by Dr. Colleen Batchelder
2020 is not easy. In many ways, this year is more like a horror movie with a comedic commentary intertwined at inopportune moments. But, this new normal is not going anywhere. Face it. 2020 has changed everything, including the way you work and think about your business.
Since March, you’ve been trying to balance working from home while entertaining kids that are fed up with virtual schooling. And there’s not enough ice cream in the world to make children sit through 6-hours of Zoom each day. Or, enough wine to help you sustain the chaos.
I get it. You work hard, play hard, and push yourself even harder and end up in the same place. You feel like you’re spinning on the hamster wheel without moving an inch. But, what if you could create a plan that actually worked? Would you consider pivoting your path or rewriting your planner?
Grab that cup of coffee or fill up that wine glass and take a breath. You got this. You just have to write these 4 business tips down and paste them to your forehead.
Just because you’ve always done it doesn’t mean you should continue
Repetition rarely procures a successful outcome. If anything, consistency keeps leaders stagnant and their ideas stuck in quicksand. If you want to be remembered as a dreamer, then you only have to do one thing: nothing.
Many exonerate dreamers as the pinnacle of romanticism. But, when you really look past their hems and haws, you see what they really are: scared. They’re afraid to go beyond their dreams and actually step out and do.
Don’t be a dreamer. Don’t get stuck at the starting line of the race and watch all the other runners zoom past you. If you want to be known as a runner, you have to move your feet. The same is true if you want to be seen as a business leader.
If you want to succeed in business, then you have to try. It doesn’t just happen. It takes work, long hours, and courage to update your GPS to reach your goal.
Believe in yourself more than your business plan
Yes. I know what you’re thinking. And no, Disney music is not playing in the background with inspirational mantras. But, belief is a powerful thing and it needs to be the foundation of your business before you raise the walls or the roof.
If you became a CEO to get accolades, then quit right now.
You might receive rewards and get on the Forbes 30 under 30. But, all the affirmation in the world won’t keep you going when you get that first inbox of hate mail.
Yep. You heard me. You’ll peer at the subject line and think it’s spam, but it’s your first hater who just dropped in to say hello. Celebrate this moment because you said something worth saying. Remember, you only receive hate mail when you believe more in your mission than you believe in your fan club.
Business is one of the loneliest jobs. You’ll feel like giving up daily. But, if you understand who you are, you won’t care what others say about you. When you believe in yourself, your decisions will stem from authenticity. You won’t live by a script. You’ll write your story and your business plan.
You are not an island. You are a city.
Isolation is nice for a silent retreat. But, if you want to skyrocket your business, you need to reach out to civilization and let them know you’re alive.
Repeat after me, the internet is your friend, not your foe.
I get it. It’s not easy putting yourself out there. But, if you want to reach more clients, then you have to be willing to network with more colleagues.
Now, you don’t need to become an extreme extrovert or change your entire personality. But, if you reach out to one person each day, you’ll grow your reach and expand your business.
Think of networking like a tomato plant. The plant starts out small, but as it grows, it becomes untamed. If you want to skyrocket your business, then you need to embrace the diversity of your network. Reach out to strangers. Flag down that stranger in the street. Or, if you want to start simpler, then join some Facebook groups within your niche.
Don’t be afraid. Suggest that Zoom game night and talk about your love for graphic novels and expense reports. You might just find a friend. Or at least someone who’s up for a road trip to Comic-Con.
Live in reality while aiming for the future.
All of us are discontent. As business leaders, we live to change the present to make the future better. But, possibilities don’t pay the bills.
All of us would love to have that penthouse office overlooking Central Park with an incredible team that aims to serve our every whim. But we’ll never get there unless we’re willing to put in the work that’s needed in the present.
You have to remember, you’re not working on future projects. You’re building your present life.
Sit down and create that business plan, but don’t allow the plan to overshadow your current opportunities.
So, if you’re looking to skyrocket your business, don’t be afraid of change, believe in yourself, network with others, and embrace your today while planning for your tomorrow. You have everything you need to reach your goals right now.
As a Diversity and Inclusion Strategist and Consultant, Dr. Colleen Batchelder helps leaders create companies where Millennials want to work. Her doctoral background in leadership and global perspectives gives her an added edge because she approaches generational dissonance from all directions, including from an anthropological, theological, sociological, and ethnographic lens. Connect with Dr. Batchelder on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.