“I know you’re busy, but….”
“This may sound [crazy/stupid/silly], but…..”
In one of my recent coaching sessions, I worked with a client who is having difficulty engaging with an aggressive, somewhat disrespectful colleague. Let’s face it; we all have to deal with difficult people at some point in our careers. They are as predictable and enjoyable as taxes.
As a small business owner, I know first-hand how important it is to have a PR plan, but I also know that time, money, and resources are scarce!
So how does a business owner communicate their value – especially in an information-overloaded world, and rise above the noise?
The two questions small business owners must always ask when trying to get good press is:
I was paralyzed with indecision. Then, my coach and 20-year advisor snapped me out of it. “Marissa, you don’t have the luxury of standing still.” The word “luxury” struck a chord. In business, time is money. Energy is money. If a business isn’t smartly applying these two valuable resources wisely, it means they are applying them poorly. There’s no in-between. There’s little margin for error.
One of my favorite writers is Seth Godin. He has a way of framing brilliantly simple concepts in a succinct way that makes you go, “Why didn’t I think of that??”
One of his blogs last week was Cracking the Pottery. He talked about how we need to be able to let go of what’s not working for us, even if we’ve invested a lot of time/money/energy in it, so that we can be free to work on what IS working.
This is a conundrum that most entrepreneurs face for these reasons:
One of my favorite books when I was growing up was “Harold and the Purple Crayon.” With the stroke of a purple crayon, Harold designs the life he imagines. When he wants to go for a walk, he draws a moonlit path. When he’s hungry, he draws himself a lunch. When he becomes scared of his own illustrated dragon, he creates an ocean and a sailboat to escape just in time.
Harold uses his creative thinking to escape from life’s corners that constrain him.
People with big vision often find themselves painted into a corner. We set upon our path, often underestimating or unaware of the obstacles that may get in our way of progress. Or, we over-commit, and find ourselves completely overwhelmed with what we have promised to others. Wouldn’t it be great if we could draw ourselves an ocean and a sailboat, and simply sail away to a far-away land?
We can’t do that, but when our backs are up against the wall, we can create additional paths to lead us out of our corners. We can transform our corners into a doorway.
Entrepreneurship is all about calculated risk. We can create strategic plans, implement repeatable processes, hire the top people, and engage with the best customers. However, the only way to grow to the next level is to bite off more than you can chew, and pray you don’t choke.
I know the feeling of biting off more than you can chew. Four years ago, Information Experts made the strategic decision to invest in a newly formed Joint Venture (JV) to pursue a multi-billion dollar Department of State program. The risk was ridiculously high but the possible reward was astronomical.