I want to talk about being the best leader that you can be for your business to thrive in times like this – when things are a little uncertain, when there’s rapidly changing news – some of it anxiety inducing – and you’re out there trying to run and grow your business.
If you’re running your own business, it might be you on your own, relatively new out there in the self-employed world.
Or you might be a few years in learning the ropes and what works for you.
Or you might be further along – always learning, as you know – understanding your audience and specialty and looking to or already growing in some way.
All three groups still need support and guidance – I know I do.
Notwithstanding personal differences and situations, I would love you to know that you have the ability to lead your business successfully, even now, and that you do have control.
This message goes to those who work both off and online – either predominantly or mixed. Of course there are differences to take into account depending on your business model, size and infrastructure.
Despite it feeling like you may not have as much control as you’d like in your business at the moment, there are absolutely things you can control which can safeguard the present and future of your business.
Here’s how I see us leading for our businesses and clients:
- You can choose how you show up for your audience, clients or customers even in your own uncertainty; the sense that you have control about how you present to the world and your clients at the moment is important
- Be the leader your clients and customers want to see; show them you have a voice that can be used well and decisively at the moment
- You work well because of your level-headed, emotionally intelligent approach to your business and life – use this skill now more than ever. The reason you got that work, the reason you might be about to get that new piece of work, is probably because of who you are – and that’s not changed. Show up and lead for your peers, clients and customers to see you calmly lead them
- There is no shame in selling right now. Sell with integrity, honesty and authenticity. If you have a pre-existing launch or sale on, talk about how you’re adjusting if things need to be moved around at the same time. You’re human, your clients are human; they need your help still.
- Invest in smart support, practical or emotional, so you’re not alone, so that you have guidance and you’re making great decisions. I’ve shared below what I’m personally doing about this myself
- You have the power to be just as entrepreneurial now as you ever have been. Be confident in your services, and your ability to adapt and innovate. You started your business with some risk and you know how to adapt and grow alongside it too. That doesn’t mean to say now is a risky time – it is a time to think and act clearly, positively and with strength
- Don’t freeze; right now we all need movement in our businesses – if we freeze, things will stay still. We want good, clear, efficient decisions to be made to help the small business and wider economy to thrive
- What is your gut telling you right now? I’ve had clients contact me and say ‘but should I be doing that thing whilst everyone’s unsure of what’s happening? First, if that thing is a strong and healthy and impactful thing, and you know there’s a need for it, who are you to NOT do it? Second, we will never know unless we try, and that’s why you’re willing to lead, right?
- Instead of panic connecting, go for quality control; there could be risk that we all start trying to be hyper connected online, without making attempts to have good quality connections instead. How can this situation help you connect more deeply with the people you’d like to speak to more, instead of feeling like you need to connect with everyone?
- What existing business communities can you contribute towards, support and network with? What do they need at the moment and how can you help them? What opportunities to support, help and develop others can you also provide – that don’t burn you out and that provide long term value for you and others?
- Is this a time to complete the tasks you never get round to if you’re travelling less (I appreciate this is not as easy for everyone, especially if kids are off school) – I’ve spoken to clients this week who are going to do a lot of their back office stuff that they simply put off – all of it needed, like their accounts, but that they would have otherwise delayed
- Is this an opportunity to drop the work that doesn’t make sense: all that work that keeps you busy but doesn’t contribute to your bottom line, or is driven by ego (mine too!). Maybe this is the time to strip it back, focus more and get even more targeted in your offerings, niche, message and people. No more fear of failure to picking one thing; lead in your bold decisions right now
For those who carry out predominantly face to face delivery, even when meetings and contracts are changed, what can you do to take stock of your business model, how can you pivot swiftly to make this work more in your favour, what opportunities are there to support others who need your expertise and help right now?
For those who work mostly or totally online, what services and offerings have you been holding off on for the right time and is this now a great time to no longer delay that online course, that international online connection, that planning you’ve wanted to do but always been too busy rushing around to do?
Here’s what I’m personally doing in my business in the coming weeks:
- I will continue to sell and promote my course and services – you will be aware I have a 5 day free online course starting tomorrow. It is the best time to gather business owners online to support their minds and planning and I am excited about the week ahead together
- I plan to host a small session in that 5 day course on managing your business in less certain times. This will be announced in the challenge emails and group
- I will be reinvesting with my team around me – my Coach, VA and other freelance members who help me on an adhoc basis. I know this might be a luxury to some, but when I started investing in my business, and proper support for it, was when I started to move forward much quicker and more efficiently than I would have done without help
- I have made the decision to change my in-person event in April to an online summit and to move the London event to February 2021
- As someone who was once in one of the high-risk groups for Covid-19 and arguably continue to have lowered immunity due to having no bowel, and as someone who has an international baby (sounds fancy!) on the way with international boarders being closed, I am personally taking the time to remove myself from too much hyper-bole, spending time with my animals, walking the dog, upping my EFT practice, journaling, Clementine and Headspace App use, and acknowledging what I can and can’t control right now
- I will be taking my own advice about fostering deeper connections with my existing contacts, using time I cleared anyway in my diary for next week’s challenge to be present for and run that challenge really well as well as my existing clients, and continuing to show up and share measured thoughts and guidance. Gently and Successfully.