“I feel that the expectation is that we should be able to do more because we have these tools.” something stated with a distinct level of distress in the tone at my workshops last week. It’s a sentiment at least 98% of my clients carry around in their heads unconsciously stressing themselves into a short grave that they should suddenly “get it” and “everybody else seems to get this” and “I feel like I’m late to the party” and my all-time favourite “I’m rubbish with this technology (and/or marketing) thing”.
People often come to me when the pain related to their marketing and social media has become so great that they don’t know who to turn to, CEO’s have pressure from their board members to BE MORE PRESENT ONLINE and are then provided little to no direction let alone even know how to approach this themselves if asked or investigated, too high risk, is the typical board room response.
If you happen to fall into the 30 or 40 something age bracket, then you’re just expected to know because technology has always been a part of your life. The pressure that is occurring at the CEO level is monumental, I would know, many of them are my clients.
I’m 36 years old and feel like right now after 7 years in business I’ve finally reached the mecca of productivity in my life, I seldom work 4 hours a day (my team also rarely work longer than those hours – and we’re forecasted to make $1.5 million net profit this year), this hasn’t come without a price, losing the man I was intending on spending the rest of my life with; to a motorcycle accident provided a reset button that few will ever experience, the girl I was before that incident pales in comparison to the woman I have grown into and I’m grateful for the lessons I have learnt from her.
Everything in my business since then has been to help business owners learn my lessons without having to face a tremendous loss, see for most of us, we have for a while been living this lie, it’s a lie we’ve been culturally taught is the way life: Hustle hard, hustle long, work crazy hours so you can enjoy your life later except that nobody tells you later never comes and 5 years down the road you completely forget why you were running your own business with this constant cycle of spot fires that you seem to spending all of your time putting out rather than doing the things you love.
Here are three big things I’ve done recently in my organisation to run a well-oiled machine.
A clear purpose and branding to match.
The feedback on the rebrand has been overwhelmingly good and what it has meant since is that everything else in our business flows from the sensational brand guide provided by our designer who not only designed a logo and gave me business cards but helped me explore the depth and breadth of the brand to make sure every image every element of the brand looks and feels congruent.
Each year in my business for the last 3 years I have focused on a skills upgrade. Things that make me feel uncomfortable. This year I started with a head full of financial goals and healthier beliefs on money than I have ever had. Our financial projections for 2018 will put me in the million-dollar club for the first time in my life and that’s just for one business.
When I speak about skills investment it hasn’t been about purchasing the most expensive course (if I was being honest most of the costs were reasonable and arguably in the low cost bracket).
The fortune in the skills investment is in the implementation and integration. I watched people become ‘guru evangelists’ and do nothing with the tools. Transformation is not something you just give lip service to, it’s something you live and breathe.
Clear and healthy boundaries.
I recently learnt that from past experiences of child abuse that I have been approaching my life like a warzone. In some ways this has given me skills and thoughts that have subsequently become my super secret special superpowers. Often, I jump feet first where others might approach things with hesitation or zero action (although this year already is teaching me to slow down and have patience and take considered measured action). I can negotiate like a demon (realised after I negotiated my way out of a physical assault early last year) where others might panic.
My tolerance and patience with bad behaviour that in the past I may have allowed into my world has become unacceptable, it turns out when you highlight that the behaviour is unacceptable and endeavour to create a healthy boundary those people self-select themselves out of your vortex and while I might spend a week in a cycle of self-doubt that I should have done something different it helps to be surrounded by good people and having a therapist who puts things into perspective of what you would have done in the past to what you do now. You learn to reward yourself (my current positive reinforcement process is nice cups of delicious calming tea with my super wanky kettle that I bought myself for Christmas – it’s so glorious I can’t even tell you all the ways).
In my team we have clear and healthy boundaries, I don’t expect my team to stress themselves into a short grave, everyone and everything in the business is geared towards flow and if it doesn’t flow we work on what’s happening and where things are getting stuck. My team knows I’m not a perfect human being and that I’ll always take constructive criticism like a pro.