There was a time years ago when that saying about the “cobbler’s children have no shoes” was worn like a badge of honor for me. I was working so hard on other people’s stuff back then that I would neglect to make myself a client. That was common but dumb.
I’ve also worked for agencies that acted this way. I just took a look at one of them and lo and behold, it’s the same website it’s been for years – barely anything has changed, including anything in the portfolio. But there they probably go, “humblebragging” about how they just work so hard on their own clients that they never have enough time to work on their own stuff.
Stop doing that. Right now. Seriously. Knock. It. Off.
Get this through your head once and for all. Nobody is giving you medals or consolation prizes because you’re just “so busy” that you don’t work on your own website, business cards, brochure and whatever else. It’s to your detriment and you’re giving your own business the shaft. Including the people that work for you. The “I’m so busy” excuse is over. It’s done. Throw it in the garbage. Everybody’s busy.
To really kick your own ass, you may need two things:
2) Someone who has nothing to do with your business who’s really, really good at helping you clarify your vision and showing you how to execute on that vision, one step at a time.
I’m getting that kind of help right now from someone who is coming at my business from a perspective I wouldn’t have thought of. She’s not afraid to tell me when an idea is good or when it sucks. The things we’re working on is going to take my career to an entirely different tier. I’m so excited about some of them that I’m going to burst – and while I can’t share them yet, I can say that she’s keeping me on the path.
Regularly, I set aside the time with her to develop the client that is Me. That’s not self-help, new age talk. It’s real. For if I am to propel myself to the goals I want, I need to invest the time to make it happen. Goal setting is OK. Tactics are better. And better than that is living up to them – wait, you mean I actually have to do these things for the course I charted? Here goes.
Is this kind of discipline and determination any different than what you face when deciding whether or not to work out? Not really. You know what happens when you slack off from going to the gym. You suffer. You may feel good temporarily but then the guilt sets in.
Well, the same thing occurs when you keep kicking development of your own brand down the road.
You miss a day. Then another day. It becomes a week. Before long you’re saying, “I should really get back on that treadmill.” Just replace that last phrase with “We should really update our online portfolio” or any other burning initiative you have.
Is it easy? Ha. No. It’s fun but it’s not easy. You have to make yourself a client. Plain and simple. You will always, always, ALWAYS find an excuse not to do things for yourself if you do not see your own brand on the client roster. That is challenging when you have other clients who pay. I get it. But when you can see the steps forward in bite-sized goals rather than goals that are too big and too far in the future, you have something you can work on together with a consultant – and feel like you’re making real progress along the way.
Just like a fitness trainer can be of help to those who need to stay on the path of consistency, consider who you can turn to outside of your four walls to help you achieve your mission, one small hurdle at a time.
Now, I’d like to introduce you to the person who has already been and will continue to be a dynamite help to me. Her name is Sarah Victory and if you have time this Thursday the 20th, I’d love for you to hear her speak on how to “Double Your Business, Double Your Impact, Change The World.” It’s going to be a fantastic evening of networking at The Metropolitan Club through one of my groups, the American Club Association (ACA). There are only a few spots left and you must register in advance at the link above.
I hope you can make it. And I also hope you can break outside of the thinking that it’s OK to put your own brand on the back burner or that only someone under your own roof can work on that effort. Let me know how it goes and the kind of outside help you’re getting to work toward what matters for developing your own brand.
Keep pushing forward. You’re worth it.