Are the type of person who tries to do things in a way that’s right for you? Or do you try to emulate others and their methods?
Sometimes in life we look for guidance. When we are running our own business and trying to organise all the other elements of our lives, it can be hard to establish priorities and stick to them. Sometimes, knowing what to do when, or even what to do at all, becomes an issue.
In our personal lives, things can be more prescribed. Whether or not to do things in a way that’s right for you is also, by its nature, a personal decision. There is often a clearer pattern of what to do when. And when life includes children, we follow the flow, and deal with challenges as they come along.
Business is different.
But with business, there’s no natural flow. Each business is unique and unfolds as we go along. We have plans and ideas, and these flex and change as we want or need them to. We worry that choosing to do things in a way that’s right for you, might not be the right thing for the business.
In addition, it’s not unusual for us, as business owners, to get a little distracted and start pursuing things that perhaps aren’t great for our business direction. But we can’t always see that. It’s common for people to ask their friends and family for advice, or get them to be a sounding board for new ideas we might have.
All of this is good and natural. However, the problems seem to occur when seeking advice from others turns into actually doing what others think we should do.
This comes in many forms, and not just from friends and family. It can be the deluge of ‘helpful’ advice and freebies you will find online, from experts, coaches, marketing gurus etc. All of which is seemingly helpful, but can feel overwhelming. When we try to follow other people’s way of doing something, we risk losing our authenticity.
Taking advice from others and doing things in a way that’s not true to you and your values, doesn’t work. I’ve learned that both as an individual and as a coach. It leads you up the garden path and leaves you taking all sorts of twists and turns that are not beneficial. It makes the journey as a business owner, harder and slower.
Do things in a way that works for you.
The first, and most important, step to move out of this sort of cycle, and to focus on doing things in a way that works for you, is to remind yourself of your vision. If you know where you are going, it becomes easier to be objective when making decisions or when listening to advice from others.
Another very important thing is your personal values are, and those of your business. Someone else’s suggestions will very likely be linked to their own values, and what they would do if they were in your shoes. All well-meaning of course, but if decisions and actions do not tie in with your own values, you will feel at odds with whatever you are doing.
Working with a coach is a great way to identify your values and how best you can honour them. Then the more closely you meet those values, the happier and more comfortable you will feel. The decision-making process then becomes so much smoother.
Staying on track.
So what can you do to protect yourself from going down the wrong route when others try to be helpful?
I always think it’s very useful to collect ideas and advice, but to be selective in what you choose to implement. You need to make decisions on your own terms, in line with your own values. You need to do things in a way that’s right for you.
Find a place to gather together all those suggestions – a notebook or your bullet journal if you keep one – and start to look at them objectively. Then ask yourself the following the questions when looking at each suggestion:
- Does this action take me closer to my vision and goals for my business and life?
- If I take this action, does it align with my values and will I feel comfortable with the outcome?
- Do I know what step(s) I would take to make this happen?
Point 3 is important because, sometimes with other people’s suggestions, you might not know how to make it happen. So think about that first, and then work it out if the action seems to work with points 1 and 2.
By following this pattern you avoid the possibility of making disempowering choices and decisions. When other people tell you what you should do, that is disempowering. But making your own decisions, or look critically at the suggestions of others and decide if they are right for you or not – that is empowering. When you’re empowered and doing things because they work for you and your business, the outcome is bound to be much more positive.
If you’re still feeling stuck, and struggling to do things in a way that’s right for you, we’re here to help! Some 1:1 coaching could certainly help, or perhaps some of our courses might be of benefit. We also have a fantastically supportive membership community – a great space to ask these types of questions and gain feedback – without being told what to do!