It feels good to be ready
A new connection invites you to a weekly networking group. You decide to go. You walk into the room. You shake some hands, introducing yourself to four new faces. You grab a cup of coffee and find a seat at the table. On the way you exchange business cards with three people. As the meeting starts you're excited to meet all these new faces. Now, it's your turn to give your 55-second commercial. You nail your elevator pitch. You schedule a face-to-face follow-up with a new connection and make for the door. You feel good.
It feels so great to be prepared. It feels like you can conquer the world. Today I want to share a little bit of my journey over the past year, and how good it feels to finally have all the pieces in place.
A year ago I was a guy looking for a change. I had some idea about what I wanted to do, but didn't know how to value my own time. I didn't even know if what I wanted to pursue was a thing you could get paid to do. I took some meetings with folks and thankfully was given the chance to work on a few projects. I didn't have business cards. I didn't have a plan. I didn't have a mission or a vision for what I wanted to accomplish. I felt out of place. I felt uncertain about the value I could deliver. That uncertainty was contagious. It impacted my meetings and it impacted my opportunities. I knew that I needed to take myself much more seriously if anyone else was going to.
Today I sit in my recently finished office. My company banner hangs on the wall beside my white board and calendar. The clutter is gone from my desk, leaving in its place a work space and a few personal baubles. My company has a name, we have a mission and we know what we are going to accomplish and why it is important. My website, business cards and logo reflect who we are. Today I enter meetings confident that I can deliver value to my clients. That confidence is contagious.
It feels so good to be ready. I feel professional. Everything about my company is set--I no longer have to worry about myself--all of my energy can go into focusing on what my clients need to elevate their businesses to the next level. I know my schedule, financial situation and personal world are all locked down.That is crucial. My clients don't care about my "stuff." My clients have their own world of "stuff" to be concerned with. As their resource I need to be 100% committed to their pain points and their business--not worried about what's happening back at the home office.
Getting here took effort. It took a commitment to crafting a plan and seeing it through. It took evenings and weekends of pushing through the "stuff" that comes with running a business--processes, procedures, schedules, accounting systems, IT needs, tax planning, state compliance...on and on. It's time consuming, and totally worth it.
How did you "get ready?" I would love to hear back from you about how you nailed down all the aspects of your business so you could focus on your customers and clients. What tips and tricks would you offer to someone else who is either starting a new business--or who is hip-deep in one already, but has some things they need to do to advance to the next level?