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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Finding your business monster

Are there any monsters hiding under your business bed? Or perhaps yours is hiding behind your phone or in the pile of outstanding paperwork…

Laura Patrolino shares a story about the monster under her childhood bed that wasn’t really there when she looked. For a year, she followed behaviours that suited her fear rather than reality or her best interests.

The question is, do you have monsters under your business bed – that is, are there behaviours you follow in your business that are based on fear rather than a solid business decision? Or maybe behaviours based on misinformation, outdated ideas or factors that no longer apply (for instance, it may have made sense to work at night when you had a toddler under foot in a home based business but not now that your child is a teenager and you work full time business hours).

Have a look at what you do (and don’t do!) and think about the reasons and emotions behind them. You may find writing some procedureswill help you identify processes based on something other than efficiency and effectiveness.

So did you find many business monsters?

Saying no…

Did you know that you are allowed to say no sometimes? Even to new clients or a long standing client, it is acceptable for you to say no – politely of course!

It is a little silly, but I was reminded of this through the Rat in the Hat! Melissa Khalinsky often uses children’s TV shows to point out business lessons, and in one of her blog posts, she shows how Rat is quite the entrreperuner.

Melissa wrote “Don’t overextend yourself – this is something Rat does often in his quest to meet the needs of everyone on Cuddles Ave. Unfortunately Rat doesn’t know how to say no ” and I had to nod in agreement, both for Rat in a Hat (yes, I’ve watched him, too!) and for many business owners I know.

As a small business owner, it is hard to turn down a client – there’s that little fear that maybe this was the last work request you’d get for 6 months so how can you afford to not do this project? Or maybe it is a fear that saying no will make that person hate you and bad mouth you to other potential clients?

But let’s look at it the other way:

  • if you take on too much work, you will end up doing inferior work for a number of clients, thereby damaging your good reputation
  • if you continue doing too much, you will burn out and really not be able to earn anything for 6 months
  • if one client has found you and asked for a quote, it is likely others can also find you next week and next month
  • a well managed ‘no’ will leave the client feeling positive about you even if you couldn’t do their work – they may try you again another time, or at least tell others you acted professionally
  • do you really think your clients have the time and inclination to bad mouth you just because you couldn’t work for them?

I will cover the various reasons for saying no, and how to say no nicely in the next few blog posts. But for now, just take on the belief that you can say no and the world (or your business!) won’t end!

Fear – the biggest time waster!

You might think surfing the web, playing games online or deleting spam are some of the biggest time wasters in your business, but I suggest that fear may actually be the biggest waste of all.

Think about it – if you fear making cold calls, you will suddenly find time to tidy your desk, sort emails and check links on your website! Or fear of a big project may make you procrastinate submitting your application, so much so that you do a rushed job and miss out.

Fear means we don’t get tasks done, and they stay in our minds so we can’t focus 100% on other tasks either. Although I don’t always do it myself, lol, I believe that the things we fear in business are the things we need to do NOW so we can get passed them. That doesn’t mean we won’t be scared of them next time they come around, but maybe we’ll know we can survive them!

As Michelle says in her ShelDesign blog,“if we let fear control our actions, it WILL steal our dreams.” And losing our dreams is a huge waste of our time.

How do you manage fear in your business? Do you find fear of failure or fear of success to be a bigger issue for you?

Two Wolves

As a cub leader, the blog entry titled “Two wolves” at The Tall Poppy instantly caught my eye (cubs are named for wolf cubs pack as the young of scouting.)

Anne’s post relates the Chrokee story of us all have two inner wolves fighting for control, with one wolf repeseanting greed, fear, guilt and eog and the other represnting joy, peace, genrosity and compassion.

And which wolf wins? “The one you feed.”

I think that is very true – the more you focus on, the more you see in your life.

Both personally and in my writing, I try to avoid negatives to focus on helping people and seeing the good in life. I’m not perfect at it, lol, but I certainly keep my professional writing  positive and informative, and my whole business is modelled on helping other businesses succeed.

And I hope that by reading my blog, you are feeding your positive wolf.