Bite-Size Chunks of Wisdom

June 2017

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Any ambitious, results-driven small business owner knows the challenge that comes from being mired down in a process.

Whether it involves clarifying one’s brand, narrating the company’s core story, or articulating the benefits of your service, working to completion on business development projects such as these, can feel as if you’re walking through quicksand.

Yet, there is a purpose in the process — a reason for being “stuck.”

The Harder I Work…

Agonizing or pushing to maneuver through the interferences often proves to be ineffective. The harder you work toward clarification, the deeper you sink into an inability to get through it.

Attempts to move beyond the gumminess of these perplexing pieces essential to completing the series of actions creates frustration. Before you know it, self-doubt creeps in. And, in a desire to “just do it,” we disconnect from the entire transaction — hit “force quit” — and move onto another piece of business development.

But, wait…there’s more.

What Are You Waiting For…

The drive for ever-increasing speed makes a stalled process particularly challenging.

We’re in a hurry. We live in a time of ever-quickening technology developments that cause us to stand in front of the microwave and yell, “hurry up!”

For the most part, we live in an instant society. Don’t believe me? Just ask Siri!

And, while you’re chatting it up with Siri, ask her for tips on patience.

pa·tience (ˈpāSHəns/)
noun: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Whether it’s a better direction, greater focus, or improved insight to advance your idea, patience is a powerful ally to help you through the process.

Got Patience?

Patience is sitting quietly and paying attention to that which is around you. Attentively putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Completing the process to avoid having to repeat the process.

Like the SBBOD (spinning beachball of death) on my Mac, my operating system is overloaded and is causing other functions to slow (metaphorically speaking). Repeatedly pounding the ‘enter’ key only magnifies the problem. But, if I wait patiently, it often resolves itself.

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait…

To coin a well-worn phrase…

Those who have developed the ability to be patient when things aren’t clear have better relationships and experience better mental health.

The ability to wait calmly also helps us achieve our goals. Wait! What?!

A study conducted by Sara A. Schnitker, associate professor of psychology, uncovered some very intriguing insights linking patience to goal achievement. Read on…

“…patient people of all stripes reported exerting more effort toward their goals than other people did. Those with interpersonal patience in particular made more progress toward their goals and were more satisfied when they achieved them (particularly if those goals were difficult) compared with less patient people. According to Schnitker’s analysis, that greater satisfaction with achieving their goals explained why these patient achievers were more content with their lives as a whole.”

The Bottom Line…

It’s not fun when you’re stuck smack dab in the middle of a process — especially when developing something critical to your small business success.

However, if you’re willing to bravely wait with yourself — and the process — you’ll uncover tremendous power and purpose.

Not only do I love business, I love learning about business from others and for others, primarily my small business clients. Continually striving to improve — personally and professionally — is built into my DNA and those with whom I work. Which is why, during my recent journey, I made a delightful discovery.

Be sure and read to the end….

Create a Business That Works for You

One of my most recently discovered favorite authors is James Clear. His cooperation between success backed by science is intriguing.

James’ article entitled, Entropy: Why Life Always Seems to Get More Complicated rang true for me and my colleagues as we discussed the article during our Strategic Thinkers Mastermind Group. The most thought-provoking aspect of the article came near the end of the piece.

In a nutshell, James wrote the following:

You have a combination of talents, skills, and interests that are specific to you. But you also live in a larger society and culture that were not designed with your specific abilities in mind.

Evolutionary biologists use a term called “mismatch conditions” to describe when an organism is not well-suited for a condition it is facing. Obviously, when you are in a mismatch condition, it is more difficult to succeed, to be useful, and to win.

Knowing this, you must take it upon yourself to design your ideal lifestyle.

Grow Where You’re Planted

Moving on and building upon…I uncovered an email from Neil Patel, another favorite and skilled author.

During his podcast, Where Should You Focus Your Marketing Efforts First, Neil makes several poignant points that reinforce the notion put forth by James Clear.

First, Neil recommends launching your marketing efforts with your strengths. “I focus on what I know because that’s what tends to produce great results.” In Neil’s case, he is good at marketing and SEO, at which he is wildly successful.

Neil advises on the value of identifying and placing your focus in the area(s) in which you are succeeding. In other words, don’t try and be someone you’re not. Equally important, don’t do something you know nothing about — if you want to succeed.

Happiness Pollinates Success

Wait! There’s more…I discovered a third head-scratching and equally informing statement in a book recommended by one of my uber smart clients, Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, by Jeff Sutherland.

Quoting from a 2005 paper that conducted an analysis of 225 papers and 275,000 participants, Jeff shares, “Study after study shows that happiness precedes important outcomes and indicators of thriving.”

He continues with, “People aren’t happy because they’re successful; they’re successful because they’re happy.” (Trust me. This wasn’t what I expected to find at the hub of a book on productivity and efficiency, but I’m sure glad I did.)

In a business world focused on outcomes and results, happiness as an predictor of success gets shoved to the sidelines while everyone attempts to push their way to the front of the line…or so it appears.

Your GPS for Success

If you’ve read this far, thank you for sticking with me through the hairpin turns of my journey. And, congratulations. You are the proud owner of the one true roadmap to success!

Are you ready?

Start where you are happy and with what makes you happiest. Lead with your strengths and grow your capabilities. Configure your business to reinforce your happiness and your strengths.

As someone who has been in business for <cough> decades, I can assure you that if you’ll focus on these three steps, you’ll be personally and professionally successful beyond your wildest imagination.

One aspect of business coaching that most small business owners enjoy is the collaboration between themselves and an objective bystander that results in “new and/or different results.” (Without that desired outcome, what is the point in investing resources in coaching?)

Even so, one of the most deadly phrases whispered from the lips of the business owner desperately desiring a course correction is, “Yeah, but…”

We’ve all heard – and used – this well-worn phrase to express our desire to remain the same.

Wait! What?!! Didn’t we just finish saying we desired a different outcome?

Yet, when offered potential opportunities for better or different results to show up in business, it’s shut down with two simple words.

“Yeah, but…”

Six alphabetical letters that stand between us and the success we desire.

“Yeah, but…”

What’s It All About: Yeah But…

As a commonly used phrase, “yeah, but…” has woven its way into our nomenclature. It signals volition and stops collaboration, innovation, creativity, and possibility dead in its tracks.

What is being communicated through the use of this commonplace idiom is – this is the way it’s always been done.

This is the way I’ve always done it so therefore I’m going to continue to do it this way even though it’s not producing the results I want.

Success Begins At “Yes And…”

The next time you’re presented an idea – a potential key to the success you desire – before you let “yeah, but…” slip from your lips, consider the breadth of possibilities that could be achieved by applying a different approach.

Consider “yes, and…” as in “yes, that’s a novel idea and (fill in the blank).” It signals the onset of a favorable outcome.

Repeat after me. Say, “yes, and…”

It’s not uncommon for a small business entrepreneur to be bedfellows with the kind of fatigue that rakes your body as you succumb to the mental exhaustion of a day riddled with decision and distractions.

But, goal fatigue?

Who even knew it was a “thing?”

Symptoms of Goal Fatigue

Sufferers may not realize the common manifestations of goal exhaustion. In fact, many casualties of goal fatigue attribute symptoms to other causes, such as “21st century business.” It comes with the job…

Indications you may be experiencing goal fatigue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. No movement toward the achievement of a goal in existence for a period of time.
  2. The goal is an albatross or a “should.”
  3. Attentiveness to the goal, and it’s plans for achievement, is minimal.
  4. Distractions and interruptions are a regular occurrence.
  5. Avoidance. Avoidance. Avoidance.

Recommended Treatment for Goal Fatigue

A good shake up is the perfect cure for goal fatigue. For instance,

  1. Ditch the current goal. Even though you’re going against conventional business wisdom, it does no good to continue with the same unachieved, uninspired goal.
  2. Plan a goal detox. Sometimes the best way to find your way back to a goal that ignites and inspires is to go without for a period of time. Don’t worry. The world won’t come to an end.
  3. Select a goal intriguing to you. Nothing sparks creativity and passion more quickly.
  4. Achieve a goal in another area of your life.
  5. Adopt a personal goal requiring the achievement of your business goal.

Truly, there are many more “unconventional” methods for overcoming goal fatigue and exhaustion. The key is not to let it happen to you or if it does…

Apply a recommended treatment immediately and call your business coach in the morning! 😀

Have you experienced this phenomenon? What was your course of treatment?

Certainty for a small business entrepreneur is essential. Without it, resources are wasted. Time is frittered away on busy work. Procrastination is a constant companion. And, confidence in one’s ability to achieve success easily erodes.

Avoidance? Sure. Why not! Who wants to dig into a project or goal that is rife with uncertainty?

Where the magic begins

Once you know that you know that you know…that’s where the real magic begins. The direction is clear. Action is decisive. Progress ensues. Vacillation dissolves. Priorities emerge effortlessly.

It’s just that simple — when you’re certain.

Before, and until certainty is achieved, it’s really best to sit with the unknown. Familiarize yourself with the fog. Get comfortable with the notion that your direction may not be black and white for awhile. It’s okay to change course midway through the fog.

After all, it is in search of certainty….

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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