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What is really holding your micro-business back?

CutoutsecretsThe other day, I was talking to a client who had found making a business decision particularly difficult.  She came to me having chosen what seemed like a safe and easy option.

It wasn’t until I asked her a couple of probing questions that she realised that her decision was financially unsound and wouldn’t help her business at all.

The trouble with being a solopreneur is that we are usually on our own for all sorts of decisions — whether to advertise, finish working with a bad client, try out a new service, or know how and when to increase our prices.

What’s so difficult about making the right decision?

Feeling the fear 

What has been your most difficult business decision to date?

Mine was what to do when faced with losing a major corporate client. It is at least 10 years ago but I still remember being in denial and procrastinating for far too long. I realised later that I avoided any sort of action because I was simply too afraid.

Afraid that I couldn’t recover, afraid that I wouldn’t be able to secure another good client like this, afraid that I somehow deserved a bad thing to happen… after all, things had been far too good for so long!

Wanting to play safe 

For me, not making a decision was avoiding risk and playing safe. This usually helps us to stay where we are — it is what we know after all, and means we don’t have to take any risks. 

In hindsight, I realised of course that most of my fears had been irrational — wouldn’t it be great if we knew this at the time? Or had a mentor who could question our thinking and help us take small steps in the right direction?

Have a think… when have you been playing safe?

The problem with not making decisions 

Not deciding essentially means we are procrastinating! Procrastination and dithering can be quite common amongst micro-business owners. 

It is often easier to avoid the real reasons that prevent you from taking the right action, than face up to them. But this may be why so many people experience the same negative event more than once. When you don’t learn from your mistakes, you simply go round in circles.

You are stuck.

When offering a new service that doesn’t seem to sell well, you have to make a decision what to do about it. It may be easier to find evidence outside ourselves to identify the reasons why this particular service failed to secure clients.

But … did you actually offer it at the right time to the right clients?

And did you really believe in it (and yourself) and were able to sell it confidently?

Or have you been unsure, sporadic in your actions and inconsistent? If so, are you simply giving up too soon?        

I have written articles before about being proactive and taking the right action, but if you feel your business could be doing better, then it may be worth considering how much fear plays a part in holding it back.

Please consider the following questions:

  • What decisions or actions am I avoiding at the moment?
  • What do I do to sabotage my thinking?
  • Considering a particular action: what’s the worst that could happen?
  • And what’s the best that could happen?
  • How motivated am I to overcome my fear?
  • And finally, what’s the smallest action I can take today to help me deal with my fear and move in the right direction?

By answering these questions honestly, you’ll not only find your fears melt away, but you may also discover that taking action is not nearly as damaging for your business as procrastinating! 

Ute2013Ute Wieczorek-King inspires and empowers passionate female micro-entrepreneurs to run a visible, simple, effective and sustainable business. If you would like to have a chat about your business, please contact Ute to arrange a suitable time. 

You can also connect with her via Twitter, the Success Network Community on Linkedin, or Success Network Recipes on Facebook.

To download her free ‘Passion to Profit book, please fill in the form on the right.

Ute

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