What a hell of a year since the lockdowns started. Let’s not sugar coat it, this has been one huge, turbulent and tiring ride. Happily, it’s one that has also taught us a hell of a lot. So we thought, why not put a list of some of the biggest lightbulb moments together. It's short and punchy but will hopefully get you reflecting on what you learned and can implement in your life and business in 2021.
The more we pursue business for our reasons, on our terms, the more energy as business owners we have and the better clients we attract. Being you is enough for your tribe.
This lesson has been hard learned. Unfortunately, we all can find ourselves distracted by the approval of others. If they are the wrong people this is especially problematic. Obviously you want your clients to approve, but not everyone is your client. The more you focus down on serving your key client, the more you realise that your service and your mission is enough.
The more ambitious, purpose driven people I’m around, the more it powers my efforts.
My experience in business is that the more I try to do things on my own, the harder they are to execute on. Whether you get "stuck in your head", or simply need sounding boards to help you move forward, having a network of people on a similar journey is hugely valuable. Note though I said similar. Variety is the spice of life, and the fuel to real insight. Look beyond your circle or industry as much as possible.
Every client of ours has something deep and important they want to accomplish beyond just making money. The purpose gets you up every morning, through good and bad. Chase it.
You don't have to shout about your purpose (but if you want to that's great too). But don't be scared of it. If your business is affecting any positive change on the world then you are a business of purpose. Focusing on that positive change (rather than the pure exchange point) will help you make decisions more aligned with what is important to you.
You don’t need everyone to like you. You just need some people to love you and see your business as invaluable. If you are focused on helping them you will become something that they can't do without, and that is the entire point of any type of enterprise. Yes there are other potential clients, but the more you focus on your tribe, the more they will value you. (and bring others along).
It limits your value, it makes you feel undervalued, it promotes further discounting .. and on and on. If you are highly valued you can charge high prices. One huge issue with discounting is that you ultimately feel discontent because you know you are undermining your own value. No one can be happy with that.
No one can build and scale your business but you. But if you are also delivering the service you will ultimately need to take on two jobs not one. This is not sustainable. If you want a big business you either have to work on it, or in it. Choose which one, then hire accordingly. A great book that covers why you should focus on doubling down on your strengths and hiring for your weaknesses is "Rocket Fuel". Read it if you want to scale your business.
I found a great psychologist in 2020 who helped me make big changes. I can’t believe I held off for so long. Help is at hand if you need it to manage like I did. The reality for a lot of us is that the professional and life journey can take a toll. It is completely fine to admit that, and then manage it. Seek help, talk to people, you deserve to be at your best.
It’s hard selling a solution to a problem a client isn’t already fixing. That requires education. Filling efficiency gaps (things they do but you can do better) is far easier. If you find yourself forever having to educate a client about your seolution or service then you are going to struggle. Focus down on the parts that they are already sold on.
What is your biggest learning from 2020? Share in the comments below!