Over the years, I have spent a lot time on social media and am frequently amazed at the number of people who ask for help with the most basic aspects of their businesses. Asking for advice in an open forum about topics such as what name should I give my business or what color should my website look like or what logo should I use can lead to the impression that you don’t have a strong connection with your business or that you don’t have the budget to hire a professional.
I am not suggesting you should not seek advice if you are genuinely unable to make a decision. Not everyone is born with the ability to decide. Sometimes an outside perspective can prove invaluable. But I believe people should be careful about where they seek this advice. Ask your questions in a safe environment that is familiar with your situation and who can offer practical, relevant advice.
Do you feel emotionally connected?
Always ask for advice and make sure to go through it with your emotions. Does it resonate with you? Does it reflect your business? When I started my business, I had no idea what a logo looked like. Professionals presented me with several options but it didn’t feel right. They didn’t capture the essence of my company, but instead tried to make my business fit into their mold. They were unable to think outside the box, to put themselves in my shoes, and to relate to my business. I am blessed to have a brother who’s an artist and is very creative. I asked him if I could get something for him. His first idea was so powerful that it made me cry. My logo was born!
Are you able to identify with your company?
It is important to fully identify your business, not separate entities. If we are known for being unreliable in our personal lives, then why would we expect to be any different in the workplace? People will be able to identify who we are and make their own decisions about whether or not they want to do business. Not everyone will be able to relate to us or want to do business. Rejection shouldn’t be a reason to stop you from moving forward. You could get two acceptances for every rejection if you keep at it. If you are passionate about what you do, you will be able to shine your light brightly so that other passionate people can find you.
Are you confident?
Are you confident in your business dealings? Confidence is based on knowing yourself and your business, as well as how to best serve others. No matter how qualified you may be, being tentative can make you seem apologetic and discourage people from buying from you.
An interview with a famous actress was done years ago. I don’t remember the name. When asked how she managed to remain so confident, she said that it wasn’t always that way but that she had been confident until the truth became clear.
We can be confident in the future if we have learned and honed our skills. All it comes down to self-belief and mind set.
Do you fear failure?
Fear of failure can take many forms. Fear of losing your face or fear of losing your money are the two most common. However, it doesn’t matter which trigger you have – fear is what causes stagnation and loses impetus. I believe that ‘like attracts like’. If fear gets into the equation and starts to creep into your business, it will cause a downward spiral. Fear can hinder business’s ability to combine vision and good sense.
A major construction company that I worked for many years is no longer exists. It failed because the visionaries within the company were forced out by the economic climate and fear had creeped in. Instead, accountants were promoted to the top and kept track of every penny that was in and out. They weren’t trained to take any risks, which meant that there was no forward movement. The company needed both visionaries and accountants to operate it. Without one, the business was doomed.
Are you desperate?
Desperation is a manifestation of fear. It’s merely a way to express it. People run around in circles, grabbing for every opportunity, regardless of whether they are the right ones. It can affect our judgment and ability to reason rationally. Even though it isn’t visible from the surface, it can manifest as panic attacks.
The feeling of desperate makes us tense and releases a chaotic energy that is transmitted to potential clients. We need to be honest with ourselves if we reach that point or are already on the road to it.
Are we still passionate about what we do, or are we doing it as a chore?
What happened when the tide turned and despair made an appearance?
Are the stories we hear about our despair solely a source of desperation?
What can we do to make fear go away?
Are you ready to let go of a product/service that is no longer needed?
What could be worse?
Once we have the truth to these questions, we can move forward. It is imperative that we accept responsibility for what happened and make the necessary changes. Blaming external forces can lead to a state where we are powerless and apathetic. When we feel like this, there is no chance of our recovery.
Listen to your feedback
Even if the feedback isn’t very complimentary, it’s important to be open to receiving it. You should not ignore any hints of resonance or if you feel that someone might have a point. This person might be able to save you from some future heartache.
If someone says that you don’t have confidence in the direction your business is heading, take a moment to reflect on it. If this doesn’t resonate with your sense of self and you are certain about where your business is headed, then ask yourself why. Are there any relationships you have that you don’t know where they are heading, whether business or personal? This could have been a concern at the time. Your uncertain energy could have gotten into your business language, which can lead to a false impression.
Although positive feedback is great to receive, it is not always the best feedback that helps us grow.
My belief is that our business should be in constant emotional connection. Your relationship with your business should be like a marriage. You run the risk of being distant and distant if you don’t connect on an emotional level with your partner. Because they don’t feel secure being vulnerable with you anymore, your partner may feel less comfortable sharing their feelings with you. You might find them hiding things from you in order to show they care.
It is possible to lose touch with your business, which can surprise you, but it won’t always be pleasant.
I can recall a TV program I watched many years ago. It was about a chocolate company that made quality chocolates but had to close down due to financial difficulties. They only made lavender chocolates, and had a great reputation for quality. They were a household name and enjoyed great success. Their sales started to decline and they sought advice. To remain competitive in an ever-changing market, they needed to offer new flavours. It would seem like an easy decision. However, the company argued that changing their brand of lavender chocolates was not necessary. The business owners had lost touch with the reality of what was happening. If they had been emotionally connected, they would have seen it. They were surrounded by resistance at the time. They were not prepared to make the necessary changes to ensure their business survived in a changing world. Although I do not know the ending of the story, I believe they saw the light.