“This isn’t working.” I told myself as I climbed into my car to make another 80 minute commute to go to another networking meeting. Hear me out, I’m a die-hard fan of networking events. They allow you to get to know your community and build relationships in them that you are better for having. But it’s got to be revenue generating activity if you’re a business owner, otherwise, it’s a hobby and not a business.
It’s a fine line between knowing when what you’re doing isn’t working and when you haven’t put the time in to see the strategies you’ve implemented come to fruition. If you’re ever curious about which one of these two camps you’re in, go keep track of your activity. If you’ve only attended one networking event in 6 months, it might be your work ethic. If 18 of the 44 events you’ve gone to in the last 6 months were networking events and zero of them resulted in clients – networking may no longer be valuable to you, (at least in this market).
Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it. — Aubrey De Graf
Or money for that matter….
Even I didn’t recognize this explicitly until I interviewed Bonnie L. Frank, a business coach for my podcast, The F Word Podcast. Our interview was about an hour long, but she and I talked for almost another hour, peer to peer. I loved what she said so much, I hired her on the spot, without her giving me a sales pitch. With money I couldn’t afford, with no guarantee that I wouldn’t live to regret my purchase; because she was speaking right to my soul.
Sometimes, you’ve got to burn down the house you’ve built if it no longer provides for your needs. In this case, the house I’d built my coaching career on was networking through various organizations; locally and a year ago, I would have told you that I was going to win on that strategy because it had served me well previously. But it hasn’t been working and it doesn’t matter how badly I want it to work, it’s not.
While terrifying, there’s an exhilaration here. I don’t have to keep doing the things that aren’t working. I’m no longer burdened by those activities and have the freedom to go do new ones.
What got you here, won’t get you there. – Marshall Goldsmith
I took that to be a commentary on education and skill building at the time I read that book, but it never once occurred to me that it had to do with literally doing new activities. But if it hadn’t been for me starting The F Word Podcast, to combat my own sense of anxiety and failure, I’d have never met my new business coach Bonnie L. Frank. So…go do new things.
Another business coach I know, said this to me years ago before I was even a baby business coach myself:
It is not enough to always do what is necessary. Sometimes, we must do what is required. – Doug Winnie, ActionCOACH
I’m not saying you’ve got to burn your house down but be prepared to.