Anyone who tells you that working on your own, being a solo-preneur, or anything where you are the chief-in-charge is a SOLO show is out of their minds!
There – I said it. If you think for one minute that you have no one to answer to – well get that out of your head COMPLETELY! You have more bosses than you could have ever imagined, more consultants than you have questions for, and more critics than you would like to shake a stick at. Everyone wants to give you a piece of their mind, a “mild” suggestion, a “helpful tip”, perhaps even a word of warning.
I know people at every level of the business ladder who turn around and take these words to heart. I know people at every level of the business world who turn around and say “F them! I’m the boss and what I say goes – end of conversation!”
Truly, the conversation that you need to have in business is anyone that includes another person. That means that you need to engage. You need to ask questions, be prepared for the answers (whether you like them or not); you need to stay silent at points and listen (yes – those two words have the same letters in them – think about how you listen when you truly are silent).
The silence is not just halting your verbal actions, it’s stopping the planning that is going on in your head. You can’t listen when all you’re doing is planning your next response. Being silent is in mouth and mind!
My mom talked to everyone – including a cardboard cut-out of Dr. Pearle (yes, in front of a Pearle Vision Center in a Pennsylvania mall). I used to roll my eyes because she ALWAYS talked to everyone. The funny thing was, she talked to so many people and remembered such detail from all of them – if they were single or married, how many kids, which kid went to what school if elderly parents were well or needing care – it really amazed me as I got older.
But I realized recently the reasons my mother did what she did – it raised everyone. It brought them to a new level. It made them feel important and “Miss Mary” had a legion of fans who remembered her fondly – and would ask about others that she knew. My mother, who never owned her own business knew the power of connecting and was able to get things she needed to be done, even well into her 80’s.
Imagine actually HEARING YOUR CUSTOMER, HEARING YOUR STAFF, HEARING YOUR PARTNERS, HEARING THE CRITICS.
And being able to PIVOT!
Imagine the change – I do! And that is what I do for my clients. Together, we find the possibilities for change and the benefit of making a plan to move a business forward.