Put on Pants
Today I put on pants. To be fair, I have been wearing ‘pants’ but they have not necessarily been my daytime pants. Fuzzy sleep pants are my sleep-pant preference and they are a joy to put on. I could even make a case for how important they are. For example, when I go to a hotel, they are no longer called sleep pants, they are called ‘fire-pants’ (so if some jack wagon pulls a fire alarm at 3:00 AM I’m not running outside in my skivvies). Yes sleep pants can be many, many things and while they are cozy and practical, keeping them on all day does not make me productive.
Putting on pants has actually become a Pandemic 2020 goal of mine. It’s symbolic. Getting dressed means I am starting my day and putting my brain in gear. A ‘started day’ means I am off social media and closing the Google News tab. A ‘started day’ means I am pulling down my ‘top 3 things’ from my Trello Board and setting a twenty-minute timer for my ‘Pomodoro’ productivity hack. A ‘started day’ means putting on my best face and showing up for my business and my clients.
3 Ways to Show Up
What does showing up look like? I teach and preach that every day business owners should do at least ONE THING that:
- Markets their services
- Creates something for the future or fixes something that is holding their business back (think research and development)
- Makes them money
I’ve learned that deciding what those three things look like can be an exercise in denial and justification. For example, you can tell me that going to that cool design website and spending two hours on your business card is ‘marketing,’ but I call BS. That business card will spend two seconds in someone’s hand before it hits the bottom of a purse, wallet, or trashcan. Smart folks won’t even take it from you; they’ll take a picture and let you keep it. At the end of the day, you will have actually spent money (and remember in a gig economy time is money) on a dinosaur marketing tool and made zero headway on the future of your business.
The Problem With Dinosaurs
Most of the time when we try to justify or rationalize the dinosaurs on our to-do list, we are actually avoiding something we fear.
“I’m picking the perfect color for my website,” is actually, “I’m avoiding going to the chamber of commerce and standing up to give my 30 second commercial.”
“I’m only paying $200 for the high school to put my business name on the back of a shirt that will be shot out of a cannon into a crowd at a football game!” and “I just can’t afford to spend $30 a month on a scheduling system that will allow me to offer free ten minute consultations right now,” is actually, “I’m too embarrassed to ask for help learning how to manage my marketing budget.”
In both cases, you are caving to your fears and dinosaurs are trampling your business.
I’ve watched business owners cling to dinosaurs and avoid effective business practices for years. Why is this important now, in the age of COVID? Because trying isn’t good enough. Acting busy to convince our partners (business and personal) that we are managing our businesses like a pro when actually we are struggling isn’t just bad business it’s deceptive. Now more than ever it is important to create good habits, fill in our knowledge gaps with good information, and actually DO what the experts tell us to do.
As always, if you need help today Kate Walker Training has amazing FREE groups full of experts just chomping at the bit to give you good advice and cheer-lead your progress. Texas Counselors Creating Badass Businesses and Texas Supervisor Training Facebook groups are great places to learn the basics and mentor others. I hope to see you there!