It’s a Really Good Idea to learn from people who have achieved what you want to accomplish. Are you investing in industry conferences? Do you have a mentor? Are you now, or have you ever been, in a mastermind group?
If the answer to these questions is “no,” you have one job: Start now.
If, however, you regularly seek out learning opportunities, expert opinions, advice, or help, you may have experienced a disconcerting phenomenon. Like a sign flashing out its warning, maybe you have felt you are receiving a doomsday message:
“You’re doing everything wrong.”
This is exactly what happened to me following QuickBooks Connect. QuickBooks Connect was an amazing conference. I learned so much from the main stage speakers and the breakout sessions. In a lot of ways, what I heard there was confirmation I was on the right track with my business. But there were several key areas where I had been struggling, and the message I seemed to be getting was that my problem was simple:
I was doing everything wrong.
At one point I found myself wondering if I was doing anything right in my practice. To further complicate matters, the leaders of the breakout sessions seemed to be providing contradictory information on how to best fix my problems.
So, what do you do when it seems like you are getting the “You’re doing everything wrong” message? You take a good, hard look at you are doing.
Is what you are already doing working for you?
This seems like a simple enough question to answer. Be careful, though: there is a distinct difference between something really “working” and you being comfortable with a habit.
Are you happy with your business? Are your employees happy? Are you making as much money as you would like? Is your business profitable (not just on paper, but with money in the bank)? If so, what you are already doing is probably working for you. If not, then you need to change something.
I already knew I needed to fix some things in my business. However, I also caught myself thinking I needed to change other things that were working very well, just because the experts were doing them a different way. It’s fine to want to emulate success, but there’s something to be said for not trying to fix that which is not broken.
Does the suggested solution resonate with you?
No matter how successful others have been with a strategy or a solution, there is one way to guarantee it will not work for you:
Try to implement it, even though it feels wrong.
I have been extremely blessed to work with some phenomenal mentors and coaches. They have given me foolproof, step-by-step processes for replicating their success.
More than once, I followed their processes to the letter, only to fall flat on my face.
There wasn’t anything wrong with the processes. The mentors and coaches had plenty of other clients who were experiencing extraordinary success. But since I didn’t feel resonance with the solution, I came across as inauthentic. It just didn’t work.
Similar to getting stuck in a habit, it is easy to say something doesn’t resonate with you when you feel uncomfortable. There is a difference between being stuck in your comfort zone and a lack of resonance. If you feel a visceral lack of resonance, accept that it’s okay not to follow someone’s steps to guaranteed success, no matter how much you admire that person. What works for them will never work for you if it feels wrong.
Which leads me to one last, critical point:
“Everything wrong” varies from business owner to business owner.
Remember how I said it seemed I was getting contradictory information from some of the breakout session leaders?
That’s because I WAS!!!
We all want different things from our businesses. What I might see as a perfect business situation could be hell on earth for you, and vice versa. Whenever you seek expert advice, you must keep in mind that what the expert wants from her business could be very different than your ideal. That’s not to say that you should only seek out like-minded business owners as your sources of expert advice. Just keep in mind it is okay to take only what you need and leave the rest.
Struggles and pain points are important signals that you need to change something in your business. It is very rare, though, that you would need to change EVERYTHING.
No matter how you feel at the moment, you probably aren’t doing everything wrong.