a small business owner, we are all about our industry and our niche. We have that knowledge down. Then we throw in those things we know we should do, like promoting our business and the wheels come off. This is where most people come to me and it goes something like this…

“Kara, I know (insert social media platform name, generally Facebook) is meant to work for me and my business but I have no idea what to write or when to post so that people click & buy; and then I don’t want to spend all day on (insert platform) because then I won’t get the work done that I actually really need to get done. This part of my business is so confusing!”

Sound familiar?

“Business is so confusing!” And the overwhelm begins…

So, we stop and chat about their ideal client and I throw some numbers around about who’s on which channel and how it differs from the others out there and then they say something like this…

“Kara, but I don’t know what to say! What if I get it wrong? What if they hate me? I’m not good at writing!”

When business is confusing and you're overwhelmed Read this Oprah Winfrey quoteAnd there it is! The heart of the issue. They don’t trust themselves. They are worried about criticism. They don’t want to blow their own trumpet. They’re afraid of being publicly called out. And I understand.

It takes courage to put yourself out there in public. You need to be ok with being vulnerable. You need to trust yourself.

Ouch! That hurts. And yes, it’s true. 90% of people who come to me with this issue really have a problem with being vulnerable & talking themselves up. Who can blame them! Especially if they’re Australian, and they usually are, and have lived a lifetime of tall poppy syndrome where you’re told not to speak up, brag, or big-note yourself. (Surely, it’s not just me)

Here’s the irony. The solution to what to write and how to stop worrying about what will happen when you do is exactly the same.

Say what????

The solution when you’re in deep

Please hear me out.The key when business is confusing and you're in overwhelm read this quote

When you think about it, both require someone to do something. Getting someone to click on your social media post. Actually posting. They both rely on getting someone to do something you want them to do, even if that someone is you!

When you’re trying to get someone to do something for you, you really need to understand what will drive them to do it. Yes, even yourself. That’s psychology.

How well do you know what drives you? How well do you know what drives your clients to click on your social media? How well do you know what drives your staff? You might be surprised!

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, you can access this training video on what drives people and how you can work out what drives you, your staff, and your clients. Best of all it’s free! (Yes, I know free access to good training is one of your drivers)

5 ways to overcome FOMO in business

fear of missing out FOMO and business

The fear of being left behind is real in business. Business owners are afraid of missing out on the next best thing. Fear that their competitors are going to get the jump on them. Fear of not having a competitive advantage. It’s a competitor FOMO mind storm.

So, what do you do when you’re afraid of being left behind in business?

Competitor FOMO & point of difference

I admit to being sucked into this for many years. It still bites me occasionally. What are they doing? How come they’re doing so well? What do they have that I don’t? Sound familiar?

It was eating me up inside. The doubt. The second-guessing. The FOMO was real!

There were two main things I did, and do, to stop going down the comparison rabbit hole.

Is it real?

As a business coach, I used to follow a lot of business coaches early on, then one day one of the badass coaches published their profit and loss for the month. Woah! Talk about eye-opening! Whilst their income was massive, their advertising expenses were huge! They were making a tiny profit. That’s when I realized – all is not what you see.

The next realization was that many of the people I saw as competitors don’t have the same family life. They’re single, I’m married. They’re without kids, I have 2 kids. They can work whenever and wherever they liked, I had very limited ability to do this. Time is money & while I learnt to be savvier with my time & time mindset, it just couldn’t replace the difference in responsibilities.

Then I found some coaches who had similar lifestyles and I dug a little below the surface. Another eye-opener. It reminded me of the realization of what my boss had to do when I first entered the public service, ie she sold her soul for her job. A number of the businesswomen who I thought were similar to me, were on a surface demographic, but when it came to our deeper drivers & psychographics we were very different. Our beliefs & values just didn’t align. Again, I was comparing myself to lemons when I was an orange.

I learnt, that all is not what it seems & when I dug a little deeper, I didn’t want what they had, I didn’t want to pay the price they did, or I didn’t want to sacrifice my beliefs and values for what they had.

I was unique in my field and I had to become ok with that.

5 ways to overcome fomo in business quote by Nelson MandelaSwitch off!

When I realized that I was comparing apples or lemons and oranges, I knew I had to stop.

So what did I do?

I unliked.

I unfollowed.

I left groups.

I turned off notifications in groups.

I removed electronic temptation & for a few weeks I had to be incredibly mindful of not going for a sneak peek as to what they were up to. I had to value myself and my drivers (beliefs & values) more than my need to know what they were up to.

Fear of missing out on the next big thing

I admit it, I’m a tech geek & I have worked on the bleeding edge of technology & innovation in Government and it is COOL AF! I get the whole FOMO of missing out of being on the edge & catching the craze. So how have I come off that high?

Will this take me closer to where I need to be?

I had to learn to have dogged focus on my end goal. I had to constantly remind myself that that new shiny object may not be the be-all and end-all. It may not help me get to where I want to be. And…

I had to be OK with that.

Knowing where you’re going and being unapologetic about it helps give you blinkers and keeps you objective.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get FOMO over tech, and I have to look long and hard as to how it will help me – those pitches can be sticky.

Do I really need it?

5 ways to overcome fomo in business quote by Jack WelchHonestly ask yourself if you need it? Do you need that new course, or to attend that conference? Or can you buy in the experience and get it done faster or cheaper? Do you need that software? Or can your current ones do what you need if only you (or someone else) knew how to do it better? Do I need that new piece of kit/tech? No really, do you?

Just sit on it for 24-48 hours

Phone a friend

Read some bad reviews to counter your bias

Do an old fashioned for/against list

You may just save yourself some time and money in the long run. (I know, I’ve bought some stuff I regret. Just ask me about my microphone set up)

Fear of not having a competitive advantage

OMG, if I see another sale I’m going to scream. It seems like all the major stores are constantly on sale & that can pressure smaller business owners to think that that’s what they need to do to maintain an advantage. Be cheaper.

It’s not about what you want

You might think that your clients just want things cheaper, some do. Or they want stuff yesterday, some do. But seriously, what does your ideal client want? Do you honestly know?

What is their die in a ditch big problem that you fix? Is it saving them money or getting things to them sooner?

Do you know what drives them to action when it comes to what you do?

These are your competitive advantages! You will have a unique set which applies to your business. There’s all the chance that your competitors will be different, even ever so slightly, to your own and that is exactly how it should be.

Now before you claim BS. Just stop for a second and compare the different supermarket chains in your area or the different department or variety stores. They all do the same thing but they all have their competitive advantage that appeals to their ideal client. You & your competitors are no different.

Bonus

Sometimes the fear of being left behind can also be brought back to central feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt or low self-worth. I can promise you that you can get through that & I’d like to show you how.

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