This is the time of year when everyone looks back on the good, the bad and the ugly of the past year. We review the top 10 news events, sports events, movies and songs. Some things thrilled us and some things floored us. It can be fun to reminisce, and it also a gives us an opportunity to understand what is working and what isn’t in our lives and businesses.
The past gives us the clues we need to make better decisions moving forward. The problem for most of us though, is we tend not to change our behavior or change it enough to elicit a different outcome. In order to get real traction, we need to be willing to let go of things, but this can be difficult and scary.
All too often, we look at a situation we know isn’t perfect, perhaps we have a difficult client or vendor, but instead of addressing what needs to be changed, we trudge along in the same manner and tolerate the results. Next year at this time we will be thinking the exact same thing, “I really should do something about this situation.”
When you carry forward those things which aren’t working, you lose time, money and FUN! You may not even realize how much these irritants are weighing you down until you get rid of them. When you do strip away what’s not optimal, you create a more streamlined, on-brand and enjoyable business.
To help you lose your inhibitions about stripping down, here are a few tips:
1. Eliminate negative drains. Like a pebble in your shoe, little irritations aren’t a big deal, until they are. At first, you can still move forward, but over time they damage your ability to perform at your peak. Make a list of the top 5 things that weigh you down in your business and get rid of them.
2. Replace “should” with “will.” “I really should get a new accountant. I really shouldn’t put up with clients who consistently cancel last minute.” We’ve all said those kinds of phrases. From this point forward, make it your policy to create policy. “I will hire the right person to handle my taxes by February 1st. If a client continually bails last minute on her appointments, I will enforce my new policy of charging a surcharge if not notified within 48 hours.”
3. Value yourself enough to expect excellent quality. Part of the reason we put up with negative people, negative energy or lack-luster services is because we don’t have the confidence to say to ourselves”I deserve better.” Until you really believe you do deserve more, better and excellence in every part of your life and business, you will continue to collect negative baggage. Have you ever noticed you spend more money or time on people exude that kind of confidence? From this point forward, make that person you!
4. Trust something better will turn up. Yes, it is scary to let go of things even if they aren’t good for us. We’re used to a certain way of living or doing business. It’s familiar, even if not ideal. And for that reason alone we cling to our overly demanding client, the caterer who always forgets the coffee or the colleague whom we’ve outgrown. New and better things cannot come into your life until you make room for them. You must release the garbage to open space for the treasure.
5. Picture what is ideal and follow that vision. Ok, couldn’t end this post without talking specifically about branding. I always say branding is nothing more than a decision making process. You have to decide what you want, what to highlight, what to let go of and what to keep. To start the process you need to think about what you want. What you really, really want. The BIG dream. When you have a clear vision of what that dream is for you, hold it in the forefront of your mind and don’t let anything in to your experience that is not directly supporting that vision.
Go ahead and take time this week to sit in front of the fireplace with a warm cup of cocoa to reflect on the highs and lows of the past year. Just promise yourself you will do something with the insights you gain from your trip down memory lane. If you are brave enough to strip down to your brand essentials, you’ll end up collecting more than just a pile of one dollar bills!
I love hearing from you!
What do you vow to let go of in the new year so your business can be more streamlined, enjoyable and on-brand?
Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a Reach certified personal brand strategist, image consultant and business coach who helps women entrepreneurs create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses. To learn even more about Heather and the Clear Voice Branding System click the link. www.clearvoicebranding.com