February 10, 2021
February is the month we are supposed to be in LOVE! In the midst of wintery weather- it is fun to get all enthused at the idea of a fancy outing with chocolates and romance. Keep it FUN and do it YOUR way – instead of THE way. After all, the way LOVE really works is when 2 people are REAL and HONEST and authentic with each other – warts and all.
Thinking on this made me realize that in business we spend a lot of energy trying to be who we think we are supposed to be, RIGHT? We are going to explore that a bit in this Newsletter and maybe break some habits, faulty thinking, and free ourselves up a bit. After all…we are each pretty special and that is GOOD!
For the last few months, I've been sharing a special gift that has made such a difference to me — a way to RECAPTURE SOME OF THE TIME that otherwise just flies away each day. EMAIL has become such an overwhelming mountain to so many people - we miss important stuff because of all the promotions and 'junk' - even though some of it isn't REALLY junk - but things that are not on our priorities for the day.
As a way to help - I'm sharing my GO TO technique that for the last 10 years has allowed me to have more effective focus time on project work without the constant distractions of email, yet never miss anything important. I call it my 5 Simple Steps to Recapture an Hour Every Day to Build Your Business because that is what I did with the time I saved.
Since we all need to free up some time to build for the future - I’m sharing it for FREE right now—Click here to get your copy!
Pat got this back in October and emailed me just a week later:
"Thanks for the 5 Simple Steps. I changed my email labels and included the action label. With all the Medicare emails right now this is a huge help in keeping it all straight so I don't have to go through the whole email list each time. Thanks for the tip!" — Pat, Medicare Specialist
Implementing just a PART of one step made that much difference to her. Imagine what YOU can do with all 5 Simple Steps!
Make February fun and be you!
Are you showing the best YOU?
Fake it till you make it.
Don’t show them you are nervous!
The first one to say something loses.
Some familiar mantras for many of us – as we started out in the world of ‘being’ a professional. To top it off- we have ‘practices’. What the heck is that about? As a professional – we have spent years in school, worked for additional years of time under another licensed professional to make sure we are clear in the day-to-day activities, responsibilities, and technical expertise needed for our profession, taken a series of tests that make sure our knowledge is on par with the needs of our profession, then for many of us we have taken the huge step -- no LEAP of deciding to be independent of a boss!
Why??? Why not keep working on a team with a boss to take care of a lot of the responsibilities of being in business?
What a great question---- What is YOUR answer?
- Are you on your own? Why did you choose that path for your future?
- Are you loving it?
- Are you being independent?
- Are you making a difference in your area of genius?
- Are you gradually finding yourself trying to be like others?
- Comparing yourself to them?
- Trying to duplicate what they are doing?
- Trying to be the same instead of different?
What an interesting thing to reflect on a bit.
Are clients attracted to you because you are the same? Or because you are different?
Do they want you to give them the same answers, style, solutions, campaigns, impact – whatever- as all the OTHER professionals in your expertise?
When you choose someone to work with, do YOU want someone who is the SAME as everyone else?
So, why do we allow ourselves to be molded into SAMENESS instead of accentuating our uniqueness? Our Differences?
Over the years, I have noticed a pattern. Businesses BECOME more like their competitors and their clients. Then they start struggling and can’t figure out why. They don’t see that THEY have changed. They think everyone else has changed.
Now I am not saying change is bad. Don’t take that away from this conversation!
But – we need to do a bit of reflection.
There is an energy, an excitement, a bit of confidence in OUR uniqueness and unique ideas when we open our own business. Those are things people are drawn to, and the clients who help us get our start are looking for that freshness and uniqueness.
So what happens to that? The nature of business competition, the nitty-gritty of day-to-day staying in business, taking on of some clients who help us get the bills paid, but they seem to want the ‘minimum’ instead of the special…
Next thing we know…a few years have passed and we have become like our competitors and dropped to the minimum levels, since that is where we can compete on price. YUCK! That is sucking our energy right out of us! Professionals tend to be CREATIVE, at least to a degree. When we aren’t playing with THAT energy, we feel ZAPPED! And then we start feeling TRAPPED! Guess what that does to us? To our confidence? To our outlook? Think how we show up to projects when we feel that way!
Suddenly - well really gradually - we are spending a ton of energy trying to get excited about our projects, our clients, our work in general, our industry, and everything else in our life!
Are you there? Can you feel it? Now what?
Let’s START making a change! One step at a time. THIS MONTH – let’s keep it simple – but START!
Awareness is so freeing, as it allows us to recognize, identify and acknowledge what is happening. So let’s start there!
A simple notebook will be helpful--one small enough to carry with you, but a piece of notebook paper folded up in your pocket will work too. You want to carry it with you all the time during your work day, and have it available as you are working out, cooking, doing household chores, or driving around – you know…those times when sudden inspiration and AHA’s hit- but you don’t have the ability to take notes normally.
One side of the page is for “Who or what am I trying to be that I am NOT?”
The other side is for “Who or what am I trying NOT to be that I am?”
Think on this early in the day, each day. Make some notes. As things come to you during the day, add to it. Use additional pages as you go through the month.
Think on who you, your family, your clients, your team want you to be and need you to be – is that who you are? Or who you are trying to be?
Think on who they all need you NOT to be. Is that who you are? Or who you try not to be? So who are you?
This is NOT an exercise to make you feel bad about yourself!!! It is an exercise to help you simply recognize, identify, and acknowledge what is happening. No judgment with it -- just data for thought!
Look for patterns – look for when and where YOU are free to be the MOST YOU! We are going to learn to do MORE of THAT!
A Cool Tool!
2020 became an opportunity to learn some new things - since many of our normal ways of doing things had to be modified and adjusted. I tried to embrace the opportunities - and allow myself to explore and really look for the good points of things I had resisted or felt were unnecessary.
In the process, I learned a ton and found some new ways to communicate, as well as do a better job of building relationships. For an introvert - THAT was way out of my comfort zone! But I found ways to do it that work for me.
Communications are such a key to our business success; all this learning about how to do them better has opened up new doors for my business. I got to thinking other professionals who are business owners probably need these skills too. No need for you to be in business almost 40 years before getting good at communications! (like me)
So I've created a PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP named Small Professional Services How-To Exchange.
Don't let the FACEBOOK aspect scare you!!
Facebook is just a TOOL we are using to give us the meeting spot.
PRIVATE means you have to ask to join and answer a few questions to be sure it is a good fit for each person who joins. It also means it is a spot where we can have good, honest conversation on the topic at hand, knowing we are all learning together. We are all there for the same thing. Think of it like going to a meeting where everyone is there to discuss and learn together about the same type of topics. Yes, there will always be a mix of professionals and those who serve them with support systems or want the professionals to recommend their products. But that is the group we want, so we can learn. And at the same time, we get to support each other with what we have learned and resources that help us.
Here is the link:
We are a new group and we need some people to get involved - check it out. If you don't like what you see after a couple of months, you can drop off. (I'll even provide directions!) It's totally in your control. But we can make it something really useful for all of us together. Let's support each other and learn together. We can make 2021 the best kind of DIFFERENT!
Some of the things we will include in our sharing:
- Articles from quality sources to provide solid information and ideas on business tasks and strategies
- Resources that others have found to be very useful
- Suggestions for products and tools that people have discovered
- Polls to help understand where other professionals are on-topic matters or methods
- Polls to determine what topics we need to focus on
There is a post up there right now inviting you to say what you want to get BETTER at this year... My Get Better At's are posted - add a comment with yours!
Past Articles You Might Like ...
The Quest for YOUR Perfect Planner
January is a QUEST MONTH — for the Planner that meets your needs and have it helping you by the end of the month.
In a world of technology, a paper planner is still a great way to keep it simple and use all the triggers that keep your brain organized.
Read the full article here.
Different! What an Opportunity for Growth
Yes - 2020 has been different! And guess what? That is GOOD!
Read the full article here.
Decision Making When Things Seem So Unpredictable
Decisions! How do they affect us? Why can we make decisions so well on some things and so poorly (or not at all) on other things?
Sometimes we think we are making decisions, and instead we are just letting life make them for us.
Read the full article here.
Holly Bailey is a Small Engineering Business Owner / Engineer who has also had the joy of coaching and mentoring other professionals as Business Owners, who have struggled to grow their firms while maintaining their high-quality reputation and quality services.
She helps them be free to use their genius to provide their best services and provide more impact in their community, families, regions and whatever 'corner' of the world they choose to operate in.
Holly believes professional services firms can provide the best value and customized services to their clients when they are not struggling with the growth and administration issues that secure the future of their business.
Curious what your business can level up to? Set up a Free Strategy Session to see your potential.
©2020 Holly Bailey & Bailey Engineering
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