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
I 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
If 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.
“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?
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.
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
I 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.
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.
Never 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Here’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
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.
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
So 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.
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.
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
My 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.
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!”
“Business is so confusing!” And the overwhelm begins…
“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!”
And 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.
The solution when you’re in deep
Please hear me out.
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!
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?
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.
When I realized that I was comparing apples or lemons and oranges, I knew I had to stop.
So what did I do?
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?
Honestly 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?
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.
I want to share with you a little personal story about my own Imposter Syndrome and public speaking.
You can keep reading or watch the following video I recorded on it.
So recently, I was invited to travel interstate to speak at a social media conference. Thankfully, for me, I actually I don’t have a fear of public speaking. But that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t caught out by fear. And I wanted to show you that I walked the talk, and how from my experiences, you can learn something that will help you, hopefully, when you’re confronted by fear. So let me go through this. So I was invited to speak. I was travelling on Wednesday speaking on Thursday, travelling home on Friday, comes Tuesday, the day before I was travelling.
And I started to get really anxious.
I couldn’t concentrate on the work that I had to do, I was quite grateful that a lot of clients cancelled their appointments with me, for their own particular reasons, which gave me time probably wasn’t the best thing for me. Because what it meant was that I had time to think, not always the best thing. It got to a point that I started revising and reviewing my slides.
Most of you would probably think that that’s a good thing.
But for me, it’s not you see, I’m speaking about something that I know a lot on. The psychology of social media, and how to tap into the client, your users’ psychology and had leverage that online.
So what happened was, I was reviewing the slides going over them, and the more I went over them, the more nervous I actually got.
Now I could feel that building up inside of myself. And so I realised that I broke the pattern. And I actually took myself off for the rest of the day, I shut up shop, and I went out, I left my desk, I had to do that I had to actually change location. So that’s the first thing that I wanted to get you guys to think about. One, notice how it feels in your body. If, for example, like me, you’re starting to do things over and over again, you’re starting to second guess yourself, and just starting to check and double-check things that normally you wouldn’t do, because you actually know what, then this is a sign that you’re starting to get nervous and fear is starting to take over. And you need to break the pattern and do something else.
That was the first one.
The second one was on Wednesday night.
OMG, They want to talk to me!
Wednesday night, there was a pre-dinner conference. And what I thought was going to be justice speaker dinner turned out to be a speaker and VIP event, which meant that attendees bought tickets and access to the speakers. I was actually incredibly anxious by this. I was okay with going and meeting all of my speaker colleagues. But having VIP access to me maybe a little bit nervous, it kind of blurred the lines of who stood where.
So, I spoke to a trusted colleague and friend who speaks internationally and speaks on social media. And what he said to me was Kara, it’s not about you, it’s about them look at it as them buying consulting time.
So here’s the next thing I wanted to tell you about. Get off self, it’s not about you as a speaker, or it’s not about you, as a business owner. It’s about your audience. And when your outreach into them, think of it as a service to them, and not as a way of them accessing you and your product, turn it around.
And then came Facebook!
The next thing was, I actually spoke after Facebook, pretty big shoes, I had to feel. So I was sitting there in the audience watching Facebook speak. And the two women that were speaking for Facebook, they were nailing it, they owned the stage, they were brilliant, captivating, and had everyone’s attention.
And sitting there, I started to feel incredibly nervous that I could not make the grades.
Once again, the problem was, I was making it about myself. So the third lesson, more of a reminder than anything, get off self. Especially when you’re speaking to somebody if you’re doing video even, it’s not about you. It’s about the audience that you’re serving, they don’t deserve your nerves. They’re not here for your nerves are actually here for your knowledge. So it’s not about you and get off self.
All the eyes!
The fourth instance that I had, where nerves took over, was at the pre-dinner awards ceremony. The fourth time that nerves took over, and this is only in the space of three days, was at the post-conference awards ceremony. So that was a formal dinner. And I walked in, and I’ve got to be honest, I felt that every face in the room was staring at me, I was set on the head table. Because I’m a brand ambassador. I was also an award judge. So I was given a different position to the awards nominees.
So, I was looking around the room, and people were looking back at me. And I felt that I was being judged. Not for what I was wearing or looked like, but as if I actually even belonged there! “Who was I to be there?”
Later in the evening, ironically, I was announced as one of the brand ambassadors and invited up on stage. And later in the evening, when I’m turn around the room, and I saw people looking at me, they seem to be looking at me differently. Now, the storeys that I had in my mind was at the start of the thing that we’re thinking, “Who is that woman? What is she doing here? I don’t know her? And why is she on the head table?”
And then after I was announced, I felt like it was more of a story of all I know who you are. And that’s where your place is. “Well done. Kudos to you.”
The fourth lesson I want you to know about fear is that our brain is incredibly clever. It will fill in the gaps of the facts and the knowledge that we have with the storeys that we tell ourselves. I don’t know that those people looking at me at the start of the evening, we’re actually thinking that they could have been looking past me for all I know, they could have been admiring something about me. But my brain filled in the gaps based on my storey and my self-doubt, and went, Kara, they’re judging you. And then afterwards, the story had flipped to power, they know who you are. And they’re looking at you differently.
Remember, your brain is smart, it will fill in the gaps for you with this story that you play. Sometimes that story’s wrong.
What I wanted you to get from this is that I’m not immune to fear, it still creeps up on me.
Yes, I’ve got these four tools in my tool kit. But the only way that I’m able to get them to work is through one additional tool. And that is being mindful. The only reason why I was able to pick up on these points is that I’m able to see the signs and then act on them.
So what I’m encouraging you to do is like me on Tuesday, tapping into how feeling nervous or feeling fear actually feels in your body. And when you feel that, stop, cut the cycle.
If you’re feeling fearful, and you’re about to go and do something for somebody else, stop realise that this fear is actually you putting the focus on yourself, not on them.
And finally, if you’re feeling fearful, or judged or doubting about your own ability, just remember that what you’re doing is filling in the gaps in the story.
I hope this has helped. Let me know in the comments below which of these tips have helped you the most. And if you’ve ever been in a similar circumstance. If you’re looking to talk to someone about overcoming fear, you can book a FREE 30-minute session, to learn these and other tools, right here: https://www.bookme.karalambert.com/
So how do you really get stuff done in your business? What motivates a business? What are a business’ motivators? How, at its core does a business become a success? You can watch this short video or read on…
Business success comes back to the ability to get people to what the business wants and needs them to do.
Let’s go back to basics and look at some scenarios. By breaking down what happens when we need someone to do something into 3 parts:
I/the business (Person A) need
Insert person doing the thing I need and in this case it’s the client (Person B)
To do (insert thing X that I need).
It looks kind of like this:
For my business (Person A) to succeed I need more clients (Person B) to opt in to my funnel (thing X).
For my business (Person A) to succeed I need my staff (Person B) to perform a task (thing X).
For my business (Person A) to succeed I need me (Person B) need to provide direction (thing x).
Too often in business we focus on what we as Person A need or the outcome or output we desire, Thing X. We focus on these things because this is what we need to grow our business, for our business to be successful. However we forget one crucial part.
What are we doing wrong with motivation and engagement when it comes to business success?
Here’s the truth, the business is not the one doing the action needed to produce Thing X. It’s not the focus.
Thing X is the outcome or output, until someone takes action and does it – it remains un-done.
Person B is the person taking the action. They’re the person in control here.
So why have I made them paler in the image? Because they are invisible to most businesses.
Businesses forget that it’s up to Person B to decide if Thing X will be done or not. That means that not only they are in control but also that Person A is reliant on Person B being motivated to do Thing X.
Let’s refer to the earlier examples.
Clients (Person B) are the ones who are motivated and decide to opt in to Person A’s funnel (Thing X).
Staff (Person B) are the ones performing the task (Thing X) for the business (Person A).
I (Person B) provide the direction (Thing X) for my business (Person A).
Without Person B taking the action, Thing X never gets done. So how do we get more of Thing X done? How do we improve staff engagement? How do we motivate staff? How do we increase client engagement? What motivates clients? How do we increase our personal engagement? How do we motivate ourselves? How do we improve our business success?
We stop making it about Person A and Thing X and make it all about Person B!
How do we motivate people?
We need to appeal to what drives them to do things. Anything!
Here’s the thing. It’s not money. It’s not bonuses. It’s not as hard as you think.
We humans are simple beings and there are 5 things which drive our behaviour.
Our Fears stop us from taking action.
Our Needs are our core requirements.
Our Beliefs are the stories we’ve been told through our life which become our truth.
Our Values are our guiding (moral/ethical) compass.
Our Goals are the things we seek for ourselves.
These are the things which guide our behavior.
They also stack like that.
If someone is behaving from a place of Fear, you’ll find it difficult to get the to behave from any of the other drivers.
If someone is behaving from a place of Need, appealing to their Values won’t make them do any more.
If someone is behaving from a place of Beliefs, appealing to their Goals won’t sway them.
If someone is behaving from their Values, appealing to their Goals won’t convince them any more.
To drive the action we need and desire in business we need to focus on what drives the person taking the action.
Are you time poor? Running out of time? Feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Keep watching because I’m going to share with you the two things that have made the biggest influence on my time management.
Before you start thinking how is she pressed for time, I bet she doesn’t even have kids. I actually started my first business when my kids were toddlers, I was in a high stress corporate position which regularly took me out of state and I was studying for an MBA. No I don’t have a nanny or live in help (other than hubby). Yes we all survived, including my marriage.
But I just don’t have the time! I’m time poor! I need more hours in the day! I wish I had a magic wand and could give you more hours, I don’t, but I do have ways to make it feel like you do have more time.
Time Management Hack #1
Here’s the thing, if you constantly think and feel that you don’t have enough of something; you won’t! It really is a ‘glass half empty’ approach to time management. Consider this, you have a friend who is always negative, they can not see the good in anything; always moping, bad things constantly going wrong. If they can only see the negative, that is all they will find.
So, now think about time. Yes I know we all have the same number of hours in the day, but how do you value and see those hours? Do you believe that they will slip through your fingers, do you think they will whizz by; or do you think you have all the time you need, and that time is on your side? Which would you prefer?
This is the first thing that I did which totally changed how I made the most of my time.
I changed my mindset. Look, I have a couple of playlists on time theory but I want to break it down for you.
If you think you have enough time, you will. If you always worry about not having enough time, you won’t.
I know it sounds stupidly simple, and yes I have days where the old ‘not enough time’ mindset creeps in, but I catch myself.
How do I fix it?
One deep breath and a simple reminder that “I have all the time in the world to do this” and I do!
Now if you’re a bit of a procrastinator and just thought “brilliant! Now I have more time to do nothing in”, well you’re technically right but let’s tackle that procrastination.
The first issue is why you procrastinate and generally that comes from fears. Things like fear of failure, imposter syndrome, perfectionism. Addressing those is a whole other chat. But let’s tackle that never ending to-do list! How did I get around that?
Top Time Management Hack #2
I admit that my to-do list used to stop me in my tracks. It was my biggest source of overwhelm. It never got shorter because I kept adding to the bottom. Until I did this one thing.
I started a bullet journal.
Don’t stress, it ain’t pretty. This thing is a practical time management and also business management tool. In it I have what drives myself, my business, & my clients. I do my quarterly business activity planning. I have a monthly calendar and I have a weekly day-to-a-page. I can hear you asking 2 things. I don’t have time for that and couldn’t you just buy one?
I wanted everything in one book, one place. That was part of the overwhelm. My planning and actions were in different spots, on separate pieces of paper. I needed it all tied together with a bow.
It’s been a work in progress, but I’ve now got it to a fine art. The most it takes is about 90 minutes when I am ruling up a new quarter plan, new monthly plan, and a new week-to-a-page. That’s it and that’s only 4 times a year. I spent more time than that looking for those documents, printing, and updating.
The week to the view shows me my business tasks and family commitments in one spot. I also track action items from my quarterly plan, income generated, and what’s coming up next week.
The ‘what’s coming up next week’ is brilliant because I can then move tasks into the current week to make better use of my time.
What this is is a visual of my reverse engineering my week. I start with the non-moveables, add in the tasks due, add in any other tasks carried over, and then I can look at any time left over to decide if I want to take that as time off or schedule in some other work I’ve had on my “to-do” list. (not that I have one any more)
Doing this bullet journal keeps me organized. It reduces the long list and allocates it out. It keeps me on track with the business objectives and it keeps me in line with what drives my business. A perfect Type-A personality working life to be honest. A place for everything and everything in its place!
So take one mindset shift that says, time is mine and add in one killer way to organize said owned time and that overwhelm is a thing of the past.
Have you heard of Einstein time? Do you use it? Leave a comment below. Or leave a comment with your favourite time management hack.
Developing a quiz for my business is something I’ve put on the backburner for a long time. While I enjoy taking quizzes, the idea of building one for my business seemed all too hard and not a priority among all the other promotional or marketing activities I really need to do. I have even had a go at the quiz builder on my website, but it definitely fell into the too hard basket when I realized there really weren’t any templated “here’s one we did earlier” quizzes. That’s where Interact quiz builder has come to the fore.
I was invited by Interact to test their quiz builder and that I did. I have to be honest, as a busy solopreneur I need something that works off the bat and does a lot of things intuitively, Interact is good at this from the start.
Testing the Interact Quiz Builder
I do enjoy filling out personality quizzes and I knew that a well designed quiz was a great way to get people into my funnel so that I could build a relationship with them.
Imagine my surprise when I could even choose the quiz category I needed for my client base! I did browse through coaching first as that’s my business type. So don’t be fooled by the categories you get to choose from, just focus on what your clients are interested in. In my case it’s social media and brand identity.
Having a strong template designed quiz meant that I knew that all of the logic behind the scenes worked and that it had a tried and tested lead generation design too. All very important to the success of quizzes to your funnel strategy.
I have to be honest, it’s been years since I’ve written a questionnaire. In fact, I think the last time I did it was when I was doing my psychology degree. So I class myself as a beginner when it comes to online quiz building, but experienced in logic and online design. Rather that trying to learn how to put it all together, I wanted my first test of the Interact quiz builder to be of the platform (not my skills as the quiz builder). So I took the easy way out, and it was, and I went with a templated quiz all the way.
I was mindful that I didn’t want my templated quiz to look like everyone else’s so I was glad that I was able to customize the quiz in a number of ways.
I purposefully went through and added an image to each page of the quiz, including the cover page. I was happy to see the range of the free stock images I could access to personalize my quiz.
I was able to change the wording of some of the questions in the quiz builder to better suit my audience and I was able to easily add additional answers to my questions.
Word of advice if you’re adding answers in to a templated quiz.
DON’T FORGET THE BACK END OF THE QUIZ BUILDER.
Interact make it easy to add how your new answer correlates with the personality type it matches. It’s as simple as point and click!
After toying with the idea of sending each personality group to a different resource. Which would have been easy enough as there are spaces for each to be sent to a separate page, I ended up doing a redirect on all three to my free Facebook Group.
Why to my Facebook Group?
Well in the integrations I already send them to an email list, more on that, and so I wanted something simple, familiar and where they can get to know me and what I teach on a deeper and more personalized level. Let’s face it, anyone can send you to a free resource/download, it’s a place where you’re personally welcomed that puts a smile on your dial.
I run my lists through Mailchimp and it was nice to see it among the numerous options. Take a look!
From here I added tags to my list and then used these to segment the responses in Mailchimp. Why did I do that?
Well it means that I can send a personalized email sequence to the different personality types. I can customize my offers for the different personalities. I can even shift people through the tags as they move through my value ladder as clients.
I did briefly play with sending specific answers to a specific Mailchimp List or tag. Now this is marketing gold! Imagine being able to niche down on your audience and automate based on their answers to a quiz. Now that takes personalization to a whole other level!
Now I chose not to add my quiz to my website as it’s about to go through a major overhaul. The other thing is that most of my audience don’t hang out on my website, sad but true story. So instead I decided to share the love of my new Interact Personality Quiz on my social media channels.
A much nicer place and it’s a place where people are used to answering quizzes. Let’s see a show of hands who has fallen down the rabbit hole of answering a string of Facebook Quizzes or Instagram Quizzes? So that’s where I promoted my new quiz.
I have to admit, I was a little puzzled to see the G+ logo still there. Yes, I did test it. No, it didn’t work.
When I shared to Twitter through the Interact portal, I had the option to Buffer my post. (I love Buffer) So what I did was selected my Pinterest profile, chose the board I wanted to add it to, the image etc and the rest was history. It was really easy. The good thing is that it was scheduled rather than going out at the time I was sharing from Interact quiz builder – which to be honest wasn’t the optimal time for my audience. (Just because I was playing with a quiz on social media in the middle of the afternoon, doesn’t mean that my ideal client was there waiting to join in the fun!)
I did share to Facebook, the integration was a little clunky but it worked.
Final Thoughts about the Interact Quiz Builder
The platform is a simple way to stop procrastinating and actually add quizzes as part of your lead generation strategy. I liked the way that I could take a template, add some images, change the text and really personalize the experience.
The categories took a little thought, only so far that I needed to think of it from a client point of view (check out the coaching quizzes to get an idea of how I realized this).
The integrations were over and above what I was expecting and a pleasant surprise. They seem to have thought of everything! I liked that I could put a Call to Action or a Redirect on my quiz – it was my choice. I loved that I could add certain question answers to specific list – marketing gold.
I would love to try the various website integrations, especially the bar.
Speaking of bars, keep your eye on the save bar up the top and make sure you save after every step.
I would like to see a Buffer integration as I came across the Pinterest work around through sharing to Twitter. Oh and a native Pinterest sharing option would be great too.
Even if you’re not in the EU/UK, I liked the GDPR compliance. Here in Australia, I don’t expect it will be that long until we follow suit.
Overall… My advice to other business coaches is if you want something different from your standard downloadable opt in, then these quizzes are a great option for getting leads into your funnel.