Showing posts from January, 2020

Dealing with Disappointments

I had a disappointment a few weeks ago: a client I thought I had won was hedging his bets, so given the situation, it was wisest for me to pass. I didn't handle the disappointment as well as I normally do and ended up wasting most of the day. Disappointments happen and it's important, as a leader, to buffer your team from them. Luckily I work from home so can hide this from my team, but I will never get back the time I lost. The key is to let yourself mourn for a set amount of time (even set a timer, if that will help), then take a deep breath, perhaps even reward yourself (whether with a treat, song, extra chapter...whatever works for you), and then pick yourself back up and keep going. They say it's a numbers game. Sales people talk about sales funnels. Anyone who puts themselves out there—whether to audition, freelance, sell, or get clients—knows you can't win them all and can't mourn every loss.  As a founder/owner/leader you cannot  let disappointments

Ability to Decide

If you have trouble making decisions, running a business is not for you. Ditto if you're the type of person who needs to know everything and then needs time to ponder everything before finally, grudgingly making a decision. There's even a name for this: analysis paralysis.  Running a business is hard. Leadership is just as hard (and sometimes harder). Both often require quick decisions, which may mean following your gut and making the best decision you can, with the information you have at the moment. Yes, you may make a mistake but not making a decision is a decision in itself. Think of it this way: Let's say you have an option between two vendors and can only choose one. You need the services they offer but are not sure which one to go with. While you're undecided, the issue you need them to solve is going unsolved (and may be getting worst), whereas if you had decided on one of them—even the wrong one—you'd have learned something and made a step forward.

You Are What You Surround Yourself With

Years ago, when I was still single and dating, a man told me that I was too smart for him (wasn't sure how to take that).  Since then, I've been told that I was overqualied for a job or two. Jack Welch wrote in one of his books that ensuring he's the dumbest person on his team is a key to his success. This surprised me when I first read it, but I've tried to emulate it since. As a CEO or founder, it's even more important to surround yourself with smart and competent people. Chances are they don't want your job, but either way, if you don't hire competent and smart people, you'll need to do their jobs for them and therefore won't get to your job (i.e., you'll fail the delegation test ).  And just like you are what you eat, I think that your intelligence and competence rises or falls based on who you surround yourself with. If you're around ambitious, go-getters, you'll be motivated to get off your arse and get things done (or will st

Small Steps and Wins

Do you like checking things off on your to-do list? Whether digital or with pen, there's an amazing feeling of accomplishment when you can check something off, cross it out, tear it up...or however you indicate that it's done.  The problem arises when you have something large or overwhelming that you need to accomplish. You can't even imagine getting it done since you don't know where to start. That's when it's critical to break things down into small steps, or even sub-projects. David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD®) system differentiates between projects and tasks: projects are made up of many steps or tasks, but each task is a stand-alone next step.  And sometimes that's all it takes: taking that small next step.  I've been reading a lot about habits and how one can build them, and many of the experts and books recommend making it easy to take that first step, because once you do, it's a lot easier to keep going. And even

The Power of One

Being able to choose and focus on one thing at a time is a superpower.  I will write about the ability to decide at a future point, but narrowing your options down to one—one goal, one priority, or one whatever—is harder than just making a yes/no decision, but equally important. I recently got introduced to the concept of choosing a new word each year instead of a New Year's resolution: it's meant to be gentler and more inspiring. (If you're curious, you can read an article about it or sign-up for a free five-day email course to help you discover your word for the year.) It took me three days to narrow my possible words down to three (build, simplify, and balance), and then a fourth day to realize "optimize" covered the other three and was just what I needed for 2020. Interestingly, having that one word as my mantra for 2020 has already brought me clarity and focus. This method can be applied to the rest of your life and business too.  Want to get heal