Heart-centred business Archives - Kara Lambert

Category Archives for "Heart-centred business"

Why social media for business

So what are the latest tales of woe you have heard about social media and business? I usually hear, “Facebook Reach is dead”. I’ve heard, “They’ve changed the way posts appear on Facebook”. I’ve heard, “Twitter wants to allow us to edit tweets”. I’ve heard tales of woe about IGTV and stories. I’ve heard grumbles about the increased use of video on LinkedIn. They all complain of the same thing, social media isn’t working for us any more – it’s the technology’s fault.

Hang on just one minute! Have you heard the saying, ‘A bad tradesman always blames his tools’? Sure these platforms are free and we get what we are given. But did you ever stop to think that it’s also a matter of we get what we give?

Here are some other things I’ve heard non-business owners say about social media lately. “I went to restaurant XYZ’s Facebook page, they hadn’t posted in 18 months. I wonder if they’re still around?” “Why am I just seeing ads, I can’t see my friends?” “I always feel like they’re after my money” “I know I saw it here somewhere *scrolls endlessly* but I can’t seem to find it, it was really good but I’ve forgotten where it was from” Think about your time on social media personally, what do you think and say?

Now think again.

Why is your business on social media?

Is it to sell to a person? Yes

Is it to gain new customers (people)? Yes

Is it to educate people about your business so they will either buy from or recommend you? I’d hope so

When you look at these three questions the central theme is PEOPLE. This is ‘why’ businesses get on social media.

Somewhere we’ve lost track of this and focused on the ‘how’. The how being the social media platform.

But there are so many “hows” out there and they change. The why remains the constant.

Simon Sinek tells us to start with why.

Why not focus your social media efforts there first.

Why does the person you want to buy what you’re selling use one social media platform over another?

Why do they use social media at all?

Why would they choose you over any other business and not just your competitors? Why should they spend $20 with you rather than spending $20 on their pet/child/partner?

To reduce customers to numbers, even social media ones, is to turn them into conquests on a bedhead. We are not numbers nor are we conquests. We are people. Just like you.

The skill in this is realising this has nothing to do with you and your business and everything to do with the customer and their “why”. Do not make this about you, remember that you do not have to convince you to buy from you. So make it about them.

 

Not sure how to do that?

You can read this article.
You can download this free checklist.
You can book a FREE 30 minute strategy session.
You can access my hour long training.
Or if you want something more personalised, we can work one on one in a deep training to help you connect &engage with your client on social media.

Customer satisfaction improvement tips

So the customer satisfaction survey results are in and Management come back with the standard, “Customer Satisfaction is slipping. YOU need to get it up!” How often have you been told that you need to lift the customer satisfaction rating for your area, team, or business? Then shook your head and wondered just how to make it happen. There’s no magic wand or crystal ball for this one. It’s totally out of your control if they’re happy with you because you’re doing everything you can; special offers, follow up, personalised service. You’ve pulled out all the stops for the customer. You’re giving it all you’ve got!

Traditionally, improving customer satisfaction takes on the form of “What else can we give them?” or “What else do they need?”

What if I was to tell you that there were 2 more effective ways of improving customer satisfaction than throwing more money and things at the customer. (metaphorically speaking)

What if instead of concentrating on just improving the product or service we focus on improving the people involved? I know it’s a bit odd, but hear me out.

The customer’s role in improving customer satisfaction

Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to go back and ask them exactly what they want because we all know that if you asked 100 people you would get 100 different answers. So rather than asking them what they, let’s look at what draws a customer to a brand and keeps them there. This is the aim of customer satisfaction – customer retention. We know it’s cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one.

So what draws a customer to a brand and keeps them there, or better still, turns them into a raving fan?

There are 3 parts:

  • Appealing to their self image
  • Exclusivity
  • Incentive

The beauty of these three things is that even exclusivity and incentive require no financial outlay. We often believe that exclusivity and incentive mean giving more or offering discounts.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines exclusivity as:
1. the quality or state of being exclusive
2. exclusive rights or services

And incentive as:
- something that incites or has a tendency to incite to determination or action

Neither of these definitions imply the need to offer a discount or bonuses. In fact, research shows that the best incentive is to tell people the action you want them to take.

I’ve developed a simple checklist and you can download it here.

Staff’s role in customer satisfaction

Now this one digs deep into psychology, so I’m going to ask for a little patience as I take you on a journey backwards in time. If you think it’s all about the staff making sure that the customer is always right & giving them what they want, I have a surprise! It’s not! Let’s get started!

Research shows that happy staff means happy clients. Seems logical right? So what makes happy staff? I promise you it’s not pay-rises, free food, basketball courts, or beanbags. Sorry staffers!

Happy staff comes down to staff seeing a clear relationship between what motivates them and what motivates the business and what it achieves.

So if it’s not money and perks that motivate staff, what is it? Well I’m sorry to say that it is different for each person. We are all unique! But through time & experience, I’ve brought it back to a set of five key motivators. Understand these for your staff & align them to your business and you will not only have happy staff but you will also improve customer satisfaction.

So what are the five motivators?

- Fears
- Needs
- Beliefs
- Values
- Desires/Goals

Yes we are all driven by these 5 things, yes they differ between people, yes they matter to us. Yes it seems stupidly simple but research is research and when you think about it, it makes sense.

So how do you work these out? Well you do have to have conversations with your staff and you do have to have a very clear idea of the motivators of your business – so it takes work. But here’s another thing to consider…

Happy staff are more productive. Happy staff have less time off. Happy staff become raving fans. Happy staff stay with your company saving your on churn and labour hire costs.

So there’s an added benefit to increasing customer satisfaction. Not only will the want to buy more, and will buy more. (Oh didn’t I mention that research?) Your staff will be happier and you’ll save money & make more money.

If you’d like to know more about these motivators and how I used it to improve staff happiness, productivity, & customer satisfaction; I have a short instructional set available on my website.

If you would like to speak to me more on this and how I can make it work in your business, you can book a FREE consultation here. Additionally, I am available to speak on this topic to your team or at your conference.

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Why Client Avatar work fails and what is missing

Until a bit over 2 years ago I had a real problem with the standard client avatar work available. Many many years ago, in my previous business, I did a beta test of an online coaching program and had my first introduction to writing my ideal client profile. I hated it! I had to name them, detail their demographics, outline their day, it was even suggested that I found a photo of them and print it out. Something felt wrong.

Here’s the thing. With a degree in psychology, I know that we are more than what we do. I understand that diagnoses and labels give us meaning and structure to our lives, it makes things easier. But labels are just that, they stick on top of a number of behaviours and/or symptoms which make up the labels.

So what's the problem with traditional client avatar work?

Standard client avatar work reduces people to a list of labels. I don’t know about you, but I’m more than the labels society puts on me. Yes I am a mother, daughter, sister, wife, graduate, business owner; but so are many other women I know. Does that mean that we are all the same? Does that mean that all of our behaviours are the same? No!

What about my other demographics? I am a woman in my 40s with two teenage children. I’m married. Does that mean that I behave the same as any/many/most married 40 year old Mum of 2 teens? No!

So why do marketing experts and business owners still believe that these client profiles based on labels work? At best they are generic, but how are they used and what lies behind them?

These avatars are used to help business owners with their marketing and messaging. They exist to help with what words to use, where to focus marketing efforts; but where does this come from? The business owner’s interpretation of the labels. And this interpretation comes from their lived experience and opinions of these labels. This interpretation comes from our biases. What if they’re wrong?!

So what happens when a business does a standard client avatar exercise and finds it doesn’t work, and I have had many business owners in tears because this is the case but they were lead to believe it would work and was crucial. Their marketing efforts are misguided, they don’t make the money they feel they should, they are demotivated, and some even close their businesses believing they were a failure.

All because they relied on labels rather than what sat behind them.

Deeper than the client avatar

So what sits behind the labels?

Behind the labels are the behaviours, the actions. What drives these behaviours and actions? Our motivators. What drives our motivators? Our culture, our education, our lived experience.

The old ‘nature vs nurture’ conundrum has puzzled scientist for decades. Why can identical twins raised in the same home behave so differently? Researchers ponder why two people experience the same event differently, even down to developing trauma as a result of the same event. It’s individual differences.

However, marketing believes that demographics and labels is enough of a definition for a client avatar… even though scientists have grappled with individual differences for decades.

A new type of client avatar

So how do we account for individual differences in our client avatar? Can we individualise and yet be able to speak to a group?

I believe the key is in defining what lies beneath the labels. Looking at the unique behaviours of that particular mother of teens you have in your client avatar. What motivates her? Look deeper into her behaviours than how she fills her day, that’s what she does. Look deeper into why she does it, why does she make a particular choice, where does that come from?

When businesses are able to define and speak to these deeper motivators, they connect to their audience at a deep interpersonal level. You speak to your ideal client in words they understand at their core because you are using words that drive them to take the action they do, make the choices they make. You connect to them as an individual not a set of faceless demographics.

That was what I felt was missing in the client avatar work I did those years ago. Connection. A connection at a deeper interpersonal level. A connection like we were sharing a moment where commonalities were found and friendships were made. A place from which strong connections grew. A place to build a long lasting and expanding connections. A place to communicate from. A point of connection from where I could motivate a client to action because I showed them that they were understood, that they could know me, like me, trust me and then they would work with me.

 

Handling Overwhelm and Success

I wanted to tell you a little story about feeling overwhelmed and being a success. You see they often travel as a pair and they make strange bedfellows. The problem is that often we allow the feeling of overwhelm stop us from progressing further to success and I’ve been thinking about that lately. Let me tell you a story.

Hubby & I are preparing our home for sale. We’ve owned this home for 20 years, raised our kids in it, renovated it, and it’s safe to say that there are a few foibles we’re happy to live with that others wouldn’t. So we’ve (ok he) has been putting in a lot of work to get it ready for sale. The big one has been painted.

Having raised our kids through toddler-dom since the house was last painted, it’s safe to say the house was looking a bit tired. It’s also a 2 storey house making it no small effort. I’m not a good painter, so this task has fallen to hubby and he has been feeling utterly overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, even after 3 solid weeks of working at the task.

Yes, we could have paid someone to paint it top to toe, but let’s face it, the $$ involved in painting a two-storey house is not insignificant. That said, hubby has realised his limits – like a double height ceiling – and has called in a professional to do some of the tasks.

The other day he was walking the contractor through and showing them what had been done and what remained. It dawned on him – he had achieved a lot. Then the magic happened, he was no longer overwhelmed by the task around him.

Do these sound familiar in your success journey?

How often are you so focused on the goal that you forget the journey? How often do you concentrate on all the things you’re yet to do that you forget those you’ve achieved? How often do you lament those you’ve not been able to accomplish that you miss out on the hurdles you’ve crossed?

It doesn’t matter how often I tell my hubby that he’s too hard on himself, he won’t see it because he has such high standards. We’re no different as business owners. Our need to exceed expectations, grow our businesses, achieve our goals blind us to just how far we’ve come.

What can you do to overcome overwhelm and celebrate all success?

I use a weekly celebration post in my Facebook Group to openly celebrate our achievements. There are no rules around it. Some weeks I write ‘surviving school holidays’ because that is an achievement when you’ve got school-aged kids.

I’ve been bullet journaling since the start of July (the new financial year) and each weekly layout details the tasks for the week and includes a gratitude spot. At a glance I can see all that I have achieved, personally and professionally, and a piece of gratitude. I don’t judge how many crosses I have made, some weeks are harder than others. What it does give me is a visual reminder of just how far I have come.

I’ve got a task for you.

I want you to grab a pen and paper or the voice recorder on your phone and I want you to list the things you’ve done today, this week, this month.

I want you to look around the room, look at the photos, look at the trinkets, look at your family at think of how far you’ve come.

I want you to celebrate you and your achievements. If you start thinking of all that is left to do or left undone, stop and refocus on the things you have achieved.

You deserve to celebrate your achievements. You are accomplished. You are a success.

Compete business

In business, do you compete with all the others or do you stand alone and do your thing? When times are lean do you console your colleagues saying how you’re finding things tough or do you stand alone and do your thing?

The other day while on my morning walk, I noticed that only a certain type of wattle was in bloom. It was beautiful – bright yellow against a sea of green. It’s Winter in Australia and there really aren’t too many other native flowers in bloom at this time. That said, there are still native bees and native birds looking for food and that’s when I had a thought about the wattle. It’s smart.

Come Spring and Summer, the Australian landscape will be awash with colour. If there are late rains there will be even more blooms around. That doesn’t bother the Wattle. By Summer time, the wattle’s seed will be ready to fall, some may have germinated, and it will be saving up its energy for Winter when all the other plants will be dormant. It’s not bothered by the other trees and shrubs in bloom. It’s not competing with them, in fact it’s ahead of the other plants in their cycles.

That made me think about what I had heard with other business owners.
“It’s end of financial year, no one has any money.”
“It’s holiday season here in Europe/US no one is around.”
These were tales of lack and woe. I’m not saying I’m immune. I lose clients each year in the lead up to the end of financial year. It used to bother me, now I realise that there are always better opportunities about to come by.

 

So when business quietens down, what to do? Do you do as the other businesses do and sing a tale of woe? Or do you do your own thing and bloom?

I know what I do, I learnt it many years ago now. In my last business, I spent far too much energy looking over my shoulder watching what my competitors were up to. I’d be angry when they copied or went straight to my big clients. I was forever feeling anxious.

The one day it stopped.

I decided enough was enough. Time to stand alone and bloom like the wattle. I decided to forget what they were up to and play my own game and concentrate on my own clients. That’s right, I even stopped worrying about the ones who walked. Why? Because the ones who stay are the ones who deserve my time and energy.

So, when you find that other businesses are feeling the pinch and times seem lean, do you join their tales of woe and shut down or do you stand firm like the wattle and bloom in the knowledge that when the weather fines you will be ahead of them?

 

What is human-centred social media?

Over the past six months I’ve attended a few social media conferences and there’s one consistent trend – human-centered social media. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you will know that this is actually nothing new to me. In fact, I first wrote about this back in 2014. I have to be honest, I didn’t think I was that much of a ground-breaker and I hoped that it would take less time for the idea to filter through. Clearly I was wrong. Anyway, what is human-centred social media and why should we care?

Human-centred social media is more than benefits and WIIFM

Guy Kawasaki quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologySay what now? Ok, so some of you might be surprised and others will be scratching your head wondering what I mean and some will be high five-ing me. Let’s start with those scratching their heads.

WIIFM, or what’s in it for me, is the principle of perspective taking and looking at what the client gets out of the transaction. Benefits are a business looking at the features of their offer and telling clients what they will get out of it. It’s essentially two sides of the same coin. However there is no guarantee that they will match or align in any way.

I have to be honest there are two main flaws in this approach:

  • Who has time to assess benefits against needs as a customer?
  • It seems a little shallow.

The vast majority of the time I hear this, businesses will talk about outcomes and benefits. I really don’t believe that’s putting the client at the centre of their social media, I feel they are putting their offer at the centre. As clients, there is so much more that drives our decision making than outcomes and benefits and in fact, there are a lot of things which go into these alone.

As a customer, when presented with a list of benefits, I still have to match them with what I want to achieve or what I want. I’m still trying to work out if the offer is the right fit for me. I’m not at the centre of this transaction.

At this point, some of you might think that this is awfully self-centred of me. But stop and think for a moment whose money you’re trying to acquire. It’s the customers. Do you want to raise doubt in their mind? Do you want to make it hard for them to part with their money? Then it also raises the question of how you even come to understand them anyway???

Personally, human-centred anything comes back to putting the following at the centre: what drives us to do what we do, know what we want, make a decision, spend money, like/comment/share. I believe that human-centred social media is more than what we are being told it is. In fact, I know that it’s more than what we are being told because there is a whole heap of psychology which drives what we define as a benefit or ‘what’s in it for me’.

Matt Goulart Quote human centred social media Kara Lambert social media marketing coach psychologyI want human-centered business practices, not just social media, to be a strategic focus. I firmly believe that it’s good business practice and not just some fluffy feel good add on or differentiator. We rely so much on people, people power, and goodwill. The thing is, I believe that taking the approach I advocate is a strategic focus as it looks at people at their base level, their psychology and their motivators.

I believe it’s time to move social media marketing away from a focus on the platform and the tools, to the person you’re aiming for who is using the social media. This is human-centred social media. By focusing on the person, the platform becomes somewhat irrelevant. By focusing on the person, we can address them the same way across platforms. By focusing on the person, we can continue conversations more fluidly between platforms and off of them. By focusing on the person, we reduce the overwhelm felt by business owners trying to understand the platforms. By focusing on the person, our message becomes clear. By focusing on the person, they feel understood. By focusing on the person, they don’t have to guess how we serve them. By focusing on the person, they are more closely aligned with our brand. By focusing on the person, they are more engaged. By focusing on the person, they are happier with the service they receive. By focusing on the person, they are more likely to buy from us. By focusing on the person, we grow raving fans.

How do I define human-centred social media? I define it by looking at what motivates us. I believe that there are five key motivators of any and all human behaviour. I’ve put together this 30 minute training package which outlines precisely what these motivators are and from there you can use them in your human-centered marketing to align and motivate your clients to action. You can purchase access to the training through the online shop. If you have any questions or would like to interview me on this, please contact me via email at kara@karalambert.com.

business bullying

There is a growing trend online in attacking business owners. Frankly I’m sick of it. I’m not talking about disagreeing on things or complaining about a product or service. What I am talking about is the growing incidence of bullying of business owners online. So what do I mean?

The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) define cyberbullying as:

Cyber-bullying or stalking occurs when someone engages in offensive, menacing or harassing behaviour through the use of technology. It can happen to people at any age, anytime, and often anonymously.

Examples of cyber-bullying include:

  • posting hurtful messages, images or videos online
  • repeatedly sending unwanted messages online
  • sending abusive texts and emails
  • excluding or intimidating others online
  • creating fake social networking profiles or websites that are hurtful
  • nasty online gossip and chat, and
  • any other form of digital communication which is discriminatory, intimidating, intended to cause hurt or make someone fear for their safety.

They also go on to say that while not all cyberbullying is criminal, there are penalties of up to $30 000 or 3 years imprisonment for serious offences. They also say that all Australian states & territories have laws against stalking.

So while all of these legal protections are in place, my concern is actually why it happens in the first place and what business owners can do.

So while ACORN list what bullying is, it’s interesting to look into what fuels the behaviour. Especially when it’s unprovoked by the business owner. What do I mean by unprovoked? I’m talking about instances where the business owner is bullied by someone who hasn’t bought a product or service and experienced poor workmanship or service. In fact, the often benefit from the free material and their attacks are personal in nature. They could have consumed a whole liturgy of free material, without fear or favour, and then attack the business owner out of the blue.

So why do people bully?

The person doing the bullying wants power or control over the person they are bullying.

But what drives their need for control or power?

I will continue to say that we have 5 key motivators: beliefs, fears, needs, goals, and values. When we become out of sync with these motivators we become stressed and this can manifest in many ways. The two main ways we manifest stress is either internally or externally. Bullies are externalising this imbalance.

So some researchers say that the need for power comes from stress, trauma, learnt behaviours, insecurities. Some of this is an expression of fear. Fear of losing someone, fear of losing control. Some of this is a poor belief and value structure. That could be low self-esteem, that the business owner should be able to take it, that it’s online so it doesn’t matter, that you can’t read tone into online comments so it’s ok.

What I believe is that while they have fallen out of sync with their core motivators, they have also dehumanised the business owner to the business. The sad thing is that they want to be seen as an individual. They are generally personally affronted by something the business owner has done and attacks because they don’t feel like an individual, doing precisely what they feel has been done to them – dehumanised.

In the end, we need to realise that regardless of if the relationship between the business owner and the individual is going well or is a bullying one, we need to remember that there is a person at either end of this. Dehumanising is destructive. To fight this, I encourage business owners to stand up against this. Report the bullying activity to the social media platform (if the bullying is on the platform), report it to the Internet Service Provider if it’s via email, report it to the police, and/or report it to ACORN.

Finally I want to encourage the community as a whole to reclaim the term keyboard warrior from these people. These bullies are not warriors. Warriors protect, defend, and serve. Warriors are strong. I want those who stand up against online bullying to claim the term ‘keyboard warrior’, for we are the warriors in this.

Stay true to your passion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Binary beliefs and business

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

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

So what do I mean by binary beliefs?

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

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

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

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

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

So how is this binary belief a problem for business?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making the most of the spare time

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

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

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

Where has all this spare time come from?

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

“Kara, make the most of it!”

 

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

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

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

Re-evaluate

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

Tackle an idea

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

Plan

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

Create

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

Chill

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

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

Make the most of it!

 

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

 

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