Take responsibility, no matter what is happening around you
By Sandy Schussel
Sandy Schussel, LLC
The business landscape is always changing, so you can't blame the current economy or sales environment if you're not getting the results you want.
Five years ago, Kevin started his own "life coaching" practice and built it up to the point where he was earning about $85,000 a year. Struggling coaches all around him were begging him to speak to their groups about how he developed his business. In their eyes, he was a hero.
Today, Kevin is still earning around $85,000 annually, but he's having to work much harder to reach that figure than he did back then.
"People aren't interested in good service anymore," he lamented to me recently."In this climate, all they care about is how much it costs! And there's just too much competition out there now."
Kevin is a victim of arrested development (AD), a common problem for many professionals and business owners who have reached a plateau in the growth of their businesses. Like "analysis paralysis", AD gets people stuck where they are: in a land of "ifs" and "buts."
Getting new clients, and holding on to the ones you already have, should get easier over time, not harder. If this isn't the case for us for whatever reason, we often look for external causes, as Kevin has — but these are really just excuses.
The key here is that as long as Kevin is making excuses, he will remain a victim, rather than an owner, and in order to overcome AD, he needs to see himself as an action hero in the story of his career, not as a victim of his circumstances.
The business landscape is always changing, so you can't blame the current economy or sales environment if you're not getting the results you want. People are bombarded with new ideas and new things to try every day. Your competition is working at keeping up with — or maybe even creating — those changes. It's an unwavering reality of business that you need to be doing the same thing.
Much of what you have to do to keep your business or practice afloat is prospect — deal with getting potential clients on board. The professional services you actually provide must often become second to accomplishing this feat. As such, the stance you take on your work needs to be, "How can I offer my services in a way that might get me more or better clients, and help me to retain the ones I have and like already?"
No matter what is happening around you, you need to take charge of — and responsibility for — the state of your affairs.
If you are a victim of AD, and can't seem to help yourself, there is hope. Don't wait until your arrested development results in your burnout to start making changes.