If you’re running your own business, you’re going to have days, weeks, even months, when Life Interrupts and shifts all of your best laid plans.
Of course, the beauty of being your own boss is that you have a great amount of freedom and flexibility, so how do you roll with it when all those plans go awry?
Here are 3 simple ways to ride it out with as much ease and grace as possible:
1. Let Go
Planned on getting that sales page done? Wanted to finish writing those final chapters of your book? Hoped to attend a networking event? Set up to shoot that video series? Write your new free taste? Offer a new program?
But then Life threw a wrench into your plans and so nothing happened. A child or a parent is sick and needs you, your computer died, you got the flu, your child is having trouble in school, you’ve had a fight with a loved one, or some other emotional or physical upheaval has occurred.
I’m a planner, and I’ve learned, especially once I had the kids, that things don’t often go to plan. And if I don’t want to be frustrated and stressed, then I need to be flexible and patient (and yes, that’s still hard sometimes).
The only thing you can do when your heart, mind and energy is needed elsewhere is to go with it.
Let go of the plan and go where you are needed.
2. The ‘One Thing’ Rule
I want to share with you one of my secrets to my enduring success that you can apply when your plan gets knocked off-track or you find yourself with little time to work on your business.
Ask yourself this one simple question:
What’s the ONE THING I can do today to move my business forward?
When you simply don’t have the capacity or the time to work your plan, there is often one thing that you can do that will make you feel that you accomplished something in that day, which will help to fortify you moving forward.
3. Get support
Of course, sailing more smoothly through troubled waters requires support – family, friend, colleague, mentor, and business assistant support.
When Life is tumultuous, reach out for the support you need to help you through. Whether it’s a shoulder to lean on, a vent session, an emergency call, or adding another team member – reach out and support yourself by asking for whatever kind of help you need.
And remember, tomorrow is another day. 🙂
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – share them with me below…
Connecting with my colleagues on a Facebook thread recently, there was a conversation about business coaches who post photos of their big houses, exotic trips, private jets (ok, that’s mostly just Frank Kern (and it’s so totally him, I can handle it)), and of course, the obligatory convertible shot – not that there’s anything wrong with that – I have a Jeep and I’ve taken my own top-off shots to share. 😉
But this thread was more about using these lifestyle photos in ads, mostly all of them with the promise of a 6-figure+ income.
(I still don’t get the ad that shows a pair of red high heel promising coaches how to get more clients – what do those spiked heels have to do with growing your business?)
I’ve been in this business for 15+ years, and I’ve watched the market become saturated with every form of business coach imaginable (general, sales, marketing, social media, etc.).
Basically it’s coaches coaching coaches on how to make money coaching.
Being around the block for awhile, I’ve sensed and seen the bubbles bursting (remember those $100k programs?) and this one is most definitely brimming.
It’s already happening – coaches who are closing up shop, moving from entrepreneur to employee again, deciding it’s time to do something else.
And that’s ok…
But if you’re a business coach who’s actually good at what you do, then the ‘everyone’s a (business) coach’ conundrum can hurt you.
So how do we stand out and thrive and not be part of the bubble when it bursts?
Show your credentials
I don’t necessarily believe that you have to have an MBA to be a business coach, but if you do – tell people.
If you have a successful background in business BEFORE you became a coach – tell people.
If you’ve logged time doing what you do successfully for yourself and your clients – tell people.
I earned my MBA in Leadership. I’ve been in business for myself in one form or another since 2001 (really, since I was 12). I was on the Board of Directors for a university for several years, helping to grow its strategic marketing and financial standing. I was a senior level public relations and marketing director. I’ve been in sales. I have credentials in the field of business law. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients who’ve successfully built businesses of their own – both on and offline – for over 15 years.
I’m going to continue to be successful because I actually know what I’m doing. There, I said it. And you should say it too.
Do things differently
I absolutely believe in following a proven system or process to get started in business. There simply are foundational pieces that must be in place and critical operations that must occur as the business grows. That’s true for ALL businesses.
And then there’s the point of customizing for growth. That’s when your coaching needs to be customized for your clients.
And if you do that, make sure you let people know.
Not just in terms of helping your client to create something that’s truly in alignment with who they are and their work and purpose on the planet… but also if you do the running of the business differently too.
Yes, I customized, particularly with my private clients. And I’ve saved my clients thousands of dollars by sharing with them how they can get the same result they’re looking for, for a far lower expense, in regards to their business operations.
And I make it ok for them to do so. I don’t tell them they have to hire this certain person, or invest in this particular service, or buy this piece of software or equipment, or else they aren’t ‘playing big enough’ – ugh.
I run a lean business (<$500/mo) and make very good money on the other side. My clients do too. If you do these things for your clients, make sure you tell people.
Diversify your clientele
When meeting someone outside of business circles and asked what I do, I usually reply, “I’m a business coach” because it just makes small talk easier.
When asked who I work with, though, this is where it gets interesting…
While there was a period of time when many of my clients were business coaches (though they may call themselves something more specific) who were coaching more business coaches who were… you get the idea… over the last several years, my private clientele has become much more diversified.
One client focuses on helping nurses reconnect with the passion they once felt for nursing so they can enjoy being a nurse again.
Another client empowers her clients to follow their soul’s guidance so they can lead an expression-filled life of joy.
Another client is coaching women leaders to be the leaders in their own life.
And another is taking her success with owning and operating two Montessori schools online, through offering a way for families to bring Montessori teaching into the home.
In fact, none of my current clients are coaching coaches on how to make money.
Make sure that your proverbial client eggs aren’t all in one basket either.
Do your due diligence
Just because someone spent $5k on a photo shoot or have fabulous aerial videos shot from a drone doesn’t mean they know what they’re talking about when it comes to helping you succeed in your business.
I know more than one business coach who had THE photos done – full glamour shots – that really give off the impression of wealth and success… and yet, I also know they’re drowning in debt and can’t pay their bills.
On the other hand, I know another business coach who invested in the most amazing drone-shot videos for a recent launch of his program. Did his ‘impression’ live up to his promise? Yes, and then some… how do I know? Because I invested in that program and it’s been worth every penny.
So it’s not to say that a coach who’s spent money on professional, polished, branded, even slick marketing isn’t worth your hard-earned cash – just know WHO you’re investing in before you do.
Do your due diligence.
Business coaching is always going to be a viable enterprise, but as the industry evolves, especially in this virtual arena, it’s up to us to have the gumption to stand out, stand up, and show up, if we want to thrive outside the bubble.
(click play to listen)
Mo chara (my friend),
Have you ever taken the time to notice the plot twists of your life?
Those defining moments that change everything – either a lot or a little.
We all have them – some of those moments for me were when my mom surmounted a childhood belief that she wasn’t wanted and chose instead to value her own existence, even in the face of danger; when a treasured mentor disappeared unexpectedly from my life only to return 7 years later at a place neither expected the other to be; the letting in of someone who was destined to break my heart, but being able to recognize the soul connection anyway; a breakdown on a street corner in Helsinki when I finally realized I was the only one responsible for my life; finding out my father had cancer the first time – and all the other times since; being fired from my last job and taking the leap into entrepreneurship; the saddest moment of ending my first marriage even though it was right for both of us; saying yes to another man with the absolute knowing it was for a lifetime; deciding to have a child and the heartbreak and stress of it taking so damn long to conceive, then having another and it NOT taking any time at all, all while learning how to be a parent…
Every single moment happened because I needed to grow – and the Universe was going to either push me out of the situation or pull me forward into something else to make sure it happened one way or another.
And every single time, it was scary as hell.
If your current situation feels something like this, it’s probably time for a new level of growth for you too.
Maybe this is not a new feeling for you. It’s likely this has been nudging you – or eating at you – for awhile.
And maybe you’re scared. That’s normal. The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’… as cliche as that sounds – it’s also true.
And whenever these pivotal moments happen – whether they are put upon us or we make a conscious choice that changes things, it’s also normal to worry that things are going to get worse instead of better, that it won’t be positive growth, but a downward spiral to something else you don’t want in your life.
And sometimes that does happen – it does get worse before it gets better.
That afternoon in Helsinki when I realized I was truly on my own, I had to go dark for about a year. I barely connected with my family or my friends. I had to go inward, to see if I had it in me to stand on my own two feet, to face ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ so that I knew, in the depths of my being, that I would be ok, no matter what.
And all of that was necessary in order for me to grow into the woman who could, in fact, stand on her own (and then had to learn how to let someone else help her again – thank goodness for a patient and secure husband), who could make choices that were her own, not someone else’s, to be a successful entrepreneur, to be a significantly better wife the second time, a reconnected and loving daughter again, and a pretty good mom most of the time.
But how do you know when it’s time for this kind of a shift?
You know. You know right now reading this if it’s time for you. Don’t you? 😉
But if you’re unsure, check in with how you feel. Think of the current situation where you feel it might be time to move things in some way. How does its current state make you feel?
For example, if you’re feeling stuck and stagnant in your business, is it because you need to just take some time away to regroup and refresh so you can come back with renewed energy?
Or is it more than that? Has the feeling of being stuck and stagnant, fairly unmotivated, less creative, all-around less jazzed about your business been poking at you for some time now?
Does your brain say ‘keep the status quo’ but your heart says ‘dear one, it’s time to move on’?
If this is resonating at all, you already have one foot on the train to the next stop on your soul journey.
And if other people are noticing that something seems different, whether they can put their finger on it or not, that can be an indicator that it’s time to get your train ticket to your next destination. And, it needs to be said that even if they don’t like it, remember that it’s not theirs to be bothered about – it’s yours. Your life, your heart, your spirit, your business, your body, your everything.
If this is landing, it’s probably time to take a gentle jump forward. By gentle, I mean, be kind to yourself and take it one step at a time. By jump, I mean into some thing or some way of ‘new’.
The first thing that came to mind to you just now is what what you need to do.
Yeah, you say, sounds great, Alicia, but what about the FEAR?
Well, you know what I’m going to say, right?Feel the fear and do it anyway.
Because that’s the only way.
The fear is always going to be there, it’s always going to try to keep us safe and in status quo, in our comfortable minimum.
But the only way we’ll ever live the extraordinary lives we’re meant to is to recognize it for what it is – fear – and move forward regardless.I remember when I left my last job, making $43k a year with benefits, and going out on my own, with no safety net. I was also deeply in debt, cut off from my family by choice, and living with the constant stress of not enough of anything.
But I also knew if I held onto that little spark of hope, I could do anything. Somewhere deep inside, I knew I would be fine. If I just kept at it, kept putting one foot in front of the other, and keep moving through the fear, all would be well – eventually.
And through it all, I rose. And I’m on the cusp of the next rising. And so are you.
You’ll need to take a deep breath, give your fear a nod, and step forward towards the next place in your journey.
Have faith. Trust. Watch as mountains move for you. Watch as the light illuminates your path.
I’ll be watching too.
PS: Looking for some support and guidance for your business (and life) growth? I’m here -> Simplify & Amplify
It’s a very windy and wavy day at the lake today – I’m about to get blown off the beach here!
But I’ll take it over the oppressive humidity of yesterday. YUK.
Which reminded me of a moment that happened between James and I during the summer almost 10 years ago…
He was up for a job in Georgia… and he’d often tease me that he couldn’t move me below the Mason-Dixon line because I’m not a fan of the heat or humidity.
But we were seriously considering that move – we’d already enrolled Chloe in a Montessori school in Athens, GA, in fact.
But there was one conversation we had that made the final decision for us. We were here at the lake, and out to a rare dinner alone while my parents babysat.
He said, “I can take this job OR I can believe in you and your business.”
My business was a fledgling at the time, and even though my desire was bigger than my doubt, I still had my moments of uncertainty.
It was his utter belief in me that cemented it for us – and as you may know, we didn’t move to Georgia. And my business became quite successful over the next couple of years.
You have to truly believe in your ability to make your desire your reality AND it helps immensely to have someone who believes in you too – especially when you’re just starting out or when it’s hard or scary.
If you don’t have that utter belief, if your desire is not bigger than your doubt, then there’s some work to be done – and I invite you to consider joining me at Simplify & Amplify so I can help you with that.
Click here to learn more…
It’s easy when it’s flowing, right?
When your cash flow is stable and predictable, when your expenses are covered and there’s money to spare, when you’re planning vacations or home remodels or other ‘up-lifts’ to your life.
That’s when it’s easy to pay attention to your money.
It’s when you’re struggling month-to-month, when your program isn’t filling, when your offer falls flat, when you start scrambling to make the next offer because, well, you need the money – that’s when it seems easier to not actually look at your bank balance.
But here’s what I know (and you probably do too):
If you don’t pay attention to your money, it will demand your attention – and usually not in a good way!
I’ve made huge strides with my money mindset over the last 15 years – from huge credit card debt, defaulting on student loans, owing back taxes, and a credit score so low, FICO wouldn’t even give me a number, to personally debt-free, student loans paid off, taxes in good standing, a very good credit score that allowed me to co-sign on our mortage and buy my Jeep (two things I could not do the last time we bought a house and I needed to buy a new car).
None of that happened overnight, of course, but the more I paid attention to my money and the more I cleaned up my money mess, the more it flowed – and the easier it came too.
I’ll be talking about money throughout our retreat this fall. We’re going to work on not just identifying the big boulder(s) that are impeding the flow of money to you, but I’m also going to share with you what I do that increases the flow every single time it starts to slow down.
And it’s not just one thing, and it’s not just intellectual concepts – these are real things I do that I’ll be teaching you as well. They’re simple but powerful ways to increase the actual flow of real money into your business and life.
Oh, and if you register early enough, we’ll be playing with some of these in our private Facebook group before the event too. 😉
Click here to find out more
PS: Know you need to clean up your money mindset/mess? It’s overwhelming when we don’t even know where to start. But I’ve got you covered…
The super-early-bird rate is available for a limited time so be sure to check out the page asap –> http://www.simplify-amplify.com/