This guest post was written by Jodi Flynn, Host of Women Taking the Lead.
Have you ever heard the expression, the cobbler’s children have no shoes?
I have found myself using this expression quite a bit lately with my clients because there appears to be a growing trend of The Cobbler Syndrome. This is when you are the last person to benefit from the unique talent or skill that you bring to the people around you every day.
It’s no surprise. I often describe my clients as the people who know what it is they should be doing, but, for one reason or another, they are not doing it. I have marketers who have let the marketing of their own company slip, financial planners who bounced a check and coaches who start experiencing the same pains their clients come to them to solve.
I’m no different; we are all guilty of this at one time or another.
I work with business owners who have plateaued in their business growth and are at a loss for how to get things going again.
They present a variety of pains, but what is common is that they, as the business owner, are doing tasks that should be delegated or outsourced so they can focus on the strategic money-making activities that will have a greater impact on the success of their business.
Sounds logical and simple, right?
Imagine my alarm when I realized I was in the same boat recently.
I hired a Virtual Assistant (VA) to off-load tasks that I didn’t enjoy or wasn’t particularly good at, but I was failing to plan ahead, and as a result, I was spending too much time doing last minute projects involving the very tasks I didn’t want to be doing anymore. I felt like a fraud – I was not walking my talk – and I began beating myself up about it.
As a result, I became hesitant in my sales – I didn’t have time to take on new clients. And I was less powerful in my coaching because my own “stuff” started entering my thoughts when I was talking to a client.
Luckily, I have a coach who wanted to immediately address my dip in sales. Who would have thought my sales had to do with my busy schedule? It was eye opening to say the least.
What did I do?
I took out some of my own tools that I use with my clients and put myself through my own system.
Here is what came out of this process:
- I looked at the next two weeks on my calendar and identified tasks that I could delegate to my VA. I also sent her a note about tasks that were not ready for immediate delegation, but that I wanted her to ask me about in the coming weeks. (Planning and accountability!)
- I scheduled time on my calendar each week to continue to do this “look ahead” planning.
- I blocked off enough time slots on my calendar to allow for the number of clients I wanted, not the number of clients I currently had.
- I changed some of my in-person meet ups to Skype appointments. Especially those that were going to require more than a 15-minute commute each way. This seems small but for casual meet ups this can be time that adds up to hours – hours better spent somewhere else.
I’ve also changed my mindset when deciding on programs to participate in for my own development and those to be a collaborator on as a part of my business.
When looking at investing in programs I have taken any notion of “missed opportunity” out of the conversation. If the program is an obvious choice I am a “Yes”, and if it just doesn’t make sense at the time, I am a “No for now.”
When someone is asking me to be a part of a project or a joint venture, I allow time to think about it before giving my answer. This gives me time to gut-check if this is an opportunity that is alignment with where I want to go to with my business and also to check my calendar and other upcoming initiatives to see if I have the time to give it my best. Otherwise, great opportunities for growth turn into great opportunities for frustration and resentment.
If you are finding that you are feeling “stuck” or “behind” on your timeline for your business, then take a look to see if you are giving yourself, or your business, the best of YOU and what you offer to other people.
It’s an integral part of our businesses growth that we take the product or service we share with the world and apply it at home first.
Have you found yourself being the Cobbler in your business?
Jodi is the Host of Women Taking the Lead. Never having even thought of running a business prior to becoming a coach, Jodi now helps women business owners who feel as if their business is taking over their life to embrace their own brand of feminine leadership so that they get back what’s important to them: time, freedom and money. You can find Jodi on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.