That time already?!

So I didn’t blog last week.

I feel really bad about it. I was conscious of the fact that it was Tuesday morning, then Tuesday afternoon, then Tuesday evening, and I hadn’t blogged. I hadn’t even started.

It’s not to say that I wasn’t busy. I had loads going on. Mostly I was doing final promotion for the event that I held on the 20th October, “Monetise Your Passion” and doing the last parts of the event planning and preparation for that.

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I allowed other tasks to get in the way of something that I had committed to. I fully thought that I would able to fit in my blogging and somehow it just didn’t work out that way. Well not “somehow” – I just didn’t get around to completing it – I didn’t give myself enough time.

This blog entry is partly about me admitting that as a business owner, I have times when I don’t get it all completely right. I think that’s OK, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I guess the secondary purpose for me writing it is to encourage myself and my readers to consider the importance of time management and good business related habits. So much of what I do is dictated by clients and other variables, that I felt good to commit to the discipline of posting one blog a week. I had done pretty well in maintaining this promise to myself and felt comfortable about the quite rigid nature of this deadline. “Tuesday is 13 blog day” became the introduction to my posts as I shared them on social media. Then last week I didn’t. Sigh.

But business is all about making mistakes, recognising what went wrong and thinking about and most importantly, implementing, problem solving strategies to ensure that we can stop the same from happening again. Not blogging isn’t a huge issue in the scheme of running a business. However, I suspect that those that read this blog noticed that there wasn’t one last week . With that being said, not maintaining our own patterns can be assumed to indicate other unfavourable business practices. This isn’t the case of course – not blogging was due to preparation for my first event as 13 Rhythms, and time spent with clients. However, what is true and what our customers might think can be two different things. Perception is a key thing in business.

So today’s one week and one day late blog is dedicated to those of us who sometimes slip up in trying to do the right thing…who don’t always make it, but are trying!

Good luck!

“Just Wait…”

Yesterday I was invited to join a podcast to speak about 13 and the events I have coming up later this month, in November and December. It was my first time being “interviewed” and speaking about not just my business, but a little bit about how I came to be developing 13 Rhythms. I think I underestimate the importance of my personal story and how others might relate to it…Maybe that’s a topic for a future blog…?

The producers of the podcast forwarded the list of questions in advance as well as asking me to pick a song that reflected my entrepreneurial journey so far. This was quite difficult, as it’s not something I’d thought of before, but I came up with a song. My choice was “Just Wait” by Incisive featuring Shakka.

incisive

Shakka (left and upside down, Incisive on the right)

As I listened to the song lyrics I was struck by how relevant they are to the process of starting-up and running your own business. The song speaks of Incisive’s continual push to be able to do music as his full time pursuit and achieve a certain level of success with it. Despite being well known on the live music scene and producing and releasing albums I suspect that many of our readers haven’t heard of either of them. I think is something they would like to change.

But listening to the song with a new perspective presented me with lots of food for thought and inspired today’s blog. Some of the stand-out lyrics for me were:

“You move ‘cos you tell your legs to move…”

Being self-employed is about being self-propelling. Absolutely – your motivation has to come from you now that you’re taking this journey.

“Yeah I’m on my grind, even when I’m skygazing or playing Playstation or farting around on Facebook…”

I find that entrepreneurs and those who are self-employed are often thinking about the next thing they want to do in their business, or a new idea they have, even in their downtime. This is something I’m sure many can identify with.

 

“None of these things are ever set in stone.”

I find this line to be very relevant – our business idea and our overall vision for our lives with our businesses remains the solid foundation of what we do on a day to day basis, but there is a need to be adaptable about how we go about developing our business, as the needs of our customers and environments change.

“When I play my hand then I’m all in”

This one is self-explanatory, right? If we’re about this journey we have to fully commit to it, even it’s it’s not our full time business.

My favourite line of all?

“There’s only plan A, plan B is doing plan A.”

I LOVE this line. I interpret it as even if we change our initial actions towards achieving our business goals – plan A – we are simply taking a new approach to achieving our business goals – plan B – and not changing our plans altogether – Plan A. I hope I’ve made this comment make sense? It’s my favourite line and it makes complete sense to me! Ort it can be interpreted as being single minded and fixed completely on your goal – no deviating. Both work for me.

Do you have a song that relates to your entrepreneurial journey? Share your thoughts. You can listen to an shorter version of my song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAg1kWDYxW4.

The full song including Shakka’s verse is available on iTunes:

My podcast is being edited and will be available for next week’s blog. I’m a tiny bit excited…!

Have a great week!

 

 

 

Taking the Plunge…

Presenting our products or services to potential customers can feel pretty nerve-wracking. It’s essentially us displaying a part of ourselves to “the world” in the hope that they think we are as good as we think we are. We may have taken time to train and hone our skills, having observed Malcolm Gladwell’s “10,000 Hour Rule” resulting in us being very good at our “something”.

When we choose to take the opportunity to let others see our “something” this is where the understandable nervousness comes in. We worry about the quality, about the response we’ll receive, about whether people will think us authentic and believable as a product or service provider.

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The good news is, these feelings are normal – how could we not feel apprehensive about this process? There’s even more good news though as we remember the following things:

  • Taking your skills to the market is an essential part of the business start-up process. It will give you the opportunity to have controlled exposure to customers and to gather their feedback.
  • Feedback is one of the most important factors in your business.  Positive comments help you to know what you should continue doing – this can help to shape your eventual product launch or let you know what services to start with. Feedback that provides you with “areas of development” is equally, if not more, important, as it is this information that forms the basis of the changes and adaptations to your original idea, keeping you in line with the needs of your target customer.
  • Letting yourself feel the nerves and doing it anyway will be an activity that will be repeated over and over again in your business journey. You may as well do it now and start getting used to it!

Nerves aren’t a bad thing – it’s nerves that stop us from acting and making moves in our business that are damaging. So breathe deeply, wear a smile, believe in yourself and expose your skills to the world…!

Good luck.

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