4 Steps to Help You Move Forward.

This week I had multiple conversations with leadership clients who wanted to wait until they had “x” in place so that they could then do “y”.

I could relate.  When I first launched my business back in January 2016, I immediately wanted to get a website, a snazzy company name, a list of services and pricing and more. I felt like I needed those things before I could work with any clients. After all, how could I market myself or look professional without a website or list of services, right?

Thankfully, I decided to hire a leadership coach who had already traveled the road on which I was embarking. My coach knew about my big goals and understood how excited I was to get started, and smartly, he challenged my assumptions about what I thought I “needed” and advised me to START by delivering content, and make offers to help the people and organizations I felt I could provide service to.

This strategy felt uncomfortable at times. How would I answer when someone said: “What’s your web address?” What would I say when someone asked me “What do you charge?” How could I sell any of my services when I didn’t have complete clarity on what my services were?

The truth is that even though it felt uncomfortable, it was exactly the path I needed to follow. My offerings, focus and pricing became clearer because I took inspired action and started working with people. As for the website and email address, well you can see how that turned out at the bottom of this email.

What about you?  What do you believe needs to occur in your organization before it can achieve success?  What do you think you need to achieve or learn before you can make your next career move?  What do you need to do/achieve before you can schedule a meeting with a key contact?

Of course, doing the “right” things first, makes sense.  However, it can be very helpful to take a moment and test your beliefs and assumptions, and also see if there are any feelings associated with those assumptions. Often, what you think “needs” to happen before something else can happen, is simply not true, and can actually be impeding momentum.

Here are 4 steps that may prove helpful as you plan for your next level of growth in your business, your career or your organization:

  1. Do a Quick Inventory: Think about what you are aiming for.  Make a list of what you believe needs to occur BEFORE you can make it occur (internal and external forces).
  2. Test Your Assumptions:  How do you know that list IS true, and relevant for your situation? List all your reasons.
  3. Ask Yourself:  What if the complete opposite is true – for you/your organization? When I work with my clients, this question is embedded in the larger context of defining what we really want in terms of impact, and what may be holding us back.  In that context, the assumptions are very often completely untrue.  What if I don’t have to stay at this current job for three years before moving on?  What if we don’t have to hold off on a fundraising campaign until after the Search?  What if I don’t need additional education or experience to have the impact I want to have? What if…?
  4. Tell Yourself: I am going to move myself/my organization forward – today.  Do you observe any feelings associated with this statement? Any resistance? Maybe you’re thinking: “Kathryn, you don’t understand…” I do understand! I’ve been there! Being “stuck” can look a lot like accepting best practices and industry trends and standards, and being practical, methodical, or realistic.  It can also be an indication of a resistance to BE-ing Big, having “imposter syndrome” or being fearful of failure.

When you know that your mission-driven organization exists to serve, engage and enroll new stakeholders, for example, or when you know that you have a deeper purpose of impact – to yourself, your family, your organization, your community, the world… then you must take responsibility for MAKING what needs to occur possible. Now. Take a leap. Buck trends. Be of service. Your impact is needed.

I took a leap when starting my business and pursuing work that makes my heart sing!  I shifted from telling to listening.  I learned what was most needed in the arts & culture field and tailored my focus in those areas.  I had my best year of my life.  And, in my case, this was done without much of what I initially thought would be “needed.”

To your success,

Kathryn