Failing Forward
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Posted by  in Business Fundamentals

Author: Darlene Hull

Being sick with a life-sucking flu and an energy sucking cold twice in a single month has forced me to do a lot of sitting and thinking rather than running around with my head cut off, busy, busy, busy in my business and family life. As someone who is pretty much never sick, the illnesses suggest that slowing down for a while was probably not a bad thing.

I also dropped my iPhone in a sink full of water (not recommended), had my computer and tablet stop working for an extended period of time, and had my email thoroughly messed up.  In addition to that, a project I agreed to complete for a few friends, that I thought might be the equivalent of building a small handy rowboat,  turned out to be more along the lines of building the Titanic.  It has taken two months out of my life, and my business.  The combination of all of this has meant that I began 2013 months behind schedule, scrambling to keep up with clients and customers, and not paying any attention at all to my own business and marketing.

This is also not recommended.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past month praying, journaling, listening, learning (I attended three awesome workshops in that same period of time) and de-cluttering. Thought I’d share a bit about what I’ve learned:

  • I’ve learned that a life lived in clutter, confusion, and chaos is not a productive or profitable life. I can never be successful if I allow chaos into my life.
  • I’ve learned that I’ve let apathy take over in WAY too many areas of my life, and we are paying a heavy price for it.
  • I’ve learned that my life must be lived in congruence and integrity, in that I must keep my promises to myself as well as to others.  I’ve allowed myself to become incredibly sloppy in this area, and it has taken me by surprise.
  • I’ve learned that it’s OK to be clear about my beliefs and my faith. You don’t have to agree with me, nor do you have to adopt my faith as your own. It will help you to understand me, however, if you know how I come to conclusions and make choices. It will help me to understand you if I know yours.
  • I’ve learned I don’t have to agree with everyone, and not everyone has to agree with me
  • I’ve learned that being busy in my business does not equate with being productive and effective. In fact, I should, for the most part, have a business run on systems and protocols that allow me considerable freedom.
  • I’ve learned that I need to begin the day doing those things that will build my business rather than putting out the fires of all those people clamoring for my attention, and that building my business first is one of the best ways I can serve my clients. If my business is growing I can afford the help and assistance I need to be a much better advocate and support for my clients than if I’m always scrambling trying to do everything myself.
  • I’ve learned the importance of boundaries, and that it’s OK to say “no” – even when I’m talking to friends about things I can indeed help them with – if it’s going to take away considerable time from those things in my life that I consider priorities.  
  • I’ve come to terms again with the fact that mistakes are fine, if you move forward from them rather than being sucked back into failure.  Because of the things I’ve been learning through this, I’m going to be starting a series of blog posts on specific areas of learning, and things we’ve changed in our business that make us lighter on our feet and MUCH more effective. Hopefully I can save you some of the pain and agony we have been going through! :)

Because of all that’s been going on, we’ve spent the last 6 weeks putting some big changes in place with regards to our business.  We have moved out of the “all things for all business people” model, and we are now ONLY doing social media.  This feels like a great fit.  We have updated our site, our social media platforms, and yes, I’ve finally gotten set up on Google+.  Not only do I think it’s here to stay, I think it’s the way of the future.

It’s been a tough couple of  months, a challenging couple of months, a growing couple of months, and a freeing couple of months.  Has it been the same for you?  What important lessons have you learned so far in 2013?  I’d love to have you share them below.

Darlene

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