As a small business owner or entrepreneur, there are many things that need to get done for your business to move forward. You can feel like you wear a million hats, and most days, it feels like there are five sitting on your head at once.
When you look at your project management tool or to do list, although you can see that you're making progress and cross something off, it seems like two or ten more items get added and you wonder how it will all get done.
As you look over your list, are there some items that you dread doing because you are not using your strengths, so you feel like you struggle to complete them? What happens to your other tasks and responsibilities when you are spending so much time and energy on a task that is draining you?
In order to lead your team or business, there will always be things that need to get done that you may not excel in doing. However, that does not mean that you must personally complete every item that your team or business needs to have done....
You’ve brainstormed and dreamed about new goals and new opportunities you want to achieve.
You’ve written them down and created a plan that you can’t wait to start.
Then slowly but surely, life starts to get in the way.
The actions you mapped out on your plan seem to be getting pushed out versus getting done. The momentum you had for making your goals happen has dwindled. Your schedule that was once one of your favorite tools has become a reminder that you are not doing everything you set out to do.
So what do you do?
It can be easy to beat ourselves up for what we haven’t gotten done or getting off track, but that won’t help. It will only add to the frustration, not make it better.
No matter if you're in the corporate world or running your own business, you're working with other people who have different skill sets from yours. The beauty in that is that's why you're working with them, or in some cases, hired them.
Or why someone hired you.
You bring a specific set of skills, talents, abilities, knowledge and gifts that only you could do. Just like each person you work with.
So when situations present themselves where you question what your expert says or does, remember why you hired them in the first place and seek to understand where they are coming from before jumping to any conclusions.
The saying about "knowing enough to be dangerous" is what's running through my mind because that can be a double edged sword. To know enough to be dangerous so that you can have a conversation and be wiling to say when you don't know and ask questions is great. Yet to know enough to be dangerous and not ask questions or assume you know more than you really do is setting...
So let's talk about continual learning, and specifically when you've invested money or time or both to advance or strengthen your skills as a leader.
Perhaps it's a small investment relatively speaking like reading or listening to a book. Maybe it's a course or seminar you attended, or training your company has sent you to for the day. Or perhaps it's working with a coach or consultant. And even it didn't cost you money, it was your time spent there, including the time spent creating the space to go and getting caught up again (or close to it) once you returned.
When you first went through the course, the seminar, or even worked with your coach, you probably took some notes as a way to help you process what you're learning. Once the course, seminar or coaching sessions are finished, you have every intention of fully implementing what you've learned.
Then more time passes, and although you know you learned a lot, you might feel like you should have learned more or that...
To show up as the confident business leader you're meant to be, you need to share your strengths and stay true to your vision and values and that's where confidence kicks in.
The more confidence you have, the more you will:
It’s the start of another day and you’re thinking about what needs to happen to turn your vision into a reality.
You check out your plan and the specific tasks for today, and you get started.
You feel like you are making progress and after a while, you decide to take a break.
So, you check out the latest post from one of your favorite go-to resources or listen to a podcast that talks about the latest tips to do A, B and C so that your business or team will be able to do X, Y, and Z.
And they make it sound so easy, like it was nothing for them to figure out what was needed to discover some incredible results.
Or maybe you take a few minutes and scroll through your social media feed to find some inspiration. Yet what you notice are how many likes and shares or comments that post has.
And your recent post has none.
Maybe the first few distractions are welcomed and inspiring, and you are encouraged to keep going on your journey. But slowly they start to get to you.
Today’s chat was inspired by one of my all time favorite books – The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz.
So my parents gave me this copy when I was in high school, and I’ve re-read it many many times since. It’s about a growth mindset. Having a mindset that says I can figure it out or I am more than capable.
If you haven’t read this book, I hope you’ll check it out, but in the mean time – are you thinking big enough?
Meaning – are you brainstorming and whole heartedly pursuing goals that are exciting, audacious, meaningful and scary at the same time?
Do they push you out of your comfort zone?
Another way to think big is to day dream. What would just be amazing for you if it happened?
Don’t just keep these ideas in your head – write them down.
Take out a piece of paper and for 15 minutes, just brain dump everything that comes to your mind of what would be amazing to accomplish, do, have, or experience.
Regardless if the vision is for a specific situation - like an event or project - or for something larger like your business or organization or company, to be able to effectively drive change and lead, you must buy-in into the vision.
Your team and clients are looking to you to be excited about the vision and help them to understand it and why it's important.
If you're tasking others with projects or responsibilities that are intended to drive the vision forward, but your heart isn't in it, your team will know. Not only will this make it more challenging for your team to effectively do their jobs, it will create pressure on them to help you get on board with the vision, when it's really the other way around. Your job is to remove the barriers for your team, and if you aren't fully bought into the vision, then it's essentially adding a barrier for your team to overcome. It's a barrier you need to remove, but once you do, your team and clients will feel the difference. They may be...
The first time I heard the phrase exploit the constraint was in the corporate world.
My 20 year path included some time in a manufacturing company and specifically with process improvement, turning ideas into executable strategies, and increasing employee engagement. Lean Manufacturing and The Theory of Constraints were big practices at this company. With the theory of constraints you’re figuring out where the bottleneck is, which is not only a constraint, but the most important limiting factor, and from there, figuring how to improving things so that it’s no longer the bottleneck.
You are the most important factor, and the more you’re able to focus your energies, time and attention on things that really need what you can only bring, the more productive you feel and your enthusiasm comes through. Your team will feel the shift and they will be open to following your example.
Understanding where the bottlenecks are, and if they aren't benefiting the organization,...
One of the best ways I know of to process ideas and feelings as well as use for decision making clarity is journaling. Do you journal? Even if you don't think of yourself as a writer, much less write well, you don't have to be.
The power of journaling enables you to treat your mind as a sponge that needs to be wrung out. When there's so many thoughts running through your mind and processing any one of them feels like a challenge to actually get through, journaling is a way to get those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. It's not about how well you write, if there's errors, or if it's organized. It's not for anyone else, but you. In fact, the more you can silence the inner editor and critic and just allow whatever to come out and get on the paper, you'll feel lighter.
Like a release of sorts.
And if you take some time in between journaling and unloading what was on your mind and allow some space for it to just sit on the page, when you return to it a few hours, a few...
Showing up as the confident business leader you're meant to be is a transformation that starts on the inside, and the first step is shifting your mindset. Enroll in the free Leverage Your Potential mini course and start recognizing the leader within you today as well as receive weekly tips and encouragement to keep you going.