Most mornings you’ll find me being dragged through wet grass by a small, noisy, hairy thing that occasionally stops to poop. It’s one of my favourite parts of the day!
I love it because it gives me time to chill after a (usually) frantic school morning. Meggy and I wait with Chloe at the bus stop, wave her off and then we head for the river.
This morning I was laughing at my crazy little puppy.
She LOVES the long grass so instead of sticking to the path, I always head for the ‘ruff’ off to the side (did you see what I did there?).
Meggy’s favourite thing is to run off to one side, chasing butterflies, birds, imaginary rabbits until she runs out of lead, then turn around and run and jump through the grass until she reaches her limit at the other side.
This goes on for an hour! She’s a happy puppy and travels about four times the distance I do, so she’s good and worn out by the time we get home.
This morning, watching her chasing through the grass, it reminded me of you!
Every week on my Facebook page, on Twitter and on my website I get questions from ladies who are struggling with their business. They tell me what they do and guess what? It’s not too much different from my puppy.
They Chase Any Opportunity, Willy Nilly
They chase around after opportunities, never really stopping to think if it’s a GOOD, RELEVANT opportunity that will help them build their business.
They aren’t picky, just like Meggy they get distracted by something flying by and they feel compelled to chase it.
Then they run of out steam, stop for a little while and then get distracted by something flying past in the opposite direction, so off they run again.
No wonder they are tired out!
[Tweet “Be picky about which opportunities to chase, or you’ll wind up exhausted and empty-handed!”]
They Have No Focus
Now I’m not sure Meggy would know what to do with a bird or a butterfly if she caught it but rest assured, she never will.
She has no focus.
She wouldn’t spend time trying to catch any one thing, she just runs after the latest thing to catch her attention.
Does this sound familiar?
How often have you sat down to get something done and been distracted by social media, texts, emails, a neighbour, in fact anything that is going on around you when what you NEED to do is focus on one thing and get it finished.
[Tweet “Distractions will wreck your business – you can’t build a business if you never finish anything”]
They Go The Long Way Round
I told you that Meggy probably walks 4 times as far as me, by the time she’s run backwards and forwards and out to the side, criss-crossing my path 100 times at least during the walk.
Talk about the long way round!
How many times have you gone the long way round in your business?
How many times have you had to re-learn something because you didn’t write it down the first time?
How often have you redone something several times because you didn’t plan it out before you started?
How much time have you wasted overthinking when you just need a clear vision and targets, and it would be obvious what you need to do?
[Tweet “Are you going the long way round in your business? Time to get clear on your goals!”]
So, my puppy and your business might have more in common than you think.
In Meggy’s case it’s a great thing that she tires herself out during our morning walk but for you, not so good!
You need to put your energy and attention into the thing that will make a difference in your business – the things that will take your business forward.
You don’t have surplus resources to waste chasing after ill-thought-through opportunities, being sidetracked by distractions or taking the long way round.
My challenge to you today is to learn from my puppy and do the OPPOSITE – leave the puppy approach to marketing to others who don’t know better!
If you loved this blog, I’d love to hear from you. Are YOU guilty of the puppy approach? Do you see other people doing it? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Love, Claire xx
If you’ve read my Business Secret Weapon and 5 Questions To Help You Create A Cracking Business Vision blogs, you’ll know I REALLY recommend having a vision for your business.
A business vision is a quick and easy way to get you focused, give you direction and stop you making bad decisions down the line when you’re busy. There are some business vision rules I always tell my clients, to ensure that they don’t stay stuck where they are. These rules help them create an awesome business vision that’s not constrained by their current circumstances – in other words, they need to be creating the business vision of their dreams, not the one from their backyard….
Here are a few rules to get you out of your comfort zone and into a place where you can create a business vison that is worthy of you and your amazing business.
1. Think Big
Go for something huge, impressive, inspiring!
A vision is not a little idea; it’s a great big thing. If you can’t go wild now then you’ll only get smaller later.
Put something really scarily big down as a first draft – if you want to become a millionairess and own a global chain of handbag shops, now is the time to write that down. If it’s not pushing the boundaries and making you smile (or giggle) in disbelief then you’re not trying hard enough :0)
What would your business look like if you had a magic wand and got it to where you want it to be? Not thought about it? Well now is the time. Write down any ideas about what your business might look like in 5, 10, 15 years and see which ones appeal. If none of them do, then that will give you food for thought!
2. Be YOU – Write From The Heart
This is you, your life and business. It’s about your desires, wishes, dreams and hopes for the future. It’s written for you – nobody else.
No one has to believe it or approve of it other than YOU so if it gets you excited, that’s perfect. Even if it contains things that other people have told you that you shouldn’t or couldn’t do!
You make up the rules. If Richard Branson had done things by the book, or Anita Roddick then two of the world’s most inspiring companies might never have existed. And who knows how many other amazing companies never came into existence because they were trying to follow the ‘rules’.
3. Be There
Imagine yourself in that place in the future when you have ‘made it’. When your business is exactly how you imagine it could be. Think about how it looks, who you’re with, what is around you, where you’re working from and who with, who you’re selling to, buying from, what you’re charging. Get real (in an unlimited sense!). This is the quickest way to get you there. The more ‘real’ you can make it, the more likely it is to happen because your thoughts and actions will work between now and then to get you there in person.
4. Be Quick!
Don’t agonise. Don’t wait for the ‘right moment’. Don’t sit and think. Don’t wrangle or get frustrated. Just write for 30 minutes and then stop. Don’t edit and don’t beat yourself up. However unbelievable (for now) the stuff is that you are writing, keep going because it will all make sense in the end.
Write everything down because the things you didn’t write might end up being the most important bits otherwise. Don’t be restricted by convention, don’t think about constraints, what’s happened to other businesses like yours, or anything negative. Just get your business aspirations, hopes and dreams down on paper now. If you need another 30 minutes then go for it but do it NOW!
5. Mix it Up!
Your life vision will include stuff out of your business vision and vice versa. It will all blend together because the two are interwoven. Put your passions into both and see how your energy lifts as you describe your vision.
6. Get that vision up on your wall.
Tell anyone who asks that this is your vision and you’re working on achieving it. Tell yourself that you are already on your way – it is yours to have and you can think about what it felt to be ‘in’ your vision when you were doing your initial brain dump. It’s yours for the taking.
It’s worth the effort, I promise – the clarity, inspiration and excitement you get from articulating your vision will keep you going on your most challenging days and the act of articulating it means that you’re already on your way!
This will be invaluable when you’re feeling emotionally battered (yes we all have those days).
Being a business owner is tough, and being a woman business owner usually means that we’re juggling a whole load of other commitments while still working on building our amazing business. Your business vision is your light at the end of the tunnel. Your holy grail. And imagine how amazing it will feel when you have to create business vision #2 because you’ve achieved it all. Yayyyy!
As you’ll know if you read my Business Secret Weapon Blog, having a business vision is a GREAT businesss decision. It gives you focus and clarity, it helps with decision making and it stops you getting sidetracked and distracted when life takes over.
Hopefully you’re convinced of the need to have some, so let’s get down to business and get that business vision started.
Here are five questions that will guide you through creating your business vision and prevent the ‘mind blank’, writer’s block and overwhelm that hits us when we’re faced with a project like this. They will help you create a CRACKING business vision that will get you motivated and focused and help you make loads more money.
1. What Does Success Look Like To You?
Think about it. How will you know when you’ve ‘made it’? For me this has changed as I’ve grown my business. Initially it was to have a part time business making 100k. I achieved that, so now it’s about the number of women I can help, about the income I can create and the time I can free up.
Describe YOUR idea of success: Use your imagination, instincts, and/or intuition to express your “big picture”. In other words, describe what it will be like when you have reached your ultimate business success goal.
You might want to create a business that you can sell on in 10 years that will fund your retirement. You might want something that you can hand down to your children. You might want to create a million dollars of income and then retire.
Write down what you want your business to become but make sure you include some big numbers that you can measure – turnover, income, profit, number of customers or whatever.
This is not your business plan– but you can use your vision to help populate your business plan and marketing plan because your vision is your destination, remember?
So with that in mind, fill in the details. It’s this thought process that will shape your business from now on and don’t let doubts cloud your vision.
When I have used visioning with clients, the outcome can be wildly varied. On more than one occasion, when we’ve got a little way through the vision process, the client has realised that the business she’s describing is not one that she likes or wants! This happens!
And it’s important to embrace this because it could stop you wasting time on something that is never going to work for you.
Better to think about it now than several years down the line. Think through the details and see how it feels and if it isn’t working, change it now!
2. Why Is Success Important To You?
Why do you do this?
- Why is it so important to you?
- Are you trying to make your life and that of your family better?
- Are you trying to get out of a job and go self-employed full time?
- Are you trying to help your community?
- Is it make or break otherwise you have to go get a job again?
What’s the driver behind you having your own business?
3. What Difference Does Your Business Make?
What difference do you want to make to your customers?
- What do you want to bring to the world?
- Do you want to make life easier for mums?
- Help kids have more fun learning?
- Help businesses to fulfill their potential?
- Make women feel gorgeous and get their self confidence back?
- Help them create a beautiful home?
It doesn’t have to be big and life changing but there will be a reason (or several) why this business will make a difference to the world
4. Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Who is most likely to buy from you? Who gets you? Who would you love to work with? Who’s a really good fit? I have podcasts and blogcasts dedicated to helping you get really clear on this but for now just think about what sort of individual or business they are, where you might find them, what problems you solve for them, they should all be easy to answer and you will DEFINITELY have one even if you haven’t sold to them yet.
5. What Are Your Milestone?
What are the achievements that you want to reach along the way that will show you you’re moving forward? For me they were each time I paid off a credit card or loan. They were each time I took a holiday. They included beign able to afford Infusionsoft as a business tool.
What are they for you? They might be to do with leaving your job to go full time on your business, or having an annual vacation. They might be to do with levels of income or free time. They might be related to covering school fees or buying a new car. They might be smaller milestones like getting a website done or working with a particular customer or client. They are personal to you and your business and they will keep you on track when you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed – write them down and tick them off as you achieve them – which you will!