Why You Must Go Backwards To Go Forward In Your Business
I had just sat down to a coaching session with a client when she announced that she had a ‘confession’ to make.
"I’ve decided to completely change my business model. The approach I’m taking at the moment just isn’t commercially viable."
**(just for your info, she's a print designer)**
She went on to explain that as much as creating her crafts by hand is hugely rewarding artistically, it just wasn’t a scalable way of working, and certainly wouldn't lead to the robust, far-reaching business she dreams of creating.
As we talked through it, what became clear was an overwhelming feeling of frustration.
Why didn’t she decide to make these changes one year earlier?
How much money and time would she have saved if she got to this point six months ago?
She felt like she was starting right at the beginning again, and that felt painful. I can empathise because I’ve been there before.
But here’s the thing…I will go there again (and I am going 'there' right now…)
But I don’t see it as starting from the beginning, and neither should you. I see it as a part of the very important process of evolution and refinement we all go through as business owners, and which is essential for us to grow into our true potential and reach the level of success we want.
There was my client, feeling all ashamed and down in the dumps at her 'revelation', when I felt like celebrating and calling for the champagne because I instinctively knew that she’d reached a HUGE milestone on a her journey as a business owner.
I knew (and thankfully she left our coaching session realising this too) that the moment she decided to change her business model she had just seriously turned up the gear on her business.
Because she was listening in hard to what was and wasn’t working, and having the courage to change and adapt.
She could have done what she had been doing for the past year- being artistically fulfilled but not be correctly financially rewarded for her efforts, and kept her head in the sand.
But as the saying goes “If you keep doing what you’ve always done you’ll keep getting what you always got”.
She realised that she wanted MORE from her business, and had made an empowered decision to change her approach to create it.
In my free audio revealing my ten secrets to thriving in your small business and 'solo' career (you can download here), I compare growing your own business to learning to sailing a boat. At first everything is new, we struggle to get up the sail, let alone catch the wind. Then suddenly we ‘get it’ and glide effortlessly forward because we finally figure out how to balance everything in a way that works.
But here’s the thing; we had to learn what doesn’t work first– where the wind isn’t, when the boat will capsize, how not to navigate the sail- in order to know what does work. The changes and tweaks you make in your business are just like those you have to make on the boat, all helping you to find your power spot where everything fuses together, you get in your flow, and effortlessly trail blaze forward.
The trick is to remember never to give up, that it takes time, and there’s an elegance and power in perseverance.
As small business owners and ‘solo’ career women (aka freelancers/ consultants- whatever you identify with most), the beauty of what we do is that we're accountable ourselves and it’s our prerogative to change/ adapt if that’s what we want from our businesses (did you just get a blast of Britney Spears then!?) It may not always be a decision that’s initially financially driven- it may be inspired by wanting to get the most fulfillment and enjoyment out of what you do.
But remember if you’re aligning your business to capitalize on your passions and what you love doing, you’re going to show up as the bright, happy, connected you- and being happy is one of the sure-fire ways to create the success you want. Customers and clients want to buy from and work with happy, radiant people! As Buddha wisely said: "Success Is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful"
So, next time you feel like you’re taking a step backwards or one huge sideways leap and like the path forward is a million miles away, remember this is all a part of the journey of being a business woman. You’re just finding out how to navigate your boat, and feeling your way to the wind. And you will get there, I promise.