Four Lessons Learned About Business From Wearing a Mask.
This article was originally a humorous FB post about my being masked up and riding a bike.
As I giggled my way through writing it I realised there was a broader application to my business.
This is the image taken on the day – truly ridiculous and yet weirdly, still a true reflection of me.
Lesson #1 from wearing a mask – ‘You definitely want to brush your teeth before putting your mask on… or do you?’
This one is all about how much to prepare before an event where we are sharing our goods or services. Over preparation has blessings and problems. I lean on over prepared for resources and framework but relaxed for content. Here’s why.
Unprepared – Blessing 1.
A lack of formal structure allows for the spontaneous. That conversation, issue, roadblock that your client has been chewing over can come forth. Because the space exists for it. When there is too much structure we tend to ‘get the job done’ and lose the opportunity to go deeper.
Unprepared – Blessing 2.
With a lack of preparation there are a lot more questions generated from all parties. Again, because there is space. We love to fill space. The mind will bring something, anything to consciousness to fill it. These questions enable us to recognise gaps in our mentoring, to look for the learning opportunities in this open conversation and tighten up the robustness of our delivery around what comes up for our next client.
With space we obtain insight into what is missing that could truly add value.
Unprepared – Blessing 3.
A lack of preparation can also mean our focus is more client centred than anything we could have prepared earlier. All that space is a great opportunity for something more magical than could ever have been engineered.
Problems from a lack of preparation include:
What we have to contribute without preparation may be a mis match for what is required or needed. Never good. We look silly at best, unprofessional at worst and have to work really hard to reverse the damage.
A peeved client is not what any of us need. A decision to engage our services can always be reversed. None of us need that painful lesson.
Be smart and at least in the initial stages of developing relationship LEAD through preparation. Preparation shows our client they are in safe hands and trust develops. Trust builds loyalty and longevity and is worth ten clients who look and leave.
Having listed more blessings in this section than problems it’s clear I believe the space we create allows for opportunity so whilst I still contend cleaning your teeth before applying a mask is a resounding YES, over preparing should be approach with some caution. My caveat is in lesson two below.
Lesson #2 from wearing a mask – ‘Glasses over your mask help to counter said bad breath because at least you know your eyeballs aren’t being subjected to it!’.
This one is all about taking care of Team.
Is a lack of thorough preparation going to have blowback for the team?
I have been known to be a bit of a ‘by the seat of my pants’ kind of girl. As my team has grown I have realised not sharing is not caring. It is also professionally discourteous. Share what is about to happen that might impact your teams ability to be awesome.
Communication with them must take into consideration your personal style but add in awareness that others may need something different. Whilst I thrive on a deeper conversation connection many other don’t. If, like me, your team are super smart and have all the strengths to counter your weaknesses do yourself and them a favour and let them shine by filling in all the blanks.
Set your peeps up for success not frustration or embarrassment.
Lesson #3 from wearing a mask – ‘Looking like you are about to commit a crime is now considered not only ‘normal’ but also ‘best practice’.
What used to be your difference might now be so ordinary prospective clients stop paying attention. This is disaster for business. We need eyeballs on us now more than ever to survive.
How can we continuously look to innovate to stay ahead of the curve? Are you a conformist? Afraid to look at different ways to grow? Afraid to rock the boat? Conformity kills innovation. Coming around the next corner is CHANGE. What have you been doing that might be ahead of the curve in fact, might make the next curve? Innovate, Create, Celebrate.
Lesson #4 from wearing a mask – ‘Wearing my helmet, mask, sunnies and occasional hat all at the same time means I am completely unrecognisable and can get away with all kinds of shenanigans’.
This links closely to Lesson #3. It is about the ways we become waaaay too comfortable in our conformity.
Someone once said to me that as soon as I hit ‘comfortable’ in business it is dying. It resonated then and it still does. It got me thinking about all the ways I was unexpressed in my business OR my business was unexpressed as an extension of me.
Being ‘comfortable’ is us falling off the edge of evolution.
Comfortable might be the perfect time to stretch.
Stretch ourselves to stretch our comfort level to stretch our business.
What could you explore differently in business, type of client, the way you express who you are? Perhaps the person you are now is completely different but you haven’t let her out to play? What stroke of genius personality trait or skill have you been hiding? Step off the beaten track.
Whilst human beings struggle with change we love ‘quirk’.
Be quirk. Be your quirkiest business self. There are risks and benefits of course however you will be getting those eyeballs that love what you do paying attention and they will hang around.
You have some time right now to be ‘incognito’. Go out and do stuff you previously thought impossible or outrageous and then put your head up and shine. Get up to some shenanigans my friend!
Stay creative. Explore, Express, Evolve.
Dr Linda Wilson is a Mindflow Mentor, Author and Presenter. From neuroscience to energy psychology, habits change to emotional management – let’s have a chat about you, your team or your business. Are you looking to find your way through, around or over something? Are you in need of a course correction and need support. Make a time to #connect firstname.lastname@example.org
Category: Future Focus