Are YOU the biggest obstacle to your business growth?

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Before taking on a new client I always ask (among other questions), what’s getting in the way of them achieving their goals.  And do you know what answer I get most often?

ME!

And I can relate (oh, you too?).  What now comes easily to me in business almost always started out as a seemingly insurmountable mental and logistical hurdle.  Yep, we humans are complex beings.  We have the capacity to dream up incredible ideas and we’re more than equipped to figure just about anything out.  And yet, we’re the #1 cause of stalling our own progress.

Why is that?  (Clearly that’s a rhetorical question. There are many reasons, most of which I’m not qualified to speak to!)

From my experience, both personally and having coached countless creative business owners, it comes down to fear.

Fear of:

  • failure
  • that we’ll lose all our clients if we raise our prices
  • that our inexperience in a particular area will lead to public humiliation
  • winding up living under a bridge (admit it, you’ve gone this route at least once!)

So, today I’m sharing 3 actionable ways to get out of your own way and achieve the things you only dream possible for you and your business.

1) Envision your desired outcome

Have you ever found yourself trundling along, business-as-usual, in your supposedly “dynamic” creative business?  Yep, me too.  As creative business owners, the motivational buck starts and stops with us, so if we want to up-level something, we’re going to have to up-level our vision too.  To give you an example, I just started the September cohort of my twice-yearly group coaching program.  Prior to the launch, I decided to be very intentional about the group I wanted to attract.  And for me, that needed to be visual.  So, I printed out photos of the cream of the crop from the previous 6 Bootcamps, glued them to a huge sheet of paper, and set the intention to attract 12 people just like them.  Now, I love a bit of woo-woo, but intention MUST be aligned with an action, so I made the Bootcamp by application only for the first time.

The outcome?  I attracted 12 ideal clients into the Bootcamp and couldn’t be more thrilled!

Suggestion:

If you’re setting an intention for a particular product, service, or area of focus, you can set a very specific intention as I did above.  If your desired outcome is focused on the general evolution of your business, try answering the deceptively simple but powerful question below:

It is 3 years from now and you’re really happy with the progress you’ve made in your business. What’s happened to make you so happy?

2) Put yourself in the company of people who support your growth, will ask the tough questions, and hold the space for your answers

I’ve found that this practice is the single most important thing I can do for my business. Whether it’s finding a mentor, hiring a coach, or joining a mastermind or group coaching program, finding the right support is key. What makes a person or group good thought partners? They:Understand your world whether it’s from an industry or entrepreneurial perspective

  • They are able and willing to ask tough questions with compassion and without judgement
  • They meet you where you are, and are invested in your growth rather than a specific outcome

Suggestion:

Find your people. Go to industry-specific events, conferences, and meetups. Ask people who are where you want to be who they look to for support. Make a request to the universe to send you the people you need and follow up on the leads that come your way.

3) Check in with yourself (and be honest)

Do you ever get attached to an idea or way of doing things to the point you that can’t see it from another viewpoint?  It’s not just you, it’s just how our brains are wired. This can be detrimental at the best of times, but if you spend a good amount of time working alone, it’s critical you put measures in place to counteract this natural tendency.

For me the solution lies in creating space between ideas, actions, and refinements.  Let me give you an example where I was revisiting my client segments, services, and pricing.  Here’s how the process broke down into ideas, actions, and refinements:

  • Idea: The mastermind group helped me address the initial inquiry, tackle the mindset challenge, and brainstorm what the desired outcome looked like.
  • Action: I came home, reviewed my notes and mind-mapped what came up for me on a big piece of paper (visual problem solving always helps me). When I walked away and came back, I could clearly see the discrepancies.
  • Refinement: A day later, it became clear that if I eliminated a middle tier, everything became streamlined and made sense.

The other very simple prompt I find hugely helpful is a post-it somewhere close to my computer that reads: Is what I’m doing right now moving me measurably closer to my goals?  If it isn’t, I work on something that does. Simple, heh!

Suggestion:

Pick an area you want to evolve or grow in your business. It might be your business model, pricing, or systems and processes. Whatever it is, see if you can create space between the idea generating, action-oriented, and refining of that idea.

Now, it’s your turn! I’d love to hear how you get out of your own way and what strategies or scaffolding help you move through your blocks.

Ready for expansion, know you need support, but don’t have a thought-partner to facilitate your process?  If that sounds like you and you’re ready to take a leap and invest in your future business and self, I’d love to chat.  Click here and let’s start a conversation!

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