I will be the first to tell you that being an entrepreneur and owning your own business can be one of the most rewarding and challenging adventures you can undertake. But I will also be the first to tell you that it can also be one of the most overwhelming and, frankly, most isolating experiences.
You spend your days laser-focused on building the business you dream of and sometimes it's easy to get lost in the process. Although your dedication and perseverance are admirable, they can create dangerous blind spots within your business that move you farther away from the vision instead of drawing you closer. I know because I've done it.
So, how do you know if your business is suffering from blind spots? Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for:
You're knee-deep in the day-to-day operation of your business and you rarely make time to strategically plan the future.
You often say "no" to networking events or professional development opportunities because of the time you spend on administrative or other low-impact tasks.
You feel stuck or frustrated in your business because you don't know what to do next.
You're not learning from the data you have available to you.
You're not creating systems that allow for the growth, expansion, and scaling of your business.
You're unable to meet your own goals or deadlines because you lack an accountability partner who holds you accountable for achieving those goals.
You feel alone most days and the voice inside your head makes for lousy, unproductive, and, negative company.
You keep doing the same old, same old - not because you don't have aspirations to grow but, because you're just out of ideas on what to try next.
And, let's be real - your best friend, spouse, or significant other are not the best people to ask for guidance. They love you (yay!) and because they love you, they'll most often tell you what they think you want to hear, which is rarely what you need to hear!
The most successful entrepreneurs tend to surround themselves with people who can help them grow their businesses, and expedite their results.
So, what's a girl to do? You need to shake things up (quickly). You need to find someone who will help you get real with yourself and take a hard look at the things that are holding you back. Someone who will challenge your thinking, give you honest feedback and offer solutions or alternatives that have worked for them.
You might be asking, "Who is this magical person?" In my experience, I found it most helpful to build my support team from people who weren't involved in other areas of my life. Adding someone to your entrepreneur support team can be as simple as joining an online community or mastermind of peers, or seeking out a mentor or a coach.
If you've never had the opportunity to work with a coach before (whether in business or in a different capacity), you may be feeling a little skeptical - before hiring my first coach in a previous business, I know I did. I wondered if the investment would be worth it, if my coach would actually be able to help me reach my goals and if I could actually trust someone else with something so personal. But after working with a coach for just one month, I knew it was one of the best decisions I'd ever made.
Let me assure you that a good coach isn't just someone who tells you what to do—they meet you where you're at and help guide and support you through the process of making changes that will have a lasting impact on your life. They help you see situations and opportunities through a different lens - allowing you to capitalize on opportunities you may never have taken the time to see before.
"I have been fortunate enough to work once a week with Jenn for four months, and what a difference she has made to my small business, sariKNOTsari! Thanks to her, I am now focussing the energy I put into my business to specific achievable goals. Jenn is passionate about helping others build their brands and actually gets giddy with excitement when she sees a way to help! She is the knowledgable cheerleader/mentor every entrepreneur needs." - Priya
A good coach will help you get clear about what you want and why it's important. They'll listen to your goals and dreams and help you create a plan for achieving them.
Sure - it all sounds great, but you might be thinking that that kind of support is out of reach for a small business like yours.
That's exactly why I created my Pocket Coaching service. I knew there had to be a way for busy entrepreneurs to get out of the lonely day-to-day cycle and get the support they need to take their businesses to the next level without breaking the bank.
What is Pocket Coaching? Well, unlike the traditional coaching model, where you meet with your coach on a regularly scheduled basis, with Pocket Coaching you have access to coaching on a real-time basis. By using voice and text messages, you're able to connect with me any time you need to, and I'll respond to you during my office hours - providing you with the support, perspective, accountability, and motivation to keep moving forward in your business.
No more bottling up your frustrations or worries, no unhealthy habit of venting to the person you love most. You'll have a safe space to get clear on what's going on, and we can work together to create a plan of action that will help you move forward - immediately. So whether it's feedback and support around your business model, or some tough love when needed - Pocket Coaching is all about helping you take actionable steps toward achieving the success you deserve.
So, whether it's joining a mastermind, seeking out a mentor, or finding a coach (either in a traditional format or something new like pocket coaching) - there are so many options available to you to stretch yourself and grow your business this year. Just remember - you do not have to 'go it alone'!