"Why does it always feel so hard?" One of my clients said this to me last week when we were talking about what it takes to grow a business. Have you ever felt this way?
Then I say to you - you're doing it all wrong. Yes, growing a business can be hard work - in the words of my mentor, Larry Winget: "They call it W.O.R.K. for a reason", LOL.
But I believe many of you are making it much more difficult than it needs to be. Entrepreneurs do not know what they do not know. It takes continuous learning to become a master at any craft - and so you've got to 'up' your learning - and make it fun, too.
Here are some of my favorite ways to learn and continuously develop over the summer months:
1) I read novels instead of business books. Shocking to many of you, I know. But, it's true. I read them now to study different writing styles. Since working with Larry Winget and Suzanne Evans in the Hell Yeah Super Star program, I have just completed my third book: "Stop Compromising and Make All the Money You Want! A Do-It-Yourself Guide to Starting Up and Starting Over." I wrote the book over the past many months and it was truly a labor of love. But writing is not my strongest competency - I enjoy it - but I'm not a master. So, I read novels over the summer to study and learn different styles (and for sheer pleasure, too). Right now, I'm reading 'The Best of Me' by Nicholas Sparks. I love his books!
2) I go to more movies. One thing I know for sure is that we do not laugh enough these days. As entrepreneurs, we are far too serious about the work we do. For most of us, our work is not about life or death. So, I head to the movies on rainy days so I can just laugh out loud. It's a way to relax and I also pay attention to how the characters in the movies perform - their timing when it comes to laughter, their interaction and their movements. As a speaker, these are all important aspects for engaging an audience, for example. I do relax and enjoy the movie - don't get me wrong. But, my mind is always alert to mastery. I just saw 'The Heat' with Sandra Bullock. Just plain outright funny!
3) I just sit on my front porch and watch people. I live in one of the most quaint villages in Canada - it has been named one of the 'Top 10 Neighborhoods to Live In" - and that's where I am. All of the houses have front porches and I thoroughly enjoy sitting out there, with my pot of tea and a book, and I watch people. You can learn so much about people in that way - how they interact with others, how many smile and say hello when they pass by, how many just stare ahead and stay in their own little world, how many people look so very unhappy, how many people have happy dogs because they are out for a walk. It's fascinating.
4) I go for long bike rides. I totally believe in the mind/body connection and it's critical that I get on that bike, daily, and head out for a ride. That is when I actually do most of my best thinking - and I enjoy the scenery, the birds, the kids at play, and let my mind wander. The learning part comes into play because I pay attention to all these things and consider how they might impact my business - even something as small as an idea from nature for my next newsletter article. I get ideas from lots of different places.
5) I attend different types of conferences. One of my 'gifts' to me each August is attending the Global Leadership Summit hosted by Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. My local church is a satellite host location and I absolutely love attending this conference. The line-up of speakers range from business, to entertainment, to Christian leaders. I love the people I hang out with at the conference locally - a totally different group than my daily encounters. And I get to network my heart out!
These are just a few of the ways that I stay 'in the game' during the summer months and make it fun. As an entrepreneur, it's essential that we are always looking for ways to generate new leads, attract ideal clients and keep the revenue flowing.
Challenge yourself to stay in the game this summer - continuously learn - stretch yourself - and see how that will benefit both you and your clients.