I was reflecting on the weekend when is it that we need to do our coaching work? When is the right time to invest in our mindset? Before we have a problem? During it? After it?
In the past, I’ve always put my mindset at the bottom of the list, it’s been an investment that I can’t justify as there were so many other things that I needed to invest in, money was tight so I had to make choices. Also, because I worked for myself, working on myself always seemed a little indulgent, a bit personal, like it wasn’t really to do with my business because I would benefit from the work in so many ways, not just my business. It was also, so I thought, completely immeasurable, what would be the return? How would I know that I hadn’t wasted my money? So I put my mindset at the bottom of the list, believing that I was ok and I would do something about it when a wheel fell off.
So armed with a full head and even more thinking, I ploughed on with my business, spent money on marketing, websites, advertising, business cards, networking, and all the other paraphernalia that apparently is so important. I didn’t work on MY mindset. Don’t get me wrong I knew an awful lot about mindset, but I just didn’t really work on me, I thought knowing it intellectually was enough, I felt ok, I’d cleared enough or so I thought.
But it wasn’t. Because my business didn’t grow as I wanted, sometimes it went around in circles, sometimes it was 5 steps forward and then at least 12 back, sometimes it literally stopped.
Because I’d missed something so damm obvious and just because I couldn’t see it didn’t mean it wasn’t there.
During our working day we may thousands of micro decisions and behind every action is a thought, all of this thinking falls into two buckets – helpful and unhelpful (which is obvious) but what often isn’t so obvious is the thinking in the first place. The time we waste being ‘busy’, the things we put off until later, the lack of focus, being distracted, how often do you efficiently tick off everything on your to-do list one by one, clear headed and thought free? This is just the tip of the iceberg – how many decisions have you made already today that impact your business in some way? Even if you think the decision was right?
And that’s not all, we have thousands of little micro beliefs about who we are, about how life works, about other people and their lives, what we are capable of, what we are good at that feed into these decisions – we’re never done discovering these, we’ve spent a life time collecting, creating and curating them – just because we don’t see them, just because they’re not obviously tripping us up or keeping us stuck, doesn’t mean that they aren’t there waiting in the shadows. They are! However, the more we understand the nature of them the more we can shine a light and see them.
Now think about it in terms of a garden and how the most effective way to weed is. We could wait until the whole garden is overgrown with weeds and then weed it or wait and see if the weeds go away by themselves -but at some point that means we have to stop & clear the weeds before we can enjoy it. Even more, we could weed a garden and then expect that once we’ve done it the weeds won’t grow again, we’re good, we’re done.
Or the alternative is that as we see a weed we pull it out so that we can enjoy it all of the time – we get really good at weeding (and we can learn this with just little weeds so if a big one comes along we know what to do).
I find that generally speaking my business clients fall into 3 broad categories.
a) Those who have been overwhelmed by their thinking, have pretty much given up on their business or took a break, thinking that would do it, but now want to do the work to clear their minds so that they can move on. They realise they can’t do this on their own.
b) Those who are stuck because there has been something in their blindspot that has stopped them in their tracks and they know that their business won’t grow or they can’t move to the next level without shifting it.
c) Or those who simply want to understand what lays behind their infinite potential and deepen their understanding, they will have stuff to work on, because we all do, but they are investing now because they know it is fundamental to their consistent and continuing growth of their business. They want to learn more about ‘weeds’ and how to look for the ‘weeds’ themselves but also have the support of me being able to shine a light on the ‘weeds’ that they are simply not seeing.
I wonder which one are you?
I suppose the moral of the story is that it’s always time to do the work, and that working on your mindset isn’t indulgent or a treat, it’s essential to your business success.
The return on investment is a thriving business, one that you know the direction you are going in, you have a deep connection with your clients so that they refer and talk about you (and this is just as important if you have a product, believe me) and that connection runs through all of your marketing and every time you talk about your business. You run your business with a deep sense of knowing that you are confident and that you have an innate intelligence that you can rely on at any time.
Who doesn’t want that?
FREEDOM OF MIND+INSIGHT+ACTION = YOUR SUCCESS.