Like many people, I am VERY self-critical. I dwell on little things that I should have done or questions that I should have asked, and most of the time, it's a pointless exercise.
As a new business startup, I've faced many of those "damn it" moments when you suddenly wish you'd said or done something differently, and I've learned that it's actually all part of the process (and can be a positive experience IF you actually take note and learn from it).
Reflecting back on the last few months, my biggest learning in getting my business on the right path has been to ask the right questions to the right people. This is actually instrumental in making your business work effectively, because if you don't ask, you don't get.
One example of this happened when I wanted to boost my social media followers. Instead of looking at paid ad options and sponsorship, I asked people (nicely) to follow my company page. And hey presto, more followers (thanks to those that did!).
Always ask questions - the only stupid question is the one that stays in your head
So you've asked the questions and have the answers - what next? Well, lesson number 2 involves a small but powerful word...
shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness
How often do we directly ask for what we want when we're in a meeting or having a business conversation? How much easier would life be if we did?
Ok, so I appreciate diplomacy is needed in this situation BUT if you are a small business startup and/or sole trader then asking for what you want is paramount in you getting it quickly to help your business to grow.
Invoices not being paid on time? Have the conversation and ask why before it gets awkward. Be organised and professional with your systems, processes and communication so you're not a fault.
Need more work to keep you afloat? Ask for it. If you're freelancing then a couple of hours a week on a new project will boost your productivity (and bank balance!)
“What are your choices when someone puts a gun to your head?"
"What are you talking about? You do what they say or they shoot you"
"WRONG. You take the gun, or you pull out a bigger one. Or, you call their bluff. Or, you do any one of a hundred and forty six other things.”
That's my favorite Harvey Specter quote from Suits (and if you haven't watched it - you should)
A hundred and forty six other things...
The lesson I learned from this is that there are ALWAYS other options. Even when you think that there aren't.
If you get stuck, ask for help. It's actually a sign of strength not weakness. I've been guilty of trying to do everything on my own and it just doesn't work. Occasionally, you will need that second opinion or some new ideas from someone (that you can hastily discard at your leisure!).
If I'm faced with a challenge, I think of someone I admire and what they would do in that situation. I always pick someone who is a complete polar opposite to me, so it works, because their approach is totally different to mine, and I get an objective view.
Good luck to everyone reading this that's on a similar journey. I'd love to hear your experiences!
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