You’ve come a long way baby
A year of wellputwords
It’s difficult in all the pre-Christmas rush to find time to draw breath…
Loads to be done – work, fun and preparations for the festivities. So, luckily for you I’m here, finding time to draw breath on your behalf. All three of my elves are home and they’ve been well trained to lend a hand, giving me a moment to reflect.
And what do I do? I stay in productivity mode, catching up on all my reading from the last couple of very busy weeks.
Saving the best till last, I go through Maria Popova’s Brainpickings newsletter.
Delivered to my inbox every Sunday there’s always something to learn, to think about and to be inspired by. What I love most about Brainpickings is how it takes you on a voyage of unexpected discovery and serendipitous connections.
And here’s one such moment. A lovely quote from Marie Curie that stops me in my tracks:
This month I’ve chalked up one year as wellputwords. I’m still standing…I’ve enjoyed it, been more than a little scared at times, made mistakes, had successes and most of all, learnt a lot. Also, I can happily report that I’m looking forward to year two.
Here are 3 things I wish I’d taken heed of right from the start of the year:
Always stick to your purpose
OK, first define what that is, i.e. knowing your “why” – who you help, your values, what you do.
But once you’ve done that, always be mindful of it so that everything you do earns its place in meeting your overall business and marketing goals. Time is limited and there’s no shortage of things you could be doing to promote yourself, eg events to attend, social media platforms to participate on and groups to join. Take a moment to check that you’re not getting distracted; that whatever you do goes towards building your brand and reputation with an audience that is going to one day buy from you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
This isn’t a sign of weakness or not being able to manage. You can’t hope to be expert in every area of running a business. Recognise your strengths but also pay attention to your weaknesses, and know when you have to go on a course or get someone in who “knows better.” It’s usually when you realise you’re spending an inordinate amount of time, say – trying to fine-tune a design or file your accounts – time that would be better and more profitably spent working in your business.
Reaching out for help in itself builds a support network – it can take you in unexpected directions, create new relationships and open up further business opportunities. And if finances are an issue engage in some old-fashioned bartering – exchanging expertise!
There are few fast fixes
Recognise that most things, be it winning new business or getting your product offering right, take longer than you may have originally thought, planned or hoped for. And that mostly you just have to roll with it because there’s nothing to be gained by shoehorning or forcing an outcome.
If you go to networking events, don’t be the person who tries to hand out as many business cards as possible and make a sale there and then. It takes time to move along the “know, like, trust” continuum. The relationships you create when you give them time to flourish are far more likely to last and lead to repeat business and referrals.
So, raising a festive glass to a prosperous and happy 2015 – and to being able to appreciate the small, the not-so-small and the sometimes great things we achieve every day!