As I sat with my client yesterday I asked him how he would grow his business to the next level. He looked at me for a moment and then said: “I have no idea”.
As business owners, it’s so easy to either get comfortable and stay doing what we have always done or feel frustrated that we are unable to do more. Either way, we aren’t growing our business and/or becoming more successful. As one of my mentors says:
Success is more likely if your business goals are closely aligned to the way you want to live your life. – Ann Hawkins, New Business, Next Steps
Are you ready to grow your business?
Hopefully, you answered that question in your head with an emphatic yes! Now, dear reader, I can’t possibly know where you are on your business journey…although if you’d care to take a couple of minutes to comment and tell me, I would love to know! The reality is though that it doesn’t matter if you are thinking of starting a business or you are an experienced business owner…the point is that you are ready to grow your business now. If you aren’t ready, bookmark this article and come back when you are.
The secret to growing your business
I have spent many months listening to amazing business owners, reading business books and taking all the information in. I would like to share with you the one thing that has transformed my business and helped me grow it 300% in 12 months….slow down. It sounds like a cliche doesn’t it? But it’s true. Here is what slowing down and taking things step by step does:
Reduces the overwhelm
Let’s go back to my client for a moment. I asked him the question: “Thinking about where you see your business in 5 years time and where it is now, on a scale of 1-10 what score would you give it today?” He gave it a 6. I replied: “Brilliant, that’s a great starting number, now, what would you need to do to make that a 7?” He paused and gave me two really simple things that he could do immediately.
So often we feel we try and juggle 50 spinning plates and learn new things as small business owners. That is in addition to serving our customers/clients/audience. This can result in feeling overwhelmed and the antidote to that? To slow down, take a breath and choose one thing that you can do. Make it purposeful and inline with your overall vision but take the smallest step you need to take in order to get moving again.
Challenges your standards
The second part of the challenge I set my client was to let go of being perfect. As a general rule in order to be successful in your goals, you need to meet a minimum of 85% completion. We all make mistakes, as business owners, employees, parents, human beings. That’s how we grow. If you have stagnated in your business, that’s ok, acknowledge it and forgive yourself.
I have a gremlin who sits on my shoulder when I am procrastinating on something which says “you don’t know what you’re doing” or “who do you think you are trying to do this task?” and so invariably I ignore it, put it off or never start. There are times when my hand is forced and I have to take the plunge…Facebook Ads was my most recent example of this! Do you know what? It was OK. I learned from it, it wasn’t perfect but no-one died. I understand the system better and each time I improve.
If you are suffering from perfectionism remind yourself of a time when you did something new, ideally something that wasn’t perfect. What happened? What did you learn?
Allows you to celebrate your successes
When we slow down we have time to reflect. This allows us to improve and tweak our goals and learn from our mistakes but it also allows us to see how far we have come. Whether you have recently made the decision to start working for yourself, you’ve got a new client, reached your goal or you have passed a milestone as a business owner it’s important to celebrate our success.
Perhaps you want to go and buy a memento or maybe you want to gift yourself an experience or break. Whatever you do, choose something that makes you feel awesome.
What will you do to slow down this week?