It’s nearing the end of year 3 of ‘Inspire-Ignite’ Coaching & Training. It’s been both a whirlwind and a fantastic ride! When I first started out on the journey to creating my own business and working in a way that I was truly passionate about, I didn’t dream I’d be sat here writing this…
I’ve learned so much – particularly during 2018 and I thought I’d share my biggest and most impactful learn to date…
Focus on what you’re great at
Sometimes we focus so much on developing the personal skills and behaviours that we are notnaturally good at – For those of you in companies with ‘personal development plans’ you probably spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the skills and behaviours that you should improve. What if we all focused on building even more of what we were absolutely awesome at – think how that would feel and the energy it would create. I’m now absolutely focused on maximising the time I spend on what I’m great at…and outsourcing or getting help with what I’m not so good at naturally.
It’s quality, not quantity
A learn for me in so many ways – When I first started out I tried to spend as much time as I could networking to meet as many people as possible. Of course, for some businesses there is real value in that, but for me it just didn’t quite feel right. I still network, but I’m now focused on meeting one or two people at a time that I feel I connect with and building a quality relationship with them. It feels so good to build genuinerapport and surprise, surprise they spread the word on what you do, and you do the same in return!
Wow. I’ve learnt so much over the last 3 years. It’s been mind-blowing! I’ve invested in a lot of books, asked a lot of questions and certainly stretched the comfort zone in a wide range of different situations. I’ve learnt not to be afraid of recognising that I don’t know all the answers and that that’s ok. I’m already thinking about what’s next on my personal learning journey…It will definitely involve building more on what I’m good at!
Take time to reflect and plan
I’m certainly not a natural reflector (see point 1!)…I’m more of a ‘get on and do’ person. That said, I’ve learnt that taking about an hour out to reflect at the end of each week really helps learning and also helps to get focused for the following week. I now have a separate notebook for my reflections, thoughts, ideas and randomness. It really helps me to make sure I capture everything that’s going on in my head (usually a lot!) and keep focused on what I actually need to do.
‘Busy’ and ‘successful’ are not necessarily linked
I get frustrated when I hear influential leaders, role models and influencers telling people to “work, work, work” and “if you’re not tired, you’re not successful”, and “it takes working all hours to be great” etc. etc.
I’ve learned that to see the success you need to focus on the right thing. One of those ‘right things’ is YOU. You won’t be effective if you’re working 18 hours a day. You’ll just be burnt out, and probably half asleep when you make important decisions. I certainly don’t work 9am-5pm, but I flex my time based on what I need to do and when. I used to be hard on myself if I didn’t work a ‘full day’, but now I just go with what’s needed and when. Sometimes that means doing a bit more, sometimes that means giving myself some time to myself to recharge the batteries.
The value of doing this is amazing. I’ve learned that just the odd ‘well done’, ‘congratulations’ or ‘thank you’ makes others feel great – why? Probably because we don’t do it enough, preferring to focus on what people do that frustrates, annoys or what we think could be done better! It’s a double whammy. They feel great and I feel great…if everyone feels great then guess what… everyone’s performance skyrockets and we all keep smiling. That’s powerful!
Don’t be too hard on yourself
We all go through ups…and we all go through downs. It’s easy to think about and focus on analysing what hasn’t gone so well, or when you weren’t at your best. Make sure your reflections also focus on what’s been fantastic, when you’ve felt at your best and give yourself a much-needed pat on the back every so often.
Remember, there isn’t anybody else that can do what you do and be who you are – that’s your biggest strength. We all perform better when we can be ourselves. That might not mean that you are everyone’s ‘cup of tea’, but that’s ok. Always be appreciative of others staying authentic to themselves to. They have just as much right to it as you…