I think I may have heard or said them all to myself, those nagging excuses we come up with to avoid what’s really going on. The economy’s too bad, my dad liked my sister better, I was not able to go to college, or I’m just not able to sell myself.
Whatever encompasses your list of excuses, get over it! There’s no place in a successful business for excuses, especially from the ownership/management level. Try to figure out what went wrong and the best way to fix it; then move on. Especially if your business includes a team of VAs or sub-contractors, having excuses will infect the entire team and could jeopardize your ability to move forward.
I remember early in my business that I had the cleanest house on the block. Every time I was at the point where I had to do something that I wasn’t comfortable with, like cold calling, or attending a Chamber meeting, I would find some really dirty windows, or something that needed to be sewn or washed; anything to give myself permission to not do something that was a little ‘outside the box’ for me.
This may surprise you for any of you who know that I have a background in sales, but I struggled in closing sales when the product I was selling was me. I didn’t have any problems in selling a product or service that someone else was paying me to sell, I had some difficulty when the product was me, or my service.
I have found that women struggle the most with this because we are prone to satisfy and support everyone else. Turning the tables and trying to support and encourage ourselves is a whole new concept, one that you’ll need to deal with pretty quickly if you want your business to grow.
Look at it this way – in order for me to help and serve my clients (which is usually what our business is all about – helping someone else solve a problem), I have to be willing to communicate to them how I am the best option for their need, and what solutions I have to solve their problems.
Instead of thinking that you have to ‘sell yourself and your services’, think of it as educating them on the best way to solve their problems in the least amount of time, with the latest technology, and by making an investment in themselves and their business.
You have to be willing to do things that are outside of your normal comfort zone. If this was easy, everybody would be doing it. To succeed in business you have to be self-motivated and immune to any criticism.
So write down all those excuses that have been holding you back and draw a big black line through them. Crumble the piece of paper up and throw it away – and with it, your need to use those excuses to hold back your business progress.
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Jeannine Clontz, provides professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). Download her FREE report “A Fresh Look at Time Management for Virtual Assistants”, request her FREE audio CD “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?”, or consider her online course “Business Essentials For a Virtual Assistance Practice” at, http://vabizcoach.com/starters.html; or contact her at: coach@VAbizcoach.com.