Thursday, November 27, 2014

Letting go of the perfection trap

For several months now I have been talking about doing webinars. I even invested in software to do it, and read the manual which in itself is a feat as I don't usually "do" manuals.

But have I delivered a webinar yet?  Eh, no.  So what is holding me back?  I could say that all things technical intimidate me, and while that would be true, if I dig deep, it is more than that.

I want to have all my ducks in a row.  I want to make it failure-proof.  In other words, it needs to be perfect before I take this leap of faith and put myself out there. I know I am not alone in this need to have everything just so, and I have to remind myself it is just a one- hour webinar, not a death-defying exercise.

I am often the person encouraging others to take risks, to step out of their comfort zone and move forward.  "Make the mistakes," I say, "you will learn from the experience." Perhaps it is time I took my own advice. Perhaps I need to give myself the benefit of the doubt, and got out of my own way and just do it.

At our recent retreat, I had the women set goals for themselves for the next two months, and assign a deadline by which time it will be done.  So when I mentioned the webinar idea, just in passing I might add, the entire group pounced on it, and in unison asked me when I hoped to achieve this goal?

We all laughed because they had nailed me.  But it also served to show that no matter how confident we may be or appear to be on the outside, there is often that little voice inside chiding you for your ambitions.  "Like, who does she think she is?"

What would I say to someone else? "Just take baby steps in getting towards your goal, so that by the time you have to do it, the whole activity no longer seems so threatening.  You are running the show, you know what you have to do, and yes, it may not go to plan, but think of that sense of accomplishment when it's done.  Let go of perfect."  

Wise words, i should listen to myself more often. So ... I have unpacked and dusted off the gear that I need, got my slides ready, and asked for help (another hard piece) in working out the technology.

Will I achieve my goal by the time assigned? Realistically, probably not, but that's OK too, because I am taking those baby steps to make it happen.  You see I have this great coach, I just need to listen to her more often:)

As Elizabeth Gilbert said in a recent interview, "imperfection never stopped men from putting themselves forward, so don't let it stop you."

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Message received, and understood

What do Arianna Huffington and I have in common?  We both did a face-splat that served as a wake up call that we were doing too much.

As I heard Arianna, when she was in Toronto, describing the scene of her fall, so much of what she was saying was similar to what had happened to me.   Apparently she fell in her office and was found in a pool of blood, so was I, but I was outside in the dark of the night.  She’d had a cut on her head that had to be stitched, I had a cut that was glued together. She broke some cheek bones, so did I.

But it is the wake-up call part that truly struck me.  Now I don’t have a big empire or the resources to support my business, however, when you have an accident or fall, you do have to look at why it happened, and I suspect in both our cases, we were running on empty.

She made some life changes and advocates having a break from technology and some alone time.  My break from technology has, I admit, been more forced upon me as for the past week, I have not had access to the Internet.

Now my email has been working – thank goodness – but no sharing great information on social media which is part of my morning routine.  No posting events or checking member information for our website.  And on a personal level, no checking on potential gifts for the holidays.

Like anything else, it is not until you don’t have something, that you realize how integral a part of your life it is.  I feel I have lost a friend.

On the other hand, my freed-up time has enabled me to do other stuff – like work on our book Enough, planning new programs for 2015 or … wait for it, just reading a book.

It has made me realize that I need to build this time into my life on an ongoing basis, and delegating out the website posting to someone else has been less painful than I thought.  You know what… I am not the only one who can do it.  Now there’s an eye-opening discovery.

I often believe things happen for a reason, we just have to look for the lesson to be learned.  So like Arianna, I am seeing this reprieve from life in the fast lane as a gift - something I need to do more often, especially now winter is here, because I don’t “do” winter.  I tend to hibernate. So finding more work that I can do from home quite suits me.

And what am I choosing to read – Thrive – by Arianna Huffington – after all, we’re now kindred spirits.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

What’s your radio station?

I ask because at our Health Practitioner’s Network meeting today, our speaker, Gloria McDonald, talked about how when we are operating at one station, it is hard, no, almost impossible, to attract “listeners” from another station.

What did she mean?  As small business owners the message we send out will often dictate who we recruit as clients or customers.  So if we are operating on a low, uncertain frequency, not everyone will hear us, and our vibe may be viewed as negative rather than positive.

Whereas if we are sending out positive, confident messages, then we attract those that believe in and want to work with us.  In other words, if we are discouraged by our business, or have lost interest, or feel frustrated by the demands people place on us, potential customers are quick to pick this up, and we can turn them away, rather than turn them on.

As Gloria advocated, we need to look at the subliminal messages we send out as they impact how people react to us.  It is all about the power of intention.  If we have determined that we want to achieve certain milestones, then we need to focus our thoughts and energies on that goal, because then, it will all happen.

The key is the focus and intention.  But first you have to determine your goals, and be as specific as possible, as only then can you assess if you have achieved them.  When you focus your energy on what you want out of life, you meet the right people and opportunities appear that allow you to realize your dreams.

So look at the radio station you are striving for.  Is this the level you want to achieve?  Are these the listeners you want to attract?  Then make sure your message will deliver.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Do you charge what you are worth?

Pricing is such a tricky challenge when you own your own business.  I know when I started my consulting business, I was nervous about charging too much, but as my business and confidence grew, I realized I could In fact charge more.

So I raised my prices and was surprised to find that my major clients didn't bat an eyelid, which of course made me think, I should have done it earlier!

At a recent conference, speaker Brendon Burchard, raised the issue of valuing ourselves and how it impacts how we do business.  As he pointed out, our financial situations should not impact what we charge for our services or products.

I know for years I held myself back from charging more, because I didn't  " want to make money off women's backs." However, one of my colleagues challenged me pointing out that what we offered was of value, and therefore had a higher price tag, but I know I still struggle with this, as I want what we offer to be inclusive, not prohibitive.

So much depends on a couple of issues:-

1.       Our attitude to money, and its worth In our lives
2.       How much we value our time, expertise and what we have to

Yet, one lesson I have learned is that free isn't valued and more times than I can count when I give stuff away or offer a "deal" it isn't valued and sadly, some  people take advantage of my generosity.  

But that leads me to an “aha” moment I had at our retreat last year.  We were talking about money and what we’d learned from our childhood.  My father grew up in poverty, but went on to become a successful entrepreneur.  He never forgot his humble beginnings and was generous to a fault, always helping people out.  He was a dragon, before there was even a den and supported several people in getting their business off the ground.

I was raised believing giving back is important, which it is.  I still live my life with that mantra, but I was taking it too far, in that deep down, I felt guilty making money, and keeping it.
So take a look at your attitude to money, it can impact how well you do.  Also do the math.  How much does it cost you to deliver your product or service.  Make sure you factor in all these costs into your pricing.  You also have to look at the marketplace and what people are willing to pay.

But as Brendon Burchard said “when you question your self worth, it impacts your net worth.”  Start with that.