TOP TIPS FOR CHANGEMAKERS #13
THE SUPPORT EDITION
At Actually we believe that there are three things that you need to grow your business and your impact as a purpose-led entrepreneur: the right communications, the right mindset and the right support.
In this blog, I share five lessons about support that I really hope you’ll take on board so that you have all the support you need to get ‘on purpose’ and make your difference in the world.
GET A MENTOR
Some of the most successful people in the world have mentors: Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg all have had and continue to have mentors.
Get a mentor.
Immediately. Do not pass ‘Go’. Do not collect £200. Find someone right now who has more experience than you; who has done this before and who can advise you.
If you’re questioning why you need a mentor, read this article.
Now let me tell you the one KEY thing that will make the difference between a productive mentoring relationship that helps you to grow your business and achieve your goals – and one that doesn’t.
Are you ready?
You have to DO WHAT THEY SAY.
You may think you know better.
You may know yourself to be an intelligent, savvy business person.
You may believe that nobody can know your business as well as you do.
And maybe all of that is true. But here’s what a good mentor has that you don’t: distance. You’re in the weeds every day. You’re so enmeshed in your business…head down…cracking on…pushing through…that you simply aren’t objective. And that is what a mentor can give you: objectivity – combined with experience and insight. So listen to them.
FIND YOUR TRIBE
Did I mention that being a purpose-led entrepreneur can be a lonely business? No? Well it can. I also think it’s THE best thing to do with your working life but there’s no denying that there are times when it is tough.
Having a mentor will help. But alongside that 121 relationship, I believe nothing beats having what is increasingly known as a ‘tribe’. Your ‘tribe’ might include your family and friends but it is more likely to be a group of people that you select – who are on the same journey as you. People who understand the trials and tribulations. People who get it; who will support you and celebrate you; who will have compassion and understanding for your mistakes because they’ve made them too.
A few years ago, I didn’t know that I needed a ‘tribe’. I had great friends and family; a wonderful social life. I thought I was fine. And I was. Largely. But I’d never experienced the joy of being supported with great compassion and without judgement. I’d never been part of a group who fully ‘got me’ and knew my struggles, my path and my destination and cheered me on every step of the way.
A few years ago I found my tribe and now I cannot imagine my life without them. I found the courage to start Actually because of my tribe. And I know that all I have to do – any time of the day or night – is send a message to my tribe and someone who understands who I am will respond.
If you are yearning for a tribe, you’re welcome to join mine.
GET COMFORTABLE WITH DELEGATION
Are you trying to do everything yourself?
How’s that working out for you?
You can keep going if you want to. And risk burn out.
Or you can take a look at your reasons and recognise them for what they are: excuses.
Refusing to let anyone help you comes down to one of two things (and possibly both): poor priorities and perfectionism.
I don’t have time / I can’t afford it – when properly translated what this really means is: ‘This is not a priority for me right now.’
You’d find the means* and the time if it were a priority. What you’re saying is that YOU are not a priority. YOU being able to finish work at a decent time. YOU having more to your life than just work. YOU not feeling completely overwhelmed. YOU are not a priority.
Think about that. And when you’re done thinking, ask for help.
I’m the only person / I’ll just have to redo it – translates to ‘I have to do it because it has to be perfect’.
Does it though? Really? One of my favourite quotes is from an event I attended last year at which the writer Elizabeth Gilbert was interviewed. She said ‘Perfectionism is just fear dressed up in high heels and a fur coat.’ And she’s absolutely right.
I talked about perfectionism in last week’s blog. If you’re refusing to delegate because nobody can do the work as well as you, you might want to go back and re-read that blog.
And then come back here and read this article taking you through the nine steps to effective delegation. It’s written for employers delegating to employees but works in any scenario because you can delegate to friends, family, members of your tribe if necessary to get the help you need.
A GOAL WITHOUT A PLAN
You may be wondering why I’m talking about planning in the context of support.
Here’s the thing: proper planning will ensure that you are focussed on the things you actually NEED to do. With a decent plan in place, you will waste less time; expend less effort and squander fewer resources on things that won’t leverage your growth and your impact. AND you’ll be able to clearly identify the areas where you need help and support in advance so that you’re not scrambling around at the last minute trying to find a decent copywriter or event manager or venue.
According to research by the Palo Alto software company business owners with a clear plan are TWICE AS LIKELY to grow their businesses. TWICE AS LIKELY. And as your business grows, guess what? You’ll be able to afford more support.
If you know that you’re avoiding planning and you need some structure and accountability to ensure you get it done, you might want to check out the Actually Planning Cycle of workshops. We’ll make sure you have a plan and all the support you need.
JEALOUSY GUARD YOUR FREE TIME
In November every year I run an annual planning workshop helping purpose-led entrepreneurs to plan out their business and their communications for the year ahead. One of the things that I get them to think about is their non-negotiables: the things they absolutely will not compromise on in the following 12 months. For example, they might choose to set ‘Only working with people I like’ as a non-negotiable.
I’m always surprised by how few of the participants in my workshop set non-negotiables around their time, until I suggest it to them. I suggest that they think about things like:
- A weekly date night with their partner
- Never working at weekends
- Not working after 6pm
- Always taking an hour off for lunch
- Putting 8 weeks of holiday into their diary at the beginning of the year
Why is this important? Because if you’re an entrepreneur driven by purpose, you will throw yourself into your work. And if you’re not careful, you’ll neglect yourself. Your whole life, every waking moment, will become about your work and making your difference in the world. And I get it but that is a disaster waiting to happen. So support yourself. Support your own wellbeing. Set some non-negotiables and stick to them.
If you’re a purpose-led entrepreneur looking to grow your business and your impact then your mindset, communications and support are essential. If things aren’t going as well as you’d like them to, it’s possible one of these factors is holding you back and making things more difficult. Take the ‘What’s Actually Holding You Back?’ quiz and find out whether it’s your mindset, your communications or your support that you need to focus on to take your growth to the next level.
Let’s ACTUALLY make a difference.
YOU HAVE MARKETING SUPERPOWERS!
You're NOT bad at promoting yourself or marketing your business. You absolutely can spread the word about your work and attract the right clients towards you.
You just need to do it in a way that feels authentic, comfortable and natural for YOU.
Take the Actually Quiz, uncover your marketing superpowers and stop trying to force your fabulous round peg self into a nasty square hole that was never designed for you!