You haven't received an order or enquiry all week and you feel like you've been pushing pushing pushing your 'thing' out there amongst the noise....but no one can see or hear you. Your coffers are getting low and you're beginning to second guess the passion that brought you this far, and your reason for being in business. Maybe if you were doing what that person over there seems to be doing amazingly, you'd be right. Maybe your 'thing' isn't in anymore, and what people really want is "xyz". But your thing is "efg". Perhaps you're on the wrong path altogether and you need to jump on over to that other one because that looks like it leads to awesome places! All valid thoughts, when you're second guessing yourself.
It’s tempting to want to diversify or expand your product range or add in some more offerings, especially when you’re having a lean week.
Or when you feel like you’re stuck, or your boat is sinking, or you’re treading water.
Or because you’ve seen a shiny new thing that someone else is offering.
It's easy to believe that "adding more" to what you're already doing is going to be some sort of magic pill that's going to make your business and life sky rocket, but all you're really doing is choosing another path out of pure desperation, or even envy. The old FOMO syndrome - guilty here! Or you're choosing another path because things aren't going the way you expected them to, and if like myself, patience isn't high on your list of virtues.
When you're struggling to run or even walk, the last thing you want to do is add more weight. When your boat is sinking the first thing you need to do is get rid of some excess stuff that's weighing everything down.
Growth is not always about adding more to get "bigger". A lot of the time it's about removing more, to make "progress".
I know I know. You're a creative, like me. You have a million ideas and probably a thousand of them are viable and would totally work if you had all the hours and the days and the resources and the money.
But you'll end up with a business map much like this image of the beach. Tracks from all sorts of vehicles going this way and that. Spaghetti junction. Makes a pretty picture but not an ideal business (or life) scenario.
I've got huge dreams. I want to be everything and do all the things. But my most recent business map looked like a mangled spiders web. Yes, all wonderful and sometimes exceptional ideas - but they're never going to get anywhere except on a piece of paper if I try doing it all at once. Because overwhelm.
And because paralysis.
When your business map looks like someone dumped two minute noodles on your desk (and in your brain) it's paralysing. You don't know where to start, what to start, when to start, why you're even starting...
So you stop. Can't do anything. You go watch a movie instead or sort out that cupboard that's been neglected for the past two years. Or, you go round and round the loops in your business map, trying to pull it all together and make it work, but you're not really making any progress. A bit of this and a bit of that.
Come back to your CORE OFFERINGS and work out how to make it work. Don't complicate things that don't need to be complicated. Don't add things that aren't aligned with your WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHY. Don't add "xyz" when you are "efg". Remember why you are doing what you're doing, and what your true passion is. Get back to the core of what your customers want and why, and what YOU want and why.
Pare back. Separate the wheat from the chaff. Have a deep cleanse. Reset.
You don't need business plan - business plans are for bank managers and investors.
What you need is a map, and it's only one page. And it doesn't resemble a scribble pattern.
I'll show you how next week.
Keeping it simple, real, and heart centred.