If you haven’t ever watched the hilarious video of Bob Newhart and his ‘unique’ way of counselling his clients, do yourself a favour and watch it now – it makes me laugh every time. (If you haven’t seen it, check it out before you read any further. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow0lr63y4Mw )
His advice to his poor client is the same two words every time – ‘Stop it!’ and I found myself wondering what would happen if I adopted the same approach with my business clients!
Well, it might go something like this……
- Waiting for things to be perfect
You certainly don’t have to be perfect to start… you just need to start. It is oh so tempting to spend ‘just a bit longer’ endlessly perfecting your article, your website, your brochure… but none of it is any use if they’re never ‘good enough’ to make it out into the big wide world. Take action, keep moving things forward and tweak as you go whilst repeating the mantra ‘imperfect action beats perfect inaction every time’. So if you’re waiting…and waiting… for things to be perfect – stop it!
Procrastination and perfectionism often go hand in hand and they are both excellent ways in which to rationalise NOT doing. You know the saying – you can make excuses or you can make progress but you can’t make both… well, while you’re busy justifying why you ‘can’t’, chances are, you’re also not doing what you can. So if you’ve been procrastinating lately and trying not to stray too far from the edges of your comfort zone – stop it!
- Lacking self-confidence
We all get a bit wobbly from time to time and start doubting our abilities – this is perfectly natural when we venture into new territory and start doing new things that we’ve never done before. It’s natural too to sometimes find ourselves thinking some less-than-positive, ‘I’m not good enough or clever enough or young enough or confident enough’ type thoughts. But it is totally possible to counteract with them in a positive and productive way, so that the minute those undermining voices start up you are ready to tell them firmly and repeatedly that you most certainly ARE capable. So when those doubts start to surface – stop it!
- Trying to do everything at once
As tempting as it is to do a bit of this at the same time as you’re doing a bit of that, trying to do it all at once requires lots of effort but with little return, apart from overwhelm, exhaustion and a whole pile of ‘nearly finished’ stuff. The trick is to do one thing all the way through to completion and to where you start getting results THEN you do the next thing and start getting results from that and so on. So if you’re flitting backwards and forwards between loads of different projects and trying to do everything at once – stop it!
- Wishing and hoping rather planning and doing
Wishing and hoping has never been a successful business strategy whereas planning and doing on the other hand, is a sure-fire recipe for success. The planning bit will help you get that all-important focus and clarity and the doing bit will ensure you move ever nearer to your chosen destination and fulfil your business aspirations. So if you’re wishing and hoping rather than planning and doing –stop it!
- Wearing too many hats
Web-designer, marketing director, social media guru, financial director… let’s face it, trying to do everything in your business yourself is not only exhausting, it’s also counter-productive. Identify the aspects of your business that would best be outsourced to a specialist who can do it better, faster and easier than you can AND allow you the time and space to do the work you enjoy, you’re good at and which earns you money. So if you’re trying to wear too many hats and do simply EVERYTHING – stop it!
- Not asking for help
As much as you may love the freedom that comes with being your own boss, when it’s just you and you alone, with no-one checking that you’ve done what you said you’d do – it can be a bit of a struggle! It all becomes SO much easier when get some help by working with others in a supportive and stimulating relationship – work with a coach, buddy up with an accountability partner, join a mastermind group – put a structure in place to help ensure that the things you want to happen, actually happen. So, if you think you can do it alone – stop it!
Well there you have it – I should stress that this is not my usual coaching method – and don’t worry it’s not an approach I’m thinking of adopting in the near future – but maybe, just maybe, there IS some value in being advised to just STOP IT!
I’d love to hear from you in the comments below – what’s your biggest business ‘symptom’ that you’d like cured by a simple ‘stop it!?