Archive for Your Personal Success Recipe

Aug
10

Getting Over Getting it Right

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Our school system trains us to get the right answer. “Being wrong” is a bad thing and leads to lower grades, disapproval, and feeling inadequate or like a failure.     As children growing up in this society, our self-esteem and confidence is shaped to large extent by how well we do in school.   For anyone who does not learn in the usual way, who has creative abilities that do not fit the mold, or has some kind of learning disability, this can be very damaging to that person’s self esteem—unless they are lucky enough to have understanding parents, a teacher or other mentoring adult to encourage them and acknowledge their unique gifts.

How does that translate to business, or especially self-employment?

The pressure to get it right, and only feeling valuable or successful when you do is a disaster.   Why? The biggest reason is because there is never one right way to  create a successful   business, there is never one right answer, there are always multiple paths to success.      The only requirement–and there are  as many ways to do this as there are unique individuals–is to  make sure your income exceeds your expenses,  ie, make a profit, in order to continue to stay in business and support yourself and your family.

Trying to be right can lead to several major time and energy drains.   One is perfectionism…where you can’t get started unless it’s perfect.   The perfect website, logo, mission statement, etc.   Or you get started but keep correcting, tweaking and revising because again, it’s not perfect.   How do you even know if it’s “right” “good” or “perfect?”

A cousin to that is analysis paralysis—over analyzing your statistics, strategies, or competition and not taking action.   Also in the family is the “Impostor Syndrome”—where you never feel like you know enough and somehow you are just ‘faking’ your expertise.   That in turn leads to “BSO” syndrome—chasing the latest bright shiny object.   The latest social media tool, the latest information product, course or coach.   And you know what that leads to, right?–the dreaded Information Overwhelm.

Bottom line is you can really get bogged down, even stuck in place by trying to be right.

Yes, there are proven business models, of how to run a profitable business, that will work better in particular industries.  Even within those models, there are many ways to ‘get it right’.   That’s where our creative genius, our fresh perspectives along with sound advice from mentors and those who’ve already succeeded, and listening to our intuitive and body based knowing, all of this  comes in handy.    

To get the most useful answers, start with a useful question.   That question is NOT  “what’s the right way?” but “what is the best service or product to focus on, what is the optimal business model, and way of operating that works for me and my clients? What makes sense and gives me a sense of “YES” or green light, GO,  given my current  resources of time, money and energy, my personal style and strengths, and the type of business and client I serve, at this point in time?”

I’m certainly NOT saying that you should not spend time learning from others, analyzing your market and looking at how you can best attract and serve your customers or clients. But some of the best learning you will do is by learning in action.   Staying in your head or planning a business on paper won’t actually provide the feedback you need to grow and maintain a successful business.  

Look at the different areas of your business and see if you are stuck anywhere on ‘getting it right”..and what do you need to get unstuck? Is it really more research, information or coaching? Or is it just letting go, letting things be good enough, and sending the arrow off into space?

I invite you to let go of the rigid chains of being right and having to be perfect, and enjoy the playground of creative ambiguity and trusting your gut!

Feb
12

Success from the Inside Out

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In my last post, I ended with this statement:

“The most solid foundation for your success comes from—can you guess?—you.  ”  

I confess, I’m an “inside out” girl.   I believe your success starts from the inside out.   You can be so much more effective when you  know and understand yourself and how you operate..a missing ingredient for many people.     When you know who you are, you can easily filter in what works, and filter out what doesn’t, based on your personality, learning style, and time constraints.  

Knowing yourself   gives you decision making criteria so you can sort through the marketing pressure and hype.   You can tell whether a particular  business model, marketing technique or  info product is   something that you  can actually use and benefit from.

In these times of  information overload, and the vast  array of marketing options and ways to design our businesses, it’s even more important than ever to understand  who you are,   and how you operate, what your values are, and  who your target audience is.      

Why? Because the Bright Shiny Objects are getting brighter, shinier, and more plentiful by the day.   As the number of information products, trainings and channels to market ourselves mutliply, so does the need to discriminate, to know who you are and to have an internal navigating system.   That’s  ever more  critical to staying focused, on track and making some money.  

Making money?   Oh yeah..that!      

Clearly there is much to  learn,  and clearly there are plenty of people willing to teach us. But even good business advice comes in different flavors, and we have to find what works for us. The problem is that every “guru” has a different recipe for us, and it’s so easy to run from pillar to post, following the latest advice.

Ultimately then, you need to find your own internal home base.   A place from which to sort through and choose a business model and marketing strategies that make sense for YOU and YOUR business.   From home base, you are grounded in yourself, and know  your priorities, values and who you are.   

That gives you the  power  to navigate through your own “gremlins” or vulnerable areas, like perfectionism or feeling “Not Enough”.   You can  find that   sweet spot where you are not yet perfect (and don’t have to be) but know that you are indeed “ready enough” to take action.

Are you ready?   Then come back to visit here often…and in the meantime, watch out for those Bright Shiny Objects!

To your success and sanity,

Ellen

Feb
11

SoloPreneur: Know thyself first!

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Are you rushing breathlessly ahead with your business plans and marketing without  a clear vision, strategy and plans of action?   Are you putting the How before the Why?

Here’s my response to an  excellent  post by Richard Goutal on his  blog,  Fitting the Pieces, which is about collaboration and internet marketing.     We met at  the Online Revenue Workshop together in Las Vegas, with Jeannette Cates and Connie Ragen Green, and I am very impressed with his knowledge and generosity.  

To succeed in any business–especially as a solopreneur,  we need to have clear answers on this:  who am I, what strengths   and talents would I enjoy offering in a way that meets my customer’s needs?   Who  am I trying to serve, and what is the best way to reach that audience?

Following the clarion call to “Take Action Now!” many seem to rush   ahead or get caught up will-nilly with the latest Bright Shiny Objects.   It seems especially true with  internet marketers. With all the hype, the constant email barrage about the latest technology we MUST (or are intimidated into believing we need) in order to succeed..and all the things we feel we must know about before we can start a business, it’s way too easy to put the How before the Why.     That’s the   double edged sword of online  businesses where there’s a relatively low cost to get started and a plethora of   models to choose from.  

Can you imagine trying to create an offline business without a clear idea of what you were selling or who you were selling it to?   No one who had any serious desire to succeed would even consider that.

I’m not taking a stand against  taking action.   We all get it that  without action,  the best made plans of women and men will languish in our idea journals, or on our hard drive.    For those of us that may be more introverted, analytical or slower to act…getting lost in inquiry and introspection or even planning and generating business ideas, can be a trap,   where we can get bogged down for years.     Trust me on that one.

Discrimination is key–taking the right action, the strategic action, the action that makes the most sense NOW and will get us where we want to go faster and easier..that’s the challenge.   How much to plan, how much research to do, before we jump in? When is someone ready, or ready enough, to get their business into motion?

Perfectionism and the need to have it all figured out in advance can be a huge obstacle.   Here’s a very different philosophy, which I heard Michael Port express when he was building his Book Yourself Solid platform: “Ready, fire, aim”. That certainly has worked for him.

But I don’t think it does for most people.    

The most solid foundation for your success comes from—can you guess?—you.      

Yup.     It’s that simple.   More on this next post!

To your success and sanity,

Ellen